25 Dec 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Another year has gone. It was a nice year. A year when I returned to blogging. A year when many troubles went away. A year of hope. A year of love.

Let me wish to all of my readers

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

I wish you all the best in the coming year!

See you all in 2016!

Stay tuned to Linux notes from DarkDuck.

22 Dec 2015

How-to video: Removing old kernels in Ubuntu

Once new kernel passes the test system, Ubuntu offers you to install it through its update system.
At the same time, old kernel remains in the system. It means that after some time of using Ubuntu, you may have a number of old kernels. They take your disk space and also may clutter the GRUB menu, although the latter issue is resolved in newer versions of Ubuntu.

This video shows you the way to remove old obsolete kernels from your Ubuntu installation.

The same approach is valid for whole Ubuntu family and derivatives: Xubuntu, EdubuntuKubuntu, Zorin OS, Linux Mint and so on.

Please remember that the "best practice" is to keep at least two kernels in the system: the current and the previous one. This is to ensure the fallback solution if current kernel fails for whatever reason.

How many old kernels do you have in your system? How often do you remove the obsolete kernels?

21 Dec 2015

DarkDuck is looking for the hosting provider change

Hello to all my subscribers.

Let me use this blog post for my personal rather than Linux-oriented need. I promise we will come back to Linux very soon.

You may be aware that I run this blog along with some other sites, one of them being buylinuxcds.co.uk. That's why I need a hosting provider. My current one is Awardspace.

I cannot recommend them high enough for their quality of service. Their technical support is exceptional. Their uptime and bandwidth are very good.

However, their price is no longer competitive. I feel like I can find a better price to host my sites. Maybe that is what you can help me with?

So, what do I need?

  • I have 3 different domains to host (one .com and two .co.uk), some of them having sub-domains of 3rd and 4th levels. None of these sub-domains should be lost, but not all of them will be hosted by my new potential hosting provider. For example, this blog will remain on Blogger.
  • Worpress installation and all surrounding infrastructure (PHP, MySQL and so on)
  • My current provider says I use 1.2Gb of disk space and 25Gb of monthly traffic. I think it is an overestimation, but let's stick to these numbers.
  • It should not necessarily be a free hosting. I am OK to pay a reasonable amount if that's lower than my Awardspace renewal offer.
Can you recommend any hosting provider who can meet my requirements? If yes, please leave a comment here or email me: darkduck at darkduck dot com.

PS. I will honour affiliate links, if you provide them.

15 Dec 2015

Manjaro Linux 15.09: the user-friendly Arch

There are several distributions in the Linux world that many users have heard of, but are scared to try. Examples? Slackware, Arch, Gentoo, maybe even Debian. They all have a geeky aura. They have a reputation of being less user-friendly. Too many people prefer to stick to Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora or Mageia.

However, there are attempts to make these "hardcore" distributions more user-friendly through their derivatives. One of these derivatives is Manjaro Linux that I am going to try today. It is the Arch's derivative.

To be honest, the idea of trying Manjaro was in my head for quite a long time, but it was an order from BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site that made it real.

You can download Manjaro Linux from their official Sourceforge page. There are KDE, Xfce and NetInstall versions that are supported officially, plus a dozen more flavours from the Community.

Manjaro also offers torrent downloads, but the number of available torrents on their page is much less than the number of flavours. Xfce flavour isn't available in particular. I had to download it directly using one of the Sourceforge mirrors.

The Manjaro 15.09 Xfce 32-bit ISO image is about 1.4 GB in size. I burnt it onto the DVD-R.
The DVD-R is in the tray of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go.

8 Dec 2015

Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon quick screenshot tour

With the newest version of Linux Mint 17.3 released just few days ago, it is no wonder a big part of Linux community is interested in it.

Let me give you a quick screenshot tour through the Cinnamon edition of this distribution.

(attention: graphics)

1 Dec 2015

Christmas gift ideas for Linux fans

Are you a Linux fan? Or maybe you have some friends who prefer Linux to any other operating systems? Or maybe both?

You know that Christmas and New Year are not too far away from now. This is the time when people usually exchange presents. I would like to give you some ideas of presents that you may give to your friends from the Linux community, or may be request for yourself.

Let's start with some fun

Let's pretend you don't know what Ubuntu is. Then, this is for you: Ubuntu haircare accessories. You can buy them from Amazon in the UK or worldwide.

If you pretend that you don't know what Fedora is, then why not give your friends a fedora or two? Again, Amazon UK and worldwide sites may help.

Sabayon fans will be happy to get some pans to cook their favourite dish. Do they live in the UK or the rest of the world? The help is near!

Forever classic

If you don't want to play fool with your friends, then there are some classic gifts to your rescue:


Still unsure? Then choose a book! That's always a good present! There are many books about Linux available on either Amazon UK or global sites.

The links in this text are affiliated and Linux notes from DarkDuck will get commissions if you make purchases through them.

24 Nov 2015

Sabayon 15.11 KDE: hot, hotter and burnt

Sabayon is a distribution not famous among the majority of Linux fans, although it still has a decent army of followers. It is in the Top 30 of distributions, according to Distrowatch.

I have reviewed Sabayon several times some time ago. It was back in 2012 when I looked at version Sabayon 8.0. Since then, Sabayon changed the way they number their versions and started to produce new releases every single month. Version 15.11 was released at the end of October 2015.

You can get ISO images of Sabayon either though one of their mirrors, or by torrent. I downloaded Sabayon 15.11 KDE 64-bit that is about 1.9 GB in size. Along with KDE, you can get Xfce, MATE, GNOME and some more flavours, including your own "SpinBase", if you wish.

I used the Ubuntu's built-in tool to "burn" the ISO image of Sabaon 15.11 KDE onto my USB stick. It worked for me.

Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

17 Nov 2015

Ubuntu GNOME: the typical part of the family

The GNOME edition is one of many official Ubuntu spins available since version 13.04. It is officially supported by Canonical. I have never tried this version before, although I am more or less familiar with other representatives of the GNOME3 offsprings: Mageia, Fedora, OpenSuSE. It was time to taste this flavour too.

The ISO image of Ubuntu GNOME 15.10 occupies about 1.2 GB. You can download it from many mirrors or using torrent.

I "burnt" that image onto the USB stick using the Ubuntu's built-in tool. The USB stick is ready and plugged into the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Let's go!

10 Nov 2015

Chalet OS: good idea, bad design

The recent review of Xfce Smooth Linux distribution was a hit among my readers: it got a lot of views. Soon after that review went live, I talked to distribution author and he pointed me to yet another interesting Linux distribution that he liked.

I followed the link that he provided, and decided that the distribution deserved some attention.

Let me introduce you to Chalet OS. The web site of this operating system says that their main target audience is fresh Linux converts who come to the Linux world from other operating systems. Isn't it the same audience that Zorin OS is aiming at? I was baffled and intrigued!

The latest version of the Chalet OS  distribution has the number 14.04.3, which gives us a proper clue that Chalet OS is actually another offspring in the Ubuntu family. This version was released in August 2015.

I downloaded the 64-bit version ISO, which is about 1.3 Gb in size. You can get it either using a direct link, or torrent. I used the Ubuntu's built-in tool to "burn" this ISO image to the USB stick.
The USB drive is plugged into the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

5 Nov 2015

How-to: headless radio player on Raspberry Pi 2 and SolydX RPi2

First some background story: A little under two years ago my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bone cancer. Today she is paralyzed and bed-ridden. In an effort to keep her comfortable and relaxed, I have hooked up a custom music streaming device to play her favorite genre of music (classical) anytime she wants it. Radio reception and music selection is an issue in our region.

I started with a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, a WiPi wireless adapter, an 8GB microSD card and a low cost case. I downloaded the SolydX RPi2 edition and extracted it onto the microSD card. Once done and inserted into the RPi2, I booted the system and followed the usual procedure for expanding the file system to use the entire SD card. Set up your network connection at this time if you are using the wireless adapter.

Now the fun can begin.

27 Oct 2015

Xfce Smooth: the smooth variations

I, DarkDuck, am always interested in new, unusual, non-mainstream Linux distributions. That's why I was very happy when one of my old readers asked me to prepare him a disk with a Linux distribution that I've never heard of before. And the order came through BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk web site, which meant I had to prepare the disk with that distribution anyway.

You won't find this distribution's name in Distrowatch. They have no official web site. Does this distribution even exist? Once upon a time I asked this question about Zorin OS. Yes, this distribution exists and you can download it from the Sourceforge page. The name is Xfce Smooth.

The ISO image is about 1.7 Gb in size. I downloaded it and burnt onto the DVD-R disk that I was going to send out.

The DVD is in the drive of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop.

Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

22 Oct 2015

The Linux article contest from Linux notes from DarkDuck extended

Linux notes from DarkDuck announced a contest of Linux-related articles. That contest was linked to the 5th anniversary of the blog.

The contest was due to finish on the 15th of October 2015

I am happy to tell you that the end date is now 31st of October 2015! It means you still have time to submit your article and receive your prize!

Happy writing!

20 Oct 2015

BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk got new design

You know that BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk is a site where you can order CD or DVD with your favourite distribution of Linux operating system. The disk will be delivered to your door in any part of the world.

Disks ordered through BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk cost only 2.00 GBP for UK delivery, 5.50 USD for US delivery and 3.50 GBP for the rest of the world.

The list of distributions available for immediate order is impressive. If you don't find your distribution in the list, you can still order it through the contact form.

This site received an upgrade recently, which also means changes in the design. I welcome you to check that new design and make your orders!

Happy buying!

16 Oct 2015

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog is 5 years old

Yes, you read it right!

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog is 5 years old today! Can't believe that!

Congratulations and Thank You to all my readers who stay with me!

13 Oct 2015

Simply Linux 7.0.5: Love from Russia

Simply Linux is not a new guest on Linux notes from DarkDuck. I have already reviewed it twice: versions 6.0.1 and 4.0.

Simply is not an independent distribution. Instead, it is based on the ALT Linux, a distribution from a team of Russian developers. While ALT Linux is a KDE-oriented distro, Simply uses Xfce. Both of these distributions share the same platform, called Sisyphus.

As with many other Linux distributions, Simply and ALT Linux continue development. The current version of Sisyphus is 7, that means that Simply Linux has the same number in the name.

Let me introduce you Simply Linux 7.0.5, released in May 2015. You can download it from one of the official mirrors or from torrent. Unfortunately, the main web site of Simply Linux is in Russian. Unless you know the language, you will find it difficult to navigate.

The ISO size of Simply Linux Live is about 870 Mb. I burnt it onto my USB stick with Ubuntu's built-in image burner tool. If you find it difficult to download the ISO image and create a bootable media yourself, then BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk can help you!

The USB stick is ready. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB.

Let's go!

6 Oct 2015

Majority of Linux users still use Windows or MacOS

Linux noted from DarkDuck has recently run a poll for you, the readers. The question was about the "quantity and quality" of operating systems that you use. It is now the time to announce the results.

Are you ready?

29 Sep 2015

Pre-order Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu 15.10 - all flavours

Yes, you guessed it right!

With a release of a new version of Ubuntu 15.10 less than a month away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Wily Werewolf.

But many of you are not so lucky, and will need to wait longer, because you can not or do not want to create their own DVDs with operating system images.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 15.10 (or Xubuntu, or Lubuntu, or Kubuntu), including Ubuntu 15.10 GNOME and Ubuntu 15.10 MATE right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the 22nd of October 2015, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

How you can get the DVD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Ubuntu DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 15.10. If you want K-, L- or Xubuntu, state it also in the same comment. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card!

UK (2.00 GBP):
Ubuntu 15.10 pre-order (UK)

USA (5.50 USD):
Ubuntu 15.10 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (3.50 GBP):
Ubuntu 15.10 pre-order (Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

22 Sep 2015

Get prizes from Linux Notes from DarkDuck

You may not believe this, but Linux notes from DarkDuck blog will be 5 years old soon!

It is the reason to run yet another contest with some nice prices, isn't it?

Let's do this!

What you need to do? 

Write an article that is about Linux. This may be a short how-to, an inspirational about "why I love Linux", life story "how I switched to Linux", review of your favourite operating system, or anything you like. Just let it be interesting and more than 100 words long. Closing date is 15.10.2015.

Once ready, email it to linuxblog-contest@darkduck.com.

The best articles will be published on this blog.

What are the prizes?

1. Winner will get one 15 GBP voucher for Amazon.co.uk.
2. One runner-up will get one 16 Gb USB stick from Buy Linux CDs page.
3. One runner-up will get one disk with Linux distributive of his / her choice from Buy Linux CDs page.

Prizes will be sent via airmail (international) or second class (UK) mail.
If there are any import taxes or surcharges, winner has to pay it.
No cash alternative.
Amazon voucher is only valid on Amazon.co.uk
If winner or runner-up does not correspond to e-mails within 2 weeks after announcement, prize will be withheld. 

Other terms and conditions:

1. Contest is running by myself (DarkDuck).
2. There are no official sponsors for this contest.
3. My decision is last and binding to all parties.
4. All the communications regarding this contest should be in English only.
5. Contest terms and conditions can be amended any time, including but not limited to cancelling of contest.
6. No purchase necessary.
7. Only one prize per person, even with multiple entries.
8. I may contact you regarding further details of your answers.
9. Your article may be published on this blog without any further approval from your side, unless you let me know otherwise in the contest submission email.

15 Sep 2015

What you should not expect when switching to Linux

Linux is a great operating system. Nobody in the Linux camp will argue about that. There are many articles on the Internet convincing you to try and to switch to Linux. There are also many articles that attempt to show you why you should not switch.

Let's look at this question from a slightly different viewpoint today. Say, you are now convinced that you want to switch to Linux. What you should NOT expect from this switch?

8 Sep 2015

Austrumi 3.2.2: a nice stranger

Austrumi is not a very famous distribution in the Linux world, although I have written about it twice already.

Let me introduce it again for those who did not read my previous reviews.

Austrumi is a Linux distribution that is based on Slackware and developed by a small team from the Latgale region of Latvia, a small ex-USSR Baltic state.

The official site of this distribution is far from the best I have ever seen. It pretends to have several sections and work in different languages, but many of them simply do not work. Even the forum link from that site is not functioning.

The "news" section of the site tells you that the latest version of that distribution is 2.4.0. The download link on the site points to an ISO image with index 2.2.9, but it still does not work. But if you remove the filename from the download link in the address bar of your browser (ftp://austrumi.ru.lv/), you will be able to see a list of ISO images. The latest version is 3.2.2 and it was released in August 2015, so we are talking about a very fresh release now.

Image size of Austrumi 3.2.2 is just 278 MB, which definitely puts the distribution in the "pocket" category.

When I reviewed the previous versions of Austrumi, I had to record a CD-RW or DVD-RW, because neither the dd command nor Unetbootin worked with this ISO image. This time I was a bit luckier. Although dd command still does not work, Unetbootin created a workable USB stick for me.

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

1 Sep 2015

How many OSes does your computer have?

There are so many operating systems in the world. Apart from the famous ones, like Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Mageia or Linux Mint, there are hundreds of smaller and less well-known.

If there are many operating systems, there is a good chance that your computer has several of them installed.

How many?

Let's vote for the number of operating systems you have on your computer. If you have multiple computers, please vote for the one you use most often.

25 Aug 2015

Knoppix 7.4: whom is it for?

I have already tried to write about this distribution couple of times. The last time that happened more than 4 years ago, when I reviewed Knoppix 6.4.

4 years passed by, and now I had an order from buylinuxcds.co.uk site to dispatch an USB stick with Knoppix.

The most recent version of this distribution is Knoppix 7.4.2. It has been released in September 2014. The ISO image size is just under 4Gb. I downloaded it via torrent.

Unfortunately, Knoppix is not the distribution you can write to a USB stick using the dd command or Ubuntu's built-in tool. You basically have three choices:

  1. use Unetbootin,
  2. use the long and windy way described on official site, or
  3. write a DVD.

I tried option 2, but gave up after approximately 10 minutes of going round. Option 1 simply worked.

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

18 Aug 2015

Linux Mint 17.2 KDE: do you have the hardware?

August 2015 is only half-through, but it has already seen releases of two popular Linux distributions.

DarkDuck has already reviewed Zorin OS 10 Core.

Today is the turn of Linux Mint 17.2. Yes, you are right. Linux Mint released the version 17.2 in August 2015. Of course, they are not their "major" Cinnamon and MATE editions, but rather slightly less popular flavours: KDE and Xfce.

Image size of Linux Mint 17.2 KDE is about 1.6 Gb, which is 0.2 Gb more than the Cinnamon edition. I downloaded it using the torrent link available on the web site and "burnt" onto the USB stick using the built-in tool of Ubuntu 14.04.

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

11 Aug 2015

Zorin OS 10 Core: install and forget

You may have noticed that DarkDuck publishes articles about certain operating systems more often than others. They are LinuxMint, Emmabuntus and Zorin OS. The reasons are different, though I can tell you that I keep good relationships with both Emmabuntus and Zorin teams. That's why I cannot miss a chance...

And there is a chance this time!

It has been more than a year since Zorin OS 9 was released. And the 1st of August 2015 saw the release of the brand new distribution from the Zorin team: Zorin OS 10.

I downloaded the image of Zorin OS 10 Core 64-bit from the official site. It is easy to navigate, though a torrent option is definitely missing for downloaders. ISO image size is just below 1.5 Gb in size.

Then I faced the same issues with Zorin OS 10 that I previously had with Emmabuntus 3.1.01. Neither Ubuntu's built-in image writer tool, nor the dd command worked for me. Unetbootin helped me to deal with Zorin OS image this time.

So, USB-stick is ready and plugged into the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

4 Aug 2015

Working with Pivot Tables in LibreOffice Calc

Pivot tables is a very powerful tool in spreadsheets that allow you to analyse big massive of data in flexible dimensions.

LibreOffice Calc gives you an option to build your own Pivot tables using the built-in tools.

Please watch a how-to video showing you details of working with Pivot tables in LibreOffice Calc.

You can also follow this link to watch directly on YouTube.

By the way, if you use OpenOffice Calc, this tutorial may help you too.

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!

16 Jun 2015

How-to: different headers and footers on even and odd pages in LibreOffice

LibreOffice Writer is a great Free Open Source tool for writing, no one can argue. Its features are good for both the home users who simply need to write a note to a friend, and to professional authors who need to write texts that many other people read.

Of course, professional texts should look professional. LibreOffice Writer has tools for that! Some time ago I told you how you can insert page numbers in the footers or headers of your pages. Then I told you how you can start page numbering from a certain number – useful for books that have title page or pages created with other tools. Today is the time to uncover yet another useful feature of LibreOffice Writer.

2 Jun 2015

Ruth Suehle: Red Hat and Fedora derivatives and forks are part of the community

No one will argue that Linux world is more fragmented than the worlds of other operating systems. Each distribution has its fans, developers and haters.

There are few companies among this ocean of distributions that work closely with the community and help the Linux world to improve. Would it be interesting for you to see what people in these companies think like? Let's talk to one of them!

Let me introduce: Ruth Suehle!

26 May 2015

Pre-order Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela

Linux Mint has something in common with Ubuntu! In fact, a lot in common.

First of all, all Mint versions are based on Ubuntu, apart from LMDE, which is Debian-based.

Second, Linux Mint is also released two times a year, approximately a month after Ubuntu release. It means that the next version of Linux Mint will be released at the end of June 2015, literally in few weeks time!

Many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Rafaela. It is a long-term support version, along with versions 17 and 17.1. You will get updates for all these releases until April 2019!

But many of you are not so lucky, and will need to wait longer, because you can not or do not want to create their own DVDs with operating system images.

We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Linux Mint 17.2 (Cinnamon or MATE) right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the release date at the end of June 2015, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

You may ask why I cannot tell you the exact date of dispatch? This is because Linux Mint team, as usual, does not announce the release date, but only states that it is approximately "end of May".

How you can get the DVD? There are 2 options!

1. Free - email seanrickerd@gmail.com with your postal address and distribution you want. Presumably Linux Mint 17.2.

2. Read below and purchase from there.

Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Linux Mint DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 17.2. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card!

UK (2.00 GBP):
Linux Mint 17.2 pre-order (UK)

USA (5.50 USD):
Linux Mint 17.2 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (3.50 GBP):
Linux Mint 17.2 pre-order (Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

19 May 2015

Lee Schlesinger: No one nowadays objects to FOSS

Being in Linux community often means reading a lot of text. This can be forums, help or articles on Linux- and FOSS-related topics. Inevitably, some people first need to write the texts, and then to prepare them for you. Editing texts is not the easiest thing, you can imagine. DarkDuck very much appreciates the editors who help make this blog more readable.

Have you ever spoke with an editor? Here is a chance for you to learn something about one of them.

Let me introduce you Lee Schlesinger!

30 Apr 2015

Calling All Tech Pros: Linux Showdown 9: The Arena Challenge Needs You Now!

Help FragmasterX save the llamas. Save the world!

TrueAbility and Linode have teamed to launch Linux Showdown 9: The Arena Challenge  to accelerate the hiring of top technical talent for the Linode's new support center located in Haddonfield, NJ. Based on results, participating competitors who prove their skills can be in the running for the open job positions.

23 Apr 2015

Xubuntu 15.04: quick screenshot tour

The 23rd of April 2015 was the date when Canonical released the set of their new operating systems: Ubuntu 15.04 family. It includes Ubuntu itself, Ubuntu MATE and GNOME editions, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and so on.

Let's make a quick tour through Xubuntu 15.04 and check how it looks like. So, my laptop is booted from the live DVD of Xubuntu 15.04.

Let's go!

21 Apr 2015

And the most wanted feature of Ubuntu 15.04 family is...

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog announced a poll couple of weeks ago.

You, my dear readers, were asked about the most wanted feature of Ubuntu 15.04 family.

First of all, I would like to thank all participants who were kind enough to express their expectations. There were 254 of you. Not a bad result, I would say!

Second, it is now time to announce the results. I won't delay it any more. The most wanted feature of Ubuntu 15.04 family is...

7 Apr 2015

What is the most wanted feature in Ubuntu 15.04 family

Ubuntu 15.04 is due to release very soon - just few more days to wait for the next release. You can now even pre-order your own disks with it!

There are plenty new features that 15.04 family has to offer. The question is which is the most expected? Let's vote for that!

I shortlisted some of the features, but of course you're free to add your own under the "Other" section!

The poll is now closed, please check results here!

The results of the vote will be announced in 2 weeks, just few days before the release date.

31 Mar 2015

Pre-order Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu 15.04

Yes, this is the same time of the year again.

With a release of a new version of Ubuntu 15.04 less than a month away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Vivid Vervet.

But many of you are not so lucky, and will need to wait longer, because you can not or do not want to create their own DVDs with operating system images.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 15.04 (or Xubuntu, or Lubuntu, or Kubuntu), including Ubuntu 15.04 GNOME and Ubuntu 15.04 MATE right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the 23rd of April 2015, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

How you can get the DVD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Ubuntu DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 15.04. If you want K-, L- or Xubuntu, state it also in the same comment. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card!

UK (2.00 GBP):
Ubuntu 15.04 pre-order (UK)

USA (5.50 USD):
Ubuntu 15.04 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (3.50 GBP):
Ubuntu 15.04 pre-order (Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

26 Mar 2015

Zorin OS: Can I keep it, please?

"Dad, my windows are broken."

Oh, no! What has he been up to now? Playing football in the garden again? I better go and have a look. There was no glass on the carpet; no damage to be seen at all.

"What are you on about, son? Winding me up again?!"

12 Mar 2015

Linux Showdown contest is running for YOU!

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog is famous for its contests. But it is not the only place where Linux fans can win prizes.

Want to flex your scripting skills? Also want a chance to win awesome prizes? If so, you should compete in Linux Showdown 8: “The Assembler” that TrueAbility is hosting!

TrueAbility was built with tech professionals in mind and has a vast community of Linux members. Everything from Linux challenges and self-assessments, to blog posts and Linux jobs can be found at TrueAbility.

They are launching an old school challenge to test tech pros' scripting skills and they are calling it their most difficult challenge EVER. It goes live on March 16th, so you have a few days to brush up your Hardware Programming Language: Assembly. The top 50 techs will advance to an even more challenging round 2.

Think you have what it takes to make it on their leaderboard and advance to round 2?

Go sign up now at https://trueability.com/assembler-challenge

Lots of prizes are going to be given away! They range from Linux Foundation Certified Engineer Exam credits and TrueAbility Abilityscreens to DigitalOcean credits and even a D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router. It doesn't cost anything to join in on the fun. Prove what you've got while winning awesome prizes. You won't want to miss this!

This is a guest post by Raygan

13 Feb 2015

Next Achievement of Facebook Page of Linux Notes from DarkDuck - 500 likes!

I must admit I have never thought about this being possible.
You know that Facebook page of Linux notes from DarkDuck exists almost as long as the blog itself. The page got it 300th like in September 2014. It was only about 320 by mid-January 2015.
And then I saw the number of "Likes" rocketing! The level of 400 "Likes" has been passed on the 24th of January.
It was less than 3 weeks ago, and today, on the 12th of February 2015, I am happy to announce that the Facebook page took another level! There are more than 500 people who "Like" the Linux notes from DarkDuck page!

Thank you to all of you! I appreciate your dedication! I will keep the blog going! Stay connected!

12 Feb 2015

One name really stuck out - Zorin OS

Good morning / evening / afternoon / day / night whenever you are reading this. My name is Antonio and I really like Zorin OS.

I'm fairly new to the Linux community and I had a difficult time around at first when I stumbled across a few threads that were just distro wars. These sort threw me off track and I completely botched my first Arch linux install. Afterwards however, I found Ubuntu and found it to my liking for much except for a few things.

The first thing was the interface. Unity isn't ugly, but I prefer something a little more like the Windows UI that isn't controlled by a brown-orange background.

I then tried to install LXDE onto the distro, which then asked for root permissions to log on and I quickly lost that install as well.

After finding plenty of top 5 to top 50 distro lists, one name really stuck out. Just the name. Zorin OS. Its was a freaky cool name. I installed it quick and... Updates. I was dealing done with Windows updates so I won't lie that I was erked. Then I found out what the 500MB of downloads were for. All of the preloaded software and I flipped.

It was magnificent. I did a little research and found out that Zorin OS 8 was based on Ubuntu 13.10. Knowing that Ubuntu 14.04 was the LTS release, I waited for Zorin OS 9 to come out to buy the premium version.

I would definitely purchase Zorin OS 9 Ultimate if I didn't win it, but I am glad I had the chance to enter your contest.

Thank you!

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

24 Jan 2015

Linux notes from DarkDuck Facebook page got more than 400 likes

Most of us like to be noticed. Being it vanity or just pride, it is very important when people like what you do.

That is why I keep informing you about achievements of this blog. Today I am happy to announce that the Facebook page of Linux notes from DarkDuck got more than 400 likes!

If you still haven't done so and if you have a Facebook page, it is your time to act! Like the page, and get the latest news from the blog directly in your Facebook timeline!

Of course, there are many other methods to subscribe to updates from Linux notes from DarkDuck too - look at the right side panel of the page!

15 Jan 2015

My business has been saved by Zorin OS

I just recently decided to "relocate".

I just started a company with a very tight budget. I was just tired of being a slave to the system so, I drained the account and decided to go for it.

One of the things that I required was a computer. I didn't have the funds left after getting the necessary tools to get one. Now, I'm in my early 40's and my grandparents offered me their old one.

You could only imagine how old that was, it's a Dell Dimension 3000. It still has the old boob tube type monitor. Quickly I said Yes! It had Windows XP on it. I went out to the local computer store and spent money I didn't have to obtain all the necessary software to keep my business going.

About a week after I got everything up and running, the notices started coming. At first I thought it was one of those scams but quickly I found out it was true. They were ending support for my operating system. Terrified I tried to get other operating systems but none would work.

My son gave me his old laptop to use however it's missing the v button, the / button, an arrow to the right, and the dvd drive is broken. But I push on. Still looking for operating system and being upset with windows, I vowed I would find something else. I searched long and hard then I found Zorin OS!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank you! You made my transition from windows to Linux so easy to figure out. I'm extremely happy to say I will never return to Windows. Because of you guys there, my business has been saved! I quickly realized that I don't have to be forced to follow Windows. There are other options.

I now have 2 computers at my home office and one laptop that all run Zorin.

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