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Reviews

TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 Review: a Powerful Ultrabook Running TUXEDO Xubuntu

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Reviews
Ubuntu

There is no doubt that the TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 is not a powerful ultrabook, providing good value for the money. And having it shipped with a Linux OS pre-installed makes your Linux journey a breeze if you're just getting started with exploring the wonderful world of Open Source software and GNU/Linux technologies.

There are a few issues that caught our attention during our testing, and you should be aware of them before buying this laptop. For example, the LCD screen leaks light, which is most visible on a dark background and when watching movies. Also, the display is only be tilted back to about 120 degrees, which might be inconvenient for the owner.

The laptop doesn't heat up that much, and we find the backlit keyboard with the Tux logo on the Super key a plus when buying a TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13. Of course, if you don't need all this power, you can always buy any other laptop out there and install your favorite Linux OS on it, but it's not guaranteed that everything will work out of the box like on TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13.

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Mageia 6

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MDV
Reviews

Mageia 6 is very nice. While not much different from many of the other modern distributions, it comes with enough polish and extra features to make it worth checking out. The Welcome to Mageia application and Control Center make the distribution very friendly for new Linux users. Similarly, the ease of enabling non-free and tainted packages also makes it a good choice for anyone looking to quickly set up a fully functional system. While I cannot personally attest to their usefulness, users switching from Windows might find the various importing tools helpful for making their transition to Linux. If you are looking for a new distribution to try out, or want to take your first foray into the world of Linux, give Mageia 6 a try, you will not be disappointed.

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Kubuntu Zesty & HP Pavilion setup - Very, very sweet

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I only have good things to share here. It wasn't the most trivial of tests: a system that is seven years old, runs a dual-boot setup with tons of old data, lots of hardware that needs tender care. But it was a breeze - literal and figurative, he he. I had the drivers sorted like a charm. The system is reasonably fast and fully usable. All the peripherals properly behave. Fun stuff, extra software, wicked looks.

Now imagine what this distro can do if you give it ultra-modern hardware. That will be the topic of my future laptop purchase. Whenever it happens, whatever Kubuntu version will be the default out there, I shall attempt to twine the two. I am not deluding myself that Linux can replace Windows in every aspect. Far from it. But the combo shall make for a splendid workhorse, and that's what I aiming for. My current tests, and this one in particular, show that Zesty has all the right ingredients to be the perfect match.

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Porteus: portability for pros

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Reviews

Porteus 3.2.2 left a very strange feeling in my heart.

From one side, it ran smoothly, very fast (from-memory) and crashed nowhere.

On another side, complexity with installation of additional software is definitely a show-stopper for many inexperienced Linux users.

Have you used Porteus yourself? How do you like it?

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A look at TAILS – Privacy oriented GNU/Linux Distribution

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Reviews
Security
Debian

The Amensic Incognito Live System, is a Debian based distribution that routes all internet traffic through the TOR network, and leaves no trace of its existence or anything done on the system when the machine is shut down. The obvious aim in this, is to aid in keeping the user anonymous and private. Tails is not installed to a users computer, but instead is run strictly as a LiveUSB / LiveDVD.

TAILS does not utilize the host machines Hard Disk at all, and is loaded entirely into RAM. When a machine is shut down, the data that is stored in RAM disappears over the course of a few minutes, essentially leaving no trace of whatever had been done. Granted, there is a method of attack known as a Cold Boot Attack, where data is extracted from RAM before it has had a chance to disappear, but TAILS has you covered on that front too; the TAILS website says,

“To prevent this attack, the data in RAM is overwritten by random data when shutting down Tails. This erases all traces from your session on that computer.”

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Trying Out Ubuntu 17.10 On A Laptop One Month Ahead Of Release

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Curious around the GNOME Shell desktop and improvements made during the Ubuntu 17.10 cycle in transitioning away from Unity 7 and X.Org to GNOME and Wayland, I took the recently-reviewed Razer Blade Stealth laptop and tried out the very latest Ubuntu desktop daily ISO on this Intel laptop. Here are my initial impressions of the current Ubuntu 17.10 desktop experience as well as some power/boot/performance benchmarks of 17.10 in its daily state compared to Ubuntu 17.04 on this Kabylake system.

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Bodhi Linux With Moksha Is Truly Enlightening

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Linux
Reviews

Bodhi Linux is a very functional alternative to the run-of-the-mill distro offerings. It will extend users' comfort zones as they get familiar with its different computing procedures. Newcomers to Linux, not knowing how Linux "is supposed to work," actually may have an easier time gaining proficiency in using this Enlightened approach to computing.

The Midori browser by default loads a help file with wiki-like links to some startup information. That file is part of the installation content, so new users can access the quick start guide and FAQ topics even if they are not able to access a wireless Internet connection.

Minimum hardware specs include a 500-Mhz processor with 256 MB of RAM and 4 GB of drive space.

Recommended specs are a 1.0-Ghz processor with 512 MB of RAM and 10 GB of drive space.

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Galaxy Note8 review: An overpriced S8+ with a pen is still a pretty great phone

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Android
Reviews

A little under a year ago, I'd have said that there might not be a Galaxy Note8 at all. Of course, I'd have been wrong. But after the Note7's disastrous recall episode, it seemed perfectly fair to ask whether the Galaxy Note would continue be a thing. After all, battery fires aside, the Note really didn't seem to be the focus of Samsung's smartphone development the way it once was. The Note7 wasn't much more than a stretched, squared-off Galaxy S7 edge. And even before that, the Note5 wasn't much different from the pen-less Galaxy S6 Edge+ it debuted alongside. If there were a perfect time to call it quits on the Note series, a major recall followed by a total product cancellation would have been it.

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Android 8.0 Oreo, thoroughly reviewed

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Android
Reviews

Android 8.0 Oreo is the 26th version of the world's most popular operating system. This year, Google's mobile-and-everything-else OS hit two billion monthly active users—and that's just counting phones and tablets. What can all those users expect from the new version? In an interview with Ars earlier this year, Android's VP of engineering Dave Burke said that the 8.0 release would be about "foundation and fundamentals." His team was guided by a single question: "What are we doing to Android to make sure Android is in a great place in the next 5 to 10 years?"

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Review: Nitrux 1.0.2

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Nitrux is a fairly new addition to the DistroWatch database. The distribution features a custom desktop environment, called Nomad, which is based on KDE's Plasma 5 desktop. The Nomad desktop reportedly features a simplified system tray and a friendly, graphical front-end for the UFW firewall utility. Nitrux also ships with a custom software manager called NX Software Center and a music player called Babe. The Nitrux project previously featured the Anbox utility for running Android apps on GNU/Linux desktop distributions, but Anbox has been removed in recent versions of the Nitrux distribution.

Nitrux is available in just one edition and is built for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. Originally I tried to download Nitrux from the project's website and found my download kept getting disconnected partway through. I switched to downloading the project's ISO file (1.0GB in size) from a SourceForge mirror and this download completed successfully.

Booting from the Nitrux installation media brings up a menu asking if we would like to launch the distribution's live mode or start the system installer. Taking the live mode option, we are brought to a graphical login screen. We can sign into the Nomad desktop by using "nitrux" as both the username and password.

The Nomad desktop appears to use KDE's Plasma desktop software, but with a high degree of customization. The main desktop panel containing the application menu and system tray is placed at the top of the screen. A quick-launch bar is displayed at the bottom of the screen. The launch bar at the bottom of the desktop displays icons, but no tool tips or text to indicate what clicking on each icon will open. The application menu is displayed as a large grid of icons. The first page of the menu displays commonly used (or "favourite") applications. The second page lists all installed applications. The desktop's default background is mostly white with red and purple at the corners in shades that remind me of cotton candy.

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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft EEE

  • Why the Windows Subsystem for Linux Matters to You – Even if You Don’t Use it [Ed: Microsoft pulling an EEE on GNU/Linux matters. Sure it does... while suing GNU/Linux with software patents Microsoft says it "loves Linux".]
  • Canonical Teams Up with Microsoft to Enable New Azure Tailored Ubuntu Kernel
    In a joint collaboration with Microsoft's Azure team, Canonical managed to enable a new Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel in the Ubuntu Cloud Images for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on Azure starting today, September 21, 2017. The Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel is now enabled by default for the Ubuntu Cloud images running the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, and Canonical vows to offer the same level of support as the rest of its Ubuntu kernels until the operating system reaches end of life.

Servers: Kubernetes, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and Sysadmin 101

  • Kubernetes Snaps: The Quick Version
    When we built the Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes (CDK), one of our goals was to provide snap packages for the various Kubernetes clients and services: kubectl, kube-apiserver, kubelet, etc. While we mainly built the snaps for use in CDK, they are freely available to use for other purposes as well. Let’s have a quick look at how to install and configure the Kubernetes snaps directly.
  • Kubernetes is Transforming Operations in the Enterprise
    At many organizations, managing containerized applications at scale is the order of the day (or soon will be). And few open source projects are having the impact in this arena that Kubernetes is. Above all, Kubernetes is ushering in “operations transformation” and helping organizations make the transition to cloud-native computing, says Craig McLuckie co-founder and CEO of Heptio and a co-founder of Kubernetes at Google, in a recent free webinar, ‘Getting to Know Kubernetes.’ Kubernetes was created at Google, which donated the open source project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
  • Kubernetes gains momentum as big-name vendors flock to Cloud Native Computing Foundation
    Like a train gaining speed as it leaves the station, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is quickly gathering momentum, attracting some of the biggest names in tech. In the last month and a half alone AWS, Oracle, Microsoft, VMware and Pivotal have all joined. It’s not every day you see this group of companies agree on anything, but as Kubernetes has developed into an essential industry tool, each of these companies sees it as a necessity to join the CNCF and support its mission. This is partly driven by customer demand and partly by the desire to simply have a say in how Kubernetes and other related cloud-native technologies are developed.
  • The Cloud-Native Architecture: One Stack, Many Options
    As the chief technology officer of a company specialized in cloud native storage, I have a first hand view of the massive transformation happening right now in enterprise IT. In short, two things are happening in parallel right now that make it radically simpler to build, deploy and run sophisticated applications. The first is the move to the cloud. This topic has been discussed so much that I won’t try to add anything new. We all know it’s happening, and we all know that its impact is huge.
  • Sysadmin 101: Leveling Up
    I hope this description of levels in systems administration has been helpful as you plan your own career. When it comes to gaining experience, nothing quite beats making your own mistakes and having to recover from them yourself. At the same time, it sure is a lot easier to invite battle-hardened senior sysadmins to beers and learn from their war stories. I hope this series in Sysadmin 101 fundamentals has been helpful for those of you new to the sysadmin trenches, and also I hope it helps save you from having to learn from your own mistakes as you move forward in your career.

Databases: PostgreSQL 10 RC1 and Greenplum

  • PostgreSQL 10 RC1 Released
    The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces today that the first release candidate of version 10 is available for download. As a release candidate, 10 RC 1 should be identical to the final release of the new version. It contains fixes for all known issues found during testing, so users should test and report any issues that they find.
  • PostgreSQL 10 Release Candidate 1 Arrives
    PostgreSQL 10 has been queuing up improvements to declarative partitioning, logical replication support, an improved parallel query system, SCRAM authentication, performance speed-ups, hash indexes are now WAL, extended statistics, new integrity checking tools, smart connection handling, and many other promising improvements. Our earlier performance tests of Postgre 10 during its beta phase showed some speed-ups over PostgreSQL 9.
  • Pivotal Greenplum Analytic Database Adds Multicloud Support
    Pivotal’s latest release of its Greenplum analytic database includes multicloud support and, for the first time, is based entirely on open source code. In 2015, the company open sourced the core of Pivotal Greenplum as the Greenplum Database project. “This is the first commercially available release that we are shipping with the open source project truly at its core,” said Elisabeth Hendrickson, VP of data research and development at Pivotal.

Graphics: NVIDIA Progress, VC4/VC5, Intel's Linux Driver & Mesa

  • NVIDIA 384.90 Linux Driver Brings Fixes, Quadro P5200 Support
    One day after releasing updated GeForce Linux legacy drivers, NVIDIA is now out with an update to their long-lived 384 branch. The NVIDIA 384 Linux series is the current latest series for their proprietary driver. Coming out today is the 384.90 update that is primarily comprised of bug fixes but also includes Quadro P5200 support.
  • NVIDIA Continues Prepping The Linux Desktop Stack For HDR Display Support
    Besides working on the new Unix device memory allocator project, they have also been engaged with upstream open-source Linux developers over preparing the Linux desktop for HDR display support. Alex Goins of the NVIDIA Linux team presented on their HDR ambitions for the Linux desktop and the work they are still doing for prepping the X.Org stack for dealing with these next-generation computer displays. This is a project they have also been looking at for more than one year: NVIDIA Is Working Towards HDR Display Support For Linux, But The Desktop Isn't Ready.
  • The State Of The VC4 Driver Stack, Early Work On VC5
    ric Anholt of Broadcom just finished presenting at XDC2017 Mountain View on the state of the VC4 driver stack most notably used by the Raspberry Pi devices. Additionally, he also shared about his early work on the VC5 driver for next-generation Broadcom graphics.
  • Intel's Linux Driver & Mesa Have Hit Amazing Milestones This Year
    Kaveh Nasri, the manager of Intel's Mesa driver team within the Open-Source Technology Center since 2011, spoke this morning at XDC2017 about the accomplishments of his team and more broadly the Mesa community. Particularly over the past year there has been amazing milestones accomplished for this open-source driver stack.