Elementary 6 Odin desktop on my T430s [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Exploring Linux OS: Elementary 6 Odin.

  • Hardware: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s; CPU 2.60 GHz Dual core, RAM 8 GB and SSD 250 GB. 14 inch screen with 1366x768 resolution.

Elementary 6 Odin was released a month ago. I downloaded and installed it only a few days after the release. Read elementary own blog post elementary OS 6 Odin Available Now for details about everything new in this release.

Elementary 6 goes FlatPak only. All software including in the AppCenter are FlatPak. I am not the software expert, but as far as I understand FlatPak is one of the container/sandbox/all in one box solutions to deliver and handle software in Linux. It means that "all" needed to run the application is within the box. The traditional handling as with e.g. deb packages, in my simple understanding, contains only of the software that is specific for that software and interact with other installed software (it has dependencies to other software). This should mean that a computer based on FlatPak generally will require more storage memory (drive space) than one that is based on deb packages.

Elementary emphasises its privacy and security focus. And I understand that with FlatPak applications it is easier for elementary to handle privacy and security, and have a good interface for those settings.

I asked on Twitter how FlatPak only in AppCenter will impact if I can use .deb and AppImage. Most important reactions:

  • @elementary responded: The same as before! It’s your computer, you can do whatever you want with it. But we highly recommend sideloading apps from Flatpak and some platform features (like permissions) only work with Flatpak apps.
  • @icancclearynow responded: If you absolutely need AppImages, I’ve found this tool to particularly useful: https://github.com/TheAssassin/AppImageLauncher
  • @christophtill responded: Deb is possible to install. I would recommend to get Eddy from the AppCenter, which helps installing, updating and removing DEB Apps.
  • @probonopd responded: Please let the elementary OS developers know if you'd like to see better AppImage integration out of the box. In the meantime, here are some options: https://github.com/AppImage/awesome-appimage#appimage-consumption-tools
  • @bluesabredavis responded (regarding concern some FlatPak are not maintained, when developer distribute as eg .deb or AppImage): To be fair, Flathub does encourage and support the developers to own or take ownership of their Flatpak packaging. To be fair, Flathub does encourage and support the developers to own or take ownership of their Flatpak packaging.

The last comment above, was related to an experience I have of FlatPak (not from elementary AppCenter), that the FlatPak was so old and appeared to be handled by someone not related to the designer.

The AppCenter currently holds few applications. Elementary I understand only include FlatPak applications in the AppCenter that are curated by elementary, hence up to date and working well with elementary. And it is possible to install from other repositories as well.

I installed elementary 5 Hera one and a half year ago, see Exploring Linux OS: elementary, part #1.

Although they have done a lot in the new release, the new release is an evolution. Like before, elementary 6 is very good looking, easy to understand and familiar look and feel for me who use macOS daily. Like before it is very few applications included in the installation. As before they also incourage to pay as I want to for elementary as well as applications, but at the same time it is free to use (without any limitation) not to pay. My standpoint is that for all free and open software, really consider and act to donate or in one way or another contribute.

I do like elementary. But I do like Mint better. I have a bit of problem with elementary having so few applications in the installation and at the same time very few in the AppCenter. The lack of an office suite is fundamental to me. I can hardly think of myself not having office suite on my computer. I wonder if they think people should use cloud services for that? As it is now, I cannot think of using elementary as my daily driver without other software that their own. It is fully possible to install other software, but then I think some of the advantages with elementary are lost. Because I think elementary is at its best if you stay within their "ecosystem". Elementary indeed has an appeal on me, and congratulations to everyone who feel its the best operating system for you! I will keep an eye on elementary and for time being keep it on a partition and use it now and then. If I get a spare computer, especially an Apple, I may save it for elementary.

Remarks about my installation of elementary 6


I downloaded the software and flashed a USB-memory with the iso in a normal manner. Like before, only one variant of elementary exist.

There is no upgrade path available from elementary 5 to elementary 6. My intention was to install on same partition as elementary 5, i.e. write over the older release. However, after installation I had instead overwritten ny Debian 10 partition... I am pretty sure it was my mistake.

Specific issue

When I started the live-USB, I got error messages. It was three error messages:

[0.108553] x86/cpu: VMX (outside TXT disabled by BIOS
[2.266619] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] No cashing mode pagre found
[2.266620] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cashe: write through

This follows a lot of text, the USB-stick was checked and finally "Check finished: no errors found" and the the live-USB starts up as normal after several minutes after I started.

Elementary 6 Odin installation issues [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

I could get rid of the first error message by enable virtualization in the BIOS settings, but the other two I have not been able to solve.
However, despite above, I could install elementary.

When I start the installed elementary 6, it first shows some "terminal text" and also when shut off. This is different to my earlier elementary 5 installation.

Henrik Hemrin

6 September 2021

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