24 Dec 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New 2018 Year!

Another year has gone. It was a nice year. There were many new reviews of Linux operating systems, there were many other Linux-related articles. A year of changes in the life. A year of new living location. 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 2018!

Stay tuned to Linux notes from DarkDuck.

19 Dec 2017

Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon - quick screenshot tour

The Linux Mint team continues to release fresh versions of their operating system approximately every 6 month, following the updates in Ubuntu LTS versions. You could read the quick screenshot overview of Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon back in July 2017. It is now turn of Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon. Let's have a whistle-stop tour through it.

12 Dec 2017

Emmabuntüs makes the promo video

You may know that Linux notes from DarkDuck is a long-lasting good relationships with the Emmabuntüs project. I reviewed their operating system multiple times. There was an interview with Patrick, the project leader. There was a report from the Cote-d-Ivoire journey of the project.

Emmabuntüs recently released a video where they explain the goals and reasons of the project, current achievements and show people who really use this operating system. You can also see the members of the project live.

DarkDuck also made a little contribution to that video. I translated the subtitles to Russian, so Russian-speaking community can also enjoy watching it. To select a subtitle language, please click on the gearwheel located at the bottom right of the window and pick the language you want.

8 Dec 2017

Two new projects from DarkDuck

Linux notes from DarkDuck is a blog that many of you like. At least, I hope that you like it.
Of course, this is not the only project of DarkDuck, and today I would like to use the opportunity to introduce you two new projects.

First, there is an Etsy shop DarkDuckByML. This is the place where you can purchase various art objects, mostly pictures. I invite you to visit this e-shop, browse lovely hand made works and, of course, (wink, wink) purchase them! The prices are more than affordable.

Second, there is a separate e-shop DarkDuckByML. This is the place where you can see and buy the same pictures, plus a lot more products with these artworks: mugs, t-shirts, towels, pillows and even phone cases!

Do you remember that the holiday season is not so far away? Have you prepared all the gifts for your friends, family and relatives? If not, you have a brilliant opportunity to make a unique gift to your loved ones! And, of course, buying on any of these two resources you will support the artist and ensure more lovely works will appear in this world.

Even if you are already stocked with all your necessary gifts now, you can bookmark the sites and use them later, when more products appear there - suitable for all your gifting needs.

5 Dec 2017

What is the best blog article in 2017?

Year 2017 is about to end. There were many nice and not so nice moments this year for all of us.

There were many nice and not so nice articles on Linux notes from DarkDuck blog this year.

Let's review them and decide which one you like more.

You can see all the posts from 2017 if you follow this link.

Fill in the form below and let me know what you liked more.

We'll get the results in about a month's time, early next year.

30 Nov 2017

Excellent Business Software Alternatives For Linux

Many business owners choose to use Linux as the operating system for their operations for a variety of reasons.

  1. Firstly, they don't have to pay anything for the privilege, and that is a massive bonus during the early stages of a company where money is tight.
  2. Secondly, Linux is a light alternative compared to Windows and other popular operating systems available today.

Of course, lots of entrepreneurs worry they won't have access to some of the essential software packages if they make that move. However, as you will discover throughout this post, there are plenty of similar tools that will cover all the bases.

21 Nov 2017

Fedora 27 GNOME: Quick Screenshot Tour

Fedora is one of the operating systems that users wait regularly and with big interest. Fedora is a playground of new technologies that will later come to RedHat and its derivatives like CentOS.

Fedora 27 has been released on the 14th of November 2017. Let's have a quick whistlestop tour through the GNOME version of this operating system.

14 Nov 2017

Antergos 17.11 – the Antagonist

Arch is one of the core distributions that became the base for many offspings. The reason is that installation and basic configuration of Arch is not so simple. Off-springs simplify that. Manjaro is currently one of the most famous distributions as per the Distrowatch list. There was also CTK Arch.

Antergos is an operating system that has Arch as its predecessor too. This is a rolling release distribution, which means that updates come directly to the OS.

The most recent version, Antergos 17.11, was released in November 2017. The ISO image of this Linux operating system is about 1.9 GB in size and available to download from the site or via torrent. The minimal ISO is also available.

I downloaded the ISO image and burnt it to my USB stick using the dd command.

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

9 Nov 2017

The Best PCB Design Software For Linux

PCB design software is a piece of open source CAD software for use in a number of different engineering industries. PCB design software benefits manufacturing and engineering companies so much because you can run thorough tests on products without having to make a prototype first. This saves no end of time and money and avoids repeated attempts at prototypes because of small errors. It allows you to fix multiple products at a time and most importantly, it is viable for use by smaller businesses as well. Traditionally PCB software has been run on Mac or Windows but there are plenty of programs that are optimized for Linux. If you’re struggling to find the best Linux optimized PCB software, here are some of the best ones on the market at the moment.

7 Nov 2017

Ubuntu 17.10 - unhappy remarriage

Ubuntu 17.10 is a new operating system not just because it was released very recently, in October 2017. It is also the first operating system from Canonical since it reverted from Unity to the GNOME desktop environment as default. It was GNOME 2 in use at the divorce time, and now it is GNOME 3 after the re-marriage.

Linux notes from DarkDuck has already reviewed the GNOME version of Ubuntu, when Unity was still in place. There is also a quick screenshot-style review of Ubuntu 17.10, but it is now time to get a more in-depth look into this operating system.

Ubuntu 17.10 is available to download through a large global network of mirrors, and torrents are available. The 32-bit ISO images are no longer available, only the 64-bit. The most recent 32-bit image for Ubuntu users is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which still will be supported for a few more years. However, all newer versions will only be available with the 64-bit kernel, unless you are looking for the low-resource distributions like Lubuntu or Xubuntu.

The ISO image if Ubuntu 17.10 is about 1.5 Gb in size. I "burnt" it onto a USB stick.
The USB drive is in the port of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

31 Oct 2017

Ubuntu 17.10 quick screenshot tour

Ubuntu 17.10 is the newest version of this world famous Linux distribution, and this one is especially interesting because Canonical decided to dump its controversial Unity baby and use GNOME desktop environment  instead.
It means that there are no longer separate Ubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME distributions. They are now the same. Linux notes from DarkDuck has reviewed the Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 not that long ago.
Let's now have a quick whistle stop tour on Ubuntu 17.10 with GNOME desktop environment.

24 Oct 2017

Rough Edges of the ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 LXQt

ROSA is not a leader among the Linux distributions, per the Distrowatch rating.

However, Linux Notes from DarkDuck blog watches this distribution very carefully. There were reviews of ROSA 2012 Marathon, ROSA 7 KDE, ROSA 8 Plasma 5. Even though ROSA 2012 Marathon was far from perfect, the latter versions were much improved. Each time I felt this distribution was greatly undervalued by the Linux community. Maybe because its main development team is based in Russia and there is a stigma against anything Russian made in current Western propaganda?

ROSA R9 was released in April 2017, and an additional release of LXQt version was released in June 2017. I have never seen a distribution with the LXQt desktop, and I could not miss this opportunity to check what it feels like.

The ISO image of ROSA Desktop Frresh R9 LXQt is about 1.4 Gb in size. It is available through several mirrors. I downloaded it and "burnt" onto a USB stick using the most usual way: command dd.

The USB stick is in the port of my laptop Dell Inspirion 17.

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

19 Oct 2017

The most promising linux distributions in 2017

Linux distributions have already gained recognition of its users and with every year new products appear in the market. Many of them focus on the certain tasks, so you can’t create a single list of the best ones. Here we have chosen several fields of Linux use and those distributions that have all chances to take the initial positions in their niche in 2017.

14 Oct 2017

7 years

Congratulations everyone!

Today is the 7th Birthday of the blog
Linux Notes from DarkDuck

7 years ago today the first article was published here in English. There were some Russian article before, but they are now deleted, so don't count.

Excited adventure.

An interesting trip!

And the story must go on!

Congratulations everyone!

5 Oct 2017

The Geezer and the Penguin

This is a personal story - the Penguin, of course, is Linux, and I’m the Geezer, 84 years old. We met at first out of idle interest and got to know each other out of necessity. Here's how it all happened.

26 Sept 2017

Neon: the naked KDE

KDE is the desktop environment I have liked for a long time. One of the first distributions installed on my computer was Kubuntu 10.04, and one of the first articles on Linux notes from DarkDuck blog back in 2011 was a comparison of KDE and GNOME.

I come back to KDE-based distributions every now and again, and Kubuntu 16.04 currently runs on my personal laptop. I received several emails and comments under various articles asking me to review KDE Neon. The time has now come.

KDE Neon is a distribution created by the KDE team featuring the most recent version of KDE (Plasma) desktop environment on top of Ubuntu core. Effectively, you have something similar to Kubuntu, but with bleeding edge KDE technology, a few versions higher than Kubuntu.

There are 4 versions of KDE Neon available for download on their web site: User current, User long-term support (LTS), Developer stable and Developer unstable. Only 64-bit images are available. Even the LTS versions have new images updated frequently. The most current non-LTS verion had the date 20170907 (the 7th of September 2017) in the filename at the moment when I downloaded it. The ISO image is 1.7 Gb in size and available to download only from the KDE Neon site.

I downloaded the image and "burnt" it onto the USB stick using the usual method: command dd.

The USB drive is in the port of my Dell Inspirion 17. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

19 Sept 2017

Do you want to see 4 000 000?

Back in August 2012 I ran a very simple contest: you had to fix the moment when the visitors' counter on this blog showed the 1,000,000.
It's time when the counter is close to another large and round value, and it is time to announce yet another similar contest.
The rules are the same as they were last time, except for the value you need to show on the screenshot: 4,000,000.

12 Sept 2017

Porteus: portability for pros

Linux notes from DarkDuck started back in 2010 as a blog about portable or pocket Linux distributions. Obviously, the blog has grown a lot since then, but nevertheless portable Linux is always interesting.

Porteus is one of the most famous portable Linux distributions. You can read some reviews of this operating system and even an interview with the Porteus team.

The newest version, Porteus Linux 3.2.2, saw the light at the end of 2016. You can download it from several mirrors that are listed in the flat file available on the original web site. As a side note, this is quite an unusual way to distribute the Linux distribution. Porteus 3.2.2 is available in several flavours, and my choice was the 64-bit Xfce edition. The ISO image is about 240 Mb in size.

The official guide says that the recommended way to boot Porteus is to burn it to a CD. Although booting from USB is also possible, it is a very complicated method. That's why I burnt the image onto a CD-RW disk. That disk is in the tray of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

5 Sept 2017

To Linux Mint KDE 18.2… and back

Linux Mint KDE is just one of several flavours of Linux Mint, and obviously not the flagship of this distribution.

However, I liked that distribution in my test of the Live version of Linux Mint KDE 18.2. I liked it so much that I decided to give it a go in installed mode.

How was that? Let’s check.

28 Aug 2017

7 Business Advantages of Linux

Image source
If you're looking for a more affordable way of running your office than Windows, an open source alternative like Linux can be a very good alternative. A lot of businesses needlessly stick with Windows because it is what they are familiar and comfortable with, but learning to use a Linux system is easy once you get that hang of it and it has many advantages, as you can see below...

22 Aug 2017

Zorin OS 12.1 Lite, the Xfce one

Zorin OS has always been famous for its design, specifically made for Linux newcomers, thus made to resemble the Windows interface.

Zorin OS had several versions in the past, the most popular of them being Core and Lite. While the Core and Ultimate versions of Zorin OS are based on heavily customized GNOME 3, the powerhouse of many distributions, the Lite version was based on LXDE desktop environment.

However, things have changed recently with the release of Zorin OS 12.1 Lite. This operating system uses Xfce desktop environment. It is a good reason to check that distribution, isn't it?

You can download the ISO image of Zorin OS 12.1 Lite from the official site of the project. 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available. The 32-bit ISO image is about 1.4 GB in size. I "burnt" that ISO image to the USB stick using the dd command and plugged the stick into the USB port of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop.

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

15 Aug 2017

Mageia 6: is it the rise of Phoenix?

There is no secret that I always preferred distributions with the DEB package format. However, there is an exception. Mageia was the distribution that I ran for quite long time on various laptops. Unfortunately, the issues with outdated packages made me leave this distribution behind some time ago.

Just as a reminder, Mageia is an off-spring from the famous Mandriva family that survived when the Mandriva tree crashed.

And to fill out the whole forest, OpenMandriva is another off-spring, and my recent test showed that it is far below the mother quality.

Coming back to Mageia, it has been a long time since the previous version of this operating system was released. Mageia 5.0 was the “most recent release” for 1.5 years, and 5.1 was merely an update to it.

Mageia 6 was released just few weeks ago, in July 2017. It is a good time to check it out now.

You can get this Linux operating system from many mirrors or via torrent. There are 64- and 32-bit install images for both GNOME and KDE, as well as Live images with the same desktop environments available for 64-bit computers only. I downloaded the ISO image of Mageia 6 KDE 64-bit Live, which is 2.4 GB in size. Then I "burnt" that ISO image onto the USB stick using the dd command and plugged it into my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop.

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

10 Aug 2017

5 Reasons to Use Linux for Development

For years now, Linux has earned a reputation as a popular platform among IT enthusiasts. It’s attracted everyone from system administrators to experimenting students. Yet, not enough is said about Linux power as a programming platform. Here are five reasons why this open source operating system should be at the top of your list when choosing a development environment.

1 Aug 2017

Linux Mint 18.2 KDE - what else can you desire?

Linux Mint is the distribution that tops the Distrowatch rating year after year. Its release cycle was following the Ubuntu releases for many years, including the non-LTS versions. But since the version 17 back in 2014 they only release Linux Mint based on Ubuntu LTS versions, currently Ubuntu 16.04, and then refresh the distribution every 6 months with newer packages.

Linux Mint 18.2 was released at the beginning of July 2017, and you can already read the quick screenshot tour of Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, the flagship of the Linux Mint team.

Apart from Cinnamon, there are also MATE, Xfce and KDE versions. Linux notes from DarkDuck has previously reviewed Linux Mint 17.2 KDE. It was about 2 years ago, in August 2015. Let's have a look at Linux Mint 18.2 KDE now.

The ISO image, as usual, is available from one of many mirrors and via torrent. The Linux Mint 18.2 KDE 64-bit image is about 1.9 GB in size, which is quite a lot, 300 Mb bigger than a 2-years old release.

I burnt the image to the USB stick with the dd command and plugged that USB drive to the port of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop.

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

25 Jul 2017

An unusual offer from Linux notes from DarkDuck

Hello my dear readers!

You have probably read articles on this blog about the cloud storage integration with Linux: Yandex.Disk and OneDrive from Microsoft.

These articles are really popular and they get their readers every day.

Both of these articles contain the referral links that allow you to get additional web storage space for free. Apart from that, I received free storage for every subscriber with the referral link.

The total amount of free referral storage is limited on both services, and I have now reached that capacity. Also, Yandex.Disk closed the referral program. OneDrive program still continues.

It means I can replace the OneDrive link in the article with any other - and that can be yours! People who read the article about OneDrive solution for Linux will have a chance to click the referral link, get additional free storage and add some storage to your own cloud drive.

Sounds interesting?

Then simply send me your referral OneDrive link! It is in the Options - Manage Storage part of the OneDrive site.

 I'll do the rest.

Enjoy! :)

18 Jul 2017

Peppermint Eight – Stairway to Cloud

The recent tendency in our technology world is to move from using your personal computer for storage and processing of data to cloud-based storage and processing.

There are very few people now who have never heard about cloud-based file storage facilities, email, office packages and so on. Even ERP systems are now moving to cloud, for example SAP actively promotes HANA-based cloud solutions.

There are some distributions that use the cloud paradigm and offer the user cloud-based solutions in a single package.

One of these distributions is Peppermint OS. I wrote about Peppermint Three almost five years ago, in September 2012. Since then, Peppermint has seen several releases, and the most current version now is Peppermint Eight, based on Ubuntu 16.04.

You can download Peppermint from one of the several mirrors, or using a torrent. The ISO image of Peppermint Eight 64-bit is about 1.3 GB in size. Once downloaded, I "burnt" the ISO image onto my USB stick. This USB stick is in the port of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop.

Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Fasten your seatbelts! Let's go to the cloud!

13 Jul 2017

Cracking The Data Safety Code

Keeping our data safe online is something that we get told about a lot. That is because as members of the information generation, it's all too easy for our most valuable assets our identity and privacy to be compromised. But how can we keep our data safer? Read on to find out.

11 Jul 2017


It is difficult to believe in, but this is post number 601 in this blog.

No more words today.


4 Jul 2017

Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon: Quick Screenshot Tour

Linux Mint is one of the operating systems that release the new versions regularly. However, dislike Ubuntu and Fedora releases, Linux Mint only releases "when ready", more like the Debian operating system.

The most recent release of Linux Mint was named Sonya and has the version number 18.2. This is the third release in the Linux Mint 18 series that is based on Ubuntu 16.04. It saw the light on the 2nd of July 2017.

Let's have a quick screenshot tour through the Live DVD version of Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon 32-bit.

27 Jun 2017

Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 – new kid on the block

Budgie is the newest player on the arena of Desktop Environments for Linux operating systems. It is the baby of Ikey Doherty and his team. Their flagship distribution is, of course, Solus. You can read my review of Solus operating system here.

Unlike Canonical’s Unity, Budgie is available for other teams to use too. It is currently available for Arch, Debian testing, Manjaro and some other distributions. Some of them have Budgie in the repository, others have already prepared the special Budgie spin-offs.

Ubuntu Budgie is the newest addition to the officially supported Ubuntu flavours. It is quite interesting how these two parts can play together. The first time they married was the Ubuntu Budgie 16.04 remix. And since 17.04 Ubuntu Budgie is officially supported by Canonical.

You can download Ubuntu Budgie from one of several mirrors around the world, or via torrent. The ISO image size is 1.6 GB. I used the dd command to "burn" the ISO image of Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 64-bit to the USB stick.

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

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 (via Papertrail) 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!

2 May 2017

Lubuntu 17.04 - simple evolution

Some of you may find it bizarre, but BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk, the commercial arm of this blog Linux notes from DarkDuck really gets orders for disks with different operating systems. We recently looked at Kubuntu 17.04 that was the leader for the number of orders this April when the newest version of Ubuntu family of operating systems was released.

Lubuntu was also in the top 3 of these distributions, along with Ubuntu itself. As long as I had a disk to be sent to the customer, why not use the chance to write a review of this operating system for you, my readers?

So, I downloaded the ISO image of Lubuntu 17.04 32-bit, which is 916 MB in size, and burnt it onto a DVD-R disk. This disk is in the drive of my Dell Inspirion 17 laptop.

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

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!