A couple days ago, we told you about a new version of a wonderful Linux distribution called Linux Lite. As great as that operating system is -- especially for those switching from Windows -- it isn't the only Linux distribution that is lightweight and easy to use. In fact, the Linux community probably has too many distributions from which to choose, but I digress.
Today, yet another great Linux-based operating system gets updated to a new version, this time it is MX Linux 19.2. It uses the lightweight -- yet pretty -- Xfce 4.14 for its desktop environment and MESA 18.3.6. It comes loaded with some great software, such as LibreOffice 6.1.5, Thunderbird 68.6.1, Firefox 76, GIMP 2.10.12, VLC 3.0.10, and Clementine 1.3.1.
Video games may be more popular than ever these days, but the truth is, they simply aren’t as fun as they used to be. Sadly, game developers focus too heavily on graphics and in-game purchases than actual gameplay. And so, in 2020, a true gamer is better served by playing video game ROMs from yesteryear, from systems like NES, SNES, Genesis, and N64.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to play classic video game ROMs nowadays. You can even use inexpensive hardware like the Raspberry Pi line of computers to easily get them onto your TV screen. If you have the latest such device, the Raspberry Pi 4, I have some great news — you can finally use the Linux-based RetroPie for your classic gaming fun.
Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 "Debbie" has finally exited Beta and is ready for download. Exciting stuff, right? I suppose. The thing is, you probably don't want it.
Don't get me wrong, LMDE isn't really a bad operating system, but it isn't intended for widespread use. Most people should use "regular" Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu. This Debian variant is really just a backup distribution (a contingency plan) in case Canonical ever stops developing Ubuntu -- something that hopefully won't happen anytime soon. With all of that said, some people do run LMDE as their daily operating system for some reason.
Debian is a great Linux distribution in its own right, but also, it serves as a base for many other operating systems. For instance, the excellent Netrunner 20.01 that was just released. Even one of the best Linux distros, Ubuntu, is based on Debian. Then, we have operating systems based on Ubuntu, such as the wildly popular Linux Mint. Yes, in the Linux community, there are operating systems based on operating systems, that are based on other operating systems. Confusing, eh?
While Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, there is actually a lesser known variant of the operating system called Linux Mint Debian Edition. As you can guess, LMDE cuts out the Ubuntu middleman and is based on Debian directly. Why do we need two versions of Mint? Well, you can think of LMDE as sort of a contingency plan -- it exists in case Ubuntu ever goes away. Consider it a back-up base, if you will. With that said, some people actually prefer LMDE, and they use it instead of vanilla Mint (yummy).
One of my favorite Linux distributions is Netrunner. If you aren't familiar, it is a Debian-based operating system that utilizes the KDE Plasma desktop environment. It is very polished and chock-full of excellent pre-installed applications such as LibreOffice, GIMP, Firefox, and Skype. All of this makes Netrunner a great choice for those switching from Windows, but also, it is a wonderful option for Linux experts too. Seriously, folks, you will be blown away by how exceptional it is -- one of the best.
Today, Netrunner 20.01 becomes available, and it is a very important milestone. You see, not only does it represent 10 years of development, but also, it is the twentieth major version of the operating system. And so, the Debian Buster (stable) 10.3-based distro is being dubbed "Twenty." Netrunner 20.01 is using KDE Plasma 5.14.5 and comes with a very special birthday wallpaper!
Ever find yourself bored with the same ol' "mainstream" Linux-based operating system such as Ubuntu, Fedora, or Mint? Yeah, I get it. Sometimes you just want to dig a bit deeper and try out something a tad less known. It can be fun to distro-hop and try new things!
One such excellent Linux distribution is MX Linux. It has become wildly popular in the Linux community lately, but is still largely off the radar of those that aren't "in the know." Today, a new version of the operating system, MX Linux 19.1, becomes available for download. The Debian-based distro uses the Xfce desktop environment and comes pre-loaded with some great software, such as Firefox, LibreOffice, and more.
Debian is a great Linux distribution in its own right, but also, it serves as a solid base for many other distros. That's why when a new version of Debian is released, it has a huge impact across the Linux community.
Today, you can download the newest version of Debian 10 "Buster." Debian 10.2 is the latest and greatest, but it is hardly exciting. To be fair though, Debian point releases shouldn't really be seen as a source for new features. Instead, you should expect security updates and bugfixes. And this time, with version 10.2, we get many of them. In addition, Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) is being dropped from the ARMEL variant of Debian, but that really shouldn't have any impact on desktop users.
MX Linux is apparently becoming increasingly more popular these days, and I am not really sure why. Lately, I have been testing out the open source operating system, and I simply don't understand the hype.
Xfce, which MX uses, remains one of the worst desktop environment for end users -- it is lightweight, but that aside, it offers nothing over the superior GNOME or KDE. If you own a HiDPI monitor (which more and more people have), Xfce remains a terrible experience.
Another day, another Linux distribution. Yeah, it can get a bit tedious reading about so many operating systems based on the open source kernel, so here at BetaNews we typically try to inform you about the better ones. You see, there are many garbage Linux distributions that can simply be ignored -- they are either low-quality or overly redundant. Ultimately, it all becomes noise, harming the Linux community overall. Yes, having too much choice can be a negative.
Today, a wildly popular operating system achieves Beta status, and you should be interested -- it is worth your attention. Called "MX Linux," it has quietly gained a fairly large following, topping the charts at the legendary DistroWatch. MX Linux 19 Beta 1 is based on Debian 10 Buster and features the recently released Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. So, yeah, this is fairly bleeding edge stuff, although the Linux kernel is only at 4.19.5.
Debian Buster-based Netrunner 19.08 'Indigo' KDE-focused Linux distro is the perfect Windows replacement
GNOME is undeniably the best desktop environment, but understandably, not everyone likes it. Hey, that's OK. Some folks like Pepsi despite Coke being, like, 1,000 times better. Such is life. Thankfully, with Linux, there are plenty of environments from which to choose, such as Xfce, Cinnamon, and KDE to name a few.
If you are a fan of KDE, or interested in sampling it for the first time, Netrunner is a Linux-based operating system you have to try. Quite frankly, this distro offers the greatest implementation of KDE Plasma. But that's not all -- it is one of the best Linux distros overall. It is chock full of useful software and is extremely polished, making it a great choice for those switching from Windows, but also, it is a solid choice for Linux experts. Today, Netrunner 19.08 "Indigo" becomes available for download.
deepin is the most beautiful desktop operating system on the planet, besting both macOS, and Windows. Hell, it is even prettier than all other Linux distributions too. And yes, that matters. While an operating system shouldn't impede productivity or behave obnoxiously, it should inspire the user. deepin does this.
Today, the Debian-based deepin 15.11 becomes available, and it looks like another winner. While not radically different from deepin 15.10, it has enough bug fixes and additions to make it worthwhile. For instance, even though optical discs (CD, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) are dramatically declining in popularity (near obsolete), the deepin devs have intergrated disc-burning into the distro's file manager. More exciting, however, is cloud sync for Control Center, which will make it easier to restore settings on a fresh installation or when logging into a shared machine.
Debian is one of the most important operating systems, as so many other Linux distributions (such as Ubuntu) are based on it. In other words, it is part of the foundation that holds up many distros. With that said, it is a great operating system in its own right -- many folks depend on it daily.
Today, Debian reaches a significant milestone -- version 10. Yes, Debian is finally in the double digits. Believe it or not, development of Debian 10 (code-named "Buster") took more than two years! In fact, more than 60 percent of all packages have been updated since its predecessor. Probably the most significant update, however, is Wayland finally being the new default display server for the GNOME desktop environment.
When it comes to Linux, I prefer my distributions to be no-nonsense -- Fedora is my favorite distro, for instance. Is Fedora boring? Yes, I suppose. But that is sort of why I like it. Look, I just want the damn operating system to take a backseat to my actual work. Fedora with GNOME allows me to focus on my tasks without getting in the way.
Understandably though, some Linux users like to "distro hop" where they are constantly moving between distributions, always wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. And yeah, I get that -- new is fun. People want excitement.
If you're not in the habit of keeping up to date with the latest version of the Linux kernel, now might be a good time to think about doing so. Systems based on versions of the kernel older than 5.0.8 suffer from a severe flaw in the implementation of RDS over TCP.
Left unpatched, the flaw could enable an attacker to compromise a system. The National Vulnerability Database entry says: "There is a race condition leading to a use-after-free, related to net namespace cleanup".
With the Linux Mint development being severely strained, and the future of that particular operating system being in slight doubt, many Linux "haters" are seemingly taking pleasure. Hardcore fans of Microsoft Windows will point to the Mint situation as proof that Linux (and open source ideology overall) doesn't have a future on the desktop. Thankfully, these negative people couldn't be more wrong. Regardless of what happens with Mint, Linux still has a bright future -- not only on mobile and servers, but desktop too. Maybe that success will be Chrome OS or Android. Whatever. The point is, the open source Linux kernel cannot be stopped.
As people are concerned about Linux Mint, another distro has been gaining in popularity. While not new, the attention it gets has been growing lately. Called "MX Linux," it is based on the excellent Debian Stable and uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment by default. If you are intrigued by this newly en vogue distro, I have good news -- a new version is available for download. While not a major release,the 18.2 ISO is chock full of changes, fixes, and of course, updated packages. If you hate systemd (as many do), I have good news -- it is not enabled by default (although it is included).