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​Linux and open source 2014: It was the best of years, it was the worst of years

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GNU
Linux

There was great news and there was awful news in the world of Linux and open-source software during 2014.

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UNIX Industry Banks on Linux Strategies

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GNU
Linux

Struggling UNIX server makers are strengthening their Linux strategy in line with the open-source application environment. The move is aimed at maintaining remaining customers, since users are increasingly abandoning UNIX servers. However, it is receiving a lukewarm response from the market.

According to industry sources on Dec. 22, server vendors such as IBM and HP are concentrating on the development of products so that the Linux operating system and related applications can be used as UNIX servers.

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Enterprise Advances Brought Linux Success in 2014

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GNU
Linux

For Linux, 2014 could easily be labeled the year enterprise really and truly embraced Linux. It could just as easily be labeled the year that nearly forgot Linux on the desktop. If you weren’t Docker, containers, OpenStack, or big data ─ chances are the spotlight didn’t brighten your day much. If, however, you (or your product) fell into one of those categories, that spotlight shined so brightly, it was almost blinding.

Let’s glance back into our own wayback machine and see where Linux succeeded and where it did not. The conclusions should be fairly simple to draw and are incredibly significant to the state of Linux as a whole.

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What’s happened with Kubuntu recently?

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GNU
KDE
Linux

We also released a new version of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0. KDE Applications 14.12 are arriving in Vivid Vervet, with backports, as soon as we can. For now, we wish you a Happy New Year and recommend you to meet it with new Kubuntu on your PC.

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Linux bloated? Think again

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GNU
Linux

When I first started using Linux, back in the mid-late nineties, a typical Linux installation was roughly four to five CDs and wound up installing applications geared toward scientists, programmers, HAM radio operators, and more. The kernel was built for a small sub-section of hardware it actually had support for (which included a lot of hardware most people didn't have). The typical resources needed to run Linux were quite small. The first machine I ran Linux on was a Pentium II 75 Mhz processor with 56 MB of RAM and an unsupported WinModem (which was eventually swapped out for a US Robotics 36.6 external modem).

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China’s ‘home-made’ operating system isn’t home made at all, but maybe that’s OK

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GNU
Linux

Like most governments, China’s has long been concerned about the security vulnerabilities that may come with using software developed in other countries. The biggest problem: PC operating systems in government buildings are almost universally run on Windows. For years, China has been trying to create a domestic alternative. Yesterday, the latest alpha build of its decade-in-the-making Kylin operating system went up for download.

According to Techweb, this latest version of Ubuntu Kylin – the version of Kylin that’s being designed for use by the public – still contains serious bugs, and important parts of the OS have not been translated into Chinese.

In fact, whether Kylin is even a Chinese operating system at all is debatable, although the Chinese media continues to describe the project as “home-grown.”

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The Curious Case of the Disappearing Distros

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GNU
Linux

"Linux is a big game now, with billions of dollars of profit, and it's the best thing since sliced bread, but corporations are taking control, and slowly but systematically, community distros are being killed," said Google+ blogger Alessandro Ebersol. "Linux is slowly becoming just like BSD, where companies use and abuse it and give very little in return."

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Come On! The Year Of GNU/Linux On The Desktop Was Ages Ago. Now We’re Mopping Up.

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GNU
Linux

Chromebooks are killing iPads and Wintel PCs in USAian education. Even PhotoShop ships for them. Every major OEM of PCs is shipping ChromeOS which is Chrome browser embedded on GNU/Linux. There are moves to integrate the rampant Android/Linux, too, with ChromeOS. We’ve won, beyond our wildest dreams and rather quickly too. It was only 7 years ago that Android was a gleam in Google’s eyes but they sold a billion copies last year.

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Teaching Linux in the Dark

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GNU
Linux

Did I tell him it was Linux? Did I give him the party line on freedom-as-in-beer-and-code? No. I didn’t tell him anything except I was going to fix his computer.

When the install was done, I imported his IE bookmarks into Firefox and loaded his music and pictures into the appropriate directories. I did not set him up with multiple desktops, nor did I blingify his desktop. He wanted to play his online games with his friends, he wanted to check his bank account from time to time and he wanted to access his Yahoo email account. That’s all. Oh…and he wanted to play World of Goo. It’s his new and favorite obsession.

It took me all of one and a half hours to get him fixed and out the door.

In the years I’ve been doing this, it’s only been recently that I’ve learned an extremely important lesson. Not everyone needs to be saved from one entity and changed to another. Not everyone wants or needs to know the important philosophical truths about free open source software. Sometimes, people just want their computers to do what they tell them to do and in the shortest and most simple way possible. The end result was a happy friend and a neighborhood computer I will not have to fix for a long time.

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Why You Should Switch to Ubuntu MATE Edition

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

When I first came to Linux, I gravitated to KDE and then later on, early GNOME. Back then, these desktop environments were designed mostly to provide a usable X environment from which to use Linux compatible applications. Today, however, our need for a desktop environment is more varied. Some individuals prefer to have a desktop experience that is rich, full of nice effects and looks great. Others still, prefer a desktop experience that provides a simple, hassle free interface.

My own desktop needs, reflecting on the ideas above, have also evolved. I went from wanting a fancy, slick GUI desktop over to leaning with a lighter weight desktop. XFCE started off as my go-to lightweight desktop preference, while keeping Gnome 3 around on another machine because it was fun to use.

After a lot of recent thought and reflection, I have decided to commit full time to a "no frills" desktop environment. My desktop of choice: MATE on Ubuntu.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Dying Light Action Survival Game Coming to Steam January 27
    Dying Light, a modern first-person survival horror game set in a world hit by plague, is now available for pre-purchase on Steam and will be available for download on January 27.
  • Dying Light FPS Has Been Confirmed for Linux, Zombies Galore
    Techland is preparing to launch Dying Light, a new FPS with amazing graphics and hordes of zombies. The developer has revealed that it will also have a Linux version, right from the start.
  • Dying Light Is Now Confirmed For Linux, Bring It On Techland
    Dying Light is now confirmed for Linux thanks to the announcement from the developers on the Steam store itself. The Linux icons show up on the store pages, and the game even has a steam coming soon banner on the home-page. Time to get seriously excited.
  • Star Traders: 4X Empires Strategy Game Now On Linux
  • 5 reasons Valve's Steam Machine dream is still very alive
    Steam Machines? More like has-been machines, am I right? Actually, no: while many people are giving Valve's PC-console-hybrids the cold shoulder, this gamer reckons they'll be worth the wait. I realise that I'm part of a shrinking group still backing Valve's SteamOS-powered Linux boxes, and it's not difficult to see why the hype around them has all but evaporated. Several controller-related delays, U-turns by seemingly committed hardware partners and a lack of news from the top has made many think that Valve is blowing hot air.

Android Leftovers

Tizen Samsung Z1, made in India and soon to be available in Bangladesh

As we have reported Samsung has been sending the parts for its Samsung Z1 SM-Z130H/DS to be assembled at its Noida plant in India, which has the capacity to produce over 4 million handsets per month. The Samsung Z1 was launched in India as the first Tizen based commercial handset at a competitive price of 5,700 INR. Read more

Ubuntu 15.04 to Integrate Linux Kernel 3.19 Branch Soon

The Linux kernel is one of the most important components in a distribution and Ubuntu users are interested to know what will be used in the stable edition for the 15.04 branch, which is scheduled to arrive in a couple of months. Read more