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Reviews

Apricity OS 12.2015 review - Apre Trouble

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Reviews

Linux, the final frontier. A fellow named Mehdi emailed me the name of this Linux distro for sampling, testing and review. Having already recommended a bunch of software in the past, with pretty good results, I thought this could be another enjoyable exercise.

To make everything all the more mindboggling, Apricity OS tell us it is based on Arch Linux, which means goats and blood and the essence of virgin nerds. Archy Arch and the Funky Byte. But maybe the dreadful can be abstracted into a nice and friendly product. Anyhow, version 12.2015 Beta, underway!

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Linux Mint 17.3 "Xfce"

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Linux Mint Linux Mint is arguably one of the more popular distributions in the open source ecosystem. The project takes packages from the Ubuntu repositories and uses them, along with custom Mint utilities, to build a user friendly operating system. The Mint project has gained a reputation over the years for delivering a practical desktop operating system that offers users a familiar desktop environment with multimedia support.

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Hands-On: Kali Linux Light (Xfce) and Mini distributions

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Reviews

In my previous post, I looked at the Full version of the new Kali Linux 2016.1 Rolling release. That version uses the Gnome 3 desktop and includes a large number of security, forensic, and penetration-testing utilities. In this post I am going to look at the Light version, which uses the Xfce desktop and includes only a few security utilities in the base installation, and the Mini version, which lets you choose your desktop, but includes no additional utilities in the base installation.

It seems to me that there are two reasons for the Kali Light distribution. First, a lot of people don't like using Gnome 3 -- especially a lot of experienced Linux users -- so this offers a popular alternative desktop. Second, by including very few additional security packages, it lets you build up the distribution with just the tools you want and need.

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Kali Linux Rolling Released With Features That Make It The Best OS For Ethical Hackers

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Reviews

Kali Linux, a hacker’s favorite operating system, is here with its first Rolling release. This release ensures that you are always using the latest and best tools for pen-testing purposes. The first Kali Linux Rolling release also brings a Kali Linux Package Tracker tool and changes the way VMware guest tools are installed. You can read more about the features below and use the links for downloading Kali Linux Rolling 2016.1 ISO files and torrents.

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Kali Linux Reviewed, Release

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Reviews
Security
  • Hands-on with Kali Linux Rolling

    Kali Linux, long known as a premier security/pen-test distribution, announces a new release which is also UEFI compatible. Here are my experiences installing it.

  • Kali Linux, Rolling Edition Released – 2016.1

    Today marks an important milestone for us with the first public release of our Kali Linux rolling distribution. Kali switched to a rolling release model back when we hit version 2.0 (codename “sana”), however the rolling release was only available via an upgrade from 2.0 to kali-rolling for a select brave group. After 5 months of testing our rolling distribution (and its supporting infrastructure), we’re confident in its reliability – giving our users the best of all worlds – the stability of Debian, together with the latest versions of the many outstanding penetration testing tools created and shared by the information security community.

group test: NAS distros

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Reviews

What’s a terabyte to a data connoisseur? If you’re like us, you probably have more data than spare USB ports. While external drives are a great way to quickly and conveniently add extra storage, they have their drawbacks. For one, their data retrieval capabilities are restricted to the computer they are connected to. This might work for individual users with single PCs but isn’t a practical solution for a household with a variety of devices.

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Hands-on with piCore 7.0: Tiny Core Linux for the Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Reviews

This is going to be a tiny post (pun intended). The recent announcement of piCore Linux 7.0 caught my eye -- I have been meaning to try Tiny Core on the Raspberry Pi. The fact that they now have one distribution which will run on both Pi 1 and P 2 hardware was just the impetus I needed to actually download it and give it a try.

First, what is Tiny Core Linux? It is one part of The Core Project, which produces very, very small Linux distributions. Their smallest distribution is about 10MB, a size I haven't seen since the days when I was loading 7th Edition Unix on a Motorola 68000-based system. The distribution is modular, so it is easy to add extensions.

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Deepin Takes Linux to New Depths

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Linux
Reviews

The latest release of the Linux distro now called "Depth OS" deserves serious consideration. It is fast, reliable and innovative, with an impressive homegrown desktop design dubbed "Deepin Desktop Environment," or DDE.

Depth OS has a bit of an identity problem. It's not well known outside Asia and Europe, but that's not the major cause of confusion.

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Review: Solus 1.0 "Shannon"

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Linux
Reviews

To wrap up, the fact that I can't use some key applications, in conjunction with the somewhat crippled nature of certain GNOME utilities nowadays, means that I probably won't be able to use Solus on a regular basis, though I am sure there are users out there who would not need some of the applications that I find essential and who would work just fine with the standard current GNOME utilities. More broadly, though, given that (I think) Budgie might start making it to other distributions as well, then for a first official release, I think it's doing decently, but I think there are too many small usability issues that are perhaps individually forgivable but together make it tough for me to use the DE regularly. Although this distribution and its DE aim to be easy to use and built for the desktop (according to the home page, with the latter point written perhaps in opposition to standard GNOME 3 or Unity), I think it may take another major release or two in order for me to seriously consider it again. In the meantime, I think it might be good not for total newbies but for Linux users who have gotten a bit more comfortable with Linux and may be willing to expand their horizons; in any case, I do intend to keep an eye on both Solus and Budgie in the future.
You can get it here; again, note that it is only usable on 64-bit systems.

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Remix Mini by Jide Review – $70 of Android Desktop Experience

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Android
Reviews

The Remix Mini is the latest hardware option from Jide, the company that recently burst into the headlines when they released their own free build of android (Remix OS) featuring multi-window and the ability to be installed on most AMD or Intel devices.

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today's howtos

Leftovers: Software

  • SOGo v3.0.0 released
    After about 1.5 year of development, Inverse is extremely happy to announce the immediate availability of SOGo v3.0! This release is considered ready for production use.
  • Tupi 0.2 revision git06 (Kunumi)
    After a year without significant activity, this release has an special meaning not only because it represents the continuity of the project but our strong intention of making of Tupi a professional tool for educational and young artists communities around the world.
  • [RetroShare] Release notes for final 0.6.0
    v0.6.0 is now considered final. This post summarizes the main lines of work since the release of 0.6.0-RC2 (last june).
  • OpenShot 2.0.6 (Beta 3) Released!
  • OpenShot 2.0 Beta Is Now Available for Public Testing
    The update is the third full beta release of the revamped video editor but only the first to made available for public testing. Backers of the OpenShot crowdfunding campaign have been able to use beta builds of the hugely revamped non-linear video editor since January.
  • Atom 1.5.0 Has Been Released
    Atom is an open-source, multi-platform text editor developed by GitHub, having a simple and intuitive graphical user interface and a bunch of interesting features for writing: CSS, HTML, JavaScript and other web programming languages. Among others, it has support for macros, auto-completion a split screen feature and it integrates with the file manager.
  • HPLIP 3.16.2 Brings Support For Debian 8.3, Linux Mint 17.3 And New Printers
    As you may know, HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) is a tool for printing, scanning and faxing for the HP printers.
  • Ixion 0.11.0
    Version 0.11.0 of the Ixion library has been just released. You can download it from the project’s home page.
  • Now You Can Use uTorrent Without Ads, Thanks To New Subscription Model
    In the past, the parent company Bittorrent Inc. has relied on an ad-based revenue model to keep uTorrent up and running, but now they have realized the need for a premium experience for the users by charging a nominal amount. Until now, bundled software that hides inside the uTorrent installation package has only consumed space on your computer. The development team is well aware of this issue and that’s why they have come up with the ad-free uTorrent.

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Linux kernel bug delivers corrupt TCP/IP data to Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker containers
    The Linux Kernel has a bug that causes containers that use veth devices for network routing (such as Docker on IPv6, Kubernetes, Google Container Engine, and Mesos) to not check TCP checksums. This results in applications incorrectly receiving corrupt data in a number of situations, such as with bad networking hardware. The bug dates back at least three years and is present in kernels as far back as we’ve tested. Our patch has been reviewed and accepted into the kernel, and is currently being backported to -stable releases back to 3.14 in different distributions (such as Suse, and Canonical). If you use containers in your setup, I recommend you apply this patch or deploy a kernel with this patch when it becomes available. Note: Docker’s default NAT networking is not affected and, in practice, Google Container Engine is likely protected from hardware errors by its virtualized network.
  • Performance problems
    Just over a year ago I implemented an optimization to the SPI core code in Linux that avoids some needless context switches to a worker thread in the main data path that most clients use. This was really nice, it was simple to do but saved a bunch of work for most drivers using SPI and made things noticeably faster. The code got merged in v4.0 and that was that, I kept on kicking a few more ideas for optimizations in this area around but that was that until the past month.
  • Compute Shader Code Begins Landing For Gallium3D
    Samuel Pitoiset began pushing his Gallium3D Mesa state tracker changes this morning for supporting compute shaders via the GL_ARB_compute_shader extension. Before getting too excited, the hardware drivers haven't yet implemented the support. It was back in December that core Mesa received its treatment for compute shader support and came with Intel's i965 driver implementing CS.
  • Libav Finally Lands VDPAU Support For Accelerated HEVC Decoding
    While FFmpeg has offered hardware-accelerated HEVC decoding using NVIDIA's VDPAU API since last summer, this support for the FFmpeg-forked libav landed just today. In June was when FFmpeg added support to its libavcodec for handling HEVC/H.265 video decoding via NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix interface. Around that same time, developer Philip Langdale who had done the FFmpeg patch, also submitted the patch for Libav for decoding HEVC content through VDPAU where supported.

Unixstickers, Linux goes to Washington, Why Linux?

  • Unixstickers sent me a package!
    There's an old, popular saying, beware geeks bearing gifts. But in this case, I was pleased to see an email in my inbox, from unixstickers.com, asking me if I was interested in reviewing their products. I said ye, and a quick few days later, there was a surprise courier-delivered envelope waiting for me in the post. Coincidentally - or not - the whole thing happened close enough to the 2015 end-of-the-year holidays to classify as poetic justice. On a slightly more serious note, Unixstickers is a company shipping T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, pins, and stickers to UNIX and Linux aficionados worldwide. Having been identified one and acquired on the company's PR radar, I am now doing a first-of-a-kind Dedoimedo non-technical technical review of merchandise related to our favorite software. So not sure how it's gonna work out, but let's see.
  • Linux goes to Washington: How the White House/Linux Foundation collaboration will work
    No doubt by now you've heard about the Obama Administration's newly announced Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP). You can read more about it on CIO.com here and here. But what you may not know is that the White House is actively working with the Linux and open source community for CNAP. In a blog post Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation said, “In the proposal, the White House announced collaboration with The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to better secure Internet 'utilities' such as open-source software, protocols and standards.”
  • Why Linux?
    Linux may inspire you to think of coders hunched over their desks (that are littered with Mountain Dew cans) while looking at lines of codes, faintly lit by the yellow glow of old CRT monitors. Maybe Linux sounds like some kind of a wild cat and you have never heard the term before. Maybe you have use it every day. It is an operating system loved by a few and misrepresented to many.