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Reviews

BunsenLabs Linux

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Reviews

When I first started using BunsenLabs Linux I did not enjoy the experience. At first, it felt like installing Debian with a depressing theme and fewer features. The initial installation and configuration steps felt overly long and complicated. The Openbox environment lacked the features of fuller desktop environments while, at the same time, offering unwanted distractions such as Conky and extra virtual desktops. It would be fair to say the first two or three hours with Bunsen were unpleasant for me.

However, there was definitely a turning point during my trial. Around the start of the second day -- once I had a more colourful theme in place, the Conky packages had been banished and I had got into the habit of installing software I wanted from the application menu -- there was a point where I began to enjoy Bunsen. The distribution's hardware and multimedia support were top notch, performance and the interface's responsiveness were excellent and the applications available all worked properly. Openbox has enough configuration tools to make it flexible without being overwhelming. What really sold me on the distribution though was the way Openbox stayed out of my way, a feature I feel Debian's default desktop does not offer.

At the end of my trial, I still had some mixed feelings. As much as Bunsen grew on me, I couldn't help but feel the experience felt very much like installing Debian and adding the Openbox window manager as a session option. While Bunsen takes care of that step for us, it also adds several extra steps during the initial configuration that made me feel like going with plain Debian and installing Openbox might have been faster and easier.

In the end, I did grow to like Bunsen with its clean, fast user interface. I like the distribution's tweaks to Debian such as adding sudo and providing application menu installers. I think the initial welcome script should probably either be automated or ask all its questions up front and then go to work in the background. It took a while for me to get the interface looking the way I wanted it to and less like the inside of a mine shaft, but once I did the distribution provided a good set of default applications and desktop functionality.

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YubiKey NEO: Ubuntu 16.04 usefulness (+ review)

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Reviews
Security
Ubuntu

I got a hold of a YubiKey NEO, so I was wondering how useful it is and what can I do with it. Here’s my “tutorial” on setting it up using Ubuntu 16.04 and actually using it.

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Getting started with ReactOS

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OS
Reviews

ReactOS is a relatively new open source operating system that resembles the looks of Windows NT and aims to offer similar levels of functionality and application compatibility. Featuring a wine-based user mode, this system doesn't use any of the Unix architecture, but is a rewrite of the NT architecture from scratch, with its very own FAT32 implementation, and completely free of legal implications. That said, this is not yet another Linux distro, but a unique Windows-like system that is a part of the free software world. This quick guide aims at users who want an easy to use, open source replacement for their Windows system.

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Here's a sneak peek at what's coming in the next Linux Mint

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Reviews

The beta version of Linux Mint 18 'Sarah' made its debut this week, and a final release won't be far behind. Here's a look at what's coming to this popular free and open-source operating system.

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Linux Mint 18 Beta Released And Running Without Any Issues

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Linux
News
Reviews

Linux Mint is an open source, free and Ubuntu based Linux distribution. This is the distribution with which I started exploring Linux. It was the simplest one I could try out. Today it is simple plus more stable. Recently the Linux Mint team announced the next version beta release with some great changes and improvements. I have tried it out. In this article, Let's see in brief what's new in this beta release.

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ROSA Desktop Fresh R7 KDE: nothing to complain... almost

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Reviews

ROSA Desktop Fresh R7 KDE left a good impression on me.

Even though the initial boot took about 500 Mb of memory, my laptop with 4Gb of RAM was capable of dealing with all the tasks I ran on it in the Live mode of this distribution in a quick and responsive manner. I felt no lags or glitches.

The only minor things that were worth mentioning in this review were strange design of the panel and the ROSA Menu which isn't to my taste.

Well done, ROSA team, I hope to see your system even more improved in the future.

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Sabayon 16.05

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Gentoo
Reviews

Sabayon Sabayon is a Linux distribution that is based on Gentoo. Sabayon takes on some of the characteristics of its parent, providing users with a rolling release distribution that can make use of both binary and source software packages. Recent snapshots of Sabayon offer support for computers running on 64-bit x86 processors along with Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers. Perhaps the biggest new feature of Sabayon though is the launch of Sabayon Community Repositories (SCR). These new repositories provide a way for community members to build and distribute software for Sabayon without the necessity of getting their software into Sabayon's official repositories.

There are seven editions of Sabayon, including the builds for Raspberry Pi computers. There are several desktop editions, a Server edition and a small Minimal edition. I decided to begin my trial with Sabayon's KDE edition which is a 2.7GB download. Booting from the distribution's media brings up a menu asking if we would like to run Sabayon's live desktop, perform an installation, boot to a text console, check the installation media for defects or perform a memory check. Taking the live desktop option loads the KDE desktop. The wallpaper shows a gravel road passing through farmland while a moon rises with the Sabayon logo on it. Icons on the desktop invite us to donate to the distribution, get on-line help and launch the system installer. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu, a task switcher and the system tray.

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ReactOS Is a Promising Open Source Windows Replacement

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OS
OSS
Reviews

ReactOS is the closest working clone of the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS that currently is available. Its developers are meeting their stated goal of creating a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems: NT4, 2000, XP, Windows 2003, Vista and Windows 7.

What they have not fully explained is how ReactOS avoids the vulnerabilities that render the outdated OSes unsafe to use online today. The Windows OS security flaws may not be a pressing issue, though, since the developers have created a clone rather than duplicating Windows code.

Open source fans might be drawn to future developments of ReactOS for the same reasons of choice and freedom that draw them to the Linux OS families.

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BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Tablet Review: In-Depth

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Back in February, BQ and Ubuntu announced that they'd joined forces to create the Aquaris M10 Tablet, the first 10.1-inch device to run Ubuntu OS. With the ability to quickly transform from a handheld touch tablet to a full-on desktop computer, the M10 has something different to offer users; and let's be clear on this, the M10 is a tablet for developers and fellow geeks, not the average consumer. If you want something to watch movies, play games and browse the web on, you'll be much better serviced elsewhere.

So, how is the first Ubuntu tablet experience? Here's our Aquaris M10 review.

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today's leftovers

Leftovers: More Software

  • PSPP 0.10.2 has been released
    I'm very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.
  • Skype For Linux Alpha Update Adds ‘Close to Tray’, Call Settings, More
  • Hamster-GTK 0.10.0 Released
    Just a few seconds ago the initial release of Hamster-GTK, version 0.10.0, has been uploaded to the cheese shop. That means that after the rewritten backend codebase hamster-lib has been out in the wild for a few days by now you can now have a first look at a reimplementation of the original hamster 2.0 GUI. It will come as no surprise that this current early version is rather unpolished and leaves a lot to be desired. However, if you are familiar with legacy hamster 2.0 aka hamster-time-tracker you will surely see some major resemblance.
  • Core improvements in digiKam 5.0
    Version 5.0.0 of the digiKam image-management application was released on July 5. In many respects, the road from the 4.x series to the new 5.0 release consisted of patches and rewrites to internal components that users are not likely to notice at first glance. But the effort places digiKam in a better position for future development, and despite the lack of glamorous new features, some of the changes will make users' lives easier as well. For context, digiKam 4.0 was released in May of 2014, meaning it has been over two full years since the last major version-number bump. While every free-software project is different, it was a long development cycle for digiKam, which (for example) had released 4.0 just one year after 3.0. The big hurdle for the 5.0 development cycle was porting the code to Qt5. While migrating to a new release of a toolkit always poses challenges, the digiKam team decided to take the opportunity to move away from dependencies on KDE libraries. In many cases, that effort meant refactoring the code or changing internal APIs to directly use Qt interfaces rather than their KDE equivalents. But, in a few instances, it meant reimplementing functionality directly in digiKam.
  • MATE Dock Applet 0.73 Released With Redesigned Window List, Drag And Drop Support
    MATE Dock Applet was updated to version 0.73 recently, getting support for rearranging dock icons via drag and drop (only for the GTK3 version), updated window list design and more.
  • Minimalist Web Browser ‘Min’ Sees New Release
    The Min browser project has picked up a new update. Version 1.4 of the open-source, cross-platform web browser adds browser actions and full-text search.
  • Docker adds orchestration and more at DockerCon 2016
    DockerCon 2016, held in Seattle in June, included many new feature and product announcements from Docker Inc. and the Docker project. The main keynote of DockerCon [YouTube] featured Docker Inc. staff announcing and demonstrating the features of Docker 1.12, currently in its release-candidate phase. As with the prior 1.11 release, the new version includes major changes in the Docker architecture and tooling. Among the new features are an integrated orchestration stack, new encryption support, integrated cluster networking, and better Mac support. The conference hosted 4000 attendees, including vendors like Microsoft, CoreOS, HashiCorp, and Red Hat, as well as staff from Docker-using companies like Capital One, ADP, and Cisco. While there were many technical and marketing sessions at DockerCon, the main feature announcements were given in the keynotes. As with other articles on Docker, the project and product are referred to as "Docker," while the company is "Docker Inc."

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Cheese Talks: Porting Games to Linux & Day of the Tentacle
    In addition to my own thoughts, the article includes insights from a number of other Linux game porters including Leszek Godlewski (Painkiller Hell & Damnation, Deadfall Adventures), Ryan "icculus" Gordon (StarBreak, Left 4 Dead 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, Another World, Cogs, Goat Simulator), David Gow (Keen Dreams, Multiwinia), Ethan Lee (Salt & Sanctuary, Hiden in Plain Sight, HackNet, Waveform, Dust: An Elysian Tail) and Aaron Melcher (Outland, La-Mulana, Hyper Light Drifter, Darkest Dungeon). Betweem them, they offer a great range of attitudes and approaches that support and provide counterpoint to my own experiences.
  • ​Bundle Stars presents the Indie Legend Bundle 4
    Boasting one of the most star-studded game line-ups ever seen in an indie bundle, the brand new and exclusive Indie Legends 4 Bundle is here. Bundle Stars has pulled 8 incredible Steam games out of the bag for just $3.49 – that’s a saving of more than $100, and a discount of more than 95%. So just how good are the games? Games like Party Hard and Door Kickers are award winners, and the average Steam user score is a stunning 91%, across nearly 30,000 reviews!
  • Life is Strange: a Groundhog Day Simulator

Android Leftovers