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Reviews

Ubuntu 16.10 Review: Not Bad, But if You’re Happy with 16.04 LTS, Stick with it!

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Reviews
Ubuntu

After the previous 16.04 Long Term Release, Ubuntu has rolled out its latest ‘short term’ (my own naming convention for the non-LTS releases) version 16.10. Mainly, the ‘short term’ releases are only supported for 9 months and usually include software applications with their recent updates.

When you release a new version of your operating system within every 6 months, usually there isn’t a lot of room for adding major changes. And that is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions these days, and Ubuntu 16.10 release is no exception. Since Unity is based on the user application set provided by GNOME desktop environment, according to the release notes, the underlying GNOME user applications have been upgraded to the version 3.20 at least (which is the case with the file manager -- ‘files’, for instance) and some others have been upgraded to the version 3.22 which is the latest release of GNOME currently.

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Open-source storage that doesn't suck? Our man tries to break TrueNAS

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Server
OSS
Reviews

Review Data storage is difficult, and ZFS-based storage doubly so. There's a lot of money to be made if you can do storage right, so it's uncommon to see a storage company with an open-source model deliver storage that doesn't suck.

I looked at TrueNAS from iXsystems, which, importantly, targets the SMB and midmarket with something that is theoretically more resilient than a Synology. That's really odd. Not a lot of companies do that, so it intrigued me.

I'd also had a few interesting conversations with some Reg readers about the dearth of storage offerings for the "small, but not Synology small" business space.

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Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Maui, the Netrunner Kubuntu replacement, is an inviting alternative. It is both new and already accomplished. The developers took a Kubuntu distro that was well-oiled but at the end of its development line to the next level.

That should make adopting the Maui Linux distro a less risky option. Most other Linux distros are moving in the new direction of Wayland, Systemd and such. Maui's developers are already there.

Maui 1 is very stable and easy to use. It is a well-stocked distribution with an established library of KDE software.

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Google Pixel review: Bland, pricey, but still the best Android phone

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Google
Reviews

Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again).

Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.

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Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Overall, I want to congratulate the Ubuntu MATE development team on really working hard to nail the user experience. This is one of the better distributions out there and a great example for others with regards to the Welcome app and the initial introduction to the system. If you are looking for a solid desktop environment to explore, be sure to give Ubuntu MATE a try, it's an excellent distribution.

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Elementary OS 0.4 Loki - Ragnarok

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

It is elementary, dear readers. The formula for creating the perfect distro. If only so. But people are trying, and among the many who are striving to transform Linux is the bunch behind elementary. Prettiness be their middle name, and they even have a rad (not) .io domain for their website. Silly stuff aside, you can even buy the distro if you want.

In the past, elementary OS seems to have charmed my readers more than it did me. You kept on asking, and again, we have a recurring pattern of emails hitting my inbox. Well, let us test again, then, shall we. G50 machine, Loki release.

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GNU/Linux Review: Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak desktop version is released today October 13th 2016. It is a regular release, supported for 9 months (until July 2017), bringing dual desktop environments, Unity 7 and Unity 8. This review covers 9 points, mainly about Ubuntu Yakkety bringing the new desktop environment Unity 8 on top of the new Mir Display Server plus many information you may find useful. Yakkety includes Unity 8 as a testing purpose, so every user can feel how Unity 8 is at a glance. Overall, this new Ubuntu release is already suitable for desktop use (Unity 7 only) but really not suitable for low-RAM computers.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

If you are an active PPA user and rely on third party repositories, it's best to wait a month or so before you proceed with installing this release. It often takes a bit for third party developers to get caught up and release packages for new versions so hold off a bit before proceeding.

Overall, I'd say this felt like a typical Ubuntu release, at least from a desktop perspective. The inclusion of the 4.8 Linux kernel is probably one of the biggest changes, which Linux.com covered quite well in their article here: https://www.linux.com/news/new-linux-kernel-48-plus-kernel-killing-bug

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WattOS: A Rock-Solid, Lightning-Fast, Lightweight Linux Distro For All

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Reviews

Although WattOS is designed to give life to older hardware, there’s no reason why it couldn’t serve on a modern desktop...and serve it well. With a next-to-zero learning curve, WattOS is instantly familiar, blazingly fast, and rock solid. Give this small footprint Linux distro a try; I’m confident you’ll be equally impressed. And if you find WattOS not fast enough (something I cannot imagine happening), you can always give Microwatt a go (an even lighter, lightweight distribution).

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elementary OS 0.4: Review and interview with the founder

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OS
Interviews
Reviews

Last month the elementary team released elementary OS “Loki” 0.4.

Needless to say, I wasted no time downloading and installing that bad boy on one of my machines. Even though I tend to use openSUSE on most of my desktops and laptops, I’ve had a soft spot for elementary since its very first release. It’s always been a high-quality, polished system—and the team behind it clearly care a great deal about the user experience.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Lenovo Cloud Director: Open Source Technologies Are The Glue That Binds The Hybrid Cloud
    Hardware giant Lenovo is banking on a future where both public and private clouds are critical in driving IT innovation, and the glue binding those hybrid environments is mostly open source technologies. Dan Harmon, Lenovo's group director of cloud and software-defined infrastructure, encouraged solution providers attending the NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo on Wednesday to explore opportunities to engage Lenovo as its products stock the next generation of cloud data centers. Both public and private clouds are growing rapidly and will dominate the market by 2020, Harmon told attendees of the conference produced by CRN parent The Channel Company.
  • Cloudera Ratchets Up its Training for Top Open Source Data Solutions
    Recently, we've taken note of the many organizations offering free or low cost Hadoop and Big Data training. MIT and MapR are just a couple of the players making waves in this space. Recently, Cloudera announced a catalog of online, self-paced training classes covering the company's entire portfolio of industry-standard Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark training courses. The courses, according to Cloudera, allow you to learn about the latest big data technologies "in a searchable environment anytime, anywhere." Now, Cloudera has announced an updated lineup of training courses and performance-based certification exams for data analysts, database administrators, and developers. The expanded training offerings address the skills gap around many top open source technologies, such as Apache Impala (incubating), Apache Spark, Apache Kudu, Apache Kafka and Apache Hive.
  • Netflix’s open-source project Hollow, NVIDIA’s deep learning kits for educators, and new IBM Bluemix integrations—SD Times news digest: Dec. 6, 2016
  • Open governance enhances the value of land use policy software
    In December 2015, the COP21 Paris Agreement saw many countries commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives in the land sector. In this context, emissions estimation systems will be key in ensuring these targets are met. Such solutions would not only be capable of assessing past trends but also of supporting target setting, tracking progress and helping to develop scenarios to inform policy decisions.
  • Blender Institute collaborate with Lulzbot in the name of open source
    Blender Institute, a platform for 3D design and animation, are collaborating with Lulzbot 3D printers. This project a continuation of Lulzbot and Blender Institute’s approach to open source and aimed at enhancing collaboration. The Blender Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is an important figure in the Free and Open Source Software community (FOSS). Providing open source design tool software for 3D movies, games, and visual effects. While Lulzbot, a product line of Aleph Objects take an open source approach to hardware through their 3D printers.
  • Bluetooth 5 Specification Released

Remembering Linux Installfests

Ah, yes. I remember the good old days when you had to be a real man or woman to install Linux, and the first time you tried you ended up saying something like “Help!” or maybe “Mommmmyyyyy!” Really, kids, that’s how it was. Stacks of floppies that took about 7,000 hours to download over your 16 baud connection. Times sure have changed, haven’t they? I remember Caldera advertising that their distribution autodetected 1,500 different monitors. I wrote an article titled “Monitor Number 1501,” because it didn’t detect my monitor. And sound. Getting sound going in Linux took mighty feats of systemic administsationish strength. Mere mortals could not do it. And that’s why we had installfests: so mighty Linux he-men and she-women could come down from the top of Slackware Mountain or the Red Hat Volcano and share their godlike wisdom with us. We gladly packed up our computers and took them to the installfest location (often at a college, since many Linux-skilled people were collegians) and walked away with Linuxized computers. Praise be! Read more

What New Is Going To Be In Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus'

Right on the heels of Ubuntu 16.10 'Yakkety Yak' is Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus. Ubuntu 17.04 is currently scheduled for release on April 13, 2017 but know that this is only an estimate. One thing to know is that all things being equal, it is going to be released in April 2017. Ubuntu Zesty Zapus will be supported for only 9 months until January 2018 as it is not a LTS (long term support) release. Read
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Security News

  • News in brief: DirtyCOW patched for Android; naked lack of security; South Korea hacked
  • Millions exposed to malvertising that hid attack code in banner pixels
    Researchers from antivirus provider Eset said "Stegano," as they've dubbed the campaign, dates back to 2014. Beginning in early October, its unusually stealthy operators scored a major coup by getting the ads displayed on a variety of unnamed reputable news sites, each with millions of daily visitors. Borrowing from the word steganography—the practice of concealing secret messages inside a larger document that dates back to at least 440 BC—Stegano hides parts of its malicious code in parameters controlling the transparency of pixels used to display banner ads. While the attack code alters the tone or color of the images, the changes are almost invisible to the untrained eye.
  • Backdoor accounts found in 80 Sony IP security camera models
    Many network security cameras made by Sony could be taken over by hackers and infected with botnet malware if their firmware is not updated to the latest version. Researchers from SEC Consult have found two backdoor accounts that exist in 80 models of professional Sony security cameras, mainly used by companies and government agencies given their high price. One set of hard-coded credentials is in the Web interface and allows a remote attacker to send requests that would enable the Telnet service on the camera, the SEC Consult researchers said in an advisory Tuesday.
  • I'm giving up on PGP
    After years of wrestling GnuPG with varying levels of enthusiasm, I came to the conclusion that it's just not worth it, and I'm giving up. At least on the concept of long term PGP keys. This is not about the gpg tool itself, or about tools at all. Many already wrote about that. It's about the long term PGP key model—be it secured by Web of Trust, fingerprints or Trust on First Use—and how it failed me.