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December 10, 2015

Shion OS [Linux]

Project has been abandoned and will not receive updates!
Current Version = Shion OS 1 Stable  [1-]

Shion OS is a project I have been working on to create a fast and beautiful Linux based operating system that excels at getting things done quickly and efficiently. Shion OS currently uses Ubuntu 15.10 repositories in addition to its own due to the reliable quick package updates provided by Canonical. Shion OS uses a modified XFCE 4.12 desktop environment with LightDM display manager and a number of hand picked features, tweaks, and applications. I've build my own GTK+ UI theme for Shion OS designed to be clean and un-cluttered with consistency and ease of use in mind.

Download Shion OS

I will likely start work on Shion OS 2.0 soon using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS repositories as a base. You should be able to upgrade from to 2.0 with out a re-install using the package manager but this I can not promise. Functionally and visually 2.0 will be the same as but built on a new kernel and with stability improvements as well as longer support lifespan. 

Please note updates will will no longer available from the default repository in versions lower than 1.1.3. Go to the "Repositories & Packages" link above to learn how to install the new official and beta repositories hosted by Amazon.

Installation Notes

Use gnome disk utility, udisks, or alternatively rufus on Windows or any other utility which supports grub 2.0 to install the .ISO image to a USB device. (unetbootin will not work)

Use the "Live" option to install Shion OS, once the live environment boots up, search for "Install ShionOS" in the "App" menu to start the installer. If you have trouble with the live environment due to hardware limitations only then should you use the "Install" option. The "Install" option loads with only very basic drivers and with-out many system and partitioning utilities.

I recommend using JFS file system to install Shion OS, I also recommend EXT4 and BTRFS as alternatives.

After Installation

After installation you should check for updates and install any upgrades that were made available after the latest ShionOS iSO was released. You may do this by running the following command in a terminal or by using the graphical package manager "Synaptic Package Manager" Do this from time to time to keep ShionOS up to date.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

You may wish to check for newly released ShionOS software in the "Shion" section of "Synaptic Package Manager" as shown below.

Setting XFWM4 to not display window content when moving and re-sizing windows is a good way to increase snappiness. I like to enable these options but I have them disabled by default because its more of a niche setting.

If you have a decent mouse, you probably don't want mouse acceleration, I recommend disabling it straight away.

I have put together what I believe to be the most efficient multitasking system used by any modern day desktop operating system. There are 4 virtual workspaces which can be used to organize and categorize different types of workloads. Hotkeys make switching and moving applications between them instant and the workspace switcher can be easily accessed next to the "App" menu on the Panel. There is an application switcher on the Panel which displays currently running application with an icon and description making switching between running applications easy. Alternatively applications can be switched using hotkeys so you never have to take your hands off the keyboard. The application switcher shows only the applications running on the active workspace, however there is a handy drop down menu between the workspace switcher and application switcher which displays all running applications and groups them by what workspace they are on. All of this is located in the top 24 pixels of the screen making it quicker to look and navigate to from UI in programs which is generally also located near the top of the screen.

Hotkeys are a big part of how efficient an operating system can be to use. I've implemented a hokey system using logically chosen keyboard keys. Below is a list of some of the most often used ones.

Super + 1-4 = Switch between workspaces.
Super + Ctrl + 1-4 = Move active window between workspaces.
Super + Esc = Show Whisker Menu (Application Launcher)
Super + Right = Tile active window to right half of screen
Super + Alt + Right = Tile active window to top right quarter of screen
Super + Ctrl + Right = Tile active window to bottom right quarter of screen
Super + Left = Tile active window to left half of screen
Super + Alt + Left = Tile active window to top left quarter of screen
Super + Ctrl + Left = Tile active window to bottom left quarter of screen
Alt + Tab = Cycle applications
Alt + F4 = Quit active application
Ctrl + Alt + Esc = Xkill  
Ctrl + Alt + D = Show / Hide desktop
Print = Take screenshot
Alt + Print = Take screenshot of active window
Alt + F2 / Left Mouse Click = Start window move
Alt + F1 = Start window resize
Ctrl + Alt + Del = Launch System Monitor
Ctrl + Alt + End = Display logout/power menu
Alt + Scroll Lock = Lock screen
Super + T = Launch terminal emulator
Super + F = Launch default file manager
Super + E = Launch gedit text editor
Super + W = Launch default web browser
Super + M = Launch default mail client
Super + R = Launch application finder (show all apps)
Ctrl + C = Copy
Ctrl + V = Paste
Ctrl + Shift + C = (Sakura Terminal) Copy
Ctrl + Shift + V = (Sakura Terminal) Paste
Ctrl + C = (Sakura Terminal) Cancel/Abort 
F2 = Start file rename

In most cases, animations are slow and useless in a desktop operating system. They take milliseconds of your time away and make you wait for them to finish before you can continue doing more important things so I have done away with all animations wherever possible.

Because Shion is Debian based, it can run a wide variety of applications, it comes with the Ubuntu software repositories so you can install most of your needed software through apt-get or a package manger. With WINE you even have the capability to run many Windows programs.

Synaptic Package Manager: A great GUI package manager that allows you to easily search, install, remove, etc. packages and manage software repositories.

Sakura: Sakura is a simple terminal emulator which has a very clean UI, features tabs, and is very customizable.

Thunar File Manager: Thunar is a powerful yet light file manager. It has a clean and customizable UI and comes with features such as advanced bulk rename capabilities and natively supporting connecting to network servers via SFTP and other protocols.

Gedit Text Editor: Gedit is a feature rich text editor that excels at things like scripting and modifying system files.

Firefox Web Browser: Highly customizable and powerful web browser.

Thunderbird Mail: A feature rich Email client which makes it very easy to manage multiple email accounts and organize your emails.

VLC Media Player: A media player that can play virtually anything with features like transcoding and streaming to and from network servers.

Rhythmbox: A music player which makes it easy to manage large libraries with a number of useful options to configure.

Transmission: A torrent client with a clean UI.

Nomacs: Feature rich image viewer with support for nearly all image types.

GIMP: An advanced image editor with many features and plugin support.

Inkscape: A highly capable vector graphics program.

LibreOffice: Office application suite with a document processor, spreadsheet, and more.

Galculator: A clean and functional calculator with multiple modes.

And More!
  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Just realized that you are the developer! amazing! Love the ui, its unique, my main Seamless mode virtualbox distro from now on ;)

    1. Thank you! I am glad others are finding it to their liking :)

  3. This must be brought up on distrowatch, finally a distro with UI in mind


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