Dec 122014
 
Overall Rating

The newest version of Fedora has released and has been broken into three versions,Server/Cloud/Workstation, all based on GNOME 3.
They also offer Spins,customized versions offering KDE/LXDE/MATE/XFCE, plus a few others. Ive already installed the KDE version which Im typing on,and the default kernel, after I updated using the Fusion repositories, is 3.17.6, and the KDE version is 4.14.3.
The install sizes are under 1GB, so its a very reasonable download for those of you with slower connections. In use, the differences between Fedora 20 and 21 are slight, and nothing has been lost performance wise. I did notice the bootup speed was a bit slower, but nothing major. Ive also run the MATE and LXDE versions in live session and in particularly the MATE version was very nice, but again if your using Fedora 20 you’re not missing much. Overall a great release and definitely worth a look if you like excellent performance and aren’t put off by the cutting edge aspect of it. www.fedoraproject.org

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Dec 062014
 
Overall Rating

Its rare that I run into a Linux distribution, that so perfectly meets my needs and I believe the needs of others. Linux Lite is that kind of OS and offers a range of features, that are not only very friendly to beginners, but make the lives of experienced users that much easier. Installation was easy and fast, plus the software update notifier alerted me immediately to needed updates.
They also have a install update application that is a one click script that completely updates your system very quickly. Makes it easy to stay up to date, particularly for newer users, but Synaptic is also there if you need it.
A welcome screen pops up after login, which most of you will disable, but novices will find the overall information helpful. They also include a Lite Cleaner, which allows you to remove unneeded files and temporary cache items, its easy to use and very safe. System information app is included, as well as a resource usage app.
The download size was 740mb, which is great for many of you with slower conections, yet it still has a decent number of default apps included. I added Wine,PlayOnLinux,LibreOffice,Thunderbird,Midori,HPLIP and LXsession edit. One of my favorite apps was install additional software, as it reminds me of the EasyLife project with Fedora. Its a large list of well known apps, that allows you to make a single click to install, fast and easy. I used it to install quite a few apps like the restricted extras package, Clementine and more codecs. For beginners it makes adding software as easy as possible.
Resource usage was amazing with 147mb at idle and here on site a mere 241mb, so this will run on much older hardware without issue. Im typing on a Pentium D 3.4ghz system with 2gb of ram, which is close to ten years old and performance is very quick.
I tried Youtube videos running at 720P and performance was also good, with no issues on a variety of websites.
The overall appearance of the distro is excellent, as the Whisker menu is easy to use and they give you a nice assortment of wallpapers and themes, but more are available.
The fact that Linux Lite 2.2 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, means you’ve got a very long support period, and access to the Ubuntu repos, so there’s no problem finding whatever you need.
The devs at Linux Lite really did listen to their supporters and have created one of the best Linux distros Ive used in quite some time, and I hope youll give it a try- www.linuxliteos.com

Dec 012014
 
Overall Rating

Newest version of Linux Mint has released, based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and utilizing the MATE/Cinnamon desktop environments.
The MATE version comes with two window managers, Marco the default and Compiz which is better known among most Linux users.
Both distributions have a wide array of applications and are easy to install and update, a plus for everyday users.

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Nov 142014
 
Overall Rating

RoboLinux, is a Debian based distribution, thats beginner friendly, with a pre-configured Virtualbox, that can run Windows seamlessly, alonside RoboLinux. If you need to run specific Windows applications or a version of Windows alongside Linux its an ideal choice. My only complaint is the 2gb+ download, which isnt friendly to

slower connections. Join us in the forums for more!

Oct 232014
 
Overall Rating

Newest release of Ubuntu, that’s supported for nine months. It includes Linux kernel 3.16, LibreOffice 4.3, Xorg 1.16, Firefox 33, Chromium 38, GTK 3.12 and Qt 5.3. Its a very reasonable download size, so be happy those of you with slower connections. Improvements of course have been made to many aspects of Ubuntu, including Unity and AppArmor.

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Oct 172014
 

Many say optical media is dead, but in my experience I dont agree. I use live cd/dvds all the time and not just on legacy systems.
I’ve had issues at times with newer systems,trying to get USB sticks to boot with Linux. Sometimes it’s a hardware issue and sometimes its how the USB stick was setup and the quality of the image. For this reason, I always carry my portable drive and disks, to handle these eventualities. At home, I use nothing but live cd/dvd images for my main systems, as well as my test systems. It also allows me to share copies with friends and customers, who find it easier and more compatible. It’s not that I dont like USB sticks, as I use them all the time, but they do have limitations. Depending on the distro, the methodology for creating a USB stick live image doesn’t always work that well or occasionally isn’t an option.

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Oct 122014
 
Overall Rating

Even with the recent news of Window’s 10, Microsoft continues to degrade the desktop user’s overall experience, making it less enjoyable,efficient and secure. PCLinuxOS has been around since 2003 and has become one of the most popular Linux distributions in that time. It’s design creates one of the best out of box experiences you’ll ever have, even if you’ve never used Linux before. It’s a great experience for the beginner thru advanced Linux user. PCLinuxOS is a rolling release, which means you don’t have to upgrade every time a new version comes out. It updates throughout the year and this allows you a more comfortable experience, without the constant backups and reinstalling. PCLinuxOS install process is easy and straightforward, allowing you to replace your old operating system without problems. The updating is done by an application called Synaptic, which is easy to use and will notify you of any new updates you need. Updating in Linux means you rarely if ever have to restart. One of the things I love about PCLinuxOS is, it updates everything,so you dont have to look for anything. It also installs with Java, Flash, codecs and proprietary drivers by default, good news for gamers. If you own a newer video card this is the OS for you, but it also sees other proprietary devices like Broadcom wifi and installs them without issue. You end up not having to search for drivers all the time, something that happens all the time in Window’s. You have a choice of desktop environment unlike Window’s,KDE a very full optioned desktop, MATE light simple to use, LXDE light and also very simple to use. You can download( www.pclinuxos.com ) the live dvd for these versions, usually around 500-900mb and try them without ever installing. It’s a great way to get familiar with it, test it on your system and decide if you want to install.The live images are downloaded to your computer, then you can either burn the image to dvd, or to a USB stick that will boot as a live session. Your choice of applications is unlimited, as the repositories for PCLinuxOS are extensive and include many we’ll known applications, like Opera, Chrome,Thunderbird and Firefox to name a few. It comes standard with LibreOffice one of the best office suites out there right now. The sheer number of applications included, particularly with the KDE version might be daunting for beginners, but you certainly wont be bored. You’re probably wondering, will it run on my hardware? That’s one of the joys of Linux, not to mention how secure it is over Window’s. Linux runs so well on older hardware, that you might call it a performance upgrade. I’ve got it running on my Pentium 4 3.4ghz system, as well as a 3.4ghz Pentium D system and it runs great. The real test though, is when I run it on my Pentium 4 2ghz laptop with 1gb of ram, or my 1.6ghz Centrino laptop with 1gb of ram. They fly and even though the older graphics chips aren’t as fast as they need to be for online videos, they do run fine in 360P. In all other work, the speed is quite amazing. Window’s XP or Vista simply wont run well on laptops like this. Even my Sempron 2ghz 2gb ram system loves PCLinuxOS. Linux resource usage is simply excellent and if you tweak it even further as you gain experience with it, you’ll see for instance,the MATE version only uses 125mb at idle. PCLinuxOS has a lot of online help if you need it and a great community forum you can use to ask questions. You’ll never be alone as many

sites are happy to help you understand your new OS. My hope is you’ll give it a try and see what you think. Even if you don’t decide to use PCLinuxOS, I hope youll look at the many Linux distributions available that might suit your needs. Linux is about choice,freedom,community and security, not to mention its free! www.pclinuxos.com

Oct 032014
 

Popular topic since the Windows 10 preview became available, and many saw that it went back to a more standard desktop design.
Many were counting on Windows 8 problems to drive users to alternatives, like Linux, but Windows 10 appears to have changed that, or has it?
Enterprise adoption of Linux continues to grow, and I don’t think businesses are going to like Windows 10, with its odd feature set. Most everyday users aren’t using desktops regularly, if at all. They rely much more heavily on mobile devices, where Linux reigns supreme. Microsoft would love to be in the position that Linux is in with the mobile market as well as Chromebooks.
So, is it fair to say Linux has lost the desktop market again to Windows 10, or does it really matter at all?

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