elementary OS is probably the most slick looking Linux distribution around, and their attention to all the small styling details is truly awesome. The next major release is looking like a big overhaul.
Announced on their blog post, one of the major user-facing changes will be the theme. They’re moving from their original CSS based styling which has been going for 7 or so years over to a more modern Sass system, which is CSS but a lot more feature-filled. They say it makes it easier to maintain their dark style, better compatibility for apps built directly for GNOME’s “Adwaita” style and overall just easier to maintain. It should look very similar but have better lighting, shadows, contrast and lots of other subtle improvements.
One new feature I’m quite pleased to see is their “Screen Shield”. They’ve replaced Light Locker, the simple session-locker with their own which should better respect apps that inhibit your screen locking and sleeping, so you should hopefully see far less screen dimming to lock while you’re sitting back with that coffee watching Netflix.
Another of the major upgrades will be the introduction of system-wide Flatpak installs. Currently you can install them as your user but they’re taking that a step further so they can supply some of their own software as a Flatpak to enable much faster updates and more secure applications. The first of which will be the web browser Epiphany, meaning on elementary OS 6 you will get the latest and greatest quicker.
They’re also building in better accessibility features, making preparations for Wayland support, a new settings daemon to provide additional features and integrations with their own custom stuff, a much better notifications system and improved multi-touch gestures support. Overall, it sounds like it’s going to be a great Linux distribution release.
You can try out elementary OS 6 right now if you sponsor them on GitHub.
Their way of funding their work on the distribution is certainly interesting, with one way giving you the option to pay any amount (yes, even zero) for your ISO download right there on the homepage. Open source software takes a lot of effort to produce and a pay what you want style is pretty great.
Find out more about elementary OS on their website.