In a world of me-too Android smartphones, the Kyocera DuraForce stands out. Way out. It's heavy, bulky, and not exactly pretty. Something The Hulk would carry around.
But as the name suggests, the DuraForce is not meant to be stylish. Instead, it's designed to be abused yet continue working. This ruggedized Android smartphone is meant for construction workers, utility linemen, oil riggers, security guards, coaches, park rangers, and other folks whose work environments are rough and tumble.
Before I start I wanted to give you a bit of background information about Peppermint OS 5 (all of this information can be found in the release notes)
Peppermint 5 is a bit of an eclectic mix of Ubuntu, LXDE, XFCE and Mint. The main Peppermint distribution is based on Ubuntu 14.04 which is the long term support release.
The desktop is LXDE but the window manager is XFWM4 which is part of the XFCE desktop. The graphical package manager MintInstall is part of the Linux Mint distribution.
Today I took the plunge into the next-generation KDE desktop, performing a dirty upgrade from Kubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 before installing the plasma-5-desktop package; and this is my first impression of KF5.x and Plasma 5. This is also a bit of a primer, because when Plasma 5.2 enters the stage I’m interested to see the comparison and do a second write-up, using my experience in both 5.1 and 4.x as points-of-reference.
Well, here we are. Zorin OS 9 is a nice distribution. It's visually pleasing, it comes with lots of goodies out of the box, and it is newb friendly. Perhaps some people dislike its image, or the fact it's trying a little too hard, or that you can choose between free and premium option, like Mandriva used to do, and this has never sat well with the community.
But if we ignore the gimmicks and marketing, as a product, Zorin OS is a balanced, aesthetic distribution that caters to a wide range of users. Old bugs have been fixed, there are no new outstanding problems, and you have the needed functionality and software to enjoy yourself from the start. I'd try to downplay the focus on mobile a bit further, but overall, it's looking good. I like this one. 9.41/10. Not bad at all.
This happens to be one of them distros what mystifies me, good and bad. On one hand, it seems to be very popular, if you look at the Distrowatch rank listing, or consult my best distro of the year vote readers' choice section, where a rather handsome portion of the audience chose elementary as their favorite spin. It's only officially at version 0.2, the last stable release was unleashed unto the nerdy crowds some 16 months back, and the latest beta is still only at version 0.3, and taking its time.
Neither the first nor the second dot oh something release managed to impress me. The desktop environment was pretty and cool, but the overall composition was quite buggy. And this brings me to the other hand of the argument. I kind of want to review it again, despite all of the above. Testing 0.3 Freya, beta. Here we go.
The latest release of Makulu Linux has two major things going for it: first, it is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, rather than Debian, and second, it uses the Xfce desktop. Makulu seems to be doing a tour or rotation of desktops so perhaps having Xfce shouldn't be a surprise, anyway.
The Release Announcement / Release Notes give some interesting insight into the background and development of this release, as well as the major features of this release. As always with Makulu Linux, aesthetics was a major focus, and it includes loads of beautiful wallpapers, themes, icons and fonts. The other major focus was speed, thus the choice of Xfce for the desktop, and Firefox rather than Chrome, the synapse launcher rather than slingscold, and the inclusion or omission of various other packages.