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Reviews

Leftovers: Screenshots

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Fedora 21 review

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Red Hat
Reviews

It's been a while since my last upgrade and there has also been a gap to the latest Fedora 21 release, so now seemed like a good time. I upgraded my laptop by installing over the existing root partition but leaving the /home partition in place to maintain all my settings and files. I wasn't able to even attempt this in the Fedora 16 installer, but it was easy enough in the Fedora 21 installer and it worked surprisingly well. Downtime was only 20 minutes or so for the installation, though a couple of hours was needed to investigate various new settings etc.

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Ubuntu Mate 14.10 Review: For GNOME 2 lovers and offers awesome performance

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Ubuntu

I am not sure if Ubuntu Mate 14.10 is an official release from Canonical yet. It is still to be listed in distrowatch. But, never-the-less I came across this distro as a reference from a couple of readers from my blog. I used the distro for a week and I am writing down my experience with the distro. It has the same specifics as Ubuntu 14.10 - the desktop environment is different here: Mate 1.8.1, with it's typical GNOME 2 looks.

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Netrunner Rolling 2014.04 - This time, we need the goats

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Netrunner Rolling distro release is a very interesting concepts, on many level. It's a KDE desktop, based on Arch and Manjaro, the latter also being partially based on Arch itself, plus it comes with a rolling update model. A far cry from the typical asterisk-buntu philosophy that pervades most of the market.

In the canonical notation, Netrunner Rolling is actually an Arch-Arch-Manjaro distro, and this actually sounds like Ice Ice Baby, only geekier. Arch, Arch, Manjaro. Tam dam dam da da dam dam. Sort of. Anyhow, we have a new edition out there. 2014.09. So let's see if it's any good. The previous one surprised, immensely.

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Observing Scientific Linux 7.0

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Red Hat
Reviews

Scientific Linux is an operating system sponsored by Fermilab and built using the source code from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The distribution is lightly customized, making it similar to RHEL in most respects, but with different artwork. The current release of Scientific is available for the 64-bit x86 CPU architecture only. There are several editions to choose from, including a regular installation DVD (3.9 GB), an "Everything" double-sided installation DVD (6.2 GB), a net-install minimal CD (394 MB), a live CD (690 MB), a GNOME-flavoured live DVD (1.1 GB) and a KDE-flavoured live DVD (1.2 GB). I opted to download the live KDE disc.

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PC-BSD 10.1 review

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BSD

The last PC-BSD release I reviewed was the 9.1 edition, and that was back in December 2012 (see PC-BSD 9.1 preview). That’s almost two years ago, But that’s because I’ve been very disappointed with subsequent releases after that, so I never bothered to write another review, though I was each testing each release privately.

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

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Linux Mint 17.1 is the first example of what the Mint project team can do when they're focused on their own system rather than on making the latest Ubuntu work with Mint.

That’s because Mint 17.1 sticks with the Ubuntu released earlier this year – the first time this desktop Linux has not gone with the more recent Ubuntu.

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OpenSUSE 13.2 review - Back in the game!

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Reviews
SUSE

Finally. After three and a half years of sucking, openSUSE is a top performance once again. This is an excellent all-around distribution, and it comes with some neat solutions both over and underneath the hood. You can't deny its amazing looks, and with the 13.2 release, performance, functionality and stability are back.

Now, openSUSE 13.2 has its problems. The screenshot thingie, subvolume handling, missing Samba printing option, plus that one inexplicable crash, which is probably the most serious item. And because of it, the final grade shall be lower. But all combined, the woes pale against the quality and general goodness radiating from this edition. Really, if you ignore the initial setup, and the one time freeze, there's very little not to like about openSUSE 13.2. I'm pleased. And feeling somewhat fanboyish. But this is good.

Anyhow, if you're looking for a non-Ubuntu family release that can offer you a great blend and balance between looks, modernity, functionality, stability, and performance, then you have several worthy candidates to consider. CentOS is one of them, and now openSUSE has returned, mighty and strong, and sanity has been restored into the distro world, where for many years, there's been an almost total dominance by Mint and Ubuntu, with everyone else lagging behind. OpenSUSE 13.2 is definitely worth testing and exploring. Final grade, something like 9/10, and this is with a whole 0.5 point taken off. So it's good. Do it.

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Hands on with Caine Linux: Pentesting and UEFI compatible

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Caine 6.0 is derived from Ubuntu 14.04.1 (64 bit). That is a Long Term Support release, so that is a good thing. It uses the MATE desktop, rather than Unity, which is another really good thing. The ISO image can be obtained from their Downloads page (duh), and is relatively large (2.68GB).

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Kubuntu 14.10 review

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KDE
Reviews

KDE has improved in may respects since my last review of Kubuntu, so it’s fair to say that Kubuntu itself has improved. Muon Discover has improved too, so kudos to the developer. However, Kubuntu is not the best KDE-using distribution around. ROSA Desktop, for example, offers many more features than most KDE-using desktops. That said, Kubuntu 14.10 should be good enough for most users. If you would like to take it for a spin on your computer, installation images are available for download from here.

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Security Leftovers

GeckoLinux 421 Plasma and SUSE Hack Week

  • GeckoLinux 421 Plasma review - It ain't no dragon
    I heard a lot of good praise about this little distro. My inbox is flooded with requests to take it for a spin, so I decided, hey, so many people are asking. Let us. The thing is, openSUSE derivatives are far and few in between, but the potential and the appeal are definitely there. Something like CentOS on steroids, the way Stella did once, the same noble way Fuduntu tried to emancipate Fedora. Take a somewhat somber distro and pimpify it into submission. GeckoLinux is based on openSUSE Leap, and I chose the Plasma Static edition. There's also a Rolling version, based on Tumbleweed, but that one never worked for me. The test box for this review is Lenovo G50. But wait! Dedoimedo, did you not recently write in your second rejection report that GeckoLinux had failed to boot? Indeed I did. But the combo of yet another firmware update on the laptop and a fresh new download fixed it, allowing for a DVD boot. Somewhat like the painful but successful Fedora exercise back in the day. Tough start, but let's see what gives.
  • La Mapería
    It is Hack Week at SUSE, and I am working on La Mapería (the map store), a little program to generate beautiful printed maps from OpenStreetMap data.
  • HackWeek XIV @SUSE: Tuesday

From Vista 10 to Linux Mint

  • Microsoft Scared into Changes, 5 Reasons to Ditch
    Following a small claims court judgment against them, Microsoft announced they would be making declining their Windows 10 upgrade easier. Why not just switch to Linux as Daniel Robinson highlighted five reasons you should. My Linux Rig spoke to Christine Hall of FOSS Force about her "Linux rig" today and Bryan Lunduke had some thoughts on Canonical's collaboration myth. Dedoimedo reviewed GeckoLinux 421 and Gary Newell tested Peppermint 7 on his new Lenovo Ideapad.
  • After Multi-Month Tone Deaf Shitshow, Microsoft Finally Lets Users Control Obnoxious Windows 10 Upgrade
    Microsoft's decision to offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 made sense on its surface. It was a nice freebie for users happy to upgrade, and an effective way to herd customers on older Windows iterations onto the latest platform to help consolidate support expense. But Microsoft's upgrade in practice has seen no shortage of criticism from users annoyed by a total lack of control over the update, and Microsoft's violent tone deafness in response to the complaints. For example a Reddit post from an anti-poaching organization made the rounds earlier this year after the 17 GB automatic Windows 10 update resulted in huge per megabyte charges from their satellite broadband ISP. Microsoft's response to these complaints? Ignore them. As complaints grew, Microsoft finally provided a way to fully disable the forced upgrade, but made sure it involved forcing users to modify the registry, something Microsoft knew full well less technical users wouldn't be comfortable attempting to hurdle. [...] Things have been escalating ever since, often to comedic effect. But this week things changed somewhat with the news that Microsoft has struck a $10,000 settlement with a California woman who sued the company after an ill-timed Windows 10 upgrade brought her office computers to a crawl. The woman took Microsoft to court after support failed to help resolve the issue, a spokesman saying Microsoft halted its appeal of the ruling "to avoid the expense of further litigation."
  • Microsoft pays $10,000 to unwilling Windows 10 updater
  • The Linux Setup - Christine Hall, FOSS Force
    On my main desktop, I use Linux Mint 17.1, Rebecca. My main laptop, a 64-bit machine, is running Mint 17.2 Rafaela. The laptop got updated from Rebecca so I could write a review, but the desktop never got upgraded because it’s a 32-bit machine and would require another download, which I haven’t had the time to do. I have another laptop running Bodhi, which might be my favorite distro, but I can be more productive with Mint.
  • Linux Mint 18 Finally Arrives — Download Cinnamon and MATE Edition ISO Files Here
    The wait for the summer’s hottest Linux distro is over and you can finally download the release version of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah”. Often called the best Linux distribution for desktop PCs, Mint 18 comes loaded with new features and Linux 4.4 LTS Kernel.

AMD and Linux

  • The Updated AMD Polaris Firmware Blobs Needed For RX 480 Support Land
    One day ahead of the Radeon RX 480 "Polaris" launch, the necessary firmware updates for the production graphics card support have landed in linux-firmware.git.
  • AMD RX 480 released, AMD will possibly open up Radeon Software
    The next generation of AMD GPU's have launched, and it begins with the AMD RX 480. Benchmarks are now out there along with plenty of info. I don't have the card myself as I have no contacts at AMD, but luckily Phoronix managed to bag a card and he's done plenty of testing as you can imagine. I will be referencing the green site due to other sites obviously focusing on Windows.