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Free Software Review: GNOME Web 3.38.2 on Debian GNU/Linux 11. A worthy replacement for your current browser?

Filed under
GNOME
Reviews
Web

With so many web browsers out there to pick from, many of them really aren’t very different from each other, and few take the time to work like the other applications on your desktop.

In Windows, nobody notices this because none of the applications (even from Microsoft) or system settings menus are consistent. They duplicate functionality, have different GUI conventions, and the entire thing is a usability hell. GNOME tries to be a bit “cleaner” than this.

In Windows 11, in fact, Microsoft tried to steal from Chrome OS, GNOME, and the Mac’s “clean” interface design, but reverted to form and immediately crapped it up with the usual junk and ads and trialware, and a store that nobody wanted to use to begin with because there’s still time to repeat that disaster again.

But the point, here, is that GNOME (and to a lesser extent) KDE for various *nix operating systems (they’re portable), try not to confound the user and present them with a giant headache of pointlessness and redundancy and bugs. Which is nice.

That’s where GNOME Web comes in. The development name is Epiphany, because that was the application’s original name, when it started as a project to build a web browser around the Mozilla rendering engine, Gecko. In the late 2000s, Mozilla decided to make it difficult to use their engine in anything but Firefox, forcing the GNOME Web developers to go a different way.

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Also: This change in Google Chrome 94 will make you switch to Firefox - itsfoss.net

Fedora 34 KDE - Modern but not polished

Filed under
KDE
Red Hat
Reviews

As you can imagine, I didn't really continue with my test. Therefore, no data on battery life, resource usage, or any of the customizations that I often have to undertake to my systems usable and productive. What would be the point really? So many things went wrong. Some of these aren't Fedora's fault, but many others are.

Slow boot time (and boot menu oddities), Wayland scaling problems, crashes, lack of third-party application by default. Fedora 34 KDE just does not feel complete. It's a distro all right, but it sure doesn't get as much love and attention as the flagship release. Not that that guarantees quality in the distrospace really, anywhere. All in all, if you want Plasma bleeding edge, Manjaro or neon can do that just as well, while providing their own share of quirks and bugs (albeit smaller). There are some small redeeming points in Fedora 34 KDE, but they are nowhere near enough to compensate for the bad stuff. All in all, sadly, my past impression holds. Oh well.

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Review: Martine OS 2.0 and Airyx 0.2.2

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OS
Reviews

I did not spend a lot of time with Airyx, just a few days. Mostly this was due to the operating system not playing well with my wireless card, an issue most flavours of BSD run into. However, while my experience was brief, I will say that I see the appeal of Airyx (and by extension helloSystem). For people who like the macOS style desktop, this experience should make people feel at home. The unified application menu on the top panel, the icons, the utility and settings panels, and the overall theme all share a strong similarity with macOS.

The system installer is quite simple and can be navigated with a few mouse clicks so the barrier to entry is relatively low, assuming your computer has at least 4GB of memory for the live media. The operating system, even running ZFS, is quite light in memory and includes some standard open source tools.

There were two weak points I encountered. The first was hardware support, which is often a problem I run into with flavours of BSD. Wireless and suspend support in particular tend to be missing. The other issue was the lack of a fully functioning package manager. I'm not sure why pkg has been hobbled in Airyx, but the fact it still refreshes repository information and installs packages from FreeBSD suggests to me that the limitation is unnecessary.

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Pinebook Pro Review: A FOSS Laptop That Doesn't Suck

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

Pinebook's Linux-only approach to hardware development makes an attractive proposition for those wanting the all-FOSS experience. But how does its Pinebook Pro laptop stack up against more established opposition, such as the much-loved Chromebook?

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CutefishOS: Unix-y development model? Check. macOS aesthetic? Check (if you like that sort of thing)

Filed under
OS
Reviews

One of the reasons Linux has never caught on as a desktop operating system, as Linux fans know, is that Linux isn't a desktop operating system, it's a kernel. And assembling it into a coherent package users can install is the job of a distribution.

This is a very different distribution model than the one Apple or Microsoft uses, and it confuses newcomers. Windows and macOS are easier to understand, they are single things made by single companies. Canonical and Red Hat notwithstanding, Linux is not packaged and presented this way at all. I've long believed that this difference is one of the key stumbling blocks to wider Linux adoption.

Apple has macOS, Microsoft has Windows, Linux has... hundreds of awkward, confusingly named options.

This is both Linux's greatest strength, and its greatest weakness. For those who already understand and use it the options are welcome. I've been a Linux user for over a decade and I've used several dozen distros, some of them so different from one another it's difficult to believe they're built from the same base. This wealth of options is great, but it's both confusing and overwhelming for new users.

Distributions like elementary OS are popular with people switching from macOS and Windows because elementary OS offers that same highly polished, all-in-one package that makes the transition from proprietary operating systems smoother. But this is Linux, so you can't just have elementary OS.

The latest distro to catch my eye is CutefishOS, which owes considerable design debt to both elementaryOS and the operating system made by that fruit company.

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Komikku – manga reader for GNOME

Filed under
Software
OSS
GNOME
Reviews

A comic book is a magazine which consists of narrative artwork in the form of sequential images with text that represent individual scenes.

Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Comics are used to tell a story, and are published in a number of different formats including comic strips, comic books, webcomics, Manga, and graphic novels. Some comics have been published in a tabloid form. The largest comic book market is Japan.

Komikku is a GTK-based manga reader for GNOME. The application is is written in Python.

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Zidoo M6 Arm mini PC review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown

Filed under
Android
Reviews
Ubuntu

I’ve just received my first Rockchip RK3566 platform with Zidoo M6 Arm mini PC that supports Ubuntu 18.04, Android 11, and Station OS.

I was sent the standard version with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash that will be suitable for most applications. I’ll start Zidoo M6 review with an unboxing and a teardown to check the hardware design and “hidden” features before reviewing with the device with Android 11 and/or Ubuntu 18.04.

There’s nothing special about the package (and that’s a good thing in order to go more easily through customs), so let’s check out the package content.

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JingPad Review: A Real Linux Tab for True Linux Fans

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

JingOS is in alpha stage of development at the moment. Most of the issues I have encountered in this review should be addressed in the future OTA updates, as their roadmap suggests. The final stable version of JingPad should be available by March 2022.

JingPad as a device comes on the pricey side but it also gives you a high-end gadget. 2K AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB UMCP storage and other stuff you get only in high-end devices. The sound from the speakers is decent.

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A low-key good experience for Thor-oughly new penguins: Elementary OS 6, aka Odin

Filed under
OS
Reviews

Elementary OS is one of my favourite distros to review because it always brings interesting new ideas to the Linux desktop. It's a very opinionated distro and not for everyone, but so long as the elementary vision aligns with your own, I think it's one of the nicest, most polished distros around.

The key is aligning visions. If you like to endlessly tweak and customize your desktop experience, this is not the distro for you. Technically there is a "tweak" tool, similar to Gnome Tweaks, which allows you to do things like add a minimise button to elementary OS's windows and make other changes. That's helpful if there's just one or two things that are stopping you from loving elementary OS, but it's not going to make customising everything viable.

If, on the other hand, you just want a clean, attractive desktop that you don't have to fiddle with, offers most of the basic applications you need out of the box, and can be a set-it-and-forget it system, elementary OS Odin is an excellent choice.

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Review: Obarun 2021.07.26

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Reviews

The distribution is available in two flavours, Minimal and with JWM as the default window manager. The Minimal edition is an 837MB download while the JWM edition is 1.3GB in size. I chose to download the JWM edition for x86_64 computers.

Booting from the provided ISO brings up a menu offering to start the distribution in Live, Persistent, or Run From RAM modes. This gives us some flexibility in how we wish to use the live media. I chose to take the default, plain live mode. The live session boots to a text console where we are shown login credentials for both the root user and a regular user account. Signing in as the regular user, oblive, automatically launches a graphical environment.

The JWM-powered desktop places a panel along the bottom of the screen. The panel holds an application menu, task switcher, and system tray. On the desktop we find icons for opening a README file and for launching the system installer. The README file is a short text file with login credentials, links to on-line resources, and tips for launching programs from within JWM.

Shortly after signing into the live desktop a network management window opens. This provides us with a utility for getting us on-line with minimal effort. The network manager window makes it straight forward to connect to wired and wireless networks.

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Stable Kernels: 5.14.13, 5.10.74, 5.4.154, 4.19.212, 4.14.251, 4.9.287, and 4.4.289

I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.13 kernel.

All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.14.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
	https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

thanks,

greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.10.74 Linux 5.4.154 Linux 4.19.212 Linux 4.14.251 Linux 4.9.287 Linux 4.4.289

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