Linux Mint site hacked, modified ISOs with backdoor distributed

Also in today's open source roundup: DistroWatch reviews Zorin OS 11 Core, and does Windows piracy lower the adoption rate of Linux on the desktop?

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DistroWatch reviews Zorin OS 11 Core

Zorin OS is a distribution geared toward providing a comfortable and welcoming experience to new Linux users who are coming from Windows. Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu, and the latest release is version 11. DistroWatch did a full review of Zorin OS 11 Core and found it to be worth a test drive.

Joshua Allen Holm reports for DistroWatch:

Aside from the work done creating the multiple desktop layouts, the distribution is not much different than any other Debian style Linux running the GNOME desktop environment. The core bundled applications are largely what one would expect: Firefox, LibreOffice, and the usual GNOME applications and utilities. However there are some notable differences. The default e-mail client is Geary and the OpenShot video editor is installed by default. Even though Firefox is the default browser, a utility is included to help the user install Google Chrome, GNOME Web, and Midori, should they wish to use one of those browsers instead. Zorin OS also includes WINE, WineTricks and PlayOnLinux by default, making it easier for Windows users to make the transition to Linux. Like Ubuntu, Zorin OS does come with "restricted extras" like mp3 support and Adobe's Flash Player.

If the bundled applications are not enough, Software Centre and Synaptic Package Manager are available for users to add whatever software they want. Everything that is available in the Ubuntu 15.10 repositories is there, so there is plenty of software to choose from. For hardware support, Zorin OS can install proprietary drivers just like Ubuntu and it even includes a graphical tool for using ndiswrapper to install Windows wireless networking card drivers.

On my test machine, Zorin OS 11 Core performed nicely. With no applications running, the system used approximately 950MB of RAM and switching between the different desktop layouts did not seem to alter the memory usage. Minor issues with the Windows XP and GNOME 2 desktop modes aside, Zorin OS 11 Core is a very solid release. It makes good use of its Ubuntu core while developing its own identity. It just is not a very exciting release.

My experience with Zorin OS 11 Core was positive. I liked it well enough, I am just not sure I would recommend this particular release of Zorin OS to Windows users looking to make the switch to Linux. The current Long Term Support release, sure. A future version based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, almost certainly. Do not get me wrong, Zorin OS 11 is very good, but it will only be supported for six months, making it a hard sell to Windows users used to longer time periods between releases. That said, I do encourage Linux users with an interest in user interface design to give Zorin OS a test drive. A user interface that can transition between three different desktop styles (six in the paid versions) on the fly is worth exploring if only just to learn from it.

More at DistroWatch

Does Windows piracy lower the adoption of Linux on the desktop?

Many people have been disappointed over the years that Linux has not gained more of a foothold on the desktop. But is Windows piracy a cause of that? A recent study notes that pirated versions of Windows may be holding Linux back on the desktop.

Silviu Stahie reports for Softpedia:

Some studies only reveal stuff that is way too obvious or that seems to be related to common sense. For example, this latest study titled "Software Piracy and Linux Adoption" published at the University of Oslo, by Arne Rogde Gramstad, shows that there might be a connection between software piracy and the rate of adoption for Linux systems.

To account for the Windows piracy numbers, the researchers used the data from BSA ((Business Software Alliance) from 2012 and from 104 countries. Depending on the country and on the level of development, the rate of piracy varies between 40% and 90%.

The conclusion of the study, which can be read in its entirety on the Social Science Research Network website, is a country’s piracy rate by 1% is expected to reduce the Linux user share by 0.5-0.65%. In other words, in a world without software piracy, the Linux adoption rate should be somewhere between 20 and 40%.

More at Softpedia

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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