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Review: siduction 21.1.1

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Reviews
Debian

siduction is a Debian-based distribution first released in 2011. What makes it unique is that it is one of the few Debian-based distros based off the Unstable branch (commonly known as Debian Sid, hence the name siduction). Although Debian is well known to be a very stable distro, some people look for more recent and up to date software that a rolling release distro would provide. Some common rolling release distros that are more well known are the Tumbleweed branch of openSUSE, Arch Linux, and Gentoo, and the never ending list of distros based off these. The reason siduction is such a powerful distro is that it is maintained by its community, therefore it is curated slightly more than Debian Sid. In my use case, Debian stable provides xorg-server version 1.20.4 but I require at least version 1.20.6 to properly use the NVIDIA card in my laptop with the new(ish) prime render offloading. xorg-server currently is at version 1.20.11 at the time of writing this, and siduction provides the most current version.

Installing

The siduction live USB boots to the desktop environment you chose on the download page - KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, Xfce, Xorg, and a no X version are available. For this review I used the KDE Plasma desktop environment because it is a very popular choice. I was actually quite disappointed there is no GNOME desktop version available for installation from siduction, although you could choose the Xorg version and install GNOME manually - but this would be not very beginner friendly. GNOME is easily one of the most popular desktop environments, far more popular than LXDE, Cinnamon, and LXQt, however I understand that these desktop environments have their own use cases such as low RAM usage, Qt environment, or GTK in the case of Xfce. I'm still shocked there is no GNOME version available from the downloads page.

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Ubuntu 21.04 Review - A Fun Computing

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Reviews
Ubuntu

This is our review of Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo. This release is a dedication to Adam Conrad, a respected Ubuntu Developer, who passed away earlier this year. It is a fun computer operating system, quick and responsive on today's hardware standard, with full of useful apps and amusing games, with a few of challenges and shortcomings. Let's see it together.

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Haruna – video player using libmpv

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Software
OSS
Reviews

Are you in the market for a fresh, modern and versatile media player for Linux? Haruna is a media player which may have escaped your radar.

mpv is a media player for the command line. It supports a wide variety of media file formats, audio and video codecs, and subtitle types. Haruna is a modern-looking Qt-based video player that acts as a front-end to mpv.

Haruna is free and open source software.

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LeoCAD 21.06 on openSUSE

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Software
Reviews
SUSE

I have espoused the glorious wonders of LeoCAD on openSUSE before. This is a fantastic application to work with Lego bricks and components in a virtual, safe for your feet, environment. Building with Lego bricks is a lot of fun, using it virtually can help to refine ideas. Although the title of this post mentions using it on openSUSE, this really should work for all modern Linux distributions.

I have, what I would call, an on and off relationship with LeoCAD. Nothing against the applications or the Lego bricks but more due to the time allowed for this sort of entertainment, maybe edutainment as I often use it along with my kids. Regardless, when I do get to playing with LeoCAD, it is a kind of time spiral that I fall into and really enjoy.

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ProtonVPN on Linux Review: An Open-Source VPN Service for Privacy Minded Users

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OSS
Reviews

If you want an enhanced level of privacy protection, transparency of the VPN service, and full-fledged Linux support, ProtonVPN is a fantastic choice.

However, the pricing plan may prove to be expensive if you want to use it on more than two devices compared to other VPN providers.

I think it is worth it if you regularly rely on a VPN connection to hide your IP address, use torrents, unblock geological restrictions, and more. And if you rarely use a VPN, you could look at some of the other VPN options available for Linux.

What do you think about ProtonVPN? Have you tried it yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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vizex – visualize disk space and disk usage

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Software
OSS
Reviews

You often hear that disk space is cheap and plentiful. And it’s true that a 4TB mechanical hard disk drive currently retails for less than 100 dollars. But like many users we’ve migrated to running Linux on M.2 Solid State Drives (SSDs). They are NVMe drives reaching read and write speeds of over 5,000MB/s. That’s over 20 times faster than a 7,200 RPM traditional hard drive.

M.2 SSDs do functionally everything a hard drive does, but help to make a computer feel far more responsive. M.2 are NVMe drives which reduce I/O overhead and brings various performance improvements relative to previous logical-device interfaces, including multiple long command queues, and reduced latency. M.2 drives are more expensive than mechanical hard drives in terms of dollar per gigabyte. And M.2 with really large capacities are thin on the ground and expensive, so most users settle for lower capacity drives.

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Review: Bedrock Linux 0.7.20

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Linux
Reviews

Bedrock is one of the more intriguing projects I have had the pleasure to use recently. It not only provides one heck of a toolbox for making distributions work together without requiring virtual machines or Docker, it does so quickly and with a minimal amount of knowledge required by the user. In short, we have a very easy way to run multiple distributions as if they were one operating system with almost no extra overhead in terms of CPU or memory usage. We do use a little extra disk space, but running Void, two versions of Ubuntu, and one copy of Arch only consumed around 7GB of disk space - about the same amount of disk consumption some large mainstream distributions use.

I also like how Bedrock essentially reverses distribution fragmentation. If you're tired of needing to run different distributions to gain access to a specific program or package manager, then you can run Bedrock and gain access to just about everything and use it seamlessly as one operating system. It's really quite a remarkable bit of engineering and, once I got used to how the different strata fit together, I encountered virtually no problems with it. There was the drawback that I couldn't use SELinux or Btrfs with Bedrock, but Bedrock's strata copying capabilities provide a sort of snapshot and there are other access controls people can use in place of SELinux. All in all, I'm quite happy with Bedrock.

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Review: Ubuntu MATE 21.04 and Anbox

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The Ubuntu team published version 21.04, on schedule and without much in the way of surprises. Ubuntu and its many community editions, including Ubuntu MATE, appear to have spent the past six months polishing the desktop environments. There aren't many changes, no leaps forward in terms of the underlying technology like init software, filesystems, and packaging formats which sometimes shake up the Ubuntu community. This time around the big headline change for Ubuntu was adopting Wayland as the default display software for the GNOME desktop. Meanwhile the Ubuntu MATE team included some fixes, addressed some problems when switching between desktop layouts, and polished their themes.

One key item mentioned in the Ubuntu MATE 21.04 release announcement is that their fixes have been pushed upstream to Debian. This means that fixes which appear in Ubuntu MATE 21.04 will not only be available to other flavours of Ubuntu, but improvements to the MATE desktop should also appear in Debian and its dozens of derived distributions.

Ubuntu MATE 21.04 is available for 64-bit (x86_64) machines. On release day ARM images were planned, but not published yet. The project's ISO file is a 2.8GB download. Booting from the Ubuntu MATE media brings up a menu asking if we'd like to run the live desktop, run the live desktop in safe graphics mode, or run the OEM install process. Taking the live desktop modes launches MATE 1.24.1. A window appears and asks us to select our language from a list and then click either a Try or Install button to proceed.

[...]

I was quite happy with my experiences with Ubuntu MATE 21.04. It had been a few years since I last tried this flavour of Ubuntu and I was pleased to see that the developers have mostly focused on polishing and fixing minor issues. The distribution works well with my hardware, it's responsive, and I like that we can easily switch between desktop layouts to suit the user's preference. The welcome window manages to provide access to a lot of information and resources without being too cluttered or confusing.

The Software Boutique is an interesting idea and I have mixed feelings about it. Having a small collection of popular applications readily available in an uncluttered interface is quite attractive to newcomers. On the other hand, forcing users to install a separate software centre to gain access to less popular (though still useful) applications feels awkward. This is a tool I'd probably want to stick in front of novice users to see how they react to it before I make a decision on it.

The documentation, settings panel, and default layout all feel really polished. The installer is easy to navigate, for the most part, and Ubuntu MATE ships with fairly up to date software. I had just two issues with this release. One was that the desktop panel sometimes crashed, either when switching desktop layouts or when signing in. Usually the panel restarts itself, but sometimes I had to logout and then sign back into my account to get the panel back. The other concern is Ubuntu MATE 21.04 only receives nine months of support. I'd suggest sticking with long-term support (LTS) releases for most people. However, for those who don't mind upgrading about once every six months, 21.04 is a really solid release based on my experience. It's also one of the more user friendly distributions I have used in the past six months.

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Review: CloudReady and TrueNAS Core

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Reviews

TrueNAS Core, formerly called FreeNAS, is a FreeBSD-based operating system which provides Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services. TrueNAS Core is the community branch of the TrueNAS project, sponsored by iXsystems. It also has a commercial branch called TrueNAS Enterprise. TrueNAS provides a minimal operating system base with a friendly, web-based front end for administration. Using TrueNAS we can set up ZFS storage pools, filesystem snapshots, network shares, user accounts, and background services through the web-based administration portal.

[...]

On the whole, I like TrueNAS Core. It's easy to set up, the web-based interface is easy to navigate. The system does a good job of displaying an overview of information and options in a friendly interface. There are a lot of options which might be overwhelming at first, but they're generally organized in a way that allows us to find specific tools fairly quickly.

I was frustrated with the networking issues which prevented me from using plugins, but the tools which were available, such as those for setting up pools, automating filesystem snapshots, and working with services were all top notch. I'd definitely look at using TrueNAS in an organization that had a lot of data to manage and wanted to organize and share it quickly and with minimal fuss.

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MakuluLinux Core Now Built on Forked Gnome

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Linux
Reviews

Overall, the new Core distro with the heavily modified Gnome base is a solid computing platform. On first use, you are greeted with a brief animated presentation of how the desktop works and the basic features to get you started.

If you are serious about considering MakuluLinux Core, make sure you watch the 44-minute video shown above. Raymer narrates the presentation and literally walks you through all the features and setting how-to tips. Also required reading is the Wiki user guide referenced in the menus.

The only difficulty new users will have is deciding which MakuluLinux edition best suits their computing needs.

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pg_statement_rollback is a PostgreSQL extension to add server side transaction with rollback at statement level like in Oracle or DB2. Release v1.3 of pg_statement_rollback was released. This is a maintenance release to add support to PostgreSQL 14. See ChangeLog for a complete list of changes. Read more Also: PostgreSQL Weekly News - October 24, 2021

pg_statement_rollback v1.3 released

pg_statement_rollback is a PostgreSQL extension to add server side transaction with rollback at statement level like in Oracle or DB2. Release v1.3 of pg_statement_rollback was released. This is a maintenance release to add support to PostgreSQL 14. See ChangeLog for a complete list of changes. Read more Also: PostgreSQL Weekly News - October 24, 2021