Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 Released based on Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

A new version of Bodhi Linux is available to download based on the recent Ubuntu 18.04.4 point release.

While Bodhi Linux isn’t a so-called headline distro it has gained a solid following over the years thanks to its combination of low system resource requirements and solid performance with the quirky Moksha desktop environment and popular lightweight desktop apps.

And truth be told I have a bit of a soft spot for it, too. I like distros that ‘do things differently’ and, amidst a a sea of pale Ubuntu spins sporting minor cosmetic changes, Bodhi Linux does just that.

Bodhi Linux Screenshot

Bodhi 5.1.0

Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 is the first major update to the distro in almost two years, and succeeds the Bodhi 5.0 release back in 2018.

The update, aside from being based on the recent Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS release and HWE, makes some software substitutions. The ePad text editor is replaced with the lightweight Leafpad. Likewise, the Midori web browser is supplanted by Epiphany (aka GNOME Web).

To help promote the new release Bodhi devs have put together the following video ‘trailer’, which you can view below if your browser supports video embeds:

[embedded content]

Bodhi Linux runs well on low-end machines (though not exclusively; it’s perfectly usable for gaming rigs too). If you’re minded to give an old Celeron-powered netbook a new purpose then a Bodhi install wouldn’t be a bad way to go about it.

Fair warning though: the Moksha desktop environment, which is based on Enlightenment libraries, is not for everyone. The modular nature of Moksha means it works rather differently to vertically-integrated DEs like GNOME Shell and KDE Plasma.

But different isn’t necessarily bad.

You can learn more about the Bodhi Linux 5.1 release on the distro’s official blog. To download the very latest release as a 64-bit .iSO hit the button below, or grab the official torrent:

Download Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 (64-bit .iso)

If you have a 32-bit only machine you can download and use the Bodhi Linux 5.1 legacy release. This features Linux kernel 4.9 and no PAE extension:

Download Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 (32-bit .iso)

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Zorin OS 15.2 Released, Now Available to Download

Zorin OS 15.2 is now available to download. The update serves as the latest point release in the Zorin OS 15.x series which debuted last year.

A raft of software updates, bug fixes and security patches are included, as is a new Linux kernel (Linux 5.3) courtesy of Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS and its Hardware Enablement (HWE) stack.

Updated versions of core apps like Firefox, LibreOffice and GIMP also feature.

Zorin OS 15 has been a huge hit since its release last summer, clocking up an impressive 900,000 downloads since then.

The success is testament to the design and development choices taken by the Zorin OS team, who tailor the distro towards Windows switchers and Linux newbies who just want a system that ‘just works’ out of the box.

It’s for this reason Zorin OS 15 snared a spot on our list of the best Linux distros in 2019.

Download Zorin OS 15.2

Zorin OS 15.2 is available to download from today, via the Zorin OS website. As always, Zorin OS is available in a paid ‘Ultimate’ version and a ‘Core’ free version.

Download Zorin OS 15.2 Core

If you’ve previously purchased Zorin OS 15 Ultimate you can download a copy of Zorin OS 15.2 Ultimate using the download link shared in your original purchase email.

Do you need to download anything if you already run Zorin OS 15?

No.

As with Ubuntu point releases, if you already run Zorin OS 15 (or the 15.1 release) you do not need to download this new ISO and reinstall your system.

Existing users get all of the updates mentioned here as regular software updates. So, if you haven’t done so for a while, run an update check and install any/all updates that are listed.

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Regolith Desktop 1.3 Released with New Theme, Notifications + More

The Regolith desktop softens the edges around the i3 window manager — and in its latest release it goes even further.

Regolith Linux softens the edges of i3, making the tiling window manager easier to use

For those unfamiliar with it, the Regolith desktop combines GNOME-based system management with a keyboard driven user interface built around i3-gaps, Rofi, and other shortcut-centric tools.

Although still very shortcut dependent — you primarily open, close, move and switch windows and workspaces using keyboard shortcuts — Regolith remoulds i3 into a less intimidating shape.

The Regolith desktop can be installed on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and above) by adding a PPA. Alternatively, users can download Regolith Linux, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that ships the Regolith desktop experience by default.

Regolith 1.3 Released

While a lot of readers really love the Regolith experience as-is, there were a few paint points that could be improved on — which this release certainly does.

Regolith 1.3 features a brand new GTK theme called Cahuella. This is more closely related to the Adwaita theme (don’t worry, it’s still dark by default) to help ensure that all the included GNOME apps and utilities look as intended.

Also benefiting from a slick new look is the rofi app launcher, which sports a “less distracting” appearance as of this update.

To better help orientate uses less familiar with i3, a brand new “shortcuts” cheat-sheet called Remontoire. This displays on first login and is accessible at any time through a smush of ctrl + ? buttons. Of all the improvements this update brings it’s this one I will appreciate the most (sorry but I have the memory of a …Dammit, I can’t remember).

Clicking on blocks in the bottom bar now launches the relevant configuration app, e.g., clicking on the battery block opens the power settings control panel, etc.

A big change to the way notifications work debuts in Regolith 1.3. Rather than showing on-screen toasts the system will update the ‘unread’ count on a notification indicator on the panel.

Other features, changes and improvements include:

  • Improved Network, notifications and other blocks
  • Selection of different compositors
  • New i3-snapshot tool to save/restore window layouts
  • Support for “looks”

To learn more about the desktop and many of the new features included in its latest release visit the brand spankin’ new Regolith website:

Visit the Regolith Website

Upgrade to Regolith 1.3 on Ubuntu

If you currently use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (or above) you can install the Regolith desktop on top of your existing installation. How? By adding the project’s official PPA to your software sources list.

To do this, open a new terminal window and run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:regolith-linux/release

Note: If you have Regolith installed already you must remove the old Regolith PPA from your system before adding the new one to upgrade.

Followed by:

sudo apt install regolith-desktop

Log out of your current session and, from the greeter, select the Regolith session and login using your existing username and password.

To stop using Regolith first log out and, at the greeter, select the Ubuntu (or other) session.

To remove/uninstall Regolith desktop run:

sudo apt purge regolith-desktop

If you’d rather install Regolith Linux (an Ubuntu-based distro with the Regolith desktop already installed) you’ll find new .iso images over on the Regolith Linux Sourceforge page.

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5 Best Linux Distros for Windows 7 Users

The end of Windows 7 support leaves millions of PC users stranded on an an insecure system — making it the perfect opportunity to switch to Linux for a safer, and more secure experience.

You can install Linux alongside Windows 7 as a dual boot, and pick which system you want to use when you boot your computer

With that in mind we asked our readers what they think are the best Linux distros for Windows 7 users to switch to. This post rounds up their responses.

Now, if you’re running Windows 7 at the moment and you’re scared about making the switch to Linux let me tell you that you’re not alone — I was there was where you are once!

One helpful tips to soinstall Linux alongside Windows 7 as a dual boot, and switch between systems just by rebooting your computer.

A dual boot is a great way to keep Windows 7 around (with all your files, apps and settings in tact) so they can sample Linux at your own pace.

5 Best Linux Distros for Window 7 Users

1. Linux Mint 19.3 ‘Tricia’

Windows-style layout • Great selection of software preinstalled • Runs well on older hardware • Huge user community

Linux Mint 19.3 is arguably the most oft-recommended Linux distro for Windows users to try — and for very good reasons.

The desktop of Linux Mint is laid out much like that of Windows 7. Having a familiar interface can help reduce the learning curve needed to get on and do stuff (which is arguably the most off-putting part of switching system, be it to Linux or otherwise).

While the desktop isn’t a straight-up Windows clone it is broadly similar: there’s a searchable start menu in the left-hand corner; a task switcher along the bottom with system tray; you can put icons on the desktop; switch between open windows using alt + tab and so on.

The latest version of Linux Mint is Linux Mint 19.3 ‘Tricia’ and it runs great, even on older or more modest hardware. It’s also pre-loaded with a terrific set of software, plus access to more using the included app store.

If you want to broach Linux from a familiar starting point, Linux Mint is the distro to try.

Download Linux Mint 19.3

2. KDE Neon (User Edition)

Plasma 5.16

Runs great on older hardware • Very customisable • Regular software updates • Configurable interface and layout

KDE Neon is a Linux distribution that scores highly on the “looks a bit like Windows” — but don’t be fooled as it gives you far greater control over your computer than Windows ever did.

An Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, KDE Neon (User Edition) uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment by default. Plasma is relatively easy to understand and highly configurable.

KDE-based distros often get criticised for being “complicated”. On the one hand it’s true that it puts more options in your way, but you don’t have to use them. KDE is a system they can just “use” as is, but doesn’t nanny you either.

If you want a system that’s powerful, but tameable, then KDE Neon will suit you well.

Download KDE Neon (User Edition)

3. Zorin OS 15 Lite

Clean, stylish interface • Low system requirements • User friendly desktop • Lightweight system

Zorin OS 15 Lite is my go-to recommendation when someone wants a lightweight Linux distro that looks good and runs good — even on ancient hardware.

So if your computer isn’t up to the job of running Windows 10, or you’ve tried other distros and found them a little sluggish, Zorin OS 15 Lite is definitely worth checking out.

Although it’s superficially a simplistic OS there is method to the minimalism: you get all of the essential tools you need to get online, communicate, chat, and watch videos but with zero bloat.

Zorin OS’s slogan is “Your Computer, Faster” — and the Lite edition recommended by readers certainly lives up to that claim.

Download Zorin OS 15 Lite

4. elementary OS 5.1 ‘Hera’

Intuitive desktop • Great performance • Fantastic array of first-party apps • Stylish • Vibrant user community

So you’ve always fancied the look of macOS, but you haven’t fancied paying a premium to try it — why not swap Windows 7 for elementary OS 5.1 instead?

Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distributions that oozes class and yes it looks a lot like Apple’s macOS.

The Pantheon desktop shell is user friendly and very fast, while the Plank dock (the task switcher and app launcher at the bottom of the screen) makes managing multiple windows a breeze.

A great set of apps are included by default, with software for playing music, managing your to-dos, and reading and sending email. The stock web browser is, however, a weak point but it can be swapped out for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Vivaldi or another.

Unlike other distros in this list elementary is offered on a “pay what you want” basis — i.e. you’re encouraged to pay to download it. That said, there’s no harm in entering “0” as the value amount to download a copy for free to try out.

But if you do like what you find I really recommend that you pop back and donate a couple of dollars at a later date — it’s bizarre that a distro this well made is available for free at all!

For a well made alternative to Windows-style desktops that’s easy to learn and even easier to use, let elementary OS school you in Linux.

Download elementary OS 5.1

5. Ubuntu 19.10

screenshot of ubuntu showing applications

Great performance • Latest software • Linux Kernel 5.1 • Can be upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in April • Used by millions

As an Ubuntu-based blog it’d be strange if we didn’t also recommend Ubuntu, the world’s most popular and widely used desktop Linux operating system.

Ubuntu 19.10 is not just the latest version of Ubuntu but also the most performant in year — it runs rings around older releases, including Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (which most Ubuntu stalwarts would traditionally recommend).

The distro comes pre-loaded with new versions of stellar software including Mozilla Firefox (web browser), Thunderbird (e-mail client), and LibreOffice (office suite), with thousands of other apps available through the Software Centre.

Awesomely, if you install Ubuntu 19.10 you’ll be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS later this year — and that release will be backed by half a decade of on-going support.

Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine” is the perfect vantage point to sample the very best that Linux has to offer, from desktop to software to security.

Download Ubuntu 19.10

Got questions about switching to Linux? Ask them in the comments

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Alpine Linux Adds ‘Initial Support’ for KDE, GNOME Desktops

Alpine, here in a vm, is usually gui-less

Well, here’s a curve ball Alpine Linux has added ‘initial support’ for graphical desktop environments.

The change-log attached the latest Alpine 3.11 release specifically lists support for both KDE and GNOME desktop environments.

Before we look at what this news could mean, let’s take a quick recap of what Alpine Linux is and where it’s more commonly used.

What is Alpine Linux?

Alpine Linux is a small, streamlined Linux distro based on musl libc and busybox. Although initially aimed at routers Alpine has snowballed to become the leading Linux distro for Docker containers.

And that’s understandable.

Alpine is super lightweight, super small (a base image can be a mere 8MB), and it’s super secure too — and this latter claim isn’t merely marketing, either.

Alpine is built around a battle-hardened Linux kernel and, as the project website notes: “all userland binaries are compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) with stack smashing protection.”

Put simply: this thing is rock solid.

If you’re interested in the PinePhone and other Linux-based mobile technology you’ll surely have heard of postmarketOS. And what’s postmarketOS based on? Alpine Linux.

An Alpine Linux …Desktop?

Alpine Linux is so stripped back and minimal that it doesn’t come with a GUI by default (because, simply, it doesn’t need one).

That’s not to say that it can’t run one; it’s long been possible to install a desktop environment on Alpine Linux (it is, after all, Linux) but the distro being used as a “workstation” OS is, to me at least, an uncommon choice.

Alpine is very much in the Arch Linux mould: it gives you just enough to get started, and it’s up to you to build out from there. Just like Arch, Alpine has a comprehensive wiki.

But before you get too excited by all this desktop talk I should stress that you can’t head out and download an Alpine image with a desktop environment preinstalled, configured, ready to run.

Which is why the introduction of “initial support” for KDE and GNOME desktops is all the more exciting — is this our first hint that Alpine has bigger, more computing ambitions?

Alpine Linux 3.11 Features

Alpine Linux 3.11 has more to offer besides the first glint of GUI desktop support, including:

Naturally there are also major updates across the package set, including GCC 9.2 as default compiler, Busybox 1.31.1, and musl libc 1.1.24.

It’s somewhat interesting that the distro is also introducing some of the components needed to support Linux gaming.

You can download Alpine Linux in a variety of images, including ones designed for the Raspberry Pi 4, direct from the project website.

Alpine Linux Downloads Page

Could users soon be scaling Alpine Linux in search of their next desktop Linux distro?

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Peppermint 10 ‘Respin’ Released with Updated Theme and New Utilities

An updated version of Peppermint 10 is now available to download.

The latest refresh of the lightweight Linux distro comes based on top of the Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS point release and, somewhat notably, provides both 32-bit and 64-bit install images.

Newer versions of Xorg, the Linux kernel, and various security fixes are included in the Peppermint 10 Respin (20191210). It also features the following key changes:

  • New ‘Cursor Resizer’ setting
  • New ‘Web Browser Manager’ tool to install/remove common browsers
  • Reverts to an early build of the pulseadio-equalizer tool
  • Arc Colour Themes added, and Arc-Red-Dark set as system default.
  • Various new icons
  • p7zip-full installed by default
  • Various new single-site browsers

You can learn more about these improvements, as well as more details behind the release, in the Peppermint respin announcement on the project’s official website.

Download Peppermint 10 Respin

Download

Want to try this distro out? You can download Peppermint 10 Respin as 32-bit and 64-bit .iso images directly from the project website:

Download Peppermint 10 Respin (32-bit .iso)

Download Peppermint 10 Respin (64-bit .iso)

Flash these bootable images to a USB stick and you can “try” the OS out on your hardware without installing anything. If you like what you see, you can use the same image to install the complete system.

Upgrade

Already running Peppermint 10? You don’t need to panic. This “resin” is about providing up-to-date install (.iso) images to new users, to ease the number of post-install updates that are required.

So if you already run Peppermint 10 OS and you have installed all updates issued since you installed it, you’re good to go!

Is Peppermint 11 planned?

Peppermint 11 will be based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and is anticipated for release in early summer of 2020.

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