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Reviews

Ubuntu 14.10 review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

I haven’t done a review of Ubuntu in a while, so the release of Ubuntu 14.10 last week game me a good excuse to do just that.

Code-named Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 14.10 is the last Ubuntu release this year. There are two releases per year and Ubuntu 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr, was the first 2014 release of the popular desktop distribution that’s sponsored by Canonical. Ubuntu is, of course, not just a desktop distribution, but also features server, Cloud and Kylin editions. Ubuntu Kylin is an edition specifically designed for Chinese users. This review will be just about the desktop edition.

According to the Release Notes, Ubuntu 14.10 is not an LTS (Long-Term Support) edition, and so it will be supported for just nine months, that is until July 2015. Which brings up a question I’m sure has been tackled before: Why release a distribution that will be supported for just nine months? And why would any person bother upgrading to an OS that will be supported for just nine months. Even Microsoft doesn’t do that.

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GSmartControl Review – Read SMART Data and Test Your Drives

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GSmartControl is an application that allows users to check the health of the drives with the help of the SMART data. It's not a unique application and there are others that can do this job, but it's always a good thing to have alternatives.

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Xine Media Player Review – Powerful but Outdated

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OSS
Reviews

Xine is both an open source multimedia playback engine and a video playback application that's been around for a very long time. The number of people using this application has diminished, and there are few maintained third-party apps that are based on this engine. We'll take a closer look at the application to see why this is happening.

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Quick Look: Puppy Linux 6.0

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Puppy Linux 6.0 is a lightweight Linux distribution that can easily be run off a USB stick, SD card or live disc. This version has been dubbed “Tahrpup” by the Puppy Linux developers, and it is based on Ubuntu 14.04. It also uses Linux kernel 3.14.20.

If you’ve never used Puppy Linux before you might want to check out Wikipedia’s excellent overview of it. It will give you useful background information and let you know what you can expect from Puppy before trying it. You can also check out the official Puppy Linux 6.0 announcement thread in the Puppy Linux forum.

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CherryTree Review: The Rich Tree Notes Application

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CherryTree is a notes-taking application which organizes your notes into a hierarchical tree, has support for text formatting, and is written in GTK2/Python. Lately this application has got a lot of attention due to rich features and frequent updates. It also comes by default in distributions such as MakuluLinux MATE Edition.

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Guake Review – The Last Drop-Down Terminal You'll Ever Use

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When people hear about Linux and terminals they usually cringe, especially if they are new to the platform. That doesn't have to be the case and the terminal is usually your friend and you can even enhance it. This is where Guake comes into play, and what a truly a marvelous tool it is!

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Try the New Makulu Cinnamon Debian Edition: Gaming-Ready, Cinnamon at Its Peak

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In the past I have reviewed MakuLinux MATE Edition, which came with a very polished and beautiful interface, but also bundled in the ISO a big number of applications to be installed. At the time the MATE edition made a very good impression on me, so I kept a close eye on the development of Makulu.

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Ubuntu's shiny 10th birthday Unicorn: An upgrade fantasy

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Ubuntu

I've been covering Ubuntu for seven of the release’s 10 years and 14.10 is the first time I've had to dig deep into the release notes just to find something new to test.

If you needed further proof that Canonical is currently solely focused on bringing its Unity 8 interface to mobile devices, 14.10 is the best evidence yet.

Almost nothing Canonical develops has changed in this release - there isn't even a new desktop wallpaper. There are some updates to be sure, but they don’t hail from Canonical. Point release updates for default GNOME apps are included, as is a new kernel, the latest version of Mesa, and some other underlying tools.

The lack of updates isn't unexpected, in fact that's been the plan all along.

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The Linux desktop-a-week review: LXDE

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Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.

But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.

It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.

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Diary of a new Arch user, week two

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So, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and installed Arch Linux. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. For those of you who haven’t come across this distro before, it’s built on the idea that the user should have full control of their system. This means that the basic install is just the Linux kernel and a few essential utilities. In order to create a fully working system, you need to choose what bits you want to install on top of that yourself. There’s no installer to guide you (but there is a package manager and a wiki to help you).

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

Emulation or WINE

Fedora: The Latest

  • New "remi-php71" repository
  • PHP on the road to the 7.1.0 release
  • First round of Fedora 24 Updated Lives now available. (torrents expected later this week)
    As noted by my colleague on his blog the first round of F24 Updated Lives are now available and carry the date 20160720, Also as mentioned last week on his blog F23 Respins are not going to be actively made, however we and the rest of the volunteer team will field off-off requests as time and resources permit. We are considering a new/second tracker for the Updated Spins but as of today there are only .ISO files available at https://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/live-respins [shortlink] F24 Live-Respins . The F24 respins carry the 4.6.4-200 Kernel and roughly ~500M of updates since the Gold ISOs were released just 5 weeks ago. (some ISOs have more updates, some less)

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Snappy Packaging Happenings In The Fedora, Arch Space
    This week Canonical hosted a Snappy Sprint in Heidelberg, Germany where they worked to further their new package management solution originally spearheaded for Ubuntu Touch. This wasn't an Ubuntu-only event, but Canonical did invite other distribution stakeholders. Coming out of this week's event were at least positive moments to share for both Arch and Fedora developers. The Arch snaps package guy made progress on snap confinement on Arch. Currently when using Snaps on Arch, there isn't any confinement support, which defeats some of the purpose. There isn't any confinement support since it relies upon some functionality in the Ubuntu-patched AppArmor with that code not yet being mainlined. Arch's Timothy Redaelli has got those AppArmor patches now running via some AUR packages. Thus it's possible to get snap confinement working on Arch, but it's not yet too pleasant of an experience.
  • PhantomJS 2.1.1 in Ubuntu different from upstream
    At the moment of this writing Vitaly's qtwebkit fork is 28 commits ahead and 39 commits behind qt:dev. I'm surprised Ubuntu's PhantomJS even works.
  • Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS released
    Ubuntu 16.04 is a LTS version of Ubuntu.Now Ubuntu team has announced the release of it's first point release,Ubuntu 16.04.1.This first point release includes many updates containing bug fixes and fixing security issues as well and as always what most of users want from a distribution and most of distributions tries to perform,Stability.This release is also well focoused on stabilty as Ubuntu 16.04.