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Reviews

Review of the HP Pavilion 14-ce0830nd

Filed under
Hardware
Reviews
SUSE

Would I recommend the HP Pavilion 14-ce0830nd? To be honest, its a mixed bag on openSUSE. Installation of openSUSE Leap 15.2 was very easy. And installation of a dual boot system with Windows 10 was easy as well. The laptop has an attractive look and feel. The display, speakers, keyboard and external ports are all good. The touchpad is too sensitive. The machine has enough RAM, enough storage and the hard drives are performant. The Intel CPU/GPU is great. Which means that this is a great machine for multitasking. The gaming performance on the Intel GPU on openSUSE Leap 15.2 is good enough to play various open source games on medium/high settings.

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PinePhone: Community Edition (CE) Review

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews
Gadgets

Following hot on the heels of my Pinebook Pro review come my impressions of the PinePhone: Community Edition (CE); a phone made by the same company, Pine64. This particular edition of the PinePhone is an updated version of their 1.1 Braveheart Edition phone, while still carrying the same $150 price tag.

Why did I decide to buy this even though I’ve already got one? Well, this new CE PinePhone has some enhancements to the printed circuit board (PCB). I wanted to see if, after buying this, I can use it as my day-to-day driver.

I ordered both the PBP and the PinePhone on the same day. Both devices suffered from delivery delay due to the COVID-19 crisis, so I upgraded my PinePhone shipping from Ascendia to DHL. I then got the phone in the mail a week after my PBP (the PBP already had DHL shipping). In all the shipping costed $30…a bit uglier than I expected, but if anything it’s probably because of the pandemic we’re in.

Before I go on ahead with my review, you may want to first skim through my original Braveheart Edition review from four months ago, as I will be skipping some of the details of the unit I’m reviewing here, since it is almost exactly the same, at least in terms of hardware.

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GNOME Shell Review: Minimal Desktop with Great Performance

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GNOME
Reviews

If I had to guess, I would probably say that a huge majority of Linux users have/had used GNOME Shell in one way or another. It’s the default Desktop Environment on a huge number of very popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Pop!_OS, and it’s an option for installation on even more. This GNOME Shell review will cover performance, user experience, and recommendations on who will find GNOME Shell to be a good fit.

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Ubuntu Cinnamon | Review from an openSUSE User

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Reviews
Ubuntu

There is something fun about the smattering of new releases of Ubuntu and flavors every six months. I don’t try them all as I just don’t have the time. I do like to try the new ones, see what they’re all about. It’s one thing to try Kubuntu, where you already know what you are getting, it’s another thing to try a respin, especially one that is brand new to the scene.

As part of the BDLL community, we are encouraged to try out the new shiny and then talk about it. We had the conversation on the 27th of June, 2020. I didn’t have much to contribute as I was late to the party in testing it. We also had the privilege of having the distribution maintainer and creator, Josh, there as well too.

Button line up front: Ubuntu Cinnamon, as a new remix was a remarkably enjoyable experience, especially since this is the first release and Josh is, not exactly a seasoned distro maintainer. I am not particularly a fan of Cinnamon and I knew this going into it but was interested in seeing a version of Cinnamon as an alternative to Mint due to their rather poignant stance on the universal Linux package system, Snaps. This is the first release of Ubuntu Cinnamon and I think it is well done. I would not switch to it but I do think it is worth trying, if nothing else, to hedge your Cinnamon bets.

This is my brief experience as a biased openSUSE User from installation to desktop usage perceptions.

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Also: What’s New In Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS

Review: System76’s Lemur Pro

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

If you’re a Linux user on the hunt for a new laptop, there’s quite a bit of preparation and research you must do on top of the regular research buying such an expensive piece of equipment already entails. Reading forum posts from other Linux users with the laptop you’re interested in, hunting for detailed specifications to make sure that specific chip version or that exact piece of exotic hardware is fully supported, checking to see if your favourite distribution has adequate support for it, and so on.

There is, however, another way. While vastly outnumbered, there are laptops sold with Linux preinstalled. Even some of the big manufacturers, such as Dell, sell laptops with Linux preinstalled, but often only on older models that have been out for a while, or while not fully supporting all hardware (the fingerprint reader and infrared camera on my XPS 13 were not supported by Linux, for instance). For the likes of Dell, Linux in the consumer space is an afterthought, a minor diversion, and it shows.

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Elementary OS 5.1 Hera Review

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Reviews

Elementary OS has a reputation for elegant minimalism and user friendliness, enjoying a strong fan base. Its latest release, Hera 5.1, has been out for a while now, but the company has recently made an interesting move in one of its updates. In this Elementary OS review, as we put Hera through its paces, we’ll explore what’s new, what to expect if its your first time using the OS, and how it stacks up against rival desktops.

[...]

Elementary OS is a gorgeous product that will leave an excellent lasting impression and will likely win over new Linux users. Nevertheless, there are situations when all this tasteful minimalism may become a hindrance. Sometimes elegance needs to make way for brute force, and if you have a desktop PC and rely on heavy customization, you’re probably better off with something like KDE, MATE, or Xfce.

However, on portable computers this system is right at home. There are times when it genuinely feels like you’re using the future of Linux. I’m personally using KDE Neon on my main workstation, but when I’m on the go, I use Elementary on an ultra-mobile PC. The two machines complement each other nicely, and together, they make for a very powerful and satisfying combination.

Is Elementary too Mac-like for your tastes? Check out our list of the best Linux distros for Windows users. Or maybe you just want to see the competition? Check out our list of 5 of the Best Linux Distributions for Mac Users.

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Panorama - Part I Of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

This is the first part of my review and here I talk about its Look and Feel or let me word it panorama. First, I present you here a video I name it Ubuntu 20.04 in One Minute that reveals to you the panorama of this amazing computer operating system including desktop animation effects and how one interacts with everything inside it. Second, I present you long explanations following it to emphasize the improvements since the age of Hardy Heron version twelve years ago. In panorama, it got so many changes in order to make it just works for most people yet still unique with its own humanity for human beings. So, let's go to the review and see you in the next part!

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Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Canonical’s latest Ubuntu release, “Focal Fossa”, hit the mirrors at the end of April. So by the time you read this thousands of people will have downloaded it, installed it, and (we’ll wager) been downright impressed with what it has to offer. If you haven’t yet tried it, then you’re in for a treat. Buckle up and we’ll show you what’s new and what you can do with Canonical’s finest.

If you’ve never tried Linux before, Ubuntu 20.04 is a great place to start. You can try it right now (well in the time it takes you to download and write it to a USB stick) without interfering with your current set up.

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Review: GoboLinux 017

Filed under
OS
Reviews

The GoboLinux project develops a distribution with an unusual goal: reorganizing the operating system's filesystem. The project introduces itself as follows:
GoboLinux is an alternative Linux distribution which redefines the entire filesystem hierarchy. In GoboLinux you don't need a package database because the filesystem is the database: each program resides in its own directory.
In other words, instead of a package manager placing executable files in /usr/bin, libraries in /usr/lib, and other resources in /usr/share, a program's files are all stored in one tree, such as /Programs/Firefox or /Programs/LibreOffice. This way the user, and package utilities, can remove software by deleting a single directory rather than keeping track of where individual files have been installed.

GoboLinux uses the the Awesome window manager, which provides a lightweight graphical interface. Version 017 of Gobo removes Python2 in favour of Python3, and also removes GTK2 for GTK3 on the ISO. Audio management is now handled by PulseAudio.

Gobo makes available one edition of the distribution for 64-bit (x86_64) computers. The download is 1.9GB in size. Booting from this media brings up a series of text-based menus. These menus ask us to select one of six languages from a list, then select our keyboard's layout. With these questions answered we are presented with a text console where we are automatically logged into the root account. A message appears above the command line prompt which lets us know we can run "startx" to open a graphical user interface. The text also explains how to launch the system installer from either the command line or from the Awesome window manager.

Opening the Awesome environment places a panel at the top of the screen. We can find an application menu in the upper-left corner and the system tray in the upper-right. The wallpaper is mostly black with abstract designs drawn on it. The background appears to be dynamically drawn rather than a fixed image. The volume icon is interesting in that clicking on it changes the colour of the icon (toggling between green and red) and this appears to mute audio.

The application menu in the live environment contains very few entries. Most of these manage or adjust the Awesome session. I feel it worth noting that to customize Awesome we need to edit a text file, there isn't any point-and-click settings panel. There is a menu entry to open the Awesome manual. Trying to access the manual caused a window to open for a second, then immediately crash without showing the requested documentation or an error.

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Ubuntu 20.04 Review

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Reviews

Finally, this is my review of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa on its Panorama, Power, and Life for all users divided in three parts after I used it in enough period of time. I go from the point of view of twelve years ago the legendary 8.04 Hardy Heron version and the slogan Just Work we easily find when installing this amazing operating system. Once one part finished, I will update this preface article until all parts finished. I am enjoying writing this and I hope you also enjoy this review series even better. Happy reading!

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Lightweight Linux distribution 4MLinux 34.0 Released with WebP Support

The super lightweight Linux distribution 4MLinux released the latest stable version 34.0 with new features and latest app updates. Read more

TenFourFox FPR27 available

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 27 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Unfortunately, I have thus far been unable to solve issue 621 regarding the crashes on LinkedIn, so to avoid drive-by crashes, scripts are now globally disabled on LinkedIn until I can (no loss since it doesn't work anyway). If you need them on for some reason, create a pref tenfourfox.troublesome-js.allow and set it to true. I will keep working on this for FPR28 to see if I can at least come up with a better wallpaper, though keep in mind that even if I repair the crash it may still not actually work anyway. There are otherwise no new changes since the beta except for outstanding security updates, and it will go live Monday evening Pacific assuming no new issues. Read more

today's howtos

today's leftovers

  • Doom Emacs For Noobs

    Doom Emacs is my preferred text editor, and I have made several videos about it. But some of those videos assumed that the viewer had some knowledge of Vim and/or Emacs. So I decided to make this Doom Emacs introductory video for the complete noob! This video covers how to install Doom Emacs, how to configure it, and some of the basic keybindings and commands.

  • The Endless Stream Of Linux Video Topics To Sift Through
  • Debian Janitor: Expanding Into Improving Multi-Arch

    The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor.

  • New Debian Maintainers (July and August 2020)

    The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months: Chirayu Desai Shayan Doust Arnaud Ferraris Fritz Reichwald Kartik Kulkarni François Mazen Patrick Franz Francisco Vilmar Cardoso Ruviaro Octavio Alvarez Nick Black Congratulations!

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

    Back in July of this year (2020), MYRI technology announced the MYIR’s FZ3 deep learning accelerator card powered by the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ ZU3EG Arm FPGA MPSoC and it is capable of delivering up to 1.2TOPS computing power. With only a few months since that launch, MYRI technology is now announcing another two related sets of products – FZ5 EdgeBoard AI Box and the FZ5 Card.

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

    But, arguably, the most relevant new feature is AFT!’s native support for ARM processors, when in combination with a Linux operating system. With giants like Apple, moving away from the x86 architecture to fully embrace ARM on their entire product line, it was a strategic choice for Syncplify to be ahead of the curve, and release an ARM-native version of their software.

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

    We’d like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That’s another matter. When it comes to open source, you can’t rely on star power. The “wisdom of the crowd” has inspired all sorts of online services wherein people share their opinions and guide others in making choices. The Internet community has created many ways to do this, such as Amazon reviews, Glassdoor (where you can rate employers), and TripAdvisor and Yelp (for hotels, restaurants, and other service providers). You can rate or recommend commercial software, too, such as on mobile app stores or through sites like product hunt. But if you want advice to help you choose open-source applications, the results are disappointing. It isn’t for lack of trying. Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites – and their methodologies – have flaws. Take that most archaic of programming metrics: Lines of code (LoC). Yes, it’s easy to measure. But it’s also profoundly misleading. As programming genius Edsger Dijkstra observed in 1988, LoC gives people “the reassuring illusion that programs are just devices like any others, the only difference admitted being that their manufacture might require a new type of craftsmen, viz. programmers. From there it is only a small step to measuring ‘programmer productivity’ in terms of ‘number of lines of code produced per month.’ This is a very costly measuring unit because it encourages the writing of insipid code.” We’ve gotten better since then, haven’t we? Perhaps not.

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

    Records, like lambdas and default methods on interfaces are tremendously useful language features because they enable many different patterns and uses beyond the obvious. Java 8 brought lambdas, with lots of compelling uses for streams. What I found exciting at the time was that for the first time lots of things that we’d previously have to have waited for as new language features could become library features. While waiting for lambdas we had a Java 7 release with try-with-resources. If we’d had lambdas we could have implemented something similar in a library without needing a language change.

  • How to code a basic WordPress plugin

    With over 7 million downloads for WordPress 5.3 alone, WordPress has become one of the most influential CMS of all time.

  • Laravel CSRF Protection

    The full form of CSRF is Cross-Site Request Forgery. It is one type of online attack in which the attacker sends requests as an authorized user to a system by gaining access information of a particular user of that system and performs different types of malicious activities by using the identity of that user. The impact of this attack depends on the victim’s privileges on the system. If the victim is a normal user then it will affect the personal data of the victim only. But if the victim is the administrator of the system then the attacker can damage the whole system. The users of any business website, social networking can be affected by this attack. This attack can be prevented easily by using Laravel CSRF protection to make the system more secure. Laravel generates CRSF token for each active user session automatically by which any request and approval are given to the authenticated user for the system. How Laravel CSRF Protection can be applied in the Laravel application is shown in this tutorial.

  • Popular VPN closes critical vulnerability on Linux client

    The VPN service Private Internet Access (PIA) has released a new version of its Linux client which fixes a critical vulnerability that could have allowed remote attackers to bypass the software's kill switch. The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2020-15590, was discovered by Sick Codes and it affects versions 1.5 through 2.3 of PIA's Linux client. The client's kill switch is configured to block all inbound and outbound network traffic when a VPN connection drops. However, privileged applications still have the ability to send and receive network traffic even when the kill switch is turned on if net.ipv4.ip_forward has been enabled in the system kernel parameters. [...] “For the issue raised, we have no legacy customer support requests relating to this use case. We welcome input from community sources in addressing their usage and with this in mind, we took the decision to support this use case with our next Linux client release.” PIA users running Docker on Linux should upgrade to version 2.4 of the company's client as soon as possible to avoid any potential attacks leveraging this vulnerability.

  • 3 ways to protect yourself from imposter syndrome

    Poet and activist Maya Angelou published many books throughout her storied career, but each time, she feared people would figure out that she'd "run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out." This seems an odd response from a well-honored writer. What she is describing is her own challenge with imposter syndrome. Think for a moment about your own accomplishments. Being hired into a new role. Having your first open source contribution merged into the project. Receiving an award or recognition. Being invited to participate in a project or event with people you respect and look up to. Did you question whether you belonged there? Did you fear people would "know that you didn't belong?" There is an extremely high likelihood that you have also experienced imposter syndrome. Please check the survey at the end of this article to see that you're not alone.