Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Reviews”

Tiny Core Linux 7.1: Big Where It Counts

Jesse Smith

There’s an old cliché that promises “big things come in small packages.” Our reviewer takes a look at Tiny Core Linux and finds a lot of wallop in its 16MB size.

Most software grows and expands, taking on new features over time. While this can make software applications more useful, it also means more resources are required to run our programs. However, there are some software projects which strive to become ever more lean, more efficient and use fewer resources. One such project is Tiny Core Linux, a minimalist distribution which packs a lot of functionality into a very small system. The project’s website states:

Kicking the Tires on Arch Based Antergos

We decided to take the Arch Linux based distribution Antergos out for a test drive. Here’s how it handled, out in traffic and on the track.

A few months back, a fellow tech writer mentioned in an email exchange that I might try using the Arch Linux based Antergos distro as a way to grab the latest and greatest versions of popular software titles for review. Mainly because of Arch’s community repositories, in which users suggest and vote on packages to be included, many popular software titles are available within days after a new release. And since Antergos is a simple install compared to Arch, it would be easy to quickly throw up an installation on a test machine just to look at the latest and greatest from LibreOffice, GIMP and the like.

Antergos CnchiAntergos Cnchi
The first screen you’ll see when booting the live version of Antergos.
Photo courtesy Antergos
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

Bodhi Linux 3.2.1 With Moksha: Another Path to Enlightenment

Thursday morning we published a video interview with Jeff Hoogland, the founder and lead developer of Bodhi Linux. What better time, we figured, to take a look at the distro’s latest and greatest, which was just released last weekend.

Bodhi Linux was the first distro I ever loved.

Actually, I suppose I loved Mandrake first, which I installed back in ’02 and used, like. forever. But at that time it wasn’t the distro I loved so much as GNU/Linux. I had no experience with other distros, even though I knew about them, so Mandrake represented, by proxy, all of Linux. Such is the way it goes with new Linux users.

Around 2008, when Mandrake/Mandriva’s future became uncertain, I moved on to distro hop for a while, not finding anything that really tripped my trigger. However, PCLOS came close, not surprisingly given its Mandrake roots, and became the distro I used for a number of years. Then an install failure, followed by an inability to login or open an account on the distro’s forum, prompted me to move on.

Which led me to Bodhi, a resource sipping Ubuntu based distro using the Enlightenment desktop version 17, or E17, which at the time was the most elegant and configurable of the lightweight desktops available.

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

PayPal’s Failure an Opportunity for FOSS Money Apps?

What started off as a quest to evaluate FOSS money management apps ended up revealing an issue with PayPal that plagues even highly funded proprietary money management programs running on that other operating system.

This is both a review and a complaint, which often seems to go hand in hand in the tech world.

I’ve been looking for a financial management app recently. Since I closed a bricks and mortar store back in 2012 — after eight years it became yet another victim of the 2007 recession — I’ve been letting my business and personal bank accounts, along with my PayPal account, sort themselves out separately. Business has improved a bit recently, and the time has come to once again put all of my accounting eggs in the same basket, so to speak.

KMyMoneyKMyMoney
The “home” screen for the KDE application KMyMoney.

My plan was supposed to be easy, but you know what they say about well laid plans.

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 Down and Dirty Look at Xubuntu 16.04

In our look at Xubuntu 16.04, we find it to be stable, quick and intuitive. It’s a distro that makes our short list of recommendations for those wishing to move from Windows to GNU/Linux.

For a look at Ubuntu’s new LTS release, 16.04 or Xenial Xerus, I decided to forgo “Ubuntu prime” in favor of one of the officially sanctioned “baby *buntus,” choosing Xubuntu, the distro’s Xfce implementation. We use Xfce on Mint on nearly all of the computers here at FOSS Force’s office, so I figured this would put me in familiar territory, especially since Mint is also a Ubuntu based distro.

Xubuntu 16.04 defaultXubuntu 16.04 default
Xubuntu 16.04 out-of-the-box.
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

Latest FOSS News: