Sunday, January 18, 2015

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" KDE Review: The Best KDE spin I have used!

On 8th January 2015, Clement Lefebvre has announced the availability of an updated build of Linux Mint "KDE", a version based on Ubuntu's latest long-term support release: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17.1 'Rebecca' KDE. Linux Mint 17.1 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. The previous version of Linux Mint used KDE 4.13. In this release, KDE is upgraded to version 4.14. Support was added in MDM and in the session for the KDE wallet to be fully integrated with Linux Mint. Although a Wallet Manager is present for configuration purpose, no interaction is needed for the KDE wallet to work. The wallet is created automatically with your first login, and it opens automatically in the background with every new session. The Update Manager now groups packages together according to their source package."

From Linux Mint 17.1 KDE http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
I downloaded the 64-bit Linux Mint 17.1 KDE ISO, 1.6 GB in size, for this review. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer (which supports UEFI Secureboot as well), on a 4 GB pendrive. I did a live boot on my test laptop, Asus K55VM. The details of the hardware is given below.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Linux Lite 2.2 "Beryl" Review: Good lightweight XFCE LTS spin

On Dec 2, 2014, Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 2.2, an updated build of the project's lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and featuring the Xfce desktop: "Linux Lite 2.2 final is now available for download. This release is a product of the incredible contributions from both the community and the developers. We've added Backups, a very simple to use backup utility, Date & Time, File Search, and our newest members to the Linux Lite software family - Lite Cleaner, an easy-to-use point and click system cleaner and Lite Welcome which greets you on first boot, gives useful information about Linux Lite including updates, support and development. We've also added Light Locker as the new default screen locker. There are also improvements to Install Additional Software, allowing you to choose multiple programs at once to install. There is also Check Install Media that has been added to the live boot menu".

From Linux Lite 2.2 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
For this review I downloaded the 738 MB 64-bit ISO of Linux Lite for this review and created a live USB on a 4 GB pendrive using Linux Mint Image Writer. Linux Lite 2.2 ships with XFCE desktop and Linux kernel 3.13.0 with Thunar 1.6.3 as the file manager.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fedora 21 GNOME Review: If you can ignore the initial hiccups, fantastic operating system!

On 9th December 2014, Matthew Miller has announced the release of Fedora 21, the latest stable version of Red Hat's community distribution for desktops, servers and the cloud: "The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the release of Fedora 21, ready to run on your desktops, servers and in the cloud. Fedora 21 is a game-changer for the Fedora Project, and we think you're going to be very pleased with the results. As part of the Fedora.next initiative, Fedora 21 comes in three flavors: Cloud, Server, and Workstation. The Fedora Workstation is a new take on desktop development from the Fedora community. Our goal is to pick the best components, and integrate and polish them. This work results in a more polished and targeted system than you've previously seen from the Fedora desktop."

From Fedora 21 Workstation http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
I downloaded the 64-bit 1.4 GB ISO of Fedora 21 Live Workstation for this review. I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB pendrive and booted it on my Asus K55VM. Fedora 21 ships with GNOME 3.14 and Linux kernel 3.17.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Cinnamon Review: As always, Impressive!

In my last review, I discussed about Linux Mint 17.1 Mate. Today, it's turn of Linux Mint's flagship operating system Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon. The release notes states of the following improvements: "Linux Mint 17.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use." It discusses of the following incremental improvements:

  • Cinnamon 2.4 with about 30 memory leak fixes offering many little improvements to make user experience smoother and more enjoyable than before.
  • The Nemo toolbar was redesigned and its buttons are now configurable. A new button (hidden by default) was added to open a terminal in the current directory. Nemo supports emblems now.
  • More meaningful update manager and options to select kernel.
  • Significant improvements in artwork and functionality.
  • Improved privacy settings.

From Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
For this review I downloaded the 1.5 GB 64-bit ISO of Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon. I created a live USB on a 4 GB USB drive using Linux Mint Image Writer. First, I did a live boot and then installed Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon on my laptop, Asus K55VM.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Mate Review: Simply awesome performance!

I guess I discussed sometime back in my blog that Linux Mint won't pursue Ubuntu's schedule of releasing a new distro every 6 months and instead focus on Ubuntu's LTS releases. True to their promise, they have released an update to the Linux Mint 17 LTS, nicknamed "Rebecca". The release notes states of the following incremental improvements: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17.1 'Rebecca' MATE. Linux Mint 17.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. Linux Mint 17.1 MATE edition comes with two window managers installed and configured by default: Marco (MATE's very own window manager, simple, fast and very stable); Compiz (an advanced compositing window manager which can do wonders if your hardware supports it). Among the various window managers available for Linux, Compiz is certainly the most impressive when it comes to desktop effects."
I downloaded the 64-bit version of Linux Mint 17.1 Mate, 1.557 GB in size. I tried Mate first as it seemed more enticing because of the presence of compiz. Please note, I did not upgrade from Linux Mint 17 to Linux Mint 17.1 and it cannot be done via terminal using sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. This specific blog from Linux Mint talks of the upgrade process using MintInstall. Mint 17.1 ships with Linux kernel 3.13.0 and Mate DE 1.8.1. It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release.

I created a live USB using Linux Mint Image Writer on a 4 GB pen drive. I booted the distro on my Asus K55VM and post live boot, installed it on a 50 GB partition.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ubuntu Mate 14.10 Review: For GNOME 2 lovers and offers awesome performance

I am not sure if Ubuntu Mate 14.10 is an official release from Canonical yet. It is still to be listed in distrowatch. But, never-the-less I came across this distro as a reference from a couple of readers from my blog. I used the distro for a week and I am writing down my experience with the distro. It has the same specifics as Ubuntu 14.10 - the desktop environment is different here: Mate 1.8.1, with it's typical GNOME 2 looks.

From Ubuntu Mate 14.10 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in
For this review, I downloaded the 1 GB 64-bit ISO from the Ubuntu Mate website for this review. I used Linux Mint Image Writer to create a live USB and used it to install on my favorite Asus K55VM laptop.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ubuntu 14.10 vs Kubuntu 14.10 vs Xubuntu 14.10 vs Lubuntu 14.10 vs Ubuntu GNOME 14.10: A Comparison

Honestly, I have used better Linux distros than Ubuntu. But, I don't deny that Canonical's Ubuntu took Linux to the masses. Five years ago when I started using Linux, I started with Ubuntu as well. Those days none of my friends knew about Linux and now almost everyone of my friends knows Ubuntu, if not any other Linux. And even in my blog, articles on Ubuntu gets 30% more hits than non-Ubuntu articles. And the request for this article came from quite a few readers of my blog. Here I won't compare a lot on the aesthetics bit as each distro is unique and it is good to have diversity. My primary focus will be on comparing performance and ease of use.

I reviewed each and every one of the official Utopic Unicorn releases separately. If interested you can visit individual reviews:
Further, 64-bit versions of all the five distros were benchmarked using the exactly same machine over last 1.5 months. So, in this comparison I am comparing apples to apples.


Operating System (64 bit) Ubuntu 14.10 Kubuntu 14.10 Xubuntu 14.10 Lubuntu 14.10 Ubuntu GNOME 14.10
Release Year 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014
Size of ISO (GB) 1.109 1.017 0.979 0.702 0.998
Base Ubuntu Utopic Ubuntu Utopic Ubuntu Utopic Ubuntu Utopic Ubuntu Utopic
Desktop Unity 7.3.1 KDE 4.14.1 XFCE 4.11 LXDE GNOME 3.12
Linux kernel 3.16.0 3.16.0 3.16.0 3.16.0 3.16.0

Hardware Used for the Review
Asus K55VM laptop with 2.3 Ghz 3rd Gen. Core i7 3610QM processor with 8 cores, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1366x768 resolution, 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphic card.

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