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Reviews

An Everyday Linux User Review Of Manjaro Linux - This Is Truly Stunning

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Linux
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I used to watch the Linux Help Guy videos on Youtube before he had to rename his channel for having a slightly racy background image in one of his video tutorials.

He swore by Manjaro Linux and after using it I can totally understand why. I am no big fan of KDE but this is really very very usable, to the point I will be entrusting this to my main machine over the top of Linux Mint.

Is it for everybody? You probably need to learn a little bit of command line, especially the inner workings of Yaourt and PacMan but other than that you should be golden.

This is the best Linux distribution I have used in quite some time.

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Review: Black Lab Linux 7.0.2 Xfce

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Linux
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Black Lab Linux is supposed to be a distribution that focuses on being easy to use and having a consistent user interface, with the hope of attracting users new to Linux. Unlike many other distributions, it offers professional support (for a fee), and also offers computers for sale that have Black Lab Linux preinstalled. As is typical, the distribution by itself is offered as a free downloadable ISO file, so that's what I tested here. I tested the 64-bit version using a live USB system made with UnetBootin; follow the jump to see what it's like.

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Antergos 2016.02.21

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Antergos Antergos is a cutting edge Linux distribution which is based on Arch Linux. The project creates a powerful desktop oriented operating system that supports several desktop environments and install-time add-ons. Around the middle of February the Antergos project released a snapshot carrying the version number 2016.02.19. At the time I downloaded the ISO image, but was unable to get the distribution to boot on my hardware. I then moved on to explore other projects, but then discovered the Antergos developers had released an updated ISO, this one labelled 2016.02.21. I downloaded this new ISO and found it booted on my test system and so proceeded to experiment with the distribution.

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KaOS 2016.01 review - The fallen angel

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Reviews

You do remember my Mint Rosa resolution, before it recovered majestically? Any distro that fails the basics shall not survive the ordeal or be committed to the disk, as it does not meet the minimum requirements for sane and healthy usage. In this regard, sadly, KaOS 2016.01 failed big time.

I like the way it looks, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are just too many bugs, too many problems, that even if the system had somehow installed nicely and without errors, I would still be probably highly skeptical of its ways. But then, it's a hypothetical discussion that won't be resolved today. I might get around to testing KaOS again, but surely not in the foreseeable future. And this most likely applies to any distro using Calamares or any beta-quality installers. That's a risk I'm not willing to accept. Grades wise, you know the score. This one is not on my recommendation short list. Peace.

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Netrunner 2016.1

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Linux
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I quite like Netrunner and I have become accustomed to the way you do things in the past week or so.

I am not that keen however on the KDE Plasma desktop. It still feels big and bulky and too in your face.

If you are want to have a look at the Arch world but not get your feet too wet then this is one way to do it but you are basically using Netrunner on top of Manjaro on top of Arch.

I wouldn't say this version of Netrunner is for the absolute beginner and it won't be everybody's cup of tea. I suspect the Debian version is for the masses and this version is for those who like to play.

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March Nexus 5X Android 6.0.1 Update: First Impressions

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Android
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At this point, I think it’s a no-brainer.

The March Nexus 5X Android 6.0.1 update doesn’t appear to have any major problems on board. Instead, it comes with important security patches and some tangible performance improvements.

If you’re feeling leery, wait a few more days for more feedback to emerge. I think most of you are going to be better off with this build on board but there’s no penalty for waiting.

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ReactOS 0.4.0

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OS
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The ReactOS project appears to be trying to recreate the experience of Windows 95 through to Windows 2000 as faithfully as possible and, from a look and feel perspective, the developers have done an amazing job. However, from a practical point of view ReactOS rarely delivered the functionality I would expect from its closed source cousin. The system refused to run on either of my test machines and, though it would install in VirtualBox, I regularly ran into system crashes, sound didn't work and most of the Windows applications I tried to run failed in some way. I have had better luck running Windows software with WINE on Linux boxes than I did with ReactOS.

In the end, while I admire the ReactOS team's attention to detail in recreating the Windows interface, I do not think running ReactOS is practical for most situations. WINE will run most Windows software passably well and there are lots of good open source alternatives to most closed source applications. Running an old copy of Windows in a virtual machine would probably offer a better experience in most circumstances. The one area where I think ReactOS would shine would be if a person needed to run a Windows clone on hardware that also required Windows specific drivers. ReactOS reports itself to be compatible with drivers written for Microsoft's operating system and I think that may prove to be the project's strong point. Some old systems are very particular when it comes to applications and drivers and I think ReactOS might fill in nicely in those situations.

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Remix OS Fills Android Desktop Void

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OS
Android
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Remix OS is a big step in the right direction. More than with any other Android-to-PC release I have tested, this beta version provides the most complete Android experience on a desktop PC.

You get the best of both computing worlds. Provided your hardware is compatible, you can run a very modern Android version on both legacy and more modern gear.

If you do not require persistent memory, you can use it as a pocket OS and load it from a USB or DVD without doing a hard-drive installation. You have the added advantage of a more satisfying user experience on a standard computer screen.

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More hands-on with the Raspberry Pi 3: Bluetooth, OpenELEC, and Ubuntu MATE

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Although I'm very pleased with the Pi 3, it is clearly still very early days for the new hardware. The one thing that every point listed above has in common is that they are all in need of an updated software release for one reason or another. So here's to the future!

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GNU
Linux
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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Red Hat News

Leftovers: OSS

  • Open-source vs. Proprietary – Keeping Ideology Out of the Equation
    Most users of software sensibly employ a mixture of software tools that span open-source, closed-source, proprietary, ‘free’ and in-house. Many modern software developers also decide to use a hybrid of open-source and proprietary models within an integrated code-base. Advocating either open-source only, or commercial only, software dogmas are both narrow-minded and unhelpful in allowing the researcher or the business the freedom to deliver the best outcomes.
  • Genode OS 16.05 Adds Rust Support, Updated Device Drivers
    Genode OS 16.05 has been released, the research Opearing System Framework project that's been making very good progress over the years and has a loyal open-source following. Genode OS 16.05 has a new API for implementing Genode components, improved documentation, all ported Linux kernel drivers were re-based to their state from Linux 4.4.3, added support for the Rust programming language, new ACPI features, and support for using GDB with the 64-bit version of their NOVA hypervisor.
  • Twitter open-sources Heron for real-time stream analytics
    Heron, the real-time stream-processing system Twitter devised as a replacement for Apache Storm, is finally being open-sourced after powering Twitter for more than two years. Twitter explained in a blog post that it created Heron because it needed more than speed and scale from its real-time stream processing framework. The company also needed easier debugging, easier deployment and management capabilities, and the ability to work well in a shared, multitenant cluster environment.
  • ONF to Release Guidelines for Deploying Secure SDN Controllers
    The Open Networking Foundation’s security working group is preparing to release guidelines for designing and deploying secure software-defined networking (SDN) controllers. The guidelines are currently in review and will be published in June, according to Sandra Scott-Hayward, vice chair of ONF’s security project.
  • What sets PatternFly apart from Bootstrap?
    Last June, Opensource.com gave readers a behind the scenes look of PatternFly, how it came to be, and why developers should know about the project. This time around, I thought it was important to hear from the people who are actually using PatternFly. This series aims to learn more about PatternFly through the eyes of the developer.
  • Open Source Bridge attracts unique speakers and attendees
    Next month, Open Source Bridge is kicking off its 8th year in Portland, Oregon from June 21-24, 2016. The Open Source Bridge conference focuses on topics surrounding building open source community and citizenship.
  • This open source cloud is receiving a lot of hype, but what is OpenStack?
    From being dubbed a science project to becoming one of the most popular open source projects to date. Since its inception in 2010, OpenStack has become a leading cloud option thanks to a broad ecosystem of vendors. OpenStack is basically an open source software platform designed for cloud computing. It is mostly deployed as Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
  • Amazon Debuts Flourish, a Runtime Application Model for Serverless Computing
    Flourish will be open source, and will be launched as a project on GitHub in the coming weeks.
  • EMC and smaller players planning open-source storage middleware
  • EMC Targets Cloud and IoT with UniK, an Open Source Unikernel Tool
  • Hadoop Market Forecasted to Grow at 45.5% CAGR for a Decade
    Another in a string of market research reports has arrived forecasting huge growth for Hadoop in the big data space, but not everyone agrees that Hadoop adoption is going so smoothly. Research and Markets has announced the "Global Big Data Analytics & Hadoop Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report. It finds that the Global Big Data Analytics & Hadoop Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 45.5% over the next decade to reach approximately $285 billion by 2025.

FOSS in 3D Printing

  • Open source wifi enabled 3D printer controller Franklin speeds up with new release
    3D printing hit the mainstream a few years ago thanks in part to the open-source 3D printer market. The origins of this transition had to do with expiring patents held by the traditionally held commercial 3D printing companies. Since then, several small businesses have sprung up around the emerging low-cost 3D printer market. Some of these companies embraced the open-source mentality, while others are seeking shelter with patents.
  • Hackaday Prize Entry: Open-Source Myoelectric Hand Prosthesis
    Hands can grab things, build things, communicate, and we control them intuitively with nothing more than a thought. To those who miss a hand, a prosthesis can be a life-changing tool for carrying out daily tasks. We are delighted to see that [Alvaro Villoslada] joined the Hackaday Prize with his contribution to advanced prosthesis technology: Dextra, the open-source myoelectric hand prosthesis.
  • BCN3D Technologies releases open source files for BCN3D Sigma 3D printer
    As our readers will know, an important part of the 3D printing community is the idea of accessibility. Of course, it is more than just an idea, as everyday makers around the world share their 3D designs and models for free, and even 3D printing companies exercise an open-source philosophy with DIY 3D printers and accessible models. Recently, Barcelona based 3D printer developer BCN3D Technologies decided to further embrace the additive manufacturing open-source philosophy with their latest initiative, Open Source 360º. As part of the initiative, the company has announced that it will share all of its engineering, design, and fabrication information used in the manufacturing of their flagship product, the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer.
  • Shellmo: Aquatic 3D printed robot for fun and education
    Recently I came across a very interesting open hardware project called Shellmo. What caught my eye was that it's a 3D printed crustacean that seems to have no apparent real world use, though with a little creativity I can see educational implications. Shellmo is a unique, almost cartoon-like creatures that could captivate the imagination of children while at the same time affording them an opportunity to 3D print their own robot. With the current emphasis on STEM in education, Shellmo appears to be the kind of project that would stimulate student interest.