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The Newest Linux Operating Systems and Who Should Try Them

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OS
GNU
Linux

Linux operating systems (known as “distributions” or “distros”) have constant releases and updates, with some more substantial than others. Updates usually bring minor fixes and tweaks, but occasionally new distro releases or iterations can yield major changes.

Picking the right distro depends on several factors. Whether it’s a fresh release or major update, check out these new Linux operating systems and who should try them.

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From OSX to Ubuntu

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GNU
Linux
Mac
Ubuntu

I didn't debate this for days, I installed the latest available Ubuntu right away as it was the distribution I was using before moving to OSX (I even contributed to a book on it!). I was used to Debian-based systems and knew Ubuntu was still acclaimed for its ease of use and great hardware support. I wasn't disappointed as on the X1 everything was recognized and operational right after the installation, including wifi, bluetooth and external display.

I was greeted with the Unity desktop, which was disturbing as I was a Gnome user back in the days. Up to a point I installed the latter, though in its version 3 flavor, which was also new to me.

I like Gnome3. It's simple, configurable and made me feel productive fast. Though out of bad luck or skills and time to spend investigating, a few things were not working properly: fonts were huge in some apps and normal in others, external display couldn't be configured to a different resolution and dpi ratio than my laptop's, things like that. After a few weeks, I switched back to Unity, and I'm still happily using it today as it has nicely solved all the issues I had with Gnome (which I still like a lot though).

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System76 and Dell with GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
  • Fans of System76 Ubuntu Linux computers can win a trip to the company's Denver headquarters

    "The last Superfan event was a resounding success, bringing together a wide range of Linux enthusiasts doing neat stuff with their System76 computers. Attendees included those working on Linux gaming content, a System76 Android app, tree-planting drones, and an open source personal assistant. During their time at the System76 headquarters the winners shared their feedback on current and future products, as well as joined the team for fun and games," says System76.

  • Dell’s Latest Laptop is $100 Cheaper If You Buy It With Ubuntu

    Dell love Linux. That’s not a bit of marketing fluff designed to look good writ large on a conference banner, but actual, tangible fact.

    Today the company announced the immediate availability of the Dell Precision 3520 mobile workstation (that’s “professional laptop” to you and Sleepy.

    Better yet buyers can save over $100 by choosing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS pre-loaded instead of Windows 10 — now that’s what you call a deal!

How To Break Free From Your Computer Operating System -- If You Dare

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OS
GNU
Linux

Weary of the "awful" hour-long updates his Windows computer forced him to periodically endure, usually during prime work hours, Farhang recently abandoned his PC operating system. He switched to Linux, an open-source OS.

The result? Linux turned his laptop into a "very good Mac OS clone," he says. And the price was right. He paid nothing for the software.

If you've upgraded your computer during the holidays and also are thinking of upgrading your operating system, you might be tempted to follow Farhang. But it's not an easy path, and it's not for everyone. I know because I just tried to do it.

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Also: Why do you use Linux?

GNU/Linux Workstations

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GNU
Linux
  • Dell’s new Precision mobile workstation PCs available with Ubuntu or Windows

    Dell is updating its Precision mobile workstation line of powerful laptop computers with new models sporting Intel Kaby Lake processors, optional NVIDIA graphics, and a choice of Windows or Ubuntu software.

  • Talos, For Those Needing Powerful Computing

    FSF (Free Software Foundation) is backing a crowd-funded project to develop a motherboard for a workstation that’s competitive in the “power” department with Intel’s Xeon. I don’t need anywhere near that kind of power in my home so I’ve opted for ARM for small/efficient computing, but if you need the power and don’t want Intel nor Intel’s backdoor it might be just your thing. The price is a show-stopper for me.

2017 could be the year of the sandboxed app

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GNU
Linux
Software

One of the things that makes Linux awesome is that finding and installing common software is really fast and easy. If you use a graphical tool like GNOME’s Software, you can download and install an app in a couple clicks. If you’re a command-line commando, you can install an application with one or two relatively short console commands.

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Today's most popular operating systems

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The Federal Digital Analytics Program (DAP) reports that while Windows is the most popular end-user operating system, it's dropped below 50 percent to 49.2 percent. This is based on 2.17 billion visits over the past 90 days to more than 400 executive branch government domains across about 5,000 total websites, including every cabinet department.

That's quite a drop. According to DAP, Windows accounted for 58.4 percent of all government website visitors in March 2015.

Looking closer, you can see Windows' loss didn't come because users are switching to other desktop operating systems. MacOS still comes in at No. 2, with 9.2 percent. All other operating systems, with Chrome OS leading the way at 1.1 percent, amount to only 2 percent.

True, other sites show desktop Linux gaining serious market share. NetMarketShare reports Linux has held more than two percent of the market since June 2016, while W3counter reports that Linux accounted for 3.80 percent of desktops in December 2016. However, since neither site broke out Chrome OS, I suspect that vast majority of these gains go to Chrome OS' credit rather than traditional Linux desktops.

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Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics, and Games/High-End PCs

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GNU
Linux
Gaming
  • Linux Kernels 4.8.16 and 4.4.40 LTS Bring Btrfs and CIFS Fixes, Updated Drivers

    Two new Linux kernel releases arrived this past weekend, for the Linux 4.8 and long-term supported Linux 4.4 series, sporting pretty much the same improvements and bug fixes.

    Linux kernels 4.8.16 and 4.4.40 LTS are out, as announced by renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, and they're here three weeks after the release of the previous maintenance updates, namely Linux 4.8.15 and Linux 4.4.39 LTS, due to the obvious Christmas and New Year's holidays.

  • Mesa Patches For Bringing Intel Haswell To OpenGL 4.2

    Igalia developers have been doing a lot of work this past week from seeing their FP64 Haswell patches merged, issuing new Ivy Bridge FP64 patches for testing, Float64 support for the Intel Vulkan driver, and related work. The newest from Juan Suarez Romero on behalf of Igalian developers are the 11 patches needed for taking Intel's Mesa driver for Haswell to the OpenGL 4.2 milestone.

  • It's Official: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Is Coming to Linux and SteamOS, Soon

    Aspyr Media have officially announced today, January 9, 2017, the upcoming availability of the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI turn-based 4X video game for the Linux and SteamOS platforms.

    Developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI launched for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems last year on the 21st of October. It already won the "Best Strategy Game" award during the The Game Awards 2016 annual awards ceremony.

  • Aspyr Media Officially Confirms Bringing Civilization VI To Linux
  • RadeonSI Gamers: What Linux Games Still Don't Work For You?

    Valve appears to be ramping up their open-source AMD Linux graphics driver work, but they are looking for more Linux games that currently don't work atop the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

  • Talos Secure POWER8 Linux Workstation With Fully Open Source Firmware

    Raptor Engineering is working and crowdfunding a high-end power8 based desktop computer with zero proprietary firmware blobs in the Talos Secure Workstation. Traditionally IBM, Oracle(Sun), Intel/AMD and others ruled this market segment. But now there is competition to Intel for a desktop computer.

  • The POWER8 Libre System Looks Set To Fail, Now There's An AMD Libre System Effort

    It doesn't look like the Talos Secure Workstation will see the light of day with it's crowdfunding campaign ending this week and it's coming up more than three million dollars short of its financing goal. Now there's another effort to offer a libre system but using off-the-shelf x86 hardware.

Parted Magic Linux Live CD Now Ships with ZFS, Linux 4.9.1 and X.Org Server 1.19

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GNU
Linux

Patrick Verner, the creator of the once very popular Parted Magic disk partitioning, erasing and cloning, as well as data rescue and recovery Live CD based on GNU/Linux technologies, announced the availability of Parted Magic 2017_01_08.

Shipping with the recently released Linux 4.9.1 kernel, which was recently marked as stable and ready for production by renowned Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, as well as an updated graphics stack based on the X.Org Server 1.19.0 display server, Parted Magic 2017_01_08 support the ZFS file system.

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Also: Linux Top 3: Solus, KaOS and Arch Linux update for 2017

Analysis Of The Top 10 Linux Distributions Of 2016

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GNU
Linux

There is a set criteria I use to determine how suitable a Linux distro is for the average person which is as follows:

Must be easy to install
Must have an intuitive desktop environment
Must be easy to use
Must have a standard and fairly complete set of applications installed
Must have a decent package manager for installing other applications
Must be ready to use straight away

The list is ordered in the same way they are on Distrowatch.

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More in Tux Machines

Linus Torvalds Announces Subsurface 4.6 Open-Source Dive Log and Planning App

Linus Torvalds not only works on the Linux kernel, but he's also part of the development team behind the open-source dive log and dive planning application most of you out there know as Subsurface. Read more

openSUSE Tumbleweed Gets XOrg Server 1.19 & Irssi 1.0, PulseAudio 10 Coming Soon

openSUSE Project's Douglas DeMaio is informing the Tumbleweed community today, January 18, 2017, about the latest software updates and other improvements delivered by a total of two snapshots released last week. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Linux use on Pornhub surged 14% in 2016
    Pornhub is one of the preeminent porn sites on the web. Each year Pornhub releases a year in review post with anonymous details about the site’s users. More and more Linux users are visiting Pornhub, Linux saw an impressive 14% increase in traffic share in 2016.
  • Amdocs partners with Linux Foundation to accelerate OpenECOMP adoption in Open Source
  • Calamares 2.4.6 Distribution-Independent Linux Installer Delivers Improvements
    The Calamares team is proud to announce the availability of the sixth maintenance update to the 2.4 stable series of the open-source, distribution-independent system installer Calamares, for Linux-based operating systems. Calamares 2.4.6 comes approximately two months after the release of the previous version, namely Calamares 2.4.5, and, as expected, it's a bugfix release that only delivers various improvements and bug fixes for some of the issues reported by users during all this time.
  • Shotwell Photo Manager 0.25.3 Released
    Photography fans will be pleased to hear that a new bug-fix release of photo management app Shotwell is now available to download.
  • AntiX 16.1 is available for public
    AntiX is Debian based Linux distribution. It uses lightweight desktop environments like Fluxbox, Icewm, Xfce, etc. This distribution is originated in Greece and is typically ideal for old systems. Few hours ago AntiX team released new version named AntiX 16.1. It is based on Debian Jessie.
  • Tumbleweed Preps for PulseAudio 10, Gets Ruby, Python Updates
    Developers using openSUSE Tumbleweed are always getting the newest packages as well as updated languages and past week’s snapshots delivered update versions of Python and Ruby. The most recent snapshot, 20170112, brought Python 2.x users version 2.7.13, which updated cipher lists for openSSL wrapper and supports versions equal to or greater than OpenSSL 1.1.0. Python-unidecode 0.04.20 was also updated in the snapshot. Another update related to OpenSSL 1.1.0 was PulseAudio 9.99.1, which is a release in preparation for PulseAudio 10.0. PulseAudio 10.0 includes compatibility with OpenSSL 1.1.0, a fix for hotplugged USB surround sound cards and and automatic switching of Bluetooth profile when using VoIP applications.
  • Genode OS Framework Planning For Async I/O, App ABI, Qt5 Plans For 2017
    The Genode Operating System Framework has announced their planned roadmap for this year as the involved developers continue working on this original OS initiative. The overall theme of the Genode OS work in 2017 is to focus on stability and scalability, but there is also much more on their road-map for this calendar year.
  • PrestaShop
    Helping people overcome the challenges of building and growing an online business is what the PrestaShop open-source ecommerce platform is all about. The significant PrestaShop 1.7 release provides innovations focused on three themes: sell faster, create easier and code better.
  • This Week in Spring: Reactor 3.0, Open Source CD, and All Kinds of Cloud

Linux on Servers

  • IBM i Open Source Business Architect Lays Out A Plan
    Enterprise level application development is no place for open source languages. Can you believe it? That was once the widely accepted truth. Jiminy Crickets! Things have changed. The number of the stable open source distributions available with comprehensive support and maintenance goes well beyond common knowledge. Industry giants, successful SMB players, and mom and pop businesses are finding good reasons to use open source. Even IBM uses open source for internal business reasons. There are reasons for you to do the same.
  • Lightning Talk - Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes by Blake White, The Walt Disney Co.
  • How Disney Is Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes
    The Walt Disney Company is famous for “making magic happen,” and their cross-cloud, enterprise level Kubernetes implementation is no different. In a brief but information-packed lightning talk at CloudNativeCon in Seattle in November, Disney senior cloud engineer Blake White laid out a few of the struggles and solutions in making Kubernetes work across clouds.
  • Puppet Launches its Latest State of DevOps Survey
    Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008. Fast-forward to today, and Puppet is still making news, creating jobs and more.