There are many Linux distributions nowadays. Some are unique, but many are largely repetitive and probably don't need to exist. One Linux-based operating system that manages to stand out is Bodhi, thanks to its use of the Moksha desktop environment.
If you aren't familiar with Bodhi, please know it is a lightweight operating system that is based on the great Ubuntu. Today, Bodhi 5.1.0 becomes available. This new version is significant, as it is the first release since development leadership was changed last year.
System76 sells a lot of different types of computers, including desktops, laptops, and servers -- all come pre-loaded with either Ubuntu or the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS Linux distributions. While the company's hand-crafted Thelio desktops are probably its most exciting machines, the majority of consumers are probably better served by a laptop. Let's be honest, while hardcore power users and gamers will certainly want a desktop, notebooks are more functional for the average computer user, as it allows them to easily work in different locations.
With all of that said, System76 has several laptop models, ranging from under $1,000 for, say, the fairly basic "Galago Pro," to well over $2,000 for the high-end "Adder WS" portable workstation. In other words, there are many models to meet the needs of many -- including both budget and power perspectives.
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.
Desktops have largely fallen out of favor with home consumers, as they instead opt for laptops. Really, it isn't hard to see why this is -- a desktop PC often takes up a lot of room in a home, as it usually requires its own dedicated desk. Not to mention, you then have to add a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. You are then tethered to one place, unable to realistically work outdoors or at a coffee shop.
And yet, despite all the benefits a notebook has over a desktop, many people -- including yours truly -- prefers them. If you like the idea of a desktop, but prefer one that is very small (and won't take up a lot of space), there are plenty of options such as Intel NUC and Apple Mac mini. Today, we get another diminutive desktop option, but this one is designed for Linux and privacy. Yes, Purism is finally launching a tiny desktop, and it will come pre-installed with the Debian-based PureOS. Called "Librem Mini," the cute bugger has 4 USB-A ports on the front, along with a 3.5mm audio jack, and the power button. On the rear, there are two more USB-A ports, a single USB-C port, Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and the power port.
Fedora is one of the best Linux distributions on the planet, but it doesn't always get its due. It isn't flashy or new, instead hanging its hat (pun intended) on being stable and reliable. That is why many Linux users try other distributions, only to find themselves back at home with Fedora. Fans of the GNOME in particular flock to Fedora, as the operating system is one of the best ways to experience that desktop environment.
Today, Fedora 32 Beta becomes available for testing, and it is very exciting. It comes with GNOME 3.36 -- the lastest and greatest version of the desktop environment, You can read more about GNOME 3.36 here. If you aren't a fan of GNOME, that is OK -- you can instead opt for KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE, and more. There is even a special ARM variant of Fedora 32 that will work with Raspberry Pi devices.
Microsoft has announced that not only is Windows Subsystem for Linux -- or WSL 2 as it's also known -- soon going to be generally available in Windows 10 version 2004, but also that the Linux kernel will be updated though Windows Update.
The new approach comes as Microsoft removes the Linux kernel from the Windows OS image. The change in update delivery will enable Microsoft to push out updates faster than before, and eliminates the need to user interaction.
One of the best things about Linux is having access to all the wonderful desktop environments (DEs). With Linux, you can often customize things to your heart's content, switching environments entirely if you prefer. Conversely, with Windows 10, for example, there is essentially just one user interface. Don't like it? Sucks to be you! If you run Windows, it is Microsoft's way or the highway. True, there is value in having all users sharing one experience, but ultimately, choice will always reign supreme.
Despite there being many great desktop environments available on Linux, only one can be the best. Consistently, for many years now, GNOME has been the greatest DE, and that is still true now. What makes it so wonderful? Well, GNOME 3.x is ideal for productivity, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand. Not to mention, it is beautiful and simple -- it is a no-nonsense computing experience. There's a reason both Ubuntu and Fedora use GNOME as their default environment.
Project OWL, the winner of 2018's Call for Code, is a cloud-based analytics tool that assists in organization, whereabouts, and logistics for disaster response.
Today The Linux Foundation is announcing that it's making Project OWL's IoT device firmware open source to help developers around the world build mesh network nodes for global emergency communications networks.
Version 5.7 of the Linux kernel is due to land later this spring, and when it does there is quite a lot to look forward to. Additions include a new exFAT file-system driver which is great news for users.
While Linux has supported exFAT for a little while, the version that is currently support is limited because it is based on an old driver. But Samsung has been working away on an update version which will land in Linux 5.7, making it possible to work with larger media formatted using the exFAT file system.
Kanguru Defender Bio-Elite30 fingerprint-encrypted USB flash drive -- great for storage, perfect for Tails Linux [Review]
When I first saw the Kanguru Defender Bio-Elite30 flash drive, I was immediately intrigued. Having the ability to decrypt an encrypted flash drive with the touch of a finger was immensely convenient. And yes, convenience matters, as making encryption easy increases the likelihood that the user will actually use it. If encrypting files becomes too cumbersome, the user may not bother, leading to poor security practices.
Also cool was Kanguru's promise that it was operating system agnostic, meaning it would work with any OS, such as Windows, macOS, and desktop Linux distributions. I'd later find out that was only partially true, but more on that in a moment. It is even well-built -- the housing is a solid piece of aluminum that not only looks beautiful, but should lend to increased durability.
Microsoft's Windows 10 is hardly a new operating system anymore. In fact, it has been available to the public for damn near five years now. And yet, despite existing half a decade, it still feels very incomplete. The Control Panel still hasn't been merged with Settings, for instance, and the user interface still feels like a work in progress. Hey, at least those terrible Live Tiles are seemingly on their way out. Ultimately, using Windows 10 feels like you are in a constant state of beta. It shouldn't be this way -- Microsoft's operating system should be much better than it is. After all, the company essentially has unlimited resources.
Thankfully, Linux is here to save the day. Yes, thanks to Linux distributions, computer users can experience a sane operating system -- one that actually makes sense. There are countless great Linux-based operating systems, such as MX Linux 19.1, Netrunner 20.01, elementary OS 5.1.2, and Manjaro 19.0. One of my favorite Linux distros -- particularly for those switching from Windows -- is the excellent Zorin OS. Why? Well, it is very secure, looks great, offers a familiar user experience, and comes with some great free software. Today, a new version of that operating system -- Zorin OS 15.2 -- becomes available for download, and it looks awesome.
Microsoft has announced that its cross-platform automation tool and configuration framework PowerShell 7 is now Generally Available.
Available for Windows, macOS and Linux, PowerShell 7 sees Microsoft moving from .NET Core 2.x to 3.1 which enables greater backwards compatibility with existing Windows PowerShell modules thanks to the resurrection of numerous .NET Framework APIs. The cross-platform nature of PowerShell 7 means that Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, Debian and other Linux distro are embraced.
Ubuntu Linux computer-maker System76 launches Neptune Blue, Martian Red, and Dark Matter Black Thelio colors
System76 as an organization is a hero to the Linux community. For many years, the company has sold computers running Ubuntu, lending a legitimacy to the idea of Linux on the desktop. System76 even evolved beyond just selling computers — it now makes them too. Best of all, the computers are made in the USA. The company even maintains its own Linux distribution called “POP!_OS.”
Today, the company announces a cool new configuration choice for its homemade Thelio desktop computers. No, it isn’t anything that will impact performance, but still, it is very exciting — thee new color options!
A couple days ago, we shared some pretty great news with you -- Manjaro Linux 19.0 "Kyria" was finally available for download. This Arch-based operating system has exploded in popularity lately, so people were obviously excited to get the new version.
While Manjaro 19.0 initially came with three desktop environment options (GNOME, KDE, and Xfce) that obviously wasn't enough to please everyone. After all, this is the Linux community we are talking about here -- many users treat distros and desktop environments like tribalism. And so, MATE fans were sadly left out of the party. Today this changes, thankfully, as Manjaro MATE 19.0 is now available.
The Raspberry Pi line has provided great little Linux computers to nerds -- its low price and small size makes it ideal for tinkering and doing projects. But also, the device has proven to be a solid media device, wonderful for watching videos and emulating classic video games. In other words, it has been a very versatile computer, serving as many things to many people.
With the release of the Raspberry Pi 4, however, it finally became powerful enough to serve as a true desktop computer. By installing a Linux distribution, some people can use it for day-to-day computer use, such as web browsing, playing media, and word processing. Unfortunately, the $35 base model came with a paltry 1GB of RAM. Today, this changes, as the company has dropped the price of the 2GB version to $35, effectively doubling the memory for the base model.