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Black Lab Linux 5
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 6018 08-24-2014
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 7.0

Description: Black Lab is based on Ubuntuís long-term support version and aimed at home users. It can be freely downloaded, or purchased with 2 monthsí support for $30. Itís produced by PC/OpenSystems, who also market commercial versions for business and educational use. It was formerly known as OS4 Open Linux.
Keywords: Ubuntu Xfce

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Old 08-24-2014, 11:14 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2006
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 4,754

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7

Pros: Email support available. Non-pae version available
Cons: Lacks its own documentation

Black Lab offers 64-bit, 32-bit, and non-pae versions. I tested the 32-bit one. It draws on various repositories: Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Elementaryos. No documentation is provided, but obviously the Ubuntu and Xfce sites provide all thatís needed.

No md5sum is provided and the disk is not self-checking, but it does have m5dsums for its files, so you could check them yourself. Gparted is not provided, so shrinking a Windows partition is best does from Windows. The installer is the usual Ubuntu one, with the option to encrypt /home.

The interface is Xfce, with the whisker menu. Many shortcuts are preset, like super+e for the editor and super+t for the terminal. Itís said to support a touch-screen, but I wasnít able to test that. At the request of their clients, the commercial version will switch to Gnome in edition 6, but itís hoped that an Xfce image will still be provided for the free version.

The software installed included Abiword (with spell-checking), Gnumeric, Firefox (with Flash), Thunderbird Mail, Pidgin, Xchat, Audacious, Audacity, OpenShot, VLC (with codecs), and Steam. Everything worked except VLC, and only Audacity left warnings in the terminal. I installed Parole to replace VLC, and it worked after I reconfigured with ďparole --xv falseĒ.

Black Lab competes with Xubuntu, AntiX MX, Linux Lite, and ZevenOS. All are good and very similar. Black Lab has a non-pae version and offers commercial support, but is the only one without Gparted; AntiX has a better installer; both AntiX and Linux Lite give you LibreOffice by default; Linux Lite canít encrypt /home; Xubuntu has support for the blind.


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