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Reviews

Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic

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Red Hat
Reviews

As the Fedora 22 release approaches, there will be more benchmarks coming along with other tests (e.g. the latest X11 vs. Wayland, Fedora 22 graphics performance, etc). For today's article I just wanted to make a few remarks about Fedora Workstation 22. Fedora Workstation 22 feels like a nice evolutionary upgrade over Fedora 21. GNOME 3.16 and these upstream improvements represent a bulk of the user-visible changes in Fedora 22. Below the hood there's the GCC 5.0 compiler, Mesa 10.5, Perl 5.20, Linux 4.0, and many other package updates. If GNOME isn't your thing, Xfce 4.12 is present along with the premiere of the LXQt desktop environment. The latest KDE Plasma 5 / Frameworks 5 packages are also present in Fedora 22. Many of the other Fedora 22 workstation/desktop changes have already been detailed in numerous Phoronix articles.

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System76 Meerkat is a cute Intel Broadwell-powered Ubuntu Linux computer [Review]

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Linux
Reviews
Ubuntu

Imagine if every time you wanted a Windows computer, you had to buy a Mac, format the hard drive and install Microsoft's operating system. That would suck, right? This is pretty much how it is for Linux users, sadly. If you are a user of a Linux distro such as Fedora or Ubuntu, for the most part -- unless you are a system-builder -- you have to buy a Windows machine, and install your preferred operating system.

What if you want to buy a computer with an operating system such as Ubuntu pre-installed? Enter System76. The company sells computers -- both desktops and laptops -- running the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Recently, the company began selling the Meerkat -- a mini computer based on Intel's NUC. I have been using the computer for a few weeks now, with both Ubuntu and Windows 10 and I am ready to share the experience with you.

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Android Wear 5.1 review: simple, useful and the best – for now

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Android
Reviews

Android Wear 5.1 has reduced Google’s emphasis on talking to your wrist, which is a good thing. The new menu system makes it easier to get to apps and settings, and the simple swipe-based interface is intuitive.

The emoji-drawing support is excellent and being able to connect remotely to a smartphone using Wi-Fi is useful for when Bluetooth won’t stretch far enough.

Android Wear’s notification-handling and quick, useful interactions powered by Google Now make it the best smartwatch platform currently available, but only if your life is plugged into Google services such as Gmail, calendar and Play Music.

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Video: MontanaLinux F22 Preview

Filed under
Linux
Red Hat
Reviews

Here is a preview video of the upcoming Fedora 22 release (running in a KVM VM). This is my personal remix (with non-Fedora provided rpmfusion-free packages, google-chrome-stable, and flash-plugin added) and I haven't bothered with the branding nor customization at all... and I don't really publicly distribute it.. but I'd be happy to share my kickstart file if anyone wants it.

In the video I show the install process, and then show all of the desktop environments that are pre-installed which include... GNOME 3.16.1, Plasma 5.3.0, LXQT 0.10, MATE 1.10, XFCE 4.12.1, and Cinnamon 2.4.8. Enjoy!

Please Note: The official Fedora live media always automatically logs the liveuser in... but on my personal remix I haven't bothered to set that up so I have to put in "liveuser". Again, the Fedora media is NOT like that.

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Rapid fire reviews: OpenIndiana 2015.03, LXLE 14.04.2, PC-BSD 11-Current

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Reviews

Most of the reviews I write for DistroWatch come about after I have installed and run a distribution for a week. I have worked my way into a routine where I grab a couple of new installation images each week, select one that looks good and/or interesting, run it for a week and then write about the experience. However, I rarely write about the distributions that, for whatever reason, do not make the cut. Each week I end up with a small collection of ISO files that will not be written about for one reason or another. Sometimes a distribution I have downloaded is too similar to one I have written about recently. Other times the rejected software did not install properly. Sometimes I think an operating system has promise, but it is still in beta and not yet ready for release. The end result is, unfortunately, that a lot of the interesting material I download does not get talked about. This week I want to take a break from my usual reviewing style and talk briefly about some operating systems I downloaded this month that I found interesting, but did not get selected for a full trial.

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Nexus Player review: A first step in Android TV

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Android
Reviews

The Nexus Player is Google's set-top box. Built by Asus and announced alongside the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, the Nexus Player brings Android Lollipop to your TV.

It acts as a bridge, giving Google an avenue to providing content for your TV and leverages a number of familiar technologies and services to do so. For those in the Google ecosystem, it seems like an easy option.

But there's no shortage to challengers in the battle for the big screen. From smart TV platforms (including native Android TV), to cable set-top boxes and other streaming boxes - including the likes of Apple TV - this is a growing market, rich with options.

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LG G4 Review – The hero Android needs

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Android
Reviews

Life’s not so good when you’re stuck in the shadow of a big rival with deep pockets, but if anything can drag LG into the sunlight, it’s the new G4. LG’s flagship Android smartphone for 2015, the G4 takes what we loved about the G3 before it - and made it into the Android-to-have among those in the know - and hits the boost button. Screen, camera, performance, all have been in line for an upgrade. Nonetheless, the rest of the mobile world hasn’t stood still either, so does the G4 have what it takes to push back against Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S6?

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Debian 8, Codenamed ‘Jessie’, Review

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Reviews
Debian

We can’t possibly express how good Debian 8.0 really is. It is simply fantastic.

It has found the exact balance between being a distribution for advanced Linux users and veterans alike. It is also usable enough for beginners to jump right in and learn something new. So many Linux distributions have tried to get this balance right, many have come close. None that we have tested here in the Labs have got it so accurate. Debian 8.0 simply could not be any more accurate and has struck the balance right on the head.

Debian 8.0 is undoubtedly the fastest and more responsive we have ever used. It is fast to install, boots instantly and is responsive like nothing we have experienced in a Linux distribution, to date. It sets a new benchmark for all other Linux distributions.

What is equally impressive, all our testing was performed in a 64bit virtual environment, yet we still experienced such great performance. On metal, Debian 8.0 is sure to shine even more.

Debian 8.0 is pure and perfect.

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System76 Meerkat: The Perfect Mini PC for Multimedia or Desktop

Filed under
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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today's howtos

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  • My talk about Mainline Explicit Fencing at XDC 2016!
    Last week I was at XDC in Helsinki where I presented about the Explicit Fencing work we’ve been doing on the Mainline Linux Kernel in the lastest few months. There was a livestream of all presentations during the conference and recorded sections are available. You can check the video of my presentation. Check out the slides too.

Linux Kernel News

  • Linux 4.8 gets rc8
    Chill, penguin-fanciers: Linux lord Linus Torvalds is sitting on the egg that is Linux 4.8 for another week. As Torvalds indicated last week, this version of the kernel still needs work and therefore earned itself an eighth release candidate.
  • Linux 4.8-rc8 Released: Linux 4.8 Next Weekend
  • Linux Kernel 4.7.5 Released with Numerous ARM and Networking Improvements
    The fifth maintenance update to the Linux 4.7 kernel series, which is currently the most advanced, secure and stable kernel branch you can get for your GNU/Linux operating system, has been announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman. Linux kernel 4.7.5 is here only ten days after the release of the previous maintenance version, namely Linux kernel 4.7.4, and it's a big update that changes a total of 213 files, with 1774 insertions and 971 deletions, which tells us that the kernel developers and hackers had a pretty busy week patching all sorts of bugs and security issues, as well as to add various, much-needed improvements.
  • Blockchain Summit Day Two: End-Of-Conference Highlights From Shanghai
    Financial services firms and startups looking to be the bridge to blockchain ledgers continued to dominate presentations on the second and final day of the Blockchain Summit, ending International Blockchain Week in Shanghai that also saw Devcon2 and a startup demo competition.
  • Testing Various HDDs & SSDs On Ubuntu With The Linux 4.8 Kernel
    Here are some fresh benchmarks of various solid-state drives (SATA 3.0 SSDs plus two NVMe M.2 SSDs) as well as two HDDs for getting a fresh look at how they are performing using the Linux 4.8 Git kernel. After publishing Friday's Intel 600P Series NVME SSD tests of this lower-cost NVM Express storage line-up, I continued testing a few other SSDs and HDDs. These additional reference points are available for your viewing pleasure today. The additional data is also going to be used for reference in a Linux 4.8-based BCache SSD+HDD comparison being published next week. Stay tuned for those fresh BCache numbers.

Behind the GNOME 3.22 Release Video

This is less than usual. The time saving mostly stems from spending less time recording for the release video. At first thought you might think recording would be a breeze but it can be one of the most frustrating aspects of making the videos. Each cycle the GNOME community lands improvement a wide set of GNOME’s applications. So before each release I have to find some way to run a dozen of applications from master. I do this either by: Read more