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Reviews

Forked Debian Beta Is Rough Around the Edges

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Reviews
Debian

You can get the Devuan Jessie beta download and all installers.

The Xfce desktop is a perfectly fine environment. In combination with the installed base, Xfce worked fine with the Devuan beta release.

More polish and growth of the Jessie version is needed, however, before Devuan can succeed as an independent Linux distro in its own right. Until then, the beta and what may follow are an interesting footnote in yet another Linux family line.

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Ubuntu 16.04 - The Good, The Bad And The Not Quite So Ugly

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The Good

The developers do appear to listen to their users. Everything that people have asked for in the past few years has been implemented in one way or another.

The Bad

This is a long term support release and it feels like it isn't quite ready. I find it hard to believe that nobody working on Ubuntu tried a clean install, followed by installing some of the more popular applications like Chrome, Dropbox and Steam.

The Not Quite So Ugly

The Software Centre has gone.

This would have been great as a point release, say a 16.10 or a 17.04 because you expect some experimentation and you expect the odd cock-up.

The LTS release should be ready to go from day one with only minor issues. Sadly that isn't the case.

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FreeBSD 10.3's new features

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Reviews
BSD

FreeBSD is a venerable operating system, often deployed on servers due to the project's focus on performance and stability. At the beginning of April the FreeBSD project released version 10.3 of their operating system. The release announcement for FreeBSD 10.3 mentioned several features and improvements which caught my attention. Specifically the availability of ZFS boot environments, 64-bit Linux compatibility and jail improvements were of interest to me. I was especially eager to try out FreeBSD's new jails technology using the iocage front-end. The iocage software has been presented as an improvement on (and replacement for) Warden, a friendly front-end for handling jail environments.

I already reviewed FreeBSD 10.0 when it was launched and so I plan to skip over most aspects of the new 10.3 release and focus on the key features I listed above, along with the notable changes I encounter. The new release is available in many different builds, ranging from x86 and ARM, to SPARC and PowerPC. For the purposes of my trial I downloaded the 2.6GB DVD image of FreeBSD's 64-bit x86 edition.

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First impressions of FreeBSD 10.0

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Reviews
BSD

The BSD family of operating systems is typically reputed to be conservative, stable and dependable. FreeBSD typically embodies these characteristics quite well, showcasing reliability and offering few surprises. That being said, the latest release of FreeBSD, version 10.0, introduced a few important changes which I felt deserved a look. Some of the new features shipping with FreeBSD 10.0 included support for ZFS on the root file system, TRIM and LZ4 compression support for ZFS, virtualization improvements and a new package manager. The latest version also swaps out the venerable GNU compiler for the Clang compiler on supported architectures. The 10.0 release is available for several architectures, including x86, Power PC and Sparc. I was interested in the x86 releases which can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit builds. We can further narrow our selection by downloading either a CD-sized ISO or a 2.2 GB ISO image. I opted to try the larger image for my trial.

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Review: Rebellin Linux v3 GNOME

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Linux
GNOME
Reviews

Last week, I finished and passed my generals! This not only means that I can continue doing research here with a roof over my head and with money to feed myself; it also means that I now have the time to get back to doing reviews and posting about other things here. I'm starting this week by reviewing Rebellin Linux.

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Plasma 5.6 Makes KDE Plasma Desktop Environment More Powerful, Beautiful And Useful

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KDE
Linux
News
Reviews

Plasma has always been the talk of the town for its sleek and cutting edge look. KDE Plasma among all other Linux Desktop Environments have always stood out for its continuous development. The latest release of KDE Plasma is 5.6 which includes some new features, tweaks and fixes. Plasma desktop is also highly customizable so that you can customize it the way you need it to be.

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BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition Black review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Weighing in at just over a pound, the Aquaris M10 isn’t an unwieldy tablet, but it doesn’t strike us as lightweight either. It’s definitely a two-hand device, considering the acreage of its 10.1-inch display. Trying to use it with one hand is a sure way to induce wrist cramps and other discomfort.

The Aquaris M10 has a glossy display, while the rear of the device bears a matte finish, allowing for both an improved grip and a more flattering appearance. The device is painted black for the full HD version, while the standard HD version has a bleach white finish. If you were hoping for a higher resolution and the snow-coated exterior, you’ll be hopelessly out of luck.

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Simplicity Linux Digs Deeper Than Its Puppy Linux Pals

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Linux
Reviews

I liked earlier versions of Simplicity Linux. They remain very usable computing options. The X and Mini versions are equally capable but offer a different look and feel.

The LXDE desktop consumes little system resources. It loads into system memory when possible to run fast and furious without having to read from the CD/DVD or USB storage.

Simplicity Linux is generally easy to use, but the Puppy Linux-centric software requires a bit of a learning curve for users used to Debian Linux derivatives.

If you are looking for a solid computing experience other than the X and the Mini editions in the 16.04 betas releases, check out previous Simplicity Linux releases. They offer the Puppy Linux base but include other changes, such as Google Chrome as the default browser.

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Ubuntu 16.04 proves even an LTS release can live at Linux’s bleeding edge

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Reviews
Ubuntu

A disappointing trend has become clear to Linux users in recent years. Whenever Canonical offers a new Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release, it tends to be conservative in nature. (See our Ubuntu 14.04 review, which earned a "Missing the boat on big changes" headline.) Apparently no one wants to try to support a brand new, potentially buggy piece of code for half a decade.

The last few Ubuntu releases haven't been LTS rollouts, yet Vivid Vervet (15.04) and Wily Werewolf (15.10) also short-changed users in the way of new features. So when Canonical officially released the latest Ubuntu LTS version (Ubuntu 16.04 or Xenial Xerus) this spring, similar expectations loomed. Frankly, this could potentially be the most boring Ubuntu release to date.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.7

So, after a slight delay due to my travels, I'm back, and 4.7 is out. Despite it being two weeks since rc7, the final patch wasn't all that big, and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There's a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving. Appended is the shortlog since rc7 for people who care: it's fairly spread out, with networking and some intel Kabylake GPU fixes being the most noticeable ones. But there's random small noise spread all over. Read more Also: Linux 4.7 Kernel Officially Released

today's leftovers

Leftovers: More Software

  • PSPP 0.10.2 has been released
    I'm very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.
  • Skype For Linux Alpha Update Adds ‘Close to Tray’, Call Settings, More
  • Hamster-GTK 0.10.0 Released
    Just a few seconds ago the initial release of Hamster-GTK, version 0.10.0, has been uploaded to the cheese shop. That means that after the rewritten backend codebase hamster-lib has been out in the wild for a few days by now you can now have a first look at a reimplementation of the original hamster 2.0 GUI. It will come as no surprise that this current early version is rather unpolished and leaves a lot to be desired. However, if you are familiar with legacy hamster 2.0 aka hamster-time-tracker you will surely see some major resemblance.
  • Core improvements in digiKam 5.0
    Version 5.0.0 of the digiKam image-management application was released on July 5. In many respects, the road from the 4.x series to the new 5.0 release consisted of patches and rewrites to internal components that users are not likely to notice at first glance. But the effort places digiKam in a better position for future development, and despite the lack of glamorous new features, some of the changes will make users' lives easier as well. For context, digiKam 4.0 was released in May of 2014, meaning it has been over two full years since the last major version-number bump. While every free-software project is different, it was a long development cycle for digiKam, which (for example) had released 4.0 just one year after 3.0. The big hurdle for the 5.0 development cycle was porting the code to Qt5. While migrating to a new release of a toolkit always poses challenges, the digiKam team decided to take the opportunity to move away from dependencies on KDE libraries. In many cases, that effort meant refactoring the code or changing internal APIs to directly use Qt interfaces rather than their KDE equivalents. But, in a few instances, it meant reimplementing functionality directly in digiKam.
  • MATE Dock Applet 0.73 Released With Redesigned Window List, Drag And Drop Support
    MATE Dock Applet was updated to version 0.73 recently, getting support for rearranging dock icons via drag and drop (only for the GTK3 version), updated window list design and more.
  • Minimalist Web Browser ‘Min’ Sees New Release
    The Min browser project has picked up a new update. Version 1.4 of the open-source, cross-platform web browser adds browser actions and full-text search.
  • Docker adds orchestration and more at DockerCon 2016
    DockerCon 2016, held in Seattle in June, included many new feature and product announcements from Docker Inc. and the Docker project. The main keynote of DockerCon [YouTube] featured Docker Inc. staff announcing and demonstrating the features of Docker 1.12, currently in its release-candidate phase. As with the prior 1.11 release, the new version includes major changes in the Docker architecture and tooling. Among the new features are an integrated orchestration stack, new encryption support, integrated cluster networking, and better Mac support. The conference hosted 4000 attendees, including vendors like Microsoft, CoreOS, HashiCorp, and Red Hat, as well as staff from Docker-using companies like Capital One, ADP, and Cisco. While there were many technical and marketing sessions at DockerCon, the main feature announcements were given in the keynotes. As with other articles on Docker, the project and product are referred to as "Docker," while the company is "Docker Inc."