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Reviews

Shotcut review: This open-source video editor is impressive

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OSS
Reviews

Shotcut is an open-source, free video editing program that has been around for more than a decade. It’s not the most intuitive or professionally presented, but beneath its rough presentation lies a remarkably powerful program.

When you first start Shotcut, you might be surprised at what you don't see—very little of its interface is exposed in the beginning. But click on the buttons in the top bar, and you’ll find numerous views and UI elements that prove to be much more robust than you’d guess at first glance. They’re resizable and undockable, making this one of the most heavily customizable free video editing programs out there.

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Review: heads 0.3.1

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Reviews

heads is a live Linux distribution which can be run from a DVD or USB thumb drive. The distribution connects to the Internet through the Tor network. This helps protect the identity and location of the person using heads. The heads distribution is very similar to its popular sibling, Tails, in its mission, but heads has some special characteristics which set it apart. The heads distribution is based on Devuan while Tails is based on Debian, which means heads uses the SysV init software rather than systemd. The heads project is also dedicated to shipping a distribution which features free software only, as the heads website explains:

Non-free software can not be audited and as such cannot guarantee you security or anonymity. On the other hand, with heads you only use free software, meaning you can gain access to any source code that is included in heads, at any time. Using free software it is far easier to avoid hidden backdoors and malware that might be in non-free software.

heads is available in a single edition which is 831MB in size. When booting from the project's ISO, we are given the option of booting heads normally from the disc or loading the distribution into RAM. The latter option frees up our removable drive and can make applications load faster after the initial boot process has completed.

The distribution boots to a command line interface and automatically logs us in as a user called luther. On the screen we are shown the root account's password along with commands we can run to launch a graphical interface. The default shell for the luther account is zsh, a less common shell than bash, but often loved for its additional features. heads ships with the Awesome and Openbox window managers and we can choose which one we wish to launch from the command line. I focused on using Openbox during my trial.

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Manjaro Linux - One Of The Finest Linux Distros

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Linux
Reviews

I must say I am quite impressed with the latest iteration of Manjaro. The experience is fluid and smooth, fast and clean and it is very organized. I even found the experience on the Deepin edition better than on the Deepin distro. Manjaro clearly signifies why Arch-based distros that take them away out of the installation are becoming so popular.

A simple installation process, access to Arch based features such as AUR and added to the fact that it is a rolling-based distro makes it a winner for me. I also love that all the major desktop environments are available on Manjaro allowing users to choose what they want. If you were on the fence about Manjaro, I believe it's viable as your working desktop and it is definitely worth checking out. Thanks for reading and share your thoughts and comments with us.

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Fedora 27 Gnome - Downhill and down

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Red Hat
Reviews

Fedora 27 is another in a long string of passionless, apathetic, badly stitched autumn releases that just make the Linux desktop look ever sadder and less relevant than ever before. Tons of hardware problems, crashes, bleak and useless UI, fonts and color problems, broken Samba. On the upside, media and smartphone support is good, performance is reasonable for an ancient box, and Nvidia drivers setup was elegant.

But remember, this is 2017. You need tons of extra, unofficial software just to make the desktop usable, there are so many inconsistencies it drives me mad, and if you just compare across the board, there's literally NOTHING in common with any which distro. For me, Fedora 24/25 was the highlight of this system, a brief glimmer of hope. If you feel the need, go ahead, but I'd say skip, wait, cry. Grade 2/10. On to the next tribulation.

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POP!_OS - Ubuntu, bang, curtain

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Reviews

POP!_OS is a rather average Gnome spin of a Gnome-based Ubuntu, which itself is a pale shadow of its former self. System76 did create their own operating system, but it is not drastic enough to warrant a special place in the charts as an independent entry - this is true for 94% of all distros - and not good enough in the first place. It does somewhat improve Aardvark, but it's still a weak offering.

We had hardware issues before we ever got into the live session, all sorts of hardware problems in the installed system, the ergonomics are awful, Samba performance is flaky, overall system responsiveness is average. Package management and updates are rather robust and good and so is smartphone support, but then you need Gnome extensions and codecs to really experience the desktop as it's meant to be. All in all, you can accomplish all of this on your own in any which Gnome, or use something that actually has a sane layout and offers genuine productivity, like Plasma or Windows.

This is an interesting experiment, but ultimately, I can't see a reason why anyone would prefer this over stock Ubuntu (with Unity, a good ole 14.04 LTS), Plasma or even any other tailored Debian-based Gnome system. The differences aren't large or important enough, and there are way too many bugs and issues, making it an even more difficult choice. Overall, POP!_OS deserves something like its 4/10 for its debut. There's only so much you can do with a broken foundation. Well, let's see how this one evolves. For now, skip.

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Kali Linux Review: Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

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Reviews

In this review of Kali Linux, we try to answer regular questions like what is Kali Linux, what is the use of Kali Linux and whether beginners should use Kali Linux or not?
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LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of Nitrux Linux

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Nitrux Linux Distribution At first redden, this specific Linux appropriation appears to be a greater amount of an analysis than whatever else — to indicate how much the KDE desktop can be changed to take after any semblance of the Elementary OS or MacOS desktops. At its heart, in any case, it's considerably more than that.

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Review: Pop!_OS 17.10

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Pop!_OS is a new Linux distribution from System76, a company that has been in the Linux hardware business for twelve years. Until recently, System76 computers shipped with Ubuntu as the only pre-installed operating system option, but now System76 is taking more control over the user experience offered on their computers by releasing their own Ubuntu-based distribution. I was recently at All Things Open, a technology conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, where System76 had a booth. At their booth, they had Pop!_OS 17.10 running on a laptop for people to try. Their booth was very busy, but during one of their brief lulls, I went over to their booth and had a brief chat, and I got one of the USB flash drives they were giving out with the Pop!_OS installation image on it.

For this review, I installed Pop!_OS 17.10 using the flash drive I got at All Things Open, but Pop!_OS ISOs are available to download on the System76 website. They have an image for computers with Intel and AMD graphics and a separate image for computers with NVIDIA graphics. The NVIDIA image comes with the proprietary NVIDIA drivers pre-installed. The Intel/AMD image is 1.75GB and the NVIDIA image is 1.91GB.

I should note that while System76 does sell hardware, a System76 computer is not required to run Pop!_OS. The testing for this review was done using the Lenovo Ideapad that I currently use for all of my reviews. There were no compatibility issues beyond a problem with my laptop's webcam that is consistent across every Linux distribution I have tried.

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Also: Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver"

Ubuntu Unity Remix 18.04: Quick Look, More Info & Download Links

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Reviews
Ubuntu

First, I like Unity. While I saw news about Unity 7 abandonment and Canonical's decision to use GNOME instead, I believed that someday a new Ubuntu with Unity 7 will come. The Ubuntu Unity Remix is now likely the answer to my expectation. So this new Unity 7 revival project makes me happy and I believe, many of you will be happy too. Second, my expectation is of course Ubuntu Unity Remix to become official flavor next year. Third, I hope the developers could provide 32bit version so the users using old computers can still use it. Fourth, finally, let us help the development of Ubuntu Unity Remix by informing the others about it or by directly joining the team. Thank you Ubuntu Unity Remix developers!

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Also: Fans of “Unity Desktop” Are Working on a New Remix

Hands On with Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon and MATE

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Linux
Reviews

This is a fundamentally good decision, considering the limited resources available to the Mint development team, and how different KDE is from Linux Mint's core distributions of Cinnamon and MATE. Not only at the user interface level but perhaps even more importantly at the development level, the libraries, the utilities and applications, pretty much everything is different. But that is not going to make this hurt any less for the long-time dedicated Mint KDE users.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming/Development: fwupd, LLVM and More

  • CSR devices now supported in fwupd
    The BlueCore CSR chips are used everywhere. If you have a “wireless” speaker or headphones that uses Bluetooth there is a high probability that it’s using a CSR chip inside. This makes the addition of CSR support into fwupd a big deal to access a lot of vendors. It’s a lot easier to say “just upload firmware” rather than “you have to write code” so I think it’s useful to have done this work.
  • Skylake Server Scheduler Model Updated In LLVM 6.0 Along With Other Intel CPU Updates
  • Most Software Code Will Be Written By Machines By 2040, Researchers Predict
    Imagine a scenario where a programmer needs to follow a couple of tried and tested procedures to write code that becomes a part of a bigger program that needs some insightful contribution from another programmer. So, is the first programmer really needed? Can’t we find a robotic replacement for the same? In the past, GitHub CEO had already made a prediction which says that future of coding is no coding at all. A similar speculation has been made by the researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, who have said that machines will write most of their own code by 2040.
  • Hazelcast joins Eclipse, JCache is key focal point
    Open source In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) company Hazelcast has joined the Eclipse Foundation – and it has done so for a reason. Hazelcast’s primary focus will be on JCache the Eclipse MicroProfile and EE4J. In particular, Hazelcast will be collaborating with members to popularize JCache, a Java Specification Request (JSR-107). So what place does JCache fill in the universe then?

Software: Darktable, VLC, Mesa, Audacity, Toplip, GNUstep

  • Darktable 2.4-RC1 Rolls Out With Windows Support, OpenCL Improvements
    The open-source Darktable RAW photography software that's long been available for Linux and macOS has finally been ported to Microsoft Windows. But fortunately that's not all to be found in Darktable 2.4. While Windows support is their big headline feature of Darktable 2.4, the RC1 release that came out today is also packed with other improvements.
  • Linux Release Roundup: VLC, Mesa, Audacity + More
    Another week has flown by, making it time for another round-up of pertinent Linux app releases that didn’t manage to wangle a full post’s worth of waffle on this site. This week’s crop of curios includes updates to the world’s most popular open-source video player, the world’s most popular open-source audio editor, and the world’s most popular open-source graphics drivers.
  • Toplip – A Very Strong File Encryption And Decryption CLI Utility
    There are numerous file encryption tools available on the market to protect your files. We have already reviewed some encryption tools such as Cryptomater, Cryptkeeper, CryptGo, Cryptr, Tomb, and GnuPG etc. Today, we will be discussing yet another file encryption and decryption command line utility named “Toplip”. It is a free and open source encryption utility that uses a very strong encryption method called AES256, along with an XTS-AES design to safeguard your confidential data. Also, it uses Scrypt, a password-based key derivation function, to protect your passphrases against brute-force attacks.
  • GNUstep Takes Another Step Forward For Implementing Apple's Cocoa Frameworks
    GNUstep is the long-standing free software project working to implement Apple's Cocoa Objective-C frameworks used by macOS. The GNU project has made new releases of their GUI and Back libraries. GNUstep GUI 0.26 is out this morning as the latest update to their graphical user-interface library. GNUstep GUI 0.26 has a number of compatibility improvements, translation updates, mouse tracking logic improvements, bug fixes, and other work.

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