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Reviews

Neon: the naked KDE

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KDE
Reviews

I had nothing to complain about the technical part of KDE Neon Live run. It was smooth and fast. There were no glitches or unexpected delays (apart from one - I cannot remember the exact details).

However, the lack of the very basic software makes me stop from recommending this distribution to the beginners. It may be a good distribution for those users who know their way in the Linux world well, who are confident in what they need and how to get it themselves.

Do you recognise yourself in the first or the second category of Linux users?

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Antergos 17.9 Gnome - Ghost riders in the Tux

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Reviews

Antergos 17.9 is a weird distro, full of polarities. It comes with a weak live session, and it does not really demo what it can do. The installer is good, robust, and if offers some neat tricks, including extra software and proprietary graphics driver. I'm really impressed by that. The installed system behaved reasonably, but with some oddities.

Hardware support isn't the best, most notably touchpad and what happened after waking from suspend. On the other hand, you get good smartphone and media support, a colorful and practical software selection, a moderately reasonable package manager with some tiny dependency hiccups, pretty looks, okay performance, and nowhere does it advertise its Archness. Much better than I expected, not as good as it should be. Well, taking everything into consideration, I guess it deserves something like 7.5/10. Antergos needs a livelier live session, more hardware love out of the box, and a handful of small tweaks around desktop usability. Shouldn't be too hard to nail. Worth watching.

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BackSlash Linux Olaf

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Reviews

While using BackSlash, I had two serious concerns. The first was with desktop performance. The Plasma-based desktop was not as responsive as I'm used to, in either test environment. Often times disabling effects or file indexing will improve the situation, but the desktop still lagged a bit for me. My other issue was the program crashes I experienced. The Discover software manager crashed on me several times, WPS crashed on start-up the first time on both machines, I lost the settings panel once along with my changes in progress. These problems make me think BackSlash's design may be appealing to newcomers, but I have concerns with the environment's stability.

Down the road, once the developers have a chance to iron out some issues and polish the interface, I think BackSlash might do well targeting former macOS users, much the same way Zorin OS tries to appeal to former Windows users. But first, I think the distribution needs to stabilize a bit and squash lingering stability bugs.

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TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 Review: a Powerful Ultrabook Running TUXEDO Xubuntu

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Reviews
Ubuntu

There is no doubt that the TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 is not a powerful ultrabook, providing good value for the money. And having it shipped with a Linux OS pre-installed makes your Linux journey a breeze if you're just getting started with exploring the wonderful world of Open Source software and GNU/Linux technologies.

There are a few issues that caught our attention during our testing, and you should be aware of them before buying this laptop. For example, the LCD screen leaks light, which is most visible on a dark background and when watching movies. Also, the display is only be tilted back to about 120 degrees, which might be inconvenient for the owner.

The laptop doesn't heat up that much, and we find the backlit keyboard with the Tux logo on the Super key a plus when buying a TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13. Of course, if you don't need all this power, you can always buy any other laptop out there and install your favorite Linux OS on it, but it's not guaranteed that everything will work out of the box like on TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13.

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Mageia 6

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MDV
Reviews

Mageia 6 is very nice. While not much different from many of the other modern distributions, it comes with enough polish and extra features to make it worth checking out. The Welcome to Mageia application and Control Center make the distribution very friendly for new Linux users. Similarly, the ease of enabling non-free and tainted packages also makes it a good choice for anyone looking to quickly set up a fully functional system. While I cannot personally attest to their usefulness, users switching from Windows might find the various importing tools helpful for making their transition to Linux. If you are looking for a new distribution to try out, or want to take your first foray into the world of Linux, give Mageia 6 a try, you will not be disappointed.

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Kubuntu Zesty & HP Pavilion setup - Very, very sweet

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Reviews

I only have good things to share here. It wasn't the most trivial of tests: a system that is seven years old, runs a dual-boot setup with tons of old data, lots of hardware that needs tender care. But it was a breeze - literal and figurative, he he. I had the drivers sorted like a charm. The system is reasonably fast and fully usable. All the peripherals properly behave. Fun stuff, extra software, wicked looks.

Now imagine what this distro can do if you give it ultra-modern hardware. That will be the topic of my future laptop purchase. Whenever it happens, whatever Kubuntu version will be the default out there, I shall attempt to twine the two. I am not deluding myself that Linux can replace Windows in every aspect. Far from it. But the combo shall make for a splendid workhorse, and that's what I aiming for. My current tests, and this one in particular, show that Zesty has all the right ingredients to be the perfect match.

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Porteus: portability for pros

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Reviews

Porteus 3.2.2 left a very strange feeling in my heart.

From one side, it ran smoothly, very fast (from-memory) and crashed nowhere.

On another side, complexity with installation of additional software is definitely a show-stopper for many inexperienced Linux users.

Have you used Porteus yourself? How do you like it?

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A look at TAILS – Privacy oriented GNU/Linux Distribution

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Reviews
Security
Debian

The Amensic Incognito Live System, is a Debian based distribution that routes all internet traffic through the TOR network, and leaves no trace of its existence or anything done on the system when the machine is shut down. The obvious aim in this, is to aid in keeping the user anonymous and private. Tails is not installed to a users computer, but instead is run strictly as a LiveUSB / LiveDVD.

TAILS does not utilize the host machines Hard Disk at all, and is loaded entirely into RAM. When a machine is shut down, the data that is stored in RAM disappears over the course of a few minutes, essentially leaving no trace of whatever had been done. Granted, there is a method of attack known as a Cold Boot Attack, where data is extracted from RAM before it has had a chance to disappear, but TAILS has you covered on that front too; the TAILS website says,

“To prevent this attack, the data in RAM is overwritten by random data when shutting down Tails. This erases all traces from your session on that computer.”

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Trying Out Ubuntu 17.10 On A Laptop One Month Ahead Of Release

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Curious around the GNOME Shell desktop and improvements made during the Ubuntu 17.10 cycle in transitioning away from Unity 7 and X.Org to GNOME and Wayland, I took the recently-reviewed Razer Blade Stealth laptop and tried out the very latest Ubuntu desktop daily ISO on this Intel laptop. Here are my initial impressions of the current Ubuntu 17.10 desktop experience as well as some power/boot/performance benchmarks of 17.10 in its daily state compared to Ubuntu 17.04 on this Kabylake system.

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Bodhi Linux With Moksha Is Truly Enlightening

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Linux
Reviews

Bodhi Linux is a very functional alternative to the run-of-the-mill distro offerings. It will extend users' comfort zones as they get familiar with its different computing procedures. Newcomers to Linux, not knowing how Linux "is supposed to work," actually may have an easier time gaining proficiency in using this Enlightened approach to computing.

The Midori browser by default loads a help file with wiki-like links to some startup information. That file is part of the installation content, so new users can access the quick start guide and FAQ topics even if they are not able to access a wireless Internet connection.

Minimum hardware specs include a 500-Mhz processor with 256 MB of RAM and 4 GB of drive space.

Recommended specs are a 1.0-Ghz processor with 512 MB of RAM and 10 GB of drive space.

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Canonical Releases Major Kernel Update for Ubuntu 16.04 to Fix 13 Security Flaws

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Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD