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Also in today's open source roundup: The best Linux distros of 2016, and some laptops can be bricked with a single Linux command

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The best Linux distros of 2016

There are many different Linux distributions available, but it's not always easy to know which ones are the best. A writer at Linux.com has come up with a list of what he thinks are the best Linux distros of 2016.

Swapnil Bhartiya reports for Linux.com:

2015 was a very important year for Linux, both in the enterprise as well as in the consumer space. As a Linux user since 2005, I can see that the operating system has come a long way in the past 10 years. And, 2016 is going to be even more exciting. In this article, I have picked some of the best distros that will shine in 2016.

Best Comeback Distro: openSUSE

Most Customizable Distro: Arch Linux

Best-Looking Distro: elementary OS

Best Newcomer: Solus

Best Cloud OS: Chrome OS

Best Laptop OS: Ubuntu MATE

Best Distro for Old Hardware: Lubuntu

Best Distro for IoT: Snappy Ubuntu Core

Best Distro for Desktops: Linux Mint Cinnamon

Best Distro for Games: Steam OS

Best Distro for Privacy: Tails

Best Distro for Multimedia Production: Ubuntu Studio

Best Enterprise Distro: SLE/RHEL

Best Server OS: Debian/CentOS

Best Mobile OS: Plasma Mobile

Best Distro for ARM Devices: Arch Linux ARM

More at Linux.com

Some laptops can be bricked with a single Linux command

The command line is a powerful tool in Linux, but it can also be a double-edged sword for those who don't know how to use it well. A writer at The Next Web reports that a single Linux command can brick some laptops.

Owen Williams reports for The Next Web:

A user posted on the Arch Linux forums in early January wondering why their laptop wouldn’t boot at all after running a simple ‘rm -rf –no-preserve-root /’ command.

It’s fairly stupid to run such a command, but usually not destructive to anything but the Linux installation. However, as it turns out, on MSI laptops it’s possible to completely wipe the EFI boot partition from inside Linux.

The directory that destroyed the system, which is at /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/ stores information and scripts that the computer uses to boot using the more modern EFI standard, which is a replacement for the decades-old BIOS.

Once that folder is destroyed, the laptop won’t even power on anymore as its firmware (which should have been read-only) is missing entirely — it’s ‘hard bricked,’ which means the laptop is unrecoverable.

More at The Next Web

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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