The Blackphone is a fine device. It’s attractive, it’s fast. There’s a wonderful array of easy-to-use security settings, surpassing anything on the market, whilst much of the good work is done by the Silent Circle crew patching vulnerabilities and issuing updates. For dilettantes of the privacy and security spheres, or anyone who wants good protection from digital threats with little fuss, the Blackphone 2 is an ideal choice.
Mageia, a community distribution forked from the now-discontinued Mandriva project, released Mageia 5 a few weeks ago. The new version of Mageia ships with updated software packages and UEFI support. (Secure Boot is not supported at this time.) The development team provided a good deal of documentation with the new version, supplying release notes, a summarizing release announcement and errata to guide us through potential problems. The Mageia distribution is available in many different builds and editions. There are plain installation discs, live discs (offered in GNOME and KDE editions) and discs for network installations. Each of the download options is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds.
The stable version of Ubuntu MATE Wily Werewolf (15.10) is almost here and we just received the final Beta. We now take a closer look at this Ubuntu flavor and see what's been happening in the past few months.
As mentioned in my previous review (Q4OS), I recently updated a guide designed to help people choose the right Linux distribution for them by going through the top 25 Linux distributions on Distrowatch and providing a short excerpt about each one, listing who they are for and what users can expect.
There were a handful that I hadn't tried myself and so I had to use other people's words to describe them. Q4OS was one of them and CentOS was another. I can now say that I have tried both of these distributions.
The Cinnamon Desktop will be the newest desktop environment with its own Fedora installation image when Fedora 23 is released late next month.
That would add one more Fedora Spin to the list of existing Spins. Fedora Spins are Fedora editions with a desktop environment different from the GNOME 3 desktop environment. GNOME 3 is the default desktop environment of Fedora.
The Neptune distribution is a Debian-based project which offers users a friendly, desktop-oriented experience. Neptune uses KDE 4 as the default desktop environment. The latest release of Neptune, version 4.4, includes mostly minor upgrades with an eye toward improving the graphics stack and desktop performance.
Neptune is available in just one edition for the 64-bit x86 architecture. The ISO file we download is 1.8GB in size. When we boot from Neptune's live media a menu appears and asks if we would like to explore Neptune's live desktop environment using English or German as our preferred language. Neptune then boots to the KDE desktop. The desktop environment is presented in a traditional manner, with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find icons which will grant us access to documentation, the distribution's package manager and Neptune's graphical system installer.
There are a number of reasons you might want to install a Linux-based operating system like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, or Linux Mint on a computer. These operating systems are free to use, which means you can install them on a PC that may not have a Windows license without spending a penny. They can sometimes breath new life into old computers that no longer reliably run the latest versions of Windows. Or maybe you just like the idea of free and open source software.
In summary, I really like Manaro Linux, and I strongly recommend it. It is well developed and maintained, and it is consistently one of the first distributions to include new/updated kernel, driver and packages. The next stable release (15.09) is likely to be released within the next week or so. That would be a great chance to give it a try, even if it is just running from the Live USB media so that you could check out what Jamie has been raving about.