Linux Lite, one of the best Windows-like distros, has just released its latest version, 6.0.
This upgrade packs in a considerable number of exciting new features, including a new window theme and assistive technologies.
Let’s dive into what’s new!
Linux Lite 6.0: Overview
Linux Lite 6.0 includes numerous changes, including:
- Updated software
- New window theme
- New on-screen keyboard
- Screen reader
- Screen magnifier
- Firefox replaced by Chrome as the default browser
- New grub menu
Linux Lite has stepped up into the big leagues with this change. Accessibility, which has historically been a GNOME-specific advantage, has greatly improved. This comes in three different tools: An on-screen keyboard, a screen reader (Orca), and a screen magnifier.
The on-screen keyboard will be pretty useful for many touchscreen users and those without a keyboard. On the other hand, the screen reader will be perfect for sight-impaired users.
The final accessibility improvement, the screen magnifier, also targets the same audience as the screen reader. However, it is quite a bit more aligned with the traditional desktop philosophy, so it may be preferred by numerous users over the screen reader.
These accessibility improvements help bring Linux Lite 6.0 as a mainstream alternative.
As with almost all distribution upgrades, Linux Lite 6.0 includes updated software. Most notable is the latest stable LibreOffice version, 7.2.6.
Other updates include VLC 3.0.16, Thunderbird 91.7, Chrome 100, GIMP 2.10.30, and more.
Although not necessarily a massive upgrade in itself, it demonstrates a significant change in the included LibreOffice version.
Previously, Linux Lite was held back with an older release due to the increased stability offered. However, the Linux Lite developers now feel comfortable using the latest stable release, with more people testing new LibreOffice versions than ever.
New Window Theme
Linux Lite 6.0 introduces a new window theme called ‘Materia.’ Those in the theming community will probably be quite familiar with it, as it has been ported to almost every platform. These include GTK 2, 3, and 4, GNOME Shell, Budgie, Cinnamon, MATE, Unity, Xfce, LightDM, GDM, and even Google Chrome.
The switch to Materia should bring a familiar interface to ChromeOS users, as it is based on the Material UI that Google develops.
Google Chrome is the new default browser
With Ubuntu moving its Firefox version to a snap app, Linux Lite has completely ditched Firefox for Google Chrome. While I can’t say I’m a fan of this change, it does make sense, especially for a distro targeting Windows users.
While you are free to install anything you like, Chrome is a popular option for most users, no matter what.
Furthermore, Linux Lite developers include a Virus Total scanner extension (disabled by default) with Chrome if you want to scan files before accessing them.
Note that you can install Firefox from the Linux Lite’s software center, but it will install the snap package.
System Monitor Center as a replacement for Task Manager
Linux Lite 6.0 now comes packed with the System Monitoring Center to replace the task manager and the process viewer.
Note that Linux Lite developers have forked the application to provide specific information regarding the distribution in the system tab.
It offers all the essential functionalities to help you keep an eye on your resources.
In addition to the fundamental changes, Linux Lite 6.0 involves updates to the grub menu, the ability to push emergency fixes to packages, a new whisker menu, and many more tweaks.
As you can notice, the new grub menu also includes shut down and reboot while removing the memtest option.
You can explore more technical details in its official announcement post.
Linux Lite 6.0 appears to be a solid release, especially for those waiting for accessibility features and visual refreshments.
The ISO file is available from the official download page if you want to try it out for yourself.