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Reviews

Review: System76’s Galago Pro solves “just works” Linux’s Goldilocks problem

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Reviews

The Linux world has long maintained a very specific rite of passage: wiping the default operating system from your laptop and plugging in a USB stick with your favorite distro's live CD. Some of us get a little, dare I say, giddy every time we wipe that other OS away and see that first flash of GRUB.

Of course, rites of passage are supposed to be one-time events. Once you've wiped Windows or OS X a time or two, that giddiness vanishes—replaced by a feeling of annoyance, a kind of tax on being a Linux user.

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openSUSE Leap 42.3

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Reviews
SUSE

openSUSE Leap is a conservative distribution that opts for stable packages over the latest and greatest. The latest release of Leap, version 42.3, ships with version 4.4 of the Linux kernel, but with many features backported from newer releases of the kernel. GNOME 3.20 and KDE Plasma 5.8 are the main desktops offered, but Xfce and LXDE can also be installed from the install media, with other options available post-install or via net-install. Firefox 52 ESR is the default browser in both GNOME and KDE and LibreOffice 5.3 serves as the default office suite.

As someone who appreciates a slower, more cautious update cadence, I was intrigued by openSUSE Leap 42.3's package selection. A slightly older desktop environment paired with an ESR Firefox and a recent release of LibreOffice is something I could find myself using as my main distribution, so I downloaded the 4.6GB ISO to give openSUSE Leap 42.3 a trail run. Below, I take a look at openSUSE's installation process, the KDE Plasma desktop, and more before sharing my final thoughts.

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Mageia 6: is it the rise of Phoenix?

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MDV
Reviews

A few years back, I was very happy running Mageia. I interviewed Mageia team members. I was a pro-Mageia person.

Unfortunately, the lack of updates from the Mageia team made me leave this very nice and promising operating system. I am sure I am not the only person with the same sad feelings.

Will Mageia gain its momentum again now? I hope so. It felt very fast, responsive and reliable during my Live run of Mageia 6 KDE. I faced no single issue, apart from the one with tiny buttons in the notification area. But this issue is too tiny (literally).

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Ubuntu Budgie Distro: Simple, Clean and User-Friendly

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The Budgie desktop lacks the glitz and glitter found in more seasoned desktop environments. Animation is nonexistent.

That said, Budgie is an ideal desktop environment that is very user-friendly. Its customization options and ease-of-use make it a great trade-off.

Still, its design seems a bit too simplified for seasoned Linux users.

Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distro also offers users a Budgie desktop release. Do not confuse that Ubuntu flavor with the Ubuntu Budgie distro. The two desktop integrations have different appearances and feature sets.

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Zazu App - Intelligent artificialness

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Software
Reviews

Zazu App is an interesting concept, but it's still quite raw. Linux support is flaky unless you mean Ubuntu. You have to manually edit the configuration, which is a fun killer. Most plugins do not run on Linux, and some are just broken, and even with a few of these added, the functionality spectrum is quite lean, especially compared to the likes of Dash or Krunner, both of which look and behave the part. From a purely technological stand point, Zazu App does not have the bells and whistles to defeat the established players.

But maybe that's not the goal. Maybe this is just a sandbox for nerds who love JSON, and for them, it will work well, it will be rich and powerful, and we will see more and more plugins added until this becomes an indispensible engine of artificial intelligence for your desktop. Who knows. At the moment, I'm skeptical. Also, given the rapid development cycle, everything you read here might already be obsolete by the time I publish this article. Such is life. Zazu, neat idea, but it takes more than that to Fandango.

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The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

The Libreboot T400 doesn’t look like much. It’s basically a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad with the traditional Lenovo/IBM pointer nubbin and a small touchpad. It’s a plain black laptop, as familiar as any luggable assigned to a cubicle warrior on the road. But, under the hood, you have a machine that fights for freedom.

The T400 runs Libreboot, a free and open BIOS and the Trisquel GNU/Linux OS. Both of these tools should render the Libreboot T400 as secure from tampering as can be. “Your Libreboot T400 obeys you, and nobody else!” write its creators, and that seems to be the case.

How does it work? And should you spend about $300 on a refurbished Thinkpad with Linux installed? That depends on what you’re trying to do. The model I tested was on the low end with enough speed and performance to count but Trisquel tended to bog down a bit and the secure browser, “an unbranded Mozilla based browser that never recommends non-free software,” was a little too locked down for its own good. I was able to work around a number of the issues I had but this is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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A look at Atom text editor for GNU/Linux

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Software
Reviews

There are so many different text editors out there, some have a GUI, some are terminal based; and so many people prefer different ones for different reasons.

With all that said, there are times when I stumble upon new piece of software that seems to stand out above the rest, and in the case of text editors; Atom has done just that.

Atom is a hackable text editor, meaning that it can be customized almost to an extreme, but yet, is perfectly usable and awesome even just with its default setup.

It’s also available for Windows and MacOS X, but truth be told I’ve only really encountered people using it on GNU/Linux. Not to say there aren’t people using it on other platforms, just my own observations.

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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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ON-CALL Friday means a few things at El Reg: a new BOFH. A couple of beers. And another instalment of On-Call, our weekly column in which we take reader-contributed tales of being asked to do horrible things for horrible people, scrub them up and hope you click. This week, meet “Newt” who a dozen or more years ago worked at a College that “decided to migrate from a Linux system to Microsoft Outlook with an Exchange back end.” Read more