Shion OS 2 [Linux]

2016.06.03 | Yuki Rea
This project has been abandoned and will not receive updates!

Download Shion OS 2 Beta 0.5.1

Shion OS 2 is the product of years of learning and tweaking UNIX like operating systems to achieve a perfect balance between visuals, user interface efficiency, stability, and functionality, oh and also lots of sugary candy, caffeinated drinks, and no sleep. Shion OS 2 is designed to be used on desktop and workstation computers where getting things done quickly and efficiently is a priority. I have taken the UI layout and design from Shion OS 1 and adapted and improved while building Shion OS 2 from Debian 8.8 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It uses a modified version of the XFCE4.12 desktop environment, you will find that Shion OS 2 is likely the cleanest, most consistent, and stable version of XFCE4 since I have made many patches and tweaks throughout. I really wanted to make the best XFCE4 desktop possible. I have made many behind the scenes bug fixes and tweaks to make Shion OS 2 very stable and feel like a quality operating system.

Shion OS 2 is currently in its beta, I can not give an ETA for the finished product and be aware of the possibility of updates in the beta repository to drastically change some parts of the system over time. If you wish to use this on your main system, the latest beta is better in every way over the old stable release of


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.

  • 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

  • Ctrl + C
    • Copy

  • Ctrl + V
    • Paste

  • Ctrl + Shift + C
    • (Sakura Terminal) Copy

  • Ctrl + Shift + V
    • (Sakura Terminal) Paste

  • Ctrl + C
    • (Sakura Terminal) Cancel/Abort

  • Alt + Tab
    • Cycle applications

  • Alt + F4
    • Quit active application

  • 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

  • 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!

Installation Notes

If the live user to auto-login please enter the user-name "live" in the user-name field and leave the password field blank and click "login"

Users with AMD or ATI Radeon GPU will not be able to use AMD proprietary graphics drivers. Such graphics intensive tasks like gaming or GPU accelerated 3D rendering may suffer with the open source AMD Radeon drivers. They are good enough for most dekstop use but if you need high performance graphics I will either make a compatibility package in the future or update Shion OS 1 with a final update to improve stability and UI with packages from Shion OS 2. Until then please remain on Shion OS 1 unless you are crafty enough to downgrade xorg, linux kernel, and other required packages yourself.

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 for maximum performance for Shion OS, EXT4 and BTRFS are also good 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 update && sudo apt 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.