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Reviews

Power - Part II of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Previously the first part talked about Panorama - the appearance overview of past and current Ubuntu. Now this second part will talk about Power - the technical aspects "how it works" of Ubuntu most notably the installation and add/remove applications and configurations. Briefly, Ubuntu Desktop now transformed into more a mobile alike system similar to Android or iOS. Here you will find the one gigabyte memory load this version, how much the app installations changed, and things important about Ubuntu. Enjoy!

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Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Cinnamon - Reasonable but not chipper

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Linux
Reviews

I would say Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Cinnamon is a slightly more useful edition than the Xfce one. It feels more carefully put together, it's visually more distinctive, and while the other is a bit faster and offers more juice, the delta isn't cardinal enough to justify the less integrated, less polished setup. All in all, this is an okay distro, but again, it ain't no killer, and there are no fireworks. Some solid stuff, some average stuff, a basket of bugs and problems, with the ergonomics being the top culprit.

There's also a philosophical angle. With these two Mint editions so similar, is there really any need for the Xfce one? I think Mint would do better with just one version, where all the effort and labor goeth. Then, there's also the problem of distinction. I was super-impressed with Mint in the past, and it often topped my best-of charts at the end of the year. But now, the value delta isn't big enough to make it stand out above the crowd. It's a difficult situation, because the Linux world is really drowning in lethargy.

If you want a simple, classic desktop, you might want to try Ulyana. It's fairly consistent, which can't be said of most distros, it stays true to its identity, but then, it ain't exciting, and there are some rough edges, which mar the experience. I'd say 7/10. We've seen better, and I expect more, but I'm not sure that perfect brilliance is ever going to happen again. So there you go, from the most optimistic distro reviewer on this planet.

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openSUSE 15.2 Leap

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Reviews
SUSE

In my opinion openSUSE is a distribution which does a lot of things right. The project offers a lot of download options, covering a range of CPU architectures and desktop environments without its download options becoming overwhelming. The project's documentation is usually easy to find and read.

The project has an unusual style and its installer, menu layouts, and YaST administration panel are all a little alien when coming from other Linux distributions. This is not to say that openSUSE does things in a way that is better or worse, but it does have a distinct style that can take a little adjustment.

I think the project has a great set of configuration modules and YaST is a gem of a tool. I especially like that it integrates with Btrfs to automatically take snapshots whenever we make a configuration change in case we need to undo an action. This makes openSUSE virtually bullet-proof. In fact, openSUSE appears to be one of the only Linux distributions making use of Btrfs and its powerful features like snapshots and multi-disk volumes.

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KDE Plasma Review: The Swiss Army Knife of Desktops

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KDE
Reviews

As the long-standing rival to GNOME, KDE Plasma is another one of the most popular Linux desktop environments. It’s a lot of the things people may not like about GNOME: resource efficient, unbelievably customizable, and as minimal or complex as you want it to be. This KDE Plasma review will cover performance, user interface, customization, and recommendations on how to use and who should use KDE Plasma.

[...]

As great as the defaults are, the strength of KDE lies in its customizability. It’s “have it your way” to the extreme.

If you don’t like the default Breeze theme, it’s very easy to change it with the “Global Theme” application. You can choose from any that come preinstalled, or you can choose to go out and download more to suit your needs. The customization options are all about choice, and you can easily customize it to any look you want.

Under System Settings, you can change almost every single aspect of the system, including global themes, window themes, icon themes, and more. You can make Plasma look like the following.

[...]

The beauty of all the customization Plasma offers is that everybody can use Plasma. It starts out spartan-simple, but you can change it to suit any workflow or appearance you want. You can make a very resource-efficient Windows or macOS clone. Additionally, those looking to try out Wayland without using GNOME should try out Plasma. It’s the only other full Desktop Environment that supports Wayland (with the addition of some other packages), and it’s a great place to test and experience Wayland on your system.

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Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Xfce - Not quite there

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Linux
Reviews

Unsurprisingly, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Xfce falls into that mid-range good category of distros. Some nice things, some average things, some bad things. The problem is, the differentiating factors by which the Linux desktop could once sway hearts and create hope - especially for wavering Windowsers - are long long gone. So having a decent desktop that checks some boxes simply isn't enough. Mint 20 Xfce is fast and does most of the basics reasonably well.

But then, the ergonomics are off, the printing thing is weird, the software selection can be better, there are quite a few rough spots, and at the end of the day, there are few super-awesome features that would distinguish this system over dozens of other Linux distros. But as long as there's no ultra-rigorous QA across the entire ecosystem, as long as even simple things like the boot sequence or fonts cannot be taken for granted, the Linux desktop will not be the "killer" replacement for Windows. Anyway, on its own Ulyana Xfce get 6/10, and now, it's time to see what the Cinnamon version can do. Stay tuned.

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Zenwalk Linux Review

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Reviews

Zenwalk Linux surprise me from the very first moment with this new release. They have done a really great work at all levels: a pretty, nice, polished, and well worked XFCE desktop that works in low resources hardware, and preinstalled localization for support non US languages. As I said previously, it’s a good move to include Flatpak support since installation, because all users can access to a lot of software easily. By the way, I need to mention that Zenwalk uses Lilo and eLilo (for MBR and UEFI systems, respectively) instead of grub2. This is not a bad thing, but it’s not a standard on these days. Both Lilo and eLilo do their work perfectly, so there’s no problem with that.

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Review: Linux Mint 20

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Reviews

Linux Mint is a desktop distribution which is available in two branches, one based on Debian and the other which uses Ubuntu as its base. The project recently published Linux Mint 20 which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and promises five years of security updates. The distribution is available in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. These editions are available for 64-bit (x86_64) computers exclusively and the download for each edition is approximately 2GB in size.

There are a few key new features in Linux Mint 20. One is Warpinator, a simple desktop tool which makes it easy to share files in a peer-to-peer fashion with other computers running Mint on the same local network. Warpinator replaces a past Mint utility called Giver and works much the same way, making sharing files across the network a point and click experience.

This release also features the NVIDIA Prime applet that can be used to switch between using one video card and another. This is helpful when running laptops that have an Intel video card and another from NVIDIA.

The Cinnamon desktop now allows each monitor attached to the computer to have different fractional scaling and this should improve the visual experience on HiDPI screens.

Unlike its parent, Mint does not ship with support for Snap packages. In fact, Deb packages which would normally install Snap bundles (the way Ubuntu's Chromium package does) have been replaced with empty packages. Mint instead supplies Flatpak support for people wishing to run portable package formats.

The project's release notes include a few warnings and workarounds. For instance, we are told that encrypted home directories are available, but may not unmount properly when logging out of the system due to a regression between the ecryptfs software and systemd.

Guest sessions are available, though disabled by default, and can be activated through the Login Window settings module. We are also warned that Chromium web browser packages are not available in the default repositories, but can be found in an add-on repository if the browser is needed.

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Elive Review: For the Enlightened Linux Users

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Elive is a Linux distribution based on Debian that features a great implementation of the Enlightenment desktop environment. It is a distro that is self-proclaimed as not being aimed at one particular kind of user but one that is primarily designed to be used on very old computers. The default ISO image is 32-bit and installs with Linux 3.16 by default. It uses just a hair over 160 MB RAM and runs beautifully with one CPU core and zero 3D acceleration. This allows Elive to tout itself as capable of turning a 15-year old computer into one of high performance, and I quite honestly believe it. In this Elive Review, we’ll discuss system performance, usability, and why it may or may not be the distro for you.

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Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” Review: The Most Complete OS For Everyone

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Linux
Reviews

Last week, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre released the latest long-term version — Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana.” Mint 20 is built on top of the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” which will now be supported until 2025.

Over the years, Linux Mint has grown as one of the most suitable Linux distributions for beginners alongside Ubuntu. With Mint 20, it has embarked on a new version with a number of enhancements. Hence, in this article, we’ll walk you through Linux Mint 20 which we practically tested on a bare machine.

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Austrumi Linux Is Loaded With Language Laziness

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Linux
Reviews

Austrumi Linux contains all the necessary basic programs for work and entertainment. It boots from CD, flash drive or a hard drive installation and can be used on servers and workstations.

Austrumi Linux is not well known, but it checks most of the usability boxes. The only technical requirement is the ability to burn the ISO to a DVD or USB.

Do not expect much from the Austrumi web site. It is poorly designed and has no information about using the distro or getting help. Several of the pages are blank or not there.

Beyond that process, just turn on the computer and use Austrumi. No installation is needed. Nor is there any need for system configurations.

Of course, that all depends on whether Latvia is your native language.

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  • New Debian Maintainers (July and August 2020)

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  • MYIR launches FZ5 EdgeBoard AI Box for AI on the Edge

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  • SYNCPLIFY.ME AFT! V3.0 SUPPORTS LINUX ON ARM

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  • Where’s the Yelp for open-source tools?

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  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 79
  • Fun with Java Records

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  • How to code a basic WordPress plugin

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  • 3 ways to protect yourself from imposter syndrome

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Graphics: NVIDIA, Intel, AMD and Zink

     
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Sculpt OS release 20.08

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today's howtos