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Reviews

SwagArch GNU/Linux 2017.06

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

SwagArch GNU/Linux is a relatively new addition to the DistroWatch database. The distribution is based on Arch Linux and is developed for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. Like its parent, SwagArch is a rolling release distribution. Unlike its parent, SwagArch's installation media ships with a live desktop environment and a graphical system installer which should make it a lot easier to set up the distribution quickly.

I downloaded the distribution's sole edition which is available as a 1.1GB download. Booting from the downloaded image launches the Xfce desktop environment. The desktop is arranged with a panel at the top of the screen which holds an application menu and system tray. At the bottom of the screen is a panel containing quick-launch buttons and icons representing open windows. Once the Xfce desktop finishes loading, the distribution automatically launches the Calamares system installer to assist us in setting up our new copy of SwagArch.

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A look at OpenSUSE based Gecko Linux

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Reviews
SUSE

I was sitting at home writing future articles for Ghacks and I decided on a spur of the moment whim that I wanted to try out a distribution I had never touched before.

I’ve tried countless systems over the years, from the typical Ubuntu and Debian based systems, to Arch based systems like Manjaro, even Gentoo based systems like Sabayon.

However, I was thinking about it and OpenSUSE used to be one of my favourite distributions to use but I’ve never actually sat down and tried a respin of an OpenSUSE based system; so I started digging around into what some popular ones were...And Gecko Linux caught my eye.

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The Price of Freedom — A Review of the Librem 15 v3

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Hardware
Reviews

Purism is a wild startup located in South San Francisco. Their mission? Providing a superior hardware experience for people who love privacy and software freedom. Purism is building and shipping GNU/Linux laptops, and is interested in developing a phone as well.

The Purism campaign originally launched on CrowdSupply late 2014. Since then, the company has shipped two revisions, and now offers three different models to choose from: an 11-inch convertible tablet, a 13-inch laptop, and a 15-inch powerhouse.

For a few years, I have strongly desired having a quality Linux laptop that has great hardware. So, I’ve taken the plunge on getting the latest 15-inch Librem model from Purism.

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A Quick Look At Ubuntu MATE 17.04

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Reviews
Ubuntu

​Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. It is ideal for those who want the most out of their computers and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements, it is suitable for modern workstations, single board computers and older hardware alike. Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and older computers still usable.

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Videos of Linux Lite 3.4 and Mageia 6

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Reviews

Moto Z2 Force Edition review: Solid Android smartphone for Moto Mod users

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Reviews

I still have an evaluation Moto Z Force Droid from Verizon that I use occasionally to test Moto Mods and the Verizon network. It was one of my favorite devices from last year thanks in large part to the Moto Mods support, stock Android experience, and long battery life.

The new Moto Z2 Force Edition is similar to the Moto Z Force Droid, but thankfully is launching on other carriers besides Verizon. It also supports Moto Mods and has a stock Android experience, but comes with a much smaller battery. After a week of use, see my first impressions from last week, it is a good successor to the Z Force Droid and on my top five list for 2017.

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Linux Mint 18.2 KDE - what else can you desire?

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Linux
Reviews

Linux Mint is the distribution that tops the Distrowatch rating year after year. Its release cycle was following the Ubuntu releases for many years, including the non-LTS versions. But since the version 17 back in 2014 they only release Linux Mint based on Ubuntu LTS versions, currently Ubuntu 16.04, and then refresh the distribution every 6 months with newer packages.

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Nokia 5 Review: Is Affordable Android In A Stylish Case A Smart Return To Form?

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Android
Reviews

Announced back in February, the first Android phones from Nokia are finally with us. Well, almost.

The entry-level model, the Nokia 3, is on sale now. The next step-up is the Nokia 5, which goes on sale in some countries, including the UK, on August 16. The Nokia 6 is the highest-specced of the lot and is on sale this week.

All are keenly priced, and none is the flagship that is coming. That’s almost certainly to be revealed on August 16 [LINK] though there are some leaks already [LINK].

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Asus ZenWatch 3 review: basic is as basic does

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Android
Reviews

Asus finally got around to updating the ZenWatch 3 to Android Wear 2.0. I’ve been wearing it on and off (no pun intended) for a couple months now, and I have been waiting patiently to see if the new software would change the experience of this smartwatch before publishing a review.

It basically didn’t. It’s a fine enough smartwatch, providing most of the things I really care about in a smartwatch. I have a particular set of things I care about, and they might not line up with what you want. For me, it’s a simple list:

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Set up web services quickly with UBOS 11

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Reviews

Some people might think that UBOS is targeting less experienced users with its talk of quickly and easily setting up popular web services at home. At least that was my initial impression of the project's mission. However, I came to realize that UBOS makes certain admin tasks very fast and convenient, but not necessarily beginner friendly. Running UBOS means using the command line and being comfortable with the Linux command line tools. The UBOS project does provide us with documentation for using the ubos-admin software which is very useful, but we are not given manual pages or guides for other commands. This means UBOS users should already be comfortable working from a terminal, but do not necessarily need to know anything about setting up an Apache web server or web applications.

For the most part, UBOS does a good job of making it quick and easy to set up a handful of web services. What would usually take me twenty minutes to install, configure and test takes less than five minutes with UBOS and I appreciate this time saving technology. The ability to backup multiple websites and their databases in seconds with one command is also a very welcome feature.

There were downsides to using UBOS I ran into. One was the distribution refusing to reboot after services were installed. The second was the issue I ran into where I could not install new services once web applications had already been installed. This seems like a restriction which would get in the way in any situation where we want to experiment with new applications.

A final issue I ran into was UBOS currently does not offer many pre-packaged services. There are, at the time of writing, eight available web services we can install and configure with a single command. This is a good start, but I hope more services are added later, perhaps for other blogging software, development tools and other common web services. The basics many home users are likely to want are already in UBOS's inventory and I hope the selection is expanded to appeal to a wider audience in the future.

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Announcing Season of KDE 2018

KDE Student Programs is pleased to announce the 2018 Season of KDE for those who want to participate in mentored projects that enhance KDE in some way. Every year since 2013, KDE Student Programs has been running Season of KDE as a program similar to, but not quite the same as Google Summer of Code, offering an opportunity to everyone (not just students) to participate in both code and non-code projects that benefits the KDE ecosystem. In the past few years, SoK participants have not only contributed new application features but have also developed the KDE Continuous Integration System, statistical reports for developers, a web framework, ported KDE Applications, created documentation and lots and lots of other work. For this year’s Season of KDE, we are shaking things up a bit and making a host of changes to the program. Read more

How To Get Started With The Ubuntu Linux Distro

The Linux operating system has evolved from a niche audience to widespread popularity since its creation in the mid 1990s, and with good reason. Once upon a time, that installation process was a challenge, even for those who had plenty of experience with such tasks. The modern day Linux, however, has come a very long way. To that end, the installation of most Linux distributions is about as easy as installing an application. If you can install Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, you can install Linux. Here, we'll walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu Linux 17.04, which is widely considered one of the most user-friendly distributions. (A distribution is a variation of Linux, and there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from.) Read more

today's leftovers

'Turbo Boost Max 3.0' and Mesa 17.2.4

  • Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Support For Skylake Fixed With Linux 4.15
    The platform-drivers-x86 updates have been sent in for Linux 4.15 and include a range of improvements for Intel hardware support. One of the bigger items is support for Skylake CPUs with Turbo Boost Max 3.0.
  • Mesa 17.2.4 Graphics Stack Lands for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 17.10 Gamers
    Canonical's Timo Aaltonen reports on the availability of the Mesa 17.2.4 open-source graphics drivers stack on the X-SWAT updates PPA for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 17.10 systems. Ubuntu systems have always lagged behind the development of the Mesa 3D Graphics Library, the Linux graphics stack containing open-source drivers for Intel, AMD Radeon, and Nvidia GPUs, but they usually catch up with it through a specially crafted PPA (Personal Package Archive) repository that can be easily installed by users.