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Reviews

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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Manjaro 17.0.2 KDE Review: Looks Gorgeous, Responsive & Power Efficient (A Little Slow to Boot, Though)

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Reviews

My biggest concern over Manjaro 17.0.2 KDE is the 50+ seconds of boot-up times. It’s a concern to me only because I can’t put my laptop computer to sleep due to that Focaltech touchpad issue. So when I take a break (say for about 20-30 minutes), I’m forced to keep the laptop turned ON. If I’m somewhat low on battery, then I’m forced to plug in the charger (yes I’m talking from the two weeks+ experience I’ve had so far with Manjaro). That said, even if you have a troublesome Focaltech touchpad, if you’re going to install it into an SSD then I guess it’s not much of a concern at ll anyway. Other than that, this a gorgeous looking, responsive, power efficient and one of the stablest KDE distributions I’ve had used so far!

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Nokia 5 review: A great-looking Android smartphone that's tantalisingly cheap

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Android
Reviews

Nokia’s first Android smartphones are on their way. The entry-level model, the Nokia 3, is on sale now for £119.99. The next step-up is the Nokia 5, which goes on sale on 16 August. The Nokia 6 is the highest-specced of the three first handsets and is on sale on 2 August for £219.99.

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Long-Term Review: Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" MATE

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Linux
Reviews

A little over two weeks ago, I made the decision on what Linux distribution to install and use full-time on my personal laptop. I chose Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" MATE, because I felt that while it could do a bit better for total newbies in terms of usability (as some usability features have regressed since a couple of years ago), it has been a reliable and known quantity for me, and I figured that if I could generally use the live session without much hassle, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch (no pun intended) to imagine that the installed session would likely be workable. As I've covered most of the experiences of installing and using programs and getting around the desktop in my review of the live session, this post will be relatively short, covering only the salient points of the installation and some of the changes I made after the installation. Follow the jump to see more.

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Find your happy place: Fedora 26 has landed

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Red Hat
Reviews

Review Fedora 26, released recently, is a welcome update on the already very nice 25.

As with Fedora's last couple of releases, there are three major ways to get Fedora 26 – Workstation, Server and Atomic Host. The Workstation release is aimed at desktop users and, by default, will install the GNOME desktop. Server and Atomic Host target, yes, servers and container-based deployments respectively.

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Review: Calculate Linux 17.6 KDE

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Gentoo
Reviews

Calculate Linux is a Gentoo-based distribution. The project's slogan is "Easy Linux from the source," which refers to the fact that Calculate is relatively easy to use but still benefits from Gentoo's powerful and flexible source-based Portage package manager.

Calculate recently celebrated its tenth birthday and released Calculate Linux 17.6. The distro comes in four flavours; apart from a desktop and server edition there's Calculate Scratch ("for those who want to build a customized system that works for them") and Calculate Media Center ("for your home multimedia center"). Each version is available for the x86_64 and i686 architectures and uses SysV init rather than systemd. The desktop edition has ISOs for the KDE, Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce desktop environments - GNOME is presumably not available because of its dependency on systemd. I opted for the 64-bit KDE version, which is just over 2GB in size.

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Qubes OS 3.2

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Reviews

All in all, the Qubes OS team did an awesome job on integrating all this things so far. The security of the App VMs is not better than the security of the corresponding Template operating systems. However, if a App VM gets an issue, it does not affect the others. If you plan to do weird things, you can use a disposable VM where all changes gets discarded afterwards. It is very easy for anybody to create App VMs without network for example. And this is something I would like to use ever since I stumbled over Firejail which provides app-specific sandboxing.

In general, the documentation of Cubes OS is awesome. I learned a lot and I had to. Cubes OS is nothing to set-up by aunt Martha. You have to have deeper technical understanding to set-up the system. Afterwards, anyone is able to use it with a short introduction to the basic guidelines.

Of course, I found some usability issues and some bugs here or there. But overall, Cubes OS is a valid option for a security purist or a privacy-aware person.

When Qubes OS meets my personal requirements, it complicates things though. For example the file server/client architecture adds complexity you don't have to maintain within a personal computer.

Accessing USB devices, network printers and so forth is cumbersome as well.

You have to set your priorities. Wink

Will I install it on my notebook or desktop and use it on a daily basis? My notebook would be cool since it is in potential harmful environments such as WiFi networks I don't control. On the other side, I do need USB flash drive access with good usability and need to connect to projectors.

My home server/computer runs 24/7 and could profit from Cubes OS since I got many different things running on this machine. I could separate those domains. Working in offline VMs with applications that don't need network is also a very nice thing to have. The USB flash drive thing is also a big thing here. Restricting to LAN access only would be fine. System crash resulting in an encrypted system that does not boot any more is a no go.

Well, I am not convinced yet. Probably I stick to Debian 9 or I do find the urge to come around the issues and find a Qubes OS setup which serves me well.

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Also: [Video] 3 BILLION LINUX USERS!!! (Intro to Endless OS)

Leftovers: Ask the Linux Foundation and Review of Damn Small Linux

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GNU
Linux
Reviews
  • Questions about SysAdmin Training from The Linux Foundation? Join the Next #AskLF

    His #AskLF chat will take place the Monday after SysAdmin Day: a professional holiday the organization has recognized for years.

  • Damn Small Linux A Lightweight Linux Distro For Old Computers

    By the name yes it’s really small and lightweight (had to utter this word too “damn!”). Damn Small Linux is a distro that offers a GUI based OS for low resource systems and some applications for normal users task-alike. It’s designed with the intention to pack all the modern features under 50 MB.
    ​Well, that may sound crazy but you cannot rely on it as a primary OS if you have a recent modern hardware. Instead take a U-turn now and see what Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSUSE has to offer.

    Damn Small Linux latest version is v4.11rc2 and development has been in a long pause since 2015. Don’t be put off by that because that’s how some people roll. Slow and steady until they sort things out.

Peppermint Eight – Stairway to Cloud

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Reviews

I must admit that Peppermint Eight left much better impression on me than Peppermint Three five years ago. To a certain extent it also benefits from the global improvement of cloud-based web solutions.

The distribution itself ran smoothly without any visible glitches or hiccups worth mentioning.

The only "but" that I would like to mention here is that Peppermint is too strongly Google-oriented. There are some other cloud-based Office and Email solutions. Adding links to them in the default operating system would not require too many resources, but would at least pretend giving the user some choices.

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SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success

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Linux
Reviews

SharkLinux OS is a cool display of innovation and design. The developer boasts that he never used a physical keyboard in making his distro. Petit developed it exclusively in a cloud environment accessed from his Samsung Galaxy Android smartphone.

Even if you do not have a big commitment to cloud services, SharkLinux OS offers an excellent computing platform for everyday tasks. It is an easy rival to other Linux distros.

Instead of versioning its releases, SharkLinux offers a base system that you can upgrade or convert. The base includes primarily standard Ubuntu releases with all upstream software being offered by way of optional installs and upgrades.

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