We review the elementary OS 6 Odin and give you some glimpse on how it went for our test drive.
For almost two years, the elementary OS fans was waiting for elementary OS 6 Odin release. Because, the earlier version elementary OS 5.1 was too old in terms of Kernel, packages in 2021. It was based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. So, the users was waiting to get a flavor based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – which is already in 2nd year, and we have another LTS coming up.
You get the idea. Sometimes the wait was too long, probably some users jumped ship to other distributions.
However, the release was done in August, and it was a hit among the users and fanboys.
So, I ran elementary OS 6 Odin for a week on an old hardware (I know newer hardware would do just fine), and this is the review.
Elementary OS 6 Odin review
- CPU – Intel Core i3 with RAM 4GB
- Disk – SSD
- Graphics – Nvidia GeForce (340)
In this release, the team made some usability changes to the elementary Installer, which is a homegrown tool. It reduced the steps require to begin the installation. Although it still depends on gparted for partition (which is a great tool itself anyway).
The installation took around 10 minutes in above hardware and went without any error. Post installation, the Grub is updated properly and no surprises there. It was a triple boot system with Legacy Bios.
If you are new to elementary OS or Pantheon desktop, and coming from traditional menu-driven desktops, then you might need a day or two to be familiar to the way this desktop is set up. Otherwise, if you are a long time elementary user, you feel the same with some performance benefits and looks.
Couple of new features of elementary OS 6 you might notice as they are visible. The accent color, native dark mode, a setup of nice wallpapers.
Stability and performance
I have used elementary OS Odin for more than a week. After using it daily, I must say it is very stable. No sudden crash or surprises. Additional applications (those installed separately via apt) are working well with no loss to performance.
In almost idle state, the CPU usage is around 5% to 10% and memory is consumed around 900 MB. The CPU/Memory mostly consumed by Gala – Pantheon’s window manager, Wingpanel and AppCenter.
Considering the look and feel it provides, I guess the above numbers are well justified. But remember, if you open more applications such as LibreOffice, Chrome, or Kdenlive for example, it will definitely consume more resources.
Applications and AppCenter
The application list of elementary OS is well curated and almost all types of apps are available from AppCenter including the Flatpak apps. However, elementary doesn’t include some important applications pre-loaded in default install. For example, Firefox, LibreOffice, Torrent client, disk formatter, photo editor – some important ones you need to manually install after a fresh installation. This is one of the improvement areas for the team, I feel.
I have encountered one bug multiple times in my week long test run. The Wi-Fi was disconnecting randomly sometimes. But that is totally on Ubuntu 20.04 which has weird Wi-Fi problems over the years. Apart from that, it is a very stable and good Linux distribution. I wish there is a rolling-release of elementary, that would have been awesome. That said, it’s a recommended distro for all, specially for those coming from macOS.