20 Jun 2017

Why I will not write a full-feature review of Debian 9

Debian 9 is out. It has been released on the 17th of June 2017.

Its codename is Stretch, which is yet another character from the Toy Story animated film.

It is available for download in both Install and Live versions, and Live version is available in many flavours: GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon, LXDE and so on.

I hope you will read the review of Debian 9 somewhere else, but I will not feature it on my blog.

There is a reason. Even more than one...

13 Jun 2017

Life and blog changes, and 10% off Linux disk orders

Hello my dear readers!

I am happy to share some news with you.

First of all, I have recently moved countries. My new residence country is Cyprus, a small sunny island in the Mediterranean.

Second, because of this change, the contents of the reviews will slightly change. I now do not have a remote file server with network attached drives. I will try to bring that file server to my new location too, but for the time being I will not be able to cover that part of my regular review scope.

Third, and this is the most interesting for you probably, I changed the pricing of the articles on the BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site. You may be aware that prices there depend on the shipping country. Because postage prices' structure on Cyprus is different to the one in the United Kingdom, and generally postage is cheaper here, in most cases you will see a drop in the cost of your future orders. Isn't that a good reason to buy even more disks with your favourite Linux distributions?

To celebrate my move, I also offer you an additional 10% discount for all orders placed before the  27th of July 2017. Just use the code CYPRUS at the checkout.

6 Jun 2017

Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 - what does the future look like?

You could recently read reviews of different flavours of Ubuntu 17.04 on Linux notes from DarkDuck blog: Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Lubuntu.

And you all remember the recent announcement from Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical that Ubuntu 17.10 will be the last version of Ubuntu coming with Unity Desktop Environment. It means that more attention in the Linux – and especially the Ubuntu – community is now on the Ubuntu GNOME version. I've never reviewed this version of Ubuntu yet.

Let's see what it is like. I downloaded the ISO image of Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 64-bit, which is 1.5 GB in size and "burnt" it onto the USB stick using the dd command.

The stick is in the port of my Dell Inspirion laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Fasten your seatbelt. Let's go!

30 May 2017

The Linux Virus: how it can be

Downloaded the virus for Linux.

Unzipped it.

Installed it under root.

It didn't start. Spent 2 hours googling. Realised that the virus instead of /usr/local/bin installed itself into /usr/bin where user malware does not have the write permissions. That's why the virus could not create a process file.

Found the patched .configure and .make files on the Chinese site. Recompiled, reinstalled. Virus announced that it needs the cmalw-lib-2.0 library. Found out that cmalw-lib-2.0 only exists for CentOs, but not for Ubuntu. Googled couple of hours, found a manual how to compile .deb from source. Compiled, installed, virus happily started, beeped in a speaker and terminated with a core dump.

The hour I spent reading syslog told me that the virus thought I have ext4 and called its api to encrypt the disk. This api is deprecated in btrfs, that's why Linux realised that inconsistency and made the partition read-only.

Opened the virus source code, grep'ped the bitcoin wallet and sent $5 just out of compassion.

Went to bed...

Source (in Russian), translation by DarkDuck

25 May 2017

Why Is Linux More Secure Than Windows?

When choosing an operating system, there are many different factors that are taken into consideration. However, security is becoming increasingly important. You only need to look at the news to see the increasing number of data breaches that are occurring around the world at present. Choosing an operating system with care is your first step when defending your personal data. With that in mind, read on to discover the reasons why Linux is more secure than Windows.

16 May 2017

Ubuntu MATE 17.04 - Fast Forward to the Past

Linux notes from DarkDuck has recently published reviews of two of the most popular flavours of the Ubuntu 17.04 family: Lubuntu and Kubuntu got most of the orders from BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site, on par with Ubuntu 17.04 itself. Another flavour with a popular demand is Ubuntu MATE. And again, I used the opportunity to write a review of Ubuntu MATE 17.04 Live using the customer disk before posting it.

You can download Ubuntu MATE from the official web site https://ubuntu-mate.org/. Both torrent and direct downloads from many mirrors are supported.

The ISO image of Ubuntu MATE 17.04 32-bit is 1.7 GB in size. I burnt it onto the DVD-R disk.

The disk is in the drive of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Fasten your seatbelts! Let's go!

9 May 2017

Solus - how far will it go?

Solus is not a new operating system for this blog. There were a couple of reviews of Solus OS 1.2 back in 2012, one of them I wrote myself while another was a guest post.

However, there were a lot of changes since then. Solus OS changed the name to Solus, the approach to the system build has changed, and there have been few new releases already. The newest version now is Solus 2017.04.18.0. As you can guess from the name, it was released on the 18th of April 2017.

Solus is available with many desktop environments, but on the top of the list is Budgie, the new player on the scene. The team behind Budgie is the same team that stands behind Solus. This DE gains more and more popularity, and there is even an official Ubuntu Budgie flavour now. Budgie is the flagship flavour for Solus, of course. I decided to try that desktop environment for the first time.

I downloaded the ISO image of this operating system, which is 1.2 GB in size. Only the 64-bit version is available for this release of Solus. After downloading I "burnt" it onto my USB stick.

The USB stick is in the port of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Fasten your seatbelts. Let's go!