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Reviews

Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Review: The Familiar Operating System

Filed under
KDE
Reviews

Here's my review on Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. Two years ago I call it friendly computing, now in 2020, I call it familiar operating system for everyone. We have so many good news with Kubuntu today and let's go, I hope you enjoy my review.

Kubuntu 20.04 has a lot of benefits and a little of issues. I believe it is a familiar operating system most computer users can afford, by purchasing real Kubuntu laptops or by installing manually, you can push your computing for daily purposes, teaching and graphic designing quickly and comfortably. To complete everything, let's not forget it is a Long Term Support edition which will receive Ubuntu-based updates for five years until 2025 and desktop-based updates until 2023. Win-win solution, nice to everybody, that's Kubuntu Focal for you. That's my review.

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Reolink RLC-810A review – A 4K security camera with people & vehicle detection

Filed under
Android
Reviews
Ubuntu

The person and vehicle detection feature in Reolink RLC-810A security camera is just great, and I could not imagine reviewing other CCTV cameras or NVR systems without AI in the future, as in my experience, standard motion detection just does not cut it with too many false positive. As we’ve seen in the review, the way to position the camera may be important to make sure it works optimally, and at night, cats may be detected as persons, but it still removes 99% of the noise I got with PIR sensors.

I don’t like using Windows, simply because I only use Ubuntu 20.04 on my laptop and Android on my phone unless I have no other choice. So I also really appreciated the multiple ways I could access the camera from the Android app and a standard web browser in Ubuntu, and support for RTSP and ONVIF is also great for people wanting to integrate the camera into their own CCTV solution. It should be noted I could only access the “Clear” 4K UHD stream from the Android app (it should also work in Reolink Windows and Mac program), and RTSP, but only the “Fluent” 640×360 stream from the web browser and ONVIF, so that’s probably something the company will want to fix in a new firmware update.

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Review: ArchBang Linux 0111

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

ArchBang Linux is a lightweight distribution based on Arch Linux. Using the i3 window manager, it strives to be fast, up-to-date and suitable for desktop systems. The current snapshots of ArchBang use an unusual versioning convention with a day & month combination. For example, 0811 is the snapshot for the 8th of November. Previous versions used a year & month combination so that a snapshot from January 2014 would be 2014.01.

Apart from the shift in version numbers since the last time I tried ArchBang the distribution has also swapped out the Openbox window manager for i3 on the install media. I was curious to see how this would work. ArchBang has just one download option, a 914MB ISO file that runs on 64-bit (x86_64) machines.

The live media boots and brings up the i3 window manager. The wallpaper displays a nice water-focused nature scene. There is a Conky status panel displayed to the right of the desktop. Under the status readout there is a listing for keyboard shortcuts we can use to launch some programs, access desktop settings, and start the install process.

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A Review of NixOS

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Reviews

Most reviews go over desktop tools and default tools, but such reviews are not very useful for describing NixOS, as the power of NixOS lies elsewhere. People who choose NixOS must be willing to do their own partitioning, and you will not be doing them any favours by telling them the default desktop manager can suit their needs.

With that said, if you can follow the NixOS manual, you will be fine. You can choose a default desktop environment if you want, but make sure you are comfortable with the command line and can edit a text file for configuration tasks.

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Kubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

On one hand, Kubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla is a solid distro. It has some really cool features - it's stylish, consistent, fast, stable, and sort of fun to use. Definitely ahead of the game when it comes to your typical Tux offering. But then, this release is a missed opportunity, because it could have nailed it with Plasma 5.20, which really is so much better than what you get by default. Honest.

And then, of course, there's the "pick your regression of the day" game. Any which issue with networking, sharing or media playback, all these are problems we've seen before, some have been addressed, some have gone back, and some have returned, and there's really no point for me to talk about this again. As long as the Linux desktop development remains focused on the concepts of amateur/project/fun instead of product, and as long as there isn't the tightest of integrations of all components, it doesn't seem feasible we will ever see a steady-state desktop that can maintain core functionality without erratic changes over consecutive releases.

Now that said, Kubuntu 20.10 is a bright ray of goodness and almost pro level of attention to detail and finesse in the Tux arena, and if you're on a hunt for a desktop, this seems like the most reasonable choice of late. There you go. Good but it could have easily been so much better.

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Review: Enso OS 0.4

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Reviews

Enso OS is a Linux distribution based on Xubuntu. Enso features the Xfce desktop with the Gala window manager which is imported from elementary OS. Enso OS 0.4 is the project's latest release and the new version runs on 64-bit (x86_64) computers exclusively.

The 0.4 release offers a few new features. There is a new note taking application included by default called Pinny. The AppHive (sometimes written "Apphive") software manager has been updated and allows users to mark (star) favourite applications. Reportedly, AppHive's performance has been improved while it is processing queued actions in the background. This release also includes a new dark theme, though the desktop uses a light theme by default. While there are not many new features in this version's release announcement, the distribution does seem to be placing a focus on minor improvements and tweaks to the user experience.

[...]

One thing I find interesting about the Enso project is it comes across as relatively humble. The distribution's website doesn't make bold claims about changing the computing landscape or leading the way in innovation. It doesn't claim to be especially easy to use or perfect for gaming. The project does mention a few things it does differently, such as its software centre and the hybrid desktop. This understated approach was one I found somewhat endearing. The project sets out to do a few things differently from its parent, but not with an apparent quest for glory.

The AppHive software centre, as I mentioned above, is a capable software manager. It mostly functions well and makes it easy to find new applications. I would have liked more status and progress information during the install process, but otherwise AppHive is a decent software centre.

To me the more interesting feature was the Xfce/Gala desktop. It offers most of the flexibility and performance of Xfce while serving up a more modern (or alternatively more macOS-style) desktop interface. Whether modern/macOS is a characteristic that appeals to the user will likely be entirely a personal choice. For me, the desktop did not introduce many features that really appealed to me. Though to be fair, it also didn't do anything that caused me serious problems. The application menu in a window concept never really clicked with me, but otherwise the hybrid interface worked well.

The top bar with its shortcuts to files in my home directory certainly appealed to me. On the other hand, having the top panel also act as a unified menu bar for the active application felt awkward. In the end, it mostly balanced out.

On the whole Enso didn't wow me, but it also functioned well. It provided a decent experience and mostly stayed out of my way while I was working. I can see how this style of desktop experience would appeal to people, especially those who like macOS or elementary OS style desktop environments.

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Raspberry Pi 4 Review: Is Raspberry Pi 4 Worth Buying?

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

When it comes to single-board computers, nothing can beat the popularity of the Raspberry Pi. These tiny boards are not only affordable but also very user-friendly and offer excellent performance. Among these Pi models, the latest version, the Raspberry Pi 4, is supposed to be the most powerful and best of all. Since its launch, the 4k resolution display and the higher speed ethernet port have caught our attention, and we were inspired to give it a try.
We have to say that this model is highly satisfying and the best tiny desktop computer you can get. However, like most other things, Pi 4 has some disadvantages, like getting heated or not compatible with older software. This article will give you a thorough explanation of all the changes, performance, and disadvantages of Pi 4. Stick to the end to know whether this new version is worth your money or not.

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LXQt 0.16.0 Review – Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment

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Linux
Reviews

LXQt 0.16.0 released with more improvements and bug fixes. Here we review the changes and take you through the new features of this lightweight Qt desktop environment.
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The Raspberry Pi 400 is Awesome! A Computer in A Keyboard!

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

The Raspberry Pi foundation has recently launched the Raspberry Pi 400, a whole computer built into a compact keyboard to make personal computers more affordable. We are glad to say that they have successfully provided us with a PC for just $70. This version of the Pi is supposed to be cooler and faster than the Pi 4, which is 40 times powerful than the original Pi. The foundation has also come up with a ready-to-go kit available for only $100.

Regarding the “computer-in-a-keyboard,” Raspberry Pi 400 has been successful in being an excellent general-purpose computer. Though it can never be the substitute for a modern laptop or desktop computer, you can still do several things with it, including edit documents, search on the web, send an email or browse social media. Also, you can use it as an online learning center for your kids. So, in brief, this version of the Pi has successfully carried out the goals made by the Raspberry Pi foundation.

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Fedora 33 Workstation review

Filed under
Red Hat
Reviews

I don't think there's much to be said at this point. It's all written above. Fedora 33, like 99% of distros out there, does not have sufficiently friendly defaults for the average user, let alone anyone coming from the Windows world. Perhaps the nerdy features could be useful to developers and alike - latest kernel, BTRFS and whatnot - but ordinary people don't know what these are, don't care, and they just want to watch videos without heaving. Having to worry about trifles like font, media playback or minimize button. Nah.

My intention is to still go through all the way and try to create a useful baseline for the common desktop user. This will include a complete revamp of the desktop, installation of a dozen different applications, and several dozen tweaks. Similar to my Fedora 32 guide, probably almost identical. But that's just because I want to see what needs to be done, and if there's anything useful I can offer my readers. I can't recommend Fedora for everyday usage, and I feel quite sad and resigned at the end of this short testing session. Take care.

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More in Tux Machines

myMPD – standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client

My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience to be present. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being with an audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime, and still on hold given the coronavirus pandemic. I’m therefore listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC, a lossless audio format, and stored locally. Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem. MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis. myMPD is a standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client. Its developer claims myMPD is designed for minimal resource usage and requires only very few dependencies. Read more

Games: CLI, Tristam Island, GamerOS and Much More

  • Best Command Line Games for Linux – Linux Hint

    This article will list various command line games available for Linux. These games do not require you to commit a lot of time and can be played in short bursts. If you are using a lightweight Linux distribution with minimal UI elements or using a headless OS based on Linux, this list should be useful for you.

  • Tristam Island is a Infocom-inspired text adventure available on over 30 platforms | GamingOnLinux

    Okay, now this is quite impressive. Tristam Island is a text adventure designed like old Infocom works and it's playable across more platforms than you might expect. Developed by Hugo Labrande using modern, open source tools on Linux naturally it has first-class Linux support. However, it's also available on over 30 other platforms too. From Linux to Windows, Amiga to Spectrum and even some calculators can run it. The technical details of it are just as impressive as the adventure you go on. The developer also supplies the plain ".z3" file to run in your favourite interactive fiction interpreter. It could run pretty much anywhere. "After crashing your plane at sea, you end up drifting to a small island, with not much to survive. You explore, and find out the island was inhabited, years ago. But why did the people leave? And why is there a fence around the white house at the top of the hill?"

  • SteamOS-like couch gaming Linux distribution GamerOS expands with a new release | GamingOnLinux

    Need an up to date Linux distribution for your living room big screen experience? GamerOS can fill that gap for you while Valve sit on SteamOS. GamerOS is one of the easiest ways to get a full-screen Steam experience on a big screen, with no-fuss updates and a whole bunch of special tweaks to make it run as nicely as possible. Not only that, it has a bunch of extras to support other stores and platforms too. With the release of GamerOS 21 the standard components included have been upgraded like the Linux Kernel 5.9.9, Mesa 20.2.2, NVIDIA 455.38, RetroArch 1.9 and updates to their Steam Tweaks and Steam Buddy apps too. Their Steam Buddy is web-based tool you use to manage non-Steam stuff, with these release it expanded to support the Atari Jaguar and PlayStation Portable through emulators. It also now has audio controls, it will generate banner images based on game titles when one isn't available, fixes gamepads not working with the Epic Games Store and more fixes.

  • Cloud Gaming Services: Explained and Tested on Linux - Boiling Steam

    Here’s a quick test run of some of these game streaming services, and I’ll explain what they do. In particular, we’ll see how well each service fares on the desktop Linux side.

  • 340 or so days later and I am still lost in The Longing | GamingOnLinux

    Remember the unique mix of point and click adventuring with an idle game in The Longing? It's supposed to have taken people 400 days to finish and it released back in March 2020 - to which I was impressed with it. This is because when you start, a big timer at the top of your screen will count down from 400 real-time days. It's a painfully slow game, and one that's very much the anti-AAA shot some readers might be needing. It's all about loneliness, and the longing to know more and have more. It's such a thoroughly strange experience. The Longing sits between a point and click adventure with an idle game. You can walk around, interact with things and explore for a while. However, certain parts of it force you to wait. You might need something to grow or get broken before you can pass, or even just opening a big door might take an hour or two. You can just quit and come back, and time will continue on so you don't need to have it open.

  • Jedi: Fallen Order arrives on Stadia, six new free games for Stadia Pro for December | GamingOnLinux

    Google continues to boost their game selection with many fan favourites continuing to arrive on their Stadia game streaming service. They also have big plans. As of right now, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to buy on Stadia and it's 60% off at $23.99 / €27.99 / £23.99. The sale on that will end on December 3. They're also offering a free Stadia Premiere Edition (Controller + Chromecast Ultra) with pre-orders of Cyberpunk 2077 and I do have to admit I love the feel of my own Stadia Controller.

  • Re-live the experience of Half-Life with Black Mesa: Definitive Edition out now | GamingOnLinux

    Black Mesa: Definitive Edition is the final big update to the re-imagined fan-made Half-Life game, and it's looking pretty awesome. Easily the best way to experience the first part of Half-Life. Don't get me wrong, the original from Valve still has plenty of true charm but for modern audiences it's not the ideal way to try and get into it. Black Mesa (especially now with the Definitive Edition) makes it easier for a new generation to get invested into the crazy world that is Half-Life and experience the adventure of Dr. Gordon Freeman.

  • NVIDIA plan to support Linux with GeForce NOW using Chrome | GamingOnLinux

    For a while now you've been able to stream games using NVIDIA GeForce NOW in your browser, however it looks like NVIDIA will be making that a bit more official for Linux. Currently on certain platforms like Windows and macOS, NVIDIA have a dedicated downloadable application for their GeForce NOW streaming service. They expanded support into the browser for ChromeOS / Chromebooks in the Summer, which initially needed other platforms to spoof their browser string to ChromeOS but that hasn't been needed for a while.

  • Radeon RX 6800 Series 1440p Linux Gaming Benchmarks With 15 GPUs - Phoronix

    While the new Radeon RX 6800 series is suited for 4K gaming, a number of premium readers inquired about seeing 1440p gaming benchmarks for the cards. Now that all the initial launch coverage is out of the way, here is a look at the Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT with 15 graphics cards in total for this round of Linux gaming benchmarks focused at 1440p. Up for this comparison based on the cards I had available were the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 , RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080, RTX 2080 SUPER, TITAN RTX, RTX 2080 Ti, and the RTX 3080 (unfortunately, the RTX 3080 remains my lone Ampere card at the moment with NVIDIA not yet sending out the RTX 3090/3070 for Linux testing). On the Radeon side is the RX 5600 XT, RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, Radeon VII, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT. The very latest open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers were used for this testing, which does incorporate the recent driver optimizations. Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan test cases were conducted. The GPU power consumption and GPU core temperatures were also monitored on a per-test basis.

Sysmon – A Graphical System Activity Monitor for Linux

Sysmon is a Linux activity monitoring tool similar to Windows task manager, was written in Python and released under GPL-3.0 License. This is a Graphical visualization tool that visualizes the following data. By default distribution like Ubuntu comes with a system monitor tool, but the drawback with the default monitor tool is it does not display HDD, SSD, and GPU loads. Sysmon adds all the features to a single place similar to the Windows Task Manager. Read more

Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Review: The Familiar Operating System

Here's my review on Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. Two years ago I call it friendly computing, now in 2020, I call it familiar operating system for everyone. We have so many good news with Kubuntu today and let's go, I hope you enjoy my review. Kubuntu 20.04 has a lot of benefits and a little of issues. I believe it is a familiar operating system most computer users can afford, by purchasing real Kubuntu laptops or by installing manually, you can push your computing for daily purposes, teaching and graphic designing quickly and comfortably. To complete everything, let's not forget it is a Long Term Support edition which will receive Ubuntu-based updates for five years until 2025 and desktop-based updates until 2023. Win-win solution, nice to everybody, that's Kubuntu Focal for you. That's my review. Read more