5 Things elementary OS 6 Should Improve for a Better Linux Desktop Experience

elementary OS 6.1 is the latest release with many essential improvements and new features.

Of course, the choice of a Linux distro for your system varies on many levels. However, I think there are a few things in elementary OS that could have been done differently.

Here, I list some of the aspects that could use some improvements in elementary OS.

Note that this is entirely my opinion, so take it with a pinch of salt.

Things That Can Be Improved in elementary OS

If you are curious, I plan to point out things I don’t like for other distributions as well (starting with this).

It is usual to feature the good stuff but unless someone points out the potential nuances in a distro, you cannot really decide whether the distro is for you or not.

1. No Built-in Debian Package Installer

Considering it as an Ubuntu-based distribution, downloading a deb file to only find that you cannot install, makes you look for solutions.

This makes sense because elementary OS switched to a Flatpak-only model with elementary OS 6 release, even for the first-party applications.

However, new users are likely to be unaware of solutions like “Eddy” which is a Debian package installer and available in the AppCenter.

A notice/tip that points to you to the tool when you try installing a deb package should make it clear. Or, having Eddy pre-installed should make things convenient.

2. Flathub Support out of the box

The Flatpak-first approach makes things more secure and convenient. However, you cannot install Flatpak applications via Flathub unless you manually add the third-party Flatpak repo (using the terminal).

Even though AppCenter features Flatpak applications, it may not be enough for all users. In contrast, Flathub offers a massive collection of Flatpaks.

While it is good to offer a first-party experience and give the ability to the user to enable third-party (Flathub) if required, but can something be done to easily enable the Flathub support without heading to the terminal? (ignoring the flatpak ref files)

Well, I think a quick toggle switch to enable/disable out-of-the-box support for Flathub could make things better.

Or, mention the command along with the suggestion to enable Flathub as you noticed in the screenshots above.

3. Minimize button

Considering elementary OS does not feature any auto-tiling window feature like Pop!_OS, the lack of minimize button on many applications could prove to be annoying.

Yes, you can utilize the keyboard shortcut Super + H to hide/minimize the window. However, for mouse-oriented users, it does not feel comfortable to not have a minimize button.

4. No System Tray Support

As per their design choices, the elementary OS team thinks that its best to not have system tray support (or so I read as per some Reddit posts).

Unfortunately, the system tray icons are incredibly useful for quick access, and to keep an eye on the status of something.

For instance, I can quickly access the Flameshot screenshot tool from the app indicator icon, check sync status when using a tool like Insync, and also get informed when there is a message for me in Slack.

And, without the system tray icon integration support, I cannot do any of this, which is a deal-breaker.

5. A Separate NVIDIA ISO

A separate NVIDIA ISO (or Nvidia graphics installation mode) is much more convenient than installing a proprietary Nvidia driver through the software center.

Sure, I did not have any issues installing Nvidia drivers using the AppCenter. But, with a separate ISO, you eliminate the additional step after installation.

Wrapping Up

There are flaws in every operating system, a Linux distribution is not an exception.

Sometimes these nuances are there by design, as per their targeted users. You may or may not like everything that a distro does, which is why it is important to know what can they do better (or if it is suitable for you).

elementary OS is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Linux distributions out there. But, is it the one for you?

Well, if some of the points that I mention do not bother you, it should be a great experience for you.


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