Unboxing elementary OS Loki

On Friday, the latest version of elementary OS was released: version 0.4, Loki. I’ve been using elementary since Freya public beta 2, and it’s been a great general purpose working machine.

So I backed up all my files, downloaded the disc image and re-formatted my computer. Here are my impressions and notes:

  • The installer worked really well. No surprises. It was straightforward, fast, and it worked on the first time. I just restarted my computer with the USB installer drive in it, and it worked. On the first try.
  • For reference, to install the previous version, Freya, I had to use another computer to download wifi drivers so that I could get the computer on the internet. It took a few tries. Not this time!
  • Also, the previous version had a really hard time with rebooting. I had to fiddle around in GRUB settings to make it work. This time it worked right out of the box.
  • Loki is designed to be simple. This means that certain features, like adding software repositories, is disabled. Hence, right away I installed: software-properties-common, gdebi and elementary-tweaks, of course.
    • gdebi was necessary to install Atom.io, R Studio, Vocal, etc.
    • Single-click to open files by default in the file manager? Really?
  • I needed to follow the instructions on the following page to get R running: http://sites.psu.edu/theubunturblog/installing-r-in-ubuntu/
  • I needed to install Dropbox from here: https://github.com/zant95/elementary-dropbox
  • This version of Loki is based on Ubuntu 16.04 rather than 14.04, which fixed a lot of the problems that I forgot I had. For example, this allowed me to upgrade to the newest version of LibreOffice. LibreOffice was working mostly fine before, except for a weird graphical glitch with the Zotero plugin (the buttons’ colours were inverted).
  • Now that I’m on the topic, installing LibreOffice from the AppCenter didn’t work. I had to un-install and then install from the command line. That was weird.
  • The system tray is much better now. There were a few apps that just never appeared up there despite my best efforts to fix them.
  • I don’t actually care for the new “AppCenter” that comes with Loki very much. Some of the software that’s in there doesn’t “just work.” (LibreOffice for example didn’t work until I installed it using apt-get in the Terminal.)
  • Adobe Digital Editions still works perfectly through Wine, so I can still get all my library books on my Kobo that way.
  • I installed Deja Dup from the command line, and then followed these instructions to hook it up to the file manager: http://elementaryos.stackexchange.com/questions/1741/how-to-integrate-files-with-dejadup
  • The Music app is very iTunes-like. And by that I mean that it is what iTunes used to be like before it became bloated and unusable. It’s a simple, single-purpose app that opens from a cold start in less than a second on my computer. There’s no store. It doesn’t sync my phone. All it does is index the music files in my ~/Music folder, and allows me to play them.
  • Actually, come to think of it, that’s what I like about elementary OS as a whole. It’s Mac-like, but without a lot of the really annoying bloaty stuff that makes it hard to actually get work done on a Mac.
    • How many times do I have to tell my computer, “No, I don’t have or want an Apple ID?”
    • “No, I don’t want this update to GarageBand.” Stop asking me.


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The Grey Literature

This is the personal blog of Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD. Queer; Academic; Queer academic. "I'm the research fairy, here to make your academic problems disappear!"

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