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Redcore Linux 1908 LXQt

Redcore is a Gentoo-based project which strives to make it easy to install the distribution and immediately have access to a pre-configured desktop environment. Redcore is available in two editions, KDE Plasma and LXQt, and offers builds for 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively. The latest version of Redcore Linux has shifted from using Gentoo's Stable branch as its upstream source to Gentoo Testing. Software now flows from Gentoo Testing, into Redcore's Testing repository, and then into Redcore Stable where most Redcore users will access it. The Redcore ISO files are relatively large with both editions being 3.4GB downloads. Given the similarities in size, I decided to try the LXQt edition. Booting from the Redcore media brings up a graphical login screen with a mostly-white background. We can sign into the live desktop using the username and password "redcore". The default wallpaper is mostly white with abstract lines. The combination makes for a bright screen populated with harsh lines that I personally found unpleasant and I soon switch to another background. There are two icons on the LXQt desktop. One opens the Calamares installer and the other is labelled "Ask for help". Clicking the latter icon causes LXQt to pop-up an error saying the selected icon is an invalid desktop entry file. Clicking the installer icon brings up a prompt asking if we would like to open or execute the installer's desktop file. Along the bottom of the screen we find a panel containing the application menu, task switcher and system tray. Read more

Android Leftovers

Building A Linux HTPC / Storage Server With The SilverStone CS381

SilverStone recently sent over their CS381 chassis that has proven to be quite a versatile micro-ATX enclosure that can accommodate up to twelve hard drives (eight of which are hot-swappable) all while coming in at just 400 x 225 x 316mm. The SilverStone CS381 could work quite well as a Linux HTPC / DIY Steam Linux gaming living room PC or SOHO file server system with its compact size while offering immense storage potential. Here's more on the SilverStone CS381 and our build with using a Ryzen 5 3400G that is playing well under Linux with an ASUS B450 motherboard. It's been a while since last taking a look at any SilverStone enclosure, but with continuing to be impressed by their high-end cases over the years, it was exciting to look at the CS381 from their Case Storage Series. The key features of this case are offering support for up to twelve HDD/SSDs, up to a microATX motherboard, and other components while occupying just 30 liters of space. The case can be positioned in either a vertical or horizontal position depending upon the environment and eight of the drives being hot-swappable primes the case for interesting storage server options. Read more

Intel Icelake Thunderbolt Support, Stratix10 Additions & Other Material Hits Linux 5.4

The "char/misc" changes for the Linux 5.4 are as eventful as ever. Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the char/misc changes earlier this week for the Linux 5.4 merge window that's now half-way through. The since merged material contains a lot of notable hardware support improvements. Exciting us the most is that the Intel Icelake Thunderbolt support is now squared away. Intel had most of the Icelake CPU support in good shape going back months including for the Gen11 graphics, but the Thunderbolt support was the last holdout. With Icelake, the Thunderbolt controller has moved onto the CPU package itself sans the power deliver infrastructure. These changes yielded additional work to get Icelake Thunderbolt support going under Linux, but it's finally there for Linux 5.4 with Icelake laptops beginning to hit retail channels. Read more