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Reviews

A look at OpenSUSE based Gecko Linux

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Reviews
SUSE

I was sitting at home writing future articles for Ghacks and I decided on a spur of the moment whim that I wanted to try out a distribution I had never touched before.

I’ve tried countless systems over the years, from the typical Ubuntu and Debian based systems, to Arch based systems like Manjaro, even Gentoo based systems like Sabayon.

However, I was thinking about it and OpenSUSE used to be one of my favourite distributions to use but I’ve never actually sat down and tried a respin of an OpenSUSE based system; so I started digging around into what some popular ones were...And Gecko Linux caught my eye.

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The Price of Freedom — A Review of the Librem 15 v3

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Hardware
Reviews

Purism is a wild startup located in South San Francisco. Their mission? Providing a superior hardware experience for people who love privacy and software freedom. Purism is building and shipping GNU/Linux laptops, and is interested in developing a phone as well.

The Purism campaign originally launched on CrowdSupply late 2014. Since then, the company has shipped two revisions, and now offers three different models to choose from: an 11-inch convertible tablet, a 13-inch laptop, and a 15-inch powerhouse.

For a few years, I have strongly desired having a quality Linux laptop that has great hardware. So, I’ve taken the plunge on getting the latest 15-inch Librem model from Purism.

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A Quick Look At Ubuntu MATE 17.04

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Ubuntu

​Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. It is ideal for those who want the most out of their computers and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements, it is suitable for modern workstations, single board computers and older hardware alike. Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and older computers still usable.

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Videos of Linux Lite 3.4 and Mageia 6

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Moto Z2 Force Edition review: Solid Android smartphone for Moto Mod users

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I still have an evaluation Moto Z Force Droid from Verizon that I use occasionally to test Moto Mods and the Verizon network. It was one of my favorite devices from last year thanks in large part to the Moto Mods support, stock Android experience, and long battery life.

The new Moto Z2 Force Edition is similar to the Moto Z Force Droid, but thankfully is launching on other carriers besides Verizon. It also supports Moto Mods and has a stock Android experience, but comes with a much smaller battery. After a week of use, see my first impressions from last week, it is a good successor to the Z Force Droid and on my top five list for 2017.

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Linux Mint 18.2 KDE - what else can you desire?

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Linux
Reviews

Linux Mint is the distribution that tops the Distrowatch rating year after year. Its release cycle was following the Ubuntu releases for many years, including the non-LTS versions. But since the version 17 back in 2014 they only release Linux Mint based on Ubuntu LTS versions, currently Ubuntu 16.04, and then refresh the distribution every 6 months with newer packages.

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Nokia 5 Review: Is Affordable Android In A Stylish Case A Smart Return To Form?

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Android
Reviews

Announced back in February, the first Android phones from Nokia are finally with us. Well, almost.

The entry-level model, the Nokia 3, is on sale now. The next step-up is the Nokia 5, which goes on sale in some countries, including the UK, on August 16. The Nokia 6 is the highest-specced of the lot and is on sale this week.

All are keenly priced, and none is the flagship that is coming. That’s almost certainly to be revealed on August 16 [LINK] though there are some leaks already [LINK].

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Asus ZenWatch 3 review: basic is as basic does

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Android
Reviews

Asus finally got around to updating the ZenWatch 3 to Android Wear 2.0. I’ve been wearing it on and off (no pun intended) for a couple months now, and I have been waiting patiently to see if the new software would change the experience of this smartwatch before publishing a review.

It basically didn’t. It’s a fine enough smartwatch, providing most of the things I really care about in a smartwatch. I have a particular set of things I care about, and they might not line up with what you want. For me, it’s a simple list:

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Set up web services quickly with UBOS 11

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Reviews

Some people might think that UBOS is targeting less experienced users with its talk of quickly and easily setting up popular web services at home. At least that was my initial impression of the project's mission. However, I came to realize that UBOS makes certain admin tasks very fast and convenient, but not necessarily beginner friendly. Running UBOS means using the command line and being comfortable with the Linux command line tools. The UBOS project does provide us with documentation for using the ubos-admin software which is very useful, but we are not given manual pages or guides for other commands. This means UBOS users should already be comfortable working from a terminal, but do not necessarily need to know anything about setting up an Apache web server or web applications.

For the most part, UBOS does a good job of making it quick and easy to set up a handful of web services. What would usually take me twenty minutes to install, configure and test takes less than five minutes with UBOS and I appreciate this time saving technology. The ability to backup multiple websites and their databases in seconds with one command is also a very welcome feature.

There were downsides to using UBOS I ran into. One was the distribution refusing to reboot after services were installed. The second was the issue I ran into where I could not install new services once web applications had already been installed. This seems like a restriction which would get in the way in any situation where we want to experiment with new applications.

A final issue I ran into was UBOS currently does not offer many pre-packaged services. There are, at the time of writing, eight available web services we can install and configure with a single command. This is a good start, but I hope more services are added later, perhaps for other blogging software, development tools and other common web services. The basics many home users are likely to want are already in UBOS's inventory and I hope the selection is expanded to appeal to a wider audience in the future.

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SparkyLinux 5: Great All-Purpose Distro for Confident Linux Users

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Linux
Reviews

Other factors make using SparkyLinux 5 a smart decision. One is its use of a rolling release schedule that pushes the latest packages and edition upgrades as they are ready, without requiring a complete reinstallation.

Starting out, I referred to SparkyLinux as one of the best full-service Linux distros available. Of course, that is a subjective evaluation, but having installed and tested the latest editions of countless Linux distros on a weekly basis for years, I've developed a sixth sense for what makes a great choice and what does not.

SparkyLinux 5 is one of those great choices. Check it out.

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More in Tux Machines

Oracle: New VirtualBox 5.2 Beta, SPARC M8 Processors Launched

  • VirtualBox 5.2 to Let Users Enable or Disable Audio Input and Output On-the-Fly
    Oracle announced new updates for its popular, cross-platform and open-source virtualization software, the third Beta of the upcoming VirtualBox 5.2 major release and VirtualBox 5.1.28 stable maintenance update. We'll start with the stable update, VirtualBox 5.1.28, as it's more important for our readers using Oracle VM VirtualBox for all of their virtualization needs. The VirtualBox 5.1 maintenance release 28 is here to improve audio support by fixing various issues with both the ALSA and OSS backends, as well as an accidental crash with AC'97.
  • SPARC M8 Processors Launched
    While Oracle recently let go of some of their SPARC team, today marks the launch of the SPARC M8. The initial SPARC M8 line-up includes the T8-1, T8-2, T8-4. M8-8, and SuperCluster M8-8 servers.

Wikileaks Releases Spy Files Russia, CCleaner Infected, Equifax Has a Dirty Little Secret

  • Spy Files Russia
    This publication continues WikiLeaks' Spy Files series with releases about surveillance contractors in Russia. While the surveillance of communication traffic is a global phenomena, the legal and technological framework of its operation is different for each country. Russia's laws - especially the new Yarovaya Law - make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.
  • Malware-Infected CCleaner Installer Distributed to Users Via Official Servers for a Month
    Hackers have managed to embed malware into the installer of CCleaner, a popular Windows system optimization tool with over 2 billion downloads to date. The rogue package was distributed through official channels for almost a month. CCleaner is a utilities program that is used to delete temporary internet files such as cookies, empty the Recycling Bin, correct problems with the Windows Registry, among other tasks. First released in 2003, it has become hugely popular; up to 20 million people download it per month. Users who downloaded and installed CCleaner or CCleaner Cloud between Aug. 15 and Sept. 12 should scan their computers for malware and update their apps. The 32-bit versions of CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 were affected.
  • Equifax Suffered a Hack [sic] Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed
  • This is why you shouldn’t use texts for two-factor authentication

    For a long time, security experts have warned that text messages are vulnerable to hijacking — and this morning, they showed what it looks like in practice.

Amazon Changes Rental ('Cloud') Model on GNU/Linux

Devices/Hardware: Embedded/Boards, CODESYS, and EPYC Linux Performance

  • Linux friendly IoT gateway runs on 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC
    While the MB-80580 SBC lists SATA II, the gateway indicates SATA III. Also, the gateway datasheet notes that the RS232 ports can all be redirected to RS232/422/485. Software includes Windows IoT Core and Server, as well as Yocto, Ubuntu Snappy Core, and CentOS Linux distributions.
  • Rugged panel PC scales up to a 19-inch touchscreen
    The fanless, IP65-rated WinSystems “PPC65B-1x” panel PC runs Linux or Win 10 on a quad-core Atom E3845, and offers 10.4 to 19-inch resistive touchscreens.
  • CODESYS announces CODESYS-compatible SoftPLC for open Linux device platforms
  • EPYC Linux performance from AMD
    Phoronix have been hard at work testing out AMD's new server chip, specifically the 2.2/2.7/3.2GHz EPYC 7601 with 32 physical cores.  The frequency numbers now have a third member which is the top frequency all 32 cores can hit simultaneously, for this processor that would be 2.7GHz.  Benchmarking server processors is somewhat different from testing consumer CPUs, gaming performance is not as important as dealing with specific productivity applications.   Phoronix started their testing of EPYC, in both NUMA and non-NUMA configurations, comparing against several Xeon models and the performance delta is quite impressive, sometimes leaving even a system with dual Xeon Gold 6138's in the dust.  They also followed up with a look at how EPYC compares to Opteron, AMD's last server offerings.  The evolution is something to behold.
  • Opteron vs. EPYC Benchmarks & Performance-Per-Watt: How AMD Server Performance Evolved Over 10 Years
    By now you have likely seen our initial AMD EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarks. If you haven't, check them out, EPYC does really deliver on being competitive with current Intel hardware in the highly threaded space. If you have been curious to see some power numbers on EPYC, here they are from the Tyan Transport SX TN70A-B8026 2U server. Making things more interesting are some comparison benchmarks showing how the AMD EPYC performance compares to AMD Opteron processors from about ten years ago.