Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) Review: Solid, stable and could have been the LTS release as well

I guess this is my first review after a gap of a couple of months. Actually I was busy with interesting developments in my professional career and right now, more busy with packing my and my family's stuff. We are shifting our base to Chicago, IL from Bangalore, India. Hence, I didn't find adequate time to actually pen down a review. Further, my Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon is running absolutely stable to the point of boredom that I didn't feel to try out any other distro. Even practically I gave Debian 8 and Ubuntu 15.04 release nearly a miss. I guess this will continue till end of month May. I am hoping in June I'll be able to get back to my schedule of 2-3 reviews a month.

Anyway, back to the review. I downloaded the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 15.04 ISO, about 1.1 GB in size. The release note from Distrowatch mentions the following changes:
The new release, which will be supported for nine months, features LibreOffice 4.4, version 3.19 of the Linux kernel and a switch from Canonical's Upstart init to systemd. "systemd has replaced Upstart as the standard boot and service manager on all Ubuntu flavors except Touch. At the time of the 15.04 release there are no known major problems which prevent booting. The only service which does not currently start is Juju, which will be fixed in a post-release update soon; all other packaged Ubuntu services are expected to work. Upstart continues to control user sessions... You can boot with Upstart once by selecting `Advanced options for Ubuntu' in the GRUB boot menu and starting the `Ubuntu, with Linux ... (upstart)' entry. To switch back permanently, install the upstart-sysv package (this will remove systemd-sysv and ubuntu-standard)."

From Ubuntu 15.04
I used Linux Mint Image Writer to create a Live USB on a 4 GB USB drive and booted it up on my Asus K55VM laptop.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Review: Minimalist distro with superb performance

On 17th Feb, 2015 Jeff Hoogland has announced the final release of Bodhi Linux 3.0.0, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 and featuring a customised Enlightenment 19.3 desktop: "Today I am very happy to share with you the first stable release for the third major update to the Bodhi Linux operating system. Notable features in the 3.0.0 release: Enlightenment E19.3, Terminology 0.8.0, ePad 0.9.0, Numix icons, Linux kernel 3.16, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS core. The release images for 3.0.0 support a wide range of hardware including: non-PAE processors, UEFI BIOS, SeaBIOS Chromebooks. Our stable release is not the only thing that is new at Bodhi Linux this month. Our main website, AppCenter, Wiki, and Forums have all gotten complete overhauls to go alongside this new release. If you are new to Bodhi Linux please take a look at the Quick Start Guide that opens by default when you first boot the live CD / operating system."

From Bodhi Linux 3.0.0
I have used Bodhi 2.x quite extensively on a couple of low powered machines I have. I liked the attractive interface of Bodhi and it's simplistic design. Bodhi 2.x was based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and the present release is based on Ubuntu 14.04. Unlike Ubuntu Trusty, which is still running Linux kernel 3.13.0 series, Bodhi ships with kernel 3.16.0.

Bodhi Linux provides options to download 32-bit, 64-bit, legacy and Chromebook version. I chose 64-bit ISO, about 612 MB in size. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB USB drive. First I did a live boot on my laptop and then installed it to a 100 GB drive to understand Bodhi's performance better.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Netrunner 15 Review: Looks fantastic as usual but lags a bit in performance

On 16th February 2015, Clemens Toennies has announced the release of Netrunner 15, a desktop Linux distribution based on Kubuntu 14.10 and featuring the new KDE Plasma 5.2.0 desktop: "We are proud to announce the official release of Netrunner 15 'Prometheus'. Netrunner 15 is revised from the ground up - as the first distribution, it officially ships the new KDE Plasma Desktop 5.2. Therefore, an upgrade from previous Netrunner series with KDE 4.x is neither officially available nor really recommended. This release is 64-bit only. What's new? This release features the brand new KDE Plasma Desktop 5.2, packed together with the freshly released KDE Frameworks 5.7 and Qt 5.4. It takes a great deal of Oxygen and a little of Breeze and mixes them into a blend of tradition and modern. All previous settings and add-ons have been carefully restored to work in this new environment. With Netrunner 15 we took the chance to ship a finely revised set of applications."

From Netrunner 15
I downloaded the 64-bit Netrunner ISO, 1.8 GB in size for this review. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image writer on a 4 GB USB drive and installed it on my Asus K55VM laptop. Netrunner 15 is based on Kubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) and ships with Linux kernel 3.16.0, with KDE 4.14.1 and plasma 5.2. Dolphin 4.14.1 is the default file manager.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Korora 21 "Darla" Cinnamon Review: Linux Mint of Fedora world

Korora has always impressed me as an easy to use Fedora repackaged with all bells and whistles. Korora was born out of a desire to make Linux easier for new users, while still being useful for experts. The main goal of Korora is to provide a complete, easy-to-use system for general computing. Originally based on Gentoo Linux in 2005, Korora was re-born in 2010 as a Fedora Remix with tweaks and extras to make the system "just work" out of the box. I downloaded the 1.75 GB 64-bit ISO of Korora 21 Cinnamon for this review.

Korora 21 ships with Cinnamon, KDE, GNOME 3 and XFCE flavors. I chose Cinnamon as I never used a Fedora with Cinnamon DE. Further, Cinnamon as a DE seems more appealing to me these days for it's customization options over any other DE.

Korora 21 comes with Cinnamon 2.4 and Linux Kernel 3.18 series. Nemo is the default file manager in the distro.

From Korora 21 Cinnamon

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" KDE Review: The Best KDE spin I have used!

On 8th January 2015, Clement Lefebvre has announced the availability of an updated build of Linux Mint "KDE", a version based on Ubuntu's latest long-term support release: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17.1 'Rebecca' KDE. Linux Mint 17.1 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. The previous version of Linux Mint used KDE 4.13. In this release, KDE is upgraded to version 4.14. Support was added in MDM and in the session for the KDE wallet to be fully integrated with Linux Mint. Although a Wallet Manager is present for configuration purpose, no interaction is needed for the KDE wallet to work. The wallet is created automatically with your first login, and it opens automatically in the background with every new session. The Update Manager now groups packages together according to their source package."

From Linux Mint 17.1 KDE
I downloaded the 64-bit Linux Mint 17.1 KDE ISO, 1.6 GB in size, for this review. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer (which supports UEFI Secureboot as well), on a 4 GB pendrive. I did a live boot on my test laptop, Asus K55VM. The details of the hardware is given below.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Linux Lite 2.2 "Beryl" Review: Good lightweight XFCE LTS spin

On Dec 2, 2014, Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 2.2, an updated build of the project's lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and featuring the Xfce desktop: "Linux Lite 2.2 final is now available for download. This release is a product of the incredible contributions from both the community and the developers. We've added Backups, a very simple to use backup utility, Date & Time, File Search, and our newest members to the Linux Lite software family - Lite Cleaner, an easy-to-use point and click system cleaner and Lite Welcome which greets you on first boot, gives useful information about Linux Lite including updates, support and development. We've also added Light Locker as the new default screen locker. There are also improvements to Install Additional Software, allowing you to choose multiple programs at once to install. There is also Check Install Media that has been added to the live boot menu".

From Linux Lite 2.2
For this review I downloaded the 738 MB 64-bit ISO of Linux Lite for this review and created a live USB on a 4 GB pendrive using Linux Mint Image Writer. Linux Lite 2.2 ships with XFCE desktop and Linux kernel 3.13.0 with Thunar 1.6.3 as the file manager.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fedora 21 GNOME Review: If you can ignore the initial hiccups, fantastic operating system!

On 9th December 2014, Matthew Miller has announced the release of Fedora 21, the latest stable version of Red Hat's community distribution for desktops, servers and the cloud: "The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the release of Fedora 21, ready to run on your desktops, servers and in the cloud. Fedora 21 is a game-changer for the Fedora Project, and we think you're going to be very pleased with the results. As part of the initiative, Fedora 21 comes in three flavors: Cloud, Server, and Workstation. The Fedora Workstation is a new take on desktop development from the Fedora community. Our goal is to pick the best components, and integrate and polish them. This work results in a more polished and targeted system than you've previously seen from the Fedora desktop."

From Fedora 21 Workstation
I downloaded the 64-bit 1.4 GB ISO of Fedora 21 Live Workstation for this review. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB pendrive and booted it on my Asus K55VM. Fedora 21 ships with GNOME 3.14 and Linux kernel 3.17.

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