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Desktop Linux Reviews

Your guide to the best desktop Linux distros!

Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1

There are many different distributions that use Ubuntu as a base, but one you might not have heard of is Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux uses…you guessed it…a cute black labrador retriever as its mascot, and the distro itself is focused on providing a compelling and easy to use desktop version of Linux. Toward […]

Posted on 20 March 2015 | 6:00 am

Bodhi Linux 3.0

There are times in life when less is really more, and that’s quite true with certain Linux distributions. Bodhi Linux 3.0 is a desktop distribution that uses the Enlightenment window manager to provide a light-weight alternative to other distros that use full-blown desktop environments such as Cinnamon, MATE, Unity, etc. Bodhi Linux 3.0 is also […]

Posted on 7 March 2015 | 10:29 am

Korora 21

Fedora has always been a popular desktop Linux distribution, but it has not always had the reputation of being welcoming to new Linux users or to those who just want it to work right “out of the box” with multimedia codecs or proprietary software. Korora is a Fedora spin that tries to provide a user-friendly […]

Posted on 3 March 2015 | 10:17 am

MakuluLinux Xfce 7.0

Once in a while I run into a Linux distribution that surprises me in terms of how much I enjoy using it. MakuluLinux is definitely one of those distros. I found an article about it when I was doing my usual news roundup article for my blog Eye On Open on ITworld. I was intrigued […]

Posted on 17 January 2015 | 9:03 am

Linux Lite 2.2

It’s been quite a while since I last looked at Linux Lite, the last version I reviewed being 1.0.6. Much has changed in Linux Lite since that release and now it’s reached version 2.2. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should know that Linux Lite is a distribution geared toward helping current Windows users […]

Posted on 24 December 2014 | 9:35 am

Fedora 21

Fedora 21 is out and I’ve been able to spend some time with it. The last version of Fedora I looked at was more than two years ago, so there have been quite a few changes since then. The new version of Fedora comes in three basic options: Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation. […]

Posted on 17 December 2014 | 10:28 am

Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE

It’s always a major event in the world of desktop Linux when a new version of Linux Mint is released. This time around it’s Linux Mint 17.1, a long term support release that will be supported until 2019. Linux Mint 17.1’s code name is Rebecca and it brings numerous bug fixes and tweaks, along with […]

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 5:35 am

Trisquel 7.0 LTS Belenos

There are many different Linux distributions available, but not all of them are focused on providing a truly free software experience. What do I mean by free software? Well, I don’t mean free as in free beer. I mean free as in the freedom do what you want with it. Here’s a snippet from’s […]

Posted on 15 November 2014 | 6:47 am

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon

Linux Mint has long been one of the most popular desktop distributions, so it’s always a big deal when a version is released. This time around it’s Linux Mint 17. This review covers the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 17, but much of it also applies to the MATE version with the exception of changes […]

Posted on 2 June 2014 | 4:48 am

Lubuntu 14.04 LTS

Minimalist distros are an important option for many Linux users. Not everyone wants tons of desktop glitz and zillions of bells and whistles. Lubuntu has always been a terrific option for minimalists who prefer to stay within the Ubuntu family. Now Lubuntu 14.04 LTS is available and it follows in the footsteps of previous releases […]

Posted on 2 June 2014 | 2:21 am

Xubuntu 14.04 LTS

Xubuntu 14.04 LTS has been released in the wake of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS so it’s time for a full review. Xubuntu 14.04 is a long term support release, so the focus is really on stability and finesse, not on adding tons of new features. Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment instead of Unity, so it […]

Posted on 27 April 2014 | 6:09 am

Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS

Ubuntu 14.04 was released recently and as usual the other flavors of Ubuntu have also been updated to 14.04 including Ubuntu GNOME. Ubuntu GNOME tends to get overlooked a bit, given all the attention that goes to the main Ubuntu release. However, that’s a shame since it has quite a lot to offer anyone who […]

Posted on 22 April 2014 | 8:10 am

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

It’s time for another review of Ubuntu, Canonical’s popular desktop Linux distribution. Ubuntu moves to version 14.04 in this release. This time around the code name for Ubuntu is Trusty Tahr and it’s a long term support release (LTS) geared toward providing a more polished desktop experience. I bet you’re wondering what the heck a […]

Posted on 18 April 2014 | 2:56 am

Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 16 Petra has been released so it’s time for a review. The newest release of Linux Mint is always a big deal in the Linux world, and I’ve been looking forward to checking out Linux Mint 16 for a while. Please note that I’m going to cover the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint 16 […]

Posted on 2 December 2013 | 12:55 pm

openSUSE 13.1 KDE

openSUSE 13.1 has been released so it’s time for a review. I’ve always liked openSUSE, I started out with SUSE Linux years ago and it’s always had a special place in my heart. I’m glad it’s still around and doing so well these days. Whenever I install it, I’m reminded of where I got my […]

Posted on 25 November 2013 | 8:37 am

Pear OS 8

It’s often said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If that’s the case then the developer of Pear OS 8 truly loves Apple and its products. Pear OS 8 is probably the closest thing any Linux user will ever come to getting a Linux distribution from Apple. Pear OS 8 blends the […]

Posted on 12 November 2013 | 9:24 am

Linux Lite 1.0.6

Linux has not always had the reputation of being simple and easy to use. Linux Lite 1.0.6 is a distribution that aims to change that by making Linux more accessible to less tech-savvy users. Linux Lite is based on Ubuntu, and it uses the Xfce 4.8 desktop environment. Linux Lite is available in 32-bit or […]

Posted on 5 November 2013 | 5:05 am

Edubuntu 13.10

Ubuntu comes in many flavors, and it’s designed for very different kinds of users. Edubuntu 13.10 is an Ubuntu spin for educators. It comes preloaded with quite a selection of education-related applications including some for science and engineering. While this release does not have much in the way of new features, it’s worth looking at […]

Posted on 29 October 2013 | 5:29 am

Ubuntu Studio 13.10

I’ve been reviewing a lot of Ubuntu spins lately, and they’ve all been differentiated by their desktop environments. This time around though I decided to take a look at Ubuntu Studio 13.10, a distro that is geared towards multimedia work. Ubuntu Studio comes with loads of multimedia software that will help you create and manage […]

Posted on 25 October 2013 | 6:11 am

Ubuntu GNOME 13.10

Note: I’ve done some edits to this review after getting feedback from readers. The initial version was too skewed by my own lack of enthusiasm for GNOME 3. I’ve added some content and bumped up the score to better reflect the overall value of Ubuntu GNOME 13.10 rather than my own feelings toward GNOME 3. […]

Posted on 23 October 2013 | 5:46 pm

Xubuntu 13.10

In my last review I took at Lubuntu 13.10, a light-weight Ubuntu spin. As good as Lubuntu is, it’s not the only minimalistic distro based on Ubuntu. Xubuntu 13.10 has also been updated, and it’s definitely worth considering if you want the advantages of Ubuntu without the desktop bloat. Xubuntu 13.10 uses the Xfce desktop […]

Posted on 22 October 2013 | 3:26 pm

Lubuntu 13.10

Sometimes less can be much, much more when it comes to Linux distributions. Lubuntu 13.10 offers some of the advantages of Ubuntu but in a much more minimalist package. Lubuntu uses the LXDE desktop environment instead of Unity, and it contains less software than Ubuntu 13.10. For example, you won’t find LibreOffice bundled into Lubuntu; […]

Posted on 21 October 2013 | 5:28 am

Kubuntu 13.10

The release of Ubuntu 13.10 has brought with it updates to the various Ubuntu spins. Kubuntu 13.10 is certainly one of the most important so it’s time to take a look at it. I haven’t done a full review of Kubuntu in quite a long while, so I was very curious to see how it […]

Posted on 19 October 2013 | 6:24 am

Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

In my last review of Ubuntu (Ubuntu 13.04) I noted that Ubuntu has become a bit boring to review. I had hoped that Ubuntu 13.10 would fix that, and that there would be some terrific new features to comment on. Alas, Ubuntu 13.10 follows in the footsteps of Ubuntu 13.04. The big new desktop feature […]

Posted on 17 October 2013 | 12:11 pm

Mageia 3

Mageia 3 has been out for a while, and I’ve finally had time to do a review. Mageia is a fork of the Mandriva distribution, and offers quite a bit to desktop Linux users. It comes with a great selection of preinstalled software, and it is available in 32-bit or 64-bit versions on DVD (3.96 […]

Posted on 15 October 2013 | 6:16 am