elementary OS 6.1 Jólnir is available now for new and existing users! For OS 6.1 we’ve focused in on addressing your feedback, making the OS more useful with office productivity features, and expanding compatibility with a wide range of hardware. blog.elementary.io/elementary-

Our 6.1 blog post is sponsored by Laptop with Linux, one of our hardware retailers. Get a new laptop or mini computer with elementary OS 6.1 pre-installed and support both elementary and Laptop with Linux! laptopwithlinux.com/?ref=36

It’s a bit later than usual, but let’s do a megathread of the release, because you all seemed to like that last time around. :) Like and/or retweet your favorite bits!

First a recap of OS 6, the foundation for this release: we focused on new ways to be in control and express yourself, a slew of innovative new features, and both “gettability” and inclusivity. As a result, OS 6 was downloaded over a quarter of a million times in just four months.

elementary OS 6.1 builds on that OS 6 foundation but focuses on addressing feedback with new features and fixes, making elementary OS more useful with office productivity features, and expanding compatibility with more hardware. All developed in those four months!

What’s up with the name Jólnir?

We give each release a fun codename of a mythological being or deity. Jólnir is the name for Odin as he relates to the Yuletide and is one of the original inspirations for Father Christmas—or Santa Claus.

It’s a perfect fit for OS 6.1! :)

AppCenter is a huge focus of elementary OS 6.1. We’ve said it’s the “future of our platform,” and we mean it! One of the biggest benefits we’re seeing realized in OS 6.1 is the move to Flatpak. Apps continue to be ported from OS 5.1, and new apps are popping up all the time.

We’re approaching 100 curated apps made for elementary OS and released on AppCenter—and each of these apps is open source and installable on any modern Linux-based OS! Each of these apps will automatically be available on future versions of elementary OS thanks to Flatpak.

AppCenter itself comes with huge upgrades on OS 6.1, too. The homepage is much more engaging, apps are easier to purchase and install, category pages are more interestingly laid out, and all apps come with a “report card” of their contents.

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You may have noticed a new look for the install button in AppCenter on OS 6.1, and you’d be right! First, it contains a handy progress bar to make it more compact when installing apps. Second, it preps for the future by pulling all payment-related bits into one nicer dialog.

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And on the interoperability front:

• Search results link directly to a Flathub search to make it easier to discover those non-curated apps that can be sideloaded

• The AppCenter website features Flatpak downloads for all free apps, making them easier to install on other OSes

Onto improvements to the core desktop experience. There’s a big one you might have heard of in OS 6.1: the Alt+Tab window switcher! After a ton of feedback and some great community involvement, we’ve shipped the first iteration of a new, simpler window switcher.

The window switcher shows centered on current display, making it more likely to be near your gaze. It features bigger icons, helping you quickly identify apps. It adds window titles to differentiate between multiple windows from the same app.

It’s less flashy, but more usable.

And it seems minor, but dialogs now animate in from above their parent windows—and parents of modal dialogs (e.g. dialogs you have to interact with before returning to the parent window) now dim out to make that interaction more obvious.

You’ll notice this polish all the time!

Now we’re thinking with portals! “Portals” are a cross-desktop way for apps to interact with the OS in a well-defined and importantly privacy-respecting way. They’re used to retain tighter “sandboxing” or isolation from the OS while still providing the features you need.

For example, instead of all apps accessing all your files, they use the FileChooser portal to only get access to the specific file you choose, and optionally even read-only. Tidy!

elementary OS 6.1 improves upon the portals offered in a number of ways. Let’s look at a couple:

The FileChooser portal now comes with a “New Folder” action to make it easier to organize and save files on the fly. We also added the read-only option and a drop-down to filter the types of files shown. And the dialog takes advantage of that new dialog animation and dimming.

The new AppChooser portal also provides an oft-needed feature while improving privacy. Instead of apps knowing all about the *other* apps on your system, they ask the OS to ask you which app to use, keeping things more private.

Now an update on the dark style preference that debuted in OS 6: as of elementary OS 6.1, it supports the cross-desktop API that will be used in GNOME 42! GNOME apps will start respecting the preference on elementary OS, and AppCenter apps will respect the preference on GNOME.

The Applications Menu in elementary OS enables you to open and search your apps, and it’s even smarter in OS 6.1. Now you can search for your Files bookmarks, more easily find settings via search, and secondary-click search results for an app’s related actions!

It’s a minor thing, but over in Initial Setup, you can now set your own device name—this is used as the “hostname” for networking and as the default name when visible via Bluetooth, for example. And we smartly use a prettier name or a more machine-readable name as required.

elementary OS has a Housekeeping feature where old temporary and trashed files can be automatically cleaned up to save space and help protect your privacy. In OS 6.1, we added an optional Downloads setting to keep things even more tidy!

In addition to a *ton* of other improvements fueled in large part by the feedback of OS 6 users, we switched the default wallpaper of elementary OS 6.1 to the dark variant. But both light and dark versions remain available in System Settings → Desktop → Wallpaper. ;)

Display resolutions and scaling are improved in elementary OS 6.1, as well! In Displays, we cleaned up the resolutions to make it easier to find ones that are the best fit. And in Desktop, we added more granular text scaling for displays that sit between ideal loDPI/HiDPI ranges.

Interacting with audio devices is improved in elementary OS 6.1, both in System Settings and the sound indicator. In both places we’re now using icons to better distinguish devices, and we’ve reworked the layout to make it easier to find the info you need.

If you’re someone who uses custom keyboard shortcuts in elementary OS, check this out! In OS 6.1, we’ve improved how custom keyboard shortcuts are displayed, edited, and deleted from System Settings.

elementary OS 6.1 also brings a number of refinements and new features for staying productive at work and keeping things synced between all your devices. Let’s take a look at our apps using Online Accounts!

Mail in elementary OS 6.1 is better than ever. Receive new mail notifications even when Mail is closed, including grouping notifications per-account. Fetch new messages on demand. Toggle filters for unread or starred conversations. And a *ton* more since the OS 6 release.

There’re also a lot of little improvements to Tasks in elementary OS 6.1. A big one, though, is that your tasks with due dates will now appear alongside events in the Date & Time indicator!

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