elementary OS Hera First Impressions December 14, 2019

My hot take on elementary OS Hera. This is my first install of elementary OS. I have watched elementary from afar for a few years now and appreciated what it was doing but never committed to setting it up. I finally did and here is what I got out of it.

elementary OS Screenshot



After install I couldn’t get 2 finger scrolling working well. Not sure where I went wrong. I felt like the touchpad was much jumpier and lost the mouse a few times before I finally got comfortable using it.

Keyboard Bindings

This might be just because I’m coming from Ubuntu but a lot of the keyboard bindings are slightly off. I know they are trying to be Mac like but they have taken me a bit to get used to.

Application Store

The store is slick but a bit buggy and not fully featured.

The main issues I ran into:

Empty App Store install list screenshot

Missing app store images screenshot

Unknown Distro

Not a huge surprise but because it’s not a main stream Linux distro installation for some packages and apt repos fail without minor tweaks.

I have not installed a ton of software but two I hit already are Erlang/Elixir and Nodejs. Erlang repos tried using hera instead of bionic for releases and couldn’t find any packages.

Nodejs seems to handle elementary OS but had not been updated to include Hera. I ended up making a pull request for this on the nodesource/distributions repo.


Ubuntu Base

Being Ubuntu based all the software I’ve needed to run so far has been pretty easy to get going with little hiccups and a familiar environment.


elementary OS feels cohesive and well thought out. Theming is consistent, appealing and practical. The mail application is smooth, the files application is pretty and over all I dig the attention to cohesive styling.


Notifications feel much more native and smooth. It might get annoying but during setup it was really nice to have the command finished notifications for terminal commands.

I also appreciate the notifcations being smaller and in the corner. Gnome center screen default notifications are annoying to me. The grouping of the notifications is slick and helpful too.


elementary OS is coming along nicely. I am not sure I will put it on my primary work machine yet but I am comfortable dropping it on my home computer and being productive there. This is a great introduction to well designed open source operating systems. elementary OS is not on par with Windows or Mac yet on the just works but it’s a great looking Ubuntu alternative that comes close to being ready for the masses.