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Reviews

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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LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of The Week - NeptuneOS

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OS
Reviews

We want a nice looking distro, don’t we? We want a distro that does the best work when it comes to stability. Don’t we? Here we come across NeptuneOS, a Linux distro based on Debian with KDE desktop environment. As we all know when it comes to stability, there are a lot of fewer distros that can match Debian. Also being based on Debian, the number of compatible software increase a lot.

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Linux Mint 18.2 "Red" Sonya - Distro the Destroyer

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Linux
Reviews

Let us a-go distro-testing! Today, we focus on Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya, freshly released with a nice sprinkling of Cinnamon on the proverbial distro pudding. For years, this was one of the best performing distributions, offering a complete experience to the Linux user. Lately though, the experience has been slightly less amazing. Serena was just ok.

But then, this spring testing season - slowly moving into the summer, cue Vivaldi music - has been pretty good overall. The Ubuntu flock seems to be behaving reasonably, with the Flagship Ubuntu and in particular the KDE-flavored Kubuntu offering a splendid revival of hope and quality. Armed with this foreknowledge, we commence.

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Fedora 26

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Red Hat
Reviews

Fedora 26 is a great release of one of the major Linux distributions. Yes, the differences between Fedora 26's and Fedora 25's Workstation variants are minimal, but the few changes that are there are solid reasons to upgrade. For users interested in different desktop environments, Fedora's various spins provide a solid Fedora core experience with different desktop environments on top. The LXQt spin in particular is an interesting new addition to the Fedora family and is worth checking out. Though, the real star of this release is the Python Classroom Lab, which is a wonderful way to provide a Python programming environment for classrooms. Even when running off live media, it is very functional, making it a great way to temporarily turn a few general purpose computers into a lab for teaching programming without a lot of work.

If the worst thing I can say is that Fedora 26 is boring, I think the developers have done a great job. I really look forward to the next few releases of Fedora, which should be much more interesting, assuming planned developments actually make it into the releases.

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Nokia 3 review

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Android
Reviews

The Nokia 3 is the lowest-end of Nokia's new line of Android phones. It's on sale in the UK for £120, but you will have to make sacrifices for that price. That converts to $156 or AU$200, although Nokia has no plans to bring the phone to the US.

The biggest problems are in the processor performance. The quad-core chip struggles to run even the stock version of Android Nougat, making swiping around the interface sluggish and stuttery. There's a noticeable delay when opening apps, too, and some apps -- including the Google Play store -- forced quit on several occasions. I found it regularly frustrating.

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Solus 2017.04.18.0 review - Second time lucky?

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Reviews

Solus 2017 looks like a nice distro, with some obvious visual caveats and tiny functional quirks. It's reasonable enough than I'm determined to test it on non-UEFI hardware, where I'll hopefully have more luck. But on a UEFI platform, it seems hopeless. I don't know there should be a problem when so many other distros do just fine without any issues. Solus seems to be a special snowflake, and it does not cooperate well with a modern and complex system.

All in all, I cannot recommend the distro, because the outcome may still be harmful. If a distro cannot install properly, the results can be unpredictable. My testing shows some very favorable things, and Budgie looks quite all right now, but as a package, Solus just doesn't handle UEFI well. I'll report back after a third, and hopefully lucky test, but you are warned to carefully proceed until the hardware side has been polished. Double sigh. Maybe another another time.

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Also: A Short Review of Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" Cinnamon LTS

Debian 9 Stretch - Not by a long stretch

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Reviews
Debian

Debian 9 Stretch is a horrible disappointment. It's a completely unusable product in my scenario, and I see no real reason why I should bother using it. Ubuntu and friends offer a superior experience. Perhaps Debian serves a purposes somewhere, but I fail to see it. What really irks me is that in six or so years since I've last tried it, it's as if nothing at all has changed. Exactly the same kind of issues, only different hardware and kernel modules.

Perhaps without Debian we wouldn't have Ubuntu and such. For that matter, we also wouldn't have pyramids without slaves. But that does not mean we should be grateful for slavery in giving us big stony architecture. Similarly, Debian may be a baseline for many other distributions. But on its own, without a thick layer of customization and changes, it fails horribly on the desktop. This test makes me sad and angry. Because I know an end when I see one. It's still a few years away, but it will inevitably come. Anyway, completely not recommended. My last venture into Debian this way. We're done.

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Review: Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" MATE

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Linux
Reviews

The quest for a replacement Linux distribution for Linux Mint 13 LTS "Maya" Xfce continues. With this post comes a review of the latest MATE edition of Linux Mint. Especially for regular readers of this blog, Linux Mint needs no introduction. I will just say that with the latest point release, it seems like the developers have put more polish into the distribution, including their new set of "X-apps" meant to work across MATE, Cinnamon, Xfce, and GNOME, avoiding the pitfalls of more DE-specific applications. I want to see what has changed since my last review and to see whether this would be suitable for installation and daily use on my laptop. To that end, I made a live USB system (again, on my new SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drive) using the "dd" command. Follow the jump to see what it's like. Note that I'll frequently reference that previous review, noting only changes and overall important points as needed.

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Moto Z2 Play review - Android Authority

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Android
Reviews

Lenovo and Motorola brought their modular functionality concept to the mid-range with the Moto Z Play last year. This device was one of our favorite value smartphones of 2016, and now its successor, the Moto Z2 Play, features some key improvements and even more Moto Mod accessories.

However, Motorola seems to have made a few compromises this time around. The Z2 Play has a much smaller battery than before, and also went up in price. Will this be another home run like the original Z Play, or did the company make too many compromises? Find out, in our full Moto Z2 Play review!

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AndEX Puts Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 64-Bit on Your PC with GAPPS and Netflix

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has released a new build of his Android-x86 fork AndEX that leverages Google's Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 mobile operating system for 64-bit PCs with various updates and improvements. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Advancing with Open Source
    For today’s system administrators, the future holds tremendous promise. In this ebook, we have covered many technical skills that can be big differentiators for sysadmins looking to advance their careers. But, increasingly, open source skillsets can also open new doors. A decade ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst predicted that open source tools and platforms would become pervasive in IT. Today, that prediction has come true, with profound implications for the employment market. Participating in open source projects -- through developing code, submitting a bug report, or contributing to documentation -- is an important way to demonstrate open source skills to hiring managers.
  • FreeType Improvements For The Adobe Engine
    With FreeType 2.8.1 having been released last week, a lot of new code landed in the early hours of today to its Git repository. The code landed includes the work done this summer by Ewald Hew for Google Summer of Code (GSoC 17) adding support for Type 1 fonts to the Adobe CFF engine. Type 1 is an older, less maintained font format.
  • Are You Fond Of HDR Photography? Try Luminance HDR Application In Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    Luminance HDR is an graphical user interface that is used for manipulation and creation of High Dynamic Range(HDR) images. It is based on Qt5 toolkit, it is cross-platform available for Linux, Windows and Mac, and released under the GNU GPL license. It provides a complete workflow for High Dynamic Range(HDR) as well as Low Dynamic Range (LDR) file formats. Prerequisite of HDR photography are several narrow-range digital images with different exposures. Luminance HDR combines these images and calculates a high-contrast image. In order to view this image on a regular computer monitor, Luminance HDR can convert it into a displayable LDR image format using a variety of methods, such as tone mapping.
  • Opera Web Browser Now Has Built-in WhatsApp and FB Messenger, Install in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
  • Enterprise open source comes of age
    In the age of digitalisation and data centre modernisation, open source has come of age. This is demonstrated by the growth that enterprise open source software provider SUSE has enjoyed over the last months. “SUSE is in good shape,” says Nils Brauckmann, CEO of SUSE. “In the last year, revenue grew at 21%, and it was profitable growth.” Business is positive going forward, he adds, with SUSE now part of the larger mothership Micro Focus group following the completion this month of the HPE Software spin merger. “Micro focus is now the seventh-largest pure-play software vendor in the world, with revenues approaching $4,5-billion,” Brauckmann points out.
  • Red Hat, Microsoft Extend Alliance to SQL Server
  • UbuCon Europe 2017
    I’ve been to many Ubuntu related events before, but what surprises me every time about UbuCons is the outstanding work by the community organising these events. Earlier this month, I was in Paris for UbuCon Europe 2017. I had quite high expectations about the event/location and the talks, especially because the French Ubuntu community is known for hosting awesome events several times a year like Ubuntu Party and Ubuntu install parties.
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today's howtos

Korora 26

  • Korora 26 is Here!
  • Linux Releases: “Lightweight” Tiny Core 8.2 And “Heavyweight” Korora 26 Distros Are Here
    Korora Linux distro is a derivative of popular Fedora operating system. It ships with lots of additional packages that are provided by Fedora community and helps the users to get a complete out-of-the-box experience. The developers of Korora Linux distro have just shipped Korora 26 “Bloat.” Bloat codename has been derived from the characters of the movie “Finding Nemo.”
  • Based on Fedora 26, Korora 26 Linux Debuts with GNOME 3.24, Drops 32-Bit Support
    Korora developer Jim Dean announced the release and general availability of the Korora Linux 26 operating system for personal computers, a release based on the latest Fedora Linux version and packed full of goodies. Dubbed "Bloat," Korora Linux 26 comes more than nine months after the release of Korora 25, it's based on Red Hat's Fedora 26 Linux operating system and ships with the latest versions of popular desktop environments, including GNOME 3.24. Also included are the KDE Plasma 5.10, Xfce 4.12, Cinnamon 3.4, and MATE 1.18 desktop environments, all of them shipping pre-loaded with a brand-new backup tool designed to keep your most important files safe and secure from hackers or government agencies.