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Review: LockBox 1.0

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Reviews

LockBox is one of the most recent additions to the DistroWatch database. LockBox (sometimes referred to as LBX) is a Linux distribution derived from Ubuntu and elementary OS. It is especially intended for storing and managing cryptocurrencies. It includes several hardened configuration changes for security purposes, a highly restrictive firewall setup, several applications designed for data backups, a password manager, and the Brave Internet browser. LockBox is available for x86_64 machines exclusively and its install media is 3.4GB in size.

In a curious case of life imitating art, the LockBox website currently describes the project using a quote from the DistroWatch information page about the distribution.

One of the first things I discovered about the distribution is LockBox will not boot in Legacy BIOS mode. A boot menu will appear and begin a countdown from five seconds. When the countdown reaches zero, or when we select any of the boot options, the counter simply resets to five seconds again. The boot menu offers to let us "Try or install elementary OS" or "Check disks for defects" and both options simply reset the boot menu counter. When trying to launch the distribution in UEFI mode, only the Try/Install option is presented and choosing it boots the distribution's live environment.

When the live system boots we are shown a graphical window where we can choose our preferred language from a list. We are given the choice to try the live desktop, which loads the Pantheon desktop. Alternatively we can launch the system installer. I'll talk about the Pantheon desktop later in this review.

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Endless OS Review - Desktop Linux Done Right for the Masses

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Linux
Reviews

We review the popular Endless OS as Linux Desktop with the new features and updates of the latest version 4.0.
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Fedora 35 Mini-Review On The Blackbird And TALOS II

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Red Hat
Reviews

My conclusion is damning with faint praise: at least it wasn't any worse. And with these tweaks it works fine. If you're on F34 you have no reason not to upgrade, and if you're on F33 you won't have much longer until you have to (and you might as well just jump right to F35 at that point). But it's still carrying an odd number of regressions (even though, or perhaps despite the fact, the workarounds for F35 are the same as F34) and the installation on the T2 was bumpier than the Blackbird for reasons that remain unclear to me. If you run KDE or Xfce or anything other than GNOME, you shouldn't have any problems, but if you still use GNOME as your desktop environment you should be prepared to do more preparatory work to get it off the ground. I have higher hopes for F36 because we may finally get that float128 update that still wrecks a small but notable selection of packages like MAME, but I also hope that some of these regressions get dealt with as well because that would make these updates a bit more liveable. Any system upgrade of any OS will make you wonder what's going to break this time, but the most recent Fedora updates have come off as more fraught with peril than they ought to be.

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Cutefish OS Review - Impressive Linux Distribution in the Making

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Linux
Reviews

We review the Debian/Ubuntu based Cutefish OS Linux Distribution that features the stunning Cutefish Desktop.
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Review: Fedora 35

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Red Hat
Reviews

Fedora 35 was released on 2 November 2021, slightly after the anticipated launch in late October. I respect their delay, the Fedora team did not want to release a buggy product, or they still had some key issues to workout; nevertheless Fedora 35 is here. For some background, Fedora is a Linux distribution which aims to create, "an innovative, free, and open source platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users." (Quoted from getfedora.org.) Many Linux users will know Fedora as the community and upstream version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the enterprise version of Fedora known primarily for running on servers and a company to provide support.

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Time from the LUKS decryption screen to GNOME Display Manager was approximately 20 seconds, quite good for boot-up times. Consider also that I use a solid-state hard drive for my main installation media, which improves boot times significantly. Its not mere milliseconds, but it is very good for a full distro.

GNOME 41 is super polished. It seems like everything works out of the box (come on NVIDIA, lets get you on board). Whereas on other distros I would need to configure many options and drivers to get everything working properly, Fedora just works. The polish extends to all of the facets of this operating system. The boot-up splash screen is simple and beautiful. The installation of updates is clean, and the rebooting during installation is well polished. Fedora knows how to take control of an operating system and do it properly. I love how dnf (the package manager) handles updates and installing software. My Steam games worked as expected. I could edit photos easily using the photo editing software of my choice. Firefox worked great for streaming media. The HDMI output was perfect. What can I say, Fedora leaves little left to want. Yes there may be more highly configurable distributions, but Fedora seems to be one of, if not the most professional distribution I have used. (I have not been a Fedora user in the past.)

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Distrowatch Top 5 Distributions Review: Pop!_OS

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OS
Reviews

I personally won’t use Pop!_OS because I detest GNOME, but I have to admit, it’s a really attractive OS, with some good features under the hood, a minimalist approach in the sense of bloat, and being based of Ubuntu you can expect plenty of easy to find support. If all of this sounds good, I strongly recommend you check out this distribution, you may love it!

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Distrowatch Top 5 Distributions Review: Linux Mint

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Besides the couple of negatives I listed earlier, I really don’t have much negative to say about Linux Mint. It’s got graphical tools for driver installations, it’s got great support, it’s based on one of the most commonly used OS’s in the Linux World, and it’s a system that even first-time users can enjoy. Cinnamon is a gorgeous Desktop Environment for those who enjoy more traditional layouts similar to Windows, and it’s highly customizable too. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t used it yet, check this OS out.

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10.1-inch Raspberry Pi All-in-One touchscreen display review – Part 1: Unboxing and installation

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Linux
Hardware
Reviews
Debian

I’ve just received a 10.1-inch touchscreen display designed for Raspberry Pi model B boards with 1920x1080 resolutions from the EVICIV store on Amazon that also offers models with 1366×378 and 1280×800 resolutions, and allows users to create an All-in-One computer based on the popular SBC.

The product can also be used as a standalone display connected to an HDMI or USB-C (via DisplayPort Alt mode) source, so it could be interesting for all sorts of projects and not only ones relying on Raspberry Pi boards. In the first part of the review, I’ll check out the hardware, install a Raspberry Pi 4, and boot it to check out whether it works, before going into more details in the second part of the review.

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Clapper – GNOME media player built using GJS with GTK4 toolkit

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GNOME
Reviews

GTK is a free and open-source cross-platform widget toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK is used from small one-off tools to complete application suites.

GTK 4.0 was released in December 2020 with components that rely on GTK4 following promptly. The GNOME desktop is built on the GTK toolkit. GNOME 40 released in March 2021 supports GTK4. Many distros include GNOME 40 such as Ubuntu 21.10, Arch, Debian, Fedora, and Gentoo to name a few.

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Experiences of configuring and using a ‘hackendeck’ homemade Steam Deck

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Reviews
Gaming

Valve recently released information about developing for the Steam Deck if you didn’t have a Dev-Kit which is an engineering verification test build (EV2) version of their device. Included in the documentation is a suggestion to build your own Steam Deck, or ‘hackendeck’ using a mini PC. Whilst I didn’t have the exact brand they picture in the article I did have a mini PC with the required specifications so I set about following the instructions to see how it performed.

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