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System76 - POP! goes my heart

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

This was far more interesting than I'd expected. One, there isn't ONE font that works uniformly well across different desktop environments, and frankly, that is a little bit disturbing. Two, Ubuntu still offers the most complete default package. Three, POP! fonts are rather nice and modern, and it seems they work the best in stock Gnome, if you're not already using something like Droid Sans.

It would seem we've chipped another facet of this multi-dimensional monster called Linux Fonts, as it feels just impossible to nail down the simple, elegant formula for maximum ergonomics, productivity and fun. You have to ride the licensing, anti-aliasing and hinting shuttles all at the same time, and they seem to be going in different directions. Ubuntu is way ahead of the rest, and this is why the System76 experiment will be rather intriguing. I want to see how the complete package will behave. You should test and see how you feel about Roboto Slab and Fira. My hunch says, Gnome great, Ubuntu, not so much. But we will see. And of course, we shall be testing the distro, so stay tuned.

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ArchLabs Makes Up for Parabola's Curve Balls

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Linux
Reviews

ArchLabs Linux was a very happy discovery. It did a lot to change my impression of Arch Linux. It especially made up for the problems Parabola Linux posed.

I found that the Archlabs distro was an excellent Linux OS option to install on several very old laptops from the post Windows XP era. I have gotten far too comfortable using resource-intensive distros on my newer desktops and laptops. Archlabs Linux is a fun and effective alternative.

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ArchLabs Makes Up for Parabola's Curve Balls

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Reviews

If you want to stretch your Linux desktop acumen from the Debian Linux lineage to Arch Linux, Archlabs might be a better choice than Parabola.

Arch Linux is something of a black sheep when it comes to installing and configuring a Linux distribution. It presents a few more stumbling blocks than other Linux options, which could make it a less welcome alternative to some users. Arch Linux distros are notorious for their intense installations and sometimes-challenging software management processes.

Distros based on Arch Linux usually are not good choices for newcomers to the Linux operating system. Users need a better handle on how Arch Linux works to use Arch-based distros successfully. Considerable background reading is necessary for things to make sense with minimal frustration.

I have offered that cautionary advice numerous times in reviews of less-well-known Linux products, and recent experiences prompted it once again. I discovered two seemingly worthy distros that provided an opportunity to revisit the trials and tribulations of working with Arch Linux derivatives.

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Managing virtual environments with ClonOS 12

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Reviews

ClonOS is one of the latest operating systems to be entered into the DistroWatch database. The project's website describes ClonOS as follows:

ClonOS is a free, open-source FreeBSD-based platform for virtual environment creation and management.

The operating system uses FreeBSD's development branch (12.0-CURRENT) as its base. ClonOS uses ZFS as the default file system and includes web-based administration tools for managing virtual machines and jails. The project's website also mentions the availability of templates for quickly setting up new containers and web-based VNC access to jails. Puppet, we are told, can be used for configuration management.

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KDE Neon Complete Distro Review

Filed under
KDE
Reviews

It's no secret to anyone: KDE and its latest implementation, Plasma 5, have been my favorite applications and desktop suite for quite some time now. I started GNU / Linux with Gnome 2 that brought Ubuntu Feisty Fawn but quickly jumped to that unknown ocean, full of strange words with the letter K in them, called Kubuntu.
Coming and going, distros and more distros, until you end up trapped by the Chakra magic and its unique environment. As much as I have tried to change this fact in successive attacks of distro hopping. I have not been able to accommodate myself to anyone other than Cinnamon, although I have missed a few features almost exclusive to Plasma. It also happens in reverse, that is, I think that KDE suffers from some things, but in the balance weighs more, by far, the positive than the negative.

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GPD Pocket Ubuntu Editon Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Netbooks are often ridiculed as a solution looking for a problem but they are also regarded as the ancestors of present day Chromebooks and “cloudbooks”. With the resurgence of these more modern but still low-performance devices, it might seem that the netbook is due for a revival as well. Or so that seems to be the proposition GPD makes with its almost literal Pocket computer. But does that make more sense now than it did before, especially in an age of powerful smartphones? We take the Ubuntu Edition of the GPD Pocket for a good and thorough testing to find out.

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ZorinOS Is a Great Linux Desktop For Any User

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OS
Linux
Reviews

No matter your desktop of choice, chances are you will feel right at home on the Zorin Desktop. With the latest release, ZorinOS has done a remarkable job of taking something that was already impressive and made it more stable, more usable, and more accessible than ever. If you’re a Windows 7 user, dreading having to migrate to Windows 10, you no longer have to sweat that change. Adopt ZorinOS 12 and keep working as you’ve done for years.

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Neon: the naked KDE

Filed under
KDE
Reviews

I had nothing to complain about the technical part of KDE Neon Live run. It was smooth and fast. There were no glitches or unexpected delays (apart from one - I cannot remember the exact details).

However, the lack of the very basic software makes me stop from recommending this distribution to the beginners. It may be a good distribution for those users who know their way in the Linux world well, who are confident in what they need and how to get it themselves.

Do you recognise yourself in the first or the second category of Linux users?

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Antergos 17.9 Gnome - Ghost riders in the Tux

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Reviews

Antergos 17.9 is a weird distro, full of polarities. It comes with a weak live session, and it does not really demo what it can do. The installer is good, robust, and if offers some neat tricks, including extra software and proprietary graphics driver. I'm really impressed by that. The installed system behaved reasonably, but with some oddities.

Hardware support isn't the best, most notably touchpad and what happened after waking from suspend. On the other hand, you get good smartphone and media support, a colorful and practical software selection, a moderately reasonable package manager with some tiny dependency hiccups, pretty looks, okay performance, and nowhere does it advertise its Archness. Much better than I expected, not as good as it should be. Well, taking everything into consideration, I guess it deserves something like 7.5/10. Antergos needs a livelier live session, more hardware love out of the box, and a handful of small tweaks around desktop usability. Shouldn't be too hard to nail. Worth watching.

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BackSlash Linux Olaf

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Reviews

While using BackSlash, I had two serious concerns. The first was with desktop performance. The Plasma-based desktop was not as responsive as I'm used to, in either test environment. Often times disabling effects or file indexing will improve the situation, but the desktop still lagged a bit for me. My other issue was the program crashes I experienced. The Discover software manager crashed on me several times, WPS crashed on start-up the first time on both machines, I lost the settings panel once along with my changes in progress. These problems make me think BackSlash's design may be appealing to newcomers, but I have concerns with the environment's stability.

Down the road, once the developers have a chance to iron out some issues and polish the interface, I think BackSlash might do well targeting former macOS users, much the same way Zorin OS tries to appeal to former Windows users. But first, I think the distribution needs to stabilize a bit and squash lingering stability bugs.

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