elementary OS is an open source operating system based on Ubuntu Linux, the world’s most popular free OS, and built around the GNOME desktop environment. It features its own theme, icons and applications.
Distributed as 64-bit and 32-bit Live DVDs
The system is usually distributed as two Live DVD ISO images, one for each of the supported hardware platforms, 64-bit and 32-bit. It allows users to use the live environment directly from USB flash drives or blank DVDs.
The design of the boot prompt and it’s default functionality is unchanged from Ubuntu, allowing users to run a memory test, boot an existing operating system from the first disk drive, test the OS without installing, or directly install it (not recommended).
If you don’t press a key to force the boot from the external USB stick or DVD disc, it will automatically load and start the live desktop environment, which is comprised of a top panel, from where users can access the unique main menu and launch apps, as well as a dock (application launcher) on the bottom edge of the screen.
Default applications include the Midori web browser, Nautilus (Files) file manager, Empathy multi-protocol instant messenger, File Roller archive manager, Geary email client, GParted disk partition editor, Totem movie player, Evince document viewer, Shotwell image viewer and organizer, and Scratch text editor.
It also comes with in-house developed applications, such as calendar and music clients, called Calendar and Music. However, everything in elementary OS is designed to perfection and engineered to define the unwritten laws of Linux-based operating systems.
You can add even more applications using the included Software Center tool, from where you can also update or remove applications. It is also possible to install the operating system directly from the live session using the graphical installer provided on the dock.
What can we say? elementary OS is an extraordinary project that provides users with an independent and highly-customizable operating system that is based on and compatible with the current Ubuntu LTS distribution.