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Why I switched from OS X to GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Mac

After I was done with my studies at the university I wanted to work for some company which worked with Open Source, I started at Pelagicore, where I still work. There we are creating custom Linux distributions for car manufacturers, we do UI work, we write Linux drivers, Linux middleware and so on. Because we work with Linux it is much more convinient to run Linux nativelly for developement too. At Pelagicore (almosc) all developers work on Linux desktops and laptops, I felt that I fit right in with my ThinkPad. And this was also why I used my iMac less and less, everybody around me was using Linux, it became cumbersome to do the overhead to get stuff running on the iMac which I already had running at work and on my laptop on Linux.

I started with Ubuntu, but quite fast switched to Debian testing with Gnome 3 because I learned about how Canonical treats everyone, their users (the [Amazon problem (http://www.zdnet.com/article/shuttleworth-defends-ubuntu-linux-integrating-amazon/) with Unity Dash search results, problems with their Intellectual Property Policy, etc.) It also helped that there was Jeremiah, who evangalizes debian day in day out at work.

In between I wanted to try out Arch Linux so I installed it on my ThinkPad, and man this was a performance boost, it felt like a new machine in comperison to Ubuntu. Nowadays I run Arch at work too. For stuff which doesn't work, like some specific version of Yocto, I wrap it into a docker container with a Ubuntu image for compatibility.

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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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GNU/Linux Desktop

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac
  • Want a Windows 10 PC in your pocket? GPD's tiny laptop will also run Ubuntu

    The maker of the GPD WIN, a 5.5-inch Windows 10 handheld game console released last year, is planning to launch a tablet-sized laptop, dubbed 'Pocket', which will run Windows or Ubuntu.

  • Troubleshooting tips for the 5 most common Linux issues

    Although Linux installs and operates as expected for most users, inevitably some users will run into problems. For my final article in The Queue column for the year, I thought it would be interesting to summarize the most common technical Linux issues people ran into in 2016. I posted the question to LinuxQuestions.org and on social media, and I analyzed LQ posting patterns. Here are the results.

  • Microsoft’s OS supremacy over Apple to end in 2017

    Apple will steal a march on Microsoft this year when for the first time this century shipments of devices powered by its operating systems outnumber those running Windows, research firm Gartner said today.

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X

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GNU
Linux
Mac

This is a team that values the same things I do. The interface is clean and refined. The pre-installed application selection is minimal and each one feels like a perfect piece of the system.

The main drawback of Elementary to me is that it’s built on top of Ubuntu LTS. As time goes on all the packages get further from the current versions published upstream. I’d much rather a regular release like Fedora (6 months) or a rolling release like Arch.

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Assimilation That Confuses/Openwashing

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Microsoft
Mac

Linux World Domination, Microsoft Antitrust, Apple Against Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Linux User Warns: “2016 MacBook Pro Is Incompatible With Linux”

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Mac

Earlier this year, the reports of Lenovo hybrid laptops not supporting Linux created a stir. Recently, the company fixed the issued by issuing a BIOS update to allow Linux installation on Yoga 900, 900S and IdeaPad 710. The update added an AHCI SATA controller mode to make the process easier.

In another event of similar nature, a Reddit user hot2 has warned the potential Apple MacBook Pro buyers. He has shared a post titled “Warning: 2016 MacBook Pro is not compatible with Linux”.

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Elementary, My Dear Siri!

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GNU
Linux
Mac

I’m not one prone to knee-jerk reactions, but I’m also not one to sit about idly without considering alternatives. So the first thing I did after the Apple keynote was to download a copy of Elementary and burn it to an SD card.

An hour or so later, after checking that my Chromebook would work OK with it1, I installed from the live image to the SSD and began the process of figuring out whether, three years after I first tried it, Elementary is finally good enough for me as a development environment.

Like last time, this isn’t a review per se, but rather a smattering of my impressions while trying to assess whether it suits me.

I’m being realistic here – I know it’s not macOS, I don’t expect it to be macOS, it will not be a magical replacement for macOS for most people who share my current disenchantment with Apple, but I am very familiar with Linux, and most definitely need to consider moving to it in the long term given the way Apple has been neglecting Mac hardware and software over the past few years.

So given this week’s keynote completely ignored desktops and that I sorely need to upgrade my six-year-old Mac mini, this is as good a time as any to evaluate what’s out there.

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Some Disappointed Apple Fans Are Moving To Ubuntu Linux

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GNU
Linux
Mac
Ubuntu

At its October event, Apple tried hard to convince the users that its latest MacBook Pro is machine built for professional users. The company showed off the brand new Touch Bar that changed its appearance depending on the applications running on the screen. The new MacBooks are thinner and more powerful than ever. But, there’s something missing that’s driving away some diehard Apple fans.

Firstly, Apple decided to ditch a large array of connectivity ports–HDMI ports, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and standard USB port. These ports have been replaced by 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. So, the same power user segment that’s being aimed by Apple, is expressing lots of concerns.

Apart from the disappeared ports, these MacBooks have maximum 16GB of RAM. On the contrary, minimum 32GB RAM is becoming a standard for power users. While Microsoft is presenting itself as the new innovative tech company, some Apple loyalists are turning to another alternative, i.e., Linux.

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More in Tux Machines

More Coverage of New Lumina Release

  • Lumina 1.4 Desktop Environment Released
    The TrueOS BSD folks working on their Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment have issued a new feature update of their open-source desktop.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.4.0 Released
    Lumina 1.4.0 carries a number of changes, optimisations, and feature improvements. Lumina is the default desktop of TrueOS, a BSD-based operating system. The desktop itself is lightweight, modular, built using Qt, and uses Fluxbox for window management. Although Lumina is mostly aimed at BSD users it also runs on Linux, including Fedora, Arch and — *mario coin sfx* — Ubuntu.

today's howtos

Security: Uber Sued, Intel ‘Damage Control’, ZDNet FUD, and XFRM Privilege Escalation

  • Uber hit with 2 lawsuits over gigantic 2016 data breach
    In the 48 hours since the explosive revelations that Uber sustained a massive data breach in 2016, two separate proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed in different federal courts across California. The cases allege substantial negligence on Uber’s part: plaintiffs say the company failed to keep safe the data of the affected 50 million customers and 7 million drivers. Uber reportedly paid $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep news of the breach quiet. On Tuesday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote: “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”
  • Intel Releases Linux-Compatible Tool For Confirming ME Vulnerabilities [Ed: ‘Damage control’ strategy is to make it look like just a bug.]
    While Intel ME security issues have been talked about for months, confirming fears that have been present about it for years, this week Intel published the SA-00086 security advisory following their own internal review of ME/TXE/SPS components. The impact is someone could crash or cause instability issues, load and execute arbitrary code outside the visibility of the user and operating system, and other possible issues.
  • Open source's big weak spot? Flawed libraries lurking in key apps [Ed: Linux basher Liam Tung entertains FUD firm Snyk and Microsoft because it suits the employer's agenda]
  • SSD Advisory – Linux Kernel XFRM Privilege Escalation

gThumb 3.6 GNOME Image Viewer Released with Better Wayland and HiDPI Support

gThumb, the open-source image viewer for the GNOME desktop environment, has been updated this week to version 3.6, a new stable branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements. gThumb 3.6 comes with better support for the next-generation Wayland display server as the built-in video player, color profiles, and application icon received Wayland support. The video player component received a "Loop" button to allow you to loop videos, and there's now support for HiDPI displays. The app also ships with a color picker, a new option to open files in full-screen, a zoom popover that offers different zoom commands and a zoom slider, support for double-click activation, faster image loading, aspect ratio filtering, and the ability to display the description of the color profile in the property view. Read more Also: Many Broadway HTML5 Backend Improvements Land In GTK4