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.