elementary OS 5.1 Hera Released. Here’s What’s New

3 min

elementary announced the release of latest OS 5.1 – codenamed “Hera”. Read on to find out what’s in store.

elementary OS is a “fast, open and privacy-respecting” Linux operating system developed by elementary, inc for non-technical and migrated users from MacOS/Windows. Based on Ubuntu and long term support releases, elementary is often cited as a nice looking operating system with handful set of curated apps developed specifically for you.

Elementary – in a snapshot – comes with Pantheon desktop environment which is built upon GNOME, applications developed for different user purposes and easy to adopt for any users – be it new/migrated or advanced users.

Being a fairly new distribution (only 8 years old at this time), elementary gathered a lot of praise from the Linux user base. The prior release – code named “Juno” 5.0 was a major one bringing lots of path breaking changes to its code base.

And now, elementary releases another milestone version 5.1 “Hera” with major changes. Here’s what’s new.

What’s New in elementary OS 5.1 “Hera”

New Greeter

When you install an OS, first screen you look at is the login screen where you get to choose your login and enter password. The newly designed greeter in elementary 5.1 Hera gives a fresh look to your login screen. A nice looking list of user names with their image avatars can be selected giving users an option to choose from.

New Greeter
New Greeter

Not only that, some of the under the hood improvements are –

  1. Num lock and CAPS lock notification
  2. Fixed focus, scaling issues from earlier Juno release
  3. Guest login is more prominent


If you are a new user, first time trying elementary OS- the newly designed on-boarding app can be a nice quick start guide. The on-boarding app takes you through sleek 6 immediate key features/settings which a new user can quickly go through before experiencing the new OS.

The most important aspect of on-boarding app is – even if you are creating a new user in an existing elementary install, the on-boarding app kicks in and helps to get started. That’s not all, due to its modular nature, any new features can also be introduced to the users via this app.

Comprehensive Flatpak Support

elementary took a decision to include Flatpak support completely in the OS. Flatpak becoming more popular open source tech on the software distribution space with more mainstream Linux distribution are supporting it.

Installing side-loaded apps
Installing side-loaded apps

Elementary 5.1 introduces “Sideload” of Flatpak apps as part of AppCenter. This sideloading features enables users to install Flatpak apps from the AppCenter itself. This eliminates the need to install apps those are not available in AppCenter as curated apps. Hence, users need not to go to terminal, add/remove PPAs which might break systems for package dependencies.

AppCenter Updates

The core of elementary app ecosystem is AppCenter. With this release, AppCenter bringing –

  1. Updates to side-loaded apps inside AppCenter including Flatpak apps
  2. Updates to user added apps
  3. Clear distinction between curated and uncurated apps
  4. Offline browsing of cached apps!
  5. Un-installation of apps when you are not connected to internet
  6. Introduction of new categories for app discovery

And elementary says – Hera’s AppCenter is 10x faster than earlier releases thanks to major work done by the team for performance improvements. 

Settings Updates

There are a huge number of changes arrived in system settings. This includes sound settings, mouse and touchpad, new appearance tab in desktop settings, improve display settings and many more. 

Touchpad settings
Touchpad settings

Improved Apps

Elementary 5.1 Hera also brings core app updates includes calendar, video, camera.

For a more detailed list of changes refer the official announcement.

Download and Upgrade

If you are running elementary Juno 5.0, you can open system settings -> About and click check for updates. You should receive an upgrade notification.

If you would like to do a fresh download follow below link to get your copy.

Remember that elementary is a free OS, but, if you would like you can donate a small amount to the project so that its development continues.

Via official announcement.


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