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Reviews

Getting Started With Intel's Clear Linux High-Performance Distribution

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

For the past year Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has been working on the Clear Linux Project as a way to accelerate VMs to the point they are as fast as software containers and provide the best Linux support for Intel hardware in various cloud use-cases. As part of doing this, they've had to make their distribution lightning fast. Clear Linux though can be stretched outside of traditional cloud use-cases if you just want a lean and mean distribution.

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System76 Meerkat: God of small things

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Linux
Reviews

I run a file and media server at home to host all my files. It’s a very important machine for my work and personal life. And while I do use public and private cloud to collaborate or share files with others, I don’t use the public cloud to save personal photos or work documents. Everything lives on my local machine away from the prying eyes of spy agencies and companies.

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Linux Mint Upgrade Sparkles

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Linux
Reviews

The Linux Mint upgrade to version 17.3 Rosa is one upgrade regular users do not want to skip.

This latest release in downloadable ISO format, available in the MATE and Cinnamon desktop editions, hit servers earlier this month. Several days later, the upgrade was available from within the package management repository for existing Linux Mint users. That eliminates the need for a clean installation and having to set up all the apps and configurations to use the new release.

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OpenSUSE Leap 42.1 - Leap? More of a plunge.

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Reviews
SUSE

On paper, openSUSE Leap 42.1, with SLE stability and three years of support, kernel 4.1 and Plasma 5.4, tons of good software, and community repos sounds like a blazing good deal, a dream come true, the Linux Nirvana. In reality, it is nothing of the sort.

Package management works, but you don't get all the software you need plus conflicts, codecs are broken, network connectivity is half-broken, smartphone support is average, resource utilization is high. The distro works, but it gives you no love. It is far from being the beautiful, exciting, amazing product that I expected, the kind that reigned supreme in the SUSE 10 and 11 days. Ah, how I miss them.

Overall, despite being stable, i.e. non-crashy, openSUSE 42.1 is hardly usable as a day-to-day distro. If you value your software, media and gadgets, then this operating system will frustrate you. Xubuntu Vivid or Mint Rafaela are much better choices. Faster, leaner, just as beautiful, and they actually give you everything you need, without any bugs or problems. This autumn season turns out to be one of the worst I've ever had, and it makes me wanna blowtorch a few keyboards. Almost anything and everything I tested so far sucks to a high or very high degree. Present company included. OpenSUSE 42.1, one small step for SUSE, one giant leap for failure. 4/10.

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Also reviewed in:

  • openSUSE Leap 42.1 DVD, 32-bit Linux distributions and the Toshiba NB520

    OpenSUSE has been my go-to distribution for my dated Toshiba NB520. My sturdy 3 year old Toshiba netbook doesn't support Gnome 3 or Ubuntu Unity due to hardware limitations, but the last three releases of openSUSE KDE handled every piece of hardware on the NB520 without issues. OpenSUSE Leap 42.1's DVD has only an x86-64 release as of this writing, though 32-bit users can always install Tumbleweed, openSUSE's well-reviewed rolling release. Tumbleweed has installation media for 32-bit machines and if you're still running a previous 32-bit release of openSUSE, you can always run the upgrade procedure to Tumbleweed.

  • Notes on installing openSUSE Leap 42.1

    If you selected the options to Add Online Repositories Before Installation and Include Add-on Products from Separate Media during the installation process using the openSUSE Leap 42.1 DVD, the setup process might stall midway.

Manjaro Linux 15.09: the user-friendly Arch

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Reviews

There were no issues in my Live run of Manjaro Linux 15.09 Xfce, apart from some design details that I mentioned above and a small error message after the application installation.

The system felt very snappy, fast, responsive and usable.

I think Manjaro Linux's high ranking in the Distrowatch rating – it's in 7th place – is well deserved. It is higher than Arch itself. This team brings the Arch-based distribution into a form that is more widely usable and user-friendly.

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Makulu Linux Aero Edition

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Linux
Reviews

I last reviewed Makulu Linux back in May 2014 when it was still at version 6. I summed up my feelings towards Makulu Linux by stating that I can't wait for versions 7, 8 and 9 and that I had the warm glow with Makulu which I had felt previously with SolusOS, Fuduntu and Point Linux.

The artwork in Makulu Linux has always been very good and it has been put together in a unique and interesting way with some eclectic software picks.

Makulu Linux Aero Edition has been made to look more like Windows. The Makulu webpage describes this version as follows.

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Fossil Q Founder review: Bold, beautiful, but average with Android Wear

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Reviews

Fossil knows watches: its wide selection of timepieces are made of quality materials and with a consistent style while remaining on the affordable side of luxury. Now the fashion company is bringing its watch expertise to Android Wear with the Q Founder smartwatch. The most expensive device in the new line of Q wearables from Fossil, the Q Founder represents the first Google-powered smartwatch to come from a company that focuses more on style rather than specs.

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OpenSUSE LEAP: A Great Free Linux Server Distribution

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Reviews
SUSE

So what exactly is LEAP? What’s it for? The easiest way to approach something like OpenSUSE LEAP is to think of it like a beefed-up, more stable Fedora-type thing. The main goal of this Linux distribution is to create an enterprise grade distribution designed for workstations and servers free of charge.

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Also: I accidentally openSUSE

Review: Chakra 2015.11 "Fermi"

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Reviews

Not only has it been a while since I've done a Linux distribution review on this blog, but it has been an especially long time (over 2.5 years, in fact) since I've looked at Chakra. I figured that now that KDE 5 (technically incorrect terminology, I know, but please bear with me, as I'm using this for the sake of brevity) is being used in Chakra, it may be time to see how a distribution I've rather liked in the past has evolved. In case you don't remember, Chakra was originally based on Arch Linux, but a few years ago, it branched off into its own independent distribution with its own repositories, though certain tools (like the package manager Pacman) are based on things found in Arch Linux. It focuses exclusively on KDE, and it uses a semi-rolling release model in which core system packages are updated less frequently in order to maintain stability, while front-end applications seen by users most often are updated more frequently to provide a competitive desktop experience.

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Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon Review

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Linux
Reviews

Linux Mint is among the most popular GNU/Linux-based operating systems. Although DistroWatch is not a metric of popularity, Linux Mint has claimed the #1 ranking on the website, which means it’s the most sought after distro on the site.

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OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing. OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro? Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care. Read more

Today in Techrights

Direct Rendering Manager and VR HMDs Under Linux

  • Intel Prepping Support For Huge GTT Pages
    Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.
  • Keith Packard's Work On Better Supporting VR HMDs Under Linux With X.Org/DRM
    Earlier this year Keith Packard started a contract gig for Valve working to improve Linux's support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs). In particular, working on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and X.Org changes needed so VR HMDs will work well under Linux with the non-NVIDIA drivers. A big part of this work is the concept of DRM leases, a new Vulkan extension, and other changes to the stack.

Software: Security Tools, cmus, Atom-IDE, Skimmer Scanner

  • Security Tools to Check for Viruses and Malware on Linux
    First and foremost, no operating system is 100 percent immune to attack. Whether a machine is online or offline, it can fall victim to malicious code. Although Linux is less prone to such attacks than, say, Windows, there is no absolute when it comes to security. I have witnessed, first hand, Linux servers hit by rootkits that were so nasty, the only solution was to reinstall and hope the data backup was current. I’ve been a victim of a (very brief) hacker getting onto my desktop, because I accidentally left desktop sharing running (that was certainly an eye opener). The lesson? Even Linux can be vulnerable. So why does Linux need tools to prevent viruses, malware, and rootkits? It should be obvious why every server needs protection from rootkits — because once you are hit with a rootkit, all bets are off as to whether you can recover without reinstalling the platform. It’s antivirus and anti-malware where admins start getting a bit confused. Let me put it simply — if your server (or desktop for that matter) makes use of Samba or sshfs (or any other sharing means), those files will be opened by users running operating systems that are vulnerable. Do you really want to take the chance that your Samba share directory could be dishing out files that contain malicious code? If that should happen, your job becomes exponentially more difficult. Similarly, if that Linux machine performs as a mail server, you would be remiss to not include AV scanning (lest your users be forwarding malicious mail).
  • cmus – A Small, Fast And Powerful Console Music Player For Linux
    You may ask a question yourself when you see this article. Is it possible to listen music in Linux terminal? Yes because nothing is impossible in Linux. We have covered many popular GUI-based media players in our previous articles but we didn’t cover any CLI based media players as of now, so today we are going to cover about cmus, is one of the famous console-based media players among others (For CLI, very few applications is available in Linux).
  • You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE
    GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE. With the release of Atom 1.21 Beta last week, GitHub introduced Language Server Protocol support to integrate its brand-new Atom-IDE project, which comes with built-in support for five popular language servers, including JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Java, C#, and Flow. But many others will come with future Atom updates.
  • This open-source Android app is designed to detect nearby credit card skimmers
    Protecting our data is a constant battle, especially as technology continues to advance. A recent trend that has popped up is the installation of credit card skimmers, especially at locations such as gas pumps. With a simple piece of hardware and 30 seconds to install it, a hacker can easily steal credit card numbers from a gas pump without anyone knowing. Now, an open-source app for Android is attempting to help users avoid these skimmers.