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Windows Linux

10 Best Bootable USB Tools For Windows, Linux and MacOS

To create a Bootable USB drive, one needs to use a Bootable USB tool. The USB Bootable tool’s role is to set up a USB drive to install Windows or Linux on a computer. You can’t create a Bootable USB drive without using a Bootable USB creator. There’s no rocket science here; you need to use third-party tools to set up a USB device to install an operating system.

Here is a list of the best programs to create bootable USB drives from different operating systems, either Windows 10 or GNU/Linux or macOS. Here they are mentioned below:-

1. Rufus

Rufus

It is possibly the best and most complete tool to create bootable USB drives from ISO files in Windows. As I have been using it for years without any problem; and it allows you to create bootable units of practically any operating system. And not only that even it also serves to create boot USBs where changes are saved for the following sessions.

Compared to other bootable USB tools, Rufus is pretty easy to use, and the program is extremely lightweight. With Rufus, you can create bootable USB drives for all Windows versions and popular Linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Kubuntu, and more.

2. Windows 10 installation media tool

Windows 10 installation media tool

It’s a mini tool provided by Windows to create bootable USB. Windows 10 installation media tool is relatively easy to use, but it can only create Windows bootable USB drives. If you are willing to install Windows on another computer, you can use Windows 10 installation media to create Windows Bootable USB.

However, please remember that Windows 10 media creation tool is meant only for Windows operating system. It doesn’t run on any other OS, neither it creates bootable USB for any other operating system other than Windows 10.

3. UNetbootin

UNetbootin

It is a tool similar to the previous ones, but it has versions for all platforms like Windows, GNU/Linux, and macOS. When creating the USB, it allows you to use an ISO that you have downloaded or use your list of sources so that the application itself downloads the ISO automatically before putting it into the USB.

UNetbootin focuses more on Linux distribution. You can download one of the many Linux distribution right from the UNetbootin’s interface. However, the bootable USB creation process is pretty slow, and it’s not a very reliable tool.

4. Linux Live USB Creator

Linux Live USB Creator

It is another free and open-source application, and although it can be used in Windows, it can’t create a Windows bootable drive. The tool only allows you to create USB boot drives from GNU/Linux distributions.

Linux Live USB Creator’s only positive thing is its attractive user interface. The tool is fast and supports almost all Linux distro. If you want to create a Linux bootable drive, you can consider this one.

5. Yumi

Yumi

It is an application that has specialized in creating USB multiboot units, which means that you can install several operating systems in the same storage unit, and then you can choose which of them you want to use.

You can put different GNU / Linux distros or combine them with Windows, and then boot them and use them on any PC. It’s an advanced USB bootable tool that you can use on Windows 10 operating system.

6. RMPrepUSB

RMPrepUSB

RMPrepUSB is one of the most advanced Bootable USB tools you can use today. It can create bootable USB for Linux and Windows ISO files. However, RMPrepUSB is extremely difficult to use due to the messy user interface. If you are a beginner and have no prior knowledge of how disk partition works, it’s best to skip this one.

If we talk about the feature, RMPrepUSB can create multiple partitions on a single USB drive. It also got multi-boot support.

7. LiveUSB Install

LiveUSB Install

This application is written in python and specifically designed to facilitate GNU/Linux distros installation. The application is, in fact, specially created to create the USB in Linux, although it also has a version for Windows as well.

It allows you to extract the operating system’s image that you want to put into the USB from a torrent, from the original CD or DVD or the ISO files.

8. WinToBootic

WinToBootic

It is another best free Bootable USB tool that you can use on your Windows 10 computer. However, WinToBootic requires a .NET framework to run. Since it’s a portable tool, it runs without installations.

The software can create Bootable USB of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 2008. The user interface of the tool is pretty lightweight. It’s made from a small window that provides direct access to all features.

9. WinSetUp From USB

WinSetUp From USB

Well, if you are searching for the best free Bootable USB Tools for Windows and Linux, then you need to give WinSetUp From USB a try. Guess what? With WinSetUp From USB, you can easily create 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.

Apart from that, WinSetUp From USB can also be used to create a bootable antivirus rescue disk. The tool is extremely lightweight, and it doesn’t slow down your PC during the bootable media creation process.

10. XBoot

XBoot

Well, XBoot is another best free multi-boot USB drive creator on the list you can use today. The bootable USB tool only supports Windows and Linux operating systems. The most noticeable thing about XBoot is its user interface which looks clean and well organized.

Categories
Linux

How to Choose a Linux Distro Without Trying All of Them

With many hundreds of Linux distros available, it’s often a challenge for a new user to find the distro that best suits their needs. Which one is best for gaming? Office and productivity? Hardware compatibility? Servers? Homemade routers? Well today, we’ll be walking through some important considerations and discussing how to choose a Linux distro without trying them all.

1. What Do You Need the Distro for?

The most important factor when choosing a Linux distro is what you need it for – e.g. work, fun, occasional browsing, enhanced security, multimedia, etc. There are distros for each of these purposes and many more. If you want to check which distros are available for a particular purpose, the place to do so is on DistroWatch.

Choose Linux Distro Distrowatch

Navigate to the “Distribution Category” search filter. There are quite a few good options available to you, so if you have a very specific use case, that’s a great place to look.

2. What Kind of Software Will You Be Using?

This is essentially your use case. If you have a specific piece of software that you’ll be using that you need a particular version of, that will influence your distro choice. If you’re a standard desktop user, you’ll probably want regular updates to get new versions of things like Firefox and Chrome. If you’re a gamer, you’ll probably want the latest and greatest kernel to get access to better hardware compatibility. If you’re just using basic software like OpenSSH or Nginx for a server, you’ll probably not mind having older versions of that software – as long as it doesn’t get too many updates and move slowly.

3. What Kind of Hardware Will You Be Using?

If your computer is more powerful and has newer hardware, then you can run almost any distro you like. However, if it is old, this could limit your choices. Depending on its age and specs, your choice may boil down to just a dozen distros made especially for old computers. Typically, these distros for old computers are lightweight and don’t offer everything you can think of but are still a decent choice for most everyday tasks and beyond.

Choose Linux Distro Motherboard

4. How Much Experience With Computers Do You Have?

This may seem obvious, but it’s very important. If you have tons of experience with computers from a technician perspective, you’d be a better fit for a different distro than someone who has very surface-level experience with computers. Additionally, if you have a lot of experience with one particular platform or another, you may want to look at a distro that mimics that workflow. A great example is that as a former macOS user, elementaryOS looks and feels very comfortable and familiar for me.

5. What Kind of Community Are You Looking For?

There are a few constants across different communities, but each community has something different. For example, if you’re looking for a boostraps, rugged, do-it-yourself kind of community, you might look at Arch Linux. If you’re looking for fierce pragmatism, I’d suggest Ubuntu. If you’re looking for a small-but-mighty free software community, you might look at Fedora. It’s fairly simple to find out what kind of community a distro has surrounding it by going to its respective Subreddit and reading through posts and comments. Every community is helpful, but they’re all helpful in different ways.

Choose Linux Distro Community

I hope that’s all helpful information in your quest to find your forever distro (or at least the distro that holds you for a little while). Make sure to check out some of our distro reviews to get started, like openSUSE, MX Linux, Clear Linux, GhostBSD, and EndeavourOS.

Categories
Linux

Linux Shell Commands can be your time saver

When it comes to file parsing or data preprocessing, what would be the first programming language that comes to your mind?

It might be Python, R, or some other similar scripting languages. Granted, these modern and high-level languages are very powerful and empower us to achieve our goals usually in less than a few dozens of lines of codes. However, Linux Shell commands seem to be a forgotten pearl because it is relatively old syntax and less intuitive tutorials online.

In this article, I am going to let you get a flavor about how Shell command can be super powerful in certain cases, and more importantly, how easy you can learn and directly adopt it in your own day-to-day work. I will just focus on one specific utility awk in this post. If you find these examples useful, I would like to refer you to my Github pages for more of them using other Linux utility functions.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

I have a CSV file, how to change the delimiter to tab?

It is quite common that the input file for a certain program needs to be a .tsv file or files demarcated by tab, whereas we only have a .csv file from Microsoft Excel. (Illustrated in the figures below)

Image for post
CSV file we have

You just need to type one line of code in the terminal:

awk '{$1=$1}1' FS="," OFS="\t" file4.csv > file4.txt

Now we have:

Image for post
tab demarcated file we want

Let’s hold off the explanation for one second, even though you don’t know anything about why it works, you can just type this command in your Mac terminal or a Unix terminal in Windows, then you will never worry about this type of conversion tasks anymore, isn’t it?

Now let’s delve a bit into the syntax itself, awk is a powerful file processing utility in the Linux Shell environment, what this command does is:

{$1=$1}1 : Reset the buffer (it’s OK if you don’t understand the details)

FS="," : Tell awk the current delimiter is ,

OFS="\t" : Tell awk the wanted delimiter is \t

Then just specify your input file and the output file path where the awk will dump the result, done!

It is not hard to do in Python or R I admitted, but think about how convenient it is to just type one command in your terminal instead of opening your Python IDE, reading the file, and rewrite your file in another delimiter. What’s cool about the Shell command is that usually, it is pre-installed on your PC, you don’t need to worry about setting up the environment, installing packages (python pandas package for instance). To conclude a bit here, learning Shell doesn’t aim to replace any other languages, it just brings you some very handy functions that can be a time saver in some cases, then why not using them?

How to make my horizontal outputs vertical

To illustrate the problem, let’s say you have the following file:

Image for post
original horizontal input

In order to make them vertically displayed, you only need one line of code:

awk '{for(i=1;i<=NF;i++){print $i}}' file5.txt > file5_new.txt

What the file would look like?

Image for post
new vertical output

What this awk command does is, for each line (in this input file, we only have one line), we iterate over the column, starting with index i=1, which is the first column, ends with index i=NF, NF is a special variable in awk which stands for the length of each line. Hence, the above command simply said, for each item in the column, we will print it out one by one, each of them will occupy a whole line which allows us to achieve our very goal here.

Then you may ask, what if I have a vertical output but I would like it to be horizontally displayed, can you reverse your operation? Sure!

​cat file5_new.txt | tr '\n' ' ' | awk '{$1=$1}1' FS=" " OFS="\t" > file5_restore.txt

See the result:

Image for post
restoring the original horizontal format

A bit explanation of the command, we first read the file using cat , then we replace the newline character for each line to white space using tr command, it will result in something like this:

Image for post
intermediate result

Then picking up from here, we use awk command again to simply change the delimiter from white space to tab (explained in the last section), done!

A capstone task to understand awk

We have already gotten a flavor of how powerful awk is: there is a very classical task that can guide you to understand the basic syntax of awk command.

Imagine you have a file like the below:

Image for post
input file

I want to know the sum of col3 , Can you achieve it in one line of code? It is useful because, in real life, the input file may be of 1 million rows instead of only 4 rows in this toy example.

$ ​awk 'BEGIN{FS="\t";count=0}{if(NR>1){count+=$3}}END{print count}' file6.txt171

Now let’s illustrate the mechanisms:

Image for post
Explanation of awk

awk processes the file line by line, but it will execute something in BEGIN before delving into each line, and it will execute something after finishing to process each line. This property allows us to easily compute the mean or sum because it basically is a running sum so as we initialize a count variable, and adding value to it until the end, we can either print the final count out or averaging it to get the mean value. With that, we will find out a lot of tasks is manageable in Linux Shell just by utilizing awk.

Why Linux and Shell are useful in general

One question that I was often asked is, why we need to learn Shell commands given the fact that Python can solve most of the tasks in a more structured format? The answer is, Shell has its unique advantages:

  1. In Python, we are working on variables, we manipulate dozens of variables in the memory and get the desired outputs.But in Shell, we are working on files, which allows you to automate the process of manipulating thousands of files within several lines of codes.

2. Shell command allows you to perform the cross-language tasks, or glue several Python, R, or even Matlab scripts together as a meta-script.

3. In some certain cases, Shell commands can be more convenient than other scripting languages (one line code versus several lines).

4. Linux system is prevalent in the cloud computing platforms, high-performance supercomputers, and GPUs, it is highly likely that we will be in a situation where no python interpreter is available. Then Linux and Shell command will be your only weapon to finish up your tasks.

Categories
Linux

Tmux vs. Screen: Which Is the Best Terminal Multiplexer?

When you work with terminals in Linux often, you’re bound to run into some struggles when you want to multitask. Multiple windows or tabs are fine, but when you’re logged into a remote server or other system, you don’t always have access to tabs or multiple terminal windows. That’s where the stalwart members of the Linux system administration world tmux and screen come in. But, as with all things in the open source community, the choice here isn’t clear as to which one of these commands is better for your usage. Today, we walk you through tmux vs screen to decide which is the best terminal multiplexer.

Features of Terminal Multiplexers

Because both tmux and screen are terminal multiplexers, there are a few main features I want to talk about because that makes the differences between them a little more apparent. You’ll generally press a particular key combination that doesn’t register anywhere else in the system to use different features of your multiplexer.

Detaching and Reattaching

You can start a session in a Terminal Multiplexer, do some work, and detach it to get it off your screen. This will also keep that session alive if you log off, which keeps sensitive data from being lost. You can then reattach it once you’re ready and need to start working there again.

Split screen

You can also split your terminal session into tiles, creating multiple visible terminal sessions at once. This is great if you’re keeping track of a few different aspects of system resource usage, like power, RAM, CPU, and disk IO, and you want to use different monitors to keep track of those different things. Or, you can keep an eye on a system monitor while you compile or compress a large project, which makes it easy to keep track of load if something goes haywire.

Session Management

There are a few ways that Terminal Multiplexers help you keep track of your sessions. One is that when you detach multiple sessions, you can see all of them at a glance. This is nice if you start multiple sessions, then aren’t sure which one you should go back to. Plus, you can also name or label the sessions, which makes it simple to keep track of your workspaces. They start to become a little like virtual desktops on a typical desktop operating system.

Features of tmux

One of the primary features that I really like about tmux is that you can control sessions from your normal shell prompt without having to enter the session you’ve created. A great example is killing sessions, which can be done via the tmux kill-session command. If you know for a fact that you’re done with a particular tmux session, you can just kill it from your shell prompt.

Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Initial View 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Detach 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Ls 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Attach 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Split Vertical 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Split Vertical Resize Left 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Split Vertical Resize Right 1
Tmux Vs Screen Tmux Split Horizontal 1

There’s also a nice status bar in the bottom of the screen rather than taking over the terminal prompt at the top of the window. It’s a little easier to visualize a tmux workflow than it is with screen. Plus, the sessions rename themselves automatically based on the command you’re running, which is useful if you forget to name them.

Features of screen

There is one main feature of screen that helps it stand out from tmux: session sharing with other users, which can be great on multi-user systems that have multiple admins working on it at once for troubleshooting purposes.

Tmux Vs Screen Screen 1
Tmux Vs Screen Screen Detach 1
Tmux Vs Screen Screen Ls 1
Tmux Vs Screen Screen Reattach 1
Tmux Vs Screen Screen Named Session 1
Tmux Vs Screen Screen Splitscreen 1

Another plus is that if you’re using a Mac, you don’t have to mess around with homebrew to get screen installed – it’s built right into the terminal.

screen vs. tmux in a nutshell

If I had to suggest one, I’d suggest tmux. There are a few things that make tmux better. A great example is how you can switch attach with kill-session and end a session without having to go back in, end the command, then type exit. Plus, the status bar is easier to read, and the commands are a little more human-readable.

For a macOS user, screen may be more convenient, as there’s no need for homebrew to get going.

Categories
Linux

5 of the Best Linux Distros for Windows Users in 2021

If you’re new to Linux or are switching to Linux from Windows, you’ll want an OS that is GUI-focused like Windows. There are many different distributions of Linux, and some aim to replicate the look and feel of Windows. This helps during the transition from Windows, since you don’t have to fight with an unfamiliar interface. With Linux boasting improved hardware support, long term stability, and a more comprehensive range of software applications, there is no better time to try it!

In this roundup, we introduce you to the best Linux distributions for Windows users looking to switch to Linux.

1. Kubuntu

We have to admit that we like Ubuntu but understand that its default Gnome desktop might look too strange if you’re switching from Windows. Unlike other Linux variants, Ubuntu prioritizes simplicity, and this approach isn’t restricted to its desktop. It percolates through its every bit.

Best Distos For Windows Users Kubuntu

Kubuntu is the same OS as Ubuntu but with a KDE Desktop Environment. It offers a more classic experience, much closer to what you know from Windows. Combine this familiar desktop with one of the most user-friendly OS on the planet, and Kubuntu wins the cake.

2. Linux Mint

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu but differs in that its developers haven’t included – and have even undone – some of Canonical’s choices. You can choose between three official flavors, each built around a different Desktop Environment: Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE.

Best Distos For Windows Users Mint

Cinnamon is the primary flavor and offers a modern desktop that’s built on classic paradigms. Although it takes advantage of the GPU and presents effects (like transparency and shadows), it also doesn’t detour from what most desktop users would expect. It’s familiar, but looks slick, and is also very user friendly.

MATE offers a more classic desktop experience compared to Cinnamon. Both desktop environments provide similar functionality and come with equivalent software choices. The difference between them is primarily in their structure and design. It’s easier to explain it if we use Windows, again, for reference. MATE feels like a modern and polished Windows XP desktop, straight to the point. Cinnamon is closer to the Windows Vista experience, with a higher priority on visuals.

3. Robolinux

Robolinux is an interesting distro that is gunning for Windows users in a big way. Most folks are aware that Linux users can run Windows programs in WINE. If you’re migrating to Linux from Windows and want to bring all of your programs, files, and settings with you, Robolinux can help.

Best Distos For Windows Users Robolinux

Robolinux includes Stealth VM, a virtual machine that it claims can run any Windows program without any lag. In addition, Robolinux has a tool that allows you to clone your entire Windows C drive. This means you can migrate all your preexisting programs and data. While Robolinux is free, the developer is asking for donations for the cloning tool.

4. Solus

Solus is another excellent Linux distro that is best for beginners and Windows users alike. It features a beautiful user interface that is intuitive for beginners and children. It also carries most of the Windows DNA, making it a perfect replacement for Windows. For example, it has a Software Center that allows you to manage all your installed apps and is more or less like the Windows control panel.

Best Distos For Windows Users Solus

It also ships with a host of preinstalled apps, including Mozilla Firefox; Files, which resembles Files Explorer in Windows 10 for managing documents; and GNOME MPV for controlling media playback. Solus is also highly customizable, with every tweak designed to deliver a cohesive computing experience.

5. Zorin OS

If you love Windows 7, Zorin OS will replicate that Windows experience for you. It not only features a desktop interface that looks and feels familiar, but it’s also beautiful and easy to use. However, it doesn’t limit you to that interface. If you would love something different but with the same feel, Zorin OS offers several options to choose from.

Best Distos For Windows Users Zorinos

You can choose a GNOME 3 layout or go for a Windows XP-like interface if you want to keep it closer to Windows. Zorin OS has been built from scratch to provide a seamless migration experience for Windows users. In fact, it’s the only distro on our list that includes Wine. This compatibility layer allows users to install Windows apps on Linux.

Categories
Linux

15 Linux LS Commands You Need to Know

You can use Linux ls commands to print out directory contents. It’s one of the most basic terminal commands in Linux. Thus, a thorough understanding of it is essential for navigating your way around the terminal. Listed below are some useful examples of using the ls utility. Bookmark this as a reference point for the future.

1. Display Directory Contents

By default, the ls command displays a list of files and directories present in the current directory. You can also specify the directories using their relative or absolute path.

ls
ls Documents
ls ../

2. Display Additional Information

You can display any additional information about a folder’s contents using the long listing format. Simply add the -l option to your standard ls to enable long format output.

ls -l ~/Documents

The output contains Linux file permissions, link count, owner and group information, file size, last modification time, etc.

Ls Command Long Output

3. Display Hidden Files

Hidden files in Linux start with a dot “.” symbol. The default command does not display these hidden files. However, you can easily view them by using the -a or --all option.

ls -a
ls --all

4. Classify Directory Contents

The -F option of ls allows you to classify directory contents based on their type. It appends one of the characters from the set */=>@|.

ls -F

Directories are represented by /, executables by *, symbolic links by @, and so on.

5. Display Filesizes

If you want to view the filesizes only, use the -s or --size option. Note that the size information is displayed in blocks, the same as Linux du commands.

ls -s
Ls Command Displaying Size

6. Display Human Readable Filesizes

Both standard ls and the ls -s command prints the filesize in blocks. Add the -h option to display this information in a human-readable format.

ls -sh
ls -lh

7. Sort Output by Modification Time

You can use the -t option of ls to sort directory contents based on the latest modification time. Add the -l flag to retrieve more information.

ls -t
ls -lt

8. Sort Output by Size

Use the -S option of ls for sorting the output by their respective sizes.

ls -S

9. Display Files Using Patterns

You can use bash wildcards with ls commands for displaying files based on a pattern. For example, the following command displays only mp3 files.

ls *.mp3
Ls Command Using Patterns

10. Hide Files Using Patterns

We can also hide files or directories based on a predefined pattern. The following examples display all files except for mp3 tracks.

ls -I .mp3 Music/ 
ls --hide=.mp3 Music/
ls --ignore=*.mp3 Music/

11. Display UID and GID

Linux systems use UID (User Identifier) and GID (Group Identifier) for identifying users and groups. You can display this information for all your files using the options -n or --numeric-uid-gid.

ls -n
ls --numeric-uid-gid

12. Display Subdirectory Contents

By default, ls doesn’t display contents that are stored inside subdirectories. However, you can use the -R or --recursive option to override this. The below example showcases this.

ls -R
ls --recursive

13. Display Directories Only

You can use the -d option followed by a bash pattern for viewing all sub-directories inside a folder.

ls -d */
ls --directory */
Ls Command Displaying Directories

14. Display Help Page

The help page of ls contains summarized information on all available options. Use this whenever you need to find out a specific option.

ls --help

15. Display Manual Page

You can consult the man page to find out detailed instructions on all ls options and how to use them.

man ls
Categories
Linux

Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” Released With Dr460nized Gaming Edition

After Garuda Linux “Golden Eagle” and “Black Eagle, the Garuda team has announced the release of a new version (first of this year 2021) called Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” (210101).

For those who don’t know, Garuda Linux is an Arch-based free and open-source operating system. It features Btrfs as the default filesystem with Zstd compression and several home-baked GUI applications.

What’s New In Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle”?

Starting with the editions changes, the latest Garuda has again introduced two new editions: dr460nized gaming and Qtile.

Dr460nized (or dragonized) gaming is the gaming version of the standard edition with required packages for gaming and SDDM (Simple Desktop Display Manager) theming enabled by default.

Garuda KDE Dr460nized
Garuda KDE Dr460nized

Second, a new Garuda Qtile edition features Qtile as simple, small, and hackable tiling window manager. It also uses a simple X11 menu called jgmenu to launch application without remembering key bindings.

Garuda Qtile
Garuda Qtile

However, with new additions, Garuda team has also decided to drop two editions: Deepin and UKUI.

So, now in total, it still has 15 editions with different desktop environments such as KDE Multimedia, GNOME, Xfce, LXQT-Kwin, Wayfire, i3WM, Qtile, MATE, Cinnamon, Recbox, UKUI, BSPWM, dr460nized, dr460nized gaming, Barebone KDE, and GNOME.

Coming to the tools update, Garuda Gamer now lets you select multiple applications and install it altogether, and Garuda Welcome to uninstall Garuda apps you don’t need.

Another important change that Garuda team has added is the shipment of Nextcloud and Bitwarden Firefox addons by default in all editions.

Here’s a brief summary of other key changes that Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” includes:

  • Separated setup-assistant and initial user setup
  • Removed Flatpaks and Snaps
  • Continued Garuda KDE-multimedia with “regular” KDE theming and multimedia packages
  • Fixed BTRFS handling
  • Xfce 4.16 for Garuda Xfce edition

At last, if you’re already using Garuda Linux, you can simply upgrade your system to a new build version 210101 by running a single command:

sudo pacman -Syu

Or, you can also download its ISO or torrents of any of the editions from here and install from scratch by following the official installation instructions.

Categories
Linux

UBports Announces Ubuntu Touch OTA-15 With F(x)tec Phone Support

After Ubuntu Touch OTA-12, OTA-13, and OTA-14 this year, the UBports team has now announced the release of its fifteenth stable Over-The-Air (OTA) update called Ubuntu Touch OTA-15.

As usual, the new OTA means Ubuntu Touch OS will support for more new mobile devices and brings number of improvements. Let’s see what it has to offer:

Ubuntu Touch OTA-15: What’s New?

Starting with new device support, it includes Google Pixel 3a, OnePlus Two, F(x)tec Pro1/Pro1-X, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Subsequently, you can now install Ubuntu Touch on these devices using the UBports Installer and have a “Stable” update channel as well for OTA software update.

Furthermore, the Morph web browser has received refinements to its user interface with a shiny new icon. With a redesigned tab switching interface, you can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to switch tabs.

Continuing to improve support for Android 9 devices, OTA-15 has also fixed important bugs for problems such as popping sounds or dropping of audio frequently, Volla Phone‘s front camera picture rotation, and sending USSD codes.

Among other fixes, Ubuntu Touch OTA-15 includes Nuntium MMS error reporting, and support for dialling calls from Bluetooth devices.

With OTA-15, the UBports team has also again declared that the next OTA-16 might upgrade Qt toolkit from the current version 5.9 to a new 5.12 in order to improve app startup time and memory use.

Not just Qt toolkit, but the team has also decided to migrate from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS base to the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. However, it’s not exactly clear about the transition of Ubuntu Touch base system.

How To Upgrade To OTA-15?

The OTA-15 update will be available next week for supported Ubuntu Touch devices such as Volla Phone, F(x)tec Pro1/Pro1 X, LG Nexus 4 and 5, OnePlus One, FairPhone 2, Xiaomi Redmi 4X, OnePlus 3, and 3T.

If you already have Ubuntu Touch on your mobile system, you can easily receive the OTA-15 upgrade from “Stable Channel” available in System Settings -> Updates -> Update Settings -> Channels.

However, if you want to update your OS immediately, you can turn on ADB access and issue the following command over adb shell:

sudo system-image-cli -v -p 0 --progress dots
Categories
Linux

Linux Mint 20.1 Beta Released With New IPTV App And WebApp Manager

After six months of development, Linux Mint founder Clem Lefebvre has officially announced a beta version of the new and upcoming Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa.”

As you know, Linux Mint 20.1 is a long term support (LTS) version, which will receive security updates until 2025. The beta release comes with updated software, new features and available in CinnamonXfce, and MATE editions.

What’s New In Linux Mint 20.1 Beta?

Starting with new additions, Mint 20.1 Beta includes two brand new home-baked applications: Hypnotix and Web App Manager.

Hypnotix is an IPTV player for M3U playlists that comes with a free IPTV provider called Free-IPTV by default. It also supports live TV and provides freely and publicly available live TV channels.

Hypnotix — the new IPTV player
Hypnotix — the new IPTV player

Along with live TV, if your playlist or IPTV provider has a VOD (Video On Demand) section, you can even watch movies or TV series on Hypnotix.

Play movies
Play movies

Coming to web app manager, this application lets you create Web Apps by turning any website into a standalone desktop application.

Create Web Apps
Create Web Apps

These web apps act just like any other desktop app with their own window and icon. You can also launch it from the application menu (Web category) and pin it to your panel if you want to be able to access it quickly.

Web category in the application menu for Web Apps
Web category in the application menu for Web Apps

Furthermore, the new version 4.8 of the Cinnamon desktop brings better performance, including a 5% rendering improvement at 4K and lower use in its window management.

Additionally, Cinnamon 4.8 has brought support for Systemd’s “suspend-then-hibernate” mechanism, better Flatpak, Zstd in nemo-fileroller, and Thumbnails for files up to 64GB in Nemo file manager.

Here’s a brief summary of other changes that Linux Mint 20.1 Beta includes:

  • Linux Kernel 5.4
  • Based on Ubuntu 20.04 package base
  • Cinnamon 4.8, MATE 1.24, and Xfce 4.14 desktop
  • Added official Chromium package to Linux Mint repositories
  • Support for Favorites and a section for it in the file manager
  • Printing and Scanning improvements by removing ippusbxd driver
  • Upgraded HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) driver to version 3.20.11
  • Filter by rating ability in Pix, an image viewer and browser
  • Enabled hardware video acceleration by default in Celluloid
  • Unified filesystem layout

How To Get Linux Mint 20.1 Beta?

You can grab the ISO images of Mint 20.1 Beta directly from available mirrors close to your location or using torrents and install it. Once the stable version arrives, you’ll also be able to upgrade it to the stable release.

At last, I would also like to mention that it’s a beta release that might contain critical bugs. Hence, you should only use it for testing purposes, not for a production run.

Categories
Linux

How to Choose a Linux Distro for Gaming?

The Gaming scene on Linux has drastically improved over the past few years. The sole reason for this is the heavy time invested by Game developers and hardware manufacturers to support the operating system. Configuring your Linux desktop to experience AAA titles was an arduous task until Ubuntu 20.04, which was followed by distros like Pop!_OS and Linux Mint based on the same came out this year.

In fact, some might argue that playing games on Linux today is much easier than playing on Windows. But, no matter how many features an operating system ships with, there’s always the elephant in the room, which, in this case, is: you can play tons of games on Linux and this number is greater than the number of games that don’t run on Linux.

protondb linux

This was mainly possible due to the Proton compatibility layer that helps translate Direct-X windows-only games to Vulcan on Linux. Thanks to this, more than 73% of the top thousand games in the Steam library can be played on Linux, and most that don’t work is due to various anti-cheat mechanisms found in them.

denuvo anticheat Github - Linux Distros for Gaming

The good news is that Denuvo Anti-cheat used in DOOM: Eternal will support Linux in the future. This means chances of other anti-cheats supporting Linux in the future are much higher.

So, coming to the main point of this article, how do you go ahead, find out, and install a Linux distro for gaming?

Well, the answer’s simple. Download any Distro based on Ubuntu 20.04, Install Steam, download games, and you’re good to go!. If you’re on AMD, enable ACO in Steam launch options for supported titles. That’s pretty much it. Nvidia users? Don’t stress out too much.

Thanks to the open-source nature of AMD drivers, they constantly keep improving. Whereas the closed source Nvidia GPU drivers are not very well optimized, you might face some issues.

Best Linux Distros for Gaming

Pop!_OS

Maintained by System76, based on Ubuntu 20.04, Pop!_OS is one of the best Linux distros for gaming. That’s mainly due to two different images users can download – one for AMD/Intel GPU and the other for Nvidia drivers.

Pop!_OS Desktop - Linux Distros for Gaming

Apart from that, Pop!_OS is very light, looks amazingly modern, and is highly customizable thanks to GNOME.

GamerOS

The name says it all. GamerOS is an arch-based alternative to SteamOS. After installing it on your PC, it will directly boot into Steam Big Picture. For starters, Steam Big Picture is a new mode of Steam designed to be used with TVs and Game controllers.

SteamOS - Linux Distros for Gaming

So, basically, installing GamerOs will turn your computer into a gaming console. Additionally, you can also play non-steam games using Steam Buddy. The OS also supports a wide range of console controllers. More about the OS here.

Manjaro

Now, there’s a lot to Linux gaming than what meets the eye. Gaming on Arch-based distros like Manjaro is also possible, but there’s a myth that needs to be busted. People consider Arch-based distros hard to use, which is completely false. Learning a new distro requires effort, just like learning anything else.

Manjaro Linux 20.0 'Lysia' Released A Beginner-Friendly Arch Experience

One amazing thing about Manjaro is its stability. It comes pre-installed with AMD and Nvidia gaming drivers just like Pop!_OS; hence, minimal effort is needed from the users’ end, making it the best Linux distro for gaming.

Garuda Linux Gaming Edition

Garuda Linux is a new kid on the block. It is an arch-based distribution that chooses a user-friendly approach to install and use Arch. Similar to Manjaro, it comes with a lot of desktop environments to choose from.

Like Manjaro, Garuda comes with Pamac, which is integrated with AUR, Flatpak, and Snap, allowing users to download a wide range of software. It also performs better thanks to the Zen Kernel, which is proved to increase the overall desktop responsiveness. Overall, it is one of the best Gaming distros out there.

The distros mentioned above are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Many other distros can run games, but the stability you get in the above three will be unmatched.

With gaming on Linux improving each year, the exposure of Linux to gamers is growing each day. And that day is not far when Adobe will launch its suite for Linux as that’s the only reason why most content creators refrain from making a switch.