Reviews

Reviews of software and GNU/Linux distributions for the most part

OpenMandriva Lx 2014 review

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MDV
Reviews

OpenMandriva Lx 2014 is the latest edition of OpenMandriva, a desktop Linux distribution derived from Mandriva Linux. It is one of the distributions that rose out of the ashes of Mandriva Linux; the other being Mageia, and, to some extent, ROSA Desktop.

OpenMandriva Lx 2014 is the distribution’s second, stable release. The previous one was OpenMandriva Lx 2013 (see OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 review)

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Reviews

RoboLinux Smooths the Linux Migration Path

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Reviews

RoboLinux is a robust Linux desktop solution for a home office, as well as for SOHO and enterprise users looking for a well-protected migration path away from other operating systems. Its modified traditional desktop design and built-in virtual machine packages for running windows XP and Windows 7 from within the Linux desktop make it an easy and reliable option.

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Kali Linux Improves Penetration Testing

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Security

There are a lot of tools and applications available to security researchers to conduct penetration testing. Many of those tools run on the open-source Linux operating system, though not every distribution is properly configured to be a proper platform for security research. That's where the Kali Linux distribution comes into play as an optimized Linux distribution built for security researchers. The Kali Linux 1.0.7 distribution was officially released on May 27, providing users with a number of new features. Kali Linux was originally known as Backtrack Linux, before being renamed and rebuilt in March 2013. One of the primary new features in Version 1.0.7 is the introduction of encrypted USB persistence for Live images. With that feature, Kali Linux can be installed onto a USB storage key, with user storage that can be updated and fully encrypted. One of the key benefits of Kali Linux is that it assembles in one place many tools that security researchers need. Tools for information gathering, vulnerability analysis, Web applications, password attacks, stress testing and even hardware hacking are all included. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the features of the Kali Linux 1.0.7 release.

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Hands-on with Makulu Linux 6.1 Xfce: Big, beautiful and fun

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This has been a rocky couple of weeks for the Makulu Linux distribution, but with the release this week of Makulu 6.1 Xfce, things are looking good again.

With the initial 6.0 Xfce release they switched to the LMDE installer, and that seemed to lead to a plethora of problems. The lead developer, Jacque Raymer, spent what must surely have been a week in Hell fixing the problems, improving the integration of the Mint Installer with the Makulu distributions, and rewriting the post-installation setup scripts. The result of that massive effort is the Makulu Linux Xfce 6.1 release.

The release announcement mentions some of the problems and explains some of the work that went into solving them. The release notes, which are actually the original 6.0 notes with some additional 6.1 information on the end, give a much more complete overview of the 6.x Xfce releases.

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Linux Mint 17 Qiana Cinnamon : Video Review and Screenshot Tour

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Linux Mint 17 qiana is the latest version of linux mint that based on ubuntu 14.04 LTS, it was released and announced by Linux Mint Developer a few days ago. Linux Mint 17 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. In addition, The Linux Mint developers plan to use this package base until 2016.

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Linux Mint 17 improves multiple monitor, update and driver support

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LINUX MINT 17 has been released, marking a significant milestone because it's a long term support (LTS) release that will be updated for five years.

Distrowatch reported the news, quoting Clement Lefebvre, who said, "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17 'Qiana'. Linux Mint 17 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use."

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Also: Linux Mint 17 reviews

today's leftovers

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Reviews
Gaming

GNOME 3.12: The cool and the not-so cool features

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GNOME
Reviews

GNOME 3.12 was released on March 26 (2014), but it didn’t start shipping on many distributions until very recently. In this post, I’ll let you in on what I think about it; the cool (good) features and those features I think the developers need to take a closer look at and try to make it better and more user-friendly.

If you’ve been keeping track of the development of GNOME 3, you’d know by now that a wide gulf separates what the GNOME 3 developers consider user-friendly and what most users think that term should mean on the desktop. This is really just about GNOME 3.12, with the default GNOME Shell, not a customized or modified version. Just the latest (GNOME 3.12) plain-vanilla GNOME Shell.

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Linux Mint 17 With Cinnamon Desktop Keeps Focus on Ease of Use

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Linux Mint is among the most popular Linux desktop distributions in use today, thanks in large part to its core focus on improving the desktop experience for users. It's a focus that has been in place for Linux Mint since day one. When Clement Lefebvre developed Linux Mint in 2006, he did so with the goal of creating a user-friendly desktop version of Linux. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu Linux, adding new desktop, setting and configuration elements. The latest version of Linux Mint, version 17 (code-named Qiana), is based on the recent Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr" release, which is what is known as a Long Term Support (LTS) release. Lefebvre has pledged that Linux Mint 17 will also be an LTS release and will continue to receive security updates for five years, until 2019. Lefebvre has also pledged that until 2016, the core package base will remain the same, which is intended to make it easier for users to upgrade to new versions of Linux Mint. As is the case with other Linux distributions, there are multiple desktop user interfaces that are available to users. With Linux Mint, however, there is a particular focus on the Cinnamon desktop, which was created by the Linux Mint distribution itself. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of the Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon release.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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The fresh Mint of dwell there: This is a story all about how 17 is here for a while

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The good news is that Mint 17 isn't just another update to an increasingly popular Linux distro - some would claim the most popular distro.

The really good news is that Mint 17 is a great release on which Mint can build a solid base. Of course it remains to be seen whether Mint can get the software updates and backports that users might want and need while remaining with the LTS base. In the mean time though, Mint 17 is off to a great start.

You'll get Mint 17 in two different flavours, both of which feature the project's homegrown desktop environments - MATE and Cinnamon.

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Linux Mint 17: Hands-on with UEFI Secure Boot

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Reviews
HowTos

Oh, one last comment about UEFI boot to close this post. As was the case with the previous Mint 16 release, the UEFI boot directory will be named 'ubuntu', so if you want to install Mint 17 and Ubuntu both on the same UEFI boot system, you will have to be careful about that.

The most obvious solution, renaming the boot directory after the first of them is installed, doesn't work (it won't boot that one any more). The solution I have found which does work is to create a second EFI Boot partition, but neither Ubuntu nor Mint will let you specify the UEFI boot partition to use on installation, so you have to copy the boot directory to the second EFI partition after installing. This is not a big deal, if you are "advanced" enough to be installing both distributions on one system, then you should also be able to handle this.

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Lubuntu 14.04 LTS

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Reviews

Minimalist distros are an important option for many Linux users. Not everyone wants tons of desktop glitz and zillions of bells and whistles. Lubuntu has always been a terrific option for minimalists who prefer to stay within the Ubuntu family. Now Lubuntu 14.04 LTS is available and it follows in the footsteps of previous releases by providing a high-quality desktop distro that is light-weight and fast.

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Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon

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Linux Mint has long been one of the most popular desktop distributions, so it’s always a big deal when a version is released. This time around it’s Linux Mint 17. This review covers the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 17, but much of it also applies to the MATE version with the exception of changes to the MATE 1.8 desktop.

As to which desktop environment you should use, I think it just gets down to your own personal preference. MATE is a more traditional desktop while Cinnamon has a more modern feel to it. If you aren’t sure which one you might like better, my advice is to try both of them and then make your decision.

Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release. It will receive security updates until 2019. The Linux Mint developers plan to use this package base until 2016, so upgrading should be a piece of cake once you start using Linux Mint 17.

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Siduction 'Paintitblack' LXQt Dev Release: Screenshots

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Debian

Earlier this month the Siduction team, which regularly updates snapshots based on Debian Unstable/Sid, released a development build showcasing the new LXQt desktop, the future of both the LXDE and the Razor-qt environments. Siduction have a bit of history here as they featured Razor-qt as a desktop early on and were probably the only distribution to ship a dedicated iso as part of their line-up throughout 2012 and 2013. Besides using KDE 4 for the main image Siduction have shown a great commitment to medium light and lower resource desktops.

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Amarok 2.8.0 Review – A Different Kind of Music Player

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Amarok is one of the most famous music players on the Linux platform and it's been around for more than a decade. It's integrated by default in KDE, which might have contributed to its fame, but it's definitely one of the most interesting alternatives.

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Unity Control Center for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Review

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu developers are trying to shake some of its GNOME dependencies and they have been working towards this goal for quite some time. Ubuntu distributions have been using GNOME packages since the beginning, even before the adoption of Unity as the default desktop environment.

Back when Ubuntu was still using GNOME 2.x to power its desktop, people were complaining about various problems, which in fact were not the fault of the Ubuntu developers. Some of the patches submitted by Ubuntu upstream, to the GNOME project were accepted either with delay or not at all. So, Canonical has decided to make Unity, a project it can control from one end to another.

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Kano review – doing it for the kids

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The Kano computer system revolves around two core things: a Raspberry Pi and the Kano OS designed for it. More than just another Raspberry Pi kit, it proved itself with a successful Kickstarter, promising a system that would help get kids into real computing and allow them to start down a path of programming and coding.

While the full kits are being prepared for shipping out to backers and other people that have pre-ordered, the beta for the full OS is available to anyone who wants it right now completely free of charge. It doesn’t require any of the specific hardware in the kit such as the Wi-Fi dongle or the wireless keyboard, so it will work on any normal Raspberry Pi.

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Synology DS414j review – the future of NAS?

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Linux
Reviews

When you buy a Synology product, you know what you’re getting yourself in to. The company’s designs rarely change between generations, beyond a few small tweaks and improvements to the internals, and its Linux-based DiskStation Manager operating system only ever improves with time. Its pricing, however, can leave it out of the reach of the budget-conscious buyer, especially when more than two drive bays are required.

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