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Reviews

Endless OS Helps Tear Down Linux Wall

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OS
Reviews

The free version of Endless OS adheres to the free license policy. It includes preinstalled video and audio codecs that are free of patents. That can limit the types of files you can play. Non-included codecs are available for purchase at the Endless OS Store.

If you dislike managing frequent system updates and new release upgrades, you may have a special liking for Endless OS. As long as you have an Internet connection, the OS periodically checks for updates and automatically downloads and applies them in the background. You get a notification to restart.

Although this desktop design should be an ideal environment for touchscreens, Endless OS does not take to touch very well. This is a major feature weakness if you have a touchscreen laptop or desktop monitor.

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Tutanota: Encrypted Open Source Email Service for Privacy Minded People

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Reviews

If you are a privacy concerned netizen, try Tutanota. It is an open source email service for encrypted email communication. Here are the pros and cons of using Tutanota.
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KDE neon 5.12 review - Living on the edge

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KDE
Reviews

KDE neon 5.12 is a reasonable distro. It is MUCH better than Kubuntu Aardvark but not as sweet as my 2017 favorite, Zesty Zebra. That said, it had none of the horrible problems that I saw in the 17.10 release. It's fast, there were no real errors, you get multimedia playback out of the box, reasonable smartphone and network support, and the bleeding edge of what Plasma can deliver.

On the other hand, there are some really life-sapping annoyances in the system, which do not belong in year 2018, or even 2008 for that matter. Better hardware support is needed. The decorations need a cleanup. The software arsenal is thin. Discover needs a miracle. Overall, neon behaves like a developer-focused system, and it has that rough, test-commit feel about it. It does try to balance the best of all worlds - an LTS base combined with the latest Plasma, but that's no excuse for sloppy work or bugs.

It can do better, and we have the most splendid Kubuntu 17.04 as the golden benchmark from now on until the end of times, we few, we happy few, we band of geeks, for he who tests with me together, shall be my code brother, may his git ne'er be so vile, and the persons of all genders now in bed shall feel themselves accursed, and hold their VR sets cheap ... I think you get the idea. I got carried away. Let's summarize. KDE neon 5.12, fresh, cool, sleek, needs more apps, better package management, better overall peripheral support. But there's a lot of potential and hope, and I think we will see cool things in Plasma this year. 7.5/10. Worth checking.

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Honor 9 Lite review: Leader of the affordable Android pack

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Android
Reviews

As Huawei's budget brand, Honor handsets are well known for offering good value for money. With the Honor 9 Lite the 'good value' theme is raised a notch, thanks to an 18:9 aspect ratio 5.65-inch screen and no fewer than four cameras.

Judging by its name, you might expect the Honor 9 Lite to be a trimmed-down version of the Honor 9, but there are some significant variances that suggest the new handset is a step sideways rather than a step down.

The Honor 9's 5.15-inch 1,080-by-1,920 (16:9) screen is trumped here by a bigger, taller 5.65-inch 1,080-by-2,160 (18:9) display. There are also dual cameras front and back, whereas the Honor 9 only has dual rear cameras. At the time of writing the Honor 9 is selling for £349 (inc. VAT) direct from Honor, so the Honor 9 Lite's £199.99 looks very appealing.

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Huawei P Smart review

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Android
Reviews

With a decent 18:9 screen, the P Smart is a fine Android phone that should appeal to anyone looking for a cheap contract phone. However, the fact it’s so similar to the Honor 9 Lite (which costs £100 less when bought SIM-free) makes it hard to recommend, especially as the Honor has a couple of extra features – dual SIM and a second front camera – which the Huawei lacks.

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KaOS 2017.11 review - Chaotic and unfriendly

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Reviews

KaOS 2017.11 feels like a very buggy product. While I do like the Nvidia setup right from the start, this little gem is offset by pretty much everything else. Most other recent distros rarely had any issues with the LG RD510 laptop - apart from the ATA link reset on wake after suspend, which affects all of them - but KaOS is an exception to that rule with a rather depressing hardware record - Bluetooth, Wireless no-reconnect, smartphone support. And let's not even talk about Samba.

The responsiveness was quite bad, Kaptan did not work, and I wasn't enjoying the visual side of things one bit. In fact, I really do not understand the eye-killing choices that go with the default theme. All in all, there are very few redeeming factors to KaOS. If you're looking for something avant-garde, the Arch-based Antergos or Manjaro fit the bill rather well. If you want mainstream, Mint or Ubuntu or whatever. This falls somewhere in between, with nothing amazing in return. 2/10. Perhaps next time.

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Review: DietPi 6.1

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DietPi makes it extremely easy to turn a single board computer into many different things. Installing and configuring Nextcloud, Kodi, etc., only require a few very basic steps. Every software package I tried installed with few issues, and worked great once installed. DietPi does almost all the hard work for the user, which makes it a great option for running on any single board computer or as a virtual machine. If you are looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use operating system for your single board computer, you cannot go wrong with DietPi.

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Kudos to Namib Linux for Making Arch Approachable

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Reviews

Namib is an ideal Linux distro for anyone who wants to ease into the Arch approach to computing.

Namib is a newcomer -- the third and current release (version 17.11) arrived late last year. However, it makes up for its lack of age by its performance. Namib makes Arch simple.

Surprisingly very user-friendly as well as compatible with older computers, Namib also is very stable.

Since Namib is based on the Arch philosophy, it uses rolling releases so you do not have to reinstall the entire operating system every time a major update occurs. The Pacman package manager handles new system components along with security and application updates automatically.

Namib is very up to date.

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LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of PCLinuxOS

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PCLOS
Reviews

Definitely, check this distribution out whenever you get the chance. It doesn’t have all of the bells, whistles, and gimmicks that are found in other distros, but this one is still a very usable solid operating system. Installing it in VirtualBox wasn’t all smooth sailing; however, if you wish to install PCLinuxOS on a physical computer, you should have a positive experience with this Linux. Installing and updating packages to keep the system up to date is easy and straightforward, so is configuring your Plasma desktop.

The only major thing that occurred was not being able to enter the password when installing the bootloader. Minor issues did present themselves, but nothing that would greatly impact the overall experience with the system. So, PCLinuxOS isn’t perfect (well, what is?), but quite a solid distribution worth trying.

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Review: Solus 3 and the Budgie desktop

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Reviews

Solus is an independent, rolling release distribution. Solus's design is mostly aimed at home users who want a friendly desktop operating system. The distribution is available in three editions (Budgie, GNOME and MATE) and runs on 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. Each edition's installation media is approximately 1.2GB in size.

The project's latest release is Solus 3 which features support for Snap packages as well as more traditional packages managed by Solus's eopkg package manager, which is a fork of the PiSi package manager. There were many tweaks in this release with a number of improvements made to the application menu and searches. The Budgie edition also includes the ability to place the desktop panel on any of the four sides of the screen. There are more changes and tweaks listed, with accompanying screen shots, in the project's release announcement.

One of the reasons I wanted to try out Solus 3 and do it now is because I typically test rolling release distributions immediately after a new snapshot has been released. Solus 3 was made available back in August of 2017 and I was curious to see how well the distribution would handle being rolled forward several months and what changes might be visible between the August snapshot and Solus's current packages.

I decided to try out the Budgie edition of Solus. Booting from the Solus live media brings up the Budgie desktop with a panel placed along the bottom of the screen. The panel houses an application menu, task switcher and system tray. On the desktop we find a single icon for launching the project's system installer. I did not see any welcome screen or encounter any immediate issues so I jumped straight into the installer.

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Canonical Releases Major Kernel Security Update for Ubuntu 14.04 to Fix 26 Flaws

A total of 26 security flaws were fixed in today's kernel update for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS systems and derivatives, including an out-of-bounds write vulnerability in Linux kernel's F2F (Flash-Friendly File System) file system, a use-after-free flaw in Linux kernel's ALSA PCM subsystem, and an integer overflow in Linux kernel's sysfs interface for the QLogic 24xx+ series SCSI driver. Additionally, the kernel update addresses a use-after-free vulnerability in Linux kernel's SCTP protocol implementation, as well as a race condition in the LEGO USB Infrared Tower driver and a use-after-free vulnerability in the USB serial console driver, both allowing a physically proximate attacker to execute arbitrary code or crash the system with a denial of service attack. Read more

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Plasma Mobile Could Give Life to a Mobile Linux Experience

In the past few years, it’s become clear that, outside of powering Android, Linux on mobile devices has been a resounding failure. Canonical came close, even releasing devices running Ubuntu Touch. Unfortunately, the idea of Scopes was doomed before it touched down on its first piece of hardware and subsequently died a silent death. The next best hope for mobile Linux comes in the form of the Samsung DeX program. With DeX, users will be able to install an app (Linux On Galaxy—not available yet) on their Samsung devices, which would in turn allow them to run a full-blown Linux distribution. The caveat here is that you’ll be running both Android and Linux at the same time—which is not exactly an efficient use of resources. On top of that, most Linux distributions aren’t designed to run on such small form factors. The good news for DeX is that, when you run Linux on Galaxy and dock your Samsung device to DeX, that Linux OS will be running on your connected monitor—so form factor issues need not apply. Read more

Red Hat Leftovers