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.
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).
"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 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 .
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!
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.
Also: Why do you use Linux?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.