Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Netrunner 2014.09.1 "Rolling" Review: Superb aesthetics combined with the stability of Manjaro

Clemens Toennies has announced the availability of Netrunner 2014.09.1 "Rolling" edition, a Manjaro-based distribution featuring the KDE 4.14 desktop: "This is the release announcement of Netrunner Rolling 2014.09.1. We are releasing this maintenance shortly after our initial 2014.09 release to fix problems with the NVIDIA driver, and to include a first fix for the Bash shell vulnerability. We also updated Samba file sharing, Kontact accounts and language pack installation. Laptop Mode Tools was replaced by the new TLP to give you better control of your power consumption and achieve a longer battery life with your laptop. With the 2014.09 version we updated Netrunner Rolling to the latest software updates from Manjaro, including Linux kernel 3.14.18 with lots of bugs fixed and new driver support. KDE SC was updated to version 4.14."

To be honest, I am a big fan of Netrunner OS (the Ubuntu version) specially for superb aesthetics. KDE itself is quite beautiful and Netrunner developers actually managed to make it look more slick and add improved functionality. I had used Netrunner Arch / Rolling previously and had written a review of Netrunner Arch. I thought this is a good opportunity to review it this week. So, I downloaded the latest update of Netrunner Rolling - the 64-bit 2.4 GB ISO for this review.

From Netrunner Rolling 2014.09.1
I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB USB drive. I used my Asus K55VM for this review.

Read more!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Emmabuntüs 3-1.00 Review: Xubuntu spin with an attractive desktop and plenty of apps!

Finally I came back to India after a couple of months at Chicago. I enjoyed the warm sunny weather out there and visited quite a few places like Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Boulder, etc. In between delivering business critical projects over there, I managed to fine sometime to actually have fun as well. But there's nothing like the comfort of home and spending time with great Linux distros. So, I am back now and ready to try out some new releases!

For the last one week I am using Emmabuntüs as my main operating system. Emmabuntüs is a desktop Linux distribution based on Xubuntu. It strives to be beginner-friendly and reasonably light on resources so that it can be used on older computers. It also includes many modern features, such as large number of pre-configured programs for everyday use, dockbar for launching applications, easy installation of non-free software and media codecs, and quick setup through automated scripts. The distribution supports English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish languages. My installation was in English language and I did not try out other languages supported by the distro.

From Emmabuntus 3
The Emmabuntüs ISO is a bit heavy as it packs a whole lot of applications in it. As mentioned, it is based on Xubuntu 14.04 and ships with XFCE 4.11 and Linux kernel 3.13.0. I downloaded the nearly 4 GB ISO from sourceforge and made a live USB from a 8 GB USB drive using Linux Mint Image Writer. I installed the distro on my favorite Asus K55VM laptop.

Read more!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Appeal to donate for Children with Autism for my friend Michael Schefferstein @ Univ of Colorado and TGS

Hi Friends,

This is an appeal on behalf of my friend Michael Schefferstein to support kids with Autism.

Here is the link:

TGS is a 501(c)3 not for profit and all donations made for my fundraising goal to TGS are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.
Thanks for sharing this with others for me!

Read more!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Zorin OS 9 Core Review: As good as Linux Mint 17!

Zorin OS has a lot of takers in the new Linux converts from Windows. Recently, Zorin OS released it's 9th version based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with 5 years of support. For users who are familiar with Zorin, the release notes states of some incremental improvements over it's predecessors, namely:
"We are excited to announce the release of Zorin OS 9 Core and Ultimate. The main focus for Zorin OS 9 has been on stability and the refinement of Zorin OS' wide array of incredible features. Firstly, Zorin OS 9 includes a myriad of updated software and bug fixes to ensure that your computer runs better than ever. New applications such as the Firefox web browser and Rhythmbox music player have also been included in this release. EFI boot support has been added, making it easier to get Zorin OS on newer computers (64-bit only). In addition, we have introduced a new Blue desktop theme to the Zorin Theme Changer in complement to the Light and Dark themes. As Zorin OS 9 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS you can expect to receive continuous software updates until 2019."

From Zorin OS 9
For this review, I download the 64-bit Zorin OS 9 Core ISO (1.4 GB in size), which is the free version of Zorin. It ships with Zorin's tweaked GNOME 3.10.4 desktop, resembling Windows 7 and Linux kernel 3.13.0. Files 3.10.4 is the default file manager.

I created a live USB using Unetbootin in Windows 8.1 on a 4 GB USB drive and did a live boot followed by installation on a 20 GB partition.

Read more!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" XFCE Review: Simple, elegant and functional

There is something special about Linux Mint - their ability to deliver consistent performance release after release. Also, amazingly Linux Mint's design is pretty much consistent across desktop environments - Cinnamon, Mate, KDE and XFCE. I already reviewed the KDE and Cinnamon versions and today it is the turn of my favorite of all - Linux Mint 17 XFCE. Another thing as well, as I am in a trip to the USA and outside my favorite setup (I didn't bring my favorite test laptop here Asus K55VM, as it is quite heavy and along with my heavier office Lenovo Thinkpad, it would have broken my back). So, till Sep-14, I may be a little bit infrequent in writing blogs.

On 26th June 2014, Clement Lefebvre announced the release of Linux Mint 17 "Xfce" edition: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17 'Qiana' Xfce. Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. The Update Manager was hugely improved. It shows more information, it looks better, it feels faster, and it gets less in your way. It no longer needs to reload itself in root mode when you click on it. It no longer checks for an Internet connection or waits for the network manager and it no longer locks the APT cache at session startup. Linux Mint 17 features Xfce 4.10, MDM 1.6, a Linux kernel 3.13 and an Ubuntu 14.04 package base."

From Linux Mint 17 XFCE http;//
The release announcement is pretty similar to what I saw for Linux Mint Cinnamon and KDE flavors. I already discussed them in my respective reviews. Hence, I'll discuss them briefly but primary focus will be the functionality of the XFCE spin. For this review, I downloaded the 1.3 GB 64-bit Linux Mint 17 XFCE ISO and created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer. Next, I installed Mint 17 XFCE on my Asus K55VM in a multi-boot environment with other Linux distros.

Read more!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Deepin 2014 Review: Very very artistic and different, but with a few bugs

Deepin (formerly Linux Deepin, Hiweed GNU/Linux) is an Ubuntu-based distribution that aims to provide an elegant, user-friendly and reliable operating system. It does not only include the best the open source world has to offer, but it has also created its own desktop environment called DDE or Deepin Desktop Environment which is based on HTML 5 technologies. Deepin focuses much of its attention on intuitive design. Its home-grown applications, like Deepin Software Centre, DMusic and DPlayer are tailored to the average user. On July 6, 2014 Deepin released it's LTS version with 5 years of support based on Ubuntu Trusty Tahr. The release note states of the following features:
"Deepin 2014 release - hold your dream and move forward. Deepin is a Linux distribution that aims to provide an elegant, user-friendly, safe and stable operating system for global users. Based on HTML5 technologies, Deepin team has developed a series of new special software applications, such as Deepin Desktop Environment, Deepin Music Player, DPlayer and Deepin Software Center. Deepin 2014 brings a brand-new Deepin Desktop Environment 2.0, with a specially designed Deepin theme, which makes the overall style and appearance of Deepin 2014 unified, neat and tidy. It also adds convenient features, such as user guide, starter Chinese phonetic search and intuitive hot zone settings."

From Deepin 2014
For this review, I downloaded the 1.2 GB 64-bit ISO and created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer to install it on my Asus K55VM laptop. Linux Deepin ships with Deepin desktop environment 2.0 (DDE), Linux kernel 3.13.0 and Files 3.8.1.

Read more!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 "Trusty Tahr" LTS Review: Very very good!

Ubuntu GNOME's first LTS is the only Ubuntu Trusty spin that I missed out reviewing. Finally I got a chance to pen down a review after using it for over 2 months. In between, the Linux kernel is updated, LibreOffice is now and a lot more security updates have happened. But, anyway, it is better late than never. So, to begin with, in April 2014, Ali Jawad announced the release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, the latest update of this official Ubuntu flavour featuring the vanilla GNOME 3.10 desktop: "The Ubuntu GNOME team is proud and happy to announce the release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS. Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. This is our very first long-term support (LTS) version. Features: Most of GNOME 3.10 is now included, the few missing bits of 3.10 are available in PPA; with GNOME 3.10 comes enhanced support for online accounts, and some general optimization of the user interface; a set of 10 new high-quality wallpapers are included; GNOME Classic session is included...."
From Ubuntu Gnome 14.04

I downloaded the 64-bit ISO, about 1 GB in size. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer and installed Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 on my Asus K55VM, on a 50 GB partition. In between, I checked it on my Asus X200CA with Secure UEFI boot and touchscreen as well. It worked as good as Ubuntu 14.04. 

Ubuntu GNOME ships with GNOME 3.10.1, Linux kernel 3.13.0 and Files 3.10.1 as the default file manager. It has the stock untweaked GNOME 3.10 but has Tweak tool pre-installed to customize the desktop and make it more usable.

Read more!