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Reviews

POP!_OS Makes Classic GNOME Simpler to Use

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OS
GNOME
Reviews

The performance of POP!_OS is nearly indistinguishable from GNOME iterations in other Linux distros I have tried. The developers' customized tweaking is what makes the difference.

Presumably, running POP!_OS on an optimized System76 hardware will give you better performance than just installing the distro on your existing hardware. Comparing your existing machine specs to what is built into a new System76 computer should give you a clue to how much of a performance boost you can expect.

Either way, try out the live session on your current computer. Then weigh the potential benefits of a new computer if you like the customized version of the GNOME desktop.

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MakuluLinux Core OS Is Dressed to Impress

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OS
Linux
Reviews

I have charted the progress of Core's development through sometimes daily ISO releases over the last few months. I can attest to the near constant revisions and design tweaks Raymer has applied.

The more I used Core, the better choice it became over its LinDoz and Flash kin. That, of course, is purely a personal observation. But the features I loved in the other two MakuluLinux options either were even better when integrated into Core, or were surpassed by the Core-only innovations.

MakuluLinux Core's rebuilt Xfce desktop is so well tweaked it looks and feels like something new.

Given the amount of forking Raymer did to Xfce, he could call the desktop something new. For me, referring to it as "the new Core desktop" makes perfect sense.

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Review: Ubuntu MATE 19.04

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu and its family of community editions were updated just over a week ago with the releases of version 19.04. The new set of releases ship with version 5.0 of the Linux kernel and receive just nine months of support.

A few weeks ago we ran a poll asking which member of the Ubuntu family should be the focus on this review and the winner (on the day the new version came out), by a thin margin, was Canonical's main edition, Ubuntu itself. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with GNOME 3.32 which provides fractional scaling for the GNOME desktop along with using Python 3 as the default version of the Python language. The Alt-Tab behaviour has been changed to switch between windows instead of applications by default and there is a "safe graphics mode" available through the GRUB boot menu. These days Ubuntu and its community flavours use a merged-usr filesystem on fresh installs, consolidating executable files and libraries under the /usr directory. Otherwise not much has changed in the desktop edition of Ubuntu for this release.

I downloaded Ubuntu's 2GB ISO file and soon ran into two problems. The first was Ubuntu was unusually slow to boot, taking several minutes to get up and running. The second was the GNOME desktop was painfully slow to respond to input. During the flood of Ubuntu releases I had a chance to boot all eight flavours and found only Ubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin shared these performance issues. These problems have been reported elsewhere so I suspect this may be a driver-related issue. While these problems may be possible to trouble-shoot and may be fixed quickly, they made reviewing Ubuntu in a reasonable time frame difficult.

The next most popular distribution in our poll was Kubuntu, but I briefly reviewed it about a month ago and (apart from shipping a slightly newer version of Plasma) it doesn't look like much has changed since then. In fact, almost nothing new is listed in the release announcement, apart from a few minor package updates. Which brought me to the third most popular poll option: Ubuntu MATE.

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Review of the LDK Game open source handheld retro-game emulation console

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OSS
Reviews
Gaming
Gadgets

ETA Prime reviewed the LDK Game, an open source handheld retro-game emulation console that can play games from Nintendo, Sega, and other retro-platforms. It costs $60.

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Also: Open source kart racing game, SuperTuxKart, sees 1.0 release after 12 years

Linux Mint Cinnamon vs MATE

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Reviews

Linux Mint is definitely one of the most popular Linux distros out there. Because it’s Ubuntu-based, it offers support from one of the largest Linux communities while being simple and elegant for everyone: newbie to veteran, home users to system admins. With Linux Mint, there are 3 options you can choose in terms of the desktop environment: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. Cinnamon is the original flavor of Linux Mint whereas MATE is a desktop environment with legacy. These 2 are the most popular choice as the desktop environment of Linux Mint.It doesn’t matter whatever desktop environment you’re using, it’s always easy to shift to a new desktop environment. In the case of Cinnamon desktop, it’s easy to set Cinnamon desktop right now. Learn how to install Cinnamon desktop on Linux Mint.
If you’re confused which one to go, I hope this article will help you understand the difference between the 2 desktop environments and let you choose the best one for you.

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Also: Install Linux Mint MATE

Linux Mint Reset Password

Feren OS: An Almost Flawless Linux Computing Platform

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OS
Linux
Reviews

Feren OS is a nearly flawless Linux computing platform. This distro is practically maintenance free. The developers have taken the best parts of several innovative Linux distros and seamlessly integrated them into an ideal computing platform.

Feren OS is attractively designed and has just enough desktop animation to make using it a tad bit more interesting.

Other than the missing games category in the main menu, this latest snapshot is a bit skimpy on including a better collection of applications. That is not a bad thing in terms of sensitivity to software bloat, but the developers should at least provide automated tools to download software bundles similar to what was included in previous releases.

Still, Feren OS is a nice alternative to Linux Mint, which has gotten sluggish and slow since the version 19.1 release. Feren OS is an easy stepping stone to transition to Linux from Microsoft Windows and macOS. It is also a satisfying change for more experienced Linux users.

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What's New In Xubuntu 19.04?

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Reviews
Ubuntu

April is one of the months awaited by Ubuntu fans. Because this month is the schedule for the release of the latest version. Usually, in every 2 years, we will find Ubuntu releasing the LTS version with longer support.

Ubuntu has released version 19.04 with code name Disco Dingo. This distribution is not included in the LTS category, so it only gets support for the next 9 months. However, many features are added in this version. You can see the detailed features added in here!

Besides Ubuntu, other variants such as Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu also released 19.04. And in this article I want to discuss about Xubuntu 19.04.

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Ultrabook & Bionic - Running Plasma

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KDE
Reviews

The more you use a system, the more you detect potential problems. Mind, I haven't come up with seven Slimbook combat reports for no good reason (so far). That said, Trusty gave me no grief at all, so I am a bit miffed that there were some glitches, both with Unity and Plasma here. Mostly isolated problems that did not recur, so these could just be the ghosts after the upgrade. Nothing major, and overall, 'twas a good test and post-upgrade experience.

The good side of the coin is - the Plasma desktop environment is stylish, you can run it in the nostalgia mode if you like, it's super fast, it's super efficient, with great responsiveness and low battery usage, it works well, and offers a wealth of goodies. This is definitely a setup I'm comfortable with, and I can use it for important, real productivity tasks. Now, the ideal state of things would be Trusty Forever, but that's not possible. Looking across the entire spectrum of operating systems, the golden days of stability and quality seem to be behind us. But while perfection may be half an asymptote away, my Vivobook running Plasma is a very sensible solution for everyday needs. In a way, Plasma has proven itself once again. And on that note, we end.

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More KDE: New Features in Elisa: part 2

Gustavo Silva: Disco Dingo Thoughts

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Those already around me know I love Linux and my favourite linux distribuition is Ubuntu.

One of the reasons Ubuntu is my favourite is how simple and compatible it is with pretty much all devices I have tried installing. Except my laptop, but that’s due to the graphics card.

But hey, I fondly received the news that now we can select the option to automatically set nomodeset and other convenient tools when running the setup. For me, this means a major win. I previously had to set nomodeset manually and after installation I had to immediately modifiy some options in the grub’s defaults (namely set the acpi=force) but now, with this new option, the installation process which was already smooth, become (melted) butter. Thank you, honestly, person who remembered to include this option. This seems like a feature that will stick to Ubuntu 20.04, so I’m happy to now a LTS version will become even simpler to install too, so that’s great.

The UI and custom-Gnome experience has been improved as well, in this custom flavour of Gnome. We now have a few more options for customization, including dark options of the themes but I am definitely pleased to say that the Gnome shell, in Ubuntu 19.04, really looks great.

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Review: Alpine Linux 3.9.2

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Reviews

Alpine Linux is different in some important ways compared to most other distributions. It uses different libraries, it uses a different service manager (than most), it has different command line tools and a custom installer. All of this can, at first, make Alpine feel a bit unfamiliar, a bit alien. But what I found was that, after a little work had been done to get the system up and running (and after a few missteps on my part) I began to greatly appreciate the distribution.

Alpine is unusually small and requires few resources. Even the larger Extended edition I was running required less than 100MB of RAM and less than a gigabyte of disk space after all my services were enabled. I also appreciated that Alpine ships with some security features, like PIE, and does not enable any services it does not need to run.

I believe it is fair to say this distribution requires more work to set up. Installing Alpine is not a point-n-click experience, it's more manual and requires a bit of typing. Not as much as setting up Arch Linux, but still more work than average. Setting up services requires a little more work and, in some cases, reading too since Alpine works a little differently than mainstream Linux projects. I repeatedly found it was a good idea to refer to the project's wiki to learn which steps were different on Alpine.

What I came away thinking at the end of my trial, and I probably sound old (or at least old fashioned), is Alpine Linux reminds me of what got me into running Linux in the first place, about 20 years ago. Alpine is fast, light, and transparent. It offered very few surprises and does almost nothing automatically. This results in a little more effort on our parts, but it means that Alpine does not do things unless we ask it to perform an action. It is lean, efficient and does not go around changing things or trying to guess what we want to do. These are characteristics I sometimes miss these days in the Linux ecosystem.

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More in Tux Machines

Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops

Today, Windows users hold off for as long as possible before "updating" their PCs. Chrome OS users, on the other hand, have their systems updated every six weeks without a hitch. And, I might add, these updates take a minute or two instead of an hour or two. Chrome OS is also more secure than Windows. WIndows security violations pop up every blessed month. Sure, Chrome OS has had security holes, but I can't think of one that's been significantly exploited. Want a nightmare? Try migrating from an old Windows PC to a new one. Even if you're jumping from Windows 10 to Windows 10, there are no easy ways to do it. If you have a Microsoft account, rather than a local account, you must manually move your local files from third-party programs such as Photoshop On Chrome OS, you log in to your new Chromebook and -- ta-da! -- you're back in business. No fuss, no muss. Read more

Programming: Joget Operator, Python, LibreOffice, GNOME and KDE

  • Automating Low Code App Deployment on Red Hat OpenShift with the Joget Operator

    This is a guest post by Julian Khoo, VP Product Development and Co-Founder at Joget Inc. Julian has almost 20 years of experience in the IT industry, specifically in enterprise software development. He has been involved in the development of various products and platforms in application development, workflow management, content management, collaboration and e-commerce.

  • Python Histogram Plotting: NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas & Seaborn

    In this course, you’ll be equipped to make production-quality, presentation-ready Python histogram plots with a range of choices and features. If you have introductory to intermediate knowledge in Python and statistics, then you can use this article as a one-stop shop for building and plotting histograms in Python using libraries from its scientific stack, including NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas, and Seaborn.

  • PyCon 2020 Conference Site is here!

    Our bold design includes the Roberto Clemente Bridge, also known as the Sixth Street Bridge, which spans the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Steelmark, was originally created for United States Steel Corporation to promote the attributes of steel: yellow lightens your work; orange brightens your leisure; and blue widens your world. The PPG Building, is a complex in downtown Pittsburgh, consisting of six buildings within three city blocks and five and a half acres. Named for its anchor tenant, PPG Industries, who initiated the project for its headquarters, the buildings are all of matching glass design consisting of 19,750 pieces of glass. Also included in the design are a fun snake, terminal window, and hardware related items. [...] As with any sponsorship, the benefits go both ways. Organizations have many options for sponsorship packages, and they all benefit from exposure to an ever growing audience of Python programmers, from those just getting started to 20 year veterans and every walk of life in between. If you're hiring, the Job Fair puts your organization within reach of a few thousand dedicated people who came to PyCon looking to sharpen their skills.

  • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #382 (Aug. 20, 2019)
  • Python Qt5 - the QTimer class.
  • [LibreOffice GSoC] Week 12 Report

    It was The last week of GSoC program. Raal was working on testing all the project and the generated files and I help him by solving some bugs or add anything.

  • Sajeer Ahamed: Review | GSoC 2019

    I've been working on GStreamer based project of Gnome Foundation. GStreamer is a pipeline-based multimedia framework that links together a wide variety of media processing systems to complete complex workflows. The framework is based on plugins that will provide various codec and other functionality. The plugins can be linked and arranged in a pipeline. And most of the plugins are written in C. Now the developers are in an attempt to convert them to Rust which is more robust and easily maintainable. My task is to be a part of this conversion and to help fix issues related to this.

  • KDE's Onboarding Sprint: Making it easier to setup a development environment

    Suse were generous enough to offer two spacious and fully equipped offices at their headquarters to host the KDE sprints. We owe a special thanks and a big KDE hug to the OpenSuse team and in particular Douglas DeMaio and Fabian Vogt for being incredible hosts.

  • Third month progress

    I am here presenting you with my final month GSoC project report. I will be providing the links to my work at the end of the section. Final month of the work period was much more hectic and tiring than the first couple of months. I had been busy more than I had anticipated. Nonetheless, I had to write code which I enjoyed writing : ) . In the first half of this work period, I was focused on completing the left-over QDBus communication from the phase 2, which I did successfully. But as when I thought my task was all over, I was faced with some regression in the code, which I utilised my rest half a month to fix it. [...] As I had said above in the intro, I was faced with some real difficulty during the second half of the work period. As soon as I finished up QDBus thing, a regression was caused (Which I should have noticed before, my bad), helper was no longer started by the main application. I spent rest of the days brain-storming the issue but due to shortage of time, could not fix it. I plan to try fixing it in the next few days before GSoC ends(26th August), if I successfully do that, I will update the status here as well .

Games: Steam Play/Proton, GNU/Linux on Xbox, and UnderMine

  • CodeWeavers Reflects On The Wild Year Since Valve Introduced Steam Play / Proton

    This week marks one year since Valve rolled out their Proton beta for Steam Play to allow Windows games to gracefully run on Linux via this Wine downstream catered for Steam Linux gaming. It's been crazy since then with all of Valve's continued work on open-source graphics drivers, adding the likes of FAudio and D9VK to Proton, continuing to fund DXVK development for faster Direct3D-over-Vulkan, and many other infrastructure improvements and more to allow more Windows games to run on Linux and to do so well and speedy.

  • Turn your Xbox console into a home PC with this guide

    If you’ve ever wondered if you can turn your Xbox into a PC, you came to the right place. Because the Xbox console has the same hardware specifications as some older computer desktops, you will be able to convert it to a fully functioning PC. Unfortunately, you will not be able to install Windows on your console, but you can use the Linux operating system. In this article you will find out what items you’re going to need in order to make this happen, and also the steps you need to follow to accomplish this.

  • Action-adventure roguelike UnderMine now available in Early Access

    UnderMine from developer Thorium is an action-adventure roguelike with a bit of RPG tossed in, it's now in Early Access with Linux support. [...] Featuring some gameplay elements found in the likes of The Binding of Isaac, you proceed further down the UnderMine, going room to room digging for treasure and taking down enemies. There's also some RPG style rogue-lite progression involved too, as you're able to find powerful items and upgrades as you explore to prepare you for further runs.

GNU Scientific Library 2.6 released

Version 2.6 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C. This release introduces major performance improvements to common linear algebra matrix factorizations, as well as numerous new features and bug fixes. The full NEWS file entry is appended below. The file details for this release are: ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gsl/gsl-2.6.tar.gz ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gsl/gsl-2.6.tar.gz.sig The GSL project homepage is http://www.gnu.org/software/gsl/ GSL is free software distributed under the GNU General Public License. Thanks to everyone who reported bugs and contributed improvements. Patrick Alken Read more