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Reviews

OpenSUSE 13.2 review - Back in the game!

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Reviews
SUSE

Finally. After three and a half years of sucking, openSUSE is a top performance once again. This is an excellent all-around distribution, and it comes with some neat solutions both over and underneath the hood. You can't deny its amazing looks, and with the 13.2 release, performance, functionality and stability are back.

Now, openSUSE 13.2 has its problems. The screenshot thingie, subvolume handling, missing Samba printing option, plus that one inexplicable crash, which is probably the most serious item. And because of it, the final grade shall be lower. But all combined, the woes pale against the quality and general goodness radiating from this edition. Really, if you ignore the initial setup, and the one time freeze, there's very little not to like about openSUSE 13.2. I'm pleased. And feeling somewhat fanboyish. But this is good.

Anyhow, if you're looking for a non-Ubuntu family release that can offer you a great blend and balance between looks, modernity, functionality, stability, and performance, then you have several worthy candidates to consider. CentOS is one of them, and now openSUSE has returned, mighty and strong, and sanity has been restored into the distro world, where for many years, there's been an almost total dominance by Mint and Ubuntu, with everyone else lagging behind. OpenSUSE 13.2 is definitely worth testing and exploring. Final grade, something like 9/10, and this is with a whole 0.5 point taken off. So it's good. Do it.

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Hands on with Caine Linux: Pentesting and UEFI compatible

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Caine 6.0 is derived from Ubuntu 14.04.1 (64 bit). That is a Long Term Support release, so that is a good thing. It uses the MATE desktop, rather than Unity, which is another really good thing. The ISO image can be obtained from their Downloads page (duh), and is relatively large (2.68GB).

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Kubuntu 14.10 review

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KDE
Reviews

KDE has improved in may respects since my last review of Kubuntu, so it’s fair to say that Kubuntu itself has improved. Muon Discover has improved too, so kudos to the developer. However, Kubuntu is not the best KDE-using distribution around. ROSA Desktop, for example, offers many more features than most KDE-using desktops. That said, Kubuntu 14.10 should be good enough for most users. If you would like to take it for a spin on your computer, installation images are available for download from here.

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Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" Review: Fantastic performance and upgradable to GNOME 3.14

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GNOME
Reviews

I must say, GNOME 3 has come up a long way from being really unintuitive desktop environment to a more intuitive and efficient one. I really like what I see in Ubuntu GNOME 14.10. It is aesthetically very refined, intuitive, supports multi-touch (with GNOME 3.14 upgrade) and is very efficient. Plus, the customization options are good and you don't need to be a techno wizard to make those changes.

Though the distro has a support period of 9 months, you can safely try it out. I bet you'll definitely enjoy it. Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 is definitely recommended from my side with the 2nd highest score I gave to any GNOME or GNOME forked (Cinnamon, Mate, Unity, etc.) distro that I reviewed during 2013-14.

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15 Apps Which Ship in Mint 17.1 Cinnamon [Overview & Screenshots]

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Two days ago I had a look at the release candidate of the upcoming Mint 17.1 Cinnamon, which is set to arrive in late November. Today I will take a quick look at the main applications that come bundled by default in the Mint 17.1 Rebecca installation disc, with a short overview and screenshots for each of them.

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Scientific Linux 7 - Poorly executed

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Red Hat
Reviews

Apart from CentOS, another distro I have really been waiting to explore is Scientific Linux. With its solid RedHat base plus extra software, it could be an excellent contender for the ultimate desktop distro. And so our quest continues.

What will amaze you even more is my decision to try the Gnome edition. Yup, after some three years of ignoring Gnome due to its stupidity, I decided to give it another try, just for fun, to see what gives. Maybe it can redeem itself, or be redeemed by Scientific Linux. Either way, it's an interesting test.

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Kubuntu 14.10 review

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KDE has improved in may respects since my last review of Kubuntu, so it’s fair to say that Kubuntu itself has improved. Muon Discover has improved too, so kudos to the developer. However, Kubuntu is not the best KDE-using distribution around. ROSA Desktop, for example, offers many more features than most KDE-using desktops. That said, Kubuntu 14.10 should be good enough for most users. If you would like to take it for a spin on your computer, installation images are available for download from here.

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Translating (reviewing) Debian package descriptions

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Debian

Some days I feel super lazy but I still would like to go on contributing translations to Debian.
Then, I leave the web translations a bit, and change to translate or review Debian package descriptions.

It’s something that anybody can do without any knowledge of translation tools, since it is a very simple web interface, as you will see.

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Hands-On: New KaOS Linux Release

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I wrote about KaOS Linux some time ago, when the 2014.06 release came out. I had it installed on a couple of my laptops, and I have been using it occasionally since then. It is a rolling release distribution, so if you already have it installed, you don't need to get these new ISO images and install them, you just have to make sure that you are current with all the latest patches and updates.

If you don't have KaOS installed yet, or you want to make a fresh installation for whatever reason, you can get the new ISO image from their download page. On that page, in addition to the link to the ISO image you will find links to instructions on creating DVD and USB installation media. I like this better than having to go search for another document, search the forums or whatever. The ISO is a hybrid image, so my procedure was the same as always - just dd it to a stick - but having the detailed instructions handy is a good thing.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Patent Troll Kills Open Source Project On Speeding Up The Computation Of Erasure Codes

Via James Bessen, we learn of how a patent trolling operation by StreamScale has resulted in an open source project completely shutting down, despite the fact that the patent in question (US Patent 8,683,296 for an "Accelerated erasure coding system and method") is almost certainly ineligible for patent protection as an abstract idea, following the Supreme Court's Alice ruling and plenty of prior art. Erasure codes are used regularly today in cloud computing data storage and are considered to be rather important. Not surprisingly, companies and lawyers are starting to pop out of the woodwork to claim patents on key pieces. I won't pretend to understand the fundamental details of erasure codes, but the link above provides all the details. It goes through the specific claims in the patents, breaking down what they actually say (basically an erasure code on a computer using SIMD instructions), and how that's clearly an abstract idea and thus not patent-eligible. Read more