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Reviews

An Everyday Linux User Review Of Antergos Linux

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Linux
Reviews

So Antergos was recommended to me by a number of people and I have to say that the experience was decent.

It isn't difficult to install Antergos but if you have a slow internet connection then you have to be a bit patient.

Most things worked ok and hardware support was fine across the board.

The Steam thing I put down to something that the Steam developers need to resolve. Come up with a better installer.

Would Antergos make my top five now that I have tried it? I would say no to that. It isn't as good as Manjaro and that is the best distribution to pitch it against because they are both based on Arch. Manjaro has a more polished look and feel.

Nevertheless Antergos is a good distribution and well worth a try.

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8 Best Linux Distributions For New Linux Users

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Linux
Reviews

New Linux users are always confused about choosing a best Linux distribution to start with. As there are hundreds of Linux distributions so it might always be a confusing part. But I'll help you choosing the right Linux flavour to start your Linux exploration. In this article, I'll walk you through a list of 8 Best Linux distributions for new Linux users. But before all of that, I suggest you throwing out all the misconceptions about Linux, such as Linux is only for geeks or developers. Linux is for everyone. As I always say, "When Linux can run Google, Facebook, Amazon, it can surely run your home computer as well."

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Android 7.0 Nougat review: great, but does it matter?

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Android
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Google has announced that the latest version of Android 7.0 Nougat, is rolling out to newer Nexus devices starting today. It’s a good upgrade, but only available if you have a recent Nexus device like the Nexus 6, 6P, 5X, Pixel C, or Nexus 9 tablet — and it will take some time for everybody's devices to receive the over-the-air update. I've been using the various public betas that have been running since March of this year and most of the bugs have been worked out.

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Gentoo Linux live DVD "Choice Edition"

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Gentoo
Reviews

Gentoo One of the wonderful things about Linux is the diversity of the distributions available. Some distributions are very beginner friendly with installers that offer only a few basic options. Others are more complex, requiring knowledge of Linux and skills with the command line to install. Gentoo falls into the more complex category. There is no installer per se, the user just needs to follow instructions to perform several steps leading to a fully installed and configured system. This process is certainly harder than using Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer, but it is not that hard. The instructions are clear and do require previous experience with Linux, or the tenacity to keep going (or start over) when things go wrong when Gentoo is used in a "dive in head first" learning experience. Below, I take a look at the latest Gentoo Linux live DVD, the "Choice Edition," and briefly explore how Gentoo gets installed on a system by using a step by step set of instructions instead of an installer that takes care of most of the steps automatically.

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Also: Why did Gentoo Linux fade into obscurity?

Latest Slackware Version Doesn't Cut Newbies any Slack

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Linux
Reviews

Slackware is a throwback to the early days of the Linux OS, and it may not have much relevance to anyone but diehard Slackware fans. Still, experienced Linux users looking for a change of pace might enjoy setting up a Slackware system.

The documentation and user guides are fairly detailed, but they are heavy reads that will frustrate the typical new user. Those without a strong technical background will see a big disconnect in going from the live session "Slackware demo" to a functioning Slackware installation.

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Arch Linux Take Your Linux Knowledge To Next Level [Review]

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Linux
Reviews

This review will be a bit unconventional, probably because Arch Linux itself is a bit unconventional. Rather than having continued, numbered releases like most distros, Arch Linux follows the rolling-release model, meaning that you install Arch once and it updates forever (or at least, until you break something). There is no “Arch Linux 16.04 LTS”, there is simply Arch Linux. The philosophy of Arch, known as The Arch Way, focuses on simplicity and user centrality, rather than user friendliness.

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Elementary Loki Beta 2 shows you can improve on perfection

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Reviews

Over the past couple of years, I've made no bones about Elementary OS Freya being my go-to Linux distribution for desktops. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Elementary has become my all-time favorite Linux distribution. Why? It offers a beautiful user interface (with a completely unified design scheme) that any level of user would feel an immediate familiarity with.

That's Freya (the current stable release). At some point (there is no set release date) we'll have Loki in our hands and the improvements look to make Elementary OS something you won't want to ignore. In fact, I would argue that Elementary OS Loki could even be an ideal Linux desktop distribution for business.

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Mega 50GB Free Cloud Storage Plus Linux Client

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Linux
Reviews

​Hi Guys, Today I wanna talk about a storage service that I have been using for a couple of months and I am pretty satisfied so I thought of sharing my experience with you guys. It's a Mega cloud storage that provides 50GB data for free and an official Linux client. Here is all that I have to say after using Mega in my Ubuntu Linux.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review: Best New Android Phone

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Android
Reviews

Here’s what’s really confusing. All three phones have stunning 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution, AMOLED screens that absolutely blow any iPhone display out of the water. (According to the display experts at DisplayMate, the Note 7’s screen is the best smartphone screen ever.) All three also have the same super-speedy quad-core processors, water-resistant designs and superb 12-megapixel cameras.

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Zenwalk Linux 8.0 - A more Zen Slackware

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Reviews
Slack

There were a few things I enjoyed about Zenwalk 8.0 and several I did not. Before getting to those, I want to acknowledge that Zenwalk is, in most ways, very much like Slackware. The two distributions are binary compatible and if you like (or dislike) one, you will probably feel the same way about the other. They're quite closely related with similar benefits and drawbacks.

On the positive side of things, I like that Zenwalk trims down the software installed by default. A full installation of Zenwalk requires about two-thirds of the disk space a full installation of Slackware consumes. This is reflected in Zenwalk's focused "one-app-per-task" approach which I feel makes it easier to find things. Zenwalk requires relatively little memory (a feature it shares with Slackware) and, with PulseAudio's plugin removed, consumes very few CPU cycles. One more feature I like about this distribution is the fact Zenwalk includes LibreOffice, a feature I missed when running pure Slackware.

On the other hand, I ran into a number of problems with Zenwalk. The dependency problems which annoyed me while running Slackware were present in Zenwalk too. To even get a working text editor I needed to have development libraries installed. To make matters worse, the user needs a text editor to enable the package manager to install development libraries. It's one of those circular problems that require the user to think outside the box (or re-install with all software packages selected).

Other issues I had were more personal. For example, I don't like window transparency or small fonts. These are easy to fix, but it got me off on the wrong foot with Zenwalk. I do want to acknowledge that while my first two days with Zenwalk were mostly spent fixing things, hunting down dependencies and tweaking the desktop to suit my tastes, things got quickly better. By the end of the week I was enjoying Zenwalk's performance, its light nature and its clean menus. I may have had more issues with Zenwalk than Slackware in the first day or so, but by the end of the week I was enjoying using Zenwalk more for my desktop computing.

For people running older computers, I feel it is worth noting Zenwalk does not offer 32-bit builds. The distribution has become 64-bit only and people who still run 32-bit machines will need to turn elsewhere, perhaps to Slackware.

In the end, I feel as though Zenwalk is a more focused flavour of Slackware. The Slackware distribution is multi-purpose, at least as suited for servers as desktops. Slackware runs on more processor architectures, has a live edition and can dump a lot of software on our hard disk. Zenwalk is more desktop focused, with fewer packages and perhaps a nicer selection of applications. The two are quite similar, but Slackware has a broader focus while Zenwalk is geared to desktop users who value performance.

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Also: New Toolchain on Current

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel Coverage at LWN (Outside Paywall Now)

  • XArray and the mainline
    The XArray data structure was the topic of the final filesystem track session at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). XArray is a new API for the kernel's radix-tree data structure; the session was led by Matthew Wilcox, who created XArray. When asked by Dave Chinner if the session was intended to be a live review of the patches, Wilcox admitted with a grin that it might be "the only way to get a review on this damn patch set". In fact, the session was about the status of the patch set and its progress toward the mainline. Andrew Morton has taken the first eight cleanup patches, Wilcox said, which is great because there was a lot of churn there. The next set has a lot of churn as well, mostly due to renaming. The 15 patches after that actually implement XArray and apply it to the page cache. Those could be buggy, but they pass the radix-tree tests so, if they are, more tests are needed, he said.
  • Filesystem test suites
    While the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) filesystem track session was advertised as being a filesystem test suite "bakeoff", it actually focused on how to make the existing test suites more accessible. Kent Overstreet said that he has learned over the years that various filesystem developers have their own scripts for testing using QEMU and other tools. He and Ted Ts'o put the session together to try to share some of that information (and code) more widely. Most of the scripts and other code has not been polished or turned into a project, Overstreet continued. Bringing new people up to speed on the tests and how they are run takes time, but developers want to know how to run the tests before they send code to the maintainer.
  • Messiness in removing directories
    In the filesystem track at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Al Viro discussed some problems he has recently spotted in the implementation of rmdir(). He covered some of the history of that implementation and how things got to where they are now. He also described areas that needed to be checked because the problem may be present in different places in multiple filesystems. The fundamental problem is a race condition where operations can end up being performed on directories that have already been removed, which can lead to some rather "unpleasant" outcomes, Viro said. One warning, however: it was a difficult session to follow, with lots of gory details from deep inside the VFS, so it is quite possible that I have some (many?) of the details wrong here. Since LSFMM there has been no real discussion of the problem and its solution on the mailing lists that I have found.
  • Handling I/O errors in the kernel
    The kernel's handling of I/O errors was the topic of a discussion led by Matthew Wilcox at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) in a combined storage and filesystem track session. At the start, he asked: "how is our error handling and what do we plan to do about it?" That led to a discussion between the developers present on the kinds of errors that can occur and on ways to handle them. Jeff Layton said that one basic problem occurs when there is an error during writeback; an application can read the block where the error occurred and get the old data without any kind of error. If the error was transient, data is lost. And if it is a permanent error, different filesystems handle it differently, which he thinks is a problem. Dave Chinner said that in order to have consistent behavior across filesystems, there needs to be a definition of what that behavior should be. There is a need to distinguish between transient and permanent failures and to create a taxonomy of how to deal with each type.
  • 4.18 Merge window, part 1
    As of this writing, 7,515 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 4.18 merge window. Things are clearly off to a strong start. The changes pulled this time around include more than the usual number of interesting new features; read on for the details.
  • Year-2038 work in 4.18
    We now have less than 20 years to wait until the time_t value used on 32-bit systems will overflow and create time-related mayhem across the planet. The grand plan for solving this problem was posted over three years ago now; progress since then has seemed slow. But quite a bit of work has happened deep inside the kernel and, in 4.18, some of the first work that will be visible to user space has been merged. The year-2038 problem is not yet solved, but things are moving in that direction. If 32-bit systems are to be able to handle times after January 2038, they will need to switch to a 64-bit version of the time_t type; the kernel will obviously need to support applications using that new type. Doing so in a way that doesn't break existing applications is going to require some careful work, though. In particular, the kernel must be able to successfully run a system where applications have been rebuilt to use a 64-bit time_t, but ancient binaries stuck on 32-bit time_t still exist; both applications should continue to work (though the old code may fail to handle times correctly). The first step is to recognize that most architectures already have support for applications running in both 64-bit and 32-bit modes in the form of the compatibility code used to run 32-bit applications on 64-bit systems. At some point, all systems will be 64-bit systems when it comes to time handling, so it makes sense to use the compatibility calls for older applications even on 32-bit systems. To that end, with 4.18, work has been done to allow both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the time-related system calls to be built on all architectures. The CONFIG_64BIT_TIME configuration symbol controls the building of the 64-bit versions on 32-bit systems, while CONFIG_COMPAT_32BIT_TIME controls the 32-bit versions.

today's leftovers

GNOME 3.29.3 Released

  • GNOME 3.29.3 released
    GNOME 3.29.3 is now available. This release is primarily notable in that all modules are buildable in this release, which is historically very rare for our development releases. This is an accomplishment! I hope we can keep this up going forward.
  • GNOME 3.29.3 Released As The Latest Step Towards GNOME 3.30
    GNOME 3.29.3 is out today as the latest development release in the road to this September's GNOME 3.30 desktop update. Highlights of the incorporated GNOME changes over the past few weeks include: - Epiphany 3.29.3 and its many notable improvements already covered on Phoronix from a reader mode to disabling NPAPI plugins by default.

Android Leftovers