Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" Review: Solid, stable KDE spin with KDE 4.13.0

Kubuntu is one of the distros which didn't undergo a lot of change over the last 2-3 years. Mostly it has been a stable distro with a stock KDE interface and a mix of KDE-nonKDE packages. Though it may not be called the best KDE distro around but it is definitely popular. Unlike distros like OpenSUSE or Chakra, Kubuntu never came with any distro-specific themes but relied more on the stock KDE and user preferred customization.

From Kubuntu 14.04 LTS http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
On 17 April 2014, Jonathan Riddell has announced the release of Kubuntu 14.04, a new version of the desktop Linux distribution shipping with the shiny new KDE 4.13.0: "Welcome to Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, a brand new long-term supported version with the latest KDE software to enjoy. Long-term support means that bug fixes and security updates will be added for the next 5 years, so you can be safe to use it until 2019. New releases of important KDE software will also be available from the Kubuntu Updates and Kubuntu Backports PPAs. Software highlights: the KDE Applications and Platform 4.13 release introduces a greatly improved semantic search as well as stabilization and improvements in key applications like Okular; Mozilla Firefox 28 as default web browser; Muon Suite 2.2 brings additional improvements to our Software Center applications....".

For this review, I downloaded the 1 GB 64-bit ISO of Kubuntu 14.04 LTS. I used Linux Mint Image writer to create a live USB on a 4 GB pen drive and booted it up on my Asus K55VM with 2.3 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics. Post live boot, I installed it on a 50 GB partition.

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS ships with stock KDE 4.13.0 desktop environment and Linux kernel 3.13.0. Dolphin 4.13.0 is the default file manager.

In this review, I'll take you through first my experience with Kubuntu and then discuss the incremental improvements and new features at the end.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" Review: Solid, stable but no radical element this time

Final release of Ubuntu Trusty Tahr is out on 17th April 2014. So, here is my first bit on the much awaited Ubuntu Trusty Tahr and I am reviewing here the 64-bit final release. For the uninitiated, this is the long term support (LTS) release of the most popular Linux distro in the world, Ubuntu. Trusty Tahr is the code name of the release and has support till April 2019.

From Ubuntu 14.04 LTS http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
Like all previous releases of Ubuntu over last 3 years, even I expected a surprise or some radical change in the way we use Linux in this version as well. I recall Ubuntu 12.04 LTS had the HUD among others. However, here is a spoiler - Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has some really good functional innovation but nothing radical.

In this review, I'll cover the incremental features and overall performance of the distro. Trusty ships with Unity 7.2.0, similar Unity as you would have experienced with Ubuntu 13.10 release. Right now it ships with Linux kernel 3.13.0 and has Files 3.10.1 as the file manager. The 64 bit ISO I downloaded was about 960 MB in size.

I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB pendrive and booted it up on my Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics. Post live boot I installed it on a 50 GB partition.
From Ubuntu 14.04 LTS http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

MakuluLinux 6.0 "Mate" Review: Visually enticing but with a few bugs

Jacque Raymer has announced the release of MakuluLinux 6.0 "MATE" edition, a Debian-based distribution featuring the recently-released MATE 1.8 desktop environment: "The first release in our new 6 series dubbed 'Imperium' (Latin for 'power to command'), also our first dual-mode solo MATE build. This release allows users to customize their settings and software upon installation. Now users can setup their desktop the way they want it with the software they want while still experiencing an out-of-the-box experience. Those that don't want an out-of-the-box experience will now have an option to turn the system into a bare-bone system with a few clicks. Features: based on Debian 'Testing'; 3.13.x PAE kernel; full systemd support."

From MakuluLinux 6.0 Mate http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
The proposition of trying out the recently released Mate 1.8 desktop and how Makulu tweaks it, is definite enticing enough for me to try out MakuluLinux 6.0 Mate. I haven't used Mate spin of MakuluLinux earlier; but I liked their XFCE spin a lot. This South African distro is a bit gaudy to my taste but I liked their originality. So, I downloaded the 1.7 GB 32-bit ISO with PAE kernel.

I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer and booted it up on my Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz 3rd generation Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics. Unlike other Debian/Ubuntu based distros, MakuluLinux has a username password for live boot (Makulu/makulu). Post live boot and a quick check that everything is working as expected, I installed MakuluLinux Mate on a 50 GB partition.

From MakuluLinux 6.0 Mate http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
MakuluLinux 6.0 Mate ships with Mate 1.8.0 desktop and Linux kernel 3.13.0, pae which works well on 64-bit systems with more than 4 GB RAM as well. Caja 1.8.0 is the default file manager in the distro. Makulu is based on Debian testing.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Zorin OS 8 "Lite" Review: Super efficient LXDE spin but released a bit late!

The "Lite" edition of Zorin OS 8, an i386-only variant of the beginners-friendly distribution that features the LXDE desktop, has been released: "The Zorin OS team is pleased to release Zorin OS 8 Lite and Business. Zorin OS 8 Lite is the latest evolution of the Zorin OS Lite series of operating systems, designed specifically for Linux newcomers using old or low-powered hardware. This release is based on Lubuntu 13.10 and uses the LXDE desktop environment to provide one of the fastest and most feature-packed interfaces for low-spec machines. This new release includes newly updated software out-of-the-box. Zorin OS 8 Business introduces a myriad of changes to the business-oriented edition of Zorin OS including updated software, improvements to the user interface and entirely new software."

From Zorin OS 8 "Lite" http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
I downloaded the 905 MB 32-bit ISO, created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer and did a live boot on my Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M hybrid graphics. Indeed, my test laptop is way powerful to test an LXDE distro. Hence, I checked it out on my Asus 1101HA netbook with 1.33 Ghz Intel Atom Z520 processor and 1 GB DDR2 RAM. It is a weak machine unable to run Windows 7.

Zorin OS 8 "Lite" is based on Ubuntu 13.10, which is supported till July 2014. It ships with Linux kernel 3.11.0 and LXDE 0.5 as desktop environment. PCManFM is the default file manager and it is fast.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

antiX MX-14 "Symbiosis" Review: Truly Special!

MX-14 "Symbiosis", a special version of antiX developed in full collaboration with the MEPIS Community, has been released for the 32-bit architecture: "It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint. The base depends on the excellent upstream work by Linux, Debian, and Xfce. MX-14 also incorporates the independent and innovative development products Whisker Menu, simsu and gottet, QupZilla Browser, smxi and inxi. We think you will enjoy it! MX-14 is based on Debian 7 'Wheezy' and enhanced with more up to date applications from debian-backports and MEPIS Community repository....".

From antiX MX-14 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
I downloaded the 32-bit ISO with PAE kernel, about 700 MB in size. There is a non-pae version available as well for systems with less than 3 GB RAM and 32-bit architecture. I created a live ISO using Linux Mint Image Writer and did a live boot followed by installation on my Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics. I installed it on a 900 MB partition, intending to use it as my main operating system for the time being.

MX-14 ships with XFCE 4.10 and is based on Debian Wheezy, the stable version, with Linux kernel 3.12.0. Thunar 1.6.3 is the default file manager.
From antiX MX-14 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Netrunner OS 2014.04i Rolling Release Review: Based on Manjaro, ships with non-pae kernel but PAE kernel can be installed from Arch repositories

I rated Netrunner as the best KDE distro I've used in 2013. Like many other distros around, Netrunner is developed on Ubuntu base and ships with an attractive interface. In April 2014, Netrunner OS released it's first Manjaro based rolling release distro - named as 2014.04i ("i" as in infinite). It is a pleasant surprise indeed and I didn't want to miss reviewing it at any cost.
The download section on the Netrunner website has only 32-bit ISO listed and they are yet to release the 64 bit ISO. I downloaded the 2.1 GB 32-bit ISO for this review. I used Linux Mint Image Writer to create a live USB on a 4 GB pendrive and installed it on my Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics. Netrunner Arch has KDE 4.12.3 as the desktop environment along with Dolphin 4.12.3 as the default file manager.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr" Beta 2 Review: Pretty good but no surprises yet

Though I write a lot about Arch, Debian and Mandriva based distros but nothing beats Ubuntu in terms of expectations and popularity. Not only in Distrowatch ranking, even in my blog the most popular posts are related to Ubuntu. So, here is my first bit on the much awaited Ubuntu Trusty Tahr and I am reviewing here the 64-bit beta 2 release. For the uninitiated, this is the long term support (LTS) release of the most popular Linux distro in the world, Ubuntu. Trusty Tahr is the code name of the release and has support till April 2019.

From Ubuntu 14.04 LTS http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
In this review, I'll cover the incremental features and overall performance of the distro. The final release generally performs much better than the beta releases for Ubuntu. Trusty ships with Unity 7.2.0, similar Unity as you would have experienced with Ubuntu 13.10 release. Right now it ships with Linux kernel 3.13.0 and has Files 3.10.1 as the file manager. The 64 bit ISO I downloaded was about 950 MB in size.

I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB pendrive and booted it up on my Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics. Post live boot I installed it on a 50 GB partition.
From Ubuntu 14.04 LTS http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in

Here in this article I am refraining from rating Ubuntu Trusty as it is still beta version. I'll rate it once the final version is out.

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