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Review: AlmaLinux OS 9.0

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Looking back on my experiences with AlmaLinux, there was such a lot of ground covered in under a week and with such varied results. Getting started was a painful experience. The release announcement for AlmaLinux OS 9.0 talks about multiple editions which do not (at the time of writing) exist, cutting off avenues of testing live media and running the distribution on Raspberry Pi computers. The torrent I tried to download was incomplete and there are some key pieces of documentation missing that I had to find upstream. To make matters worse, Anaconda is one of the least friendly graphical installers I have used in recent years with awkwardly placed controls and overly complicated screens.

Once I was up and running, there were several problems on the desktop side of things. GNOME on Wayland is relatively slow and had some problems compared to the GNOME on X11 session, automatic updates are slow and interrupt the flow of using the system. It feels like a functional step backwards to be using a Windows-like update system which is less convenient than virtually any other Linux distribution of the past two decades. To top it off, I couldn't get the Totem player to play videos (despite the software centre claiming I had the proper codecs) and VLC wouldn't play sound, though it works fine on other distributions on the same hardware.

I'm sure some people will write to me to point out AlmaLinux is not primarily intended to be used as a workstation platform, its main duty is as a server distribution. I agree with this idea, but the project claims (inaccurately, it seems) to offer live desktop editions of AlmaLinux and the system installer has multiple workstation and "Server with GUI" roles we can select. Running as a desktop system might not be the distribution's primary role, but it is one which is advertised and encouraged. Running GNOME is even the default role selected by Anaconda, so it would be foolish to overlook how the distribution functions in this, its default role.

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Manjaro Linux Review: Detailed deep-dive with Performance, Hardware Support + More

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We review the Arch-based Manjaro Linux based on its features, performance, and hardware support and help you to decide on your use case.
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First Look at EndeavourOS ARM on the Raspberry Pi 4

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Linux
Reviews

The EndeavourOS team started working on their ARM port for the distribution about two years ago. Until now, installing EndeavourOS on ARM devices required you to write the latest EndeavourOS ISO image on a microSD card, download the EndeavourOS ARM installation script, and then run the text-based installer that had several stages.

The previous ARM installer script, which is still available for unsupported devices, was for advanced users, but now anyone can try EndeavourOS on a supported ARM device (Odroid N2/N2+ and Raspberry Pi at the moment of writing this article) thanks to the new ARM installer.

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Notepadqq - A powerful text editor, somewhat forgotten

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Software
Reviews

If you're tuning late into the Dedoimedo show, here's a TL;DR on what's happening. I'd like to be able to move away from Windows as my primary computing platform for home use. This is easier said than done, because of a long software dependency exclusive to Windows, office and gaming being the prime culprits. My journey is starting now, but could take a good few years to complete. Along the way, I'm migrating my software workloads to Linux. Some programs are native, some aren't. One possible solution: WINE.

WINE, the main reason why we're here. I've already shown you how to run Notepad++ this way. It' an amazing, flexible program, with superb capabilities, and in my opinion, unrivaled by any other program of this nature. The question is then, is it possible to get Notepad++ look & feel in Linux, natively?

Today, I'd like to figure that out. I'm not stranger to text editors, it's just that my experience shows that whatever is out there, the other options aren't as good or friendly as Notepad++. However, I'm always testing and trying new things. I do quite frequently use KWrite, Kate, Geany, and to some extent, Notepadqq. Indeed, it is time to tell you a bit more about the latter.

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Mekotronics R58 review - Part 1: Rockchip RK3588 mini PC unboxing & teardown

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Android
Reviews

Mekotronics R58 is a cost-optimized Rockchip RK3588 mini PC and SBC that sells for as little as $169 with 4GB and 32GB eMMC flash. The company has now sent me a model with 8GB RAM and 64GB flash for evaluation, and in the first part of the review, I’ll do an unboxing, check out the hardware more closely, and boot it up for a quick check.

There’s no retail package so to speak with just a white box and a sticker reading “MINI 8+64G” indicating the RAM and storage capacity for the device.

The mini PC ships with a 12V/3A power adapter and cord, an IR remote control with two AAA batteries, two WiFi antennas, an HDMI cable, and a USB-A to USB-C cable probably to flash the firmware if needed.

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XnView - Small, feisty and powerful

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Software
Reviews

XnView is a fantastic program, overall. There are some bugs and problems, of course. In my Plasma desktop, the UI didn't render perfectly - some icons were low-res, some buttons didn't have all the border lines and such. The installation comes with a bogus dependency warning, and the program can be overwhelming to new users, due to its myriad options and settings and somewhat confusing Browser mode.

That said, once you settle in, and you invest a little bit of time taming the tool, XnView can look and behave the part. You can also adjust its shortcuts for a much more efficient work session, you have tons of filters and effects, plus you can work with image metadata, and there's a tabbed interface to boot. 'Tis a pretty solid program, with lots of great features. I still do find some elements a bit clunky, or not as fast or efficient as I'd like them. That said, IrfanView aside, this is one of the more capable and useful image viewers out there. You should definitely check it out. And with that, I bid you farewell.

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EdUBudgie Linux: Ubuntu Spin with Budgie Desktop for Students, Teachers

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Linux
Reviews

EdUBudgie is a Linux distribution for schools, students and teachers that comes with pre-loaded educational software and Ubuntu LTS version.
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HP Dev One Pop!_OS Linux laptop [Review]

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Should you buy the HP Dev One? Well, first things first, while it is a developer-focused machine, it is not only for developers. Anyone that wants a quality laptop that comes with a Linux-based operating system pre-installed should absolutely check it out. This is a fine laptop for developers, students, business users, home users... hell, anyone. The AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U APU is even capable of light gaming.

Look, folks, the HP Dev One is thin, fairly light, and very solidly built. The specs are all respectable and both the RAM and storage are user-upgradeable. Pop!_OS is one of the easiest Linux distributions for beginners, but even expert-level Linux users love it too. When such wonderful software and hardware come together, greatness happens. This is simply a great laptop that is a joy to use. At $1,099 you just cannot go wrong.

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Review: openSUSE 15.4 Leap

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SUSE

openSUSE is a project which almost always impresses me with its technology, its integration, and its flexibility. However, it's never a distribution I've run as my main operating system for various reasons. One of the main reasons I haven't fully embraced openSUSE, despite its many technological capabilities, is its inconsistent polish. Some aspect of the operating system are polished and developed to near perfection. The installer is both fairly easy to navigate and surprisingly flexible. The default Btr filesystem is powerful and its snapshots easy to use. The YaST control panel is remarkably good at adjusting low level aspects of the operating system and integrates nicely with Btrfs. 

However, on the other side of things, we have issues like the KDE Wallet utility nagging the user and displaying vague prompts about which cryptography functions to use. The live media offers a different and quite less appealing experience than the installed operating system, and (despite the progress in this arena) the documented steps to install media codecs are still some of the most complex in the Linux ecosystem. 

openSUSE 15.4 feels like a distribution by system administrators for administrators. We can set up a printer and rollback filesystem snapshots with a few clicks of the mouse, but installing video codecs is a two-commands-and-four-prompts command line process. Managing services and setting up network shares takes just a few clicks, but getting sound working on the live disc was an exercise in frustration. openSUSE is a distribution which makes a lot of usually hard tasks easy and the normally easy tasks hard. 

In short, some parts of openSUSE feel like the Iron Man nanotech suit and some parts feel like they were built in a cave. The former parts definitely outweigh the latter, but the little issues are what separate a good, solid distribution from a great experience.

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Top 10 App Launchers for Ubuntu & GNOME Desktop [With Bonus List]

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Reviews

A curated list of 10 super awesome application launcher(s) for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Linux distributions with examples.
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