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BackSlash Linux
BackSlash Linux Logo
Devices Running BackSlash Linux Kristoff.png
Devices Running BackSlash Linux Kristoff
DeveloperKumar Priyansh
OS familyLinux
Working stateDiscontinued
Source modelOpen source with Proprietary components
Initial release2 November 2016 (6 years ago) (2016-11-02)
Latest releaseBackSlash Linux Kristoff / 25 December 2017 (4 years ago) (2017-12-25)
Marketing targetPersonal computers
Available inMore than 55 languages by LoCos
Update methodAPT, Discover Software Center
Package managerdpkg
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
user interface
BackSlash Shell
LicenseFree software license
(Apache License)

BackSlash Linux was an Ubuntu and Debian-based operating system developed in India by Kumar Priyansh for AMD64 and Intel x64-based personal computers.[1][2] It was based on free software and every release of the operating system is named after the characters of the Disney film franchise Frozen.[1][3] Since the third major release, BackSlash Linux Olaf, BackSlash Linux used its own custom version of KDE, called the BackSlash Shell,[4] as the default user desktop. It ceased development as of May 2018.[5]


BackSlash Linux's design was very hybrid.[6] It resembled macOS at first glance, with KDE at its bottom, but instead of being a KDE-based distribution, it shipped with many GNOME-based applications. Moreover, the buttons on the title bar resembled macOS but were arranged in a Windows-like manner. The top bar resembled GNOME at first glance, but after any app is opened, it displayed the Universal Menu Bar, looking similar to macOS or Unity.[4]


Development of BackSlash Linux was started in mid 2016. Being Ubuntu-based, it is compatible with its repositories and packages and uses Discover Software Center to handle installation/removal of software. Its user interface aims at being intuitive for new users without consuming too many resources.

BackSlash Linux is based on Ubuntu's Long Term Support releases, which its developer actively maintains for bugs and security for years even as development continues on the next release.

Pre-release versions

Three pre-release versions, codenamed as Alpha, Beta and Gamma were released before the first stable release. These were still available to download until May 2017 but now have been taken off from the website.


BackSlash Linux Anna
BackSlash Linux Anna

The first stable version of BackSlash Linux was BackSlash Linux Anna published on 2 November 2016 and based on Ubuntu 14.04 and ran on Linux Kernel 4.2. It ran on the Cinnamon Desktop Environment with some extra plugins,[7] and the Plank dock to provide it a new look. BackSlash Linux Anna was a complete system in itself providing the end-users with all types of needed daily use software. Some notable applications included Font Viewer, PDF Reader, Simple Scan, Deluge BitTorrent Client, Dropbox, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Pidgin IM, Skype, WPS Office, VLC Media Player, Clementine, Screen Reader and GDebi Package Manager. Wine was pre-installed in order to support Windows based applications and games.


BackSlash Linux Elsa
BackSlash Linux Elsa

The second release of BackSlash Linux was published on 20 December 2016 and was called BackSlash Linux Elsa. Elsa was built atop the Ubuntu "long-term support" release — Ubuntu 16.04 and ran on the flagship desktop environment of elementary OS, Pantheon. Lot of applications used in BackSlash Linux Anna were dropped in this release to cut down the ISO size but It also added a lot of additional applications besides the core applications shipped with elementary OS[8] and replaced the Epiphany browser by Google Chrome. Many additional utilities, like Skype, Wine, Deluge BitTorrent Client and Dictionary were also shipped out-of-the-box. Inclusion of GNOME Boxes for virtualisation of Desktops was another time-saver. BackSlash Linux Elsa embarked the inclusion of many utilities like Backups, DVD Burner, TeamViewer and Synaptic Package Manager. Pidgin IM was replaced by Empathy IM and it also included Firewall and full LibreOffice suite. Addition of Modem Manager was noticed, which was helpful while managing external Modem cards. Albert was present as a search companion in BackSlash Elsa which can be easily activated using Meta+Space shortcut key. Tweaking the desktop by changing themes, colors and cursors was also present in the desktop which is not present in Pantheon by default. It also introduced an active desktop with right-click options in the Pantheon Desktop.


BackSlash Linux Olaf
BackSlash Linux Olaf

BackSlash Linux Olaf is the third major and the current release of BackSlash Linux. It was published on 9 May 2017 and introduced 150+ new features over the last versions[9] of BackSlash Linux. It was based on Ubuntu 16.04 and ran BackSlash Shell - a customised KDE Desktop.[4] Due to its heavily modified beautiful Desktop,[10] it gained much attention and received much praise than its earlier versions.[6][11][12][10] This version of BackSlash Linux removed some of the applications to cut down the ISO size and also brought many refinements. Google Chrome was replaced by the Open-Source Chromium and Wine was upgraded to version 2.0.1.

Applications like Skype, Firewall, Modem Manager, DVD Burner, Dropbox, Empathy IM, GNOME Boxes, TeamViewer, Deluge and Dictionary which were present in earlier version of BackSlash Linux were dropped in this version. Albert Search Companion was replaced by KRunner Search. LibreOffice lost its position and WPS Office was back in the BackSlash Linux Series by the release of Olaf.

Thunderbird was also included in this version for better email experience and the simple idea was to include the best apps available instead of KDE-specific apps.[12] This is the reason we see GNOME apps like Calendar, Disks, and Maps in this release.

BackSlash Linux Olaf also introduced a full-screen "AppLauncher" which resembled the "Launchpad" of macOS which was a fork of the discontinued application, "Slingshot".[13]

Reviewing BackSlash Linux Olaf, Souris from ProCambodian, said "For me I think this is the best build distro, it feels more complete and you don’t need much time to config it, cause’ everything is working out of the box."[11]


Devices Running BackSlash Linux Kristoff
Devices Running BackSlash Linux Kristoff

BackSlash Linux Kristoff[14] was released as a public beta on 13 August 2017, adding features like Fingerprint and HWE Kernel Support to the Linux Distro world which was followed up Deepin Linux, which also added fingerprint support to Deepin 15.5, released on 30 November, 2017. Stable release of BackSlash Linux Kristoff was made on Christmas, December 25, 2017.[15]

It builds upon the previous release of BackSlash Linux, Olaf, fixing almost all the bugs and also introduces the BackSlash Shell v2.0. Performance improvements have been highly worked on and it also introduces a new app called MultiView and a system optimizer.[16] Installer issues have been fixed and UI has been redesigned. GTK+ support has been greatly worked on and BackSlash Linux Kristoff also supports Fingerprint Recognition for Lockscreen, Terminal Authentication and other App Authentications. Multitouch gesture support has been also implemented in addition with Wine. Redshift (Night Light) is also introduced with better temperature controls. Additional Components include a sidebar, better notification, audio and network management, Hardware-Enabled (HWE) Kernel.[14]

It includes support for snaps, a new login screen with video background and also cover flow task Switcher.[17] I also includes Desktop Cube animation for switching to multiple virtual desktops.

Applications included are Geary, Apache OpenOffice, GParted, Dolphin File Manager, Modem Manager, Synaptic Package Manager, VLC Media Player and others.


In May 2018, Linux Journal reported that BackSlash Linux was seeking donations to help restart development.[5] On September 15, 2021, Kumar Priyansh posted a message to the BackSlash Linux website announcing that the project was in a "fully discontinued" state due to concerns about whether the Linux kernel could be successfully maintained in the future, and that he was working with others on a new UNIX/BSD based operating system.[18]

Version summary table

Codename Release date Desktop environment Base
Anna 2 November 2016 Cinnamon Ubuntu Trusty Tahr
Elsa 20 December 2016 Pantheon Ubuntu Xenial Xerus
Olaf 9 May 2017 BackSlash Shell Ubuntu Xenial Xerus
Kristoff 25 December 2017 BackSlash Shell 2.0 Ubuntu Xenial Xerus
Sven[19] Never Released BackSlash Shell 2.1 (Anticipated) Ubuntu Focal Fossa (Anticipated)
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release


Security of BackSlash was based on Ubuntu and all the Security and Software updates are provided by Canonical Ltd. by default, the programs run with standard user privileges, but administrator privileges are given whenever required. For increased security, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, which allows the root account to remain locked and helps prevent inexperienced users from inadvertently making catastrophic system changes or opening security holes. Most network ports are closed by default to prevent hacking. A built-in firewall allows end-users who install network servers to control access. A GUI is available to configure it. BackSlash compiles its packages using GNU Compiler Collection features such as Position-independent code and buffer overflow protection to Hardening (computing) its software. BackSlash supports full disk encryption, as well as encryption of the home and Private directories.


BackSlash Linux's installation is simple and is fully Graphical.[20][21] BackSlash Linux can be booted and run from a USB flash drive on any PC capable of booting from a USB drive, with the option of saving settings to the flash drive. A Ubuntu Live USB creator program is available to install an Ubuntu-based Distribution on a USB drive.

The Windows program "UNetbootin" allows BackSlash Linux USB burning.

Installation supports a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) with automatic partitioning only, and disk encryption. UTF-8, the default character encoding, supports a variety of non-Roman type Script (Unicode).

System requirements

Flavours and Server Edition

At one point, BackSlash Linux released two official flavours: MATE and GNOME[23] and also a Server Edition[24] of the operating system, which were subsequently discontinued.


  1. ^ a b Singh, Jagmeet (January 6, 2018). "The Making of a 'Made in India' Linux distro". OpenSourceForU. Retrieved 2022-12-08.
  2. ^ "BackSlash Linux - Project Discontinued". Retrieved 2021-09-15.
  3. ^ "BackSlash Linux - Free Operating System". Archived from the original on 2017-07-29. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  4. ^ a b c "Features - BackSlash Linux". Archived from the original on 2017-07-29. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  5. ^ a b Franklin, Jill (May 29, 2018). "Emacs 26.1 Released, Linux 4.17-rc7, GNOME Foundation Receives Anonymous Donation and More". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2022-12-07.
  6. ^ a b Linux Quest (2017-05-13), BackSlash Linux Olaf - KDE Hybrid Feel, retrieved 2017-07-28
  7. ^ Reeves, Lucifer Conrad (November 10, 2016). "BackSlash Linux – A new Cool Looking Distro in the Community". Retrieved 2022-12-08.
  8. ^ "Would you recommend BackSlash Linux as an alternative to ElementaryOS? • r/elementaryos". reddit. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  9. ^ "Series olaf : BackSlash Linux". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  10. ^ a b Souris (2017-06-04), 5 Most Beautiful Linux Distro 2017, retrieved 2017-07-28
  11. ^ a b "BackSlash Linux Olaf Review - proCambodian". proCambodian. 2017-05-16. Archived from the original on 2017-07-28. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  12. ^ a b Planet Linux (2017-05-29), BackSlash Linux Olaf Review: Not Your Typical KDE Distro, In A Good Way, retrieved 2017-07-28
  13. ^ Maverick Gaming (2017-05-09), Backslash Linux | A Beautiful Looking Distro, retrieved 2017-07-28[dead link]
  14. ^ a b "BackSlash Linux - Download BackSlash Linux Kristoff Beta". Archived from the original on 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  15. ^ "BackSlash Linux in Launchpad". Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  16. ^ "BackSlash Linux - Download BackSlash Linux Kristoff". Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  17. ^ "BackSlash Linux - Download BackSlash Linux Kristoff". Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  18. ^ "BackSlash Linux will no longer receive updates". Archived from the original on September 17, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  19. ^ "BackSlash Linux | Free Operating System". Archived from the original on 2018-09-24. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  20. ^ "How To Install BackSlash Linux Olaf". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  21. ^ "How to install Backslash OS – Anna". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  22. ^ "BackSlash Linux - Free Operating System". Archived from the original on 2017-07-29. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  23. ^ "timeline : BackSlash Linux". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  24. ^ "BackSlash Linux - Browse Files at". Retrieved 2017-07-29.