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Reviews

GeckoLinux Beta Does openSuse Better

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Linux
Reviews
SUSE

GeckoLinux is an ideal option for switching to a new distro experience. I particularly like how the Cinnamon desktop works. Since I favor the Cinnamon environment in Linux Mint, changing over to GeckoLinux came with no difficulties. All the settings and features played out as expected.

Kudos to the developer for making GeckoLinux such a solid alternative computing platform. I did not expect a developing early beta to be so glitch-free.

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BeeFree OS 18.1.2

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Reviews

While the look of the distribution did not appeal to me, the CenterFree application bundles do hold promise. There are many popular applications featured, including the WPS productivity suite, and the idea of having off-line bundles I could port across distributions certainly appealed. I think the on-line app store still needs a little work to make it more user friendly though. The website should probably be secured by HTTPS and, ideally, the BeeFree distribution should recognize CenterFree bundles and be able to install them without a trip to the command line. In short, I like the concept, I just think the approach needs some final touches to make the on-line store easier for newcomers to use.

In the end, I came away from using BeeFree OS thinking that the project may hold some promise, but I think more time is needed for the distribution to go from a mash-up of other projects to having its own, polished identity and style.

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PCLinuxOS 2017.07 KDE - Majestic and horrible

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KDE
MDV
Reviews

It is amazing how similar and yet how vastly different two distributions can be, even though they share so much same DNA. Mageia delivered very good results throughout. PCLinuxOS, apart from small glitches early on, was splendid. But then, as if it had developed a second personality, it went ballistic with those desktop crashes, and finally, a completely borked setup due to issues with the package manager. That's the one thing that is different between Mageia and PCLinuxOS, but then, I've never really had any issues with apt-get and/or Synaptic.

All I can say is that my PCLinuxOS 2017.07 testing delivers a bi-polar message. One, you get some really super-user-friendly stuff that surpasses anything else in the Linux world, with tons of goodies and focus on everyday stuff. You also get some idiosyncrasies, but that's Mandriva legacy, and it definitely can benefit from some modern-era refresh. Two, the series of Plasma crashes and the package management fiasco that totally ruined the good impressions. Well, I may give this another shot some day, as the early work was ultra promising. I recommend you proceed with caution, as the package management side of things looks quite dangerous. No scoring, as I have no idea why it went so badly wrong, but that's a warning of its own. Majestic and lethal. Take care.

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Mageia 6 review - Very refreshing

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MDV
Reviews

Mageia 6 is a very interesting, unique distro. It comes with a load of good stuff, including proprietary graphics drivers out of the box even in the live session, user data import, Windows data import, multimedia and smartphone support, a smart control center with a load of powerful features, and still more. The approach to the user experience is different from most other systems, and I am really happy to see that. The copypasta drill you see elsewhere is getting boring fast. It's also emotionally grinding. This is cool.

On the other hand, not everything is perfect. There's an old vs new clash of technologies and styles, hardware support can be better, Samba printing is missing, the package manager is a bit clunky, and performance is really among the least favorable I've seen in a long time. All in all, definitely recommended, but you might struggle with some of the special quirks. Or you might actually find them endearing. Either way, 8/10, and I'm glad to have revived the Mageia experience. Well worth testing.

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Lenovo Yoga 920: The overdetailed Fedora / Linux review

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Linux
Red Hat
Reviews

Having just purchased a Lenovo Yoga 920, I thought I would offer the following (probibly too detailed) review for any interested parties.

History / Background:

This is now the third yoga laptop I have owned. First a yoga 2 pro in 2013, then a yoga 900 in 2015 and now the 920 here in 2017. Lenovo does come out with new models every year, but for me at least they don’t become compelling to jump to until another model, so I have skipped the yoga 3 pro and the 910 models (and all the other side models they have now like the yoga 700). This cycle I seriously considered moving over to a dell xps 13 developer edition, but in the end a few things drove me to the yoga 920: 8th gen cpu (which tuns out to be a pretty big deal, see below), higher screen resolution, and no “nostil cam” (webcam at the bottom of the screen looking up). I use a laptop as my primary machine, so I am sitting at it typing away for many many hours a day, which makes it well worth it to me to get something nice. The dell xps 13 developer still definitely has some advantages, like firmware updates via fwupd seamlessly in Linux instead of needing to keep windows 10 around just to do that.

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Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti review: A fine graphics card—but price remains high

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Reviews

The GTX 1070 Ti is a great graphics card but a frustrating product. In the year and a half since the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070 launched, Nvidia has faced little competition from rival AMD, which has been stretched thin across the launch of mainstream graphics cards like the RX 480 and high-end processors like Ryzen Threadripper. As brilliant as those products are, particularly Threadripper, it took until August of this year for AMD to launch a competitor to Nvidia's year-old graphics cards. The resulting RX Vega 64 wasn't the graphical powerhouse many were hoping for, with high power consumption and performance that couldn't quite top a GTX 1080.

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System76 Galago Pro Review with Pop!_OS — Is Pop!_OS Just Another Distribuntu?

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Reviews
Ubuntu

But what really drew me in was the stunning iconography, which was particularly surprising. Despite Linux being synonymous with customization and there being too many icon sets to count, many of them, while attractive in their own right, fail to embody what we expect in a professional or commercial product. That’s not to say that their artwork itself is unprofessional, but many are intended to be playful or are created with a particular style in mind that is not typical of professional environments. System76 has created a stunning set of icons that don’t undermine the power of Linux and will hopefully attract professionals from all fields to try out Linux as a part of their productivity suite.

The final release of Pop!_OS has been released, and since I encountered no bugs while playing with the alpha, I’d be hard-pressed to believe there are any show-stoppers in the final release, so I highly recommend you give it a try and show your non-Linux using friends how cost-free doesn’t necessarily mean aesthetic-free.

Find the high-resolution Golago Pro pictures here on Google Drive.

Did you find this System76 Golago Pro review interesting? Don’t forget to share your views with us.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Review: A Little Slow While Booting (Compared to 17.04) But Quite Stable

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Reviews

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been using Ubuntu 17.10 for more than a week now. Compared to Ubuntu 17.04 it is a bit slow while booting, yet slightly lightweight, very responsive (again, I had to manually tweak the I/O scheduler to make it responsive), power efficient, shuts down fast and is very stable. Even though there is no Unity desktop shell anymore, they’ve tweaked GNOME to look a lot alike as well. So all in all, I’m quite happy with this release.

That said, I’ve been using KDE plasma desktop that came with Manjaro 17.02 for the past few months, and I’m beginning to love KDE more & more. One of the reasons why I was forced to look for an alternative was because of some of the limitations of the GNOME desktop (I’m not going to go into the details since I’ve mentioned some of the these reasons in my other reviews). Therefore, despite my judgement derived from this Ubuntu 17.10 review, I’ve decided to switch to KDE (well, for now at least).

But I wanted to stay closer to the core Ubuntu platform, thus I’ve chosen the old girl, Debian, Debian 9 (‘Stretch’) KDE edition, to be precise. I’ve already downloaded it and going to give it a go. That said, if you’re an Ubuntu fan, and want to try out the 17.10 release, then why not, it looks good to me.

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Also: The Best GTK Themes for Ubuntu

REVIEW: There's only one reason you should buy LG's latest smartphone — and plenty of reasons not to

Filed under
Android
Reviews

One of the things I consider when it comes to reviewing new smartphones is whether it could comfortably replace whatever device I'm currently using.

When I reviewed Google's Pixel 2 XL, it made me want to switch from my iPhone 6s Plus, and I've been using the Pixel 2 XL ever since. The $800+ LG V30, on the other hand, has not made me want to switch.

To be clear, that's not to say that the LG V30 is a bad phone. Samsung's mighty Galaxy phones haven't made me want to switch, either, and the Galaxy phones' success is a clear sign that people love those phones.

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Samsung Gear Sport review: The company's best smartwatch yet

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Android
Reviews

The new Gear Sport is not only a great successor to 2015's Gear S2, but also Samsung's best ever all-around smartwatch. It manages to be notably smaller and lighter than the Gear S3, while keeping nearly all of its capabilities. Samsung's wearables still attempt to do too much with overbearing software on a tiny screen. But that's worthwhile in order to get the great fitness tracking, which doesn't tie you into a specific ecosystem, and an overall great interface.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: Updates, IBM, Elytron and Container Vulnerability Scanning

  • Security updates for Friday
  • IBM Security launches open-source AI
    IBM Security unveiled an open-source toolkit at RSA 2018 that will allow the cyber community to test their AI-based security defenses against a strong and complex opponent in order to help build resilience and dependability into their systems.
  • Elytron: A New Security Framework in WildFly/JBoss EAP
    Elytron is a new security framework that ships with WildFly version 10 and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 7.1. This project is a complete replacement of PicketBox and JAAS. Elytron is a single security framework that will be usable for securing management access to the server and for securing applications deployed in WildFly. You can still use the legacy security framework, which is PicketBox, but it is a deprecated module; hence, there is no guarantee that PicketBox will be included in future releases of WildFly. In this article, we will explore the components of Elytron and how to configure them in Wildfly.
  • PodCTL #32 – Container Vulnerability Scanning

NetBSD 8.0 RC1 Available, Bringing Initial USB 3.0 Support & Spectre/Meltdown Mitigation

It's a busy month for the BSDs with DragonFlyBSD 5.2 having come along with OpenBSD 6.3 and right before that was TrueOS 18.03. Now there's finally the release candidate of the long-awaited NetBSD 8.0 update. NetBSD 7.0 arrived back in October 2015 while the NetBSD 8.0 release should not be too much further out. Arguably most interesting with NetBSD 8.0 is its finally bring initial USB 3.0 support though the change-log currently just describes it as "some USB 3 support." Read more

FFmpeg 4.0 Released

  • FFmpeg 4.0 released
    Version 4.0 of the FFmpeg multimedia toolkit is out. There is a long list of new filters, formats, and more; see the announcement for details.
  • April 20th, 2018, FFmpeg 4.0 "Wu"
  • FFmpeg 4.0 Released With New Encoders/Decoders, NVIDIA NVDEC Decoding
    FFmpeg 4.0 is now available as the latest major release for this widely-used open-source multimedia encode/decoder library. FFmpeg 4.0 introduces NVIDIA NVDEC GPU-based decoding for H264 / MJPEG / HEVC / MPEG-1/2/4, VC1, VP8, and VP9 formats. This release also adds an Intel QSV accelerated overlay filter, an OpenCL overlay filter, VA-API MJPEG and VP8 decoding support, new VA-API filters, and many other accelerated code path improvements.

Graphics: AMD, Intel and Vulkan

  • AMDGPU DC Fixes For Linux 4.17 Take Care Of "The Dark Screen Issue"
    AMD's Alex Deucher has sent in a small set of fixes for the AMDGPU Direct Rendering Manager driver in the Linux 4.17 kernel. The three patches are for fixing a dark screen issue with AMDGPU DC, a fix for clock/voltage dependency tracking for WattMan, and an updated SMU interface for the yet-to-be-announced Vega 12 GPU.
  • Intel KVMGT 2018-Q1 Release Offers Mediated GPU Pass-Through Improvements
    While the relevant bits for supporting Intel GPU mediated pass-through to virtual machines with KVM are now upstream in the Linux kernel as well as in QEMU 2.12, Intel developers have just announced their quarterly release of "KVMGT" for those wanting the officially blessed configuration for running Intel virtual GPU support with KVM virtual machines.
  • RADV Vulkan Driver Adds Vega M Support
    Following RadeonSI adding "Vega M" support for the new Radeon graphics appearing embedded on select Intel Kabylake processor packages, the RADV developers have similarly staged their Vega M support in this open-source Vulkan driver.
  • The Forge Now Offers Full-Featured Vulkan Support On Linux
    Earlier this month we covered "The Forge" picking up initial Linux support and now they have rounded out their full-featured Linux support with Vulkan rendering.