This week I tested Android-x86 in its version for Android 8.1. More than anything, it was for testing an operating system created for mobile devices on a computer. The experience is pleasant, but there are some things that go wrong. Mobile operating systems are already used as much or more than computers and this is so because they come in smaller devices and because of their ease of use. Endless OS It has been created, in part, to be easy to use for anyone with a mobile or tablet.
Another of the strengths of this innovative operating system is the number of programs it includes. "Endless" means "endless" and they didn't give it this name for nothing. Although there is a .iso of about 2GB, the full version of the operating system comes in an .iso of about 16GB. Its installation requires between 25GB and 26GB, a far cry from the 4-8GB required by almost any Linux operating system. But this has a motive: Endless OS is designed so that we do not need to connect to the internet.
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Endless OS installation process
The installation of this operating system is the simplest I have never seen it. It is easier than installing Ubuntu by formatting and pulling "to p'alante". The installation is done in two steps: the first will install everything and in the second we will configure the user and others. With almost no options, you have no loss. We will install it as follows:
- First of all, we will need download the installation file. In THIS LINK We can choose an option for Windows or download the .iso as for any other Linux operating system. My favorite method for create a Live CD is with UNetBootin, but you can also create a boot disk with the utility that is available by default in Ubuntu.
- Once created in USB, we start from it.
- The first thing we will see is the choice of language. We choose Spanish of our zone and we click in «Next».
- On the next screen we have two options: test it or format. Since what we want is to install it, we do click on "Format". It does not offer us any option to partition anything, but it is worth it for not too experienced users.
- In the next window we do click «Next». First, we have to mark that we agree that all data on the computer is erased.
- The next step is to have a little patience. I timed how long it took and reached the 50 minutes. It can be a lot compared to any other Linux-based operating system, but it is not so much when you consider the amount of software you install. During this step, the only change we will see on the screen is that the progress bar moves. Different images do not appear explaining what it brings as any version of X-buntu.
- Once the installation is finished, although it puts formatting, it will ask us to turn off the computer. We make click on «Shutdown». Logically, if our computer starts directly from the USB we have to remove it so that it does not re-enter the installation process.
- Once we start again, the second step will begin. The first window asks us again to choose the language. We choose our Spanish and do click «Next».
- We choose the writing language. Tip: click on the three dots and check that our keyboard writes as it should.
- In the next step we click on «Accept and continue».
- If we want we can configure some accounts such as Google or Facebook. If we don't want to add any at this time, we do click on «Skip».
- Finally, we add our user and, if we wish, we protect it with a password. To finish we will click on «Next».
Home screen / desktop like that of a mobile device
As you can see in the previous image, the Endless OS desktop or home screen is very similar to a tablet, with all the applications on the screen perfectly aligned. At the top, we also have a kind of widget with which we can search for anything. Also as in some mobile operating systems, the applications can be saved in folders, as we can see in the following image.
How could it be otherwise, they can be add more applications to the desktop. When the first page is full, it will start with a second page and so on. The pages are arranged vertically and, as in Ubuntu, a dot appears to the right that tells us which page we are on.
I think the only thing that makes us realize that we are dealing with a desktop operating system is the bottom bar. In it we have two buttons, one on the left with the operating system logo and another almost invisible in the lower right corner, with which we can show or hide all apps. No extra icon will appear on the bottom bar, that is, we will not see the programs that we have open. To know what is open, we will look at the icons of the programs and we will see a blue dot under the program that is running.
From the software center we can install more programs, that does not change with respect to any operating system like X-buntu. As soon as we open it, it will show us the updates that are available, as we see in the image below these lines.
By default we have the automatic updates enabled, but clicking on the text will take us directly to the update configuration options and we can deactivate them. As you can see, as soon as we open the Endless OS software center it shows us what we can update, but that is nothing new for those of us who have used any other software store.
Add applications to the desktop
We can access the installed programs in two ways: by searching for it in the list and clicking on "Launch" or by adding it to the desktop and running it from there. We can also search for it with the widget search from the home screen. The first time we open each program it takes some time, but this is because it has to finish setting up.
One of the reasons for being Endless OS is the amount of software it includes. It has more than 100 installed programs, which will allow us to use it without having an internet connection. What I'm talking about? Well, there is a lot to mention in an article, but I can tell you that there is a soccer information program, an encyclopedia, cooking recipes, a lot of games, learning programs for children… the list is «endless». In case you are wondering, the WhatsApp you see in the image above is a WhatsApp Web Desktop.
It seems important to mention that Endless OS is based on Debian, but does not use the same packages. The packages used by this robust operating system are Flatpak and you cannot install applications that are not in its application store. This may be a problem for some users, but it will not be a problem for the majority who will use the computer to perform the most common tasks.
In the previous image we can see how in the upper right corner of each program there is an icon:
- Cloud: you have to download it.
- Clock: ready to install.
- V: Installed.
Among those that are already pre-installed we have some such as Twitter, WhatsApp Web, Spotify, VLC, Skype, Kitchen recipes, Dinosaurs, Audacity, GIMP, YouTube, Gmail, Facebook ...
Endless OS computers
Endless is also available in their own computers. There are a couple of them that remind us a bit of the old Macs, while the others have a rather discreet design. They are not very powerful computers, but they do not need it either. Endless OS will work perfectly on almost any computer, so it is perfect if we want to give new life to an old computer. It is true that there are light versions like Lubuntu, but I think they are not as aesthetic as Endless OS.
Of course, the computer has to have at least 2GB of RAM and does not support ARM processors. A minimum of 32GB (I did it at 25GB) of storage is recommended for the full version and 16GB for the Lite version. From what I have tested, the performance and fluidity of the system is very good, although I did the test in a Virtualbox virtual machine. I left little more than 2GB of RAM and the only time I really had problems was during installation, for which I recommend not touching the computer if it does not have about 8GB of RAM or we can despair. In fact, I forced my computer to restart several times because I was trying to use other programs at the same time and it would freeze.
I have come to read that it is the world's fastest operating system, but I have my reasonable doubts about it. There are special versions for computers with limited resources that work with 1GB of RAM, I do not see likely that one that requires 2GB of RAM will be faster, although for this we also have to take other points into account.
How about Endless OS?
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