elementary is proud to announce the stable release of elementary OS Freya. After a year and a half of development, over a thousand bugfixes, and countless lines of code, we can finally say it’s here.
Freya is the latest version of elementary OS, a design-oriented and open source Linux-based operating system for desktops and laptops. It succeeds Luna which was released in August of 2013.
The previous release of elementary OS was downloaded over 3 million times, is one of the top 10 most popular open source operating systems, and had over 60% of downloads come from non-free OSes. elementary isn’t just eating up existing open-source market share, the open-source market is being grown by it. And Freya continues this push.
“Freya’s design is much more purpose driven and focused,” said Daniel Foré, founder and lead designer of elementary. “We spent a lot of time taking advantage of new toolkit features like Header Bar, improved CSS support, and animations. There’s a much greater level of fluidity when you navigate or reveal a new part of the interface. Freya also shakes off some of the trends of the early 2010s like high gloss and embraces a more matte look while preserving and enhancing our use of light and shadow. ”
This new release (codenamed Freya) comes packed with over 1,100 fixes, improvements, and new features including:
- A more discoverable, redesigned, and app-focused multitasking view
- New interactive and dismissible notifications, plus a notifications settings pane including a system-wide “Do Not Disturb” mode
- A refined look and feel that includes a refreshed system-wide stylesheet, refreshed icons, space-saving Header Bars, a dark stylesheet for apps, rounded corners on menus and dialogs, improved animations, many new and refined “symbolic” icons, intelligent transparency for the panel, and more.
- Better emoji support & drop-in replacements for Microsoft Core fonts for the web
- A new firewall tool and “privacy mode”
- Much improved Applications menu including support for “quicklist” actions, drag-and-drop from search, and support for quick math calculations
- An updated software stack including Linux 3.16, Gtk 3.14, and Vala 0.26
- UEFI support
- A new captive portal assistant to make connecting to public WiFi easier
- Redesigned Displays, User Accounts, Applications, and Date & Time settings
- Unified login and lock screens
“With Luna, much of our work was building the first version of our desktop environment Pantheon,” said Cassidy James Blaede, UX designer at elementary. “With Freya we were able to dial in on the details like super-subtly rounded corners on the display and the new animations for maximizing. Both are small yet make the whole experience more polished. We were also able to focus much more effort on the included apps, delivering new features for existing apps and new apps alike.”
- Freya’s apps have new features and fixes including (but not limited to):
- Search in Files and Terminal
- Natural Copy & Paste, Smart tab labels, and a warning when pasting commands containing “sudo” in Terminal.
- A redesigned Photos
- New Calculator, Camera, and Videos apps
- Online calendar support (Google and CalDAV)
- Improved Samba support