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Reviews

Framework DIY Modular Laptop is Available for Pre-Order at $999

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Linux
News
Reviews

The team announced the opening of pre-order channels for this innovative and disruptive Framework DIY Laptop. Starting Price is $999.
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CyberOS - A New QT Based Arch Linux Distribution that Looks Like Deepin DE

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Linux
Reviews

So, I stumbled upon a fairly new Linux distribution called CyberOS based on GNOME + Arch Linux. And I thought to do a test drive. Here's how it is.
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MX Linux Package Installer review - Nice but can be nicer

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Linux
Reviews

MX Package Installer is not a bad idea. But it's a workaround to the horrible mess that's Linux packaging. If anything, it just makes the problem more prominent, and puts it into the user's hands really. And, when we integrate over the problem space, the fault ends up at the MX doorsteps, because it's an MX Linux component that created the possibility for the user to try a program, all hopeful, and then to have it crash.

Ideally, every software component would have a clearly defined, rigorous test procedure. Every system would have a chain of these tests, declared, defined, interlinked. No application would be allowed for inclusion or publication without successful testing that proves the components work great on their own and as part of the overall complex system. The responsibility can be shared, if needed, whatever works the best. But to rely on third parties for your own success means gaps and problems and issues and tons of blameshifting. It's Debian, no it's MX, no it's KDE, no it's the user, and so on. Who cares? The Linux desktop isn't growing. Well, I do. I want it to grow.

So this would be the conclusion of this review. MXPI is a nice thing, but it's still 90% nerdy, 10% friendly, and the equation needs to be flipped. Over the years, the MX team has done pretty cool stuff, and I believe and hope they will be able to polish up MXPI. After all, they did it with their distro, and really transformed it from a nerdbox into a cool, accessible system. But the journey is far from over.

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Review: JingOS 0.8 and Tribblix

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Reviews

One of the most recent additions to the DistroWatch database is JingOS, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for tablet computers. The project aims to run both GNU/Linux and Android applications via a graphical user interface which is designed to work in a familiar way on touch screens. While early versions of JingOS were developed for ARM-based devices, JingOS 0.8 is the project's first version to run on x86 processors.

The JingOS project requires that people register their e-mail address to obtain the project's free download. A download link is then sent to our e-mail address. When I downloaded an earlier version of JingOS (version 0.6) the download link was for the distribution's ISO file directly. When I downloaded version 0.8 I was given a link to the project's torrent file. At first my torrent download only had two seeders with an average download speed of 20kB/s. This eventually rose to eight seeders at 400kB/s, which is unusually slow compared to most free mirrors available these days. The ISO file's total size is 2.4GB so the download took over two hours.

Booting from the distribution's install media causes the system to start with a self-check of the media. This check can be skipped by pressing Ctrl+C. The screen then goes entirely black for a while. After a few minutes I started testing keyboard input without any response. The only thing I could do was to switch between terminals using the Ctrl+Alt+Function keys.

I found the first terminal remained blank, the second terminal showed a colourful background and a clock displaying UTC time. Terminals three through six all displayed a console login prompt. The login prompts identify the distribution as KDE neon's Unstable Edition.

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Fedora 34 Review - Impressive Performance and Stability with Cutting-Edge Linux

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Linux
Reviews

It has been some time I am using Fedora 34 and I believe it's time for a Fedora 34 review. Here I put down my experience with Fedora 34 overall in its workstation edition.
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Zorin OS Review – An alternative to macOS and Windows

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OS
Reviews

Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro. Its ultimate goal is to provide Windows and macOS users with a Linux alternative. The Zorin OS is powerful, fast, and secure; it is pretty hard for trackers to track activities in your OS. Most users love Zorin due to its privacy prowess.

Why Zorin OS? This question has been asked by most users, thus, the essence of this tutorial. We are here to give you the ideal review of why you should opt for the Zorin OS.

This Linux distribution is user-friendly, and hence it does not matter if you are a Linux guru or not. Anyone can use this OS since it is very manageable. The handy preset layouts that are offered with this OS are a good touch. Newcomers can easily try out the macOS layout, Touch Layout, and Windows Layout now by installing Zorin OS and feel homely.

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Review: Ubuntu 21.04

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Like clockwork, every April sees the release of a new version of Ubuntu and all the official variants. This release of Ubuntu, Hirsute Hippo, is noteworthy for its decision to not include the new desktop layout featured in GNOME 40. Instead, Ubuntu 21.04 continues to use version 3.38 of GNOME Shell. This means the desktop experience remains much the same as it has been in recent Ubuntu releases.

[...]

Ubuntu 21.04 is a very solid release. Users of new releases of other GNOME-based distributions might be experiencing the new GNOME 40 interface, but Ubuntu 21.04's GNOME 3.38 desktop environment is functional and familiar. I do look forward to seeing how Ubuntu might tweak GNOME Shell 40 (or whatever the current post-40 GNOME version is at the time) in the future, but can find no fault with the decision to stick with 3.38 for now. The few issues I had with release are so minor they are barely worth repeating, but it would have been nice to see some non-hippo wallpapers.

Overall, I would recommend Ubuntu 21.04 to anyone who is okay with the short 9 month support window. If you are already a user of non-LTS Ubuntu releases, the upgrade from 20.10 to 21.04 is something you should feel comfortable doing as soon as possible. The new features, while not massive, are very nice quality of life improvements. Distro hoppers might be slightly more interested in distributions that feature GNOME 40, but I would still recommend they at least try out Ubuntu 21.04 to see what it has to offer.

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First Look at Solus GNOME with the GNOME 40 Desktop

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Reviews

Despite the fact that it was released more than a month ago, GNOME 40 is, currently, like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it and everyone talks about it, but we haven’t actually been able to see it much in action, as only a few distributions are offering it in their repositories or pre-installed.

For now, as far as I know, if you want to use GNOME 40 as your daily driver, you have to either install Arch Linux, which isn’t something newcomers will be able to drop into, openSUSE Tumbleweed, which is a lot easier to install, or the recently released Fedora Linux 34.

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HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC – Hardware Acceleration in Firefox – Week 4

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Linux
Hardware
Reviews

This is a weekly blog looking at the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC running Linux.

This week’s blog looks at configuring the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 to use hardware acceleration when watching videos in Firefox. Hardware video acceleration lets the GPU decode/encode video, offloading the CPU and saving power. Linux distributions, by default, don’t enable hardware acceleration because it can cause issues on specific hardware.

This machine was made available by Bargain Hardware. Bargain Hardware retails refurbished servers, workstations, PCs, and laptops to consumers and businesses worldwide. All systems are completely customisable on their website along with a vast offering of clean-pulled, tested components and enterprise replacement parts. They supply machines with a choice of Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

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Deepin 20 Review

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Curious about Deepin 20? Here's our review to this latest version of the super beautiful and unique China operating system for your computers and laptops. We can say that Deepin is now a fashion in computing ready to compete with Windows and MacOS. This series of release begins with the big switch, from WPS to LibreOffice, and similarly from Google Chrome to Browser, aside from other large improvements in its system most notably the desktop in general and Control Center in particular. Here's Deepin Twenty for you all!

Deepin 20 is a fashion, successful beauty operating system with good performance. Among GNU/Linuxes, it has the originality and it is clearer to see in this release. I think it needs mass production as real computers. Several shortcomings exist such as the bad theming of LibreOffice and live session issue but those are covered up by the goodness. If now Lenovo proudly produce Fedora Thinkpads, I think it is not too difficult for them and other brands to produce Deepin Laptops and so on as well. To Deepin Team, thank you very much, you all have made an excellent OS and please continue! Finally, I can say Deepin 20 will be very much appealing to both of Windows' and MacOS' users to try and use in their machines. Enjoy Deepin computing to you all!

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today's howtos

  • How To Install Flatpak on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Flatpak on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Flatpak is a package management and software deployment tool created to make the distribution of desktop applications on Linux easier. Flatpak is similar to Ubuntu’s Snapcraft. However, the snap technology is proprietary to Ubuntu. This is why many Linux distribution does not have support for a Snap but they have for Flatpak. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Flatpak on an Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) server. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

  • NO_ZERO_IN_DATE with MySQL 5.7

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  • How to turn off login banner in Linux/Unix with .hushlogin - nixCraft

    Here is a quick tip that explains how to hide and turn off annoying banner in Linux or Unix by creating .hushlogin file.

  • curl -G vs curl -X GET

    You normally use curl without explicitly saying which request method to use. If you just pass in a HTTP URL like curl http://example.com, curl will use GET. If you use -d or -F curl will use POST, -I will cause a HEAD and -T will make it a PUT. If for whatever reason you’re not happy with these default choices that curl does for you, you can override those request methods by specifying -X [WHATEVER]. This way you can for example send a DELETE by doing curl -X DELETE [URL]. It is thus pointless to do curl -X GET [URL] as GET would be used anyway. In the same vein it is pointless to do curl -X POST -d data [URL]... But you can make a fun and somewhat rare request that sends a request-body in a GET request with something like curl -X GET -d data [URL].

Ramblings about GNOME development

I still like the "C + GLib + GTK-Doc + Devhelp" combination for software development. But it's maybe because that's what I've practiced the most during the 2010's, and it's hard to change habits. What I don't really like, though, is creating lots of GObject subclasses, and writing GObject Introspection-friendly APIs (to take care of language bindings). It's a burden that GNOME library developers need to carry. I said in the previous section that I like a verbose syntax, but here when subclassing a GObject in C, it's a little too verbose (boilerplate code). It needs to be generated with a tool (here is the one that I wrote: gobject-boilerplate scripts). And it's not really malleable code. In the small glib-gtk-book that I wrote several years ago, I described in a chapter the "semi-OOP" C style used by GLib core (not GIO). So, having a kind of simple Object-Oriented style in C, without using GObject. It doesn't require a lot of code to write your own semi-OOP class in C. But then in later chapters I recommended to create GObject subclasses. Time to revisit my copy :-) ? [...] When we know well something, we also know well what are its benefits and drawbacks. We sometimes question ourself: is the grass greener elsewhere? It's nice to explore other worlds, see how things can be done differently. And then coming back to where we were, but with a changed look, new ideas, and, most importantly, a renewed motivation! Read more

Pinebook Pro

I recently bought a Pinebook Pro. This was mainly out of general interest, but also because I wanted to have a spare portable computer. When I was recently having some difficulty with my laptop not charging, I realised that I am dependent on having access to Emacs, notmuch.el and my usual git repositories in the way that most people are dependent on their smartphones – all the info I need to get things done is in there, and it’s very disabling not to have it. So, good to have a spare. I decided to get the machine running the hard way, and have been working to add a facility to install the device-specific bootloader to Consfigurator. It has been good to learn about how ARM machines boot. The only really hard part turned out to be coming up with the right abstractions within Consfigurator, thanks to the hard work of the Debian U-Boot maintainers. This left me with a chroot and a corresponding disk image, properly partitioned and with the bootloader installed. It was only then that the difficulties began: getting a kernel and initrd combination which can output to the Pinebook Pro’s screen and take input from its keyboard is not really straightforward yet, but that’s required for inputting disk encryption passwords, which are required on portable devices. I don’t have the right hardware to make a serial connection to the machine, so all this took a lot of trial and error. I’ve ended up using Manjaro’s patched upstream kernel build for now, because that compiles in the right drivers, and debugging an initrd without a serial connection is far too inefficient. Read more

Elive 3.8.20 beta released

The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 3.8.20 Read more