Elementary OS – Apps & tweaks

New stable version of Elementary OS (0.3 Freya) has been released today – let’s see how to get the maximum of your fresh shiny OS

If you haven’t downloaded Freya already, you can do so on the official website. Upgrading from Luna may be possible, but to avoid problems and weird behaviour, it’s recommended to proceed with fresh install.

3rd party apps

You shouldn’t generally have much issues with software on Elementary OS, thanks to its base in Ubuntu. All your favourite apps should therefore work as intended. But besides that, there are a lot of custom apps tailored to Elementary itself. They are beautiful, flawlessly blend with the OS – and they are definitely worth a look:

  • Apps for Elementary – Probably largest database of 3rd party Apps for Elementary (currently at 52). Text-only (so far, screens apparently planned), but exhaustive with a lot of additional info for interested.
  • Made for Elementary – “Hand-curated apps designed and developed for elementary OS.” For those who like to see what they are downloading, with app screenshots.
  • PPA for Ubuntu/Elementary – With this community maintained list of PPAs for popular apps (like Thunderbird, Sublime Text 3, LibreOffice and others) you’ll keep your apps always up-to-date.

Install Elementary Tweaks

This handy tool will enable you all kinds of customization – switching different themes/icon sets etc., reorganizing window buttons (if you’re annoyed with close buttons on the left), managing apps launching after start up and many more. All you need to do is add Elementary Tweaks PPA – copy/paste these commands to your Terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

After that, you can find Elementary Tweaks in System Settings (in Personal section).

Update: Fancy more tweaks? Read the follow-up article – Elementary OS Freya – AMD drivers and get the most out of your AMD GPU!


So your favourite apps don’t feel Elementary enough? Grab these themes and enjoy visual consistency across your OS:

  • Firefox theme – I personally prefer the original Firefox look, but you might prefer this flavor instead.
  • Thunderbird theme – On the other hand, this Thunderbird theme is pure awesomeness. Never before did it look so sharp!]
  • MEGAsync – Are you using MEGA cloud storage/sharing service? If so, you might want to use this tweak to make the status icon more “elementary”.]

Support Elementary

Chances are you’re enjoying Elementary Freya and its devoted developers as I am. Then you might want to consider supporting the project. There are many ways how to do that, but the most significant are following:

Patreon is a web platform for supporting your favourite creators (may they create whatever). Elementary team uses Patreon for supporters’ (monthly) donations, which goes back to Elementary development. Nice and convenient way to support the devs without any hassle.

If that’s not your cup of tea, you have the option to steer and influence development directly through BountySource. This amazing platform let’s you putting bounties e.g. on bugs (that annoy you) or features (you’d love to have). Then, community of open source devs will take over the task and when finished, they’ll collect the bounty. Simple, yet genius.