25 Apr 2017

Kubuntu 17.04 - the next generation

As usual, every April and October are the months when many people in the Linux community wait for the new releases of their favourite operating systems.

Canonical released the newest version of the Ubuntu family of distributions on the 13th of April, and there is a good reason to look into them now.

I will start with Kubuntu 17.04 for several reasons. First of all, my new laptop runs Kubuntu 16.04, and I was interested in seeing if the new version is any different from the user point of view.

Second, I received a number of orders for disks with this distribution from my customers.

Third, I am more than sure that Ubuntu itself will receive too many reviews without my involvement, let's focus on something more niche.

I downloaded the ISO image of Kubuntu 17.04 32-bit from the torrent. The DVD disk with this image is ready to be sent to the customer, but first let's check what is in it for us.

I was a bit nervous at that time, because this was the first review written when running the Live Linux operating system on my new laptop Dell Inspirion 17 5749.

Nevertheless... Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Fasten your belts! Let's go!

20 Apr 2017

Why Choose Linux Operating System?

Linux is a free operating system that anyone can download and install on their computers. It's one of the top five platforms used in the world, and yet most people don't understand its benefits. With that in mind, this post will draw your attention towards all the advantages you can expect to encounter. With a bit of luck, you will leave this page with a better understanding of Linux and why you should consider it for your computer network. Whether you’re an individual or business owner, the same rules should apply. The best thing to do is try it out for yourself. However, I’ll try to provide some basic info before you do that.

18 Apr 2017

Linux-friendly Yandex.Disk - get 32 GB additional free storage

Yandex.Disk is one of the most Linux-friendly platform for cloud file storage.

Linux notes from DarkDuck had published a how-to guide for running Yandex.Disk application on your Linux computer back in 2016. Using the link from that article, you can get at least 1 GB of free space, and there are steps to get 10 GB extra once you start using the application.

Until the 3rd of July 2017 you have another chance to further increase the storage space you get by the whopping 32 GB. Although, you will need a smartphone for that, and you will need to install the Yandex.Disk app. If you summarise all that, you get 1 + 10 + 32 = 43 GB of free online storage!

So, the process now includes three steps.

  • First, register with Yandex.Disk if you have not done so yet. You can optionally do the steps to get 10 GB of free space once you registered.
  • Second, you need to install the application for your smartphone. It is available for both Android and iPhones platforms. Search for Yandex Disk there.
  • Third, you need to switch on auto-upload function and then upload at least one image to Yandex.Disk using the application. Once you do this, 32 GB of free space should be added to your account. You can use it the way you like, including an agent running on your Linux computer.

The Terms & Conditions for steps 2&3 are here. These T&Cs also include links to official Yandex.Disk applications, if you are in doubt.

And yes, you can uninstall the application afterwards, if you don't want to use it.

Keep storing! :) And stay tuned for Linux notes from DarkDuck blog for future Linux articles.

13 Apr 2017

The theater of Linux distributions

Linux notes from DarkDuck has recently published an article with a very interesting classification of Linux distributions.

I’ll add one more: the Theater distros.

4 Apr 2017

Users wait for Ubuntu more than any other distribution

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog likes to run different polls for the readers. The most recent poll was about the most awaited distribution for the second quarter of 2017. It is time now to check the results.

There were several options in the poll, and one of them was to name your own distribution that you look forward seeing in the near future. There was a big variety of the names in that list. To simplify the table, I only put individual names where at least two votes were given for the same operating system. All the single votes were summarised under the "Other" tag.

Here is the table with the poll results:

Ubuntu 17.04 61
Fedora 26 26
Linux Lite 3.4 19
Tails 3.0 12
Debian 6
Linux Mint 6
Arch 3
Opensuse Leap 42.3 2
Other 18

In the graphical view, the poll results look like this:

Poll results
It is very clear that about one third of the voters want to see the next release of Ubuntu operating system, which is due to be released on the 13th of April 2017. Have you pre-ordered your disk yet?

The next option by popularity was Fedora 26, which got more the two times less votes. Linux Lite 3.4 was on the third place, not too far away from Fedora.

Do you agree with the poll results? What is your most expected distribution?

1 Apr 2017

Ubuntu 17.10 switches name to Cyrillic Alphabet

Ubuntu is one of the most famous, and no doubt the most widely used, Linux distributions in the world. It made Linux a household name.

Since 2006 Ubuntu has given its new releases names consisting of two words starting with the same letter, in sequential order beginning with 6.06, Dapper Drake. Zesty Zapus will be the name for release 17.04, due to be released on the 13th of April 2017. By the way, have you pre-ordered your disk yet?

Clearly, Z is the last letter in the Latin alphabet. What will happen beyond that letter? Many of you have heard hints about the future name of the Ubuntu 17.10 name. There are letters "aa" reserved for this future release.

Not many of you know that these will no longer be drawn from the Latin alphabet. These are also the first letters of Cyrillic alphabet, used by Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and many more languages. The recent leaks from Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu family of distributions, show that the name of the distribution will be "Апельсиновый Арбалет", the Russian for Orange Crossbow. The name is not set in stone yet, but it is a leader in the currently running contest.

You still have time to cast your vote.

And don't forget about the date...

21 Mar 2017

Some great blog news

Several news about the Linux notes from DarkDuck blog came last week, and I'd like to share them with you, my readers.

1. First of all, the number of likes for the Facebook page of this blog is now reached the 1000 level, and even more than that!

Join the team! Like that page too!

2. Second, the Linux notes from DarkDuck blog has been included into the Top 60 of Linux blogs in the world!

I am sure the most important people who made these achievements possible are you, the readers!

Thank you for your continued love and support!

3. Third, my test hardware has now changed as well as my main laptop. Just before last week, I used Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop, which was more than 7 years old. Now I have Dell Inspirion 17 5749. It is a 17-inch monster with Intel i7 processor, Intel 3160 WiFi card, Intel 520 graphic card with ATI Radeon display controller, 8 GB of memory and 1 TB HDD.

My experience with this laptop is now limited to trying few DVDs with various distributions for the orders placed via BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk and installation of Kubuntu 17.04. Yes, you're right, I returned back to Kubuntu distribution as it was my first love.

I have not written any reviews with this new laptop yet, so stay tuned and be the first to know!

14 Mar 2017

Pre-order your own disk with Ubuntu 17.04

Ladies and gentlemen, it is the same time of the year again. It is March, and it means that the release of the next generation of your favourite operating system will be released in a month's time!

Yes, Ubuntu 17.04 is 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 ZestyZapus.

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 17.04 (o Xubuntu, or Lubuntu, or Kubuntu), including Ubuntu 17.04 GNOME and Ubuntu 17.04 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 13th of April 2017, 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 17.04. K-, L- or Xubuntu editions are also available there. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout. 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 17.04 pre-order (UK)

USA (5.50 USD):
Ubuntu 17.04 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (3.50 GBP):
Ubuntu 17.04 pre-order (Other countries)

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

9 Mar 2017

Ethical Hacking on Linux? What is it?

Ethical Hacking and Penetration, Step by Step with Kali Linux, is a new book by cyber security expert Rassoul Ghaznavi-Zadeh. An IT security consultant since 1999, Rassoul began as a Cisco engineer and has extensive background in Linux systems and the security tools available on them. He has helped numerous enterprise organizations to have safer and more secure environments by testing, auditing and following his security recommendations.

Rassoul's book delves into ethical hacking, which he describes as "a technique to find out the vulnerabilities on the network and systems and recommend how to protect them." The book is a collection of his 10 years of experience and notes on penetration and ethical hacking. It not only details the technical aspects of penetration testing, but also the ethical implications, laws, guidelines, and skills required. He also touches on how to best understand and work within the scope of the customer's expectations.

He also points out that as a hacker (even as an ethical one), getting into trouble, and sometimes even breaking the law, is somewhat inevitable. Therefore, working as carefully and legitimately as possible, and having paperwork done ahead of time is of the utmost importance. The book is available on most online stores like Amazon, Google, Itunes, Barns and Noble, Kobo, and others.
Check out our interview with Rassoul Ghaznavi-zadeh, as well as an excerpt from his book, here.

This is a guest post by Daniel Krohn

28 Feb 2017

The most awaited distribution in Q2 2017

The second quarter of 2017 promises to be very interesting.

Several distributions schedule their release between April and June 2017.

Apart from two usual competitors that issue their new releases every 6 months, Ubuntu and Fedora, we will see Tails 3.0 and Linux Lite 3.4.

This question is especially intersting since the latest release Fedora 25 falls below par on its quality. Are you disappointed of this distribution and give up, or you wait for new release with improved quality? You can also give your comments below.

Which of them do you expect to see more? Please vote below!

The poll is now closed. Please see the results.

21 Feb 2017

Fedora 25 KDE: disappointing experience

Fedora is not a frequent guest on the review deck of Linux notes from DarkDuck blog. The most recent review was of Fedora 22 back in July 2015. That was a review of the GNOME version, the most native for Fedora.

You are probably aware of the tight link between the GNOME project and RedHat, the Fedora Project main sponsor.

Almost two years have passed, and I decided to check how the Fedora Project is going. Since I looked at quite a few KDE-based operating systems recently (GeckoLinux, OpenMandriva, Debian 8 KDE, Kubuntu 16.10, ROSA Desktop Fresh R8), the choice was for the KDE spin of Fedora 25. It was released in November 2016.

The ISO image of Fedora 25 Live KDE 64-bit is 1.3 GB, which is rather decent nowadays. You get it from the official web site of Fedora Project spins. Torrent links are also available, though they require a couple more clicks to get to.

I wrote the ISO image onto the USB stick using the dd command. This USB stick is in the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop.

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

14 Feb 2017

4 categories of Linux distributions

There are different Linux distributions. If you just go to Distrowatch site, you will find hundreds of them listed there. Some of them even have my reviews listed. And how many distributions are NOT listed? Some of them either fail to gain registration on Distrowatch, or are in the process of that, like Zorin OS was just few years ago.

However, there are at least four distinctive categories of distributions visible in the Linux world.

7 Feb 2017

MX-16 Xfce: very close to the ideal

The MX Linux distribution is a relatively new name in the Linux world. However, its predecessors MEPIS and antiX were both popular some time ago. I even reviewed SimplyMEPIS 11.0 KDE back in 2012.

I am not very sure what MX means. Is it a reference to Mexico? Or to Moto-cross? Of just a hybrid of Mepis and antiX? You can comment your ideas below.

Debian Stable is the backbone of this distribution. It is Debian 8 Jessie version that was used as a base for the latest MX release.

MX-16 is the name of the latest principal release of this operating system. It was released in the middle of December 2016. There are also monthly sub-releases for those who want to have a fresher version of the ISO, which will require fewer updates after installation.

I downloaded the 64-bit ISO of "MX-16 original", which is 1.2 GB in size and available for downloading either via torrent or via half a dozen mirrors around the world.

The dd command helped me to "burn" the ISO image onto the USB stick. This stick is plugged into the USB port of my Toshiba laptop.

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

31 Jan 2017

GeckoLinux Plasma: for Die Hard OpenSuSE fans

The old fans of Linux notes from DarkDuck blog know that it is mostly about reviews of Live versions of various Linux operating systems. That is why OpenSuSE has not been reviewed for a long time. The latest and the previous version of this distribution, 42.2 and 42.1, do not have a Live option. The only way to experience OpenSuSE is to install it.

Luckily, there are people who care more about distro-hoppers, or people who are interested in OpenSuSE, but not ready to commit to installation yet. That's why GeckoLinux was born.

GeckoLinux is a stripped-down version of OpenSuSE with only one desktop environment (at a time), and with a Live run enabled. You can download GeckoLinux versions with Plasma, GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate, Budgie, LXQt or barebones. All of them are available as Static or Rolling editions. All these versions are based on OpenSuSE Stable release, 42.2 at the moment. There is also GeckoLinux Plasma NEXT, which includes some non-stable repositories. Only 64-bit versions available as it is the only architecture supported by OpenSuSE now.

You can download the ISOs for any of the version via the Sourceforge's content delivery network.
I downloaded the GeckoLinux Plasma Static release from the 28th of December 2016. It may not be the freshest release for the date when this review goes live, because the release team issues them monthly. The ISO size is about 1 GB in size. I "burnt" it to the USB stick using the dd command.

The USB drive is in the port of my Toshiba laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

24 Jan 2017

Top 5 posts from 2016 (version 3)

Last couple of weeks I posted the Top 5s for the most popular posts from 2016. They were taken from the pageviews statistics of the Blogger and from the number of Google+ endorsements.

To complete the statistics trio, let's have a look at the most popular posts of Linix notes from DarkDuck blog from 2016 by Google Analytics. It is a different mechanism to Blogger statistics, and you can find a number of articles describing the differences if you search the Internet.

So, here is the list. Please re-read any of the articles if you missed them.

5. Lubuntu 16.04 - good operating system with a bit of disappointment
4. Xubuntu 16.04 - not for Linux beginners
3. 4 tools to play Windows Games on Linux?
2. CentOS 7 KDE: not for home users
1. Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon: pity, pity, pity

As you can see, all three Top 5 lists are different. Which one do you like more?

17 Jan 2017

Top 5 posts from 2016 (version 2)

Last time you could see the Top 5 list of articles published by Linux notes from DarkDuck in 2016 by the pageview statistics gathered by Blogger, the blog hosting platform.

Of course, the pageviews are important, but also important is how popular the article is between the readers. Let's look at this from the aspect of Google+ shares the articles received in 2016.

Here is the list of Top 5 posts. Feel free to re-read them if you missed any so far.

5. (+30) PCLinuxOS: the walking dead
5. (+30) Linux-running car: can you feel me?
4. (+40) 5 ways to use the Telegram messenger on your Linux computer
3. (+48) Will Ubuntu keep the title of the best Desktop OS?
2. (+49) Zorin OS 11 Core: quick screenshot tour
1. (+94) How to create list for LibreOffice Calc cell (video)

As you can see the two Top 5 lists are totally different. Statistics is a powerful tool, isn't it?

Next week I will show you yet another Top 5, and that will be the last one for now! Stay tuned!

10 Jan 2017

Top 5 posts from 2016 (version 1)

The year 2016 is in the past now.

There were many articles and reviews published by Linux notes from DarkDuck blog during the year. Let's look back and see which ones were the most popular. There are different ways to look at the popularity of the page. That is why I will publish 3 different "Top 5"s in the coming weeks.

Today we will look at the most popular page by Blogger Statistics of pageviews.

Here is the list of Top 5 posts. Feel free to re-read them if you missed any so far.

Please note that the article "Top 3 Linux Performance Monitoring Tools" was published just before the year end, so it can easily get higher in the list very soon.

I hope you have enjoyed the reading!

3 Jan 2017

OpenMandriva Lx 3.0: a faint shadow of name

Mandriva may be a name unfamiliar to people who came to the Linux world recently, but it is very familiar to old Linux users. It was one of the first distributions ever created. It became a base for many offsprings or forks. Just to mention three – ROSA Linux, Mageia and PCLinuxOS.

However, corporate difficulties made Mandriva an abandoned project. The OpenMandriva project picked up the flag and continued Mandriva development. To be precise, OpenMandriva is not a "daughter" of Mandriva, but rather a "grand-daughter" with ROSA Linux standing in between.

The latest release from that area of the Linux world is OpenMandriva Lx 3.0. It first saw the light of day on the 18th of August 2016.

The image size of the 64-bit version of this Linux distribution is 1.8 Gb. It is available from several mirrors and from BitTorrent. I downloaded the ISO image and "burnt" it onto the USB stick with dd command.

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