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Reviews

Videos: SwagArch 19.03, This Week in Linux, BSD Now

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Interviews
Reviews
BSD
  • SwagArch 19.03 Run Through

    In this video, we look at SwagArch 19.03. Enjoy!

  • Episode 57 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, every now and then we cover something from the project that this show gets its name from and this is one of those weeks so we’ll discuss the release of Linux 5.0. Then we’ll cover some other releases from LineageOS, NuTyX, Fatdog64, Linux from Scratch and some more core news with releases from the WINE and Vulkan projects. Later in the show, we’ll check out some App News from OBS Studio, Headset Music Player, BorgBackup, a couple desktop weather apps, one with a GUI and the other for the terminal. All that and much more, this is your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • Turing Complete Sed | BSD Now 288

    Software will never fix Spectre-type bugs, a proof that sed is Turing complete, managed jails using Bastille, new version of netdata, using grep with /dev/null, using GMail with mutt, and more.

Zorin OS 12.4 Core review - Surprisingly good

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Reviews

Zorin 12.4 is a very reasonable, capable distribution. It starts super-strong, and this is a great selling point. The live session is truly impressive, and you get a wealth of goodies out of the box. Even the high-contrast theme is good. Then, as I continued using the machine, things did fray at the seams a little, but there was nothing cardinal to deter me from having fun.

That does not mean Zorin is perfect. The fonts and all-too-pale default theme are the biggest blocker to enjoyment. The installation can be faster, and so can be the system - performance is average, with a mediocre battery life as a consequence. There were also some niggles here and there, including visual inconsistency and legacy bits ported without any great oversight. But then, Zorin does compensate with a unique spin and an attempt to shatter the amateur allure that most distros have. All in all, one of the more refreshing offerings in a while, with a bunch of custom extras that do please the soul. 8/10. Well worth checking out.

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EasyOS Teaches an Old Dog New Tricks

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OS
Reviews

Do not let the fact that EasyOS is an experimental Linux distro deter you from trying it out. It is far from being dumbed down. The developer provides numerous help files and simple directions linked to the EasyOS website on how to download, create the installation media, and use the distro.

Whether you are familiar with Puppy Linux variants or other Linux distros, EasyOS has much to offer. If you are new to Linux, be assured that the detailed instructions and ample illustrations will make trying out EasyOS a less-frustrating experience.

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Review: Condres OS 19.02 "MATE"

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Reviews

Condres OS 19.03 was published shortly after this review was finished and about two days before it was due to be published so I have not had a chance to fully test the new release. I did download the MATE edition of the new version. The MATE edition still uses the GNOME Shell desktop with desktop icons on the live media. Some icons work in the live environment, some do not. During the install process, the desktop keeps prompting the user for the administrator's password. Dismissing the four prompts without providing a password does not negatively affect the install process.

Once installed, the new version of Condres OS MATE appears to be virtually identical to the previous version, still featuring GNOME as the default desktop with MATE as an alternative. The one big change is every time the user logs in the interface is locked and we are prompted for the administrator's password in order to allow pacman to check for updates. Once the check is complete, two update icons appear in the system tray. When I first installed Condres OS 19.03, selecting one icon told me 8 new packages were available while the second said there were 20. The latter turned out to be correct.

There is a new update manager which lists available upgrades. None are selected by default and there is no "select all" button, leaving the user to select all new packages manually. The upgrade manager then then failed, indicating packages were in conflict with no method offered for resolving the situation. Beyond that, so far, I have found the new version to be much the same as the previous with some updated applications.

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Review: Septor 2019

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Septor is a security-focused distribution based on Debian Testing (Debian "Buster" at the time of writing). Its focus is to provide programs connecting to the Internet with the ability to use the Tor network, along with a few other privacy/security focused applications. Unlike Debian, Septor's ISO does not provide a choice of desktop environments; it comes with the KDE Plasma 5.14 desktop environment with some layout and theme customization. The ISO also comes with non-free firmware, unlike the standard Debian ISOs, so various wireless adapters and other devices work automatically. Septor's 1.9GB ISO functions as both a live image and as installation media, so for this review I tried out both ways of using the ISO.

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Last minute shopping... I need a new Fedora!

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Red Hat
Reviews

Linux has become really stable. I remember that, when I migrated, I waited for the two yearly Mandriva releases. Then, it was for the yearly releases of Mageia and OpenMandriva. But releases have been slowing down. While Mageia and my daughter had pretty much the same age at first, my child will be 9 this year and Mageia is not 7 yet.

PCLinuxOS has to be updated frequently and PicarOS Diego and Elive are special. I once updated PicarOS and the result was a major disaster: it became a weird Minino spin. Elive took more than 5 years to move from 2 to 3, but it's awesome.

And then, there's Fedora.

I installed Fedora 25 as an experiment and upgraded to 26 and 27. But then I became lazy and lost track of its development because, once that everything worked the way I needed, the thought of installing the new distro releases went to the back on my brain.

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Also: GNU's Gold Linker Is Stagnating, Fedora Looking To Punt It Off Into A Separate Package

Q4OS Linux Revives Your Old Laptop and Give it Windows Looks

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Reviews

Q4OS is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian. It imitates the look and feel of Windows. Read the complete review to know more about Q4OS Linux.
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GhostBSD: A Solid Linux-Like Open Source Alternative

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Reviews
BSD

Overall, aside from the system tools and the installation process, I did not see much not to like in running this BSD operating system. I experienced some annoyance when things failed to work just right, but I felt no frustrations that led me to give up on trying to use GhostBSD or find solutions to mishaps. I could provide a litany of Linux distros that did not measure up that well.

Some lingering problems for which I am still seeking workarounds are why my USB storage drives intermittently are not recognized and fail to mount. Another issue is why some of the preinstalled applications do not fully load. They either do not respond to launching at all, or crash before fully displaying anything beyond a white application window.

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A Linux Noob Reviews: The openSUSE Leap 15.0 Installer

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Linux
Reviews
SUSE

Welcome to a regular series here at Forbes that zeroes in on your very first experience with a desktop Linux operating system: the installer. This time around I'm escaping my comfort zone and leaving Ubuntu-based distributions behind with openSUSE Leap 15.0.

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Review: Slontoo 18.07.1 "LXDE"

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Reviews

It is not often that I experiment with projects from the Gentoo family of distributions. This week I decided to enjoy a change of pace and experiment with a desktop oriented distribution from the Gentoo family called Slontoo. According to the project's website,
Slontoo is an operating system based on Funtoo Linux. It uses the Linux Mint live installer to simplify the installation procedure. Slontoo tries to provide most appropriate tools for home and office use.
Funtoo is, in turn, based on Gentoo and strives to improve the technologies presented in the Gentoo meta-distribution.

Slontoo is available in three editions: LXDE, MATE and Xfce. New users can download one unified ISO (1.7GB) that contains all three desktop environments, or select from one of three smaller ISO files that each include just one desktop. I decided to download the distribution's LXDE edition which is 1GB in size. Slontoo is available for 64-bit systems only.

Booting from the live media brings up a menu asking us to pick our preferred language. Then the system boots into a graphical mode and presents us with the LXDE desktop. A panel sits at the bottom of the screen, with the application menu in the bottom-left corner. Icons on the desktop open the file manager and launch the system installer. The live desktop was responsive and the distribution appeared to be working smoothly so I jumped immediately into the installer.

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Also: Solus Plasma Testing V1 overview | A kde flavored Solus OS

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: 5 Reasons to Upgrade, Sophia Sanles-Luksetich Interview, Ubuntu on Neural Compute Stick and Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

  • 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo"
    On the surface, new versions of Ubuntu aren’t as big as they used to be. Like in the days before Canonical created its own Unity interface, the Ubuntu experience is now functionally similar to what you get in alternatives such as Fedora and openSUSE. But there are a few big reasons to be eager for what Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” has to offer, with some additions demonstrating just how nice it is to have Ubuntu desktop developers spending more time working directly on GNOME.
  • Women and Nonbinary People in Information Security: Sophia Sanles-Luksetich
    Sophia Sanles-Luksetich: I am a rookie information security consultant. I currently perform bug bounty triage for companies which I am not allowed to name, but let’s just say most folks have heard of these companies. Before I got into information security, I was an IT generalist who dabbled in a bit of programming, Linux and privacy. Ubuntu was actually my first OS. It’s funny to think now that my decision as a 12-year-old could have impacted my career so much ten years later. KC: I must admit that it’s unusual that Ubuntu was your first OS. But that’s great! I use Kubuntu on my work desktop. Did that make you delve into Debian a bit? SSL: Oh cool! I have dabbled with Debian a bit, but not as much as most folks would expect. I think I learned a lot more soft skills using Ubuntu at a young age. Like when I couldn’t download my favorite game as a kid, I spent hours reading error logs, documentation and forums to figure out how to get the game working on my computer. Open Source Software (OSS) is also very modular compared to a lot of closed source software, so learning how software is built on other software was a big help. Now everything is miles down a supply chain that most people can barely scratch the surface of, at least in my opinion. [...] KC: Excellent. How did you get into Ubuntu computing initially? SSL: We had a family computer that stopped working. Rather than buy a new Windows disk to fix it, I asked around to my friends. Funny enough, one of my friend’s dad worked in information security, and I played board games with him and his son. I asked his son to give me a copy, and he messed it up by downloading it onto the CD rather than doing an image transfer. Lucky for me, I had a bit more a competent IT friend, Rikki, who ripped me a fresh CD. It’s funny, too; she was a lot more like me then, I thought. We both started in theater and ended up getting into computers just because they are resourceful and we were both people who loved the convenience for record keeping. I think what got me into OSS, to begin with, was the idea that I never had to pay for it. I am a cheapskate. I can think of a good chunk of my IT experience that I learned by trying to get something for free. I learned how to torrent, how to not screw up your computer on harmful sites. Always a fun time! [...] SSL: I think if I could give one piece of advice to new cybersecurity folks, I would tell them all to volunteer at conferences and talk to the attendees. You will learn a lot just by talking to people in the field. Oh, and of course, don’t discount soft skills and the fundamentals.
  • How developers are using Intel’s AI tools to make planet Earth a better place
    Biswas first gathered plant data from Google images, then used TensorFlow (widely-used machine learning framework in the deep learning space) and Open Vino (Intel’s neural network optimisation toolkit) to build an AI model. Once the images and videos of plants were captured the model is used to identify the cause of the disease, possible cures and preventive measures. To run these solutions, Biswas used Intel 7th Gen i5 NUC mini PC. [...] Ma took a digital microscope and connected it to a modestly powerful Ubuntu based laptop with Intel’s Neural Compute Stick connected to it. The entire system cost less than $500. The neural network at the heart of the system was able to successfully determine the shape, colour, density, and edges of the Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the bacteria that causes cholera.
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 575
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 575

Android Leftovers

Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 now available to download with bug fixes and performance improvements

The Kodi Foundation made the release candidate for Kodi 18.2 available last week, and today you can grab the final version. As you’d expect, this is a bug fix release with no major new functionality, but there are a number of notable changes including improvements to the music database performance and a new Codec Factory for Android. Read more

howtos and programming leftovers