Reviews

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

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

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Linux
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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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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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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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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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Kali Linux 1.0.7 review

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Security

The latest update to Kali Linux was released a few days ago. Kali Linux 1.0.7 review is a summary review of the main features of this latest upgrade to the security distribution from Offensive Security, a security and penetration training outfit based somewhere on this third rock from the Sun.

The main feature introduced in Kali Linux 1.0.7 is the ability to transfer the system to a USB stick with encrypted persistence.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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An Everyday Linux User Review of Makulu Linux 6 - Imperium Edition

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There are hundreds and hundreds of Linux distributions available at this point in time. Most users stick with the major Linux distributions. But what is a major Linux distribution?

Off the top of my head I can think of Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch, openSUSE, PCLinuxOS, Zorin, Elementary, Mageia, Slackware, Gentoo and Puppy. Then there are the Ubuntu spin-offs such as Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Gnomebuntu and Edubuntu

Behind all these distributions there are a host of other distributions that you may have heard of but not yet tried. Peppermint, Manjaro, Point Linux, Crunchbang, Kali, Bodhi, Knoppix, SLAX, SolydXK, Antix, Chakra, OS4, Korora, KWheezy and SparkyLinux. I could go on and on.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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System76 Galago UltraPro: Powerful Linux laptop but not quite an ultrabook

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Linux
Hardware
Reviews

When I set out to find a new laptop, I was looking for an ultrabook --a 13-inch powerhouse with plenty of battery life and a gorgeous screen. On top of everything, it had to run Linux.

That search led me to the System76 Galago UltraPro. Although not technically an ultrabook (it's too big, doesn't have ultrabook-level battery life, and doesn't contain a solid state drive). What it does have is elegance and power to spare...to the tune of besting most currently available ultrabooks. And, like all System76 devices, it runs Ubuntu Linux.

Let's take a look at what's good and bad with the Galago UltraPro.

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Review: DuckDuckGo Compared to Google, Bing, Yandex

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Web

If you are reading this article, you’ve probably already heard of DuckDuckGo. Internet users that stick with the status quo usually don’t look any farther than the first search option offered by their web browser. On the other hand, inquisitive users that depend on the Internet for statistics, comparisons, and hidden pearls of useful information are probably all too familiar with the perks and pitfalls of the current Internet search engines. DuckDuckGo was nothing more than a miniscule blip on the radar of demanding Internet searchers since its inception in 2008. However, the recent scandal of NSA monitoring resulted in a massive influx of users defecting to DuckDuckGo. And a major refresh of DuckDuckGo’s interface in May, 2014 also attracted the attention of many new users, including myself. So, how does DuckDuckGo compare to the big players in the Internet search engine field? Will users who prefer DuckDuckGo for privacy related issues find what they are searching for? And are there any advantages to using DuckDuckGo based solely on the merits of its interface and search result quality? That’s what we hope to determine in this article.

Leftovers: Screenshots

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Ubuntu Studio 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr : Video Review and Screenshot Tour

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu Studio 14.04 LTS trusty tahr is the latest version official ubuntu-derived that based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Ubuntu Studio is free and open source operating system based on ubuntu that dedicated for users and professionals who want an operating system that already includes several open source software for managing and editing multimedia files.

Along with all the other ubuntu flavors such Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin and Ubuntu GNOME. Ubuntu Studio 14.04 also come with LTS (long term Support) version, it mean will be supported for 3 years.

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wattOS R8 review – Debian greenie

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Debian

Lightweight Linux distributions are inherently energy saving. By definition you’re using a fewer resources to run your system, which in turn requires less power and electrical draw. Throw in some power-efficient hardware and idle power draw will be minimal. These lightweight systems – while naturally energy-conserving – don’t normally include any specific optimisations for power saving. This is where wattOS comes in.

While also lightweight, wattOS strives to strike a balance between conservative code and usability. The net result is a little less wattage while idle and a longer-lasting laptop battery when disconnected. It’s the usability part that is very important to wattOS: something like Puppy Linux or Tiny Core may likely be less resource-intensive while idle, however you need to make some level of sacrifice regarding the desktop and available software to use these distros.

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