carbonOS: A New Linux Distro with a User Experience Focus

Mar 27, 2023

CarbonOS is a brand new, built-from-scratch Linux distribution that uses the Gnome desktop and has a special feature that makes it appealing to all types of users.

Have you ever run a Windows update, only to have it fail and render your desktop unusable? Many have, which is one of the reasons why some Linux distributions take great pains to ensure it never occurs on the open source operating system.

Some developers take this to the next level by using atomic updates, which means every time you go to update the operating system, it is guaranteed to succeed. Should an update fail, the system will automatically roll back the upgrade so everything continues working.

That's the route carbonOS is taking. According to the developer, "The system’s layout ensures the integrity of system files. Unlike other atomic distros, carbonOS does not attempt to keep around traditional package management features: carbonOS is Flatpak-first for your apps and container-first for everything else. This will allow carbonOS to achieve unique features, like Verified/Secure Boot."

This unique approach might not translate to anything exciting on the desktop front (it uses a stock Gnome desktop) but under the hood, there's plenty to be excited about. In fact, the developer of carbonOS has one ultimate goal, as he states, "I’d love to fulfill the "GnomeBook” dream: an OS as maintenance-free as Chrome OS, but as powerful as a real desktop OS…"

Although carbonOS is still in its infancy, you can download an early development build to test it out. Just remember, this is very much a work in progress, so expect problems, quirks, and unfinished features.


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