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Posts published in “Desktops”

Four Things a New Linux User Should Know

When you move from “that other operating system” to Linux, you’re going to find that in most ways you’ll be in familiar territory. However, that’s not always the case. We sometimes do things a little differently around here.

Linux

If you’re making the move from Windows or Mac (or even from Android or iOS), welcome to our world.

These days, using Linux for doing everyday computer tasks isn’t that much different than using other operating systems — meaning the learning curve is only slight. In fact, my colleague Phil Shapiro works at a library that uses Linux on the computers its patrons use and says that hardly anyone even notices they’re not using Windows. It’s that easy.

However, there are some things about using Linux that are quite a bit different — and we think better — than with the other brands. Here’s a brief heads up on some things that might be good for you to know before you cross the bridge from you-don’t-realy-own-it Windows to free-open-and-yours Linux.

Eight Things to Do After Installing Linux Mint Xfce 18.x

After you get Linux up and running on your computer, there are still a few things left to do. Here’s a short list that newcomers might find helpful.

Linux Mint update policyLinux Mint update policy

Linux for Newcomers

Those who are new to Linux might just go to work right away after installing, or having someone else install, GNU/Linux. However, there are a few things you should do first. Some of them, such as updating your system and activating the firewall, are essential. Others are just things you do to customize your Linux experience.

Here’s a short checklist of things to do after you get Linux up-and-running on your computer. You should consider the first two items on this list as being required, with all the other items being optional. The list is specific to Linux Mint 18.x Xfce Edition, so if you’re using another flavor of Linux, you’ll be better off searching for another list.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

A Nonreview of Linux Mint Xfce 18 ‘Sarah’

With Linux Mint Xfce 18.1 “Serena” due to be released any day now, we decided it was too late for a full review of Mint Xfce 18.0 “Sarah,” and opted instead for this down-and-dirty “nonreview.”

screenshot Linux Mint Xfce 18 "Sarah"screenshot Linux Mint Xfce 18 "Sarah"
A peek at Linux Mint Xfce 18 “Sarah” as we see it daily at FOSS Force.

The FOSS Force Review Nonreview

Oh, drat. I’ve done gone and procrastinated too much again.

Shortly after Clem Lefebvre and his buddies released the Xfce edition of Mint 18 — that’s “Sarah” for those who prefer names to numbers — I installed it on one of the laptops I keep at the office so I could write a review. I even took the laptop with me to All Things Open in late October to give it a good workout — which I did writing my coverage of the conference for “another website.”

I never did get around to writing the review, but it’s always been on the back burner. I’d get it written before the next version of Mint is released, I figured.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

System 76 Talks With Ubuntu, WordPress Ups Game and More…

Also included: Fedora community says goodbye to Matthew Williams, Solus gets a new package build system, end-of-life for Fedora 23 and IoT security.

Ubuntu logoUbuntu logo

FOSS Week in Review

Something arctic this way comes. That”s what Lannie Pope, the weatherwoman on the local NBC affiliate, tells us, Trouble is, I’m still stuck in a house without proper heat, a situation that’s been dragging on since near the end of September. It’s a long story, but…brrr. I’m glad I don’t live in a part of the country where it gets really cold.

Now on to this week’s FOSS news, which is always warm…

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Mickey Mouse Open Source, Close Call at WordPress, and More…

Also included: FBI hacks 8,000 with single warrant, new Cinnamon desktop release, “government-backed attackers” after journalists, and FOSS Force adds beef to newsfeed.

FOSS Week in Review

Mickey Mouse DisneyMickey Mouse Disney

Okay, Thanksgiving is over. Let the sales begin. Which reminds me, I have to buy a new cheap Wi-Fi router — cheap being the operative word. Any suggestions?

Otherwise, it’s back to FOSS news…

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Talos’s $18K Linux Workstation, KDE 1 on Modern Metal & More…

Also included: Red Hat opens Ansible Galaxy, Yakkety Yak ready for downloads, and KDE and GNOME both get minor point releases.

FOSS Week in Review

Like practically everybody else who resides in the U.S., I’ve just about had it up to here (I’m holding my hand high above the top of my head) with this election. At this point, I just want the whole mess to be over. After the winner has been decided and the dust has settled, I’ll decide whether I want to become an expat on another planet in another solar system. What kind of visa will I need for that, I wonder.

Meanwhile, I keep my mind occupied by following FOSS news…

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Homicide Commits Suicide, HP Says It’s Sorry & More…

Also included: Judge seems to make software patents illegal, Mageia mourns a contributor, Yakkety Yak frozen, KDE’s new release, and getting ready for All Things Open.

FOSS Week in Review

When I wrote last week’s wrap, Hurricane Matthew seemed to be on a direct path for my office. Now it appears that long before it hits my state it’s going to take a sharp turn to the right and head back out to sea. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, in getting to where it is today, this storm has so far killed nearly 1,000 people that we know of so far, and has made thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, homeless. That’s bad news indeed.

This week’s free tech news was a little more fun…

Digital Homicide logoDigital Homicide logoDigital Homicide commits suicide: In a story that’s been brewing for a while now, it seems that game company Digital Homicide was given enough rope to…well, you know. It seems that the publisher had gotten in the habit of suing any Steam user who dared to post a bad review about one of its games, and actually subpoenaed Valve for the identities of 100 anonymous users who had made statements about the company. This, in turn and understandably, pissed a lot of users off, which led to Valve removing all games from Steam.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Easy Linux Distro Hopping with MultiSystem

Our resident Linux newbie is off and running. Not only is he single booting his Lenovo IdeaPad to Ubuntu Mate, he’s using the FOSS app “MultiSystem” as a down and dirty way to check out lite distros for his ancient resource challenged Sony Vaio. We couldn’t be prouder.

The Linux Gadabout

Running Ubuntu MATE for the past week, my Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 has so far been a dream — perhaps too much of a dream, because it’s allowed me to waste even more time playing Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth without interruption than Windows 10 ever could. But on my significantly more ancient and RAM limited Sony Vaio, Ubuntu MATE seems to be more of a resource hog than I’d like. Sure, it still runs better than the Windows XP that came pre-installed, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

Robert Glen FogartyRobert Glen Fogarty

“Bob” Fogarty was the editor-in-chief at Chris Pirillo’s LockerGnome.com for nearly 12 years, and has written for ReadWrite.com and TheArtofCharm.com. He lives in San Diego with his wife and a medium-sized menagerie of beasties great and small. Follow him on Twitter: @Fogarty

IBM’s Linux Birthday, Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ PSA & More…

Also included: FCC requires TP-Link to allow users to install open source firmware on routers, five new distro releases, new releases of LibreOffice and KDE Plasma, and Microsoft releases Skype 1.3 Alpha for Linux.

FOSS Week in Review

Maybe because we’re in the last 30 days or so of real summer — as opposed to calendar summer — or perhaps because most ‘Mericans are glued to their TVs as the Clinton/Trump heavyweight bout gets underway in earnest, but this has been a slow news week in the FOSS world. However, there are some notable items worth mentioning.

Wi-FiWi-FiFCC supports open source Wi-Fi firmware. For the last several months many open sourcers have been up in arms because it looked as if the door was being closed on open source on Wi-Fi routers after the agency changed it’s rules around radio interference on the 5 GHz band, making it difficult for router makers to allow users to install open source firmware on their routers. All along, the FCC claimed that shutting out open source use wasn’t part of the game plan, but we FOSSers are a suspicious lot and we weren’t buying it.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Software Freedom in Kosovo, Waiting for Xfce Mint & More…

Also included: Canonical joins The Document Foundations advisory board, Chromium coming to Fedora, OpenVZ now a complete Linux distro and GNU Linux-libre Kernel 4.7 released.

FOSS Week in Review

It’s not FOSS, but I reckon the biggest story in tech this week, ignoring claims of Russia hacking for Trump, is the sale of Yahoo to Verizon for $4.8 billion. Considering that traffic watcher Alexa says the site is the fifth most visited address on the web, that seems like something of a bargain to me. Add to that Yahoo’s prime Silicon Valley real estate and the price seems to be in the “it fell of the truck” category. The sale puts Verizon in control of both America Online and Yahoo, so I suspect we’ll be seeing Verizon trying to compete with Google and Bing for a share of the search advertising market.

Meanwhile in the world of FOSS…

LibreOffice logoLibreOffice logoLibreOffice has been in the news this week. The big story, which we first heard on Tuesday, is that Canonical has joined The Document Foundation’s advisory board. In case you’re new in town, TDF is the nonprofit that controls the development of LibreOffice.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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