Another look at Elementary Linux loki

Hello readers,

Often as we progress through the operating systems life cycle we reach points of contention. In the case of Elementary OS we have two distinctly different animals.

Freya – which by all accounts was a wonderful if slightly buggy OS with all kinds of potential to be gently molded to the users preference with very little difficulty yielding a fairly stable and generally robust experience.


I’m reminded of an old saying, “If it ain’t broke -” but in Loki’s case we have a quandry where what looks appealing is still nice, but at the expense of so many pieces of naturally expected functionality.

The software center gui – the changes look good but definitely need revision. For starters you can’t add libraries or drivers without jumping through hoops that – as many users recall – can make the system unusuable. (Don’t try the gtk-properties workaround to get drivers unless you want to see an unworking system.)

As usual we have conflicting instances of network managers which require manual fixes on some systems. That may not sound like much but it takes some adjustment.

Hanging repos – as in comment out Ubuntu security repo at a minimum. Or it will probably never actually finish updating. <– This has become far too common.

Installing gdebi is an absolute must. It should be in default list of installed programs but isn’t. (That’s more of a suggestion.)

In all my experience with Elementary OS loki has been bittersweet. I found it ran more resources than Freya, still had issues from Freya, and introduced a set of frustrating obstacles to how I use Linux.

To be fair with freya it was “Drop in, add drivers, add browser of choice, customize a few bits, roll out and wonder why the skype icon never goes away. Minor issues but no dealbreakers.

I’m writing this article on Bunsenlabs Linux on the machine that “had the loki install.” I overwrote it after a day of shrugging and saying “why the f##k would they do this?”


Not that Bunsen is perfect, my google chrome currently has this weird issue where I navigate to bookmarks, and on the resulting menus it blurs into giant bizzaro world graphics.

That’s most likely because I’m using mesa drivers to not have to wait that extra 45 seconds for those accursed nvidia drivers. It doesn’t happen on mozilla, and I only need chrome for video, so I’m patient enough to work around this stuff.

“When an end user will happily work around most little issues but raises concerns – you have a problem.” ~ Every admin at some point.

Someone might say “Loki is a beta.” – True but so was Freya for as long as I ever used it. Arguably I’m saying “Take this beta back to the bench.” Use Linux Mint as the model for driver tools. (And for software center management.)

As an aside, if the ubuntu and debian security repos force everything to hang why not replace them? Can’t we arrange something with GIT and tell canonical to run along?


  • Look – 5 (It’s always been pretty)
  • Usefulness – 3 (Takes a lot of tweaking just to get out of the barn at this point)
  • Stability – 2 (It’s dead Jim.)
  • Performance – 2 (It was overheating a system that uses cinnamon desktop and runs 10 things at once like a champ.)

Tested on an HP Pavillion with 4+GB Ram two 64 bit processors and (yes an accursed nvidia graphics card)

Overall – 3


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118 thoughts on “Another look at Elementary Linux loki”

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