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Reviews

Review: Google Pixel is Android at its best (if a little boring)

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Android
Google
Reviews

The Pixel’s designs have been divisive ever since the first batch of leaks hit the interwebs, but I’ve grown quite fond of it. Maybe it’s the fact that my ‘Really Blue’ (provided to us by Verizon, thanks folks) model is in fact so incredibly blue, but really I just think the two tone look stands out. It’s instantly recognizable if you’ve seen the phone before.

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LG Watch Sport review: Not the watch Android Wear needs right now

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Android
Reviews

The LG Watch Sport just looks and feels like a “gadget” and not a “watch.” It harkens back to the days of those old Microsoft Spot watches (remember those?). Instead of reaching as broad a market as possible with the first full-featured Android Wear 2.0 watch, LG and Google have given us something with almost impossibly narrow appeal. This watch is almost exclusively for large-wristed athletic types whose fashion sense leans toward calculator watches. I found myself wanting to put it on just before I left for the gym, and itching to take it off the moment I got home.

Android Wear 2.0 deserves a better showcase watch than this. With any luck, another manufacturer will step in with a more universally acceptable design that at least supports Android Pay and has a heart-rate monitor.

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Thoughts on Slackware 14.2

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Reviews
Slack

All in all I'm quite happy with slackware 14.2 on my quasi-modern computer. Old school linux and openbsd types will no doubt feel at home with slack. There's no systemd to worry about. A full install takes about 9 gigs of drive space. The slackware folks have obviously put a ton of work into this new release. A word of warning to linux newbies, this isn't the easiest distro to install and is probably best suited to linux intermediates or experts.

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Linux Mint 18.1 Serena - The glass is half full

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Reviews

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena is an okay distro. It has more merit than Sarah, but then, it's also had almost a year to work on polishing some of the issues, and while a few have been ironed out, big quality issues that were never the domain of Mint before still persist. The live session experience is underwhelming, the default theme is not vibrant enough and can lead to ocular exhaustion quickly, there were problems with stability, multimedia playback, and the promise of Spotify never came to be.

On the other hand, most of the stuff works out of the box, the repos are rich, the distro can be tamed relatively easily, and at the end of the day, you have a supported, popular system full of goodies and shiny colors with only a slight aftertaste of betrayal in your proverbial mouth. Good, but only if you've just started playing around with Linux. This distro has no flair. It doesn't have the magic and fire of yore. No fire, no nothing. It's not super green. And it must pop pop pop. So I guess, grade wise, 6.5/10 or some such. All in all, 'tis Linux Mint all right, but not the best offering by a long shot.

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Also: Linux Mint 18.2 Features – What’s Ahead In the Next Release

Review on Solus 2017.01.01: Solid, Stable and Fast

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Reviews

Solus is an independent Linux distribution which targets desktop PC users. The project started in 2011 carrying the name “SolusOS” but later was changed to a plain “Solus”. What mainly makes Solus different is its desktop interface called “Budgie” beside a lot of other software like “eopkg” which is the distribution’s package manager.

Solus uses a rolling release model. Providing an updated ISO file of the distribution every few months containing the latest software and updates. This, however, doesn’t mean that the system is “unstable” like some other rolling Linux distributions.

There are a lot of exciting things when it comes to Solus. Its desktop interface “Budgie” is completely developed from scratch but is compatible with some GNOME technologies. It also has its own package manager called “eopkg” which uses .eopkg format for package files (it doesn’t depend on .deb or .rpm files nor can install them). “eopkg” was forked from Pardus Linux. But developers of Solus have plans to replace it with “sol“.

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Reviews: OpenELEC and Clear Linux

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Reviews

I next turned my attention to a distribution which has only recently been added to the DistroWatch database: Clear Linux. The Clear Linux distribution is unusual in a few ways. For one, the project is not designed to be a full featured or general purpose operating system; Clear Linux focuses on performance more than features. The distribution is fairly minimal and is designed with cloud computing in mind, though it may also be used in other areas, particularly on servers.

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Linux Mint 18.1 Is The Best Mint Yet

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

The hardcore Linux geeks won’t read this article. They’ll skip right past it… They don’t like Linux Mint much. There’s a good reason for them not to; it’s not designed for them. Linux Mint is for folks who want a stable, elegant desktop operating system that they don’t want to have to constantly tinker with. Anyone who is into Linux will find Mint rather boring because it can get as close to the bleeding edge of computer technology. That said, most of those same hardcore geeks will privately tell you that they’ve put Linux Mint on their Mom’s computer and she just loves it. Linux Mint is great for Mom. It’s stable, offers everything she needs and its familiar UI is easy for Windows refugees to figure out. If you think of Arch Linux as a finicky, high-performance sports car then Linux Mint is a reliable station wagon. The kind of car your Mom would drive. Well, I have always liked station wagons myself and if you’ve read this far then I guess you do, too. A ride in a nice station wagon, loaded with creature comforts, cold blowing AC, and a good sound system can be very relaxing, indeed.

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Lumina Adds Luster to Linux Desktop

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

The Lumina Desktop Environment desktop is a standout in the crowded field of Linux graphical user interface choices.

Lumina is a compact, lightweight, XDG-compliant graphical desktop environment developed from scratch. Its focus is on giving users a streamlined, efficient work environment with minimal system overhead.

Lumina was first developed for the BSD family of operating systems (such as FreeBSD and TrueOS). It is gaining interest among Linux users, having been introduced for a growing number of Linux distros.

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CentOS Vs. Ubuntu

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Linux
Reviews

Linux options available are almost “limitless” because, everyone can build it, either by changing an already existing distro or a new Linux From Scratch (LFS).

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10 Best Linux Terminals For Ubuntu And Fedora

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Linux
Reviews

One of the most important applications for Linux users is the terminal emulator. It allows every user to get access to the shell. Bash is the most common shell for Linux and UNIX distributions, it’s powerful and very necessary for newbies and advanced users. So, in this article, you are going to know the great alternatives that you have to use an excellent terminal emulator.

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today's howtos

Software: LibreELEC 8.0.1 (Kodi), MKVToolnix 10.0.0, Claws Mail 3.15)

  • LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.0.1 MR
    LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.0.1 MR is available bringing Kodi v17.1, hardware support for the Raspberry Pi Zero W, improved software HEVC decoding on RPi3/CM3 hardware, driver support for Fe Pi audio cards, and support for Cirrus Logic DAC audio cards (thanks to @HiassofT). The bump to Kodi v17.1 resolves several upgrade and user-experience issues we have seen with the initial Kodi v17.0 release, and happiness is enhanced for users wearing an official LibreELEC tee-shirt or hoodie.
  • LibreELEC 8.0.1 Is Out Based on Kodi 17.1, Adds Support for Raspberry Pi Zero W
    LibreELEC developers announced the release and general availability of the first maintenance update to the major LibreELEC 8.0 stable series of the Linux-based operating system built around the Kodi open-source media center.
  • NetworkManager 1.8 to Support Handling of PINs for PKCS#11 Tokens as Secrets
    Lubomir Rintel announced that the development of the NetworkManager 1.8 major release has kicked off with the availability of the first snapshot, versioned 1.7.2, for public testing.
  • MKVToolnix 10.0.0 Open-Source MKV Manipulator Improves H.264 and H.265 Parsers
    MKVToolnix developer Moritz Bunkus released a new major branch of his popular, open-source and cross-platform MKV (Matroska) manipulation software, versioned 10.0.0.
  • Claws Mail 3.15.0
    Claws Mail is a GTK+ based, user-friendly, lightweight, and fast email client.
  • Claws Mail 3.15 Open-Source Email Client Brings New Hidden Preferences, Bugfixes
    Claws Mail, the lightweight and open-source GTK+ based email client for Linux, UNIX, and Windows operating systems, was updated recently to version 3.15.0, a maintenance update that adds new functionalities and addresses a lot of bugs. Claws Mail 3.15.0 comes more than four months after the first point release to the 3.14 series of the application, and among the new features implemented we can mention a bunch of options that should help users configure Claws Mail when opening a selected message, such as checkboxes on the Display and Summaries page of Preferences.

Games for GNU/Linux

  • It looks like we may be getting a Planescape Torment Enhanced Edition
    Back in January Beamdog was looking for testers on a new game. Now the Planescape website has a countdown timer. It's legitimate too, as tweeted by the Beamdog and the D&D twitter accounts.
  • RTS game 'Deadhold' could come to Linux, considering an experimental Beta
    The developers of Deadhold [Steam, Official Site] want to support Linux and they are thinking about releasing an experimental Linux Beta.
  • Ten amazing Linux games you can play without WINE
    Those of us who have taken up the mantle of a Linux gamer know that our path is rarely easy. For a long time, few games were released for our chosen platform. Those that were shipped riddled with bugs, compatibility issues and rarely worked out of the box. Getting games to work require using WINE and deeply complex almost arcane workarounds to force windows games to work on our quirky systems. Unfortunately, games rarely worked well and usually required hours of complex tweaking in order to get them to function properly. To top this all of, there were graphics driver problems, optimization issues, peripherals rarely worked out of the box and our lives were generally difficult.

Ubuntu-Based LXLE 16.04.2 Gets an RC Build, Promises to Be the Best Release Ever

LXLE 16.04.2 is on its way to becoming the best release ever of the Ubuntu-based distribution built around the lightweight LXDE desktop environment, and it just received a Release Candidate (RC) build. Continuing to get all the goodies from Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus), LXLE 16.04.2 Release Candidate is here only two weeks after the last Beta milestone, and adds quite a bunch of improvements and bug fixes. These include a reconfigured menu layout to be less cluttered for navigation, and a revamped Control Menu to act as a dynamic Control Panel. Read more