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Reviews

Vector Linux 5.9: Light, fast Slackware-based distro

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Vector Linux 5.9, released in late December of last year, is a Slackware 12.0-based distribution that uses Xfce 4.4.2 as its default user interface. Generally speaking, Xfce requires less horsepower than other UIs, like GNOME and KDE, and so Vector Linux bills itself as an excellent operating system to install on older, lower-powered computers. I've been using it for the past two weeks, and like what I see.

KDE 4.0: Everything that has an end, has a beginning

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By now, every Linux user's heard of KDE 4.0, and the controversy surrounding its release. Here's one partisan KDE user's take on it — with screenshots.

openSUSE 10.3 in review: A solid Linux desktop

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openSUSE is a popular German Linux distribution that Distrowatch.com lists as one of the "top ten." Version 10.3 was released on October 4th. Underneath its new green artwork, the new version's improvements include cutting down the time it takes to reach the graphical login screen; speeding up and streamlining its package management utility; and making it easier for users to install software using a new "one-click install" process. There's a lot to like here.

Beta Review: Kanotix 2007 "Thorhammer" RC5B

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The last Kanotix release (based on Debian Sid) came out in October, 2006. Shortly thereafter, a Kanotix co-developer (and many of Kanotix's other developers) left the project, mainly due to a disagreement over whether Kanotix should be based on Sid (Debian's unstable branch) or something less volatile, like Etch (Debian's current stable branch) or Ubuntu. Kanotix's founder now has a new, Etch-based version of Kanotix in development, code-named "Thorhammer."

Sidux 2007-03.1 "Gaia": A closer look

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Unless you're able to deal with such esoteric problems as diagnosing a buggy post-install script, or figuring out how to deal with a major change in the directory structure of X.org, you might occasionally find running a Debian Sid-based system to be more than you can handle. And that's where Sidux comes in. Sidux's goal is to allow mere mortals the ability to run Debian Sid on the desktop, in order to take advantage of the latest Debian software available. Its development team helps guide its users through the occasional bumps in Sid, via IRC and its user forum. Another goal is to offer a consistent release cycle. Sidux comes with a variety of "convenience scripts" and utilities you won't find in Debian proper, that make it easier to do such things as administer your system and install proprietary software.

Slackware 12: The anti-'buntu

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Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution; its first version came out in 1993. Version 12 was recently released. As its Wikipedia entry notes, it's got a reputation for sacrificing ease-of-use (in terms of configuration and package management tools provided by the distribution) in favor of letting the end user configure the system and its software by herself.

Fedora 7 "Moonshine": Freedom vs. Ease-of-Use (Part 2)

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Part 2 of the Fedora 7 "Moonshine" review.

Fedora 7 "Moonshine": Freedom vs. Ease-of-Use (Part 1)

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Fedora 7, a.k.a. "Moonshine," released on May 31, is an odd duck. On the one hand, it's hugely popular. On the other hand, these days, there seems to be an emphasis on being user-friendly (think "Ubuntu"). But Fedora's creators have consciously limited what it can do out of the box.

Linux Mint 3.0-BETA-012 Cassandra Quickie

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I was anxious to test the new Linux Mint release in hopes that wireless might be working, but alas, I spent the better part of 4 days downloading in vain.

Blue Belle: Running PCLinuxOS Test 4

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PCLinuxOS is an up-and-coming distribution that recently made it into Distrowatch.com's list of Top Ten Distributions. I installed PCLinuxOS Test 4 on a 10 GB partition (with a separate 1 GB /home partition) on an AMD Athlon 2600+ with 640 MB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 6200 LE graphics card. This hardware is no great shakes nowadays, but it's plenty fast enough to run PCLinuxOS with all the bells and whistles.

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More in Tux Machines

Canonical/Ubuntu: End of Ubuntu 17.10, Ubuntu Podcast, Snaps Add Flexibility with Tracks and Canonical Needs Help

  • PSA: Support for Ubuntu 17.10 Ends Today
    Ubuntu 17.10 reaches end of life on July 19, 2018 — which if you haven’t checked your calendar recently, is today. If you have thus far managed to resist the temptation to upgrade to a newer release then alas: today is the day when you need to start thinking about it.
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E19 – Nineteen Minutes - Ubuntu Podcast
    It’s Season 11 Episode 19 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Ryan are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • Snaps Add Flexibility with Tracks
    Snap packages have a rich set of features beyond getting the latest shiny on your Linux distribution. Tracks enable developers to publish multiple supported releases of their application under the same name. With this enabled, a user can switch tracks at any time to install and use an alternate supported relase of software. Within each track are four standard channels named edge, beta, candidate and stable. The channels represent the risk-level users should expect from the snaps within. Edge snaps (typically built from the latest code committed) would be riskier to use than beta releases, which are more risky than stable releases. By default every application has one ‘latest’ track and the four named channels. Developers can optionally choose whether to supplement that with additional tracks. Further the developer can choose which channels to use within those tracks.
  • Canonical Needs Your Help to Test the Improved Ubuntu 18.04.1 Server Installer
    Canonical's Dimitri John Ledkov put out a call for testing for the Ubuntu community to help them test drive the improved Ubuntu Server installer in the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS point release. Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS, the first of a total of five scheduled point releases of the long-term supported Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series is about to be released in approximately one week from the moment of writing, on July 26, 2018, with improved and up-to-date core components and apps.
  • Help Test the New Ubuntu Server Installer
    I only ask because Canonical’s server bods are currently looking for wily folks to help them test an improved version of the new Ubuntu Server installer.

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Graphics: ROCm, AMD, Mesa, Sway

  • ROCm 1.8.2 Released For The Open-Source Radeon Linux Compute Stack
    While waiting for the big ROCm 1.9 update, another point release to the ROCm 1.8 series is available for this Radeon Open Compute stack. Earlier this month the AMD developers working on this Linux open-source OpenCL/compute stack pushed out the ROCm 1.8.2 beta while today it was elevated to the stable channel. Details on the ROCm 1.8.2 update are unfortunately light, but based upon user reports, it seems to be able to create a working environment on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS if paired with a newer kernel. But the official Ubuntu 18.04 LTS isn't coming until ROCm 1.9.
  • Raven Ridge APUs Get Minor Performance Boost With Latest RADV Vulkan Driver
    The Raven Ridge Linux support continues to maturing. The latest on these Zen+Vega APUs using the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver stack should be slightly better performance when using the RADV Vulkan driver. RADV co-founder Bas Nieuwenhuizen landed a number of commits on Wednesday to further enhance this Mesa-based Radeon Vulkan driver. With this latest work, he's now enabled binning and DFSM by default for Raven Ridge hardware. With this being enabled now for Raven, he's found a minor performance in the range of 2~3% for some demos and games tested.
  • Freedreno Gallium3D Now Exposes Adreno A5xx Performance Counters
    It's been a while since last having any news to report on Freedrenon, the open-source, community-driven Gallium3D driver for providing accelerated 3D support for Qualcomm Adreno graphics hardware. But ahead of the upcoming Mesa 18.2 feature freeze, Freedreno founder Rob Clark has been landing a number of improvements.
  • Sway 1.0 Alpha 4 Released With Real-Time Video Capture, Atomic Layout Updates
    Learn more about the Sway 1.0 Alpha 4 release via the GitHub release announcement.

Kdenlive 18.08 Beta – Film Noir

Kdenlive is my video editor de jour since the dawn of civilization, or rather, as far back as my video editing attempts go. Pretty much all of the clips I uploaded to my Youtube channel were made using Kdenlive, with only some extra work in other programs. Kdenlive is powerful, flexible, useful, and now there’s a new beta that promises many good things and delights. The 18.08 version can be found under the label Refactoring Branch – sounds like an avantguard field of mathematics – and it is distributed as a self-contained AppImage, meaning you just need to make the file executable and then run it (single- or double-click). Which is exactly what I did. Follow me. Read more