Desktop

KeePassX: Keeping Your Passwords Safe

For a long time, my password tracking system was quite simplistic: hope I remembered the right passwords for each site or record them in an ordinary word-processor document. Such methods obviously have great flaws. I might have a hard time remembering a password for an infrequently used site, and a word-processor document isn't the most secure place to store passwords.

Spice Up Your Desktop with Cinnamon!

If you are disgruntled by the new interfaces provided by recent distribution releases, namely GNOME 3 and Unity, you might want to take a look at Cinnamon. With its traditional feel and extreme theme-ability, Cinnamon is a desktop interface bound to spice up anyone's computer.

Astronomy on the Desktop

Many people's initial exposure to science is through astronomy, and they are inspired by that first look through a telescope or their first glimpse of a Hubble image. Several software packages are available for the Linux desktop that allow users to enjoy their love of the stars. I look at several packages in this article that should be available for most distributions.

Basic Chemistry on the GNOME Desktop

I've realized I've missed out on a huge area of computational science—chemistry. Many packages exist for doing chemistry on your desktop. This article looks at a general tool called avogadro. It can do computations of energy and gradient values. Additionally, it can do analysis of molecular systems, interface to GAMESS and import and export from and to several file formats.

ZevenOS - Does it recapture the flavor of BeOS?

BeOS was a much loved and highly advanced desktop operating system that ceased active development in 2001. ZevenOS is a Ubuntu 11.10 based system (with a bit of help from Xubuntu) that attempts to recapture some of the BeOS look and feel.

Linux Mint 12 Offers a Traditional Gnome Feel

The recently released Linux Mint 12 offers a two pronged approach to supporting those who prefer the traditional Gnome desktop. Firstly, the Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE) transform Gnome 3 into something resembling Gnome 2. Secondly it ships with Mate, the Gnome 2.0 fork project.

Goodbye GNOME 2, Hello GNOME 2?

Many Linux users who have been GNOME fans for years find themselves in a sudden quandary. GNOME 3.0 has completely abandoned the desktop experience we've come to love during the years. That's not to say change is bad, it's just that many folks (even Linus Torvalds) don't really want to change.

Linus Ditches KDE and Gnome (so what?)

Having made an earlier defection from KDE to Gnome, Linus Torvalds has now rejected both in favor of Xfce. It’s only natural that the actions of the creator of the Linux kernel would attract extra scrutiny, and I think that his decision is reflective of a wider disenchantment amongst long-term Linux users.

Aptosid - An Overview

aptosid might sound like a package management tool, but it's actually a desktop-orientated (KDE4 or XFCE) Debian derived Linux distro. It's more than a mere respin of Debian, but does it have what it takes to distinguish it from all of the other desktop distros?

The Linux Desktop: We've Arrived.

Linux Desktop articles are all over the place. I can hardly open up a browser without tripping over one. Most of them are negative whine-fests, complaining that Linux is too hard for new users, or has become too dumbed-down for technical users, or the fonts are ugly, or the next generation desktop environments are too different, or... well I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Spotlight On Linux: wattOS

So many computers head for landfill when they are still able to carry out useful work. However, some organizations and individuals do what they can to put these machines into the hands of people who can use them. Naturally, this is an ideal application for Linux, and having had a quick look at it, I suspect that wattOS would make a good choice for refurbishing older computers.

BackupPC

Some tools are so amazing, but unfortunately, if no one ever talks about them, many folks never hear of them. One of those programs is BackupPC.

Autokey: Desktop automation utility for Linux

Like many of you, I've been aware that there are several desktop automation utilities available for Linux, but until recently, I'd never used one. However, one of our readers sent me an email suggesting that I check out Autokey, so I did.

Navigating and Working in Scribus

Scribus has mixed reputation among free software users. On the one hand, users are vaguely aware of Scribus as a first-rate application that can hold its own against proprietary counterparts like InDesign.

When is a Gnome Not a Gnome? In Ubuntu 11.04!

At the Ubuntu Devloper Summit on Monday, it was announced that Ubuntu 11.04 will ship with Unity as its default shell.  It will still focus on Gnome applications, and depend heavily on the Gnome libraries -- but the default interface will be Unity.  For those unfamiliar with Unity, it's the default shell for the Netbook Edition of Ubuntu.

OpenOffice.org Draw: Objects and Their Problems

OpenOffice.org Draw is all about objects -- items inserted into a document, each of which can be edited independently. In fact, whether you insert a picture from a file or create an object selected from the primitives (basic shapes) in the Drawing toolbar, everything in Draw is a frame. Even text in Draw is an object, and behaves differently from ordinary text in Writer.