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Reviews

MintBox 3 Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

This is a very subjective review of the MintBox 3. I say “very subjective” because not only do we get 5% of each sale (that in itself wouldn’t matter all that much), but we absolutely love this unit, the very long partnership we’ve had with Compulab and the fact that this amazing computer is running our software and wears our name.

No computer is perfect though, we’ll make some criticism, but as an introduction I’d rather warn you. This is by far the best computer we’ve ever played with, it runs Mint and it has our logo on it. It’s hard not to feel any bias.

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AryaLinux Provides the Building Blocks for a Unique Linux Experience

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Linux
Reviews

AryaLinux focuses on the skill sets of advanced Linux users. This user class generally prefers to decide what to put on a system. These users also want to curate their own software.

The other prominent appeal of this distro is its derivative roots. It is not remastered or forked from any other Linux project. It is a unique Linux computing platform. It comes with the added feature of being a springboard to creating your own distro spin.

AryaLinux needs at least 20 GB of local storage for the system partition, as well as (for 2 GB of RAM or less) a swap partition of at least 2 GB, which also is used for hibernation mode.

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Tsurugi Linux Review: A Linux Distro For Digital Forensics, OSINT, And More

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Linux
Reviews

Finding the best operating system always depends on the purpose and our work domain. If we need an OS for hacking, digital investigation, or forensics, we mostly opt for Linux-based distributions. And if we search for the best Linux distro for the same, we always encounter Kali Linux or Parrot.

But it doesn’t mean that other distros are bad. There are various operating systems available that are also rising in the forensics and cyber investigation industry. Recently, I’ve been discovering other alternatives to Kali Linux and the first distro I covered lately was CSI Linux. Now, I want to introduce Tsurugi Linux — another Linux-based OS for the Cyber forensics and OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), which released its 2020.1 “Spring Edition” last week.

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Review: Anarchy Linux 1.0.10

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Reviews

Anarchy Linux is an Arch-based distribution that provides a custom installation script designed to quickly configure and install Arch. The Anarchy Linux ISO is 665MB and the installation process requires an Internet connection to download packages. Basically, Anarchy fully automates many steps of the Arch install process. Selecting options in Anarchy's installer is all that is required to get a system up and running. Most of the steps in the text-mode installer are the same as the ones presented when installing almost any Linux distribution, but Anarchy does provide more customization options when it comes to software selection and configuration.

[...]

Anarchy Linux is a good way to quickly get Arch installed and configured. I have some issues with some of the customization choices made in the customized desktops, and not all the desktop options are equal, but the Desktop and Desktop LTS options do provide a good experience. The installer could fail a little more cleanly when it cannot download a package, but when the installer works, it works well. However, the Server and Server LTS options need work. Finally, the Advanced option works great (though the same "fails completely when it cannot download a package" issue also applies here) and is perfect for users who want to customize an Arch install without having to do all the work by hand. Overall, Anarchy Linux a good distribution that needs just a little more polish, which, hopefully, will come as more people use Anarchy and file bug reports.

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Zorin OS Core Makes GNOME More Comfortable

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OS
GNOME
Reviews

Zorin OS 15.2 is a simple yet workable computing platform. I would prefer to have an option to swap out Zorin OS' GNOME integration for the more flexible XFCE desktop on the Core edition.

If Zorin OS sounds promising to you except for the GNOME experience, consider trying the Lite edition. XFCE, despite its lightweight design, offers a more traditional desktop layout experience.

Zorin OS has some fine features that are buried within settings options. I would like to see some included help screens and other new user documentation built into Zorin OS. Users unfamiliar with Linux or the otherwise barren landscape when first seeing the Zorin desktop would have an easier time getting started using it.

This independent Ubuntu-based Linux distribution is designed especially for newcomers to Linux, but established Linux users looking for a change of pace without the need for stretching their technical acumen should not shy away from this distro.

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Review: Manjaro Linux 19.0

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Reviews

Manjaro Linux is one of those distributions I have tried many times over the years but was always unable to keep for any length of time due to this or that issue cropping up. Either package management was limited, it wouldn't boot up after the install, or even straight away. Whatever the issues I don't exactly recall, because the last time I tested it must have been around 2014 or even 2013, which would have made this Manjaro 0.8.x. Has it really been around this long already? My, I'm getting quite long in the tooth. Manjaro 19.0 looks really interesting and it's brand new. I'm sure lots has changed so, in somebody else's words, test we must.

Many of the people behind Manjaro are the same that are, or at least were, behind the Chakra distribution, a KDE-centric distribution I really liked and found interesting back in the day but which appears quite dormant. Developers moved on. I recall getting an e-mail once about this new project they were going to start called Manjaro and asking if I wanted to do an early review but unfortunately time didn't permit back then. And when I did it appeared not mature yet so it seemed better not to write anything. But an incremental number 19 seems plenty mature. Enough of the babble, let's go.

The release announcement for 19.0 informs us that it comes in three desktop variants with GNOME 3.34, Xfce 14.4 or with KDE Plasma 5.17. Cutting edge stuff. Also with something called Architect which as it turns out is included in all editions as a shortcut on the desktop, similar to the install button, and allows us to customize installations. Architect can also be downloaded on its own and is basically a net-install image to install the latest available packages and set up and configure Manjaro in every detail using the command line, custom setup tool included. We'll be looking at this in more detail later.

I opted to download the KDE edition via a torrent which is clocked at 2,892MB (about 2.8GB) but which took up 3.0GB on my hard drive. I guess it depends on what cluster size one has used for formatting.

The release announcement includes a 43 minute long video walking us through all the editions which is a really nice introduction to features and looks and can help decide which edition is for you.

This release is underpinned by the latest LTS Linux kernel 5.4 to have the most up to date drivers available. Looks-wise Manjaro has updated Xfce with their own new theme called Matcha, the Plasma desktop has received a fully integrated look with a comprehensive and all-encompassing set of themes called Breath2 in light and dark variants. And yes, it looks slick if that is your style but personally I'm not one for the abstract wallpapers and flat looks in fashion nowadays. Not a biggie, can be changed.

It is quite evident though, even at this stage, from looking at the website that Manjaro has a lot of resources behind it and a lot of people must be committing time to this, so it's certainly not a project in danger of withering away over night in case people are concerned about long-term viability and support for their installs. Plus, Manjaro is of course based on Arch Linux which has been around since the early 2000s. Packages from the official Arch Linux repositories and user contributed packages and build scripts should be working fine. Like Arch Linux, Manjaro is also a rolling release distribution that should not require a reinstall if everything goes well. The team behind Manjaro go to some lengths to make sure it does, by tweaking and moderating changes from upstream and channeling packages through their own repositories.

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How I migrated from a Mac Mini to a Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Reviews

Well, it's been a rough but fun ride getting to this stage, and I can say that I've learned substantially more about Linux compared to when I started out.

Right now, I can say that my computing environment has stabilized, and I can do practically everything I used to do on the old Mac Mini plus quite a bit more. The system remains lean and mean, and I don't intend to install anything major in the near future. My major annoyance is not being able to print, and I'm unlikely to be able to fix this in the near future, but I'll revisit it when I have time.

Likewise with my video playback situation. To give you some idea, I tried to view Pharrell Williams' "Happy" video the other day, and while the sound played fine, I was still watching the video in slo-mo 30 seconds after the song finished. But hey, you can't have everything…

Incidentally, the Raspberry Pi Model 2 has been hailed as a machine that can run Windows 10: I'm sure there's an element of truth in this, but given the hardware limitations, I don't see how this is possible or even desirable. Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see (but I won't be trying it!).

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LibreOffice Writer: Arranging Page Styles And Different Page Numbering

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LibO
Reviews

Page Styles are page designs. It is similar concept to Headings and Paragraph Styles but applied to pages instead. With them, you can make different page numbering in one document such as Roman first and Arabic later just like in academic writings. Alternatively, you can also make a document with different page orientations and/or margins as you wish. You can either use existing or create new ones of them. However, the secret of success in using Page Styles is a thing called Manual Break. This tutorial explains step by step to use them with examples. Enjoy writing!

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Zorin Education - The School OS With Game Development Tool

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OS
Reviews

Continuing my previous review, Zorin Education is a computer operating system designed for use in school. Aside from giving complete applications built-in for normal computing, it specifically includes applications for study fields especially math and science. Not only that, today it is perhaps the only OS in the world that include a game making application which is capable to create games for both phone and desktop games. This will make schooling and teaching more fun. For people with prior knowledge, if you are looking for Edubuntu OS continuation, I would love to say you are better to look at Zorin Education more closely. I tried to expose it briefly here by summarizing the school purpose first and game making then. For all teachers and lecturers everywhere, I recommend you to try out this OS. Enjoy!

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FocusWriter - Text editor gone minimalistic

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Software
Reviews

A few weeks ago, I was looking around for some nice Linux software, and I came across the home page of the person who had created the Whisker Menu for Xfce. Since I really like this one - I even included it as my favorite desktop menu in the 2018 best Linux apps compilation, I was intrigued by the other software in the repertoire, and decided to do some random testing. A program called FocusWriter drew my attention.

Well, FocusWriter is meant to be a simple, straightforward, distraction-free advanced text editor, designed to provide those using it with maximum productivity. In other words, you don't waste time managing the software, you don't waste time getting your fleeting attention span diverted, you get stuff done. Well, that's the core idea on paper. As someone who writes books, I found the concept curious and inviting. Perhaps I could be doing something more effectively? Well, let's find out.

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More in Tux Machines

Remote support options for sysadmins

As a sysadmin, you do support—support for local users as level I, II, III, or all of the above. You might have even supported remote users. Maybe your office environment was once 100 percent local and you had no remote support duties. But now, your job might be completely supporting remote users and systems. Great news, huh? Well, there's hope. Using some great remote support tools, you can still do your job just as efficiently from a distance as you could with walk-up access. Sure, it's a little more difficult, but once you establish your support tools and workflow, you might never return to a traditional office. This article highlights support tools for a new age of remote support. Remote support is difficult. To get an idea of just how difficult it is, I've only known one person in more than twenty years of working as a sysadmin who actually enjoyed supporting remote users. It was great for the rest of the team because we could just reassign tickets to him and away he'd go on them. For the rest of us, we felt like we were trying to wash dishes from across the room without really seeing the dishes. These remote support options will help you support your users without the frustration of a click-by-click follow-along session. You'll be able to see everything that's going on or actually perform the work yourself. Read more

today's howtos

New GNOME Mobile Shell Mockups Tease a Tactile Future on Tablets

With Phosh, the mobile face of GNOME Shell, taking shape on phones it’s not a major leap to start thinking about how the GNOME user experience might function on larger screen sizes. Like, say a tablet. Despite some folks thinking that GNOME Shell is a touch-focused UI, it isn’t. In fact, it’s pretty tedious to use without a keyboard or a mouse. Same was true of Unity, RIP. To succeed in a finger-driven environment you need a finger-driven interface. Just like the one on show in “very experimental” concept images recently shared by GNOME designer Tobias Bernard on the GNOME design Gitlab. Tobias is lead UI/UX designer at Purism and works directly on Phosh. Read more Also in GNOME today: Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Timelines on Calendar

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux in the Ham Shack, Linux Headlines, and Going Linux

  • LHS Episode #337: SDRAngel Deep Dive

    Hello and welcome to Episode 337 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts take a deep dive into the shallow end of SDRAngel. The project is a GPLv3 licensed, modular front end and headless server for connecting to and operating SDR receivers and transceivers. Discussion includes where to find the software, how to build it, basic operation with broadcast FM stations, DMR, SSB, CW and more. Take a look. Try it out. Have fun with SDR. Hope you enjoy!

  • 2020-04-07 | Linux Headlines

    Microsoft proposes a new Linux kernel security mechanism, Firefox 75 rolls out significant changes, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation adopts Argo, and The Linux Foundation aims to boost adoption of the seL4 secure microkernel.

  • Going Linux #389 · Listener Feedback

    Bill burns out on distrohopping after providing multiple release reviews. Our listeners provide feedback on new user recommendations, hard drive mounting, encryption, trying Linux via USB, and the Linux Spotlight interview. We answer questions on security audit results. Episode 389 Time Stamps 00:00 Going Linux #389 · Listener Feedback 01:43 Bill burns out on distro hopping 02:24 but he has some feedback on a few releases 02:46 Linux Mint 19.3 03:24 Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 04:38 Endevour OS 07:13 ArcoLinux 10:19 Open Suse 12:16 Ubuntu MATE 14:49 Zorin 17:55 New user recommendations 24:22 Gregory: Hard drive mounting 27:28 Gregory: Great interview 30:09 John: Security audit recommendations 34:19 George: Paul's encryption problem 37:57 David: Linux via USB 44:09 goinglinux.com, goinglinux@gmail.com, +1-904-468-7889, @goinglinux, feedback, listen, subscribe 45:17 End