Originally, I wanted this post to be a comparison test. Specifically, I wanted to compare SolydK to the KDE edition of Manjaro Linux. However, it turns out that Manjaro Linux uses KDE 5 (I know this is a deliberate abuse of notation), while SolydK uses KDE 4. That doesn't sound like a fair comparison, so I'm splitting these into separate reviews.
Mint 17.2 is well worth the upgrade, though much of what you want from it might be easier to get by just upgrading Cinnamon or MATE on their own. The Mint Linux upgrade guide tends to emphasize the wisdom on the old saying, "if it ain't broke..." Those are good words to live by, but that said, I had no trouble at all upgrading from Mint 17.1. All you need to do is open Update Manager and head to the Edit menu, where you should see an option to "Upgrade to Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela."
Linux Mint 17.2 is an LTS release and will receive security updates until 2019. And until 2016, all Mint releases will continue to use the same base package system (Ubuntu 14.04). Maintaining desktop familiarity may never be easier.
The bq Aquaris E5 is solid device. On the software side there aren't any big issues. Also the hardware of the E4.5 and E5 is so similar that one is as good os the other when it comes to running the installed software.
Anyway the bq Aquaris E5 is still a device for Ubuntu enthisiasts. You'll a get a pretty good device for 200€. The price is only 30€ higher compared to the E4.5, but includes a bigger and better display.
I want one. Maybe I've just spent too long on older hardware but it's nice to be able to use a laptop with modern specs without having to compromise on my Open Source and privacy ideals. The Librem 15 was definitely too big for me but while the Librem 13 is bigger than most of my personal laptops, it's about the same size as a modern Thinkpad X series (but thinner and lighter). I'm more than willing to add an inch or so to the width in exchange for such a nice, large, high-res screen. Even though my X200 is technically smaller, it's definitely heavier and just feels clunkier.
ChaletOS is a Xubuntu-derived distribution, with very little to no publicity surrounding it. Even its official domain, a humble, unassuming Google sites page, does not offer too much information. I came across ChaletOS while reading Gizmo's Freeware forums, and I was hooked by its rather stylish, colorful looks.
Fedora 22 GNOME felt very snappy for me. All windows opened and closed very quickly in the Live session. There were no bugs or crashes during my Live run. The system was stable.
However, I felt quite uncomfortable in the system itself. I think it is partially because I am not very familiar with GNOME 3, and its concept is not very close to my heart.
But I must admit that in many places Fedora 22 left the impression of something unfinished, still requiring polishing. I've never felt this in recent releases of Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Some applications like Weather or Map still lack features that we take for granted in similar web tools.
I wish the Fedora team success in improving their system in future releases, and see them soon!
Alpine Linux has become one of the most frequently requested distributions on my list of projects to review. Alpine is an independent distribution which, as the project's front page tells us, is "a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox." The project's About page goes into more detail: "Alpine Linux is a very simple distribution that will try to stay out of your way. It uses its own package manager, called apk, the OpenRC init system, script driven set-ups and that's it! This provides you with a simple, crystal-clear Linux environment without all the noise. You can then add on top of that just the packages you need for your project, so whether it's building a home PVR, or an iSCSI storage controller, a wafer-thin mail server container, or a rock-solid embedded switch, nothing else will get in the way."