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Reviews

Linux Mint 17.1 Freshens Up Linux Desktop

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Linux Mint 17.1, which was officially released on Nov. 29, provides users of the popular Linux desktop with an incremental update and some additional polish. Code-named Rebecca, Linux Mint 17.1 offers a choice of desktop user interfaces, the two primary ones being MATE and Cinnamon. The MATE desktop is a fork of the GNOME 2 desktop environment. The GNOME Linux desktop community moved to the GNOME 3 desktop in 2011, a move that some desktop users did not embrace. In the Linux Mint 17.1 MATE edition, support has been added for the Compiz window manager, which can enable a desktop with multiple special effects for window transitions and events. The Cinnamon desktop, which was created by Linux Mint creator Celement Lefebvre, provides users with a familiar GNOME 2 look but also adds some of the advanced capabilities of newer GNOME releases. Linux Mint 17.1 builds on the innovations that first debuted in Linux Mint 17 earlier this year, with usability, interface and performance gains in several areas. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the improvements in the Linux Mint 17.1 release.

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Android Circuit: Galaxy S6 Leaks, Google's Best Android Games From 2014, Lollipop's Big Review

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Android
Google
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Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including leaks around Samsung’s 2015 flagship, J. K. Shin stays in charge at Samsung’s Mobile Division, Lollipop reviewed in-depth as it arrives on the Galaxy S5 in Poland, comparing the ‘mini’ handsets, interviewing the Russian behind the smartphone with two screens, will bloatware arrive over-the-air, Chrome’s hidden reading mode, and the best Google Play Apps and Games.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android over the last seven days (and you can read the weekly Apple news digest here).

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Linux Lite 2.2 Review – Consumes Low Memory, But Failed to Wake My PC from Sleep

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‘Linux Lite’ is a GNU/Linux distribution based on the Ubuntu’s Long Term Support releases. It includes the lightweight & fully functional XFCE desktop environment, comes with full support for proprietor multimedia playback & a few applications of its own (software updater, additional app installer, a ‘cleaner’…) that should assist a novice user for easily managing the installed operating system.

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Opensuse linux for education 13.2 — a review

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Overall, this is a nice package. It might be a good place to start for someone wanting to try out opensuse for the first time.

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Makulu Linux 6.0 KDE: Guaranteed to make you smile

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Another Makulu Linux distribution was released today, and that's always good news! This time it is the KDE desktop for the Makulu 6.x series. The Xfce version of this was just released a couple of weeks ago, so I don't expect for there to be any major surprises: I hope that means this will not be a very lengthy post.

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The Linux desktop-a-week review: Android as a desktop environment

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Android
Reviews

Last week, I reviewed ChromeOS from a desktop environment perspective as part of my “Linux Desktop-a-Week” series (which, really, has become less of a weekly thing and more of a “Desktop-Every-Few-Weeks-Or-So” thing. But I’m sticking to my original title. Because I’m stubborn).

This “week,” I am spending time with another Linux desktop environment that isn’t exactly traditional. This week, I’m using Android.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Living free with Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0

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Trisquel's system installer is essentially the same installer Ubuntu uses, but with a few minor changes to the appearance and some of the options. The installer asks us to select our preferred language and provides us with a link to view the distribution's release notes. Next we are given the chance to download software updates while the installer is running. The following screen asks if we would like Trisquel to automatically divide up our hard disk for us or if we would like to manually partition our hard drive. Manual partitioning is quite straight forward and I found it easy to navigate the disk partitioning screen. Trisquel gives us the option of working with Btrfs, ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS file systems. I opted to install Trisquel on a Btrfs partition. While partitioning the disk we can also choose where to install the distribution's boot loader. The following screen gets us to select our time zone from a map of the world. Then we confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. We can decide to encrypt the contents of our home directory. The installer copies its files to our hard drive and then asks us to reboot the computer.

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The Android 5.0 Lollipop Review

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Android
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Google has been very busy with their expansion of Android as a platform this year. At Google IO we saw the announcement of endeavors like Android TV and Android Auto. But the stars of the show were a preview of the next version of Android, code named Android L, and Google's new Material Design principles for interface design across all of their products. In the years since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich released, we've seen the launch of Jellybean and KitKat, but both of these versions were very iterative improvements upon 4.0 and had equally iterative version numbers with Jellybean being major versions 4.1 through 4.3 and KitKat being 4.4. Lollipop is given the major version number of 5.0, and it's quite fitting as it's arguably the biggest advancement to Android in a long time. It comes with an entirely new interface based on Material Design, a new application runtime, and many new features that I could not hope to summarize in this paragraph.

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Setting up Linux Mint 17.1 for the first time

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Given a choice between a DVD disc and a USB stick, I'd go with the USB option. Mint, and any other operating system, will install and run much faster from it.

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More in Tux Machines

systemd and DebConf16

  • systemd backport of v230 available for Debian/jessie
    At DebConf 16 I was working on a systemd backport for Debian/jessie. Results are officially available via the Debian archive now. In Debian jessie we have systemd v215 (which originally dates back to 2014-07-03 upstream-wise, plus changes + fixes from pkg-systemd folks of course). Now via Debian backports you have the option to update systemd to a very recent version: v230. If you have jessie-backports enabled it’s just an `apt install systemd -t jessie-backports` away. For the upstream changes between v215 and v230 see upstream’s NEWS file for list of changes. (Actually the systemd backport is available since 2016-07-19 for amd64, arm64 + armhf, though for mips, mipsel, powerpc, ppc64el + s390x we had to fight against GCC ICEs when compiling on/for Debian/jessie and for i386 architecture the systemd test-suite identified broken O_TMPFILE permission handling.)
  • DebConf16 low resolution videos
    If you go to the Debian video archive, you will notice the appearance of an "lq" directory in the debconf16 subdirectory of the archive. This directory contains low-resolution re-encodings of the same videos that are available in the toplevel.

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