30 Jul 2015

Zorin OS, consider me a Linux fan for life

After what now seems forever on a Windows based OS (most recently, XP and 7 for desktops, Vista for laptop), I decided to move away from XP and install Zorin OS 8 core. Although I am still on a learning curve, I cannot stress enough how much I love the OS and have not had a moment of wanting to go back to any Windows version.

Other than some challenges with game installs (not a major issue for me), I am a huge fan of the look, feel, and scale of Zorin. So many headaches from XP have been alleviated and as well as endless hard drive clutter.

I find the office applications to be very much like Windows Office (sans $$$ to keep up to date) and the email and messenger clients are very user friendly. In the case of Thunderbird, setup from my existing email was a breeze and it even eliminates redundant messages. When I check email on my iPhone, I used to have to go to the webmail site and clean up on a regular basis as the messages would show in both locations.

While I come across the "old guard" wanting to cling to XP for dear life as it drifts into the sunset and becomes even more prone to virus, malware and spyware attacks, consider me a Linux fan for life.

I look forward to learning and growing as part of the user community.

All the best!

This is a guest post by Jim Stanley, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.

21 Jul 2015

Emmabuntus 3: take it all

This is not the first time I have reviewed the distribution I'm going to talk about now. Moreover, I interviewed one of the team leaders and we ran a joint contest with this France-based team.

The distribution continues to develop. Their latest release is number 3, and it is based on Ubuntu 14.04.2.

Let's talk about Emmabuntus 3 today.

The only option to download the ISO with this distribution is through the Sourceforge's network of mirrors. They don't provide a torrent file for the downloading. Although it is not a big problem anyway.

The ISO image size of Emmabuntus 3.1.01 is 3.8Gb. This is more than Emmabuntus 2 used to have. I downloaded the ISO image and tried to "burn" to a USB stick using Ubuntu's built-in image writer. Unfortunately, this did not produce a bootable USB stick. Then I had to revert to a "classic" option using the dd command. It took about 30 minutes to complete. But again, Emmabuntus 3 refused to boot from USB. As the last resort, I burned the ISO image to a DVD-RW drive. It worked.

So, fasten your seatbelts! Let's go!

14 Jul 2015

DarkDuck is back on the front



I mentioned this in a quick Post Scriptum-style note to one of my recent articles, but let me talk about it once again.
There have not been many updates on Linux notes from DarkDuck recently.

For some time, I mostly published a number of guest posts about various operating systems, as well as some how-tos and interviews. I hope you have enjoyed that nevertheless.

7 Jul 2015

Fedora 22: not obvious excellence

I have recently interviewed a very interesting person: the community leadership manager from Red Hat, Ruth Suehle. Among other tasks, she deals with the Fedora community. DarkDuck had reviewed Fedora distributions before, but that was back in 2011 when Fedora 16 was the freshest release. You can still read those pieces about Fedora 16 KDE, GNOME 3, Xfce and LXDE, Fedora 17 KDE and GNOME 3. Ruth told me that Fedora 22, which was released in late May 2015, contained many interesting features. That's why I decided to give it a go.

Some time ago Fedora Linux's main web site was fedoraproject.net. Now this address redirects to a different domain - getfedora.org. Once you get to the site, you have 3 options for the download: Desktop, Server and Cloud. Obviously, Desktop is the option you choose for your home computer. So I did. And then you get a page with a single green button on it: Download Now. It means that you will get an ISO image of Fedora Desktop from your nearest mirror. It is the version with GNOME 3 desktop environment. If, however, you want to get the ISO with a different DE (called Fedora Spins) or via a different method like torrent, you need to jump through a number of hoops. To save you from that, here are the links: https://spins.fedoraproject.org/ and https://torrents.fedoraproject.org/.

So, I downloaded the ISO image of Fedora 22 GNOME 64-bit, which us 1.4 Gb in size. I "burnt" it onto a USB stick using the Ubuntu built-in image writer.

Memory stick is in the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

30 Jun 2015

Jdrivesync: your Google Drive synchronisation client for Linux

Google Drive is an instrument that is used by many. Of course, there are many alternatives to it like Dropbox or Yandex.Drive, but nevertheless many prefer a Google-backed solution. One of the reasons for me was an ability to have several services under one "roof", one account.

Google released clients for its Drive for many platforms: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and so on. Unfortunately, an official Linux client is still a missing part of the puzzle. That is why developers worked to create unofficial clients for Google Drive.

Grive was a solution for many. It worked on Ubuntu, Debian and so on... It was distributed in source code only, so you had to compile it for your own OS. Unfortunately, things changed in April 2015. Grive no longer works. The reasons behind this issue are given here.

Is there an alternative to Grive? Yes, there are several options:
  1. Insync. This is a paid option. I leave it for those who interested.
  2. Ocamlfuse. It is a heavy-weight solution. I tried it in the past, and was not 100% happy about it.
  3. Jdrivesync. This is the free option I've never tried before.
Let's explore it!

24 Jun 2015

Mageia 5 KDE: quick screenshot tour

Mageia 5 is a distribution that many people where waiting for. Initially scheduled for November 2014, it was finally released on the 19th of June 2015.

Let's have a look at this distribution with a quick screenshot tour. This is not intended to be a full-scale review, just a quick glance.

23 Jun 2015

Ubuntu 15.04: evolution continues

Everyone knows the distribution that I am going to review today. It is one of the most famous distributions in the world, leader of the Distrowatch chart and base for many forks and spins.

Canonical releases new versions of Ubuntu family distributions every 6 months. Ubuntu 15.04 was released in April 2015, and you can buy the disk with this version on BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk or via a special post on this blog.

Although it is very easy to download an ISO image from Ubuntu's official web site, people order these disks from me, so I decided to take one of them for a personal test-drive. The distribution's ISO image is about 1.2 Gb in size.

So, DVD with the 64-bit Desktop version Ubuntu 15.04 is in the DVD-drive of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!