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Reviews

Raspberry Pi: Hands on with SuSE and openSuSE Linux

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Reviews
SUSE

At the end of November, the Raspberry Pi Blog announced the availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for the Raspberry Pi 3. As Eben Upton said at that time, this was a big deal for two reasons -- it was the first official 64-bit operating system for the Pi 3 (Raspbian and other currently available versions are 32-bit), and it was an official release from a major vendor.

The announcement in theSuSE Blog gives a lot more information about the what/why/how of the SLES port, and makes for an interesting read. From what I gather, SuSE and/or ARM gave out some spiffy packages (shown at right) which contained a Raspberry Pi 3 preloaded with SLES 12 SP2: I would have loved to have been there and been blessed with one...

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Carey Head: Ubuntu for Everyday Use, How It Worked For Me

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Before diving into the Ubuntu review, here’s a bit of backdrop — and a bonus review. I downloaded and installed Windows 8 Preview several weeks ago. It took me about two days to realize that Microsoft’s desktop OS had jumped the great white for me. I can see how the Metro UI would be really nice on a tablet, but the concept on a desktop screen baffles me. Coincidentally, my 8 year-old’s installation of Windows 7 got corrupted and he needed a reinstall.

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Maui Linux 2.1 Blue Tang - Aloha!

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Reviews

Maui Linux 2.1 Blue Tang is a surprisingly and yet expectedly good Plasma system, using some of that Mint-like approach to home computing. It's what Kubuntu should have been or should be, and it delivers a practical, out-of-the-box experience with a fine blend of software, fun and stability. That's a very sensible approach.

Not everything was perfect. Plasma has its bugs, the printer and the web cam issues need to be looked into, and on the aesthetics side, a few things can be polished and improved. The installer can benefit from having some extra safety mechanisms. But I guess that is the sum of my complaints. On the happy side, you get all the goodies from the start, the application collection is rich, the distro did not crash, and the performance is really decent for a Plasma beastling. A fine formula, and probably the best one we've seen in the last eighteen months or so. Good news if you like KDE. And indeed, this is definitely one of the distros you should try. 9/10. I'm quite pleased. Have a maui day.

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What's New in BlankOn X Tambora

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BlankOn X operating system finally launched at January 1st 2017 as the 10th release codenamed "Tambora". BlankOn is a GNU/Linux distribution from Indonesia, a low-resource operating system with ultimate aim for desktop end-users. In this Tambora release, BlankOn brings the latest Manokwari desktop with improvements, along with its own BlankOn system installer, and some other stuffs. This Tambora release is a continuation of the BlankOn 9 release in 2014 named Suroboyo. This article sums up what's new for BlankOn in this Tambora version.

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Absolute Linux Caters to the Slackware Crowd

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Slack

Absolute Linux is a distro that raises the question: Is it really worth the bother?

Any version of this Slackware-based Linux OS is just that -- a really big bother -- unless you love Unix-like systems that give you total control. It likely would be especially bothersome for less experienced users and for folks comfortable with Debian distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and such.

Some Slackware-based distros are easier than others to use -- but the text-based installation and mostly manual operating routine makes using Absolute Linux a challenge. Once you get beyond the configuration steps, you still face a considerable learning curve to keep it running smoothly.

Clearly, I am not overly impressed with the Absolute flavor of Slackware Linux. I see it as the equivalent of driving a stick shift automobile with a crank-to-start mechanism instead of an automatic model with keyless ignition. That said, once you have the engine purring, it drives fast and furious along the highway.

I like to offer unique computing options in these weekly Linux Picks and Pans reviews, so I set my comfort zone aside and rolled up my sleeves to get my hands a little scraped reaching under Absolute Linux's hood.

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OpenMandriva Lx 3.0: a faint shadow of name

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MDV
Reviews

The general feel of OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 was fast and solid.

However, that was only on the surface. As soon as you start to look just a little bit deeper, issues go out here and there. High memory usage, keyboard layout glitch, inadequate size of notification area icons, problems with updates - all of that leave a bad taste after the Live Run of OpenMandriva Lx 3.0.

Will it ever gain the popularity its parent had just few years ago? I have a very big doubt.

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Arch-based Bluestar Linux Makes Plasma 5 Usable

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Last week I mentioned that I liked Bluestar Linux very much and was probably going to go ahead and take the leap to it and Plasma 5. I had been testing Plasma 5 on various distributions in 2016 with poor results until I tested Arch-based Bluestar 4.8.13. Preliminary tests indicated it might be possible to migrate. So, I learned a bit more about Bluestar this passed weekend and thought I'd share. I've also rounded up the best Linux tidbits from today's headlines as well.

First up, yes there is a graphical package manager. PacmanXG to be exact. I'd run into PacmanXG a few times over the years, but it appears it too has matured and seems to work rather well. The sort by groups could be better, but otherwise it's quite capable complete with history, log, and the command-line outputs. Updates come fairly routinely in Bluestar, although most are from Arch. I've been applying the recommended updates without any negative side-effects as of yet.

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OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 review

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Reviews

OpenMandriva is a Linux distribution whose roots and traditions date back to the Mandrake/Mandriva Linux era, what it has in common with with ROSA Linux and Mageia. The latest edition of the desktop distribution – OpenMandriva Lx 3.01, was released on December 25 2016, so it was a nice Christmas present to OpenMandriva fans.

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2016 in review: The year in Android

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Android
Reviews

Android is in a very different place than it was when 2016 began. While the last 12 months were filled with much of the usual pomp and circumstance surrounding the release of new handsets, connected gadgets, and OS refreshes, the state of Android has never been more promising or less predictable. Google stepped out from behind the curtain and into the spotlight. Headsets took over smartwatches as the trend of the moment. And Samsung’s phablet woes opened the door for smaller players to make big gains.

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Best Gnome distro of 2016

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GNOME
Reviews

Ever since Gnome 3 came to life, I struggled with how it was realized and what it did, a far cry (but not Far Cry, hi hi) from its predecessor. It was functionally inferior to its rival, and it is the chief reason why MATE and Cinnamon came to life. Then, over the years, it slowly evolved, and now, at last, the combination of its core elements and a thick layer of necessary extensions allows for a decent compromise. Throughout 2016, I tested more Gnome releases than ever before, I was quite pleased with the results, and now we will select the best candidate for this year.

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More in Tux Machines

The What, Why and Wow! Behind the CoreOS Container Linux

Unlike most Linux distributions, CoreOS doesn’t have a package manager. Instead it takes a page from Google’s ChromeOS and automates software updates to ensure better security and reliability of machines and containers running on clusters. Both operating system updates and security patches are regularly pushed to CoreOS Container Linux machines without sysadmin intervention. You control how often patches are pushed using CoreUpdate, with its web-based interface. This enables you to control when your machines update, and how quickly an update is rolled out across your cluster. Read more

Android Leftovers

Linux Lite

Linux Lite is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution that is based on the well known Ubuntu LTS and targeted at Windows users. Its mission is to provide a complete set of applications to support users' everyday computing needs, including a complete office suite, media players and other essential applications. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Effective Microservices Architecture with Event-Driven Design
    There’s no doubt, in the IT world, microservices are sexy. But just because you find something cool and attractive doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And it doesn’t mean you know how to use it properly.
  • Cloud Foundry Makes its Mark on the Enterprise
    "Proprietary will have to either get on board or be left in the dust."
  • Tumbleweed Review of the week 2017/25
    With the pace of Tumbleweed having resumed to ‘almost daily snapshots’ I will to the review again weekly instead of bi-weekly. It’s just easier to remember what big updates came in like this. This week I will cover the 6 snapshots 0616,0617,0618,0619,0620 and 0622 (again, 0622 just passed openQA and you will get it shortly on the mirror). There was also a 0621 tested, but discarded by openQA.
  • S10E16 – Enthusiastic Woozy Route
    It’s Season Ten Episode Sixteen of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson, Martin Wimpress and Joey Sneddon are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • My Meetup Slides: Deploy and Manage Kubernetes Clusters on Ubuntu in the Oracle Cloud
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  • MinnowBoard 3 will offer Apollo Lake, triple M.2s, and Raspberry Pi expansion
    Minnowboard.org is prepping an open spec “MinnowBoard 3” SBC with a quad-core Apollo Lake, 4GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, 3x M.2 sockets, and an RPi connector. The Intel-backed Minnowboard.org project has posted preliminary specs for an open-spec MinnowBoard 3 model to follow the recently shipped MinnowBoard Turbo Quad. Due to ship in the fall, the community-backed MinnowBoard 3 stands out with a 14nm Apollo Lake Atom, three M.2 sockets, and an “RPI” adapter. The only RPI we know of is Raspberry Pi, or more specifically, its much copied 40-pin expansion connector.
  • Open source social robot kit runs on Raspberry Pi and Arduino
    Thecorpora’s Scratch-ready “Q.bo One” robot is based on the RPi 3 and Arduino, and offers stereo cams, mics, a speaker, and visual and language recognition. In 2010, robotics developer Francisco Paz and his Barcelona-based Thecorpora startup introduced the first Qbo “Cue-be-oh” robot as an open source proof-of-concept and research project for exploring AI capabilities in multi-sensory, interactive robots. Now, after a preview in February at Mobile World Congress, Thecorpora has gone to Indiegogo to launch the first mass produced version of the social robot in partnership with Arrow.