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Reviews

Android 8.0 Oreo, thoroughly reviewed

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Android
Reviews

Android 8.0 Oreo is the 26th version of the world's most popular operating system. This year, Google's mobile-and-everything-else OS hit two billion monthly active users—and that's just counting phones and tablets. What can all those users expect from the new version? In an interview with Ars earlier this year, Android's VP of engineering Dave Burke said that the 8.0 release would be about "foundation and fundamentals." His team was guided by a single question: "What are we doing to Android to make sure Android is in a great place in the next 5 to 10 years?"

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Review: Nitrux 1.0.2

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Nitrux is a fairly new addition to the DistroWatch database. The distribution features a custom desktop environment, called Nomad, which is based on KDE's Plasma 5 desktop. The Nomad desktop reportedly features a simplified system tray and a friendly, graphical front-end for the UFW firewall utility. Nitrux also ships with a custom software manager called NX Software Center and a music player called Babe. The Nitrux project previously featured the Anbox utility for running Android apps on GNU/Linux desktop distributions, but Anbox has been removed in recent versions of the Nitrux distribution.

Nitrux is available in just one edition and is built for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. Originally I tried to download Nitrux from the project's website and found my download kept getting disconnected partway through. I switched to downloading the project's ISO file (1.0GB in size) from a SourceForge mirror and this download completed successfully.

Booting from the Nitrux installation media brings up a menu asking if we would like to launch the distribution's live mode or start the system installer. Taking the live mode option, we are brought to a graphical login screen. We can sign into the Nomad desktop by using "nitrux" as both the username and password.

The Nomad desktop appears to use KDE's Plasma desktop software, but with a high degree of customization. The main desktop panel containing the application menu and system tray is placed at the top of the screen. A quick-launch bar is displayed at the bottom of the screen. The launch bar at the bottom of the desktop displays icons, but no tool tips or text to indicate what clicking on each icon will open. The application menu is displayed as a large grid of icons. The first page of the menu displays commonly used (or "favourite") applications. The second page lists all installed applications. The desktop's default background is mostly white with red and purple at the corners in shades that remind me of cotton candy.

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Budgie Desktop – You Shall Not Pass!

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Reviews

The quest for the ultimate desktop environment continues. In the last few months, we have looked at a range of Qt-based desktops, starting with Ze Papa, Plasma, and then looked at several other new and not so new players, the bold and the beautiful, the less successful and the more rad. The list covers the likes of LXQt, Liri, Nomad, and recently, Lumina, as well.

Today, we will explore Budgie. Now, this is a rather interesting one. First, we had a taste of it way back when. In the day, it was quite slow, buggy and not very appealing. But then, through my Solus OS testing in the past year or so, I’ve come across Budgie again, and I was rather intrigued by the look & feel and the obvious progress. While my endeavors with Solus were less glamorous, Budgie did impress me as something worth a deeper consideration. For the moment, it’s Gtk and heavily interwoven with Gnome. Moving forward, it will also be using the Qt technology, starting with the upcoming release 11. Let’s have a look.

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Razer Blade Stealth Laptop On Linux, Various Linux Laptop Performance Metrics

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Linux
Reviews

Earlier this year Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan announced that Razer is planning better laptop support on Linux. He noted that more customers are requesting Linux support and they formed a goal of figuring out how to make "the best notebook in the world that supports Linux." Razer doesn't have any Linux laptop announcement to make yet, but for seeing the current state of affairs, they sent over the Razer Stealth laptop so we could put it through our Linux testing paces at Phoronix. Here is a look at the Razer Stealth ultrabook on Linux as well as a variety of interesting performance metrics, including some power metrics compared to Windows.

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Window Maker Live: Cool Retro Look, Even Cooler Performance

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Window Maker Live (WML) takes an unusual approach to desktop interface management. It has an old-fashioned look with a productive new feel.

The latest version of Window Maker Live (0.95.7-4), released this month, is a Debian-based Linux distribution that uses the Window Maker window manager as the default graphical user interface. It integrates well-known open source components in a surprisingly satisfying interface.

Window Maker itself has been around since 1997. It is an X11 window manager originally designed to provide integration support for the GNUstep Desktop Environment, a free adaptation of Cocoa (formerly OpenStep).

A framework with application development tools for Unix-like operating systems and Microsoft Windows, Window Maker is part of the GNU Project.

If you are into retro computing, you will marvel at Window Maker's success in reproducing the cool look and feel of the Nextstep user interface. That nostalgia is reminiscent of Thinkpad T61 technology.

If that level of computing nostalgia is not your passion, WML's user interface can bring you a productivity boost without the excessive GUI bloat of modern-day Linux desktop environments.

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Quick Look to Deepin Desktop on Manjaro

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Reviews

Do you know that you can enjoy Deepin Desktop not only at Deepin GNU/Linux? For now, Manjaro OS has a community edition called Manjaro Deepin. Yes, this means an OS with always latest packages and with Deepin Desktop! I find latest Deepin Desktop is far more lightweight at Manjaro than at Deepin OS 15.4.1. The 3D desktop effect is pretty normal there, not consuming 100% of CPU like my latest review on 15.4.1. I recommend anyone to test Manjaro Deepin instead if he/she needs to see how amazing Deepin Desktop is. Now it's time for the quick look!

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Purism Librem 13 v2 Linux laptop review

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Linux
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At first glance, the Purism Librem 13 v2 looks like a lot of other laptops on the market. It’s a compact notebook that measures about 0.7 inches thick, weighs about 3.3 pounds, and which has a 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, a backlit keyboard, and a large touchpad.

But take a closer look at the touchpad and you’ll notice that there’s a rectangle where you’d normally find a Windows key. And glance up to the space above the touchpad and you’ll find two hardware switches.

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Lumina desktop – Show me the light

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Reviews
BSD

The good thing about Qt (as a framework and technology) is that it powers so many interesting products seamlessly, quietly, unassumingly. The bad thing is, sometimes you may use something that has Qt DNA, and yet, you wouldn’t know it unless explicitly told. Such is the case with the Lumina desktop.

This less-known desktop environment powers mostly BSD operating systems, but it does not seem to have caught on in the Linux world that much. At the moment, you are most likely to find it gracing TrueOS, which uses it as its default interface. And yet, with modern architecture under the hood, it could be a suitable alternative to other mainstream desktop environments. Let’s see what gives.

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LG Watch Sport Review: Android Wear at its chunky best

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Android
Reviews

When Google radically redesigned Android Wear with version 2.0, it partnered with LG to show off the changes with LG Watch and Watch Sport. The latter was the more powerful model, with a heart rate sensor, GPS, and LTE capability. Still, it was met with somewhat mixed reviews thanks to some early bugs and performance quirks and its $350 price. But several months after launch, bugs fixed and street price lowered, it’s closer to achieving its original promise.

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Zorin OS 12.1 Lite, the Xfce one

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OS
Reviews

Zorin OS 12.1 Lite is the first distribution from the Zorin team featuring Xfce desktop environment. Maybe that's the reason why I was not too convinced with its stability.

Apart from the issue with Parole player that I mentioned above, I also received a black screen during my Live run of this operating system. The system restored after few seconds, but I was forced to enter the username (guess it: zorin without password), and all the open applications were closed.

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More in Tux Machines

KTextEditorPreviewPlugin Reaches 0.1.0 and a Quick Look (Screenshots) at KDE Plasma 5.11

  • KTextEditorPreviewPlugin 0.1.0
    The KTextEditorPreviewPlugin software provides the KTextEditor Document Preview Plugin, a plugin for the editor Kate, the IDE KDevelop, or other software using the KTextEditor framework. The plugin enables a live preview of the currently edited text document in the final format. For the display it uses the KParts plugin which is currently selected as the preferred one for the MIME type of the document. If there is no matching KParts plugin, no preview is possible.
  • Quick Look at KDE Plasma 5.11
    KDE released Plasma 5.11 beta version at 14 September 2017. The new star feature here is Plasma Vault, an ability to protect your folder with password. You can try it on the latest KDE neon before the Plasma finally released next October. Here is a quick look to the new things on KDE Plasma on neon dev-unstable.

Antergos 17.9 Gnome - Ghost riders in the Tux

Antergos 17.9 is a weird distro, full of polarities. It comes with a weak live session, and it does not really demo what it can do. The installer is good, robust, and if offers some neat tricks, including extra software and proprietary graphics driver. I'm really impressed by that. The installed system behaved reasonably, but with some oddities. Hardware support isn't the best, most notably touchpad and what happened after waking from suspend. On the other hand, you get good smartphone and media support, a colorful and practical software selection, a moderately reasonable package manager with some tiny dependency hiccups, pretty looks, okay performance, and nowhere does it advertise its Archness. Much better than I expected, not as good as it should be. Well, taking everything into consideration, I guess it deserves something like 7.5/10. Antergos needs a livelier live session, more hardware love out of the box, and a handful of small tweaks around desktop usability. Shouldn't be too hard to nail. Worth watching. Read more

LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.1.2 BETA

This is the third beta for our 8.2 release. It addresses minor findings related to the Samba bump: we now detect and avoid invalid Samba v3 configurations, old samba.conf.sample templates are overwritten with the new v4 template, and remote SMB shares are mounted using SMB2 or where possible SMB3. The release also adds support for the Raspberry Pi IQAudIO Digi+ board and a Xiaomi BT remote, and includes security fixes for the Blueborne Linux/BlueZ vulnerability. This is hopefully the final 8.1.x beta release; next will be 8.2.0. Read more

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