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Reviews

Review: Auxtral 3

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Reviews

At the beginning of this review I mentioned Auxtral reminded me of Linux Mint Debian Edition. The theme, the Cinnamon desktop, and general look of the project certainly held that first impression. However, the default applications and tools (apart from the Cinnamon desktop and command line utilities) felt quite a bit different. Linux Mint has been around for several years and has earned a reputation for being beginner friendly, polished, and shipping with a lot of top-notch open source applications.

Auxtral appears to have a similar approach - similar base distribution, the same desktop environments, and a similar look. However, Auxtral does have its own personality under the surface. It ships with a quite different collection of applications, sometimes using less popular items (Brave in place of Firefox, SMPlayer instead of VLC, etc.) It has also gone its own way with software updates, preferring classic tools like APT and Synaptic over Mint's update manager.

Auxtral is off to a good start. This was my first time trying the distribution and the experience was mostly positive. The operating system is easy to install, offers multiple desktop environments, and walks a pretty good line between hand holding and staying out of the way. The application menu is uncluttered while including enough programs to be useful. Some of those programs are a bit more obscure or less beginner friendly than what you might find in Linux Mint, but otherwise it's a good collection. Virtually everything worked and worked smoothly. I was unpleasantly surprised by this distribution's memory usage, most projects consume about half as much RAM, but otherwise I liked what Auxtral had to offer. I might not recommended it to complete beginners, especially since the project does not appear to have any documentation or support options of its own, but for someone who doesn't mind a little command line work or who likes the idea of an easy to setup distribution that combines Debian with the Cinnamon (or Xfce desktop) this seems like a good option.

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Free Software Review: Yoga Image Optimizer. Google Guetzli? WHY!?

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Reviews

Many programs that write JPEG files don’t do the best job at using the format efficiently.

So, there are many suboptimal JPEGs floating around the internet, and many are up to 20-30% bigger than they need to be, because some programs do all sorts of ridiculous and unnecessary things when they write them, and also fail to use Huffman Coding correctly.

Unfortunately, JPEG is a lossy compressed format (and not even a great one), and so like an MP3 file, if you re-encode it, even back into itself, you suffer further loss in quality.

However, lossless optimization doesn’t do this. You may not get enormous improvements in file size, but it’s more like using a more aggressive dictionary search in a ZIP file.

(As lossy compression schemes broadly have two parts. One that discards data that it considers perceptually irrelevant, and then another part that does lossless compression methods on what’s left.).

I looked around to see if Debian had MozJPEG, but it didn’t. There was a open discussion about it, which is one of the bright sides of Debian. At least you know the discussions leading up to the decisions they make.

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New Atari VCS Review: Retro Tech Meets Geek Chic

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Hardware
Reviews
Debian

Among other things, the year 1977 marked the beginning of (in my humble opinion) the two greatest entertainment franchises: Star Wars and Atari. Needless to say, the former is alive and well. And until recently, the latter has lived on through the sheer tenacity of its legendary gaming heritage. Now, three years after its hugely successful Indiegogo campaign, Atari at long last quenched retro gaming fans' thirst by finally releasing its brand-new console. Officially known as the VCS 800, this truly multifunctional hybrid gaming, entertainment and computing device is an amazing time machine to both the past and future.

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Excellent System Utilities: Pingnoo – traceroute/ping analyser

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OSS
Reviews

Essential System Utilities is a series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems.

The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the bottom.

This article looks at Pingnoo, an open-source cross-platform application for analysing and measuring the round trip time (latency) between two hosts. It offers a graphical representation for traceroute and ping output.

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Kubuntu Focus XE is the perfect laptop for Windows-switchers and Linux beginners [Review]

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Reviews
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Should you buy the Kubuntu Focus XE Linux laptop? If you are looking to run a Linux-based operating system and want a laptop that is guaranteed to work, it should absolutely be considered. Not only is the hardware largely great, but arguably more importantly, the included software is top-notch.

The Kubuntu operating system is wonderful, as is all of the included curated apps. Not to mention, the Kubuntu Focus enhancements including the specialized apps, Welcome Wizard, and welcome guide, will make things much easier for Linux beginners. The Kubuntu Focus team set out to deliver an excellent user experience at an affordable price with the XE laptop and they totally delivered.

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Review: Pyabr OS

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Reviews

Pyabr OS was one of the latest distributions to be added to the DistroWatch waiting list. The project refers to itself as a "Python Cloud Operating System", a Linux distribution mostly written in Python. The project, which declares it is developed in Iran with multilingual support, runs on x86_64 computers and 64-bit Raspberry Pi machines.

The project's website mentions that Pyabr is a platform written in Python which offers a desktop and applications which can be run on any Linux distribution while Pyabr OS is a Debian-based operating system that runs the Pyabr software. The operating system can reportedly be installed locally or run from live media like a thumb drive. The desktop environment resembles KDE Plasma but is a custom environment called Baran which the project says is written in Python using the Qt framework.

I was unsure going into this trial how all of this related to cloud computing or services. The term "cloud" gets thrown around on the project's website, but without a clear indication of how this affects the end user. I decided to give the project a test drive and see if I could find out.

The Pyabr OS ISO file is a small download of just 447MB. The live system always stalled early in the boot process for 90 seconds while waiting for systemd to sort out its infamous "A start job is running..." warning. After that, the distribution booted quickly and displayed the Baran desktop which does look a lot like KDE Plasma at first glance due to its shared Qt framework and theme.

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elementary OS 6 Odin Review - Beautiful and Empowering

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OS
Reviews

It's a review of elementary OS 6, codenamed Odin, a computer operating system that proudly released with the slogan Thoughtful, capable, and ethical replacement to Windows and MacOS that's now empowering modern laptops that ship worldwide. Let's see OS 6 through this review.

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KDE neon 5.22.5 - When you come undone

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KDE
Reviews

This is a short review, yes, yes, it is. But, we learned something. KDE neon is really fast. KDE neon is pretty. KDE neon 5.22.5 also brings in regressions, which I find super-annoying. We're talking the titlebar theming, we're talking network manager, we're talking scaling issues, yet again. Steam? Yup, that's another, entirely unnecessary hurdle for the common user.

On their own, these problems wouldn't be an issue. Except, toss a D&D 20-sided cube, and you get your random damage points, and that's about as arbitrary as issues that keep coming back into an otherwise solid and fun distro. I know that KDE neon is a test bed, but the User Edition is meant to be stable and robust enough. Overall, I am happy, but this wasn't the best Plasma experience. In fact, I'm on a jinx ride. Two out of two for a less than satisfactory outcome. Now, I need to cry. The end.

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Review: Getting started with Ansible

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Reviews

Ansible is a Red Hat owned tool for automating system administration tasks. It is typically used in environments where an administrator wants to perform the same task, such as deploying security updates, on many computers without logging into each computer manually. Unlike many automation tools, Ansible does not require any special software to be installed on each client machine. Each client just needs the OpenSSH service to be installed on the clients and all the work and configuration is handled by one central server.

There are a lot of reasons for working with Ansible and this guide is meant to get you up and running quickly. If you're like me, I have a terrible habit of not reading the fine manual. To quote the Simpsons character Renier Wolfcastle, "I was elected to lead not to read". To follow along with this tutorial here are the basics you will need...

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Fedora 35 bridges the gap between the seasoned and the new user

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Red Hat
Reviews

For the longest time, I considered the Fedora Linux distribution to have an audience of one—those dyed-in-the-wool, experienced users. There's a good reason for that. Fedora is a bleeding-edge distribution, so things can break, go south or not work.

I've been reviewing Linux distributions for decades now, so I've experienced several Fedora releases. When this particular flavor of Linux first hit the virtual shelves, it was very much not a platform for the new user. It would break and require admin-level attention.

But something happened along the way to number 35. Fedora became really solid. This was partially bolstered with the help of the rock-solid GNOME desktop. And even with Fedora including the newest versions of GNOME didn't seem to cause the operating system to falter.

To borrow a cliché, it all just works.

However, it does more than just work. I'd go so far as to say that the last few Fedora releases have worked exceptionally well, as well as any other desktop distribution. And Fedora 35 is no exception to this new rule.

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More in Tux Machines

Plasma 5.23 available for Kubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) in backports PPA

We are pleased to announce that Plasma 5.23.1 is now available in our backports PPA for Kubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri). The release announcement detailing the new features and improvements in Plasma 5.23 can be found here. Read more

Pumpkins, markets, and one bad Apple

Imagine your local farmers market: every Saturday the whole town comes together to purchase fresh and homemade goods, enjoy the entertainment, and find that there is always something for everyone. Whatever you need, you can find it here, and anyone can sign up to have their own little stand. It is a wonderful place, or so it seems. Now, imagine starting out as a pumpkin farmer, and you want to sell your pumpkins at this market. The market owner asks 30% of every pumpkin that you sell. It's steep, but the market owner -- we'll call him Mr. Apple -- owns all the markets in your area, so you have little choice. Let's continue this analogy and imagine that, since it is a little hard for you to make ends meet, you decide to tell your customers that they can come visit you at your farm to purchase pumpkins. Mr. Apple overhears and shuts your stand down. You explain that your business cannot be profitable this way, but the grumpy market owner says that you can either comply or find another place. At the end of your rope, you look for information about starting your own farmers market, but it seems Mr. Apple owns every building in town. In the midst of Apple announcing its new products, attention is drawn away from its ongoing battle to maintain its subjugation over users globally. The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) last month informed the U.S. technology giant of its decision that the rules around the in-app payment system are anticompetitive, making it the first antitrust regulator to conclude that the company has abused market power in the App Store. And while Apple is appealing this verdict, the European Union is charging the company with another antitrust claim concerning the App Store. Read more

today's howtos

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    In this tutorial, we learn how to install PostgreSQL 14 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). PostgreSQL, or usually called Postgres, is an open-source object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) with an emphasis on extensibility and standards compliance. PostgreSQL is ACID-compliant and transactional. It is developed by PostgreSQL Global Development Group (PGDG) that consists of many companies and individual contributors. PostgreSQL released under the terms of PostgreSQL license.

  • How to Install Minikube on CentOS 8 - Unixcop

    Minikube is open source software for setting up a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine. The software starts up a virtual machine and runs a Kubernetes cluster inside of it, allowing you to test in a Kubernetes environment locally. Minikube is a tool that runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster in a virtual machine on your laptop. In this tutorial we will show you how to install Minikube on CentOS 8.

  • How to Install and Secure Redis on Ubuntu 20.04 | RoseHosting

    Redis (short for Remote Dictionary Server), is an open-source in-memory data structure store. It’s used as a flexible, highly available key-value database that maintains a high level of performance. It helps to reduce time delays and increase the performance of your application by accessing in microseconds.

  • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 - OMG! Ubuntu!

    If the glowing reviews for the Ubuntu 21.10 release have you intrigued, here’s how to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 from an earlier version. Fair warning: this tutorial is super straightforward (the benefits of upgrading after a stable release, rather than a little bit before). Meaning no, you don’t need to be a Linux guru to get going! There are plenty of good reasons to upgrade from Ubuntu 21.04 to Ubuntu 21.10, such as benefiting from a newer Linux kernel, enjoying a new GNOME desktop, sampling the new Yaru Light theme, and getting to go hands-on with an able assortment of updated apps.

  • How to install Adobe Flash Player on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install Adobe Flash Player on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

  • How to install OnlyOffice on Linux Lite 5.4 - Invidious

    In this video, we are looking at how to install OnlyOffice on Linux Lite 5.4. Enjoy!

  • Jenkins: How to add a JDK version - Anto ./ Online

    This guide will show you how to add a JDK version to Jenkins. If you plan to run a Java build requiring a specific version of the Java Development Kit, you need to do this.

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Development version: GIMP 2.99.8 Released

GIMP 2.99.8 is our new development version, once again coming with a huge set of improvements. Read more Some early coverage:

  • GIMP 2.99.8 Released with Clone Tool Tweaks, Support for Windows Ink

    A new development version of GIMP is available to download and it carries some interesting new features. While this isn’t a new stable release — GIMP 2.10.28 is the most recent stable release (and the version you’ll find in Ubuntu 21.10’s archives) — the release of GIMP 2.99.8 is yet another brick in the road to the long-fabled GIMP 3.0 release. And it’s a fairly substantial brick, at that.

  • GIMP 2.99.8 Released As Another Step Toward The Long Overdue GIMP 3.0

    GIMP 3.0 as the GTK3 port of this open-source Adobe Photoshop alternative has been talked about for nearly a decade now and the work remains ongoing. However, out today is GIMP 2.99.8 as the newest development snapshot.