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Reviews

A Penguin tries out TrueOS, formerly PC-BSD, part I

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Reviews
BSD

TrueOS is a rolling-release, desktop-oriented operating system built upon the FreeBSD-CURRENT branch. Its aim is to add desktop-usability, speed and grace to an elephant. It is more a FreeBSD tuning than a fork of it, anyway.

TrueOS is formerly known as PC-BSD; project changed its name, became rolling and mostly dropped pbi’s in late 2016.

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Zephyr Linux: Zippy Performance, Zero Decor

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Zephyr Linux is a newcomer to the Linux scene, and it is still morphing from developmental releases. However, it takes an interesting approach to removing desktop clutter and default software bloat.

Zephyr is a collaboration between Leonard Ashley and other developers. Ashley built this infant distro on Devuan 1.0 beta 2 stable (Jessie) Linux. Devuan is a fork of Debian Linux.

Note: Do not confuse Zephyr Linux with the Linux Foundation's Zephyr Project -- a lightweight Linux OS for the Internet of Things.

Ashley gives the concept of minimalist design a fresh twist in Zephyr Linux, which is stripped down so you can remake it your way.

Zephyr Linux version 1.0 beta 2 stable, released late last year, is available in a separate ISO file for each of three non-intimidating desktops -- Fluxbox, JWN and Openbox -- which are fully customizable window managers that are light on resources, fast and stable. Each one gives you a similar full-featured desktop experience.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Review: Finally, an Android tablet built with enterprise users in mind

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Reviews

Show me an Android tablet and I'll show you a device that has yet to live up to its full potential. Google's Play Store lacks a wide selection of apps that support a tablet's larger display, with most apps only expanding the phone interface, in turn looking horrible on the smaller screen.

In addition to the lack of quality apps, Android tablets have lacked key accessories such as a keyboard.

For the most part, Android tablets have been relegated to a device used to catch up on Netflix or to entertain kids with games.

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22 things Amarok does: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hope

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KDE
Reviews

Ask not what you can do for Amarok. Ask what Amarok can do for you!

Many years ago, just the mention of this music player would invoke shivers down my spine. It was stylish, exotic, modern, elegant, powerful. It did everything superbly, and there was always a hidden Joker up its sleeve. The plethora of options and possibilities and feature was endless. And then it all changed.

Amarok slid out of the spotlight and became just another program to play your music collection. Recently, fueled by nostalgia and perhaps vain hope, I’ve invested fresh new energy and time working with it, taming it, fighting it, loving it, hating it, trying to figure out how relevant, sleek and accessibility this player still is. My curiosity peaked with the extensive Plasma testing I did last month in my somewhat ultra-long article The State of Plasma. So I fired KDE neon once again, a brand new image, and started fiddling. Here’s the Spaghetti Western of what to expect. With a big disclaimer. Read on.

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Also: Reading old stuff

Linux Mint KDE Review: Easy And Beautiful

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KDE
Linux
Reviews

Linux mint, the most popular Linux distribution is recommended by almost all Linux users for newbies. By default, Linux mint is released with cinnamon. But thanks to the Kubuntu team, we now have a KDE edition. Well, new users are probably wondering what all this KDE thing is? KDE is a community. KDE is a compilation of software. We will look at it in more detail on the way. Mint is a whole distro, so we will look at some specific aspects, But KDE is more than just a DE and we cannot review all of its features here. I will try to cover as much as possible in limited space.

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Manjaro: User-Friendly Arch Linux for Everyone

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Linux
Reviews

Arch Linux has never been known as a user-friendly Linux distribution. In fact, the whole premise of Arch requires the end user make a certain amount of effort in understanding how the system works. Arch even goes so far as to use a package manager (aptly named, Pacman) designed specifically for the platform. That means all that apt-get and dnf knowledge you have doesn’t necessarily roll over.

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Review: The $229 Moto G5 Plus stands as the king of budget Android (for now)

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Android
Reviews

We’ve documented the decline of Motorola under Lenovo extensively. We still liked the phones, which had probably been developed mostly under Google’s ownership anyway, but in 2015 we started to see slower updates and shorter support lifecycles. Last year was when the wheels really started to come off. Not only did the company mostly ruin its flagship phone by swapping the inexpensive and competent Moto X for the expensive and weird Moto Z, but Lenovo issued several contradictory statements about software updates that made it unclear whether the Z or the fourth-generation Moto G would be receiving regular updates at all.

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GNOME 3.24: New Linux desktop is fast, responsive

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GNOME
Reviews

I’ve been a fan of the work of the GNOME team for quite some time. They put together one heck of an excellent Linux desktop environment.

But of late, I’ve found myself gravitating towards some of the more lightweight environments. MATE (which is a forked version of GNOME 2) and xmonad. I like my systems to be light on resource usage and highly responsive—those are two absolutely critical things for the way I use my computers.

With this week’s release of GNOME 3.24, I decided to jump back into the world of modern GNOME desktops and kick the tires again. In order to give it the best possible shot, I did a clean install of openSUSE Tumbleweed (the rolling release version of openSUSE) and then installed GNOME 3.24 on top of it. (Side note: 3.24 was not yet available in the default repositories when I wrote this article, but it should be shortly.)

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Also: Applying to Outreachy and GSoC for Fedora and GNOME

OpenSuse Leap Reinforces Linux Faith

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Reviews

Leap is a solid performer. I had no trouble installing it on MBR and EFI systems. Secure Boot tends to be buggy with some configurations, but it was incident-free with this installation.

The bootloader handles multiboot with other Linux distributions or Windows fairly trouble-free. Installation is routine, thanks to the graphical format used.

Only 64-bit versions are available for x86 computers, which limits access to legacy hardware in the 32-bit machines. ARM ports are available if you can track them down through the project's wiki.

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openSUSE Tumbleweed: A Linux distribution on the leading edge

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Reviews
SUSE

So, to summarize: openSUSE Tumbleweed is a good, solid, stable Linux distribution with a wide range of desktops available. It is not anything particularly exotic or unstable, and it does not require an unusual amount of Linux expertise to install and use on an everyday system. To make a very simple comparison, in my experience installing and using Tumbleweed is much less difficult and much less risky than using the Debian "testing" distribution, and it is kept much (much much) more up to date than openSUSE Leap, Debian "stable", Linux Mint or Ubuntu.

I don't say that to demean any of those other distributions. As I said at the end of my recent post about point-release vs. rolling-release distributions, if your hardware is fully supported by one of those point-release distributions, and you are satisfied with the applications included in them, then they are certainly a good choice. But if you like staying on the leading edge, or if you have very new hardware which requires the latest Linux kernel and drivers, or you just want/need the latest version of some application (in my case this would be digiKam), then openSuSE could be just what you want.

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Also: Google Summer of Code 2017

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

Leftovers: Software

  • The Atom Editor
    I didn’t set out to write a blog post about a text editor. I was going to write about one of the other awesome projects that the Ops team is doing here at Wombat. Along the way I decided to give Atom a chance again and I’m glad I did. I enjoyed it enough that I thought I would defer my post about automating my “Ops Environment” on a mac (I promise, I’ll do that one soon-ish) in favor of this.
  • Quick Update: ClipGrab and PlayOnLinux Applications Are Now Available For ALL Ubuntu Versions
    ClipGrab is fairly popular application to download video from famous sites of the Internet. It allows you to search video with in application and select to download the video or other way you can copy and paste the video URL to the application to download the video. Since famous video sites are supported by this application, if some site isn't officially supported, you may still be able to download the videos from it.
  • aTunes Enriched Audio Player Now Available For All Current Ubuntu/Linux Mint Versions
    There are wide variety of audio players available for Linux and you may have your favorite one installed on your system. aTunes is not new audio player but its initial release was way back in 2006 and the most recent version was released in June, 2014. In almost two years there is no news on the website or release from developers, well it is open-source released under GPL-V2 license and we don't see any other to carry on the development of this great application. It is written in Java programming language and it's cross-platform available for Linux, Unix, Windows and Mac. It uses Mplayer as its playback engine and supports wide variety of known formats such as: MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA and other formats.

QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop

  • QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop
    While QNX remains targeted as an operating system for mobile/embedded solutions, a BlackBerry developer in his spare time has fitted QNX 7 with a Qt5 desktop. QNX 6 and prior had a desktop option, but was removed in QNX 7, which was released this past March. QNX 7.0 also brought support for 64-bit (and maintaining 32-bit) Intel x86 and ARM platforms along with C++14 support. For those wanting to experiment with QNX 7, a BlackBerry kernel developer has been working on making this operating system more desktop friendly.
  • Building a BlackBerry QNX 7 Desktop
    Having Qt allowed me to port one of my favourite applications, SpeedCrunch. It was a simple matter of running ‘qmake’ followed by ‘make’. Next, I ported the QTermWidget library so that I could have terminal windows.

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Kernel explained
  • [Older] [Video] Audio on Linux: The End of a Golden Age?
  • State of Sway April 2017
    Development on Sway continues. I thought we would have slowed down a lot more by now, but every release still comes with new features - Sway 0.12 added redshift support and binary space partitioning layouts. Sway 0.13.0 is coming soon and includes, among other things, nvidia proprietary driver support. We already have some interesting features slated for Sway 0.14.0, too! Today Sway has 21,446 lines of C (and 4,261 lines of header files) written by 81 authors across 2,263 commits. These were written through 653 pull requests and 529 issues. Sway packages are available today in the official repos of pretty much every distribution except for Debian derivatives, and a PPA is available for those guys.