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Reviews

First impressions of FreeBSD 10.0

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Reviews
BSD

The BSD family of operating systems is typically reputed to be conservative, stable and dependable. FreeBSD typically embodies these characteristics quite well, showcasing reliability and offering few surprises. That being said, the latest release of FreeBSD, version 10.0, introduced a few important changes which I felt deserved a look. Some of the new features shipping with FreeBSD 10.0 included support for ZFS on the root file system, TRIM and LZ4 compression support for ZFS, virtualization improvements and a new package manager. The latest version also swaps out the venerable GNU compiler for the Clang compiler on supported architectures. The 10.0 release is available for several architectures, including x86, Power PC and Sparc. I was interested in the x86 releases which can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit builds. We can further narrow our selection by downloading either a CD-sized ISO or a 2.2 GB ISO image. I opted to try the larger image for my trial.

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Review: Rebellin Linux v3 GNOME

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Linux
GNOME
Reviews

Last week, I finished and passed my generals! This not only means that I can continue doing research here with a roof over my head and with money to feed myself; it also means that I now have the time to get back to doing reviews and posting about other things here. I'm starting this week by reviewing Rebellin Linux.

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Plasma 5.6 Makes KDE Plasma Desktop Environment More Powerful, Beautiful And Useful

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KDE
Linux
News
Reviews

Plasma has always been the talk of the town for its sleek and cutting edge look. KDE Plasma among all other Linux Desktop Environments have always stood out for its continuous development. The latest release of KDE Plasma is 5.6 which includes some new features, tweaks and fixes. Plasma desktop is also highly customizable so that you can customize it the way you need it to be.

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BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition Black review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Weighing in at just over a pound, the Aquaris M10 isn’t an unwieldy tablet, but it doesn’t strike us as lightweight either. It’s definitely a two-hand device, considering the acreage of its 10.1-inch display. Trying to use it with one hand is a sure way to induce wrist cramps and other discomfort.

The Aquaris M10 has a glossy display, while the rear of the device bears a matte finish, allowing for both an improved grip and a more flattering appearance. The device is painted black for the full HD version, while the standard HD version has a bleach white finish. If you were hoping for a higher resolution and the snow-coated exterior, you’ll be hopelessly out of luck.

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Simplicity Linux Digs Deeper Than Its Puppy Linux Pals

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Linux
Reviews

I liked earlier versions of Simplicity Linux. They remain very usable computing options. The X and Mini versions are equally capable but offer a different look and feel.

The LXDE desktop consumes little system resources. It loads into system memory when possible to run fast and furious without having to read from the CD/DVD or USB storage.

Simplicity Linux is generally easy to use, but the Puppy Linux-centric software requires a bit of a learning curve for users used to Debian Linux derivatives.

If you are looking for a solid computing experience other than the X and the Mini editions in the 16.04 betas releases, check out previous Simplicity Linux releases. They offer the Puppy Linux base but include other changes, such as Google Chrome as the default browser.

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Ubuntu 16.04 proves even an LTS release can live at Linux’s bleeding edge

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Reviews
Ubuntu

A disappointing trend has become clear to Linux users in recent years. Whenever Canonical offers a new Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release, it tends to be conservative in nature. (See our Ubuntu 14.04 review, which earned a "Missing the boat on big changes" headline.) Apparently no one wants to try to support a brand new, potentially buggy piece of code for half a decade.

The last few Ubuntu releases haven't been LTS rollouts, yet Vivid Vervet (15.04) and Wily Werewolf (15.10) also short-changed users in the way of new features. So when Canonical officially released the latest Ubuntu LTS version (Ubuntu 16.04 or Xenial Xerus) this spring, similar expectations loomed. Frankly, this could potentially be the most boring Ubuntu release to date.

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Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” New Features — Best Linux Distro For Desktop Users?

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Reviews

Linux Mint project will release Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” in the upcoming months. Mint is known to offer a polished Linux desktop experience to the users and the next release is looking to make this even better. In a recent blog post, project leader Clement Lefebvre told more about Ubuntu 16.04 LTS-based Linux Mint 18’s new features that include better hardware support, new theme, X-Apps etc.

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Also: Linux Mint 18 won't include multimedia codecs

Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE is a community edition of the Ubuntu distribution. Ubuntu MATE provides users with the MATE desktop environment set up in a way that resembles Ubuntu's default look before the parent distribution started shipping with Unity as the default interface. This gives Ubuntu MATE, in my opinion, a look and feel that I have come to think of as the classic or traditional flavour of Ubuntu.

The latest version of the distribution, Ubuntu MATE 16.04, includes several key software updates, including version 4.4 of the Linux kernel, MATE 1.12.1 and support for Snap packages. The distribution has also been working on Raspberry Pi support and can be run on Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers. Looking over the download options we find that, apart from Raspberry Pi images, the Ubuntu MATE project supplies us with downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 computers and there are builds for PowerPC computers.

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Ubuntu LTS Flavors Comparison: Ubuntu 16.04 vs Kubuntu 16.04 vs Ubuntu GNOME 16.04

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Reviews
Ubuntu

After reviewing Ubuntu 15.10 a few months ago, I came up with an Ubuntu (15.10) flavor comparison as well. So after reviewing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and especially since this is a LTS (Long Term Support) release, I decided to come up with yet another Ubuntu 16.04 LTS flavors comparison that involves Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME because they come with the 3 main desktop environments of GNU/Linux: Unity, KDE Plasma and GNOME.

But just like the previous one of its kind, this too will be based on the performance aspect and the stability of the each operating system, and I won’t talk about the new features of the desktop or the applications. But as a general introduction, all three flavors use the Kernel 4.4 & Xorg 1.18.3. Ubuntu’s Unity desktop features the version 7.4.0, Kubuntu features the KDE Plasma 5.5.5 (and KDE Applications 15.12), and Ubuntu GNOME features GNOME 3.18 release.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • Handling I/O Bursts With QEMU 2.6
    The recent release of QEMU 2.6 has support for allowing guests to do bursts of I/O for a configurable amount of time, whereby the I/O level exceeds the normally allowed limits. Our friends at the consulting firm Igalia have written a blog post about I/O bursts with QEMU 2.6.
  • Shotwell's New Devs Are Doing a Terrific Job, Facebook Integration Works Again
    Shotwell developer Jens Georg announced earlier, May 23, 2016, the general availability of the first point release in the Shotwell 0.23.x stable series of the popular open-source image viewer and organizer software. Shotwell is being used by default in numerous GNU/Linux operating system, including the widely used Ubuntu, but it was abandoned by its developers from the Yorba Foundation a while ago, during which it didn't receive any attention. At the end of April 2016, a group of open source developers decided to take over the maintenance of Shotwell from where Yorba left off, and we already reported on the release of the major Shotwell 0.23.0 version.
  • FreeIPMI 1.5.2 Released

today's howtos

Red Hat and Fedora

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Apache Elevates TinkerPop Graph Computing Framework to Top Level
    As we've been reporting, The Apache Software Foundation, which incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, has been elevating a lot of interesting new tools to Top-Level Status recently. The foundation has also made clear that you can expect more on this front, as graduating projects to Top-Level Status helps them get both advanced stewardship and certainly far more contributions. Now, the foundation has announced that a project called TinkerPop has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). TinkerPop is a graph computing framework that provides developers the tools required to build modern graph applications in any application domain and at any scale. "Graph databases and mainstream interest in graph applications have seen tremendous growth in recent years," said Stephen Mallette, Vice President of Apache TinkerPop. "Since its inception in 2009, TinkerPop has been helping to promote that growth with its Open Source graph technology stack. We are excited to now do this same work as a top-level project within the Apache Software Foundation."
  • Why a Buffer developer open sourced his code
    If you look for the official definition of open source, you'll likely stumble upon this outline from the board members of the Open Source Initiative. If you skim through it, you're sure to find some idea or concept that you feel very aligned with. At its heart, openness (and open source) is about free distribution—putting your work out there for others to use. It's really about helping others and giving back. ​When we started to think about open source and how we could implement it at Buffer, the fit seemed not only natural, but crucial to how we operate. In fact, it seemed that in a lot of ways we'd be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn't start to look more seriously at it. But what I didn't quite realize at the time were all the effects that open source would have on me.
  • How to make a culture change at your company
    I attended an interesting talk by Barry O'Reilly at the Cultivate pre-conference at OSCON 2016 about "how to push through change in an enterprise." Though I think the title should have been: "What the enterprise can learn from open source."
  • Two OSCON Conversations, And A Trip Report Between Them
    My last visit to OSCON was in 2011, when I had worked for the Wikimedia Foundation for under a year, and wanted to build and strengthen relationships with the MediaWiki and PHP communities. I remember not feeling very successful, and thinking that this was a conference where executives and engineers (who in many cases are not terribly emotionally passionate about open source) meet to hire, get hired, and sell each other things.
  • Struggling to open a document or photo? Here’s how to do it
    Things are a bit trickier if you have a file from a productivity application you don’t have access to —such as a Word document and no Word application, either to open it or re-save it. The solution is still simple, though — download Libre Office. Libre Office is a free and fully functional office suite that’s more than a match for Microsoft Office, and it can open (and save in) Office file formats.
  • OpenBSD/loongson on the Lemote Yeeloong 8101B
    After hunting for Loongson based hardware for the first half of 2015, I was finally able to find an used Yeeloong in July, in very good condition. Upon receiving the parcel, the first thing I did was to install OpenBSD on this exquisitely exotic machine.
  • Call for GIMP 2.10 Documentation Update
    With the upcoming GIMP 2.10 release we intend to finally close the time gap between releases of source code, installers, and the user manual. This means that we need a more coordinated effort between the GIMP developers team and the GIMP User Manual team. For the past several months we’ve already been working on GIMP mostly in bugfix mode. It’s time to start updating the user manual to match all the changes in GIMP 2.10, and we would appreciate your help with that.
  • Mobile Age project: making senior citizens benefit from open government data
    On 1 February 2016, ten European partners launched the Mobile Age project. Aiming to develop inclusive mobile access to public services using open government data, Mobile Age targets a group of citizens that are usually marginalised when it comes to technical innovations but which is rapidly growing in number and expectations: European senior citizens. While more and more public services are made available online only, older persons’ needs and wishes towards digital services are rarely understood and taken in account. This deficit is often exacerbated by their lower digital skills and poor access to the internet. In order to cope with this, Mobile Age is based on the concept of co-creation: it will develop mobile open government services that are created together with senior citizens.
  • Protecting IP in a 3D printed future
    3D printing might just change everything. At least John Hornick, who leads Finnegan’s 3D printing working group and wrote 3D Printing Will Rock the World, certainly thinks so. Introduced by Bracewell Giuliani’s Erin Hennessy, Hornick spoke to INTA registrants yesterday morning about the dramatic consequences he believes the proliferation of 3D printing could have for intellectual property.