In April of 2011, a small group of high school and college kids released an Ubuntu 10.10 remaster that we called elementary OS “Jupiter”. And for us, it was huge. It was a demonstration of a desire to create a Linux-based OS that championed consistency and great design. It featured several home-grown apps and heavy patches to the UI of others.
Their latest beta, “Luna”, is simply fantastic. I was turned on to this from Keith Smiley and I am glad he pointed this OS out. What the Elementary team is creating is a gorgeous version of Linux. I downloaded and installed this in Parallels and it is really nice. It’s pretty, it’s clean, it’s useable.
I also like that they are operating off of the pay-what-you-want model instead of just shipping it for free (though it can be had for free, which is what I did as I only wanted to check it out quickly — if I do install it on a machine permanently I will pay for it).
In addition to Elementary OS, Ubuntu 13.04 looks really great and boasts a lot of great encryption out of the box. I don’t think either OS is better than OS X, but both are good alternatives and worth checking in on here and there. Linux is getting closer, that much is clear — so close that I am tempted to get an 11″ Air just to run these two variations of Linux on.
If nothing else, the site is worth checking out.