05 January 2017

BlankOn X Tambora Review : Fast and Gorgeous

BlankOn is an Indonesian, Debian based Linux distribution. In January 2017, BlankOn development team has released its newest version BlankOn Linux X (10) codenamed “Tambora” (which is a name of a volcano in Indonesia).

1. Overview
BlankOn Linux X Tambora uses Linux kernel 4.6.0-1. Not like other recent Linux distributions today, BlankOn X Tambora supports both 32bit and 64bit architecture. It is really a very good decision to keep the 32bit support, because there are many Linux users who still use an old computer with slow CPU and small amount of memory.
BlankOn Linux X Tambora with Manokwari Desktop

2. Manokwari Desktop
BlankOn has a custom desktop shell called Manokwari, built on the top of GNOME. It’s a gorgeous, simple and really fast desktop. BlankOn X Tambora uses GNOME component version 3.20.1.

Manokwari has 5 important elements : 

Left Panel
When you click the left top corner at the distribution logo, an elegenat drop-down traditional menu will appear. There is a search bar in the menu so you could find an app shortcut by typing. Personally, I love this elegant & fast traditional menu.

Task Bar
Beside distribution logo, there is a simple task bar with tiny icons of the applications running. If the pointer hovered at the task bar, a preview will appear similar to GNOME shell task bar.

At the right top corner, there are Indicator applets : network indicator, sound indicator, input indicator, application indicator, and virtual desktop indicator.

Right Panel
If you hover at the right top corner, a complete, elegant setting shortcuts will appear. The menu will remind you to the very similar menu of Deepin Linux. In fact, no doubt it is the exact same menu which Deepin Linux has. 

Applications Dock
At the bottom you will find a very nice and very simple dock. If you right click an app shortcut from the left panel drop-down menu, and you click ‘Add to desktop’, the app shortcut will be put in the dock.

3. Resource Utilization
BlankOn Linux X Tambora utilizes about 700-800 MB of memory in the idle time. Ran in my Intel dual core 1,6 Ghz with 4 GB of memory, BlankOn Linux runs very well and the desktop overall runs fast.

4. Installation
BlankOn Linux has a live installer with very simple option. You’ll only find a choice to install the system into a specific partition. There is an advanced option, but still, the option doesn’t provide advanced partitioning like in Ubuntu’s or Debian’s Installer.

If you don’t have a specific partition yet, you have to make it first by using partition manager like gparted.

5. Themes
BlankOn X Tambora uses a modified version of Arc GTK theme which looks gorgeous. Paired with a nice icon theme called Tebu, I love the overall BlankOn X’s artwork. Very nice job for the BlankOn’s artwork team. BlankOn X Tambora also has an elegant shutdown dialog.
Tebu Icon Theme
A good looking Shutdown dialog
6. Conclusion
BlankOn X Tambora provides you a good and fast desktop called Manokwari. It’s very easy to understand and very easy to use. If you are looking for a fast and beautiful, alternative Linux distribution, BlankOn X Tambora is perhaps your perfect Linux distribution you've been searching. 

These are my personal scores to BlankOn X Tambora :
- Build Quality : 8/10
- Desktop : 9/10
- Artwork : 9/10
- Resource Utilization : 7,5/10
- Installation : 5/10
- Overall score : 8/10

16 September 2016

4 Top Most Lightweight Linux Distributions (That Still Easy To Use)

There are Linux distributions in the world with their own purpose. Some distros are built as a modern, beautiful Linux desktop --which needs better hardware requirements. The others distributions, in the contrary, built for speed. 

If you have an older computer with older hardwares, or if you just need a fast operating system to complete your jobs, you have to look for these 4 top fastest / most lightweight Linux distributions, but still easy to use as a productive, daily operating system.

1. Bodhi Linux 
Bodhi Linux is a community based linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It uses a new desktop environment called Moksha (which is actually a fork of Enlightenment desktop environment). It is extremely, super fast Linux distribution that will make your computer fly like a jet. If you are a speed hunter, this distro is perfect for you.
2. Lubuntu
Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor distro. It uses the mature LXDE desktop. It's simple as old cars, but fast as Ferrari. Also, its blueish artwork is very comforting to our eyes. I use this distro for years, as my primary operating system.

3. Ubuntu MATE
Ubuntu MATE is the youngest family member of Ubuntu. It is officially recognized as the member of Ubuntu flavor in Ubuntu MATE 15.04 vivid vervet. Ubuntu MATE uses MATE desktop, a briliant fork of legendary GNOME 2 desktop environment. You would not regret use this distro as your primary OS.

4. Xubuntu
Xubuntu is another Ubuntu family that uses XFCE desktop environment. It is considered fast as a distribution, but sometimes considered slower than the other distro, like Lubuntu. Personally I like this distro because of its Whisker menu that looks like Windows 7 menu. Compared to Ubuntu, and or other GNOME based distributions, Xubuntu is faster. It will run great in moderate hardwares, like low end Intel processors with 2 GB of RAM.

14 September 2016

Top 5 Linux Distributions That Looks Like Windows 7

Microsoft Windows 7 is considered by many users around the world as the operating system with best user interface, after Windows XP. It is extremely simple, super easy to use, yet looks elegant. For this reason, there are plenty of users that refuse to adapt newer Microsoft Windows, like Windows 8/8.1 and or Windows 10. 

If you are a Windows user who love Windows 7 user interface, and currently planning to adapt GNU/Linux desktop, you should look for these GNU/Linux distributions that look very close to Microsoft Windows 7 user interface.

1. Zorin GNU/Linux
Zorin/GNU Linux is a Linux distribution that mimics Microsoft Windows 7 user interface. Zorin uses GnoMenu, an advanced application menu that looks very close to Windows 7 start menu. Combined with avant-window-navigator, a dock application, that is arranged to be looks similar to Windows 7 taskbar. Without doubt, this is the perfect, excelent Linux distro for every Windows 7 lover. Website : http://zorinos.com/

2. ChaletOS
ChaletOS is an another Linux distribution that mimics Microsoft Windows 7 user interface with more modern theme resembles Windows 8 theme. ChaletOS is based on Xubuntu, a great Linux distribution with XFCE desktop environment. Website : https://sites.google.com/site/chaletoslinux/home

3. Kubuntu
Kubuntu is an official Ubuntu Linux flavor distribution that uses KDE desktop environment. This distribution is very beatiful, yet simple and easy to use. You would not regret give this beauty a try. Website : http://www.kubuntu.org/

4. Lubuntu
Lubuntu is an another official Ubuntu Linux flavor that uses LXDE desktop environment. It is super fast, simple, very easy to use and has a modern, eye catchy look. If you have an old computer, or want a Linux distro that runs as fast as a roadrunner, Lubuntu is perfect for you. Also, this distribution have a desktop arrangement that similar to Windows user interface, with a bottom panel, and a menu in the left. Website : http://lubuntu.net/

5. Xubuntu
Xubuntu is the distro which ChaletOS is built. It uses XFCE and whisker menu that looks very similar to the Windows 7 start menu. The default Xubuntu arrangement put the panel and menu at the top, but you could move it freely to the bottom, so you will get the Windows 7 experience. Website : https://xubuntu.org/

08 September 2016

How To Speed Up Your KDE Plasma Desktop (KDE4)

KDE is one of the oldest desktop environment in Linux. While GNOME (the other desktop that as old as KDE) is trying to built its own style of user interface, KDE from the beginning seems to mimics the Microsoft Windows' "classic" user interface. Thus, KDE has its own user base, especially for them who still in love with the Windows' philosophy : a simple desktop, with a single taskbar in the bottom, and a start menu in the left.

Personally, I love KDE. It's gorgeous and eyecandy. But sometimes, I feel KDE is little bit slow in my older hardwares. So, after some experiences, I've found some tweak how to make KDE Plasma Desktop Runs Faster.

1. Change The Compositing Engine 
Go to System Settings>Desktop Effect>Advanced, and change the Compositing type from OpenGL 2.0 to XRender.

2. Remove All Bloatware Apps
There are some uneeded apps installed in Kubuntu (my favorite KDE distro) and you could safely remove them. Here are my list :

sudo apt-get remove kwalletmanager akregator telepathy-gabble telepathy-haze telepathy-logger telepathy-mission-control-5 telepathy-salut kde-telepathy kde-telepathy-approver kde-telepathy-auth-handler kde-telepathy-contact-list kde-telepathy-data kde-telepathy-declarative kde-telepathy-desktop-applets kde-telepathy-filetransfer-handler kde-telepathy-integration-module kde-telepathy-minimal kde-telepathy-send-file kde-telepathy-text-ui

3. Remove All Bloatware Services
Remove all uneeded services in directory /usr/share/kde4/services. Here are my list :
- baloo_calendarsearchstore.desktop
- baloo_emailsearchstore.desktop
- baloo_notesearchstore.desktop
- baloo_contactsearchstore.desktop
- baloo_filesearchstore.desktop
- baloosearch.protocol
- kwalletd.desktop
- /usr/bin/kwalletd

4. Disable All Animations
Go to System Settings>Desktop Effect>All Efect, uncheck all.

5. Disable The Compositor (If You Want)
Desktop compositing is needed by KDE Desktop to make the panel looks transparent and better. But if you need an extremely fast desktop, you could disable this. Go to System Settings>Desktop Effect>General, uncheck "Enable desktop effects at startup".

6. Considering The 32bit System 
If you use older or slower processor (like: Intel Atom, Older Pentium, Older Celeron), you should use 32bit system instead. Even though, your processor supports 64bit system. Based on my own experience, 32bit system runs faster in older processors. Don't worry, modern 32bit Linux kernel have had PAE extension, that supports 4 GB RAM or more.

7. Instant Messenger App
If you need an instant messenger app, you could use Kopete. An older, mature KDE instant messaging app that runs much faster and supports most popular protocols.

29 August 2016

Best 5 Linux Distributions 2016 Namaku Tux

I’ve been used Linux for the very first time in my PC was in 2007. My first Linux distribution was Mandriva One 2007. Now, Linux has been 25 years old. There are so many improvement have been reached by its community. There are huge changes and today we could meet Linux in almost every devices, from our personal computer, into our smartphones (yes, Android is a Linux).

Also, talking about Linux desktop, there are bunch of Linux distros exists today –though, based on some statistics, Linux desktop still get very little portion in personal computer market share. There are new Linux distro born, and there are some legendary Linux distro, sadly became unmaintained. 

From my personal point of view, I have my own criteria about ‘a perfect’ Linux distro. First and the most important is usability. Second, the speed. And the last criteria is the look and feel. Here are my own, subjective list of ‘The Best Linux Distribution in 2016’ :

1. Ubuntu MATE
Ubuntu MATE is the newest Ubuntu family. It uses MATE desktop, the continuation of the legendary, most used, old GNOME 2 desktop environment. I have not much to say about this Linux distribution. This is the easiest, simplest, yet fast Linux distribution I’ve ever used.

2. Xubuntu
For years, I almost never gave this distribution a serious treat. For long time, I was completely satisfied by GNOME 2 and never dig XFCE desktop deeper. Until there is a little, but very brilian invention in XFCE community called Whisker Menu. Suddenly, I deeply fallen in love with Xubuntu and use it as default distribution in my laptop. 

3. Lubuntu
For years, I have sought the fastest but easiest Linux distro and at the end I found Lubuntu. It is the Ubuntu family with LXDE desktop that perfectly fulfill the need of speed and usability. I use it in my old computer and works just perfect. 

4. Ubuntu
This Debian based distribution has been the most used Linux distro, based on Distrowatch statistic. But, since the 11.04 version, Ubuntu made a controversial, brave decision to switch its desktop environment, from ‘vanilla’ or pure GNOME into its own desktop environment called Unity Desktop.  Since that, lots of fans criticized and abandon this distribution.

Surprisingly, Unity desktop has been better and so much better. As the Ubuntu launched 12.04 (precise pangolin) version, Unity desktop has been slowly well accepted and personally, I love the way Unity desktop works. Though it is not the so fast Linux distribution, I have to say that Ubuntu with Unity desktop is one of the most easy to use, elegant Linux distribution.

5. Debian XFCE
Debian is the living ancestor of bunch of modern Linux distributions. This is the one of the oldest major Linux distribution that still existed until today and still widely adapted. Personally, I love this distribution. This is fast, stable, and has large software repositoy. There are some Debian spin-off, just like Ubuntu, and I love Debian XFCE because it’s so simple, fast, and easy to use.