THE BQ AQUARIS M10 is the first Ubuntu-powered tablet and Canonical's attempt to bring its Linux-based operating system to the masses.
It's also the first tablet to offer a fully converged experience, according to Canonical, as the BQ Aquaris M10 can transform from a tablet to a fully-fledged PC.
Ubuntu OS can change from a touch-based to a desktop interface via an HDMI connection, trumping Microsoft's Continuum feature in Windows 10 on paper at least, and apps switch from full-screen to floating windows that can be resized and moved around.
Version 15.17 of the Gentoo-based Calculate Linux distribution was released this past week.
With Calculate 15.17, the Calculate Linux Desktop was updated to KDE Frameworks 5 / KDE Plasma 5. This latest release is now making use of Plasma 5.6.4.
Before you read this conclusion, please do me a favor. Please read my review of Vivid, then go back up, find the links to the Werewolf review and the best distro of 2015 summary, and then read those, too. Then, come back to this piece here. Now, please try to explain, in human lingo, how it is possible than only one year apart, we get such a huge, drastic difference in the distro behavior.
Xubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus is meant to be the rock-solid LTS, beautiful and elegant and majestic. It is none of that. There are so many bugs and problems it really turns me off the whole Linux thing. I feel like an idiot for doing these reviews, for wasting hundreds and thousands of hours of my life trying to promote a cause and technology that ultimately just ends up failing randomly, because people can't be bothered to invest time in proper QA rather than pointless, arbitrary release dates and silly changes that serve no purpose.
Not good. Not good at all. Realtek issues, mouse going away after waking from sleep, login niggles, package management woes, sucky Bluetooth stack, Thunar hiccups, Samba crap. This is just a short list of everything that's wrong with Xenial, and then, to make it even worse, the Unity and the Xfce versions can't really agree on the suck list. They all have their own unique problems, and there's no consistency. I'm just pissed off. April 2016 was meant to be a happy, cheerful month. Now, I'm facing total destruction and distros that barely work. And yes, please, skip to the very end, and tell me how it's all my fault. Anyhow, Xubuntu Xerus gets only 3/10. Do not upgrade for now.
Being able to use your smartphone as a desktop has a lot of allure to lots of people. Phones and tablets are all nice and dandy, but due to evolutionary factors explained in a related article, they are not really useful for anything but passive enjoyment of content. You simply cannot get the same type and/or amount of speed, efficiency, productivity, and multi-tasking like you can on a keyboard-and-mouse device. Plus money.
But what if you could transform your touch device into a would-be desktop? Sounds good, and this is what Convergence is. Dubbed various names and titles, this element of the M10 Ubuntu tablet sounds like an excellent selling point. I've already given you a review of what the hardware and the operating system can do, but we did not dwell on the desktop-like usage. We will do that now.
Let me be clear. In reviewing the Aquaris M10, I was very aware that I was reviewing not just the device but the Ubuntu mobile platform. In fact, the review is less about the device than about where Ubuntu stands now in the tablet space and the potential and possibilities the future holds.
Ubuntu mobile is a very promising platform; it just needs some constructive feedback so that developers can improve the user experience. I consider this tablet something similar to Google Glass: a prototype that gives you a glimpse of what to expect from Ubuntu on tablets.
When it comes to Linux distributions, conventional wisdom says that an operating system is only as good as the packages that are available. Why? Well, software matters! Who wants to use an operating system when it’s not possible to install Google Chrome, Steam, Skype and 100 other applications? Solus OS developers, that’s who.
Solus OS is a new Linux operating system that isn’t based on anything. It’s a fresh take on Linux with a message: less is more. No hassling with settings or choices. Everything is taken care of for you ahead of time.
You can get the Devuan Jessie beta download and all installers.
The Xfce desktop is a perfectly fine environment. In combination with the installed base, Xfce worked fine with the Devuan beta release.
More polish and growth of the Jessie version is needed, however, before Devuan can succeed as an independent Linux distro in its own right. Until then, the beta and what may follow are an interesting footnote in yet another Linux family line.
The developers do appear to listen to their users. Everything that people have asked for in the past few years has been implemented in one way or another.
This is a long term support release and it feels like it isn't quite ready. I find it hard to believe that nobody working on Ubuntu tried a clean install, followed by installing some of the more popular applications like Chrome, Dropbox and Steam.
The Not Quite So Ugly
The Software Centre has gone.
This would have been great as a point release, say a 16.10 or a 17.04 because you expect some experimentation and you expect the odd cock-up.
The LTS release should be ready to go from day one with only minor issues. Sadly that isn't the case.
FreeBSD is a venerable operating system, often deployed on servers due to the project's focus on performance and stability. At the beginning of April the FreeBSD project released version 10.3 of their operating system. The release announcement for FreeBSD 10.3 mentioned several features and improvements which caught my attention. Specifically the availability of ZFS boot environments, 64-bit Linux compatibility and jail improvements were of interest to me. I was especially eager to try out FreeBSD's new jails technology using the iocage front-end. The iocage software has been presented as an improvement on (and replacement for) Warden, a friendly front-end for handling jail environments.
I already reviewed FreeBSD 10.0 when it was launched and so I plan to skip over most aspects of the new 10.3 release and focus on the key features I listed above, along with the notable changes I encounter. The new release is available in many different builds, ranging from x86 and ARM, to SPARC and PowerPC. For the purposes of my trial I downloaded the 2.6GB DVD image of FreeBSD's 64-bit x86 edition.
The BSD family of operating systems is typically reputed to be conservative, stable and dependable. FreeBSD typically embodies these characteristics quite well, showcasing reliability and offering few surprises. That being said, the latest release of FreeBSD, version 10.0, introduced a few important changes which I felt deserved a look. Some of the new features shipping with FreeBSD 10.0 included support for ZFS on the root file system, TRIM and LZ4 compression support for ZFS, virtualization improvements and a new package manager. The latest version also swaps out the venerable GNU compiler for the Clang compiler on supported architectures. The 10.0 release is available for several architectures, including x86, Power PC and Sparc. I was interested in the x86 releases which can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit builds. We can further narrow our selection by downloading either a CD-sized ISO or a 2.2 GB ISO image. I opted to try the larger image for my trial.