First Look: elementary OS 6 Enters Beta with New Installer, Dark Theme, and More

elementary OS 6 Beta


The elementary OS developers announced the beta version of the upcoming elementary OS 6 “Odin” operating system, which has been in development for the past nine months.

I already talked here on 9to5Linux about the new features and enhancements of elementary OS 6, as developer Cassidy James Blaede shared some info back in August 2020. But now, I can finally take elementary OS 6 for a test drive to see them in action.

The first major change you’ll notice when running elementary OS 6 is the brand-new installer, which also acts as a first-time setup wizard by letting you choose the default system language, time zone, and keyboard layout. Then, you are prompted by a redesigned screen to select the live mode or to perform a clean or custom install.

If you perform a clean install, which is the recommended installation method for most users, you’ll only have to select the target drive where you want to install elementary OS 6 and choose if you want to encrypt the installation or not. After the installation, you’ll be able to set more details.

At the first glance, elementary OS 6 will look pretty much identical to the previous release, elementary OS 5. The light theme is enable by default and comes with various enhancements to be more pleasant to the eye, but elementary OS 6 also features a dark theme that looks really gorgeous.

Among other noteworthy changes, elementary OS 6 promises a revamped Mail app that now relies on Evolution Data Server instead of the custom Geary mail backend, the Files app comes with a new navigation mode, a redesigned System Settings app with a whole new System view that now lets you update your computer’s firmware using the popular fwupd tool and LVFS (Linux Vendor Firmware Service).

In addition, there’s a completely revamped notifications system with a fresh new design, continued audio playback even when the display goes to sleep, multi-touch swipe gestures, as well as out of the box support for Flatpak apps, including an entirely Flatpak-based AppCenter ecosystem.

Under the hood, elementary OS 6 is based on the long-term supported Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, more precisely on Ubuntu 20.04.1, and it’s powered by the Linux 5.8 kernel.

If you want to give elementary OS 6 Beta a try, you can download it right now from the official website. However, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version intended for application developers and testers. Please don’t install or use a beta version as your daily driver!

Last updated 2 weeks ago