Elementary OS 5.1 is currently one of the most popular Linux distributions available to the public. You’d be hard-pressed to find a “Best Linux Distros” list without the mention of Elementary OS. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already used or are using Elementary OS. The clean and minimal distro is often called macOS for Linux thanks to some similarities between the two operating systems.
At present, the latest version of Elementary OS is version 5.1 Hera. This is a minor upgrade from the previous version which was 5. The development team often release new updates, bringing fixes and improvements on a regular basis. And now, it seems that the developers are shifting focus towards the release of Elementary OS 6. Unlike the shift from 5 to 5.1, this will be a major upgrade. Thus, we can expect to see a host of new changes and improvements to Elementary OS.
In a blog post, Cassidy James Blaede — the Co-founder and CXO for Elementary OS talked about some of the new features we can expect to see in the upcoming version. Of course, it’s still the early days but he has shared “a few planned features“.
Elementary OS 6: Planned features
- Refreshed look and feel including typography and the system stylesheet—which affects everything from the panel and system apps to curated apps in AppCenter. Expect improved contrast and a more refined design system while retaining the signature depth and shadows of elementary OS. Plus, neat little things like rounded bottom corners in apps like Terminal and System Settings thanks to Libhandy’s HdyWindow.
- Dark style for system components like the Dock, Panel indicators, Keyboard Shortcuts overlay, system dialogs, etc. We are still working out all of the details here, but work is progressing well.
- User-chosen default accent color across apps. Apps can still override this if they choose, but previous default Blueberry accent color can be swapped out for a range of playful palette colors including Strawberry, Orange, Banana, Lime, Mint, Grape, and Bubblegum.
- Major updates to communication and organization apps by leaning on the Evolution data server back-end. This is still early and currently requires setting up an account in Evolution until the Online Accounts component is completed, but is thanks in large part to work done upstream by Corentin Noël. These updates enable syncing of mail, calendar events, tasks, etc. in relevant apps with a wider variety of account providers.
- A major rewrite of Mail, leaning on Evolution data server instead of the custom Geary mail engine. The look and feel will be largely the same, but it has not reached feature parity yet.
- New Tasks app that handles local tasks as well as any task lists synced with the Evolution data server.
- New installer and initial setup to round out that first-run experience. Installing should be much faster and more streamlined, only asking for the essentials to get the OS onto your device. This is also great for OEMs, as they can use the new installer itself to image devices, or—like with some experimental Pinebook Pro images we’ve been playing with—just flash an image without a user to run through initial setup on first boot.
- More multi-touch support for navigation in apps, utilizing the Libhandy library. These gestures work on touch screens, trackpads, and mouse scroll wheels. On touch devices, swipes track 1:1 with your fingers on the screen or trackpad. Epiphany will also support similar touch gestures for going back and forward.
- And more… this is just what we’re comfortable sharing now. 🙂
As you can see, there’s a lot that’s going to be changed with the upcoming Elementary OS 6 release. While the distro already has one of the most beautiful and minimal user interfaces, there is always room for improvement. Unfortunately, Blaede didn’t divulge any information regarding the release date for Elementary OS 6.