26 Jul 2016

Korora 23 - is it an alternative to Linux Mint?

Cinnamon is a desktop environment that is widely promoted by the Linux Mint team. Linux Mint Cinnamon is their flagship distribution. In its turn, Linux Mint is a leader in the world of Linux distributions, especially for the newbie-oriented part of it. Unfortunately, the recent release of Linux Mint 18 made things worse, and many Linux bloggers wrote about this.

There was a comment on my recent post about Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon that asked me to look into the Korora distribution.

Korora is a distribution that is based on Fedora, similar to the way Mint bases on Ubuntu. Korora's task is to make things "just work". Let's see if this is true.

You can download Korora from one of their many mirrors when you use a special tool on their web site. Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, GNOME and Xfce flavours of Korora are available.

The ISO image of Korora 23 Cinnamon 64-bit is 2.1 Gb in size. I downloaded it and "burnt" onto a USB stick using the dd command.

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

19 Jul 2016

How to configure keyboard layouts in Cinnamon 2 and higher

Desktop Environments are not something set in stone. They develop and change their design.

Linux notes from DarkDuck published an article some time ago where you could learn how to configure keyboard layouts in Cinnamon Desktop Environment. That article was written in 2013 when Cinnamon 1 was available. That How-to is relevant to that release and its sub-releases only.

Cinnamon 2&3 were released since then. Cinnamon 2 is a part of Linux Mint 16 and, more importantly, Long-Term Support version Linux Mint 17. Cinnamon 3 became a part of recently published Linux Mint 18. These version of DEs have a different approach to keyboard layout settings. Let me show you how to set up different keyboard layouts in Cinnamon 3 in Linux Mint 18 and later, and in other operating systems that use Cinnamon Desktop Environment of version 3 and higher. Cinnamon 2 has a very similar approach with slightly different look of the windows.

12 Jul 2016

Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon: pity, pity, pity

Linux Mint is a long-established leader of the Distrowatch rating. As I am writing this article, the gap between Linux Mint and the runner-up Debian is about 30%. That is why each new release of Linux Mint is an event in the Linux world.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, another great distribution. Of course, there is also a Linux Mint Debian Edition version, but that is a different beast that deserves a separate discussion. Up until recently, each new release of Linux Mint followed the Ubuntu release cycle, be it "regular" or "LTS" version. But since Linux Mint 17, only Ubuntu LTS is considered to be a proper Linux Mint base.

Linux Mint 18 is the first release of Linux Mint on consecutive LTS versions of its base. Did it make any impact on this distribution? Let's check ourselves.

I have already published a quick screenshot tour through the main Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon features. Let's now have a more in-depth look into the Live version of Mint 18.

The ISO image of Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit is about 1.7 Gb in size. You can download it either directly from one of many mirrors all around the world, or using torrent. I used the dd command to "burn" that image onto a USB stick.

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

5 Jul 2016

Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon: Quick Screenshot Tour

The release of Linux Mint 18 was very interesting from many aspects. The most interesting for me was the fact that it is the 1st release of Mint based on LTS version of Ubuntu after skipping several non-LTS versions. If you remember, up to Linux Mint 16, each new version was based on consecutive version of Ubuntu, being it LTS or non-LTS version. But since version 17 only Ubuntu LTS editions are used by the Mint team to build their own operating system. Mint 17 was based on Ubuntu 14.04 and Mint 18 is based on Ubuntu 16.04.

The full-blown review is also available. If you prefer a shorter version, let's do a quick whistle-blow tour through the Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon system with some applications you can find out of the box.

30 Jun 2016

Installing Arch Linux. Part 2

This is the 2nd part of the how-to guide for Arch Linux installation. Please click here for the 1st part.

Now we are finally booted into our Arch Linux computer! At this point we can install some basic packages. I will install PulseAudio and alsa-utils by entering
sudo pacman -S alsa-utils pulseaudio

23 Jun 2016

Installing Arch Linux. Part 1

Arch Linux is often rather challenging or scary when it comes to a newbie's first Linux experience. Some reasons you may want to go with Arch would be the Pacman package handler, or the fact that it comes with no bloat software that will allow you to truly make it your own. In the installation process, there is no GUI or "Press Next to Continue" to hold your hand. This usually drives people away. I also found the forums to have lots of impatient people who expect you to magically know what you're doing. Here I will try to provide an in depth guide on how to install and setup your own Arch Linux computer.

14 Jun 2016

Ubuntu MATE 16.04: there is always room for improvement

Linux bloggers have plenty of topics to write about every 6 months. These are release cycles for Ubuntu and Fedora families. Canonical and RedHat give us an opportunity to write reviews of their operating systems often enough to keep the blogs going. Many derivatives of these distributions add to the pot.

I have written three articles about Xubuntu 16.04 recently, and I am sure that there are plenty reviews of Ubuntu 16.04. But there are some other parts of that family that should be covered, should they not? Which one would I write about? That was not a question for me for one simple reason.

You know that the commercial arm of this blog sells disks with Linux distributions via BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site, helped by eBay sales. Users could purchase their own disks with different flavours of Ubuntu as I announced. Would you guess which Ubuntu flavour got most of the orders? Of course, the majority of the orders were for Ubuntu 16.04 itself. The second place was not taken by Kubuntu or Xubuntu as many would guess. It was taken by Ubuntu MATE.

What is Ubuntu MATE? Ubuntu MATE and Ubuntu GNOME are the latest additions to the Ubuntu family, added when Canonical decided to release official flavours of their operating system with "new generation" desktop environments. This is not a very precise definition since MATE is a fork of "good ol'" GNOME 2 desktop environment, while GNOME 3 is used in Ubuntu GNOME. But let's put the definitions aside.

The ISO image of Ubuntu MATE 16.04 32-bit is about 1.6 Gb in size. I downloaded it using the torrent, though you can get it from one of many official mirrors too. The image is written to the DVD-R prepared for one of my customers. The disk is in the DVD-ROM of my Toshiba laptop.

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