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Reviews

Exploring Alpine Linux 3.2.0

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Reviews

Alpine Linux has become one of the most frequently requested distributions on my list of projects to review. Alpine is an independent distribution which, as the project's front page tells us, is "a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox." The project's About page goes into more detail: "Alpine Linux is a very simple distribution that will try to stay out of your way. It uses its own package manager, called apk, the OpenRC init system, script driven set-ups and that's it! This provides you with a simple, crystal-clear Linux environment without all the noise. You can then add on top of that just the packages you need for your project, so whether it's building a home PVR, or an iSCSI storage controller, a wafer-thin mail server container, or a rock-solid embedded switch, nothing else will get in the way."

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BQ Aquaris E5: An Ubuntu Edition Phone that severely disappoints

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Reviews
Ubuntu

I can't begin to tell you how saddened I am that I've had to write this. I wanted the Ubuntu Phone to completely blow me away and pull me from the Android platform with ease and grace. Instead, it solidified my opinion that jumping into the ring with Android and Apple is a fight that most aren't really ready to take up.

Please, Canonical, go back to the drawing board and return with a UI that makes sense... or simply return all of your focus on what you do best and leave the mobile platform to Google and Apple.

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Mageia 5 Linux Distro Offers New Tools, Improved Stability

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GNU
Linux
MDV
Reviews

The Mageia 5 Linux distribution, which launched June 19, provides new tools, improved stability and overall ease of use. The Mageia Linux distro was first formed in September 2010 as a fork of French Linux distribution Mandriva. While Mandriva as a commercial entity ceased operation in May of this year, Mageia is alive and well, continuing on its mission of creating a user-friendly desktop-focused Linux distribution. New features in Mageia 5 include support for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) hardware, which enables Mageia to run on a broader array of systems than previously. Historically, Mandriva was focused on the KDE Linux desktop as the default. In addition to KDE, Mageia offers users an easy installation choice of other desktops, including GNOME 3.14, Cinnamon 2.4.5 and Xfce 4.12. With Mageia 5, the Btrfs next-generation Linux file system is now fully supported, providing users with a robust file system capability. Helping users move from Microsoft's Windows operating system is also part of Mageia 5, which has a Windows settings import feature. eWEEK examines key highlights of the Mageia 5 Linux distribution release.

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Also: Mageia 5: I See no Change... and That's Good!

OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2 Screencast and Screenshots

Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

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Linux
Reviews

Thankfully this is not the case with Mint 17.2 because the underlying packages from Ubuntu have not changed. You can update to Mint 17.2 directly from Update Manager. That will continue to be true for the rest of the 17.x release cycle (which will last through Ubuntu 16.04, due in April 2016).

And indeed you should upgrade. Given that it's easy and painless to update, combined with all the improvements in this release, Linux Mint 17.2 is well worth it. This is exactly the kind of user-focused release that solves small, everyday problems while leaving the rest of the system alone.

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Running BSD on the desktop with MidnightBSD 0.6

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Reviews
BSD

MidnightBSD FreeBSD is a fine operating system to run on servers and some people feel the characteristics which make FreeBSD suitable for servers (conservative updates, stability, performance) also make the operating system a good choice for desktop computers. Or, at least, FreeBSD could be a good desktop operating system with a few tweaks. That is the premise behind MidnightBSD, a desktop-oriented project that forked from FreeBSD. "MidnightBSD was forked from FreeBSD 6.1 beta. The system was forked to allow us to customize and integrate the environment including the ports and system configuration. We wish for the system to appeal to beginners as well as more experienced BSD users. Many operating systems are under active development; with MidnightBSD, we wish to focus on optimization and usability improvements for desktop users."

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Debian Jessie

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Reviews
Debian

I have now been using Debian for a few weeks and it is therefore time for me to write a review of my experience thus far.

Debian has been around for what seems like forever now and it is the base for so many other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint, SolydXK and Knoppix.

I think that the general consensus amongst Linux users is that Debian is stable, dependable and a good environment on which to build upon.

Does that mean it is suitable for Everyone?

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A month with Fedora 22 leaves me hungry for 23

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Reviews

Releases of the Fedora operating system, being the mostly regular six-monthly events that they are, do not usually find themselves worthy of note -- your average run-of-the-mill Fedora release can usually be summed up as: "Everything you had six months ago, only slightly better."

With Fedora 22, though, changes arrived thick and fast. The release's desktop environment got a new, flatter look; the package manager of choice changed; GCC was updated to the 5 series; and the next generation of display server inched towards general availability. While none of these changes alone should send the quality of the release into reverse, somewhere along the line, it hasn't all come together.

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China's best phone yet: Huawei P8 5.2-inch money-saving Android smartie

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Android
Reviews

The Huawei P8 represents the classiest and most capable Android from a Chinese manufacturer yet, and a strong advance from last year’s P7. The hardware design is superb and it has a terrific camera. The biggest differentiator is actually quite useful: the microSD slot doubles up as a SIM slot, too.

The stuttery performance and annoying popups that marred last year’s P7 have been banished. There’s a lot to like with thrown-in features like call blocking and security.

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NVIDIA SHIELD ANDROID TV REVIEW

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Reviews

Some of its biggest selling points include 4K and NVIDIA Grid support. If you love gaming, have a powerful rig with a robust NVIDIA GPU, and want to enjoy one of the best in class Android TV experiences, then the NVIDIA Shield Android TV is a sure bet. If you’re more of a casual gamer, then there are less expensive options, but if you want to have something that packs a wallop, streams your games, and is quite future proof, then we highly recommend it. Further, we’ve given it our highly coveted Editor’s Choice Award for being a rock solid Android TV device!

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Samsung Galaxy S6 -- Android at its finest [Review]

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Android
Reviews

Once again, consumers in the market for a new Android phone have tough decisions to make. While hardcore Android purists will understandably opt for the Nexus 6 to get fast updates and greater tinker capabilities, the Galaxy S6 is the better choice for all others. It is a more well-rounded experience.

Samsung has crafted a phone that is not only a piece of art, but is a comfortable size and has superior security with biometrics. The fingerprint reader is more important than having the ability to run custom ROMS. In 2015, there is no excuse for any flagship smartphone to ship without a fingerprint scanner.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is Android at its finest. Highly recommended.

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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft Begs, Bugs, and Bug Doors

  • Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft
    Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine. It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it's ready.
  • Microsoft Word flaw took so long to fix that hackers used it to send fraud software to millions of computers
    A flaw in Microsoft Word took the tech giant so long to fix that hackers were able to use it to send fraud software to millions of computers, it has been revealed. The security flaw, officially known as CVE-2017-0199, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed on April 11 in Microsoft's regular monthly security update - nine months after it was discovered.

FOSS Licensing (and Lack Thereof)

  • Portugal to harmonise usability of govt portals
    All of the code, information and tools are made available for reuse.
  • JRC: ‘Releasing code without a licence hinders reuse’
    Projects that publish source code without a licence weaken the reusability of their code, warns Stefano Gentile, a copyright and trademark specialist working for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Currently just 20 % of all projects published on GitHub, one of the most popular source code sharing platforms, have selected a licence for their work - down from about 60% in 2008, Gentile said, quoting numbers published in 2015 by GitHub.
  • React to React
    The Additional Grant of Patent Rights is a patent license grant that includes certain termination criteria. These termination criteria are not entirely unprecedented when you look at the history of patent license provisions in OSI-approved licenses, but they are certainly broader than the termination criteria [or the equivalent] in several familiar modern licenses (the Apache License 2.0, EPL, MPL 2.0, and GPLv3).
  • BetConstruct declares the source code for its front-end as open source
    The project is distributed under MIT license.

Automotive Grade Linux Adds New Members

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Bets on Innovation in the Channel
    Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Application Partner Initiative, working with partners to build a practice around core platforms for emerging use cases. IT solution providers tend to focus more on technologies that are just hitting the top of the bell curve in terms of mainstream adoption. But Red Hat is making a case for partners to place more focus on emerging technologies.
  • Huawei takes on servers, HPC and cloud with Red Hat, Intel and GE
    Company unveils plans to build high performance computing centres in in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, and in Munich, Germany. Chinese ICT company Huawei has unveiled a series of agreements and collaborations with some of the world’s largest companies to advance cloud and high performance computing (HPC). Firstly, Huawei has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Intel to cooperate in HPC.
  • Red Hat Unveils JBoss AMQ 7
    Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced Red Hat JBoss AMQ 7. The latest release of Red Hat's messaging platform combines the performance and efficiency of reactive programming with a more flexible architecture, giving customers a strong foundation for building distributed, reactive message-driven applications.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): What’s the Story?
  • FCAIC in the House, part III
    Ok, not that “Hello”. I’ve been writing quarterly updates on what I’m working on to help the Fedora Community. If you’re new to the party, welcome. I have the privilege of being the current Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator. I wrote last week on the Red Hat Community blog about what this role means and how it interacts with the world.