Linux Mint is a rather great operating system. The distribution is based on the fabulous Ubuntu, so it is very stable and has plenty of compatible packages. Not to mention, the Mint developers focus heavily on the user experience. Linux Mint isn't just designed for Linux experts (although they can totally use it), but beginners too -- it is easy to start using straight away.
The developers have a long history of using female names as the code name for each version of the operating system. For instance, in the past, they have used "Tara," "Sylvia," and "Sonya," to name a few. Today, we learn the female name assigned to the upcoming Linux Mint 19.1 -- "Tessa."
There are two types of Linux users -- those that think GNOME 3 is the overall best desktop environment, and those that are wrong. Yes, if you use Linux on the desktop, you should be embracing GNOME for optimal productivity. Sure, other DEs such as KDE Plasma, Xfce, and Cinnamon are good, but they simply pale in comparison.
Today, the latest version of the desktop environment -- GNOME 3.30 -- sees release. It is has been dubbed "Almería," which apparently is the Spanish city in which this year's GUADEC conference was held. As you can expect, it is chock-full of new features, bug fixes, and improvements. In fact, there are an insane 24,845 changes! The GNOME developers claim it will use fewer system resources too -- nice! There is even a new podcast app -- the simply named "Podcasts."
Let's be honest -- in a world with easy legal streaming thanks to inexpensive services like Netflix and Hulu, Kodi media center is probably used mostly by pirates. It is not likely the average consumer is storing video and music files locally to play on their TV -- it simply isn't worth the hassle these days. With that said, not all Kodi users are thieves -- I am sure some are legally buying media for playback on the media software... maybe...
Regardless of why you use Kodi (I'm not judging), the best way to experience it is through a Linux distribution that focuses on it. LibreELEC, for instance, is a lightweight distro that exists only to run the Kodi media center. It is quite popular with Raspberry Pi owners, but it runs on other hardware too, including x86_64 and WeTek boxes. Kodi 18 "Leia" recently achieved Beta 1 status, and as a result, LibreELEC 9.0 Alpha has been updated with it. In other words, the most bleeding edge LibreELEC now runs the most bleeding edge Kodi.
Linux Mint Debian Edition isn’t a very popular operating system. As you can imagine, the normal Linux Mint variant — which is based on Ubuntu — is used by far more people. It’s not hard to see why this is — the Linux Mint developers don’t really consider LMDE to be anything more than an experiment. You see, it serves as a contingency plan just in case Ubuntu development ever ceases.
With all of that said, there’s no reason why users shouldn’t give Linux Mint Debian Edition a try. Today, just in time for Labor Day Weekend, LMDE 3 “Cindy” finally sees release. With many people enjoying a long holiday weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to install the rolling release distro and play around with it!
A VPN is pretty much essential these days if you want to protect your privacy and beat annoying geographic restrictions put in place by websites and services. There are plenty to choose from, including some very good -- but usually limited -- free options.
NordVPN is one of the best paid VPNs, with apps for all of the major platforms. The one platform it hasn’t directly supported up until now is Linux, but that changes today.
Canonical once had an ambitious vision of making Ubuntu a dynamic operating system that would scale to desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Unfortunately, this goal was ultimately a failure -- the Ubuntu Touch plan was abandoned. Later, the much-maligned Unity environment was killed off. Why did it all fail? Quite simply, as Microsoft learned with Windows Phone, it is pretty much impossible to compete with Google and Apple in mobile. Android and iOS are just too mature and too good. Ubuntu Touch had no real chance due to a lack of apps and device support.
For those that still own devices compatible with Ubuntu Touch, all is not lost. You see, the UBports Foundation has picked up development. Today, the foundation releases version OTA-4, which is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It is chock-full of improvements, but unfortunately, despite the "OTA" name, you apparently cannot upgrade over the air.
The prospect of running Linux apps on a Chromebook is something that has many people excited since Google first announced the plans.
For those who like to live on the edge with the Canary and Dev builds of Chrome OS, Linux apps are already a reality -- but what about everyone else? While we know that Linux app support is coming to a range of Chromebooks from Lenovo, Acer, Dell and others, a post on the Chromium Gerrit reveals that devices running Linux 3.14 or older will miss out.
One of the best things about there being so many Linux distributions, is it can be fun to try them all. Believe it or not, "distro-hopping" is a legit hobby, where the user enjoys installing and testing various Linux-based operating systems and desktop environments. While Fedora is my reliable go-to distro, I am quite happy to try alternatives too. Hell, truth be told, I have more fun trying distributions than playing video games these days, but I digress.
A unique distribution I recommend trying is the Ubuntu-based Bodhi Linux. The operating system is lightweight, meaning it should run decently on fairly meager hardware. It uses a desktop environment called "Moksha" which is very straightforward. The Enlightenment 17 fork is a no-nonsense DE that both beginners and power users will appreciate. Today, version 5.0.0 finally becomes available. This follows a July release candidate.
In the world of non-console gaming, the Windows platform reigns supreme. That's not to say that Mac and Linux users aren't gamers, but their computer-based gaming choices are rather more limited thanks to developers' tendency to offer Windows support over anything else.
Now Valve is looking to change things with its Steam platform. The latest version of Steam Play makes it possible to play some Windows games on Linux, greatly increasing the size of the gaming catalog available to Linux-based gamers.
Yeah, there are way too many Linux distributions these days. You know what, though? Many of them are great! True, it is probably a waste of resources, but as long as high-quality distros are being released, who really cares?
One such excellent Linux-based desktop operating system is the beautiful deepin. Today, that OS reaches version 15.7. The distribution features significant performance improvements, a new laptop battery saving mode, a reduced ISO image size (nearly 20 percent), and better memory optimization. Owners of laptops with Nvidia hybrid graphics will appreciate improved compatibility thanks to NVIDIA-PRIME.
Debian is one of the most important open source projects ever. The Debian Linux operating system is extremely popular in its own right, but also, it is used as the base for countless other distributions. Ubuntu, for instance -- one of the most-used distros -- is Debian-based. Even Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, also has a Debian edition. Not to mention, Raspbian -- the official Raspberry Pi OS -- which is based on Debian too.
Today, Debian is celebrating a very important milestone -- a 25th birthday! Yes, it is seriously that old -- its development was announced on August 16, 1993. Hell, many of its current users weren't even born then!
I'm not a Microsoft "hater" at all. With that said, I am not a fan of the state of Windows 10. The privacy issues alone are a reason to avoid the operating system, but that is hardly the only concern. For instance, Microsoft has been pre-loading tiles for games like Candy Crush and other apps -- a move that shows major disrespect towards its customers. Not to mention, the "Insiders" program is just a way for the company to get free beta testing -- Microsoft is all too happy to treat Windows 10 users as guinea pigs. It is all very shameful.
These days, if someone asks my advice on buying a computer, I recommend purchasing a Mac, Chromebook, or PC with a traditional desktop Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu. If you are happy with your current computer, but hate Windows 10, installing a Linux distro is very easy nowadays. I often suggest that Windows switchers try Zorin OS as it has a familiar interface. Today, that excellent operating system reaches version 12.4.
Cloud storage rules -- especially when coupled with a local backup plan. Quite frankly, it is one of the best computing innovations of all time. How cool is it that you can easily backup important files to an offsite location? Let's be honest -- before the cloud, many computer and smartphone users didn't bother backing up at all. While many still do not, the cloud has definitely improved the situation through convenience and affordability.
I have long been a proponent of the cross-platform Dropbox, as it has really been the only major cloud storage company to offer Linux support. Google, for example -- which uses the Linux kernel for both Android and Chrome OS -- shamefully never brought its Drive cloud storage platform to traditional desktop Linux. Unfortunately, Dropbox is suddenly making the cloud rain poop on Linux users. In a shocking turn of events, it is dropping support for most file systems.
Next month, students across America will be returning to school. Whether K-12 or college, technology has become increasingly important in the classroom. It is for this reason that a laptop can be an essential tool for a learner.
Microsoft recently launched the Surface Go, and while the underpowered tablet looks like a decent enough option for students on a budget, let's be honest -- it isn't a true laptop. Its floppy keyboard (which is sold separately) means it is not sturdy on a lap. Not to mention, it is more of a secondary computer -- not a main PC. If you would rather equip the student in your life with a true computer, why not turn to Linux? After all, open source is the future of computing. System76 has a new back-to-school sale that makes buying a computer running Ubuntu or Pop!_OS much more affordable.
I'm a GNOME fan, but I appreciate other desktop environments too. KDE isn't my favorite, but when implemented properly, I can definitely see the allure. My favorite KDE-focused Linux distribution is Netrunner Rolling. It is based on the rock-solid Manjaro and Arch, but more importantly, it has a very polished user interface. Since it is follows a rolling release, the packages are always up to date too. An overall excellent distro for both Linux beginners and experts alike.
As a rolling release, it isn't necessary to upgrade the operating system at milestones, as with, say, Ubuntu or Fedora. But still, periodically, the ISOs are refreshed to roll up the latest updates and fixes. This way, there is less updating needed after a fresh install. Today, Netrunner Rolling 2018.08 sees release, meaning for those of you that are anal about maintaining up-to-date install media, it is time to burn a DVD or update a flash drive.