Out in the Open: Say Hello to the Apple of Linux OSes

Daniel Foré didn’t plan on building an operating system.

In 2006, Foré was fed up with Windows, and he switched to Linux, the open source operating system. But he didn’t just use the OS. Like so many others, he also helped improve the thing. He had no programming experience, but wanted to be involved this famously communal project, so he designed a set of icons for the OS. And from there, he went to work on a desktop theme called Elementary.

Before too long, he had “forked” the popular Linux file manager Nautilus, creating a new version that looked more modern and streamlined. He called it Nautilus Elementary. And as other designers and developers started getting in touch, asking if they could build design-centric apps under the Elementary banner, he found himself juggling several Linux-related projects.