Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Reviews

Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver - Canonical giveth, Canonical taketh

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

This review focuses on Ubuntu with Gnome 3 - and so I will leave my findings with the Unity desktop separate, except a single sentence: Unity is the desktop environment that 18.04 should have had, and everything else is a fallout consequence of that. So yes, Ubuntu Bionic Beaver is okay. But that's like saying paying mortgage for the rest of your life and then dying unceremoniously is okay. It's not okay. Mediocre has never been anything to strive for. EVER.

Ubuntu Beaver does a few things well - and with some updates, it's also polished up some of them early turds, as I've outlined in the Kubuntu review; hint, the same is ALSO happening in Kubuntu, and we may have a presentable offering soon. Yes to media, phones, app stack, package management. But then, the network side of things should be better, resource utilization should be better, the desktop should be more usable for ordinary humans. It's ridiculous that you NEED extensions to use Gnome 3, in addition to all the hacks Canonical introduced to make the system usable. So yes, if you wanna be mediocre go for it. 7/10. If not, wait for Kubuntu or MATE to get its game together, or stick Unity onto 18.04. More to follow soon.

Read more

DragonFly BSD 5.2.0

Filed under
Reviews
BSD

My experience with DragonFly this week was a lot like my experiences with other members of the BSD family. The system is lightweight, provides lots of useful documentation and gives us a minimal platform from which to build our operating system. The system was stable, fast and provided me with most of the software I wanted. Apart from DragonFly not working with my desktop computer's hardware, I had an overall good experience with the operating system.

I had mixed feelings about H2. At this point the file system seems stable and can be used for most common tasks. However, the advanced features that make the future of H2 look so appealing, are not all in place yet. So it might be best to wait another year before switching over to H2 if you want to make the most of snapshots and other advanced file system options.

DragonFly is typically regarded as a server operating system, and that is where its strengths lie. However, this week I feel it performed well as a desktop platform too. It takes a little while to set up DragonFly as a desktop, but the documentation walks us through most of the process and I was able to do everything I would typically do on Linux desktop distribution.

Read more

Also: Server maker IXsystems sets sail with new TrueNAS flagship

KDE Plasma 5.13 Looks Like an Awesome Update

Filed under
KDE
Reviews

The KDE Plasma 5.13 release is shaping up to be something rather special indeed.

Currently in development, KDE Plasma 5.13 serves as the next major release of the leading Qt/Qml desktop environment. The update features a stack of improvements, refinements and some innovative new functionality.

In this post we roundup the best KDE Plasma 5.13 features and changes, plus give you all the details on how to upgrade to Plasma 5.13 in Kubuntu and KDE Neon once it is released on June 12, 2018.

Read more

Also: First week of coding phase, GSoC'18

Hands-On with First Lubuntu 18.10 Build Featuring the LXQt Desktop by Default

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

The Lubuntu development team promised to finally switch from LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) to the more modern and actively maintained LXQt (Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment), and the switch is now official.

Lubuntu developer Simon Quigley approached us earlier today to inform that the latest Lubuntu 18.10 daily build is quite usable as he and his team did a lot of work in the past week to accommodate the LXQt desktop environment by default instead of the LXDE desktop environment.

The main difference between LXDE and LXQt is that the former is written with the GTK+ 2 technologies, which will eventually be phased out in favor of the more advanced GTK+ 3, and the latter is built using the Qt framework. However, it doesn't look like there are any plans for LXDE to move to GTK+ 3.

Read more

FreeBSD on the System76 Galago Pro

Filed under
Reviews
BSD

Hey all, It’s been a while since I last posted but I thought I would hammer something out here. My most recent purchase was a System76 Galago Pro. I thought, afer playing with POP! OS a bit, is there any reason I couldn’t get BSD on this thing. Turns out the answer is no, no there isnt and it works pretty decently.

To get some accounting stuff out of the way I tested this all on FreeBSD Head and 11.1, and all of it is valid as of May 10, 2018. Head is a fast moving target so some of this is only bound to improve.

Read more

Is GIMP’s 2.10 Release Catching up with Photoshop?

Filed under
GNU
Reviews

Of the many notable new features, GIMP 2.10 has ported most of its image processing capabilities to GEGL, a data flow based image processing framework that is free software (its source code is in GNOME git).

GEGL provides floating point processing and non-destructive image processing capabilities, “allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more”.

GIMP’s lack of multi-core processing has historically caused performance issues, which is a true deterrent in the graphics processing world.

Moreover, the program can now utilise parallel processing, which is a big deal for various reasons, namely, more efficient processor usage through use of multiple cores.

Read more

Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Review: The Perfect Blend of Ubuntu and Budgie Desktop

Filed under
Reviews

Ubuntu Budgie is perhaps the most obscure Ubuntu flavor. Have a look at the main highlights and user experience of the new Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie release.
Read more

Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Review: The Perfect Blend of Ubuntu and Budgie Desktop

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

Solus Linux is loved for many reasons. Its flagship desktop environment Budgie, in my opinion, is the biggest reason to love Solus. While there was no shortage of desktop environments in the Linux domain, the arrival and the acceptance of Budgie desktop environment by a widespread audience, clearly showed that there was a huge scope (or even a need?) for a modern, intuitive and non-intrusive desktop environment.

But all is not well in Solus land. Solus unlike a majority of Linux distros is not based on any other parent distro. Solus is written from scratch and has it’s own package management system and software repository. I loved Solus 3. But as an ardent Linux user, I need the latest packages and support from newer software, which, at the moment is not that good on Solus. The software repository is not as vast as that of Ubuntu. Also, the package manager itself needs to evolve.

Read more

Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver - Middle ground

Filed under
Reviews

Year 2016 was the year of Xfce. Year 2017 belongs to Plasma. This year, so far, it seems MATE is the innovative beast, and Xfce is sort of stagnated, without pushing the initiative. I think secretly the projects are afraid to make things better, because that will break the neverending cycle of development. After all, for devs, the only thing that matters is coding. User experience is an alien concept. And inside this gap, Xubuntu 18.04 fits perfectly. Which means not that well.

The distro did the basics okay - media, phones, apps. Package management can be better, battery life can be better, network support can be better, the visual side of things can be a whole lot better. There were way too many inconsistencies, and the distro lacks the love and fun that it used to have only a year ago. Is it apathy, exhaustion, mere luck? I don't know. But Xubuntu Beaver feels like a product of habit rather than love and passion. And it is not LTS solid. Plus very little actual innovation, which can sort of be excused, but then why all them bugs? Overall, Bionic behaves something like 6.5/10. Worth checking, but for the time being, the other lightweight option - Ubuntu MATE - seems more mature and fun ready. It will be quite interesting to see how things evolve over the coming months. Check it, don't expect any miracles.

Read more

Also:

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 15 May 2018
  • Top Snaps in April 2018

    In case you missed it, here are some of the snaps we featured during April 2018. Here you’ll find snaps to enhance your productivity, tools for creatives, IDEs for developers and games for the weekend.

    You can stay up to date with our editorial picks by following @snapcraftio on Twitter where we share three new and interesting snaps a week. We’d also love to hear what your favourite snaps are, perhaps you’ve found something we’ve missed.

Review: Fedora 28

Filed under
Reviews

For this review I used Fedora Workstation with a vanilla GNOME desktop environment, and I tried to use native GNOME applications as much as possible. I found vanilla GNOME to be a mixed bag. There were many aspects I really liked but there also a few things that made me cringe.

Let's start with the positives. The documentation is quite good - it is well written and covers all the basics. I also quite like how GNOME handles notifications; they are displayed underneath the clock and clicking on the clock brings up a menu that shows recent notifications. The notification area is also used to display calendar appointments and what music is playing. At first I saw the notification area as an ugly, humongous monster but I grew to like it.

Most GNOME applications are pretty, and the absence of toolbars and buttons encouraged me to learn various keyboard shortcuts. After a few hours I no longer missed the minimise button on windows - using the Super-H shortcut is quicker and easier than clicking with the mouse on a minimise button. GNOME applications also use a pleasantly consistent work flow. For instance, applications such as Files, Music and Photos all give you the option to mark items as a "favourite", which in effect is a handy bookmarking system. Similarly, to perform a search in applications such as Files, Web and Software you simply start typing. It takes a little time to get used to but it soon becomes second nature. Having to use the Ctrl-F keyboard combination to do a search now feels a little slow.

That said, I don't buy into the "distraction-free" philosophy. The GNOME desktop certainly looks very clean - there is just one panel with a few items. Personally, though, I like to be able to open applications with the click of a button, and I like to see what applications I have got open at all times (whether via a dock or task bar). I can't get used to constantly opening the "Activities overview" to access applications, work spaces and the search menu. It feels like I am using a mobile phone desktop environment on a PC.

My main gripe with GNOME, though, are applications such as Photos. In Shotwell, I can instantly see how many photos I have. I can easily find images by browsing to the relevant directory. I can choose which directories photos are imported from, and if Shotwell's toolbars become too overwhelming I can simply hide them. GNOME Photos has stripped all these functions and assumes that I am happy to spend hours organising my photo collection in a new way, by adding them to albums. And then Photos doesn't even find images in the directory it is supposed to automatically retrieve images from.

Of course, this is my personal opinion, and it is more about GNOME than it is about Fedora. As I mentioned in the introduction, I like Fedora for its release cycle, package manager and because it is at the forefront of many new technologies. I work in a web hosting environment with many CentOS and CloudLinux servers, and Fedora seems a natural fit. Plus: GNOME can be tweaked.

As for Fedora itself (sans-GNOME), it seems Fedora 28 is another solid release. I upgraded one my PCs from version 27 to 28 without any issues. SELinux hasn't thrown any mysterious alerts at me yet. Updates are applied quickly and cleanly and just about all software I want to use is available. It is a pleasantly boring experience.

I also like where Fedora is going with the third party repositories. Fedora's project leader, Matthew Miller, recently talked on the Late Night Linux podcast about how Fedora is trying to find the right balance between software freedom and providing a functional system. He was unapologetic about the third party repos: "[...] being a theoretical, pure freedom distribution that doesn't actually work on anybody's hardware doesn't help anybody." I very much agree and hope Fedora will add more third party repositories. At the same time I would like to see better integration of Flatpak repositories and applications.

Finally, I should mention that there are various Fedora spins. If you don't like GNOME, you have the option to install Fedora with the KDE, Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon or Sugar on a Stick desktops.

Read more

Syndicate content