If you have been using elementary OS Linux distribution, you might already know about Pantheon. For those new to elementary OS, Pantheon is a desktop environment that comes bundled with the elementary OS.
What is Pantheon?
Just like GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, etc.., Pantheon is a desktop environment. It is developed by the same team that builds the elementary OS. It is written from scratch using Vala and the GTK3 toolkit and is widely known for its highly polished appearance. Unlike other desktop environments, Pantheon is the least customizable, and so you won’t see many people using it on other Linux distros. It’s mostly used in the elementary OS itself. The dev team believes in user-intuitive and straightforward features. Hence customization is the last thing they are bothered about in Pantheon.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the features of this excellent desktop environment.
The desktop consists of a plank at the bottom center. The top panel is translucent with “Applications” placed on the left-hand side, and the status bar icons on the right-hand side. The desktop remains clean all the time because nothing can be placed over it by default settings. Elementary OS team believes in a clutter-free desktop approach.
“Dock” is one of the best highlights of the Pantheon desktop. It looks elegant, is fast, and comes in handy to access the most frequently used apps. The plank also shows red bubbles (notifications) for the unread number of emails and the number of updates available in the “App Center”.
3. Wing Panel
A typical way of launching apps in Pantheon is by using the Plank, and through the App Launcher termed as “Sling Shot”. Apps can be searched in the programs search box or through the apps grid view/category view.
The status indicators are located on the top right corner. The animated bell icon is a new feature added in Juno. It shows notifications.
Music player’s Compact mode is accessible from the speaker menu.
4. Multitasking View
Pantheon comes with the buttery smooth multiple desktop switcher called “Multitasking view”. By default settings, it is the first icon on the Plank.
Using it, you can drag and drop running applications on to different desktops, thus creating an efficient grouping of apps that you are working on. For example, you can group your office docs on to a desktop and put the music player on to a different desktop for effective multi-tasking. To see window overview, press Win + W. It is similar to multi desktops in Windows 10 and the Mac OS X Expose.
Can Pantheon be installed on other Linux distros?
Pantheon can also be installed on other few Linux distros too, but the problem is you also get a lot of bugs! Ghosting while moving the windows is a common issue experienced when Pantheon is applied over Ubuntu. Some distros won’t even work as a daily driver. As of today, I won’t recommend Pantheon on other Linux distros. The reason is straightforward – it’s made by the elementary OS team and only optimized for the elementary OS.
Did you try Pantheon? What is your experience with it? Do share your review in the comments below. Thanks in advance.