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Reviews

Leftovers: Screenshots

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Reviews

The fresh Mint of dwell there: This is a story all about how 17 is here for a while

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The good news is that Mint 17 isn't just another update to an increasingly popular Linux distro - some would claim the most popular distro.

The really good news is that Mint 17 is a great release on which Mint can build a solid base. Of course it remains to be seen whether Mint can get the software updates and backports that users might want and need while remaining with the LTS base. In the mean time though, Mint 17 is off to a great start.

You'll get Mint 17 in two different flavours, both of which feature the project's homegrown desktop environments - MATE and Cinnamon.

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Linux Mint 17: Hands-on with UEFI Secure Boot

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HowTos

Oh, one last comment about UEFI boot to close this post. As was the case with the previous Mint 16 release, the UEFI boot directory will be named 'ubuntu', so if you want to install Mint 17 and Ubuntu both on the same UEFI boot system, you will have to be careful about that.

The most obvious solution, renaming the boot directory after the first of them is installed, doesn't work (it won't boot that one any more). The solution I have found which does work is to create a second EFI Boot partition, but neither Ubuntu nor Mint will let you specify the UEFI boot partition to use on installation, so you have to copy the boot directory to the second EFI partition after installing. This is not a big deal, if you are "advanced" enough to be installing both distributions on one system, then you should also be able to handle this.

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Lubuntu 14.04 LTS

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Minimalist distros are an important option for many Linux users. Not everyone wants tons of desktop glitz and zillions of bells and whistles. Lubuntu has always been a terrific option for minimalists who prefer to stay within the Ubuntu family. Now Lubuntu 14.04 LTS is available and it follows in the footsteps of previous releases by providing a high-quality desktop distro that is light-weight and fast.

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Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon

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Linux Mint has long been one of the most popular desktop distributions, so it’s always a big deal when a version is released. This time around it’s Linux Mint 17. This review covers the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 17, but much of it also applies to the MATE version with the exception of changes to the MATE 1.8 desktop.

As to which desktop environment you should use, I think it just gets down to your own personal preference. MATE is a more traditional desktop while Cinnamon has a more modern feel to it. If you aren’t sure which one you might like better, my advice is to try both of them and then make your decision.

Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release. It will receive security updates until 2019. The Linux Mint developers plan to use this package base until 2016, so upgrading should be a piece of cake once you start using Linux Mint 17.

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Siduction 'Paintitblack' LXQt Dev Release: Screenshots

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Debian

Earlier this month the Siduction team, which regularly updates snapshots based on Debian Unstable/Sid, released a development build showcasing the new LXQt desktop, the future of both the LXDE and the Razor-qt environments. Siduction have a bit of history here as they featured Razor-qt as a desktop early on and were probably the only distribution to ship a dedicated iso as part of their line-up throughout 2012 and 2013. Besides using KDE 4 for the main image Siduction have shown a great commitment to medium light and lower resource desktops.

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Amarok 2.8.0 Review – A Different Kind of Music Player

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Amarok is one of the most famous music players on the Linux platform and it's been around for more than a decade. It's integrated by default in KDE, which might have contributed to its fame, but it's definitely one of the most interesting alternatives.

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Unity Control Center for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Review

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu developers are trying to shake some of its GNOME dependencies and they have been working towards this goal for quite some time. Ubuntu distributions have been using GNOME packages since the beginning, even before the adoption of Unity as the default desktop environment.

Back when Ubuntu was still using GNOME 2.x to power its desktop, people were complaining about various problems, which in fact were not the fault of the Ubuntu developers. Some of the patches submitted by Ubuntu upstream, to the GNOME project were accepted either with delay or not at all. So, Canonical has decided to make Unity, a project it can control from one end to another.

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Kano review – doing it for the kids

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The Kano computer system revolves around two core things: a Raspberry Pi and the Kano OS designed for it. More than just another Raspberry Pi kit, it proved itself with a successful Kickstarter, promising a system that would help get kids into real computing and allow them to start down a path of programming and coding.

While the full kits are being prepared for shipping out to backers and other people that have pre-ordered, the beta for the full OS is available to anyone who wants it right now completely free of charge. It doesn’t require any of the specific hardware in the kit such as the Wi-Fi dongle or the wireless keyboard, so it will work on any normal Raspberry Pi.

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Synology DS414j review – the future of NAS?

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Linux
Reviews

When you buy a Synology product, you know what you’re getting yourself in to. The company’s designs rarely change between generations, beyond a few small tweaks and improvements to the internals, and its Linux-based DiskStation Manager operating system only ever improves with time. Its pricing, however, can leave it out of the reach of the budget-conscious buyer, especially when more than two drive bays are required.

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today's howtos

Leftovers: Software

  • SOGo v3.0.0 released
    After about 1.5 year of development, Inverse is extremely happy to announce the immediate availability of SOGo v3.0! This release is considered ready for production use.
  • Tupi 0.2 revision git06 (Kunumi)
    After a year without significant activity, this release has an special meaning not only because it represents the continuity of the project but our strong intention of making of Tupi a professional tool for educational and young artists communities around the world.
  • [RetroShare] Release notes for final 0.6.0
    v0.6.0 is now considered final. This post summarizes the main lines of work since the release of 0.6.0-RC2 (last june).
  • OpenShot 2.0.6 (Beta 3) Released!
  • OpenShot 2.0 Beta Is Now Available for Public Testing
    The update is the third full beta release of the revamped video editor but only the first to made available for public testing. Backers of the OpenShot crowdfunding campaign have been able to use beta builds of the hugely revamped non-linear video editor since January.
  • Atom 1.5.0 Has Been Released
    Atom is an open-source, multi-platform text editor developed by GitHub, having a simple and intuitive graphical user interface and a bunch of interesting features for writing: CSS, HTML, JavaScript and other web programming languages. Among others, it has support for macros, auto-completion a split screen feature and it integrates with the file manager.
  • HPLIP 3.16.2 Brings Support For Debian 8.3, Linux Mint 17.3 And New Printers
    As you may know, HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) is a tool for printing, scanning and faxing for the HP printers.
  • Ixion 0.11.0
    Version 0.11.0 of the Ixion library has been just released. You can download it from the project’s home page.
  • Now You Can Use uTorrent Without Ads, Thanks To New Subscription Model
    In the past, the parent company Bittorrent Inc. has relied on an ad-based revenue model to keep uTorrent up and running, but now they have realized the need for a premium experience for the users by charging a nominal amount. Until now, bundled software that hides inside the uTorrent installation package has only consumed space on your computer. The development team is well aware of this issue and that’s why they have come up with the ad-free uTorrent.

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Linux kernel bug delivers corrupt TCP/IP data to Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker containers
    The Linux Kernel has a bug that causes containers that use veth devices for network routing (such as Docker on IPv6, Kubernetes, Google Container Engine, and Mesos) to not check TCP checksums. This results in applications incorrectly receiving corrupt data in a number of situations, such as with bad networking hardware. The bug dates back at least three years and is present in kernels as far back as we’ve tested. Our patch has been reviewed and accepted into the kernel, and is currently being backported to -stable releases back to 3.14 in different distributions (such as Suse, and Canonical). If you use containers in your setup, I recommend you apply this patch or deploy a kernel with this patch when it becomes available. Note: Docker’s default NAT networking is not affected and, in practice, Google Container Engine is likely protected from hardware errors by its virtualized network.
  • Performance problems
    Just over a year ago I implemented an optimization to the SPI core code in Linux that avoids some needless context switches to a worker thread in the main data path that most clients use. This was really nice, it was simple to do but saved a bunch of work for most drivers using SPI and made things noticeably faster. The code got merged in v4.0 and that was that, I kept on kicking a few more ideas for optimizations in this area around but that was that until the past month.
  • Compute Shader Code Begins Landing For Gallium3D
    Samuel Pitoiset began pushing his Gallium3D Mesa state tracker changes this morning for supporting compute shaders via the GL_ARB_compute_shader extension. Before getting too excited, the hardware drivers haven't yet implemented the support. It was back in December that core Mesa received its treatment for compute shader support and came with Intel's i965 driver implementing CS.
  • Libav Finally Lands VDPAU Support For Accelerated HEVC Decoding
    While FFmpeg has offered hardware-accelerated HEVC decoding using NVIDIA's VDPAU API since last summer, this support for the FFmpeg-forked libav landed just today. In June was when FFmpeg added support to its libavcodec for handling HEVC/H.265 video decoding via NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix interface. Around that same time, developer Philip Langdale who had done the FFmpeg patch, also submitted the patch for Libav for decoding HEVC content through VDPAU where supported.

Unixstickers, Linux goes to Washington, Why Linux?

  • Unixstickers sent me a package!
    There's an old, popular saying, beware geeks bearing gifts. But in this case, I was pleased to see an email in my inbox, from unixstickers.com, asking me if I was interested in reviewing their products. I said ye, and a quick few days later, there was a surprise courier-delivered envelope waiting for me in the post. Coincidentally - or not - the whole thing happened close enough to the 2015 end-of-the-year holidays to classify as poetic justice. On a slightly more serious note, Unixstickers is a company shipping T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, pins, and stickers to UNIX and Linux aficionados worldwide. Having been identified one and acquired on the company's PR radar, I am now doing a first-of-a-kind Dedoimedo non-technical technical review of merchandise related to our favorite software. So not sure how it's gonna work out, but let's see.
  • Linux goes to Washington: How the White House/Linux Foundation collaboration will work
    No doubt by now you've heard about the Obama Administration's newly announced Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP). You can read more about it on CIO.com here and here. But what you may not know is that the White House is actively working with the Linux and open source community for CNAP. In a blog post Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation said, “In the proposal, the White House announced collaboration with The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to better secure Internet 'utilities' such as open-source software, protocols and standards.”
  • Why Linux?
    Linux may inspire you to think of coders hunched over their desks (that are littered with Mountain Dew cans) while looking at lines of codes, faintly lit by the yellow glow of old CRT monitors. Maybe Linux sounds like some kind of a wild cat and you have never heard the term before. Maybe you have use it every day. It is an operating system loved by a few and misrepresented to many.