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Reviews

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

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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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Review: Motorola Moto X4 Sub Title: Moto Money

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Android
Reviews

The original Moto X should hold a special place in smartphone history. It wasn’t the most powerful device, and the camera struggled, but it was the first major phone with contextual awareness baked in, giving you a hands-free assistant with voice recognition. We all yell at Alexa from across the room these days, but in 2013 it was magic. Every Moto X was different, too. You could customize it however you liked—deck it out in bright neon colors, backed in football leather, or covered in bamboo—and Motorola would ship it to you from its assembly plant in Texas, not China.

Motorola has gone through a lot of changes since 2013, and is now owned by Lenovo, but DNA from that first Moto X shines through in the Moto X4. It’s still not all that powerful, but is comfortable to hold, now waterproof, and has a suite of useful features unique to Motorola’s handsets.

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Review: The best Linux distros for Docker and containers

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Linux
Reviews

Over the past six months I have reviewed five minimal Linux distributions that are optimized for running containers: Alpine Linux, CoreOS Container Linux, RancherOS, Red Hat Atomic Host, and VMware Photon OS. Generically known as “container operating systems,” these stripped down, purpose built Linux distributions are not the only way to run containers in production, but they provide a base that does not waste resources on anything besides container support.

The state of the industry with container deployment systems is very much like the early days of Linux distributions. You have one key element, in this case the Docker container, that is surrounded by a number of competing ecosystem components. Just as the traditional Linux distros bundled different package managers, desktop environments, system utilities, services, and apps, most container distributions mix and match various components to create what they consider an optimum solution. Take for example distributed configuration and service discovery. There are several solutions for this such as Etcd, Consul, and ZooKeeper.

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More in Tux Machines

Making GNOME Look Like Apple's Operating System

  • A macOS Mojave Inspired GTK Theme Appears
    A new GTK theme brings the luscious look of macOS Mojave to the Linux desktop. Not that you should be surprised; we’ve written before about how easy it is to make Ubuntu look like a Mac. But thanks to this new macOS Mojave inspired GTK theme that fact is truer, and more faithful, than ever.
  • Make Ubuntu Look Like macOS Mojave’s Dark Mode
    If you’re a Linux user who likes the look of the dark mode coming in macOS Mojave, you’re in luck: there’s a GTK theme just for you. The theme is available on Gnome-Look.org alongside several other macOS inspired themes. You’re looking for the one titled McOS-MJV-Dark-mode, but feel free to download more if you think you might want to switch it up later. Installing is a little tricky: you need to create a .themes directory in your home folder, then extract the folder in the downloaded archive into that folder. Next you need to install Gnome Tweaks in the Ubuntu Software Store, which you can use to change the theme. You can also use Gnome Tweaks to move the buttons to the left side of the window, where they belong. Fight me.

Android Leftovers

Servers With GNU/Linux

  • Linux Foundation Shifts Network Infrastructure to Kubernetes
    The Linux Networking Fund (LNF) is making significant progress toward embracing Kubernetes as a platform for delivering a range of networking services that are expected to be widely embraced by telecommunications carriers and cloud service providers (CSP). Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking an orchestration for The Linux Foundation, says the latest Beijing release of the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) contains several modules that have been ported to Kubernetes, with more to follow once the Casablanca release of ONAP is released.
  • A Platform Of A Certain Age And Respectability
    But seriously. The many rivals of the OS/400 platform and its follow-ons since that June 21, 1988, launch of the Application System/400 are now gone or not even on life support. We can all rattle them off, but the important ones that drove innovation for OS/400 and its children through to the current IBM i are DEC’s VMS for the VAX and Alpha systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s MPE for the HP 3000 and HP-UX for the HP 9000s, and Sun Microsystems’ Solaris for the Sparc systems. You could throw in SCO Unix, Novell NetWare, and a slew of proprietary operating systems in Europe and Japan, and while you are at it, you should probably also include the IBM System/38’s CPF operating system and the IBM System/36’s SSP operating system. Even OS/2 and its PS/2 platform actually predate the AS/400 by 10 months – and they are long, long gone.
  • Uptycs Raises $13M, Launches Osquery-Based Security Platform
    No. 2 is the growing popularity of Mac and Linux-based infrastructure. Traditional enterprise workloads are deployed on Windows, so that’s where malicious activity historically occurred. But now more companies are using Mac infrastructure and transitioning new workloads to Linux in the cloud. Companies need to monitor and secure these environments as well, and Uptycs’ security platform covers all of the above.
  • CeBIT 2018: Huawei to roll-out KunLun V5 server
    Huawei is set to launch the latest server in its KunLun mission critical range with the V5, teaming up once more with Suse, further confirming that the company’s Linux Enterprise Server system is its preferred standard for the range.
  • Why an Infrastructure Transition is the Perfect Time to Invest in Security
    The idea behind containers has been around since the 1970s, when the technology was first used to isolate application code on Unix systems. However, the use of containers only became widespread in 2013 with the advent of Docker, and container orchestration tools like Kubernetes are even newer than that.

A look at Lutris – Open Gaming Platform for GNU/Linux

Lutris is quite the handy application I’ve discovered, that helps with organization and installation of games on GNU/Linux, even if they come from multiple sources. One of the project's goals is to support any game that runs on Linux regardless of whether it runs natively, through Wine, or other means. The main appeal of Lutris is that it provides an interface to manage all games installed on the machine regardless of source. While it is necessary to integrate the games in the application first, doing so is not super complicated. You may add local games right away by selecting them from the local system or visit the Lutris website to add games this way. Lutris simplifies nearly everything. Users can visit the list of support games on the Lutris website, choose to download and install the game (Note: If its a game that must be bought, you must own it first.) The website lists supported games and where you can acquire or download them. You can use filters on the site to display only free games, games of a genre, or use the built-in search to find games of interest quickly using it. Read more