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Review: EasyNAS 1.0.0 and Solus 4.3

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My fresh copy of EasyNAS booted to a console interface. A welcome message says we can connect to EasyNAS through a web browser by visiting the address "https://:1443". (Note the lack of a domain name or IP address in the URL.) We are then automatically signed in as the admin user. The admin user is not the same as the root user in this instance, they have different user identification numbers and permissions. A menu is then displayed which prompts us to perform an action. The available actions are: reset the admin password, restart the network interface, reset the NAS to its default settings, check for updates, restart, shutdown, and run a shell.

Resetting the admin password turned out to be awkward. The new password must be complex, long, and not based on a dictionary word. Sometimes what qualified as a "word" was a bit flexible. For instance, the password "wtf123" is rejected because it's "based on a dictionary word", but "wtf123#!" is fine.

Since it seemed the NAS did not yet have an IP address I tried resetting the network connection. The system appeared to hang for about 20 seconds and then returned to the menu without displaying any status update or asking any questions.

The menu option to run a shell presents us with a bash prompt. A quick check of the command line environment revealed EasyNAS runs Linux 5.3, uses systemd as its init software, and offers the standard collection of GNU utilities. There are no manual pages included. We can perform actions as the root user by prefixing commands with sudo, otherwise the admin account appears to act like a regular user.

EasyNAS reportedly had an active Internet connection, but could not find a route to the Internet or perform DNS lookups. The EasyNAS documentation does not appear to address how to configure the network and the openSUSE documentation says to use YaST for configuring network and DHCP options. The YaST tools are not installed on EasyNAS. I then tried the backup method using wicked, which is mentioned in the documentation. I still came away with no valid IP address or route. I had the same result after I tried assigning an IP address using the command line ip command: I could not ping other machines and other computers on the network could not reach the NAS web interface, despite having an active network interface and a manually assigned IP address.

This experience is in contrast to five years ago when I reviewed EasyNAS 0.6.2. At the time the installer did not have strict hard drive size requirements, IP addresses were assigned easily from the console menu, and it was painless to connect to the web portal remotely. With EasyNAS 1.0.0 these things did not work and every time I rebooted the operating system EasyNAS would fail to load properly, dropping the user to a rescue console. Rebooting a second time always worked to bring up the usual console menu.

EasyNAS five years ago was not a mature project; it had limited functionality. However, it worked and provided some simple storage options. Version 1.0.0 barely installs and has a number of issues relating to password reset, minimum requirements, and networking.

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elementaryOS 6 Odin Is Beautiful, Yet Could Be Better

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OS
Reviews

elementaryOS 6 is a beautiful Linux distribution, with good design options and a spectacular attention to details. However, the distribution may not be a perfect choice for new users who lack essential expertise in Linux and its command line. Software management and the selection of the default applications in the distribution could have been much better.

elementaryOS 6, however, for power users is more than overwhelming; as any of them can easily customize it to his/her needs and forget about all the default applications altogether.

You can go ahead download elementary OS 6 from its official website.

If you would like to see the FOSS Post doing more of these reviews each month, then consider joining us on Patreon so that we can commit to this goal.

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New features in Neovim 0.5

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Software
Reviews

Neovim 0.5, the fifth major version of the Neovim editor, which descends from the venerable vi editor by way of Vim, was released on July 2. This release is the culmination of almost two years of work, and it comes with some major features that aim to modernize the editing experience significantly. Highlights include native support for the Language Server Protocol (LSP), which enables advanced editing features for a wide variety of languages, improvements to its Lua APIs for configuration and plugins, and better syntax highlighting using Tree-sitter. Overall, the 0.5 release is a solid upgrade for the editor; the improvements should please the existing fan base and potentially draw in new users and contributors to the project.

The Neovim project was started by Thiago Padilha in 2014 shortly after his patch to introduce multi-threading capabilities to Vim was rejected without much in the way of feedback. This event was the major trigger that led Padilha to create this fork, with the explicit aim of improving the usability, maintainability, and extensibility of Vim while facilitating a more open and welcoming environment.

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My First Impression When Using Archcraft Linux!

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For now the main distro that I use on my main laptop to work is Xubuntu. But that doesn't mean I am Fanboy Xubuntu, this is because of needs.

And I also don't want to waste time studying Arch Linux with various problems. But Archcraft makes me feel easier when using Arch Linux. So I decided to install 2 different Linux distributions in my 2 laptops. And maybe posting various cases when using Linux Archcraft.

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Review: SME Server 10.0

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In hindsight it's difficult for me to imagine how my trial with SME Server could have gone worse. One might point out that at least the system installer worked, but even then the installer is unusually slow and a bit awkward to navigate compared to other dedicated server and NAS solutions currently available.

Things got off to a poor start with anti-virus processes consuming all available CPU and memory resources and got worse when it became apparent that the systemctl command would timeout while trying to shutdown the runaway services while systemd would restart the processes I terminated by other means.

The user account manager rejected passwords I tried to apply to new accounts and incorrectly reported accounts were locked, even after I had unlocked them from the command line. The web interface does not show feedback or show confirmation when action buttons are clicked. Most services cannot be managed through the web portal and new software could not be added to the system without turning to the command line.

To make matters worse, updating the system and taking the Reconfigure option the system keeps insisting is necessary corrupts the system and prevents it from booting.

Looking through the web interface prior to the system becoming unusable, there do not appear to be many tools for managing services or setting up tasks. It looks like most significant options need to be managed from the command line and there are very few tasks we can perform through the web portal that are not easier and faster from the console.

One aspect of SME Server that puzzles me a bit is its short support cycle. SME Server 10.0 is new (it came out earlier this year), but it's based on CentOS 7 which is about seven years into its ten year support cycle. Which means SME Server 10.0 only receives three years of support. As a result we are stuck running seven year old software packages, but will only benefit from three years of updates. It seems we'd be better off running a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 clone with something like Webmin installed.

I encountered a lot of frustration from trying to use SME Server with virtually nothing to show from my efforts, but a lot of bugs. I think most other members of the Fedora/CentOS family would provide a smoother experience.

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HP EliteBook 840 G7 with openSUSE Continued

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SUSE

The HP EliteBook 840 G7 is a fantastic, 14″ chassis computer to take on the go that gives you long battery life, good performance and a fantastic keyboard for long sessions of writing or whatever tasks you might need that keyboard. As far as design goes, this really is a great machine, it looks nice, feels great, works fantastically well and has all the right features. I highly recommend this particular model for anyone that needs a capable, battery efficient, light weight computer that just looks good.

This computer can, quite easily, be upgraded and therefor extending the life of this machine for many years. The only thing of which you may need to be very aware is the life of the battery. Outside of that, the build of this computer suggests that it should continue to be useful for many years.

Great job HP! Now I’d like to see some kind of deal with the openSUSE folks about some sort of OEM offering. If HP provided some kind of openSUSE out-of-the-box experience would be absolutely fantastic. So, hopefully, some talks between the two organizations about this can happen.

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Deepin DE review: The most beautiful Linux DE

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The Deepin Desktop Environment, or DDE for short, is one of, if not the best-looking Linux desktop environments out there. It brings a clean, elegant, modern, and professional-looking user interface. Not only will it woo anyone who looks at it, but it also provides a super intuitive and familiar user experience.

We have put together a detailed overview of the Deepin Desktop Environment, going over all its various features, settings, and options for this read. By the end, you will have a thorough understanding of what DDE brings to the table and whether or not it’s the right distro for you.

So with that being said, here’s our in-depth review of the Deepin Desktop Environment.

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Cinnamon 5 desktop review

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Based on this article review, Cinnamon 5.0 is a worthy Linux desktop environment to consider as it has more thumbs up than dislikes. A new user will find it amicably adaptable and scalable, while veteran users might have to re-adjust their muscle memories to adapt to some new GUI tweaks. It is responsive and performs in a lightweight manner. Furthermore, it automates most of its functionalities so that its user only needs to acknowledge their implementation, if any.

Our articles on the features of Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” and updating to Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” directly reference Cinnamon 5.0 as the default associated desktop environment for Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma”.

The Cinnamon desktop developmental status and mileage can be followed up on Github. Here, you can keep a close eye on the upgrade changes associated with it from the beta stage to an official release.

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Goggles Music Manager – music collection manager and player

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Software
OSS
Reviews

I spend an inordinate amount of time listening to music. My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being in the audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime. And it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to attend music performances. Instead, I’m listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC.

I’ve reviewed a smorgasbord of open source music players. But Linux is endowed with a huge selection, there remains a fair few I’ve yet to explore. For this review, I’m looking at Goggles Music Manager.

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Time for PineTime

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Reviews
Gadgets

I just received my PineTime and set it up with GadgetBridge on my Android device. So far it has been a pleasant experience.

[...]

My device was shipped with version 1.2 of the InfiniTime firmware, so I’m one release behind. I ordered the sealed device (because the price is amazing), but I already am itching to get coding.

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