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Reviews

Plasma Got Tricks – I like big tricks and I cannot lie

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KDE
Reviews

The Plasma desktop is fun. Rich, detailed, with loads of goodies to explore and discover and play with. I haven’t really gotten bored with it even after a couple of years of rigorous daily testing. There’s always something new and exciting and useful to do, and you constantly come across fresh, handy aspects of desktop usage you haven’t really thought about. The discovery is progressive, which also helps navigate the Plasma environment, without getting a sensory overload of too many choices.

This article showcases only a small portion of what Plasma can do. But the best part about it is: you can completely ignore all of the above and just use it like a traditional desktop. On a day you feel adventurous, it will welcome you into its fold and uncover its many cool facets. In general, the desktop should be a background thing, a canvas to let you get things done. But it does not have to be boring. In this regard, Plasma proves that practicality and functionality do not have to come at the price of fun. You do not need to sacrifice. On the contrary. It’s one giant basket of Easter eggs. Happy hunting.

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What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – KDE Plasma 5.12

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Reviews
SUSE

One of the most exiting new things about openSUSE Leap 15 is the updated KDE Plasma desktop environment. We are moving from Plasma 5.8 LTE to Plasma 5.12 LTE. Which means that there are a lot of new features to look forward to. Lets start with emphasizing that the KDE Plasma 5.12 desktop environment looks stunning. Below is a screenshot of my personal desktop, fully configured to my personal preferences. My configuration hasn’t changed much since KDE Plasma 4.3. I use 3 widgets: a folder view, an analog clock and a network monitor.

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Fedora 28 - Improvements drowned in slowness

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Red Hat
Reviews

Fedora 28 is buggy, riddled with problems and that awful performance issue, some good and brilliant points, and it takes a lot of hard work to tame and put into order. In other words, it's a perfect toy for the typical developer, I guess. For ordinary folks, the good points of being able to play music, connect phones and find nice software are definitely appreciated. But they are more than offset by Gnome 3 being useless and hard to make less useless, inadequate default font settings, tons of visual inconsistencies, occasional app and kernel crashes, and dreadful performance and resource utilization.

This distro makes sense as a test bed for software, nothing more. It is not suitable for day-to-day use, and there are too many problems. I find this sad, because RHEL and CentOS are the exact opposites of this equation, and that means a person interested in a Red Hat distro for their home use will probably have to compromise in some way. All in all, worth checking, but it's a tinkerer's trinket, not a system for serious use. None of the spring crop seem to be. Anyway, feel like testing, go ahead. But I still find the older 24/25 releases to have been much better. 4/10. Take care, freedom fighters.

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A look at Linux Mint 19 Beta

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Beta versions of Linux Mint 19 "Tara" are out; the Linux Mint development team released Cinnamon, MATE and XFCE beta versions of the upcoming new version of Linux Mint today.

Note: Beta versions are not necessarily ready for use in production environments. They are designed for testing and if you run Linux Mint in production environments, you may want to install Linux Mint 19 Beta in a virtual machine or a spare-machine to test new functionality and see what has changed.

It will be possible to update from Linux Mint 19 Beta to Stable once the stable version is released; systems with Linux Mint 18.3 can also be upgrade to the new version directly.

The release notes linked at the bottom of the article link to downloads. Just follow the links and download the desired edition of Linux Mint 19 Beta to your system.

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A Penguin tries out Secure-K OS, part I

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Reviews
Debian

As the name suggests (Secure Key), Secure-K OS is a live operating system, based on Debian 9 Stretch, meant to be run from any USB key and “developed with security in mind”, according to its developers, Mon-K Data Protection.

A couple of “hardware versions” of the operating system are being sold on the project website, which means that one can buy Secure-K OS already deployed into a hardware-encrypted USB key with a pin-pad. It feels geeky.

Because I cannot download that piece of hardware via my network (I guess you cannot as well), what I have actually downloaded is the system image file of Secure-K OS Lite, then written into a USB stick of mine.

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Desktop Consolidation Gives SparkyLinux a Clearer Focus

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Linux
Reviews

You can run SparkyLinux from a thumb drive. You also can supercharge its performance by loading it into your computer's RAM.

However, the OS is not really as useful if you use it only for a portable computing platform. It performs best when installed on the hard drive. SparkyLinux does not use a frugal installation and special antics to provide persistent memory.

SparkyLinux is a very functional Linux OS. It is a solid choice for use as an all-purpose home edition with all the tools, codecs, plugins and drivers preinstalled.

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LibreOffice 6 review: The open-source favorite gets an update

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LibO
Reviews

The free and open source suite LibreOffice is loved by many for its excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office formats including the newer DOCX, PPT, and PPTX files. LibreOffice 6, its first major update in a couple years, continues that tradition but redesigns the UI and adds productivity improvements to its “big three” programs—Writer, Calc, and Impress.

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What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – installation experience

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Reviews
SUSE

On the 25th May 2018, openSUSE Leap 15 was released for download. Over the last few days I have upgraded both of my systems to this new release. Although this was a big release for openSUSE, the media attention for this release was surprisingly low. The reason why this is a big release, is that the underlying software packages are all new.

openSUSE Leap 42 has a shared core with SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 (SLE 12). For instance Leap 42.2 shares a lot of software packages with Service Pack 2 (SLE 12 SP2). And Leap 42.3 shares a lot of packages with SLE 12 SP3. The shared core was on average 20% of the total number of packages. Because of that shared core, some of the packages were starting to show their age.

openSUSE Leap 15 shares a lot of software packages with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, which in itself is based on a 2017 fork of openSUSE Tumbleweed. That means that all of the underlying packages in SLE 15 have been updated to a more current version in comparison to SLE 12 SP3. The shared core for openSUSE Leap 15 is (according to a FOSDEM 2018 presentation) about 27% of the total number of packages. And the remaining packages are originating from (an even more recent fork from) openSUSE Tumbleweed. Which means that we get a lot of improvements in openSUSE Leap 15.

A good example (to get an idea about the progress that has been made) is the underlying Linux kernel, which has been updated from version 4.4 to 4.12. Linux kernel 4.4 was released in January 2016 and Linux kernel 4.12 was released in July 2017. You cannot simply assume that the SLE kernel is identical to the upstream Linux kernel, because SUSE includes a lot of back-ports of security fixes and of hardware drivers in their kernels. However, you can assume that most of the newly introduced features in more recent Linux kernels are not being back-ported. So the upgrade from SLE 12 to SLE 15 means that we get 1,5 years of new features from the Linux kernel community.

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Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are the latest versions of Ubuntu Linux distribution featuring different desktop environments, keeping the software base the same for both of these flavors.

In this article, I am going to talk about the differences between Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the advantages of each of them, the disadvantages of each of them. Let’s get started.

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Kubuntu 18.04 LTS Review: The Friendly Operating System

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KDE
Reviews
Ubuntu

Kubuntu 18.04 LTS is complete and full-featured system ready for all desktop purposes. It's easy to use, really, without experimental changes that frequently happens like what we see on Ubuntu, for both long-time and new Kubuntu users. It's complete with all applications included, and it's full-featured with all conveniences and abilities you get including easy access to available software via Discover and Muon. If you use it, you will have 3 years of support of the KDE components plus 5 years of support (from Kubuntu Team) of the Ubuntu base components (from Canonical). Finally, happy using Kubuntu!

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More in Tux Machines

Stable kernels 4.18.9, 4.14.71, 4.9.128 and 4.4.157

Openwashing: Zenko (Dual), Kong (Mere API) and Blackboard (Proprietary and Malicious)

Games: Descenders, War Thunder’s “The Valkyries”

Kernel: Virtme, 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Linux Foundation Articles

  • Virtme: The kernel developers' best friend
    When working on the Linux Kernel, testing via QEMU is pretty common. Many virtual drivers have been recently merged, useful either to test the kernel core code, or your application. These virtual drivers make QEMU even more attractive.
  • 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference
    As in previous years we’re trying to organize an audio miniconference so we can get together and talk through issues, especially design decisons, face to face. This year’s event will be held on Sunday October 21st in Edinburgh, the day before ELC Europe starts there.
  • How Writing Can Expand Your Skills and Grow Your Career [Ed: Linux Foundation article]
    At the recent Open Source Summit in Vancouver, I participated in a panel discussion called How Writing can Change Your Career for the Better (Even if You don't Identify as a Writer. The panel was moderated by Rikki Endsley, Community Manager and Editor for Opensource.com, and it included VM (Vicky) Brasseur, Open Source Strategy Consultant; Alex Williams, Founder, Editor in Chief, The New Stack; and Dawn Foster, Consultant, The Scale Factory.
  • At the Crossroads of Open Source and Open Standards [Ed: Another Linux Foundation article]
    A new crop of high-value open source software projects stands ready to make a big impact in enterprise production, but structural issues like governance, IPR, and long-term maintenance plague OSS communities at every turn. Meanwhile, facing significant pressures from open source software and the industry groups that support them, standards development organizations are fighting harder than ever to retain members and publish innovative standards. What can these two vastly different philosophies learn from each other, and can they do it in time to ensure they remain relevant for the next 10 years?