Elementary announced the availability of Elementary OS 6.1, the first point-release in the 6.x series. Here’s what’s new.
Of course Elementary OS 6 users already have all the new features because this distribution is a rolling release. But for newcomers there’s a ton of new stuff to take a look so let’s begin.
What’s New in Elementary OS 6.1 Jolnir
That new release is called Jolnir. For those of you who are unaware, this is basically another name for Odin.
On the desktop side of things, Elementary OS 6.1 brings improvements and polish across the entire space. The distro got a new app switcher – the thing that comes up when you hit
Alt+Tab. Previously it used to be a subset of the dock with only the open app icons visible. It flashed all over the place and it didn’t show individual windows.
The new one is a return to the basic
Alt+Tab switcher. It displays in the middle of the screen and shows one icon per open window which is much more usable.
Elementary OS apps also now has an app picker which lets you pick an app to open a file with if multiple apps are available to handle the same file type, which definitely is pretty handy.
The dark mode is now a standard which means that apps from other toolkits will be able to respect it once they implement that new standard. It should arrive in GNOME 42, so Elementary apps should respect the theme in GNOME 42 and GNOME apps that are updated should respect the theme in Elementary OS if you set it to dark mode.
KDE could also implement that standard in the future if they choose to do so.
Finally the Applications menu got more search results for your favorite folders or network shares. It’s still not a full file search which is really missing from Elementary OS experience but it’s still a step in the right direction. In addition, now you can also right click on an app icon and choose to open it using the dedicated GPU, if your computer has a hybrid model, for example an NVIDIA card and Intel integrated graphics.
The Sound indicator uses new device icons to better represent each output and input and the buggy analog devices that sometimes appeared are now removed. The scroll interaction on the volume slider has been also improved to work with horizontal scrolling.
The default Elemenory OS 6.1 apps also got some updates. Mail now groups notifications for new messages when multiple ones arrive at the same time. Mail also got a new toolbar with a refresh button to manually check for new mail and it also got new filter options.
The Task app introduced with Elementary OS 6 Odin has a more secure shortcut to delete tasks and prevent accidental deletion. Performance has been improved a lot and tasks can now be moved from one list to another through simple drag and drop.
The Epiphany browser has moved to version 41 with a redesigned tab bar, rounded corners, and new and better preferences dialogue with ability to turn on Google search recommendations and much improved performance and compatibility.
The file manager got plenty of fixes on the creation of bookmarks in the sidebar and now supports multiple drag selections by pressing the
Ctrl key. On top of that, now you can also select all, deselect all or invert the selection from a right-click menu.
The AppCenter also got a bunch of updates in Elementary OS 6.1. The homepage has been reworked with banners for most recently released apps and a bunch of recently updated ones directly underneath with their short description and an install button. Moreover, the homepage also loads much faster.
Since Elementary OS has added Flatpak support, you’ll find over 90 curated apps in the AppCenter.
The System Settings also got some improvements. First the Display settings will only show the resolutions that respect your display’s aspect ratio. All other resolutions are stashed in a sub-menu, which is handy to only pick a resolution that will look normal and not stretched.
The text scaling option which which serves in Elementary OS 6.1 as a replacement for fractional scaling is now more granular and you can set it to the exact size you want.
The keyboard settings have a more straightforward way of creating your own keyboard shortcuts and now you can switch the on-screen keyboard
ON from the layouts tab.
For detailed information about all changes, you can refer to the official announcement.
You can download Elementary OS 6.1 from the project’s website through a “pay-what-you-want”. If you don’t want to pay anything you need to manually enter “0” in the custom amount box in order for a download link to appear.
Of course, we encourage you to make a small donation to this amazing Linux distribution, if it’s within your means.