A few weeks ago, during a little break from studies, I’ve finally found some time for installing Plasma 5 on my Arch Linux workstation. Before a not too deep period of usage I’d like to share with you my impressions on the current state of Plasma.
As the title says, I’m going to talk about the 5.2 version of Plasma so everything on this post will concern this version in particular.
There's nothing functionally wrong with Lubuntu. It's not bad. It's simply not interesting. It's meat without flavor, it's a hybrid car, it's accounting lessons at the local evening school, it's morning news, it's a visit to Pompei while blindfolded. There's no excitement. You need a lean distro? Fine. Xubuntu. Problem solved. It's that simple. LXLE does offer some small advantages over this distro, but not by a great margin. Maybe there's a limit to how fun LXDE can really be. Alive does not mean lively.
I liked this desktop environment in the past, but it's stagnated. It hasn't evolved at all, and its competitors have left it far behind. And that reflects poorly on Lubuntu, which, despite a calm and stable record of spartan behavior, has left with me an absolute zero of emotional attachment toward it. That's not good. It's 6/10 not good. Now, almost four years since my last Lubuntu review, that's quite bad actually. Overall, you shouldn't pass on this distro, and perhaps Utopic + LXDE is the perfect match for your aging hardware. But in most cases, you can happily replace it with Xubuntu, and everything will be just as fine, only far more fun. And that brings us to the end of this review. Fire away thy angry emails.
There are many different distributions that use Ubuntu as a base, but one you might not have heard of is Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux uses…you guessed it…a cute black labrador retriever as its mascot, and the distro itself is focused on providing a compelling and easy to use desktop version of Linux. Toward that end they’ve tried very hard to create a desktop distro that someone coming from a Mac or Windows could jump in and use, even if they are completely new to Linux.
Canonical has been talking about its mobile plans for quite some time, promising that it will one day create a truly all-encompassing ecosystem that bridges the gap between mobile and desktop systems.
To date, however, we've seen only glimmers of hope that this will actually happen with Ubuntu. Other competing tech companies, like Microsoft with its recently unveiled Windows 10 OS, have begun gaining ground in efforts to create a converged ecosystem.
Fortunately we had our interest in Canonical's open-source Ubuntu Mobile operating system reignited at MWC 2015, as we finally got to see the platform in its full glory running on the Meizu MX4 smartphone.
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Installation was easy and uneventful, as is almost always the case with Mint distributions. The best news at this point is that this release is still not cursed with the UEFI installation problem that the Ubuntu-derived Linux Mint distribution has - namely that it uses the same EFI boot directory name as Ubuntu.
Ubuntu MATE is currently available in two versions. There is long term support release labelled 14.04 and a short term support release with newer software carrying the version number 14.10. I decided to try out version 14.10 for a week. The project provides release notes for the distribution. Essentially, it looks as through the project takes Ubuntu, strips away the Unity desktop and replaces it with MATE. Most applications, apart from those relating directly to configuring the MATE desktop, appear to be the same across both distributions. The version of Ubuntu MATE I downloaded is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds and the ISO file is 980MB in size.