27 Sept 2012

Juggling remote filesystems with Gigolo

Gigolo is a natty front-end for managing remote filesystems using GNOME Virtual File System (GVfs or GIO). Should you be interested in getting it?

Gigolo's key card is its minimalism. It's very, very efficient, and tucks a lot of the nastier protocol stuff out of view. The UI - user interface - is clean and bold, clearly segregated and obviously purpose-built.

While the great UI is going to be a plus for all users - it makes mounting filesystems a breeze, and you can patrol them using bookmarks (more on this later) - tucking all the protocols out of the way may not appeal to the Linux crowd. Why? Because Linux users are notoriously fond of tinkering with the inner workings of things, and here's they're not simply posted to a debugging console.

25 Sept 2012

Create Live USB with Linux like you have never done before!

I like to try and review different free open source operating systems. This is what this blog is about.

usb key linux 1
Image of Dariolynx
The majority of my reviews are for Live runs of the OS’s. Wherever possible, I try to use a Live USB, not Live CD or Live DVD run. The reason is obvious: the speed of a USB run is much higher than that of an optical drive. This makes an overall experience better and wastes less time.

Unfortunately, a Live USB run is not always possible for me. The reason is in my laptop’s BIOS, which does not work properly with hybrid ISO images.

Some time ago I wrote an article titled "Different methods to create Live USB", where 6 different methods were described. Obviously, the most widely used of them are the command dd and the tool Unetbootin.

Since hybrid images are not usable for me, the command dd is rarely good for me. Unetbootin is my most often used method.

Unfortunately, Unetbootin is not always satisfactory either. The most recent case was my experiment with OpenSuSE 12.1 Li-f-e. That time round, I had to revert to the Live DVD method.

That was a trigger to one of my readers to join the scene. The person under the nickname Cyberorg (his real name is Jigish Gohil, by the way) mentioned a new method, which I’ve never heard of before. It is his own tool, which creates a Live USB from ISO images with a method different from Unetbootin’s. Of course, I wanted to try it.

23 Sept 2012

Peppermint OS Three: between the cloud and the desktop

The cloud era is coming. Some people can argue whether this is good or bad. Maybe that’s only the fashion. Maybe not. Although more and more people think of the cloud as if it were the inevitable future.

That’s why cloud-oriented operating systems come into play. What are the most widely-known of them? I can name three from the top of my memory: Chrome OS, xPud and Peppermint OS.

Let’s talk about Peppermint OS today. Their latest release was issued at the end of July 2012, when Peppermint OS Three was presented.

You can download the ISO image of this operating system either from one of four mirrors, of from the torrent. I used the latter option to get my own image of Peppermint OS Three 32-bit. The distribution ISO image size is only 554 Mb.

I used Unetbootin to "burn" the image onto the USB stick. When it was ready, the time to reboot my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop had come. Choose to boot from the USB. Let's go!

20 Sept 2012

Support this blog: vote for it!

Hello to all my readers!

Do you like this blog? I hope you do!
If you do like this blog as much as I do, please do me a favour: support it! Yes, I need your (YOUR, Y-O-U-R) support.
It's not that difficult actually.

What you need to do?
--->>> Click here <<<--- and get to the page dedicated to my blog on the contest organized by Wishfree.com. Login to that contest page using your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn credentials. And nominate!
Yes, that's simple!

And I thank you beforehand for all your votes! Wish me good luck, and I hope to win the competition.

We are the champions - my friends 
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end! 
We are the champions! 
We are the champions! 
No time for losers, 
'Cause we are the champions - of the world! 

18 Sept 2012

To Stay Informed, Let Your Computer Email You

Wouldn't it be nice to have your server send you regular email about system issues? That's an easy task for two simple SMTP email programs, sSMTP and Blat. These utilities don't provide all the options of an enterprise-class mail transfer agent (MTA) such as Sendmail, Qmail, or Postfix, but their simplicity makes them easy to manage and use.

16 Sept 2012

OpenSuSE 12.2 GNOME: a step ahead

None of my previous meetings with different OpenSuSE products finished well. Although I liked OpenSuSE 11.4 KDE more than OpenSuSE 11.4 GNOME, I still was not too happy with it.

OpenSuSE 12.1 Li-f-e, which I reviewed few days ago, did not change my opinion in that area.

In the meantime, I decided to give OpenSuSE 12.2 a go. This release saw the world at the beginning of September 2012.

As you may know, I run my own site Buy Linux CDs, and also list some Linux CDs on eBay. I got some orders for OpenSuSE 12.2 disks. Because of that, I had an option to try the distribution myself: I test each CD before dispatch. These all were KDE versions of OpenSuSE 12.2. If you want to know more about OpenSuSE 12.2 KDE, you can read other reviews, for example the one from Prashanth. I can only say that I was still unimpressed by this release. But my curiosity made me to try yet another version: OpenSuSE 12.2 GNOME.
Update 01 October 2012: After some consideration, I wrote a my own review of OpenSuSE 12.2 KDE.

This time round, I decided to follow the steps from the official OpenSuSE manual, and create a LiveUSB from their ISO image. The ISO image size is 671 Mb, which would fit a usual CD. The site’s guidance is very simple: you only need to run a dd command. To be even more pro-OpenSuSE, I ran this dd command from a LiveCD run of OpenSuSE KDE.

So, when the LiveUSB was ready, I rebooted my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 and chose to boot from USB. Let's go!

13 Sept 2012

5 highly rated Linux OS distributions

First released in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, Linux is an open-source operating system derived from the UNIX OS. The philosophy of such open-source operating systems is that they are community-driven; Linux evolves to meet the demands and wishes of its users. There are many great Linux distributions to choose from, each boasting their own advantages and niches. Some designed to be very user-friendly, others intended to give power users greater control over their systems. Here are five of the most highly rated Linux distributions on offer today.

11 Sept 2012

Build Your Own Personal Linux Distro using Lubuntu

If your like me, no Linux distribution or desktop environment suites you just right. I always seem to have to work around something or with something that just doesn't suit me.

Well this is how to have Linux your way.

This is my Light-Weight Distro!
This is my Light-Weight Distro

Of course, you can use the Psychorat's approach and install Ubuntu his way.

For me, I prefer a different way. Let me show you how I made it.

9 Sept 2012

OpenSuSE 12.1 Li-f-e: get trained, if you can

It was long ago when I wrote about OpenSuSE for the last time. It was a version OpenSuSE 11.4 KDE. It does not mean that I have not checked their newer releases. Indeed, I tried Live CDs with OpenSuSE 12.1 GNOME and KDE. They were not too impressive for me to write about, that’s why I skipped that release.

Although, I'd like to come back to OpenSuSE theme today, this time in relation to yet another branch of this family: Educational. They call it Li-f-e: Linux-for-education.

The latest version of OpenSuSE Li-f-e is based on OpenSuSE 12.1, which is not the latest as of early September. I hope the newer OpenSuSE 12.2 Li-f-e will be released soon, but in the meantime let's talk about OpenSuSE 12.1 Li-f-e. You may consider this distribution, if you’re looking for something suitable in the way of a Linux Desktop or Laptop version for pupils, students or teachers in your environment.

The ISO image of OpenSuSE 12.1 Li-f-e is 2.9 Gb in size. This is pretty impressive. You can theoretically download it from one of many mirrors or from torrent, although my attempt to use torrent failed: the torrent server did not recognize my requests. I downloaded the ISO image through direct link.

Officially, Unetbootin lists OpenSuSE as one of the possible distributions to work with. In practice, though, Unetbootin did not create a workable Live USB for me, even when I used different versions from different host OSes.

Because of the failure in my usual way to get a Live USB, I reverted to the official documentation page. It recommends you use the dd command for CD images, which may work but also may not, based on my previous experience. As for a DVD image, and this case is a DVD one, of course, it lists a separate set of instructions for Windows and Linux users. Windows instructions are more or less clear. However, if you run Linux, you may be frustrated, as I was. The reason? The instructions are given on the assumption that you create the Live USB for OpenSuSE from an installed OpenSuSE operating system. Is it a vicious circle? Sounds like it!

Finally, I gave up an idea of a Live USB. Instead, I used a DVD-RW disk to burn the ISO image. When the disk was ready, I rebooted my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Choose to boot from the optical drive. Let's go!

6 Sept 2012

How to Use Linux to Rejuvenate Old Computers

Examining Old Desktop
Image by slgckgc
If you're at the point of tossing that old computer in the trash, don't! No matter what, you can upgrade or find something to do with that computer, because of Linux.

4 Sept 2012

Four Top Open Source Screencast Applications

When you want to show people how to accomplish something on their computers, nothing works better than video. You can capture all the action on any desktop using any of several open source alternatives. We picked four applications that cover a range of users' needs. FFmpeg, recordMyDesktop, VLC, and CamStudio, between them, offer GUI and command-line usage, run on Linux and Windows, and provide basic or advanced functionality. The one thing they have in common is that they're all free and open source software.

2 Sept 2012

Zorin OS 6 Educational: the operating system for students' and pupils' home computers

Just a few days ago I wrote about Edubuntu, the Ubuntu-based Linux distribution targeted to the "market" of teachers, students, pupils and everyone in the industry of education.

You can install this operating system on a Linux Desktop or Laptop, which you bought for your child or yourself.

Of course, Edubuntu is not the only distribution with the purpose of helping people to teach and learn. Another example in this area is Zorin OS Educational.

As you can understand from the distro’s name, this is a product of Zorin OS team, which is focused on releasing Linux-based operating systems that will ease the learning curve for ex-Windows users.

The image size of Zorin OS 6 Educational is 1.9 Gb. It is available from one of several mirrors for free download.

I used Unetbootin to "burn" the image to the USB stick, which I later plugged into the port of my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!