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Reviews

System76 Meerkat: The Perfect Mini PC for Multimedia or Desktop

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Linux
Reviews

Every so often I get the pleasure of writing a review where the biggest challenge is finding something, anything, to nitpick in order to ensure I don’t sound like I’ve been bought off by the company. Such is the case with the Meerkat, by System76. A small device that, at first blush, one might think a toy. I can assure you, this 4.5” by 4.5” device performs with the power of a machine three or four times its size.

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Debian Reviews

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Reviews
Debian
  • Fun with Debian 8.0 "Jessie"

    The Debian project has a long and rich legacy. Debian is one of the oldest surviving GNU/Linux distributions and, along the way, it has also become one of the largest (over 1,000 developers work on Debian, providing users with over 40,000 packages) and Debian has even branched out, adding GNU/FreeBSD and GNU/Hurd ports to its list of offerings. Debian is sometimes referred to as the "universal operating system" because it runs on a wide array of architectures, offering not only a production branch (Stable), but also multiple development branches (Testing, Unstable and Experimental). Debian, in short, provides a little something for everyone. This "universal" approach, which allows Debian to work just about anywhere while doing almost anything, also attracts developers who wish to build products using Debian's packages and open infrastructure. Many of the world's more popular Linux distributions, including Linux Mint and Ubuntu, have their roots in Debian.

  • Systemd hee hee: Jessie Debian gallops (slowly) into view

    The Debian Project may not be that slow with new releases, but sometimes it feels like it. The project typically releases a new version "when it's ready," which seems to work out to about once every two years lately.

    Debian 8, branded Jessie, in keeping with the Toy Story naming scheme (Jessie was the cowgirl character in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3) had its feature freeze in November 2014 and there's a been a beta and RC release available for testing. It wasn't until the end of April when Jessie was finally judged range ready.

Ubuntu 15.04 review: Beauty or “boring” is in the eye of the beholder

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Snow melts and trees blossom, but nothing really says spring around the Ars Orbital HQ like the arrival of a new version of Ubuntu Linux. Right on schedule, Canonical has recently released Ubuntu 15.04, also known as Vivid Vervet.

Ubuntu 15.04 arrived in late April and has, judging by other reviews, largely underwhelmed. According to the popular storyline, there's not much new in 15.04. Of course, a slew of changes and unforeseen features in 15.04 could have just as easily earned a negative reaction, probably from the same people calling the actual release boring. The top of the Linux mountain is a lonely, criticism-strewn place.

The truth is, this line of thought is partially correct. There isn't much new in 15.04, at least not in terms of visible changes to the Unity desktop.

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Chromixium – An Ubuntu Based Google’s Chrome OS Clone

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Google
Reviews
Ubuntu

Today, We have come up with an interesting news for both Ubuntu and Chrome OS users. Meet Chromixium – the new modern desktop operating system based on Ubuntu that has the functionality, look and feel of Google’s “Chrome OS”. Chromixium has brought the elegant simplicity of Chromebook and flexibility and stability of Ubuntu together. Chromixium puts the web front and center of the user experience. Web and Chrome apps work straight out of the browser to connect you to all your personal, work and education networks. Sign into Chromium to sync all your apps and bookmarks. When you are offline or when you need more power, you can install any number of applications for work or play, including LibreOffice, Skype, Steam and a whole lot more. Security updates are installed seamlessly and effortlessly in the background and will be supplied until 2019. You can install Chromixium in place of any existing operating system, or alongside Windows or Linux.

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BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition review: A promising start

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The first 'production' smartphone running the Ubuntu operating system is finally here. Designed and marketed by the Spanish company BQ (not to be confused with the Chinese company BQ Mobile) and made in China, the first Ubuntu Phone is based on the 4.5-inch BQ Aquaris E4.5, which normally ships with Android 4.4. Included with the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition are two copies of the quick-start guide (in four languages each, one of the eight being English), a charger (with a built-in two-pin continental mains plug) and a 1-metre USB-to-Micro-USB cable. A comprehensive User Manual is available for download from the BQ website. The list price for the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, which is only available in the EU, is €169.90 (~£125).

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Also: Ubuntu and Windows set to contest desktop/smartphone hybrid market

Ubuntu phone that works as a desktop PC coming in 2015

Google's New 'Password Alert' Extension Another Step To Protect Against Phishing Attempts

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Development
News
Reviews


Google's New 'Password Alert' Extension Another Step To Protect Against Phishing Attempts

Google has taken another step toward protecting users from fishing attempts by releasing a new Google Chrome extension 'Password Alert'. The extension protects users from being gmail account overused with other non-google websites. As soon as it detects that the password has been exposed to any non-google website/service, it prompts to reset password immediately. 

Read At LinuxAndUbuntu

The loudest lesson from Ubuntu Vivid Vervet: If it’s not broken …

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Those who are partial to Ubuntu know that every six months the good people at Canonical, the people behind Ubuntu, release a new version to its popular Operating System. Well if you somehow missed the big event, the latest iteration of Ubuntu and all its cousins like Kubuntu, Ubuntu Mate, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu Gnome, were released on the 24th of April.

As usual, you get to decide which flavor you prefer depending on your hardware some of the flavors like Lubuntu are to be recommended over the default Unity based installation especially if your hardware is dated.

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Seek Thermal - Android Infrared Camera Review

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Android
Reviews

The costs associated with thermal imaging systems have restricted their usage and kept it out of reach of the average consumer / impulse-buy territory. However, there have been some recent advancements in this field that have made the prices of such system more palatable to the non-professional users. Thanks to the advent of smart mobile devices, the costs associated with the storage, control and user-interface for these systems could be taken out for most markets. One of the first forays into this space was the $250 FLIR ONE personal thermal imager from FLIR Systems. Unfortunately, by restricting the hardware design to work only with the Apple iPhone 5 and 5s, they lost out on widespread market appeal. Seek Thermal entered the market with a splash by launching their first smartphone-attached infrared camera for just $199. Two distinct models carrying the same features and capabilities were launched, only differing in the connector - one with a microUSB interface for Android devices and another with a Lightning connector for iOS devices. Before talking in detail about the Android version of the camera and the associated mobile app, let us take a moment to understand how thermal imaging works - particularly since this is not something we have covered on our site before.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

By the time we had a chance to review Ubuntu 15.04, the final release date had passed and it had already shipped. But it’s important to point out that our final review is based on a Beta release. However, the tasks that we threw at the latest iteration of Ubuntu, were easily completed without any major issues.

The boot process of Ubuntu 15.04 was great. Even when running the operating system in Live mode, it is so responsive that you could be forgiven for thinking that it was physically installed on real metal. Read below, for a bit more of an in-depth glance at what we think of Ubuntu 15.04.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • OpenVZ 7.0 Becomes A Complete Linux Distribution, Based On VzLinux
    OpenVZ, a long-standing Linux virtualization technology and similar to LXC and Solaris Containers, is out with their major 7.0 release. OpenVZ 7.0 has focused on merging the OpenVZ and Virtuozzo code-bases along with replacing their own hypervisor with that of Linux's KVM. Under OpenVZ 7.0, it has become a complete Linux distribution based upon VzLinux.
  • OpenVZ 7.0 released
    I’m pleased to announce the release of OpenVZ 7.0. The new release focuses on merging OpenVZ and Virtuozzo source codebase, replacing our own hypervisor with KVM.
  • Announcing git-cinnabar 0.4.0 beta 2
    Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.
  • FreeIPA Lightweight CA internals
    In the preceding post, I explained the use cases for the FreeIPA lightweight sub-CAs feature, how to manage CAs and use them to issue certificates, and current limitations. In this post I detail some of the internals of how the feature works, including how signing keys are distributed to replicas, and how sub-CA certificate renewal works. I conclude with a brief retrospective on delivering the feature.
  • Lightweight Sub-CAs in FreeIPA 4.4
    Last year FreeIPA 4.2 brought us some great new certificate management features, including custom certificate profiles and user certificates. The upcoming FreeIPA 4.4 release builds upon this groundwork and introduces lightweight sub-CAs, a feature that lets admins to mint new CAs under the main FreeIPA CA and allows certificates for different purposes to be issued in different certificate domains. In this post I will review the use cases and demonstrate the process of creating, managing and issuing certificates from sub-CAs. (A follow-up post will detail some of the mechanisms that operate behind the scenes to make the feature work.)
  • RcppArmadillo 0.7.200.2.0
    The second Armadillo release of the 7.* series came out a few weeks ago: version 7.200.2. And RcppArmadillo version 0.7.200.2.0 is now on CRAN and uploaded to Debian. This followed the usual thorough reverse-dependecy checking of by now over 240 packages using it. For once, I let it simmer a little preparing only a package update via the GitHub repo without preparing a CRAN upload to lower the update frequency a little. Seeing that Conrad has started to release 7.300.0 tarballs, the time for a (final) 7.200.2 upload was now right. Just like the previous, it now requires a recent enough compiler. As g++ is so common, we explicitly test for version 4.6 or newer. So if you happen to be on an older RHEL or CentOS release, you may need to get yourself a more modern compiler. R on Windows is now at 4.9.3 which is decent (yet stable) choice; the 4.8 series of g++ will also do. For reference, the current LTS of Ubuntu is at 5.4.0, and we have g++ 6.1 available in Debian testing.

Red Hat and Fedora

Leftovers: Debian

  • Debian LGBTIQA+
    I have a long overdue blog entry about what happened in recent times. People that follow my tweets did catch some things. Most noteworthy there was the Trans*Inter*Congress in Munich at the start of May. It was an absolute blast. I met so many nice and great people, talked and experienced so many great things there that I'm still having a great motivational push from it every time I think back. It was also the time when I realized that I in fact do have body dysphoria even though I thought I'm fine with my body in general: Being tall is a huge issue for me. Realizing that I have a huge issue (yes, pun intended) with my length was quite relieving, even though it doesn't make it go away. It's something that makes passing and transitioning for me harder. I'm well aware that there are tall women, and that there are dedicated shops for lengthy women, but that's not the only thing that I have trouble with. What bothers me most is what people read into tall people: that they are always someone they can lean on for comfort, that tall people are always considered to be self confident and standing up for themselves (another pun, I know ... my bad).
  • [GSOC] Week 8&9 Report
    This particular week has been tiresome as I did catch a cold ;). I did come back from Cape Town where debconf taking place. My arrival at Montreal was in the middle of the week, so this week is not plenty of news…
  • Debian on Jetson TK1
    I became interested in running Debian on NVIDIA's Tegra platform recently. NVIDIA is doing a great job getting support for Tegra upstream (u-boot, kernel, X.org and other projects). As part of ensuring good Debian support for Tegra, I wanted to install Debian on a Jetson TK1, a development board from NVIDIA based on the Tegra K1 chip (Tegra 124), a 32-bit ARM chip.
  • RC bugs 2016/01-29

Android Leftovers