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Review: MX Linux 17

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Having used MX for a week now, I think it is fair to say the developers have done a lot of things well and I believe a lot of their success stems from finding good compromises. MX is based on Debian's Stable branch which gives a good, solid core and a huge collection of packages. While Debian's packages tend to be older, MX updates some key components, such as the kernel and Firefox, to give users the benefit of newer technology. We can downgrade items, like the kernel, if we wish.

MX also finds middle ground in the size and performance of the distribution. MX certainly is not the lightest distribution I have used lately, in terms of memory and hard drive space consumed, but it on the lighter end of the spectrum. MX is smaller and faster than many of the mainstream distributions, such as Ubuntu, openSUSE and Fedora while offering most of the same features.

One of the few areas where I think MX loses out to the big, mainstream Linux distributions is in beginner friendliness. The installer, configuration tools and package management are all (in my opinion) geared toward people who have used Linux a time or two before. MX appears to be aimed at people who already know what packages, window managers and media codecs are. The graphical tools provided are powerful and flexible, but there isn't much hand holding. The installer expects you to know what CUPS is and the desktop configuration tool expects users to be familiar with virtual desktops, APT and compositing. If you understand those concepts and like the idea of a distribution which offers good performance with a little eye candy, then MX Linux is probably a good match for you.

Personally, I was very happy with MX, more so than I have been with most operating systems I have experimented with in the past six months. Not necessarily because MX is an objectively better distribution, but because I think the developers have similar tastes to my own. This shows up in little details. For example, I like my system to be quiet and not distracting. MX features very few notifications and sound effects are disabled. The theme is slightly dark, but not so dark as to make the contrast jarring. There is just one desktop panel, aligned vertically down the left side of the display, just the way I like it. The developers walk a middle road I like on performance, features and visuals. In short, there was very little I had to do to get MX looking and acting exactly the way I wanted and this meant I spent very little time adjusting settings or turning off features I didn't want and more time getting things done.

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LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Peppermint Linux

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If somebody is looking for a Linux distro that is lightweight, stable and just works out of the box, then no doubt – Peppermint OS emerges as a better choice. Peppermint OS is a minimalistic masterpiece with the smallest footprint and frugal use of resources is ideal for machines with older hardware. Since its first release in 2010, each version of Peppermint seems to be a little better than the one before.
The latest Peppermint release Peppermint OS 8 Respin was released on 8th Dec 2017 and is built on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS code base. That means it is possible to install applications which are Ubuntu compatible repositories. Being said that, in case of bugs that found in Ubuntu 16.04 would also affect Peppermint OS. The Peppermint armed with an unusual application called ICE that lets you create desktop versions of web apps with a standalone browser like Chrome, Vivaldi, Firefox.

In this article, let us see what Peppermint OS offers as a Linux distro including focus on its latest release.

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Samsung Z4 review: Are Samsung underestimating Tizen’s smartphone capabilities

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Linux
Reviews

So the Samsung Z4 although is somewhat better than the Z2, is still far behind the quality that the Z3 brought as a Tizen smartphone. There were a lot of expectations which Samsung continued to not meet and hence puts a doubt on us on how far, Samsung is looking to go with Tizen as an OS for smartphones. With Samsung being the only OEMs making Tizen smartphones, our expectations of a true flagship or at least a mid-range powerful Tizen smartphone are slowly starting to vanish. And we really hope, Samsung proves us wrong if there is a next time.

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SoftMaker for Linux Is a Solid Microsoft Office Alternative

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Software
Reviews

The easy access to the free download of SoftMaker Office 2018 gives you nothing to lose in checking out its suitability as a Microsoft Office replacement. If you decide to upgrade to the paid Linux release, you will pay $69.95 for a proprietary license. That is the same price as the Home and Student editions of Microsoft Office 365.

If you opt for the free open source version, FreeOffice 2018, when it is released, you still could have a top-of-the-line alternative to other Linux tools that play well with Microsoft Office.

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Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon - quick screenshot tour

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Reviews

The Linux Mint team continues to release fresh versions of their operating system approximately every 6 month, following the updates in Ubuntu LTS versions. You could read the quick screenshot overview of Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon back in July 2017. It is now turn of Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon. Let's have a whistle-stop tour through it.

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Kali Linux 2017.3 hands-on: The best alternative to Raspbian for your Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Reviews

Linux distributions designed for security analysis, penetration testing, and forensic analysis are all the rage these days. It seems like you can hardly swing a dead cat (or a dead computer) without hitting one.

As a dedicated Linux user I consider that to be a good thing, simply because choice is always good, and it is always good to have several groups of talented and dedicated people working on something. But as a long-time user of Kali Linux (and BackTrack before that) I honestly believe that Kali is still the best in the field, so I am always pleased when I hear there is a new Kali release.

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Review: Daphile 17.09

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Daphile is a minimal Linux distribution which is designed to be run on a computer dedicated to playing music. Daphile can be run on headless machines and its media controls are managed through a web-based interface. Basically, Daphile is intended to be run on a computer we can stick in the corner of a room and use it as a media centre without worrying about managing software, tweaking settings or navigating desktop environments. Daphile can be run from a CD or USB thumb drive for maximum portability and does not need to be installed directly on a hard drive to work.

Daphile reportedly has the ability to rip audio CDs, play audio files from a local drive or stream music across network shares (Samba, NFS, FTP and OpenSSH services are supported). This gives us a pretty good range of media sources for our music collection.

Under the hood, Daphile has its roots in Gentoo, though the operating system is somewhat stripped down and we cannot use Gentoo's package management utilities. Daphile runs the Busybox userland tools and a light web server, and very little else. In fact, Daphile does not provide a login interface to allow us to tinker with the operating system. The operating system is dedicated entirely to the task of playing music and our sole access to the media controls are through its web interface.

The distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the ISO file we download for Daphile is 195MB in size. While Daphile is capable of running entirely without a screen, when we do boot from Daphile's media the distribution displays the distribution's IP address, which it obtains over DHCP. We can connect to the IP address using any modern web browser which automatically gives us access to Daphile's media controls, there is no user authentication built into the web interface.

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Hands on With elementary OS Powered Centurion Nano Laptop by Alpha Store

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Linux
Reviews

If you want to buy a new laptop, no doubt you should consider the Centurion line. It will be a good choice for you, Linux aficionado. As well as for your Windows-addicted husband/wife/employees. The Centurion Nano is certainly not a “gamer” laptop. However, besides that particular use case, and for an interesting price, you will get a very competent computer, 100% compatible with Linux and usable for a broad range of tasks.

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Review: OnePlus 5T

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Android
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Have you ever arrived at a party, looked around, and realized you’re totally underdressed? It’s a panic-inducing moment. This nightmare scenario happened to OnePlus earlier this year. Its OnePlus 5 had the brains to match any competing Android device, but next to phones like the Galaxy S8, LG G6, iPhone X, it looked, well, dowdy. With thick, squared off bezels and an eyesore of a home button, it was so last season.

For four years, OnePlus has pinned its entire identity to the idea that it sells the phone with the highest specs at the lowest price. Instead of paying $850+ for a fancy phone from the likes of Google or Samsung, you can buy a nearly identical, slightly off-brand OnePlus for $500 or less. It was the phone those in the know would recommend to save a few hundred bucks and still have a brag-worthy device. But you couldn’t brag about the OnePlus 5, especially after some bugs plagued the device.

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Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon Review: Best ‘Linux’ Distro for Beginners!

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Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon boots fast (even on a slow rotational disk), very stable (I haven’t seen any application crash in the past 3 days that I’ve been using it) and the level of responsiveness it has shown is top-notch, probably matched only by another Linux Mint! As far as the end user-experience is concerned, I’d say it’s the best ‘Linux’ distro for beginners, it certainly knows how to please the end-user… welcome to the HecticGeek‘s review of Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon edition.

Few years ago Linux Mint changed their release strategy. They now rely on the core of Ubuntu LTS releases as the foundation for their operating system. As far as I can see, this is working great for them. Because Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) provides security & maintenance updates up to 5 years & it is already based on a solid foundation set by Ubuntu. This in tern gives Linux Mint developers enough space to ‘breath’ a little and fully concentrate on what they do best: development of their awesome desktop shell & other native Linux Mint user-applications.

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space: Linux and Systemd

  • Linus Torvalds tells kernel devs to fix their regressive fixing
    Linus Torvalds has given the Linux kernel development community a bit of a touch-up, after finding some contributions to Linux 4.18 complicated the kernel development process. In his post announcing release candidate 2 of Linux kernel 4.18, Torvalds mentioned “some noticeable filesystem updates, particularly to cifs.” “I'm going to point those out, because some of them probably shouldn't have been in rc2. They were ‘fixes’ not in the ‘regressions’ sense, but in the ‘missing features’ sense.”
  • Why data centers need log management tools

    Even though systemd is a common logging method, rsyslog offers more features. One main capability is being able to write log messages to a specific database. You can also configure rsyslog logs on one main server for centralized access.

  • Systemd v239 released
    Systemd v239 has been released with a long list of changes; click below for the full set. "A new system.conf setting NoNewPrivileges= is now available which may be used to turn off acquisition of new privileges system-wide (i.e. set Linux' PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS for PID 1 itself, and thus also for all its children). Note that turning this option on means setuid binaries and file system capabilities lose their special powers. While turning on this option is a big step towards a more secure system, doing so is likely to break numerous pre-existing UNIX tools, in particular su and sudo."

Canonical/Ubuntu Watching You

  • Two-thirds of Ubuntu users are happy to give up data on their PC
    As announced back at the start of the year, Canonical made the decision that Ubuntu would collect data on its user base – and now the initial results of those statistics have been published by the firm, including the headline fact that 67% of users were happy to provide details of their PC (and other bits and pieces). So, this scheme that has been unfavorably compared to Microsoft’s collection of telemetry data in Windows 10, which has long been a point of controversy. However, it appears that the majority of folks are happy to give up their data to the company providing their Linux distribution, and don’t seem perturbed by this prospect.
  • Ubuntu reports 67% of users opt in to on-by-default PC specs slurp [Ed: 33% of Ubuntu users say to Canonical "don't spy on me" and Canonical then counts them, which means that Canonical collects data on them, too]
    However just 33 per cent of the undisclosed number of users Canonical’s analysed didn’t opt in to the slurpage. Which is where things get a little bit weird, because Canonical’s post reports an “Opt In rate”. Yet the data slurpage is selected by default: there’s an active opt out but a passive opt in.
  • The Average Ubuntu Install Takes 18 Minutes (And Other Stats)
    Did you know that the average Ubuntu install takes just 18 minutes? That’s one of several nuggets of information Canonical has collected (and now revealed) thanks to the new “Ubuntu Report” tool included in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. This tool, when given permission to, collects non-identifiable system data about new Ubuntu installs and upgrades and ferries it back to Canonical for analysis.

Linux Foundation's TODO and New Chinese Ties

  • The Linux Foundation and TODO Group Release Chinese Versions of Open Source Guides for the Enterprise
    -The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, has released Chinese translations of 10 Open Source Guides for the Enterprise, created to help executives, open source program managers, developers, attorneys and decision makers learn how to best leverage open source.
  • Tencent joins the Linux Foundation as a platinum member
    Chinese tech giant Tencent has announced it’s joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member. Tencent is one of a few companies to offer the highest level of support to the Linux Foundation. Other tech companies in this stable include IBM, Microsoft, and Intel, as well as fellow Chinese titan Huawei. As part of the deal, Tencent will take a chair on the Foundation’s board of directors. It has also promised to offer “further support and resources” to the Foundation’s efforts. So far, this has taken the form of Tencent donating several pieces of its software.
  • Tencent becomes a Linux Foundation platinum member to increase its focus on open source
    Tencent, the $500-billion Chinese internet giant, is increasing its focus on open source after it became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation. The company has long been associated with the foundation and Linux generally, it is a founding member of the Linux Foundation’s deep learning program that launched earlier this year, and now as a platinum member (the highest tier) it will take a board of directors seat and work more closely with the organization. That works two ways, with Tencent pledging to offer “further support and resources” to foundation projects and communities, while the Chinese firm itself will also tap into the foundation’s expertise and experience.
  • Tencent Supports Open Source Community With Linux Foundation Platinum Membership
    LinuxCon China -- The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announces Tencent has become the latest Platinum member of the foundation. Tencent is a leading provider of Internet value added services in China, offering some of China's most popular websites, apps and services including QQ, Qzone, Tencent Cloud and Weixin/WeChat.
  • TARS and TSeer Form Open Source Project Communities Under The Linux Foundation to Expand Adoption and Pace of Development
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China in Beijing that TARS, a remote procedure call (RPC) framework, and TSeer, a high availability service discovery, registration and fault tolerance framework, have become Linux Foundation projects. Both projects were initially developed by leading Chinese technology company, Tencent, which open sourced the projects last year. This follows the announcement of Tencent becoming a Platinum member of The Linux Foundation, and reflects the foundation’s growing collaboration with the Chinese open source community.
  • Tencent Becomes Latest Platinum Member of Linux Foundation
    Chinese behemoth looking to cultivate open source ties The Linux Foundation has announced that Tencent has become the latest member to obtain platinum membership. The non-profit American tech company, which is funded by membership payments, uses the funding for sustainable open source projects. Within the foundation, there are three membership tiers, starting from silver to gold, all the way up to platinum where members have to pay $500,000 a year (approx. £377,643) for that category.
  • Tencent Joins The Linux Foundation, Open-Sources Projects
    China's Tencent holding conglomerate that backs a variety of Internet services/products is the latest platinum member of the Linux Foundation.

Events: DebCamp, openSUSE Conference, OSSummit Japan 2018

  • Yes! I am going to...
    Of course, DebCamp is not a vacation, so we expect people that take part of DebCamp to have at least a rough sketch of activities. There are many, many things I want to tackle, and experience shows there's only time for a fraction of what's planned.
  • Dates, Location set for openSUSE Conference 2019
    The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the location and dates for the 2019 openSUSE Conference. The openSUSE Conference 2019 will return to the Z-Bau in Nuremberg, Germany, and be Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26. Planning for the 2019 conference will begin this summer and community members are encouraged to take part in the planning of the conference through the organizing team. The openSUSE Board proposed the idea of having organizing team for openSUSE Conferences last month at oSC18. An email about the organizing team was sent out to the openSUSE-Project mailing list.
  • OSSummit Japan 2018
    Some Debian developers (Jose from Microsoft and Michael from credativ) gave a talk during this event.