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The best Linux distros 2017: 8 versions of Linux we recommend

Update: For our developer and sysadmin readers, we’ve added the enthusiast-favorite openSUSE to our list. Read on to number 8 to find out more!If you can’t stand the lackluster security of a Windows computer, but macOS is much too shallow, allow us to introduce you to Linux. Basically the Doom of open-source software, Linux started out exclusive to x86 PCs and has since made its way to everything from Android phones to servers and even to Chromebooks.
These are the best Linux training providers and online courses in 2017Based on a family of operating systems called Unix, which rose to modest fame in the late 1970s, Linux has been adopted by various software developers who have all made it their own in different forms known as distributions, or distros. All of the top Linux distros take the Linux kernel, the heart and soul of the operating system and shape it to fit their own desktop environments.The best Linux distros are each tailored to specific types of users. So while Ubuntu is popular for its accessibility to newcomers, Arch Linux has the opposite appeal. It’s intended for users to take advantage of the Linux terminal and type their own commands to achieve otherwise simple tasks like installing apps. Technical details aside, these are the best Linux distros.
Shashank Sharma, Nick Peers, Nate Drake and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article
10 of the best Linux distros for privacy fiends and security buffsWhat’s the best Linux distro for beginners?How to choose the best Linux distro for laptops10 of the most popular lightweight Linux distrosIf you’re after a distro that gets you as far away as possible from the image of a nerdy hacker type bashing away at a terminal interface, Elementary OS is what you need. It’s probably the most attractive distro around, with a style similar to that of macOS. This operating system’s superb desktop environment is known as Pantheon, and is based on Gnome.The latest version of Elementary OS is called Loki, which as well as being that bit prettier and neater than its predecessor Freya, has its own application installer UI called AppCenter. It’s a delightfully simple way to install apps outside the terminal, which is handy as there aren’t very many preinstalled. Elementary OS does, however, come bundled with the Epiphany browser, the Geary email client and a few basic ‘tool’ apps. You may need to add more programs but this is more than made up for by Elementary OS’ Elegance. You can get started with Elementary OS here
Linux Mint is a great ‘default’ distro for new Linux users, as it comes with a lot of the software you’ll need when switching from Mac or Windows, such as LibreOffice, the favoured productivity suite of Linux users. It also has better support for proprietary media formats, allowing you to play videos, DVDs and music out of the box. You can download four main starter flavours of Mint 18, each of which uses a different desktop environment, the top-most layer of the interface allowing you to change elements such as the appearance of windows and menus. Cinnamon is currently the most popular, but you can also choose the more basic MATE, Xfce or even KDE. All these desktop environments offer a good deal of customisation options, so feel free to download a few and boot as Live CD prior to installing to see which works best.You can get started with Mint here
If you’re willing to try a slightly less user-friendly distro, Arch Linux is one of the most popular choices around. Arch allows you to customise your build using the terminal to download and install packages, and it’s particularly handy for developers and those with older machines who may not want unnecessary packages taking up space.Of course, this used to be the way all Linux distros were set up, but there are now much more user-friendly methods available. There’s even such a version of Arch Linux – it’s called Antergos. This comes with more drivers, more applications and a bunch of desktop environments to let you change the look of the system. Its aim is to hold your hand and get you up and running with all the basics right from the initial install, but it’s still Arch Linux underneath.The hardcore crowd may turn their noses up at packages like Antergos, but when it saves those newer to Linux hours of potentially frustrating fiddling about, we’re all for it.Antergos’ graphical installer can guide you through the setup process and boot you to the Gnome 3 desktop environment. It can also use the Cinammon, MATE, KDE and Xfce environments if you prefer. Antergos doesn’t come with an office suite but you can install this and other programs via the delightfully named Arch package manager ‘pacman’.You can get started with Arch Linux here or Antergos here
Ubuntu is one of the most popular flavours of Linux and along with Mint is strongly recommended for Linux newbies, as it’s extremely accessible. At the time of writing we’re up to Ubuntu 17.04, just note that this is not an LTS (long term support) release. These guarantee five years of security and general maintenance updates, so you can carry on using your machine without the hassle of running a full upgrade every few months. The current version of Ubuntu uses the Unity interface, which may be less familiar to Windows and macOS users. There are variations of Ubuntu which employ different environments such as Lubuntu, which uses the minimal LXDE desktop environment and a selection of fast, lightweight applications. This places far less strain on system resources than the graphic-intensive Unity. You can get started with Ubuntu here and Lubuntu here
Tails is a privacy-oriented Linux distro which has the aim of concealing your location and identity as much as possible. Even Edward Snowden used it. The OS routes all its internet traffic through the anonymising Tor network, which is designed to prevent data from being intercepted and analysed. Underneath all the security measures, it’s based on Debian Linux and uses the Gnome desktop so the interface is still clear and user-friendly. Tails isn’t for everyone, but this niche OS does give you some peace of mind if you’ve been fretting about all the worrying privacy-trampling legislation being passed these days. You can get started with Tails here
CentOS 7 is a community offshoot of the Enterprise version of Red Hat Linux, and its focus is on stability rather than constant updates. Like Red Hat, security and maintenance updates for CentOS are pushed out up to 10 years from the initial release of each version. The idea is to make CentOS super-reliable. For that reason, it’s a great choice for a server, if not quite so hot for someone looking for a new OS for daily use on their desktop PC or laptop.On the plus side, you can enjoy the pleasure of having something for nothing – packages compiled for the commercial version of Red Hat Linux are fully compatible with CentOS, so you can use them free of charge. You can get started with CentOS here
If you want a home music recording studio or a video production workstation without spending the thousands of pounds involved with industry standard software, consider installing Ubuntu Studio. This officially recognised flavour of Ubuntu Linux has been designed for audio and video production, as an alternative to paid software such as Pro Tools. Support for audio plug-ins and MIDI input is built in and a virtual patch bay comes preinstalled. Ubuntu Studio’s repositories have access to the packages in the main Ubuntu OS as well as a few digital audio sequencers. Its main strength is in audio recording through tools like the JACK Audio Connection Kit.You can get started with Ubuntu Studio here
Previously known as SUSE Linux and subsequently SuSE Linux Professional, openSUSE is aimed at developers and system administrators. For that reason, it’s extremely stringent on security protocols. It’s so exact, for instance, that to carry out virtually any task in openSUSE, you’ll need to enter a root password. At the same time, however, openSUSE brings with it a KDE and a GNOME desktop, covering everyone’s login needs.One of the more polished Linux distros around, openSUSE is consistently ranked in the top five distros on DistroWatch.com. What’s more the openSUSE Project’s website offers the ability for users to choose which packages, a la carte, are included in their openSUSE install.

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StarCraft: Remastered will let you fight the 4K swarm in August

Blizzard’s remastered version of StarCraft will go on sale on Monday 14 August, for Windows and Mac machines priced at £13 or $15 over in the US (around AU$20).The classic RTS is up for pre-order now via Blizzard’s online store, and you get the original game plus the Brood War expansion, all of which has been brought up-to-date for contemporary gaming.The core gameplay remains the same, but the enhancements include better graphics, support for widescreen monitors and 4K resolution, along with improved music, sound and remastered dialogue to boot.You also get player profiles that track individual stats, a new matchmaking and leaderboard system, plus there’s now saving to the cloud (not just for your campaign, but also for replays, hotkeys and so forth).Blizzard has also made it possible to switch between this remastered version and the original StarCraft game by simply clicking a button.

Bonus skins
All in all, it sounds like a compelling recipe with which to revisit the classic sci-fi RTS, and it’s worth bearing in mind that those who pre-order before the launch of StarCraft: Remastered will get a neat little in-game bonus.Namely three unique building skins: the Char Hive, Korhal Command Center, and Aiur Nexus. As well as that, those who own StarCraft II will get some additional goodies in that game, including three unique portraits and the Alexei Stukov co-op commander.And all this won’t break the bank, because as mentioned, the asking price is pitched at a palatable level.The original StarCraft (which was made available as a free download back in April) was launched almost two decades ago, back in 1998, but it’s still played today – and will be seeing a lot more action come August, no doubt.It was preceded by the original WarCraft RTS, of course, which first came out in 1994. Rumor has it that Blizzard seemingly looked at the possibility of doing WarCraft: Remastered, but decided that revamping this particular golden oldie wouldn’t work as well, or be much fun to play.
These are the best PC games you can’t afford to miss

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‘Revolutionary’ Raspberry Pi wins UK’s top engineering prize

It’s widely accepted that the Raspberry Pi has been quite the achievement in technology – you only have to look at the way that the tiny computer has flown off the shelves – but now the innovative board has been officially recognized with the UK’s most prestigious engineering award.The device has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert award for 2017, meaning the creators of the Raspberry Pi took home a rather groovy-looking gold medal, along with a £50,000 (around $65,000, AU$85,000) prize, not to mention a wheelbarrow full of tech kudos.The MacRobert organizers tweeted about the Raspberry Pi’s victory calling it a ‘revolutionary affordable computer’, and noting that all three finalists were ‘fantastic innovators’.
The other finalists included Darktrace, a cybersecurity ‘immune system’ which uses machine learning to figure out what’s normal activity for a network, allowing it to then pick up on any suspicious behavior out of the norm which might be a threat.And there was also Vision RT, a real-time 3D body surface imaging system which allows radiotherapy to be targeted at tumors with pinpoint accuracy.
Kinect kudos
The MacRobert award has been going since 1969, and last year’s winner was Blatchford, a firm which developed an intelligent prosthetic limb. The Microsoft team that developed the Kinect motion controller has also been a previous winner.The Raspberry Pi has sold over 14 million units to date, and is the bestselling computer that the UK has ever seen as a result. It’s now on its third iteration, with a plethora of accessories being released for the board, including most recently a kit which adds voice control capabilities via Google Assistant.There are all manner of clever things you can get up to with the Raspberry Pi, such as turning it into a retro games console. This flexibility, coupled with the board’s affordability, is a major part of why it has been so successful.It’s also notably been responsible for introducing coding to a fresh generation of kids, the benefits of which we may well reap for a long time yet.Via: BBC
We’ve got tons of ideas for cool Raspberry Pi projects right here

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