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DiRT 4 review: as engaging as DiRT Rally but without the punishing difficulty

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Reviews
Gaming

Last year, UK studio Codemasters blew my nomex racing socks off with DiRT Rally. The achievement was all the more notable because—while I tend to stick almost exclusively to racing games—I haven't really enjoyed off-road or rally games very much in the past. Now, Paul Coleman and his team at Codemasters have a new game for us that builds on the success of DiRT Rally, but it should entice a far wider audience. Enter DiRT 4, available starting June 6 on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.

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Unihertz Jelly review: a tiny phone with huge aspirations

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Android
Reviews

Is it the Jelly phone for everyone? We wouldn’t say so, but there is definitely a market for it. Some people do prefer a simpler experience with the ability to download just a few extra applications. It’s kind of like a smart feature phone of sorts… or a good secondary device for the glove compartment. And while it won’t be making anyone jelly, it is probably worth the asking price if its uniqueness piqued your interest.

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BitKey Unlocks Mysteries of the Bitcoin Universe

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Reviews
Debian

BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution with specialist utilities for performing highly secure air-gapped bitcoin transactions.

This specialty distro is not for everyday computing needs, but if you are obsessed with the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, this distro might be just what you need.

I am a high-tech sort of guy with a keen interest in diving through Linux distros both simple and complex. I'm on the lookout for new twists to old desktop environments and unique use case distros. Technologies and software solutions that make my computing life more secure and more functional are always the anticipated outcome.

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Returning to the Void

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Reviews

Void is an independently developed, rolling release Linux distribution. The Void distribution runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors as well as several ARM boards including the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone and Cubieboard2. The Void distribution is available in Cinnamon, Enlightenment, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Xfce editions with some additional desktop environments offered through the project's software repositories. There is also a plain edition which I believe sets up a minimal command line environment.

There are a number of features which set Void apart from most other Linux distributions. Void uses the XBPS package manager for working with source and binary packages. Void was an early adopter of OpenBSD's LibreSSL library which acts as a drop-in replacement for the OpenSSL security library. Further, Void has an init implementation called runit which is unusually small and simple. Another interesting feature of Void is the distribution can use one of two C libraries. Most Linux distributions use the glibc library. Void does provide glibc and also offers installation media with the lightweight musl library.

I decided to download the Void project's MATE edition which is 637MB in size. Booting from the supplied media brings up a screen where we can choose between starting the distribution's live environment or loading Void into RAM and then launching the desktop environment. The latter option uses more memory, but makes the distribution run faster and frees up the drive or port where our installation media is located.

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Void Linux - the Strangely Overlooked Distribution

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Reviews

Ahh, Void Linux. You may or may not have heard of it. If you have, more than likely it was by word of mouth, so to speak, from internet comments on a forum, YouTube video or in passing on Reddit. But this little distro rarely gets any press or recognition otherwise. Perhaps it's time that changes, as Void Linux is an interesting distro in its own right and a good alternative to something like Arch Linux. It also has a no-systemd approach.

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Feren OS Could Be the Best-Looking Desktop on the Market

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Reviews

Imagine taking Linux Mint, placing the Cinnamon desktop on it and then theming it to not only to serve as a perfect drop-in replacement for Windows 7 but to be one of the most beautiful Linux desktops you’ve seen in a long while. That’s what Feren OS has managed -- and has done so with aplomb.

Feren OS first arrived in 2015 and recently unleashed their 2017 iteration of the platform...with stunning results. This is truly one of those instances that, upon installation, you’ll find yourself doing a double (or triple) take, asking, “Is this really Linux?” Not that the state of the Linux desktop is behind the competition, in fact, I consider many of the Linux desktops to be light years ahead of other desktops. But, Feren OS has achieved something special; they’ve created a Linux distribution that anyone could use, for nearly any purpose, with zero learning curve.

Let’s take a look at this new(ish) distro to see exactly what makes it special. We’ll also dig deep to see what kind of caveats lay under the polish (if any).

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First Look at Devuan 1.0: A Free OS Designed for Debian Fans Who Hate systemd

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Reviews
Debian

The final release of the long-anticipated Devuan GNU/Linux 1.0.0 "Jessie" operating system was launched yesterday, ready to conquer your laptop or workstation without including systemd, nor any systemd-related packages.

Started in November 2014, Devuan project's goal was always to develop a fork of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution without the systemd init daemon. Why? Because the Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" operating system adopted systemd as default init replacement, a move that upset many users and developers.

It took two and a half years for Devuan GNU/Linux to reach the 1.0 milestone and offer its community a stable, secure and reliable computer operating system that's systemd-free. While based on the latest stable Debian release, Devuan uses its own software repository that appears to mirror the upstream development.

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Also:

  • Devuan Stable Release -- at Last!

    Devuan just released their LTS stable Jessie system

  • Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 stable LTS

    Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 Stable is a major milestone in the new path
    drawn by the Devuan project and its development has provided an
    opportunity to lay down a strong foundation for the Devuan
    community. In the last two years we have put in place a powerful
    infrastructure to support the development and growth of Devuan [...]

LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of The Week - Deepin OS

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Reviews

​Depth/Deepin OS is not just another Linux Distro, but one with something new to show. Deepin OS is simply speaking, just beautiful. Deepin OS, formerly known as Deepin, Linux Deepin, and Hiweed GNU/Linux is a Linux distro with an identity crisis. Seriously, this distro has undergone name changes you always have to check twice if the name is still the same. And that is all the negative you are going to say about this distro. Honestly speaking, Deepin OS is surely going to blow you away. I have been keeping an eye on this distro since 2013 and it still manages to impress me.

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ROSA Fresh R9

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MDV
Reviews

ROSA is a desktop distribution that was originally forked from Mandriva Linux, but now is independently developed. While the company which produces ROSA is based in Russia, the distribution includes complete translations for multiple languages. The ROSA desktop distribution is designed to be easy to use and includes a range of popular applications and multimedia support. ROSA R9 is available in two editions, one featuring the KDE 4 desktop and the second featuring the KDE Plasma 5 desktop. These editions are scheduled to receive four years of support and security updates.

I decided to download the Plasma edition of ROSA R9 and found the installation media to be approximately 2GB in size. Booting from the ROSA disc brings up a menu asking if we would like to load the distribution's live desktop environment or begin the installation process. Taking the live option brings up a graphical wizard that asks us a few questions. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list and accept the project's warranty and license. We are then asked to select our time zone and keyboard layout from lists. With these steps completed, the wizard disappears and the Plasma 5.9 desktop loads.

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Ubuntu MATE 17.04 - Fast Forward to the Past

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Reviews

Ubuntu MATE 17.04 32-bit Live left an ambiguous impression on me.

It was fast and responsive on a high-spec laptop. Felt relatively solid. Set of default applications was good. Multimedia playback caused no issues.

However, small bugs here and there were quite annoying: frozen screen after the Keyboard icon click, no search in the menu, issues with the search in the default software management tool, issues with keyboard layout setup. And the memory usage is simply frightening.

All these are not something you would expect from a newly-released distribution in 2017.

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