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Reviews

Review: CRUX 3.6.1, NuTyX 20.12.0

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Linux
Reviews

Coming into the new year I decided I wanted to simplify things a bit and explore a distribution that didn't have as many features and distractions. I decided to kick off my week with CRUX, an independent distribution with a keep it simple (KIS) approach. CRUX runs on x86_64 computers exclusively and the latest version, 3.6, appears to be focused almost entirely on package upgrades rather than new features.

CRUX runs the classic SysV init software on top of version 5.4 of the Linux kernel. Shortly after CRUX 3.6 was released the project published a minor update to fix a package issue. According to the documentation it is recommended that people do not attempt to upgrade to CRUX 3.6.1 from an earlier version...

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Trisquel 9 Review: Freedom Vehicle

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Here is my review of Trisquel 9.0 Etiona the newly released computer operating system. It is the successor of Flidas and now based on Ubuntu 18.04. It brings the latest improvements by excellently keeping its user friendliness from the family of most secure operating systems on earth. As always, I choose the Regular Edition, with MATE Desktop choice, to report this to you. We will see what’s new in this release and why I call it Software Freedom Vehicle now continuing Successful Freedom in the past. With Etiona, everyone can see that Free Software as well as copyleft are already practical and now we can see that even clearer than before. Let's go!

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Review: PakOS 2020-08-24

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Reviews

PakOS is a Debian-based distribution that is intended to be a general purpose, desktop operating system. The distribution's niche or primary audience is people who are from, or living in, Pakistan. The project's website mentions that the operating system features the WPS office suite, comes with CrossOver installed, and includes an optional Windows-like theme. There are also security tools provided including the Clam anti-virus utility, a firewall tool, and Firejail for sandboxing applications. The project further mentions supplying kernels for both 64-bit (x86_64) and 32-bit (x86) processors.

The PakOS distribution appears to be available in just one edition running the LXQt desktop. This edition is 3.1GB in size. One of the first things I discovered about PakOS is that, despite the mention of 32-bit kernels being available, the live media does not run on 32-bit machines. It seems that while 32-bit kernels may be available in the repositories I did not see any way to install PakOS on a 32-bit machine.

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Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Review and Upgrade Guide

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Reviews

The hierarchy tree of Linux Mint makes it an Ubuntu-based Debian-based Linux distribution that is community-driven. This historical and developmental attribute of this Linux distro makes it an ideal candidate to offer free and open-source bundled applications to a vast range of its Linux community users. Additionally, after completing out-of-the-box multimedia support, users directly benefit from its proprietary software support through multimedia codecs.

[...]

If you found yourself using the Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.3 Linux distro versions or other younger versions before these, then you can recall that your printer and scanner usage depended on the available compatible drivers. Regardless of whether you had to configure them manually or came with the Linux Kernel, their availability was mandatory.

Ubuntu 20.04 and Linux Mint 20 distro versions came with the surprise shipment of ippusbxd driver. The functional architecture of this driver layered an IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) over USB functionalities. This concept then resulted in what we are all familiar with as driverless scanning or printing. It created a standardized way of detecting and using devices without further driver installation and configuration. The excitement of this innovation came with the downfall of ippusbxd because IPP over USB forced drivers’ bypass and later inhibiting their functional efficiency.

Linux Mint 20.1 excludes the need for ippusbxd and returns the older OS printing and scanning functionalities applicable in its earlier versions, i.e., Linux Mint 19.x going backward. However, HP printers and scanners will enjoy an upgrade of the HPLIP driver to version 3.20.11 for the latest support in user printing and scanning needs. This Linux distro’s documentation section left a slot for the Sane-Airscan and IPP-USB drivers, accessible through the Linux Mint 20.1 repositories. They are perfect driver candidates for printers and scanners not compatible with other secondary software drivers.

[...]

For the available Linux Mint 20.1 flavors, you will get to experience XFCE 4.14, Cinnamon 4.8, and MATE Desktop 1.24 desktop environments. You might also be considering a fresh installation of Linux Mint 20.1. If so, the .iso file you choose to download should constitute Kernel 5.8 edge. It is the latest and feature-rich Kernel version in comparison to the common Kernel 5.4. Also, you have more to gain from the hardware and driver support linked with it.

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Clear Linux Review: The McLaren of Linux Distros

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Reviews

Most users are familiar with what are often called “Mainstream” distros. Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, CentOS, Arch, you name it – they’re the distros that are most often targeted by guides, and they’re the distros that are supported most widely. However, there are other distros that are excellent for specific purposes.

A great example of this tailored distro is Clear Linux. Clear Linux is a Linux distribution created by Intel, and it’s tailored to developers, researchers, and anybody who’s using Linux as a tool rather than a desktop. Here we take a look at Clear Linux, the McLaren of Linux Distros, and see who it is and isn’t for.

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OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 Review, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Review of the Week and More

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Reviews
SUSE
  • OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 review

    For many years, SUSE - and openSUSE - has been my daily driver, my favorite Linux distro. It had everything one could expect - speed, stability, professional edge, top-end tooling. And then, one day, it simply stopped being awesome. I've been trying to rekindle that first Tux love ever since. Without luck.

    You can read all about my past openSUSE endeavors by reading my last review and working your way into the past, up the hill of enthusiasm and happiness. In fact, my overall Linux desktop experience has been going down for quite some time, and recently, I've decided to do my reviews short and sweet. Well, not having touched openSUSE for quite some time, I wanted to check Leap 15.2 again, to see what gives. Can I haz the old fun back?

    [...]

    This was longer than I anticipated - or warranted. Call it my nostalgic infatuation with openSUSE. It pains me to say, but openSUSE Leap 15.2 isn't any friendlier or smarter than many of its previous versions. In fact, it's pretty nerdy and largely inaccessible to ordinary folks, despite some rather brilliant elements in its design. But you cannot reconcile those with a fundamentally broken package management, missing day-to-day software and fun bits, and tons of visual and ergonomic inconsistencies.

    The installer is no longer as safe and intelligent as it used to be. Everything is a bit less. Such a shame. Because YaST is cool, and SUSE utilities are generally top-notch and pro. But then, there's a clash between what should be a desktop for ordinary people and an enterprise sysadmin frontend, in a way. Kind of between what you get with default CentOS and CentOS plus all my gravy and changes. Well, sad but hardly surprising. Maybe one day. That said, much like my Fedora 33 review, I will have a separate post-install tweaks guide, for those who do want to use openSUSE Leap as their desktop machine. Given my experience, I can't recommend it, and it joins a long list of painful memories in my Tux journey.

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/52

    Xmas is upon us – at least in some areas of the world. This means quitea lot of people are away from their computers and the number of submissions is getting a bit lower. Tumbleweed is not stopping though – it just rolls at the pace contributors create submissions. For week 2020/52 this means a total of 3 snapshots that were published. Saddest of this all is that the new kernel 5.10 is not behaving very nicely when the iwlwifi module is being loaded.

  • Christmastime in the year 2020 | Holiday Blathering

    There have been a lot of great developments in the open source world, it seems like software packages rolling down on openSUSE Tumbleweed have just been rock-solid. KDE Plasma 5.20 has been an incredible joy to have on all my machines. If you have a touch screen, the interface controls are top-notch. I learned of a replacement shell called FISH which may very well be the neatest terminal based tool I have ever used. I am truly thankful for all the hard work put in by so many people to make life on the computer more enjoyable and productive.

    I have been able to continue to enjoy my time with the Destination Linux Network where I can make a positive contribution to the community on a regular basis. I have been able to meet some incredible people with such incredible knowledge and seemingly endless patience. I have been able to learn so many new and interesting things because of the interactions and I am forever grateful.

Linux Mint 20 Review: Cool Operating System

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OS
Linux
Reviews

Here's my review of Linux Mint 20, the user friendly computer operating system from Ireland, Europe, released June this year, named Ulyana, and is also a Long Term Support version. This major release happened two months after its basis, Ubuntu Focal Fossa, and two years after the previous Linux Mint 19 Tara LTS, released. It brings a new star feature, called Warpinator, which enables us to share files between laptops easily via wifi hotspot, along with other features. It comes with great news too as now it shipped as their third generation branded computer MintBox3. I do this review using my Lenovo ThinkPad laptop with my favorite edition selection Cinnamon. Finally, now let's enjoy Ulyana goes on!

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Review: TTOS Linux 1.1.2

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Reviews
Debian

The TTOS Linux distribution is based on Debian's Stable branch and the main edition of TTOS ships with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. There are other editions of TTOS mentioned on the project's Downloads page which ship with a variety of other desktops such as GNOME and Trinity in case people want an alternative to Plasma. Though I noticed these alternative editions are distributed under separate SourceForge projects, making them appear to be community editions. I downloaded the main Plasma edition for my trial. This edition is available as a 64-bit (x86_64) build exclusively.

The TTOS website does not provide much information on what sets this distribution apart from other projects, the exceptions being a tool called PerformaSync. Not a lot of information is presented, but it appears as though PerformaSync provides on-line storage and file synchronization, similar to Nextcloud.

Usually I don't talk much about project websites, but this one seems to be unusually terse and it gave me spare time to poke around while my copy of their ISO was downloading. One thing which stood out is the project's logo is saved under a filename which identifies it as "apple touch". I'm not sure why TTOS would save their logo filename as "apple touch", but it was one of what turned out to be several visual quirks of the project and this puzzle set the tone for my experience with this distribution.

[...]

If I had to sum up my impressions of TTOS in a word it would be "unfinished". Despite being on the DistroWatch waiting list for over a year, the project feels as though it is still on the drawing board. The website offers very little information about the distribution or its add-on sync product. There is virtually no documentation, the wiki is empty, there are no support forums or mailing lists. The documentation links in the system installer don't provide release information, the welcome screen features typos and labels that don't fit on their buttons. We can't restart the computer from within Plasma, which is an unusual limitation.

The Debian core of the operating system is pretty solid, with a lot of software available, but TTOS doesn't appear to offer anything over plain Debian with the KDE Plasma desktop installed. It might actually be a less pleasant experience since GTK-based applications are practically unusable with the default TTOS theme settings. Not to mention TTOS is a surprisingly heavy distribution on disk and in memory without a clear benefit to excuse the extra weight.

This distribution feels like it was rushed out the door, possibly to promote the commercial PerformaSync service, without taking time to test it and polish up the various issues.

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Garuda Linux Provides a Hassle-free Arch Experience With a Beautiful Neon Look [Review]

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Reviews

Many Arch-based Linux distributions have mushroomed lately. The one that is promising in this crowd is Garuda Linux. Read this review to know why I say so.
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Ubuntu MATE 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE 20.10 Groovy Gorilla is not a bad distro. But it's also not really fun. It's virtually identical to its predecessor, for better or worse. The annoying thing is - lots of existing bugs persist. There are some improvements, and the fixes to layouts and the overall Boutique speed are more than welcome. However, various inconsistencies remain, the fonts can be better, and the performance can be better.

I'd say, average score. If you're after Ubuntu MATE, then the LTS makes far more sense. The changes in this release do not warrant the hassle of an upgrade, especially since you will have to do it again soon, as the support timeframe for the interim releases is very short. Groovy is mostly for tinkerers and those who want the latest version of whatever, no matter what. Decent, but it can be vastly more fun. And we're done.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Parler Tricks: Making Software Disappear

    Much has been written and broadcast about the recent actions from Google and Apple to remove the Parler app from their app stores. Apps get removed from these app stores all the time, but more than almost any past move by these companies, this one has brought the power Big Tech companies wield over everyone’s lives to the minds of every day people. Journalists have done a good job overall in presenting the challenges and concerns with this move, as well as addressing the censorship and anti-trust issues at play. If you want a good summary of the issues, I found Cory Doctorow’s post on the subject a great primer. [...] This is part of the article where Android users feel smug. After all, while much more of their data gets captured and sold than on iOS, in exchange they still (sometimes) have the option of rooting their phones and (sometimes) “sideloading” applications (installing applications outside of Google’s App Store). If Google bans an app, all a user has to do is follow a list of complicated (and often sketchy) procedures, sometimes involving disabling protections or installing sketchy software on another computer, and they can wrench back a bit of control over their phones. Of course in doing so they are disabling security features that are the foundation for the rest of Android security, at which point many Android security experts will throw up their hands and say “you’re on your own.” [...] The Librem 5 phone runs the same PureOS operating system as Librem laptops, and it features the PureOS Store which provides a curated list of applications known to work well on the phone’s screen. Even so, you can use the search function to find the full list of all available software in PureOS. After all, you might want that software to be available when you dock your Librem 5 to a larger screen. We aim to provide software in the PureOS store that respects people’s freedom, security, and privacy and will audit software that’s included in the store with that in mind. That way people have a convenient way to discover software that not only works well on the phone but also respects them. Yet you are still free to install any third-party software outside of the PureOS Store that works on the phone, even if it’s proprietary software we don’t approve of.

  • Apple Mulls Podcast Subscription Push Amid Spotify's Land Grab

    The talks, first reported by The Information, have been ongoing since at least last fall, sources tell to The Hollywood Reporter, and ultimately could end up taking several different forms. Regardless, it’s clear that Tim Cook-led Apple — after spending the last two years watching rival-in-music-streaming Spotify invest hundreds of millions of dollars to align itself with some of the most prolific producers and most popular personalities in podcasting — is no longer content sitting on the sideline. “There’s a huge opportunity sitting under their nose with 1.4 million iOS devices globally,” says Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, “and they don’t want to lose out.” Apple declined to comment about its podcasting plans.

    Much of the growth of the podcasting industry over the last decade can be traced back to Apple and its former CEO Steve Jobs, who in 2005 declared that he was “bringing podcasting mainstream” by adding support for the medium to iTunes. A few years later, the company introduced a separate Podcasts app that quickly became the leading distribution platform for the medium. But Apple, which netted $275 billion in sales in fiscal 2020, has refrained from turning podcasting — still a relatively small industry that the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimated would bring in nearly $1 billion in U.S. advertising revenue last year — into a moneymaking venture.

  • Blacks In Technology and The Linux Foundation Partner to Offer up to $100,000 in Training & Certification to Deserving Individuals [Ed: Linux Foundation exploits blacks for PR, even though it does just about nothing for blacks [1, 2]]

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and The Blacks In Technology Foundation, the largest community of Black technologists globally, today announced the launch of a new scholarship program to help more Black individuals get started with an IT career. Blacks in Technology will award 50 scholarships per quarter to promising individuals. The Linux Foundation will provide each of these recipients with a voucher to register for any Linux Foundation administered certification exam at no charge, such as the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate, Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator and more. Associated online training courses will also be provided at no cost when available for the exam selected. Each recipient will additionally receive one-on-one coaching with a Blacks In Technology mentor each month to help them stay on track in preparing for their exam.

  • the tragedy of gemini

    While everything I have seen served via Gemini is friendly and sociable, the technical barriers of what-is-a-command-line and how-do-I-use-one are a fence put up that keep out the riffraff. Certainly, you can walk around the corner and go through the gate, but ultimately the geminiverse is lovely because it is underpopulated, slower-paced, and literate. It is difficult enough to access that those who can use it can be welcoming without worrying its smallness will be compromised.

    The tragedy is that I don’t think many of its denizens would claim that they only want to hear from technical, educated people, but in order to use a small [Internet], an August [Internet], they have let the fence keep out anyone else.

Devices: GigaIPC, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino Projects

  • Rugged systems provide IP67 waterproofing

    GigaIPC unveiled two compact, IP67-protected “QBix-WP” computers with Linux support and rugged M12 ports for 2x LAN, 3x COM, GPIO, and 9-36V input: one with 8th Gen Whiskey Lake and the other with Apollo Lake. Taiwan-based GigaIPC has announced a “QBiX-WP Series” of rugged embedded systems with IP67 protections: an 8th Gen Whiskey Lake based QBiX-WP-WHLA8265H-A1 and an Apollo Lake powered QBiX-WP-APLA3940H-A1. IP67 provides level 6 “dust-tight” protection against dust ingression and level 7 waterproofing against liquid ingress including immersion at up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

  • Deter burglars with a Raspberry Pi chatbot
  • Arduino Blog » 3D-printed mobile robot platform based on the Arduino Due

    Although an Arduino can be a great way to provide computing power for a mobile robot platform, you’ll need a variety of other electronics and mechanical components to get it going. In his write-up, computer science student Niels Post outlines how he constructed a robot that travels via two stepper motors, along with casters to keep it upright. The round chassis is 3D-printed and runs on three rechargeable 18650 batteries.

  • Arduino Blog » Making your own Segway, the Arduino way

    After obtaining motors from a broken wheelchair, this father-son duo went to work turning them into a new “Segway.” The device is controlled by an Arduino Uno, along with a pair of motor drivers implemented handle the device’s high current needs. An MPU-6050 allows it to react as the rider leans forward and backwards, moving with the help of a PID loop. Steering is accomplished via a potentiometer, linked to a bent-pipe control stick using a bottle cap and glue.

Programming: PureScript, C++, Lua, and Raku

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn PureScript - LinuxLinks

    PureScript is a small strongly, statically typed programming language with expressive types, written in and inspired by Haskell, and compiling to Javascript. It can be used to develop web applications, server side apps, and also desktop applications with use of Electron.

  • C++ Operator Overloading – Linux Hint

    This article provides a guide to operator overloading in C++. Operator overloading is a useful and powerful feature of the C++ programming language. C++ allows overloading of most built-in operators. In this tutorial, we will use several examples to demonstrate the operator overloading mechanism. [...] The C++ language allows programmers to give special meanings to operators. This means that you can redefine the operator for user-defined data types in C++. For example, “+” is used to add built-in data types, such as int, float, etc. To add two types of user-defined data, it is necessary to overload the “+” operator.

  • Lua, a misunderstood language

    Lua is one of my favourite programming languages. I’ve used it to build a CMS for my old educational website, for creating cool IoT hardware projects, for building little games, and experimenting with network decentralisation. Still, I don’t consider myself an expert on it at all, I am at most a somewhat competent user. This is to say that I have had exposure to it in various contexts and through many years but I am not deep into its implementation or ecosystem. Because of that, it kinda pains me when I read blog posts and articles about Lua that appear to completely miss the objective and context of the language. Usually these posts read like a rant or a list of demands. Most recently, I saw a post about Lua’s Lack of Batteries on LWN and a discussion about that post on Hacker News that made me want to write back. In this post I’ll address some of the comments I’ve seen on that original article and on Hacker News.

  • A Complete Course of the Raku programming language

    This course covers all the main aspects of the language that you need to use in your daily practice. The course consists of five parts that explain the theory and offer many practical assignments. It is assumed that you try solving the tasks yourself before looking to the solution.

    If you’re only starting to learn Raku, you are advised to go through all the parts in the order they are listed in the table of contents. If you have some practice and you want to have some specific training, you are welcome to start with the desired section.

Software: Trakt Scrobbler, GIMP, and More

  • Sync mpv, VLC, Plex And MPC-BE/MPC-HC With Trakt.tv Using Trakt Scrobbler

    Trakt Scrobbler is a Trakt.tv scrobbler for Linux, macOS and Windows, which supports VLC, MPV, MPC-BE/MPC-HC and Plex (doesn't require a Plex Pass). The tool is controlled from the command line. After the initial setup, Trakt Scrobbler runs in the background, monitoring what's playing (movies / TV show episodes) in the media players you configure, and sending this information to Trakt.tv. It also displays optional desktop notifications when scrobbling begins and ends

  • [PPA Update] GIMP 2.10.22 with Python Script Support in Ubuntu 18.04

    For Ubuntu 18.04 users sticking to the PPA build of GIMP image editor 2.10.22, now the Python Script support is back. Since old GTK2 and Python 2 libraries being removed from Ubuntu universe repositories, the Python script support was excluded due to lack of dependencies when I was uploading the GIMP packages into PPA. Ubuntu 18.04 was neglected, though. It meets all the dependencies to build the requested feature. So I added it back. Hope it’s not too late for you :). And the package was totally built via the rules from otto-kesselgulasch’s PPA.

  • Linux Release Roundup: Kdenlive 20.12.1, BleachBit 4.2.0 & LibreOffice 7.1 RC - OMG! Ubuntu!

    I’m keen to get back into the habit of posting Linux release roundups. The last one I wrote was way back in 2019 — so it’s been a while! [...] Well, open source and Linux-focused development never stops. App, tool, kernel, driver, distro, and framework updates pop out each and every week. Not all of these updates are what you’d call ‘substantial’ or ‘must-read’ news. Point releases, for instance, are difficult to “pad out” into a full length article (much less sound like one you’d want to read about). I’m loathe to start firing out 8 short posts a day on thin topics. It clogs up your feed reader and pushes genuinely interesting content off the main page. Hence the roundups. I get the satisfaction of being able to cover the “lite” news items I normally skip (and mention distro releases I might not normally be able to), and you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re missing out on even less stuff. Keen to see what meaty chunks are threaded on this week’s skewer? Read on…