Enso Linux distribution

Have you heard of a Linux distribution called Enso OS? I’ll admit that I hadn’t, not until someone pointed it out to me on Twitter.

But from what I’ve seen, Enso OS is a unique Linux distro amidst its peers in that it’s mix of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Xfce, and elementary OS.

This unique, quirky combination gives the OS a clear, clean, and distinct identity; this is not your regular me-too Ubuntu derivative — far from it!

Enso Linux Distro is Clean, Simple

The Enso app launcher 'panther'
Panther, the Enso app launcher

Enso 0.3.1 “Dancing Daisy” is the latest release of the distribution and is based on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Xubuntu specifically).

The distro pitches itself as a “clean, simple OS” that is easy to use, with ‘green’ credentials — it supports computers that macOS and Windows might consider “old”.

Enso OS is built atop of Xubuntu 18.04.LTS and the Xfce 1.14.x desktop, but comes with a suite of extras too, including a custom theme, bespoke applets, and a roster of useful applications.

A Unique Combination

Enso’s app launcher is called Panther. A fork of the Slingshot launcher used in elementaryOS, Panther features a categories sidebar for browsing apps by type, and a search field for finding app by name. It can also run commands, which is helpful.

The bottom panel is provided by the (wonderful) Plank dock app, while the top panel is a regular Xfce panel (with support for Xfce panel applets, including global menu).

Enso is a mix of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Xfce, and elementary OS, making it unique

For finding and installing software Enso ships with a fork of the elementaryOS AppCenter, renamed to “App Hive”. Not clear if this can be used to install apps built for elementary OS (I’m guessing not) but it can be used to search, find, browser and install regular repo apps.

Why not GNOME Software? Too heavy, apparently.

“AppCenter is a great, fairly lightweight application centre that allows you to browse and install applications with ease,” Enso say.

The Enso login screen

Uniquely, Enso also makes use of the Gala window manager, another borrow from elementary OS.

A fork of Mutter, Gala offers buttery smooth window animations, is performant on low-end hardware, and features some terrific workflow touches, like a slick app switcher.

Finally, the login and lock screen is handled by the terrific-looking Pantheon Greeter.

Download Enso 0.3.1

Interested in trying Enso out? I know I am.

You can download Enso 0.3.1 from the project’s Sourceforge page, which I’ve helpfully direct-linked below:

Download Enso 0.3.1 (64-bit .iso)

You can also learn more about the app (and file bugs) on the Enso OS Github page.

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