Distribution Reviews

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Review

July 6, 2023, 9 p.m.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the leading Linux distribution used by enterprises. Red Hat, its developer, has built a very successful FOSS business using this core product, generating revenue from RHEL support subscriptions and other large scale technologies built with RHEL at their core.

In 2014, Red Hat took control of CentOS, a community developed clone of RHEL produced by recompiling Red Hat source. In 2020 it changed the CentOS development model and purpose from …


Garudal Linux Review [KDE Dragonized (D460nized),210621]

Oct. 26, 2021, 6 p.m.

Garuda Linux is an Arch based distribution that provides an easy GUI installation of an Arch system with the widely used Calamares installer. But unlike the numerous other distributions that offer such an easy installation of an Arch system and some custom convenience tools such as a welcome application, Garuda Linux is more ambitious -- offering much more such, as installation on a Btrfs filesystem with a fully configured system snapshot and rollback capability and …


Fedora 32 Review [KDE Spin]

May 21, 2020, 8 p.m.

Fedora, a community project started and supported by Red Hat. distributes a GNOME based flagship edition, Fedora Workstation featuring the GNOME desktop environment. The community also offers alternative editions to the flagship featuring other desktop environments for users who prefer other desktops besides GNOME in editions called Spins, one of which being the KDE Spin discussed in this article.

This article reviews the Fedora 32 KDE Spin released on April 28, 2020.


Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Review

May 21, 2020, 6 p.m.

Kubuntu is an official flavor of the Canonical, Ltd. backed Ubuntu distribution that, along with other official flavors, offers alternative desktop environments to the GNOME desktop environment used in the default Ubuntu flavor. Kubuntu provides KDE's Plasma desktop environment with the same Debian based, Ubuntu core provided in the default distribution flavor and the other flavors.

This article reviews Kubuntu 20.04 LTS released on April 23, 2020.


Solus 4.1 Fortitude Review [Plasma Edition]

Feb. 28, 2020, 3 p.m.

The release of Solus 4.1 Fortitude adds an official Plasma based variant of the distribution, the existing Mate, GNOME, and flagship Budgie editions. As the release announcement states:

We’re proud to announce a new addition to the Solus family: Solus Plasma Edition. Solus Plasma Edition has been a long sought after experience by current and prospective users alike, melding our ability to create a curated out-of-the-box experience with the sophistication of the Plasma Desktop experience. …


KaOS Review [2019.10 Release]

Nov. 29, 2019, 6 p.m.

KaOS is a KDE Plasma focused, conservatively rolling release distribution primarily built upon Arch tools for packaging and package management. While using Arch tools, it is not the typical Arch based distribution. It builds its own kernel and packages and hosts its own repositories. It also provides a user community package repository -- KaOS Community Packages (KCP) -- with a sophisticated and user friendly online portal. To manage packages from the community repository, it develops …


ArcoLinux Review [ArcoLinuxB 19.07.9 Community Plasma Edition]

Oct. 18, 2019, 1:44 p.m.

Arco Linux is an Arch based distribution with a focus on learning Linux through the process of assembling a customized Arch system. It uses its three project branches or editions in a six phase learning plan that makes heavy use of videos, as opposed to written documentation. The main edition, named ArcoLinux, features fully configured and automatically installed Openbox, Xfce, and i3 environments, while ArcoLinuxB allows users to configure their installation from a terminal based …


Condres OS 19.09 Review [KDE Plasma Edition]

Oct. 1, 2019, 7 p.m.

Condres OS is an Arch based distribution -- actually taking many components from the defunct Apricity OS -- developed by the Italian company CodeLinSoft. In addition to an easy installation of Arch using the Calamres GUI installer, it aims to provide a professional OS suitable for businesses. As such it is developing a centralized system control center to proide functionality similar to Mageia Control Center and SUSE/openSUSE's YaST.

The distribution provides many desktop specific ISO's …


Redcore Linux Hardened 1908 Review [KDE Plasma Edition]

Sept. 4, 2019, 7 p.m.

Redcore Linux is a Romanian Gentoo based distribution that aims to make a Gentoo installation easy for newcomers to Gentoo by saving them the hours and maybe days that a Gentoo installation takes due to it being a source based distribution. Like Gentoo it is a rolling release, but unlike Gentoo, Redcore provides more current software than Gentoo itself by using the Gentoo testing repositories as its package base.

Like the other notable Gentoo based …


Arch Linux Review [20190701 Bootstrap Image]

July 28, 2019, 7 p.m.

Arch Linux is an independent, rolling release GNU/Linux distribution with bleeding edge packages. It is designed in adherence to the principles of simplicity, modernity, pragmatism, user-centricity, and versatility. It is intended for users who want to -- and because of the nature of the distribution, must -- take an active role in installing and configuring their systems. Users are aided in system administration by its simple and straightforward design -- as is evidenced by …


Mageia 7 Review

July 1, 2019, noon

Mageia is a direct descendant of the defunct Mandriva Linux distribution which was previously known as Mandrake Linux. It retains and continues development of the system tools created by its predecessor, such as the urpmi CLI package manager, and the Mageia Control Center, an integrated set of modular system configuration GUI tools similar to -- but not nearly as comprehensive or suited to enterprise use -- as openSUSE's YaST.

It uses a regular, when-ready, …


Clear Linux 28210 Review

June 4, 2019, noon

Clear Linux, an Intel open source project, is a rolling GNU/Linux distribution that optimizes the OS at all levels for Intel's implementation of the AMD64 or x86_64 architecture, the Intel Architecture, as it is referred to by Intel. This effort at optimization is to make the distribution especially useful for its intended use of cloud-centric and container applications. Recently, however, there have been developments that improve the experience on for desktop use, one being a …


elementary OS 5 Juno Review

Nov. 9, 2018, 6 p.m.

elementary OS is an Ubuntu (LTS) based distribution that strives to improve the Linux user experience and places an emphasis on the cohesiveness of the desktop environment and the apps that run on it. It targets new Linux users moving from Windows and macOS, offering a simple environment that does not require a steep learning curve.

It is also the only Linux distribution that funds development of and monitizes the distribution through a pay-what-you-want model …


Solus 3.9999 Review

Oct. 10, 2018, 9 p.m.

Solus is an independent rolling release distribution featuring its own package management system -- forked from Pardus Linux's PiSi package manager, and its in house developed GNOME stack based Budgie desktop environment. As the developers described it when Solus 3 was released:

This is the third iteration of Solus since our move to become a rolling release operating system. Unlike the previous iterations, however, this is a release and not a snapshot. We’ve now moved …


BunsenLabs Helium Review

Aug. 26, 2018, 6 p.m.

Bunsen Labs is a Debian based GNU/Linux distribution that showcases the Openbox window manager, continuing this role after its spirtitual predecessor, Crunchbang, ceased development. Like Crunchbang, it makes an Openbox based "desktop environment" usable out-of-the-box, configuring Openbox and the various programs that are usually used with Openbox to make a complete desktop environment.

This article reviews the latest release of Bunsen Labs named Helium.


Fedora 28 Workstation Review

June 1, 2018, 6 p.m.

Since I last reviewed Fedora -- version 22 with a Netinstalled Cinnamon desktop -- there have been various changes to Fedora's flagship edition for desktops. Flatpack's and Wayland have been embraced, and more recently there have been efforts to separate the core of the OS from the additional layers with atomic and modularity, which allows installing different versions of software. The improvement which has been getting the most attention in this release, however, has been …


Void Linux 20171007 Review

May 24, 2018, 6 p.m.

Void Linux is an independent rolling distribution that only includes FOSS software by default. It is reminiscent of Arch Linux in its minimalism, use of a custom package management and build system, and some other aspects of its design. Like Arch it is a distro suitable for advanced users who want to configure their OS as they see fit. It does, however, offer live ISOs which can be used to easily install a system, either …


Deepin 15.4 Review

May 1, 2017, 6 p.m.

Deepin Linux is a Debian based GNU/Linux distribution from China featuring a custom desktop environment called Deepin Desktop Environment, acclaimed for its beauty and its innovative system configuration center. It includes a suite of applications developed in-house to complement the desktop environment -- Deepin File Manager, Deepin Terminal, Deepin Music, and Deepin Movies, among others. It also includes Deepin Store, a GUI Software Manager that makes it easy to browse, discover, and install software. -- …


openSUSE Tumbleweed [Snapshot 20161204] Review

Dec. 15, 2016, 6 p.m.

Slightly over a year ago, openSUSE wisely merged its Factory development branch and the not widely used Tumbleweed rolling branch to create a new stable and viable rolling release, also called Tumbleweed, while still maintaining Factory as a separate development branch and a basis for Tumbleweed snapshots. The new Tumbleweed immediately solved one of the issues I had with openSUSE's regular releases -- with one year between releases, software available in the default repositories could …


Netrunner Rolling [201511] Review

Dec. 5, 2015, 6 p.m.

Netrunner offers two KDE-centric versions of their distribution, one based on Kubuntu, which is itself based on Ubuntu, but uses the KDE desktop environment instead of Ubuntu's own Unity, and the other based on Manjaro, itself based on Arch. Being specialists in KDE, the developers make efforts to enable all technologies offered by KDE into both editions of the distribution, as well as to customize the Plasma desktop settings to provide what they view as …


openSUSE Leap 42.1 Review

Nov. 25, 2015, 6 p.m.

openSUSE's regular release this year, now given the name "Leap" has some major changes designed to increase stability, while providing up-to-date, if not leading edge, software. This change is accomplished by basing the core of Leap on the SUSE Linux Enterprise product, on top of which the openSUSE community can add components that it desires and will maintain.

This change allows the product offerings to better complement each other while meeting the priorities of users. …


Fedora 22 Review

July 15, 2015, 6 p.m.

Fedora 22 Workstation, which replaced an existing installation of the Fedora 21 based Korora 21, has pleasantly surprised me. This surprise is probably due to my terrible experience with version 20 of Korora, a distribution which aims to make Fedora a friendly out-of-the-box experience. Although, at the time, I liked Korora's changes to Fedora, the GRUB bootloader installation was not reliable. In fact during kernel updates it completely wiped out the directories in the EFI …


openSUSE 13.2 Review

May 1, 2015, 6 p.m.

openSUSE is posssibly my favorite distribution (with Arch and Manjaro as close seconds). Besides the fact that I have a fondness for it because it was the first distribution I used after discovering the boxed retail edition in 2002, I appreciate it because it is very powerful, robust, reliable, and flexible, offering tools that make it easy to use for new Linux users or for experienced users who would rather not do everything manually on …


NixOS 14.04 Review

Oct. 30, 2014, 6 p.m.

NixOS is an independent Linux distribution with a completely unique and innovative approach to package management, system configuration, configuration rollback, and prevention of breakage due to dependency issues -- even combining all of these functions into a single configuration file activated with one command. This system offers the obvious benefits intended by the developers, but some users may also appreciate its power in customizing the system down to the dependencies and options built into installed …