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GoboLinux: Questioning the Linux File Hierarchy

Sometimes, distinguishing one of the several hundred available Linux distributions from another seems impossible. That, however, is not the problem with GoboLinux. Admittedly, its main claim to uniqueness is its radical reorganization of the Linux file hierarchy may seldom be seen by casual users, but as a challenge to the accepted standards, it is definitely…

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Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

Signal Desktop Beta: Convenience Added to Security

Signal Private Messenger has been simplifying the encryption of voice and text messages for several years now. Not only is it a drop-in replacement for existing Android and iOS contract and messaging apps, but its handling of encryption handshakes is invisible to the user, making encrypted messages no harder from the end-user’s perspective than non-encrypted…

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Mofo Linux: The Raw Materials for Security

The developers of Mofo Linux talk a good game. From the name’s origin in abusive street slang to its self-description on the home page as “Linux designed to defeat state censorship and surveillance,” Mofo presents itself as a champion of security and privacy. Nor is the claim unjustified. However, rather than putting security and privacy…

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LibreOffice and the Literate Art of Bullet Lists

For most people, literacy means mastery of upper and lower case letters. However, there are a number of symbols used in everyday writing in English that few people formally master. Of these symbols, one of the most widely used is the bullet. Unlike most word processors, LibreOffice gives you full control over bullets, including offering…

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Back to the Future with Salix OS

To modern newcomers, Linux means Linux Mint or Ubuntu — a polished desktop with a few advanced details to differentiate it from any other operating system and a standard set of applications. However, the schools of Linux can be different enough that one distribution can differ from another so much that they could almost be…

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SubgraphOS: Security Becomes Accessible

Increased security often comes at a price in Linux distributions. Tails, for example, allows anonymous browsing at the cost of running from a flash drive. Similarly, Qubes OS  provides comprehensive security but with an enormous increase in memory requirements. By contrast, Subgraph OS (SGOS) increase security by installing existing security features that other distributions leave…

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Guix: The Non-Aligned Universal Package Manager

With Ubuntu releasing Snappy and Red Hat releasing Flatpak, suddenly universal package managers are in the news. Maybe we should talk about Guix too. Both Snappy and Flatpak have their points of interest, but exaggerated claims about both of them are all too common. In this situation, GNU Guix, which for two years has been…

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Budgie-remix: Unity Light and then some

When half a dozen major desktops are used by Linux distributions, what chance does a new one have? In the case of budgie-remix, a better chance than you might expect. With the combination of an unexpected endorsement and a lightweight and elegant desktop environment, Budgie-remix could manage to become the first distribution since Linux Mint…

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Using Solid State Drives on Linux

If your computer doesn’t already include a solid state drive (SSD), the odds are that it soon will. In less than a decade, SSDs have decreased in price as quickly as their technology has evolved, and in the next two or three years, they are likely to replace mechanical hard drives altogether.

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LibreOffice Logic

When you switch to LibreOffice, you can usually assume that all the features available in other office suites are available. They might have a slightly different name, or be placed in another menu, but the basic functionality should be the same in both. If you make a note of the features you use most often,…

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ReactOS: Building a Free-Licensed Windows

From dual-booting to WINE, free software has always struggled to provide a solution for running Windows applications. However, few of these efforts have been more ambitious than ReactOS, a free-licensed implementation of Windows. The project has been at work since 2006 and, in February 2016, ReactOS finally released its first alpha version, after a decade…

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Calligra Suite: The Other Free Office Suite

Calligra Suite is a mature office suite, with a solid set of basic applications, as well as an integrated, often innovative set of utilities, and at least two truly outstanding tools that have developed their own popularity outside of Calligra Suite.

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