Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: What it means for Free Software

Today, I’ll be writing something different from my usual distribution reviews. In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and discuss what it means for digital freedom, both in the case of free software and digital freedom of expression. Although the media isn’t reporting on this topic very much, I think this bill will affect our lives in significant ways, particularly for those involved in the Free Software community.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Korora 23 Beta MATE: Pretty much an average system, but generally well thought out

After a one-week or so delay, Fedora 23 was released on November 3, 2015. Somewhat uncharacteristically, the Korora variant, on which I’ve already written about before, was released only five days later. I gave Korora high marks in the past, proclaiming it as almost the Mint of the RPM world. So today, I’ll review the MATE edition and see how that stacks up against some other competitors, such as Linux Mint 17.2 and Ubuntu MATE. But first, a couple of notes.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Manjaro 15.09-rc2 KDE: Elegance and simplicity combine beautifully, with a couple of quirks

I’d already reviewed the Xfce version of Manjaro six months ago or so and was very impressed by it - so much that it still reigns as the best distro I’ve reviewed. Now, I’m going to take a look at the KDE edition - the other official version - and draw some comparisons.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

LXLE 14.04.3: Lightweight and powerful, but also very well thought out

LXLE is a distribution that has been around for around three years. It used to be an LTS version of Lubuntu, but now it caters to those who want a lightweight and flexible desktop with lots of software, since Lubuntu has an official LTS version since 14.04. This review comes from the fact that after reviewing Bodhi, Lubuntu, and Crunchbang++, I still haven’t found a perfect, polished distribution yet. Will LXLE finally be it? Read on!


Editor’s note: Sorry about the unexplained 1.5 month hiatus as I was busy with schoolwork. I was also in India with bad connection speeds so I wasn’t able to download anything for review.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Solus 0.201529.4.0: Hold on, this is more beautiful than Elementary!

Solus, formerly Evolve OS, has started to make some splashes in the Linux pool recently. It introduces the new Budgie desktop, a simple desktop similar to Chrome OS. The distribution aims for beauty and also features a new, innovative package manager called eopkg. This review focuses on the daily 0.201529.4.0 build, released on July 16, 2015, rather than the May 17, 2015 Beta 2.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mageia 5 KDE: Terribly implemented distribution; stick to openSUSE or Mint if you want KDE4

Only a month after Mandriva, the company behind the commercial Mandriva Linux distribution, declared bankruptcy, Mageia, the community fork of that distribution, announced its fifth major release since its inception in 2011. The distribution has enjoyed some success since then, currently placing sixth on the Distrowatch popularity rankings. Since I haven’t done a review of a KDE4-based distribution for this blog, I thought it would be a good hole to fill with a review.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Crunchbang++ 1.0: Beautifully minimalist, but a little rough

On February 18, 2015, Crunchbang (!#) lead developer Philip Newborough announced that he would stop developing the popular Linux distribution which had ranked inside the top 20 on Distrowatch in hits per day. Soon after, revivals of the project began, such as Crunchbang++ and Bunsen Labs Linux, the last being the “official” community project, although it only offers a very rough alpha. Meanwhile, Crunchbang++ has had a stable release since April 29, so I thought I would review it and see if it’s ready for prime time.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Linux Mint 17.2 MATE RC: The epitome of elegance

Linux Mint is the most popular Linux distribution in the world, and the third most popular operating system overall. The release candidate of version 17.2, as of the time of writing, has not been announced by lead developer Clement Lefebvre, but the official live images are up on the distribution’s mirrors. Since I reviewed the Cinnamon version when I did my 17.1 review, I thought I’d review the MATE edition this time, the “other” official Mint version.

initial desktop.png

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Linux Lite 2.4: A good lightweight distro, but nothing to write home about

Linux Lite is a relatively new distro that is basically a trimmed down version of the Xubuntu LTS releases. Version 2.4 was released on April 1, 2015, based on Xubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, however remaining with the tried-and-trusted 3.13.0 kernel that has been the base of so many distros since the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

initial desktop.png

Friday, June 5, 2015

elementary OS 0.3: If you can look past the misplaced philosophy, a great and beautiful distro

elementary OS is one of the newer distros that has catapulted to huge fame. It was introduced in 2010 with the singular aim of making Linux look pretty, and it has achieved that goal pretty well in my opinion. The public seems to think so too, as it ranks seventh in all distributions in page hits on Distrowatch over the past six months. In addition, I had used it for around two weeks in February 2015 as my daily driver and was mostly pleased with it, other than a couple of minor bugs. So I thought I’d review it.

initial desktop.png

Note: Although I was promising a CentOS review, it didn't play very nicely with VirtualBox, so I couldn't deliver a proper review.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My custom zsh config

As I promised in the last post, I'm going to post my custom zsh config here. You need to have zsh installed (obviously) and your package manager should be apt-get, pacman, yum, or zypper. Otherwise, you can find the links in the script and manually download them.

You can download it from: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qee7hb72n86ap0t/install.zsh?dl=0

When I "release" a new version, you can update to the newest version by typing "update-zshrc" without quotes.

My CentOS review should be coming soon.

I'm finally a full time Linux user

Well, I've been using Linux for barely six months and I'm happy to say that I'm now a full time user! Yesterday, I wiped Windows 10 off my hard disk. I now use Manjaro 0.8.13-rc2 KDE as my daily driver on my school laptop, becoming the second student at my school to use Linux full-time. Writing this blog has helped me learn so much about Linux. It's funny to think, only six months ago, I hardly knew how to use apt-get, and now I'm reviewing distros as a hobby. Here's a screenshot of my desktop:

By the way, the custom zsh config will be coming in the next post. My next review will be on CentOS 7.1. You can expect that in the coming days.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lubuntu 15.04: A great lightweight distro, but needs to work on application support

Lubuntu is a very popular distro, especially for people looking to revive their older computers. In fact, my brother uses 14.04 LTS on his old IBM Thinkpad X32. Although the new 15.04 release is mostly full of minor improvements and bug fixes, I thought I’d review it as it will be the last LXDE-based release, as the team is getting ready for the shift to LXQt.

initial desktop.png

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fedora 22 Beta: A distro for anyone, beginners or enthusiasts

Fedora has always been one of the Linux giants and it’s attracted a huge following. I’m reviewing the beta today, shipping with the all-new GNOME 3.16.

applications view.png

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ubuntu 15.04 and flavors released!

It's April 2015, and a new release of the most popular Linux distro (bar its fork, Mint) has been released, along with the usual flavors (plus another, Ubuntu MATE). So what's new?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Korora 21 Cinnamon: (Almost) the Mint of the Fedora world

Korora aims to be the easiest-to-use Fedora-based distribution. It is supposed to be very easy to install and use. I was interested by this, and I decided to review it and see if it lives up to its promise.

GA desktop.png

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pinguy OS 14.04.2: A somewhat heavy distro that's easy to use for everyone

Sorry for the somewhat late post; I've been bogged down by schoolwork. 

I’ve heard a lot about Pinguy OS. It’s aimed at a simple desktop that everyone, “not just geeks”, can use. I’ve been intrigued by this (and also the quirky name) and I thought I’d review it. But first, a quick note.

Initial desktop.png

Monday, March 23, 2015

Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon: Traditional and elegant Linux distro aimed at simplicity

Linux Mint is lauded as a great distro for beginners, and is also the most popular Linux distro of all, so I thought I’d review the Cinnamon version and post my thoughts about it. I’d used the KDE and MATE versions before and I quite liked them. The Cinnamon edition is the most popular version, though, so I thought I’d review that one.


Bodhi Linux 3.0.0: Lightweight Ubuntu-based distro that makes tradeoffs for small footprint

After reviewing many KDE-based distros, I thought I’d do something different and review the Enlightenment 19-based Bodhi Linux. Bodhi is designed to be lightweight on resources and it lived up to its goal.

Depressing wallpaper.png

Sunday, March 22, 2015

openSUSE 13.2 KDE: The best KDE distro out, bar its fonts

I thought I’d review the distro I’m using, openSUSE 13.2 KDE. However, I’d stored a bunch of stuff on it and I couldn’t measure performance accurately as on a stock VM so I just ended up putting it in a VM.

Desktop after config.png

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Netrunner 15: An excellent, refined Kubuntu-based distro, if you don't use UEFI

I’ve heard a lot of talk about this distro as one of the finest KDE distros, and not too many people know about it. As a KDE fan, I was interested and decided to review it.

Initial Desktop.png

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Manjaro 0.8.12 Xfce: Simple, stylish, and elegant

My third review will be on one of the most popular Arch Linux based distros - Manjaro 0.8.12. Its official flavors are XFCE and KDE, and there are also many unofficial but community-supported desktop environments available. I’ll focus on the XFCE version in this review.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Ubuntu MATE 15.04: Slick, traditional, and ultra-customizable

For my second review, I’ll be reviewing a distro that has been gaining a bit of popularity: Ubuntu MATE. Only a couple of weeks ago, Canonical recognized it as an official Ubuntu flavor, which means that you can download Ubuntu MATE from official Canonical servers. This doesn’t mean much now, but expect it to gain a lot of popularity in the coming months.

No search bar.png

Sunday, March 8, 2015

KaOS 2015.02: Interesting new KDE focused distro, if you can ignore some of the tradeoffs

Welcome to my first review of a Linux desktop OS. I’ll be reviewing a distro that hardly no one knows about, KaOS. This is a pacman-based distro, written from scratch, which aims to be a “a tightly integrated rolling and transparent distribution for the modern desktop, build from scratch with a very specific focus.
Focus on one DE (KDE), one toolkit (Qt), one architecture (x86_64) plus a focus on evaluating and selecting the most suitable tools and applications,” as per their website (kaosx.us).