Enso OS 0.3.1 review: Xfce redefined


Enso OS is a relatively new Linux distribution based on Xubuntu 18.04 LTS. It is identical to Elementary OS from the looks but featuring the Xfce desktop instead of Pantheon. It claims to run on any system no matter how old.
This distribution has pushed the limits of Xfce desktop customization. I couldn’t believe it is running on Xfce when I came to know about Enso OS for the first time. And I’ve been testing it for about a week now and here are my views.

What’s different in Enso OS?

 Enso OS 0.3.1 “Dancing Daisy” has a clear focus on the clean and elegant desktop experience.

Enso OS lockscreen screenshot

 It features a cleverly customized Xfce desktop with an Elementary OS like application launcher (panther launcher) and a modified Plank dock. On the top, it has a fully-featured panel with the global menu. Combined with Gala windows manager (from the Elementary project) to gives some nice and smooth animations.
Enso OS desktop screenshot

It is not just another Ubuntu-based distribution. The team behind has put commendable efforts to make it stand out. It is as fast as Xfce and as elegant as Elementary having Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as the base.

What I like

  • Fast and snappiness of an Xfce desktop make no exception here.
  • The animations feel smooth even on old systems.
  • It comes with a great collection of wallpapers.
  • The Icon theme (paper icons), dock (plank), and the overall UI feel intuitive.
  • Many small things that you will be customizing in an Xfce desktop comes preconfigured with it.
  • I personally like the global menu in a distribution. And the fact that Enso OS comes default with it just makes things better (for me at least).

What I didn’t like

  • The application menu felt a little glitchy to me.
  • Some trackpad issues (one of the thing that bugs me in every Xfce desktop) like:
    • Tap to click not working (even though it was turned on)
    • Two-finger scrolling issues
(I hope these issues are specific to my trackpad having synaptic drivers)

Final words

Icon theme and system UI

Enso OS is an overall good approach towards a successful Ubuntu derivative. I recommend it for:
  • Users familiar with Elementary OS (further inspired by macOS desktop).
  • Those who want a beautiful looking desktop with smooth and responsive UI.
  • As it is running on Xfce this can definitely revive your old systems as well.
Download Enso OS.

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