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A View @ elementary Isis Dev Snapshots

Isis is the successor of Elementary Luna. Elementary Isis images are not public available yet, and Elementary Team does in-house developing.

It’s true, we do have in-house development images of what will become Isis, but they’re so broken and unfinished that we don’t feel it’s safe or useful to put them out there for everyone to try. There’s no point in having a lot of testers report bugs we already know of and flood our bug trackers.

Thus, we ask that you give us some time before we launch a beta version of Isis. The images we have are far, very far away from where we’re going and we all need to be patient since the developers of elementary are all volunteers giving away their free time.

On Testing Isis

The build server is open, but the download link is private. So if someone knows the URL, it wouldn’t be very cool to post it. If you want to try it, you can ask Elementary guys at Freenode #elementary-dev channel.

Isis comes in two images, one based on Ubuntu 13.10 and a second one based on 14.04, which is what I got.

What is different in Isis than Luna, is the set of libraries and their dependencies which are newer. In some cases, they’re more than 2 years more recent in Isis than in Luna. So it’s a massive update beneath the Pantheon Shell and Pantheon Applications.

It is meaningless to demonstrate anything from the new features of ElementaryOS, because these snapshots are quite broken and incomplete. But I had it, so why not screencasting it?

Important: This is not Isis, not even close. Not only does this build lack Isis features and enhancements, it’s a severe regression in usability. This is an early dev build to test dependencies on and begin porting core applications, etc. This is not representative of what Isis will be.

Elementary OS is more Desktop-Oriented than Gnome, and more modern and plain than Cinnamon. It is kinda a hybrid between those two. There is potential on this project, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they achieve something really good in the near future.

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  • Gabriel C

    I wish a gnome more like elementary.

    • Jesus Bejarano

      You meant Pantheon Shell be more like Gnome shell?

    • Svitozar Cherepii

      And I wish gnome more like GNOME.

  • vikoadi

    why do you post elementary’s current build Alex? elementary boys is trying hard to hide it.
    and also there arent any differences than luna. I think its not the time to watch on elementary project growth (at least not until beta) and its better to enjoy their luna release.

    • alex285

      I asked them if I could post it. They said okay, just don’t share the download url.

  • Stinger

    Thank you for a quick breafing of the status of Isis.
    I have been running Luna since it came out in August
    It still impresses me what a bunch of dedicated developers can do when they put their mind to it.
    Elementary Luna is fast, It’s very stable and pleasant to use.
    Usability and design has a high priority and underneath lies the great Ubuntu base from Precise, practically anything you can desire is available and Precise is supported until 2017.
    I think the Elementary dev’s have chosen a clever strategy using the LTS bases from Ubuntu, meaning the can focus their power on improvements and development of the Pantheon DE instead.

  • Víctor

    Elementary is probably the best good looking distro (and the fastest). Why not becoming a new desktop environment for linux distros??

    • JaSauders

      Pantheon, the desktop environment for elementary OS, is being packaged for other distros, much like how Linux Mint’s Cinnamon is not 100% exclusive to Cinnamon. Quite a few friends of mine use Arch with Cinnamon (for example) and love it. I have no doubt Pantheon will follow suit, but while the elementary team is fantastic, they are quite small compared to Mint yet.

  • JaSauders

    My wishlist for Elementary OS Isis:

    1) A file manager that isn’t terrible. Sorry guys, but this thing is incredibly unstable to the point I just can’t use it. It seems like every other day it goes through a spasm where it just crashes, over, and over again. It’s not rare to see it crash 12 times in a row. (bug reported)
    2) Network bookmarks in file manager. Being able to one-click and auto connect to my Samba share is genius, absolutely genius, but no where to be found here. (feature request reported, but was told to just use Gigolo instead. Yeah, no)
    3) Auto mount auto mount auto mount! All users I put in front of eOS end up calling me when they put in their SD camera card wondering why the system isn’t doing anything. (feature request reported)

    There are some other quarrels I have as well, such as Noise’s 2 hour library import, whereas Clementine took (literally) 4 and a half seconds. No exaggeration there. But those 3 are the big ones.

    For the time being, I find myself leaning more towards Mint, as Cinnamon can give me a sweet setup with a very classy and functional launcher rather easily, not to mention it’s super simple to make it look comparable to eOS if you wish (top panel, gnome theme, plank) but with an absolutely awesome file manager and the other various features I need. That said, I will absolutely check out Isis when available, but Mint just has so much momentum that I’m not sure I could definitively pick one or the other for 100% of my systems. I want my cake and I’ll eat it too, dangit.

    • Stinger

      Elementary is far from perfect I’ll give you that ;)
      The Pantheon file-manager is the one that need most improvement, quite right. I only experienced some freezes at the earlier stages but they are gone now with the updates and the speed has improved.
      Another thing needed I think, is a menu-editor for slingshot, I prefer menulibre:

      For me it’s the other way round , I switched from Mint-MATE to EOS Luna, haven’t had a single regret, it has been a learning experience, but a very very pleasant one :)

      • JaSauders

        Yeah, I hear you. I have actually since switched back to elementary OS. Mint/Cinnamon was fun for a while but elementary OS has so much dang refinement and consistent speed* that I began to want it again.

        *The more I used Mint with the latest Cinnamon, the more I began to see my menu would just hang for a second or two now and then.

        The file manager, as I mentioned before, is pretty rough (stability wise). I mean, it works and functions if you’re doing the simplest of task, but other than that it can be a pain in the backside. To give you an example, earlier I had two instances of Pantheon Files open snapped to each side of the screen. I was moving data from one to the other. At random, they crashed on two occasions within a 3-4 minute period. After that I reported a bug. A dev later told me that the column view (which I was using) is the buggiest of the views. Ironically enough, I did the same thing later on but with grid view. While I didn’t experience any crashes in grid view, I noticed something weird. If I have two instances of Pantheon Files open, there are times (maybe half of the time) where if I navigate around in window A, then I see window B changing to the directory I just clicked on. It’s as if the two instances were not really working independent of one another, and instead acted in a semi random fashion.

        I have since simply installed Nautilus. The only frustrating thing about Nautilus is by default it comes down hidden from the menu. If you edit /usr/share/applications/nautilus.desktop, you can see a line saying OnlyShowIn=Gnome,Unity. I commented the whole line out and presto, Nautilus was visible. Just an FYI for those interested.

        In other news, while there is no way to effectively add a network bookmark in Pantheon Files, if you edit ~/.gtk-bookmarks you can add a line for it, such as

        smb://server/share/ SERVER

        You’ll see ‘SERVER’ show up in your list. Works great.

        I love eOS a lot, but until Pantheon Files gets some much needed stability fixing, I’ll keep doing my thing with Nautilus since it seems to do the job the most reliably.

  • CameronN

    Alex, just a friendly comment here. elementary has made a big push for branding in the past cycle, and they established a few things: (1) elementary is not capitalized and (2) they have a cool new logo. If you could help them to establish their branding guidelines by spelling elementary lowercase as well as using their new logo, I am sure they would be really appreciative.

    • alex285

      Thank you, I corrected those.
      I had a discussion with elementary guys after this. I guess I need to be more careful with that project :/

      • CameronN

        Haha. They just hang up on the details a lot. It is why Luna was such a polished distro with so small a team. They do appreciate your coverage of them, though. Do not think otherwise :)

  • Rickin Palmeira

    this system settings icon, it was borrowed from pacifica icon theme, right?