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Reviews

Review: Peppermint OS 10

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OS
Reviews

Peppermint is one of those delightful distributions which does what it says it will do. It sets out to be lightweight, easy to set up, and offer native-like access to web applications. It does all of these things and does them well. I also happen to really like the well-organized settings panel and the friendly software manager. I especially like how mintInstall makes it clear when it is working with Deb or Flatpak packages.

While I'm not personally a fan of web applications, I do think Peppermint deserves full credit for making them as easy to use as possible and as native-like as it does. I may never like running my applications over the web, but for people who do like this approach, Peppermint's Ice and SSB features are excellent.

Mostly though I'm a big fan of the distribution's combined LXDE/Xfce desktop. It is a mixture of components which works nicely, is fairly easy to configure, and it offers some of the best performance I have had with an open source desktop this year.

There are some rough edges. The system installer threw out some errors towards the end of the setup process. Needing to logout and back in to see Flatpaks in the application menu was a pain, but not a deal breaker. On the whole I think Peppermint does a good job of feeling modern while offering good performance and easy to use tools.

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Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix brings together Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop with the Ubuntu Core. While some users are welcoming the new flavor of Ubuntu with open arms, others are scratching their heads, wondering where it fits in.

The main confusion arises when you consider that Cinnamon is the official desktop for Linux Mint, based on Ubuntu. This begs the questions – what is the need for Ubuntu Cinnamon? Why not use Linux Mint, to begin with?

Even though Mint is based on Ubuntu, there are still many significant differences between the two distros. You can go through our in-depth read on Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu to learn about this.

Since Ubuntu Cinnamon uses Ubuntu as its core, it works and feels more like Ubuntu rather than Mint, except for the obvious fact that the GNOME shell is replaced with the Cinnamon desktop.

Furthermore, the developers behind Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix has done an excellent job in translating the Ubuntu aesthetics over to the Cinnamon desktop. You get to see identical icons, the iconic orange color scheme, and the same wallpapers, which helps to retain the same charm.Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix Review

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TrueNAS R-series hyperconverged appliances blend storage and compute

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Hardware
Reviews
Debian

Today, storage vendor iXsystems is launching a new R-series hyperconverged infrastructure appliance for its TrueNAS product line—and the first alpha release of TrueNAS SCALE, a Debian Linux-based version of the TrueNAS storage distribution.

The new R-series appliances are designed to run either traditional, FreeBSD-based TrueNAS, or the new Debian-based TrueNAS SCALE. The series launches with four models—all rack-mounted—ranging from the 1U, 16-bay TrueNAS R10 to the up to 12U, 52 bay TrueNAS R50. All four models offer Ethernet connectivity up to dual 100GbE, as well as optional dual 32Gb Fibre Channel and Intel Xeon CPUs. The three larger models are expandable via separate JBOD shelves as well.

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Also Debian: Petter Reinholdtsen: Buster based Bokmål edition of Debian Administrator's Handbook

Pop!_OS 20.04 Review: The Best Ubuntu-based Distro!

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Reviews
Ubuntu

The Linux distro world is getting better each day, thanks to developers’ immense dedication. The OS sure has come a long way from people calling it “Complex to use” to “User/Beginner Friendly.” One of the best beginner-friendly distros recommended by almost everyone is Ubuntu. Another distro that has recently taken the Linux universe by storm with its new release is Pop!_OS 20.04; it is developed by System 76, a company that manufactures Laptops and ships them with Linux.

Pop!_OS is a distro based on Ubuntu that has gained popularity lately. After using it extensively for three weeks, it has now become one of my favorite distros of all time. Here’s my review of the same.

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Unity Desktop Review: Good for the Nostalgic Ubuntu Users

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Continuing with our series of Linux Desktop Environment reviews, we’re going back to a classic. The Unity is just as much a blast from the past as MATE. This review covers the Unity Desktop: first impressions, the user experience, some notable features, and some recommendations on who should use it.

When I first boot into Unity, I’m struck by how much it looks like GNOME and Budgie. This makes sense, as Unity is a graphical shell that sits on top of the GNOME Desktop Environment (rather than GNOME Shell), and it does offer some separate features that are different than GNOME Shell.

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Review: Tails 4.11

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Reviews
Debian

The Amnesic Incognito Live System (better known as Tails) is a Debian-based live DVD/USB with the goal of providing complete Internet anonymity for the user. The distribution ships with several Internet applications, including web browser, IRC client, mail client and instant messenger. The distribution transfers Internet traffic through the Tor network to hide its origin.

One of the project's latest releases was version 4.11. (At the time of writing 4.12 is about to be published, though without any significant new features.) Lately the project has mostly focused on bug fixes and minor tweaks, though Tails 4.11 introduces the option of persistent storage for some of the distribution's settings and data. Persistent storage is not enabled by default, but can be set up using tools included on the live media.

Tails is available for 64-bit (x86_64) computers and its live media is approximately 1.2GB in size. The live media can be written to a DVD or USB thumb drive. There are separate files provided depending on whether we want to write the distribution to DVD or USB media, however I tested and confirmed the DVD image can be written to, and run from, a USB thumb drive if need be.

Early impressions

Booting from the Tails media brings up a welcome screen. This graphical interface offers to either start the desktop session or shutdown the operating system. On this welcome screen we can click buttons to bring up settings options that allow us to select our keyboard layout, language, and locale formats. At the bottom of the welcome window is a button which opens additional settings. These extra settings are security related and allow us to assign a password to the administrator account, enable/disable MAC address spoofing, set whether to allow the "Unsafe Browser" to run, and how to connect to the Tor network or to disable networking entirely.

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Review: Nitrux 2020.09.05

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Reviews

Nitrux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution suitable for laptops and desktop computers. Its main desktop environment is NX Desktop, a KDE Plasma desktop enhanced with "plasmoids" to create a special blend of aesthetics and functionality.

The distribution's website mentions a handful of key features including NX Firewall, a tool for simplifying firewall management. There is also a backup utility for automating and scheduling backups called Kup which is built into the distribution's settings panel. The Nitrux website also promotes using AppImage portable applications and suggests using AppImageHub, a central repository of portable packages, similar to how Flathub provides a repository of distribution-neutral Flatpaks.

I downloaded the ISO for Nitrux which is about 3GB in size. The distribution is available for 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively. Booting from the provided media brought up a menu offering to start the distribution in either live desktop or failsafe modes. Taking the live desktop entry loads the Plasma desktop - or a login screen, it varied during my trial. When the system brought up a login prompt I could sign in using "nitrux" as both the account username and password.

Once the Plasma desktop loads we find a panel placed across the top of the screen. The application menu is located to the left of this panel and the system tray to the right. There is a dock with some application launchers at the bottom of the desktop. One icon that launches the project's system installer is placed in the upper-left corner of the desktop. The Plasma environment uses a fairly dark, minimal theme. Once I had explored the live environment a little I turned my attention to the installer.

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Newest RoboLinux 11 Update Goes Far Beyond Typical Linux

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Linux
Reviews

Whatever brings you to Robolinux, this distro goes far beyond what other new-user-friendly distros offer about resembling the look and feel of Microsoft Windows. RoboLinux delivers a solid performance and is stuffed with some of the best applications that Linux has to offer.

Robolinux also has dozens of popular applications such as VLC, Audacious, Firefox, Thunderbird, Deluge Torrent client, Brasero CD/DVD burner, and Simple Screen Recorder.

This distro is packed with many custom one-click installers like Tor Browser, 12P, Steam Wireshark, Opera, and Brave browser. Add the additional RoboLinux toolset to the array of controls already available in the three desktop environments and you get an unbeatable computing experience.

RoboLinux comes with everything you need -- and then some -- to make daily computing tasks convenient. Many of the software packages typically are not found bundled in other Linux distros.

This makes an awesome combination. RoboLinux could be an ideal vehicle for both enterprises and SMBs to make the migration to Linux.

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PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition: Unboxing and first look (video)

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Reviews
Gadgets

The PinePhone is an inexpensive smartphone designed to run free and open source operating systems including postmarketOS, Ubuntu Touch, Mobian, Sailfish, and Manjaro.

Pine64 began shipping the first version of the phone at the start of this year, and since then the company has offered several additional batches of phones, often involving “Community Edition” versions that come pre-loaded with a specific operating system and with the logo for that OS on the back of the device. Some of the purchase price of the phone also goes to the developers of that OS.

The latest batch to ship is the PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition phone, and after placing an order for one of these phones about a month ago, I received my device today.

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Motorola One Zoom & upgrade to Android 10

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Android
Reviews

So, the upgrade thing went well. The post-upgrade experience is okay, but a bit meh. Not decidedly better across the board, and somewhat worse in several areas. The network signal drop is the biggest problem. Kind of ruins the whole thing really, if you think about it. But then, in the world of "modern and "agile", breaking things is the most desirable outcome, it seems.

Overall, Android 10 works fine, but it doesn't bring anything revolutionary to the user. Well, the mobile world is also approaching the saturation point, just like the desktop did a few years back. Things are about to get boring for the touch-loving people. All in all, I'd say, One Zoom + Android 10 isn't a bad combo, but it's not like I have any choice. So if you're wondering what will happen once your upgrade happens, or you're just curious to see how other people are faring, my story is an answer to that question. On the plus side, you will retain a largely unchanged experience, your settings won't be touched, you have a bit more control, but you may suffer from a somewhat degraded network performance and extra gestures annoyances. There. Bon voyage.

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More in Tux Machines

WordPress 5.6 Second Beta and WordPress Survey

  • News – WordPress 5.6 Beta 2 – WordPress.org

    WordPress 5.6 beta 2 is now available for testing! This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

  • News – Take the 2020 WordPress Annual Survey (and view the 2019 results)! – WordPress.org

    For many years, WordPress enthusiasts have filled out an annual survey to share their experiences and feelings about WordPress. Interesting results from this survey have been shared in the annual State of the Word address and/or here on WordPress News. This survey helps those who build WordPress understand more about how the software is used, and by whom. The survey also helps leaders in the WordPress open source project learn more about our contributors’ experience. To ensure that your WordPress experience is represented in the 2020 survey results, Take the 2020 Annual Survey! (English) You can also take the survey in French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish! The survey will be open for at least 6 weeks, and results will be posted on this blog. [...] The WordPress Professionals group consists of those who: work for a company that designs/develops websites; use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others; design or develop themes, plugins, or other custom tools for WordPress sites; or are a designer, developer, or other web professional working with WordPress. This WordPress Professionals group is further divided into WordPress Company Pros (those who work for a company that designs/develops websites) and WordPress Freelancers/Hobbyists (all other professional types) subgroups.

FreeBSD 12.2

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    The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 12.2-RELEASE. This is the third release of the stable/12 branch.

  • October 2020

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Also: This summer in KDE-FreeBSD | [bobulate]

Games: Stadia, Graveyard Keeper and Wildermyth

  • Stadia Pro for November has Sniper Elite 4, Risk of Rain 2, Republique and new releases | GamingOnLinux

    Google has announced the latest set of Stadia Pro games, along with new titles about to release like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Watch Dogs: Legion. PLUS news of Ubisoft+ coming to Stadia soon. What is Stadia? A quick primer for people not following: it's a game streaming service that uses Debian Linux under the hood along with the Vulkan graphics API. Playable on Linux in Chromium / Chrome browsers. You can either buy games, or subscribe to Stadia Pro to claim games each month (or do both).

  • Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone expansion is out now | GamingOnLinux

    Graveyard Keeper - Game Of Crone is an expansion to the medieval graveyard building and management sim that's like a morbid take on Stardew. This fresh expansion adds in another bunch of hours (6-12 they said approximately) to play through, along with a whole new story to follow where you help a bunch of escaped prisoners build up a camp. "You’ll have to help the escaped prisoners of the Inquisition survive in the wilderness by providing them with everything they need. To develop their camp to a fortified settlement while keeping in mind its benefits. To protect those who entrusted you with their lives, from the sword and fire. And also - to untangle the circumstances of the cruel game, which turned into the Great Blast and the return of the Ancient Curse."

  • Papercraft styled tactical-RPG 'Wildermyth' has a big new campaign out | GamingOnLinux

    Wildermyth is the character-driven, procedurally-generated tactical RPG with an art style resembling papercraft and it's brilliant. Now it's also bigger with a big campaign update out. In Wildermyth you play through various generated campaigns, each of which mixes things up like characters and events and so every play-through is different. You're supposed to see it as something resembling a classic tabletop RPG experience. Mixing together a party-based RPG with overworld exploration, random events and tactical turn-based combat there's a lot to love about it.

  • Godot Web export progress report #3

    Howdy Godotters! It's-a me! Fabio! It is time for an update on the Godot export for the Web. In the last few months, a lot has been going on regarding the Godot export for the Web. Most of the enhancements mentioned in the previous report have now been merged into the master branch, and backported to 3.2 (included in 3.2.4 beta 1). This sadly does not yet include the virtual keyboard support, since implementing it without impacting the experience on touchscreen-enabled devices that also have a physical keyboard has proven harder than expected. There is great news, though, on the other topic mentioned in that report, which is... GDNative support on HTML5 exports! Additionally, a new prototype version of the Godot Web Editor is now available for you to try out.

Android Leftovers