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Reviews

Makulu Linux 6.0 KDE: Guaranteed to make you smile

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Reviews

Another Makulu Linux distribution was released today, and that's always good news! This time it is the KDE desktop for the Makulu 6.x series. The Xfce version of this was just released a couple of weeks ago, so I don't expect for there to be any major surprises: I hope that means this will not be a very lengthy post.

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The Linux desktop-a-week review: Android as a desktop environment

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Android
Reviews

Last week, I reviewed ChromeOS from a desktop environment perspective as part of my “Linux Desktop-a-Week” series (which, really, has become less of a weekly thing and more of a “Desktop-Every-Few-Weeks-Or-So” thing. But I’m sticking to my original title. Because I’m stubborn).

This “week,” I am spending time with another Linux desktop environment that isn’t exactly traditional. This week, I’m using Android.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Living free with Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0

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Reviews

Trisquel's system installer is essentially the same installer Ubuntu uses, but with a few minor changes to the appearance and some of the options. The installer asks us to select our preferred language and provides us with a link to view the distribution's release notes. Next we are given the chance to download software updates while the installer is running. The following screen asks if we would like Trisquel to automatically divide up our hard disk for us or if we would like to manually partition our hard drive. Manual partitioning is quite straight forward and I found it easy to navigate the disk partitioning screen. Trisquel gives us the option of working with Btrfs, ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS file systems. I opted to install Trisquel on a Btrfs partition. While partitioning the disk we can also choose where to install the distribution's boot loader. The following screen gets us to select our time zone from a map of the world. Then we confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. We can decide to encrypt the contents of our home directory. The installer copies its files to our hard drive and then asks us to reboot the computer.

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The Android 5.0 Lollipop Review

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Android
Reviews

Google has been very busy with their expansion of Android as a platform this year. At Google IO we saw the announcement of endeavors like Android TV and Android Auto. But the stars of the show were a preview of the next version of Android, code named Android L, and Google's new Material Design principles for interface design across all of their products. In the years since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich released, we've seen the launch of Jellybean and KitKat, but both of these versions were very iterative improvements upon 4.0 and had equally iterative version numbers with Jellybean being major versions 4.1 through 4.3 and KitKat being 4.4. Lollipop is given the major version number of 5.0, and it's quite fitting as it's arguably the biggest advancement to Android in a long time. It comes with an entirely new interface based on Material Design, a new application runtime, and many new features that I could not hope to summarize in this paragraph.

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Setting up Linux Mint 17.1 for the first time

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Given a choice between a DVD disc and a USB stick, I'd go with the USB option. Mint, and any other operating system, will install and run much faster from it.

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Google Nexus 6 review: A larger Moto X with fewer Motorola enhancements

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Android
Reviews

The Nexus 6 is the best Nexus ever and for once a Nexus device is not lacking in any specification. The price reflects the high-end nature of the Nexus 6, but the competition in the Android marketplace is also much stiffer than it was in the past. I still need to use the Nexus 6 a bit more with my T-Mobile SIM to convince myself it isn't the device for me. I enjoy large screen smartphones, but find other offerings to be more compelling.

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Hands-on with Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

The final rease of Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE was announced this weekend. I have picked up both versions, and I have installed them on a number of computers around here, with both legacy (MBR) and UEFI boot. The results have been very good, as expected.

As anyone who has been around Linux much probably knows, Linux Mint (numbered) is derived from Ubuntu. However, starting with Mint 17 the releases no longer track the latest Ubuntu releases. Mint is now based on the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) releases and will update their own distribution as they see fit.

That means that although Ubuntu recently released 14.10, this Mint release is still based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and the new Mint numbering system indicates that (this is 17.1, not 18), although the name change is a bit contrary to that (17.1 is called Rebecca rather than Q..., but I guess Q-names are not easy to come up with.

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Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE

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I was very impressed with Linux Mint 17.1. The common feature upgrades and bug fixes add real value to this distribution. The changes in Update Manager, the Login Screen, Language Settings, Kernel Menu, and artwork should please almost all Linux Mint users. And the huge range of background wallpapers, along with the slideshow feature make it a great choice for those who want frequent changes to the look of their Linux Mint systems.

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CuBox-i4Pro: A whole lotta Linux or Android for not a whole lotta cash

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Android
Linux
Reviews

I recently reviewed the Hummingboard, an excellent, low-priced single board computer that competes in the same market as the the Raspberry Pi. Recently the manufacturer of the Hummingboard, SolidRun, sent me one of their new products to check out: The CuBox-i4Pro.

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More in Tux Machines

Plasma 5.5.4 and Calligra Suite 2.9.11 now available

The 4th update for KDE's Plasma 5.5.x series is now available to all Chakra users. According to the release schedule, unless new issues occur, this will be the last update for this series before 5.6 gets released next month. Plasma 5.5.4 as usually includes a month's translations and bugfixes, with the authors highlighting the improvements for handling multi-screen setups. The Calligra Suite also receives a bugfix update to version 2.9.11, which mainly provides fixes for krita and kexi. Read more

Leftovers: Gaming

Phoronix on Graphics

  • VLC Now Has Zero-Copy Support For GStreamer Video Decoding
    It was just last week we got to write about VLC 3.0 features and early planning for VLC 4.0 while this weekend in Git there is another feature to add to the list. The latest VLC development code now supports zero-copy GStreamer video decoding. With the zero-copy comes increased efficiency and performance.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 710: Trying NVIDIA's Newest Sub-$50 GPU On Linux
    The GeForce GT 710 is a cut-down version of the Kepler GK208, the already low-end core used by the lines of the GT 720 and GT 730 graphics cards as well as the mobile GT 720M/730M/735M/740M graphics processors. This really isn't a graphics card for gamers or anyone needing any serious GPU performance but rather as an upgrade for an entry-level system, someone just wanting to upgrade from their integrated graphics, and other minimally-demanding use-cases.
  • Mesa 11.2 Is Set For Branching In Just Two Weeks, Release In Just Over One Month
    The race is on to see if any of the Mesa/Gallium3D hardware drivers (or core Mesa itself) will reach any new version levels for Mesa 11.2.
  • AMD Is Looking At A Interoperability Interface For OpenCL Outside Of Mesa
    AMD's Marek Olšák has begun exploring an interoperability interface for OpenGL within Mesa and having a non-Mesa OpenCL implementation (not Clover OpenCL Gallium3D). Likely as part of their HSA work and hopefully in providing better AMD open-source OpenCL support aside from the (currently limited) Gallium3D Clover state tracker, Marek is trying to hash out an interface for allowing interoperability with "MesaGL" and a non-Mesa OpenCL driver.

FreeBSD 10.3 Now In Beta

FreeBSD developers have released today their first official development media for the upcoming FreeBSD 10.3. FreeBSD 10.3 Beta 1 is now available from their FTP server. Read more