Arch Linux has never been known as a user-friendly Linux distribution. In fact, the whole premise of Arch requires the end user make a certain amount of effort in understanding how the system works. Arch even goes so far as to use a package manager (aptly named, Pacman) designed specifically for the platform. That means all that apt-get and dnf knowledge you have doesn’t necessarily roll over.
We’ve documented the decline of Motorola under Lenovo extensively. We still liked the phones, which had probably been developed mostly under Google’s ownership anyway, but in 2015 we started to see slower updates and shorter support lifecycles. Last year was when the wheels really started to come off. Not only did the company mostly ruin its flagship phone by swapping the inexpensive and competent Moto X for the expensive and weird Moto Z, but Lenovo issued several contradictory statements about software updates that made it unclear whether the Z or the fourth-generation Moto G would be receiving regular updates at all.
I’ve been a fan of the work of the GNOME team for quite some time. They put together one heck of an excellent Linux desktop environment.
But of late, I’ve found myself gravitating towards some of the more lightweight environments. MATE (which is a forked version of GNOME 2) and xmonad. I like my systems to be light on resource usage and highly responsive—those are two absolutely critical things for the way I use my computers.
With this week’s release of GNOME 3.24, I decided to jump back into the world of modern GNOME desktops and kick the tires again. In order to give it the best possible shot, I did a clean install of openSUSE Tumbleweed (the rolling release version of openSUSE) and then installed GNOME 3.24 on top of it. (Side note: 3.24 was not yet available in the default repositories when I wrote this article, but it should be shortly.)
Leap is a solid performer. I had no trouble installing it on MBR and EFI systems. Secure Boot tends to be buggy with some configurations, but it was incident-free with this installation.
The bootloader handles multiboot with other Linux distributions or Windows fairly trouble-free. Installation is routine, thanks to the graphical format used.
Only 64-bit versions are available for x86 computers, which limits access to legacy hardware in the 32-bit machines. ARM ports are available if you can track them down through the project's wiki.
So, to summarize: openSUSE Tumbleweed is a good, solid, stable Linux distribution with a wide range of desktops available. It is not anything particularly exotic or unstable, and it does not require an unusual amount of Linux expertise to install and use on an everyday system. To make a very simple comparison, in my experience installing and using Tumbleweed is much less difficult and much less risky than using the Debian "testing" distribution, and it is kept much (much much) more up to date than openSUSE Leap, Debian "stable", Linux Mint or Ubuntu.
I don't say that to demean any of those other distributions. As I said at the end of my recent post about point-release vs. rolling-release distributions, if your hardware is fully supported by one of those point-release distributions, and you are satisfied with the applications included in them, then they are certainly a good choice. But if you like staying on the leading edge, or if you have very new hardware which requires the latest Linux kernel and drivers, or you just want/need the latest version of some application (in my case this would be digiKam), then openSuSE could be just what you want.
I am in productivity hell. For the past week, I’ve been using Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 to read Twitter, correspond on Slack, and write articles for this website. The Tab S3 is capable of doing all these things — in some cases, it’s even capable of doing them quite well — but it’s not capable of doing them anywhere near as well as a proper laptop. And in the week I’ve had it, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I’d use this tablet as a portable work device instead of a cheaper, more functional computer like a Chromebook.
Most of the projects we talk about on DistroWatch are variants of Linux or, occasionally, one of the BSDs. However, there are other open source operating systems out there, smaller projects which rarely get attention because they have fewer developers or are not as rich in features. This week I would like to discuss a project that has been put together as a hobby, but which has a surprisingly rich feature set, especially when we consider the operating system appears to be mostly the work of one developer.
I should be angry, but I'm not, because I'm resigned to the situation, and I can still write an article based on these negative findings. It ain't all lost. And out of wilderness, there cometh salvation. Or something.
Anyhow, some distros still don't like my G50 box, even in 2017. It's about time this changed permanently. But not all is lost. At the very least, Q4OS looks quite lovely, so there's something to do after this little fiasco. I may still be entertained, and in turn, you as well. For now though, if you're aiming for an UEFI setup, these two distros, plus the bunch listed in the previous two reports are probably less likely to give you love. Of course, there are workarounds, but that's not the point. And we are done here.
Freedom to create with code is not the same as the freedom to create a specific product. Sometimes the freedom offered in the open source community makes it easier for me to be more productive. Other times, not so much. The biggest excuses I have to grab one of my machines with a closed source operating system consists of the following photo editing (Adobe CC), video editing (Final Cut Pro), and Civilization IV. Yes, I’m still playing Civ IV. It’s my favorite. I don’t need to upgrade. I’d love to find a tutorial that worked to get it working under Neon, but sadly the community that would write such a post appears to have moved on.
I used to think that I couldn’t create documents under Linux but LibreOffice 5.3 has really been a game changer. Everyone else beat me to the flashy reviews, so this isn’t a review that exposes the new features. This is a commentary of my experience.
If you curious about GNOME 3.22 and later, and about the next-release of Ubuntu GNOME, then it's good to see what's inside Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 "Zesty Zapus" pre-release. Here I write an overview of its Beta 1 release and showing some interesting aspects such as memory usage, new additions (Flatpak & Snappy), new features (Night Light etc.), and its default apps (LibreOffice 5.3 etc.). This Beta 1 is already very nice and exciting to use. I hope you enjoy Ubuntu GNOME 17.04.