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Reviews

Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet

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Reviews

Linux Mint no longer may be an ideal choice for above-par performance out of the box, but it still can serve diehard users well with the right amount of post-installation tinkering.

The Linux Mint distro clearly is the gold standard for measuring Cinnamon desktop integration. Linux Mint's developers turned the GNOME desktop alternative into one of the best Linux desktop choices. Linux Mint Cinnamon, however, may have lost some of its fresh minty flavor.

The gold standard for version 19.1 Tessa seems to be a bit tarnished when compared to some other distros offering a Cinnamon environment. Given that the current Linux Mint version was released at the end of last December, it may be a bit odd for me to focus on a review some five months later.

Linux Mint is my primary driver, though, so at long last I am getting around to sharing my lukewarm experiences. I have run Linux Mint Cinnamon on three primary work and testing computers since parting company with Ubuntu Linux Unity and several other Ubuntu flavors many years ago. I have recommended Linux Mint enthusiastically to associates and readers in my personal and professional roles.

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Pop!_OS 19.04 – Based on Ubuntu 19.04 and Use GNOME 3.32 as Default Desktop

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Pop!_OS 19.04 is the latest release of Pop!_OS, based on Ubuntu 19.04 and use GNOME 3.32 as default desktop environment that brings several other features like new icon theme, fractional scaling, permission control for each application, granular control on Night Light intensity among many other changes. Also, include most of the gnome applications 3.32.

The changes that are exclusive to Pop!_OS 19.04, the new Refresh Install option allows you to reinstall the OS without losing your user account and data stored in Home.

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Review: Sabayon 19.03

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Gentoo
Reviews

Sabayon's claim that it is a "beginner-friendly" distro that is "bleeding edge" and "stable and reliable" is a bit of a stretch. I doubt "beginners" will comprehend the instructions for what to do after installing Sabayon - and that is assuming inexperienced users will find the information in the first place. Similarly, the systemd and GNOME versions are rather old for a distro that claims to be "bleeding edge". That said, I did find Sabayon's GNOME edition to be stable and reliable, bar a few minor issues (such as the notification about the VirtualBox kernel service not running).

I don't think it is entirely fair to ask if Sabayon lives up to the bold marketing slogans on its home page. Personally, I see Sabayon as a friendly and interesting distro for tinkerers and distro-hoppers, and a very good one at that. I should also mention that, in general, Sabayon's use of language is refreshingly informal; both the graphical Rigo package manager and the wiki put a smile on my face more than once. Even Equo has some jokes built in - the command equo moo prints an ASCII cow that says "Entromoooo!".

Sabayon does still has some way to go to become the sophisticated operating system it wants to be. With 19.03 the distro switched from the Anaconda to the Calamares installer which, to my mind at least, is a good decision. However, contrary to what is claimed in the release notes, the disk encryption issue has not been resolved yet and the wiki still talks about how to find your way through the Anaconda installer. Work on the new wiki announced in the release notes seems to be at a very early stage.

I also couldn't fail to notice that Sabayon's forums are rather quiet. Lively forums don't necessarily equate to a thriving community, but the overall feeling I got is that Sabayon could do with a bit more momentum. That shouldn't discourage you from giving Sabayon a try though. On the contrary, if you are a Linux-loving tinkerer then Sabayon might be the distro for you.

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Budgeting Software Options to Keep Linux Users From Seeing Red

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Linux
Reviews

These six budget-manager solutions for Linux offer a varied range of features and user interfaces. Some of these Linux money applications are good starting products for users with little or no experience with this category of software or online service. Other titles give you all of the tools to manage your household and your small business budgets.

Some of them are easy to set up and use. Others are more involved and can be frustrating if you are not familiar with money managing procedures.

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Kubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo - Rather solid

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KDE
Reviews

Kubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo is a pretty solid distribution. It does have some rough edges and some glaring problems, like the Samba connectivity, the hiccup or three with the smartphones, the language localization, and the Dolphin icon thingie. But then, it also brings in a whole basket of nice polishes, improvements and fresh, original features, which balance out the rough patches.

Best of all, the ugly stuff can be tweaked and sorted out, which begs the question why did the distro ship with these by default? It wouldn't take much to spit-polish everything to perfection. Anyway, Plasma remains pretty and smart and slick, the system is fast and responsive and stable, you get a good bundle of programs, and it's a genuine enjoyment using this distribution. Given the fact 19.04 is a test bed of sorts, much like Zesty was, the level of fun is surprisingly high. But it does make me happy. Once again, I'm cautiously hopeful and optimistic, but even more so than I was with Cosmic. 8.5/10, so better prep them thumb drives for an adventure.

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Ubuntu 19.04: The Disco Dingo arrives and will really make your IT dept. happy

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Canonical recently released Ubuntu 19.04, the latest version of its flagship GNOME-based Linux desktop. But if you're a desktop user, you might be feeling a little left out.

The big points of emphasis in this latest release are on Ubuntu as a tool for infrastructure development, server deployment, and the good old Internet of Things. For the server version of Ubuntu, the OS ships with all the latest cloud computing tools. In fact, that's already available in optimized builds on the major cloud services.

Elsewhere, the latest version of the venerable Ubuntu desktop packs quite a few additional, tempting reasons to upgrade for Linux gamers. Ubuntu 19.04 makes the leap to the Linux kernel 5.x series, for instance, which offers much improved graphics support.

Despite all the talk of developer tools and enterprise deployment stacks—Canonical has even taken to calling Ubuntu the "leading OS for cloud operations" lately—Ubuntu 19.04 is ultimately a worthwhile upgrade for all. After spending some time with it recently, we found some nice updates to the desktop, too. So no matter your Ubuntu use case, 19.04 seems to offer users a faster, more polished desktop than its predecessors.

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My First impression at PlaMo

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KDE
Reviews

I remember how my admiration for android turned into disappointment when I got into android development. The realisation, with every new release the patches are built on the broken pieces of android was disheartening. And the water crossed the line when the whole system started disrespecting the users privacy!
Then, I fine day (mid-January 2019) I came to know about Plasma Mobile. When every other attempt at creating an open source mobile platform on the horizon failed, KDE came along with Plasma Mobile. So how could have I resisted to not to using it!

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Elive Elevates Linux With Enlightenment

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Linux
Reviews

Elive has a very minimal set of requirements. Of course, the more your computer exceeds these minimum specs, the better the performance will be.

Here is what you need: 300 MHz CPU with 128 MB of RAM.

The integration of Enlightenment in the Elive Linux distro is different from all of the other distros running the Enlightenment desktop that I sampled. It is more refined.

Elive provides animated elements like backgrounds, icons, widgets and the terminal. It makes possible an animated desktop with 3D effects without an accelerated graphics card. If you take the time to fiddle with its design controls, you can finesse its desktop appearance and functionality like a painter creating a scene on a canvas.

Elive is something different. Give this distro a trial run. It offers a new approach to computing productivity.

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Entroware Ares Review: An Awesome And Affordable All-In-One Ubuntu Linux PC

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Linux
Reviews
Ubuntu

I don't normally spoil the verdict in the lead paragraph of my reviews, but Entroware -- a European PC builder specializing in Linux machines -- has convinced me there's room for an All-in-One in my life. I've been using the company's Ares AIO for a few months, and it'll be a shame to ship it back as it's become a useful and attractive desk companion. The Ares is sleek, affordable and even with a "lowly" Intel Core i3 CPU it goes toe-to-toe with my trusty Dell XPS 13 9370.

So let's talk about it.

All-in-one PCs like the Ares consolidate the traditional computer tower into the monitor housing, meaning all the components are tucked behind the display. Designs like this are well-suited for the majority of more casual Linux users, or those who can get their working and playing accomplished without a dedicated GPU (the Ares' only weakness). For people short on space or simply craving a streamlined work environment, this is an elegant solution.

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[Review] Void Linux, a Linux BSD Hybrid

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Reviews

Like Solus, Void Linux is written from scratch and does not depend on any other operating system. It is a rolling release. Unlike the majority of Linux distros, Void does not use systemd. Instead, it uses runit. Another thing that separates Void from the rest of Linux distros is the fact that they use LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL. Void also offers support for the musl C library. In fact, when you download a .iso file, you can choose between glibc and musl.

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Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Zombieload, Nextcloud, Peppermint 10, KDE Plasma, IPFire, ArcoLinux, LuneOS | This Week in Linux 67
    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ll check out some Distro News from Peppermint OS, ArcoLinux, LuneOS & IPFire. We got a couple apps to talking about like Nextclou0…d and a new Wallpaper tool that has quite a bit of potential. We’ll take a look at what is to come with the next version of KDE Plasma. Intel users have gotten some more bad news regarding a new security vulnerability. Later in the show, we’ll cover some interesting information regarding a couple governments saving money by switching to Linux. Then finally we’ll check out some Linux Gaming News. All that and much more on your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S12E07 – R-Type
    This week we’ve been installing Lineage on a OnePlus One and not migrating Mastodon accounts to ubuntu.social. We round up the Ubuntu community news from Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Peppermint OS and we discuss some tech news. It’s Season 12 Episode 07 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • OpenGL 4.6 / SPIR-V Support Might Be Inching Closer For Mesa Drivers
    We're quickly approaching the two year anniversary of the OpenGL 4.6 release and it's looking like the Intel/RadeonSI drivers might be inching towards the finish line for that latest major revision of the graphics API.  As we've covered many times, the Mesa drivers have been held up on OpenGL 4.6 support due to their SPIR-V ingestion support mandated by this July 2017 version of the OpenGL specification. While there are the Intel and Radeon RADV Vulkan drivers already with the SPIR-V support that is central to Vulkan, it's taken a long time re-fitting the OpenGL drivers for the likes of ARB_gl_spriv. Then again, there aren't many (actually, any?) major OpenGL games requiring version 4.6 of the specification even with its interoperability benefits thanks to SPIR-V.

Software: Left, Samba, LaTeX, PyRadio and More

  • Left Is A Minimalist, Distraction-Free Text Editor For Writers
    Left is a free and open source distraction-free text editor for Linux, Windows and Mac. The main goal of Left is to get you to focus on writing. It comes with writing essentials like autocomplete, synonym suggestions and writing statistics, but it doesn't support text formatting, and doesn't have all the bells and whistles found in applications like LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Office Word. This minimalist text editor may not be particularly exciting, and it's not for everyone, but if you're working on a long writing project, a clean interface that allows you to focus exclusively on your work may be for you.
  • Samba 4.10.4 Released With 40 Bug fixes
    The Samba Team announced the availability of Samba 4.10.4. This is the latest stable release of the Samba 4.10 release series. Also, they released a patch against Samba 4.10.3. This release comes with close to 40 bug fixes.
  • 8 Best latex editors for Linux, Windows or MacOS
    LaTeX project is a programming language with which scientific and mathematical texts can be created. The full form of LaTeX here is Lamport TeX. In simple words, it is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting but for special purposes where you need scientific and mathematical texts like scientific formulas for some academic books or PDF… Using packages or libraries, you can extend the scope of functions to create graphics and formulas. Now, what exactly is the LaTex editor? In simple words, the editor that supports LaTeX programming to create documents is called LaTeX editors. Thus, it is not like our normal word editor where we get formatted text in WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) such as OpenOffice, LibreOffice or Microsoft Office. LaTeX is totally opposite uses a command line interface to format text for books or documents need an extensive text system that is intended for books, scientific papers and articles. Particularly in the mathematical-technical area, the system offers itself because of the formulas contained. You can simply install LaTeX on your system and then text can be entered in a simple editor and saved in a source text file, similar to a script. This text is supplemented by LaTeX commands, which, for example, identify chapters, sections, headings, and quotes. In addition, a LaTeX document can be spread over several files, so that each chapter is a separate file. However, there are a good number of best LaTeX backed editors are available for online to download with both open sources as well as a free license for Windows, Linux and MacOS. Thus, here we are with some best open source or free LaTeX editors but before installing them remember they are not simple text editors and to operate them, first, you must get familiar with the LaTeX commands…
  • PyRadio – curses based internet radio player
    On my roadmap is to review all actively maintained internet radio players. To date, I’ve covered odio, Shortwave, and Radiotray-NG. While there’s lots to admire in these projects, I feel that an internet radio player meeting all my requirements is still out there waiting to be discovered. For this review, I’ll run through PyRadio. Unlike the other radio players I’ve covered, PyRadio is curses based software.
  • Insync 3 Beta Available With OneDrive Syncing Support On Linux [Ed: Give all your files to Microsoft (which bribes officials to dump GNU/Linux, puts back doors in everything arrests whistleblowers etc.)]
  • GNOME 3.34's Mutter Gets Important Fix To Avoid Stuttering / Frame Skips
    In addition to GNOME's Mutter compositor / window manager seeing an important fix recently lowering the output lag under X11 so it matches GNOME's Wayland performance, another important Mutter fix also landed. The Mutter/Clutter change to avoid skipping over the next frame to render has landed. This is yet another big deal contribution by Canonical's Daniel van Vugt as part of their GNOME desktop enhancements.
  • Firefox brings you smooth video playback with the world’s fastest AV1 decoder
    Tuesday’s release of Firefox 67 brought a number of performance enhancing features that make this our fastest browser ever. Among these is the high performance, royalty free AV1 video decoder dav1d, now enabled by default on all desktop platforms (Windows, OSX and Linux) for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. With files more than 30% smaller than today’s most popular web codec VP9 [1], and nearly 50% smaller than its widely deployed predecessor H.264 [2], AV1 allows high-quality video experiences with a lot less network usage, and has the potential to transform how and where we watch video on the Internet. However, because AV1 is brand new and more sophisticated, some experts had predicted that market adoption would wait until 2020 when high-performance hardware decoders are expected. Dav1d in the browser upends these predictions.
  • GNU Binutils Begins Landing eBPF Support
    The GNU Binutils is finally getting wired up around the Extended BPF (eBPF) as the modern, in-kernel virtual machine that stretches the Berkeley Packet Filter beyond the networking subsystem.  Compiling for eBPF has most commonly been done by the LLVM eBPF back-end to allow compiling C into the eBPF bytecode but it looks like the GNU toolchain developers are looking to increase their support around the increasingly common eBPF use-cases for this in-kernel VM.

Distros: Draco in Sparky, Fedora Issues and Optional Dependencies in Debian

  • Draco Desktop
    There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Draco
  • Archiving 26 500 community Q&As from Ask Fedora
    Ask Fedora is the Fedora Linux community’s questions-and-answers portal, and it recently transitioned from a forum software called Askbot to Discourse. Changing the underlying forum software doesn’t have to be destructive but Ask Fedora decided to go with a nuke-and-pave migration strategy: They decided to start from scratch instead of copying user accounts and the user-contributed content to the new software. The first time I learned of the migration was a few days after it had happen. I’d run into an issue with my Fedora installation and went online looking for solutions. Every useful search result was from the old Ask Fedora site and every link returned an HTTP 404 Not Found error message as those answers hadn’t been migrated to the new Ask Fedora website.
  • Attention epel6 and epel7 ppc64 users
    If you are a epel6 or epel7 user on the ppc64 platform, I have some sad news for you. If you aren’t feel free to read on for a tale of eol architectures. ppc64 (the big endian version of power) was shipped with RHEL6 and RHEL7 and Fedora until Fedora 28. It’s been replaced by the ppc64le (little endian) version in Fedora and RHEL8.
  • Optional dependencies don’t work
    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article. [...] Software is usually not built by end users, but by packagers, at least when we are talking about Open Source. Hence, end users don’t see the knob for the optional dependency, they are just presented with the fait accompli: their version of the software behaves differently than other versions of the same software. Depending on the kind of software, this situation can be made obvious to the user: for example, if the optional dependency is needed to print documents, the program can produce an appropriate error message when the user tries to print a document. Sometimes, this isn’t possible: when i3 introduced an optional dependency on cairo and pangocairo, the behavior itself (rendering window titles) worked in all configurations, but non-ASCII characters might break depending on whether i3 was compiled with cairo. For users, it is frustrating to only discover in conversation that a program has a feature that the user is interested in, but it’s not available on their computer. For support, this situation can be hard to detect, and even harder to resolve to the user’s satisfaction.