Thursday, August 14, 2014

Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom now certified with Black Lab Linux for Education

Today we are pleased to announce we have tested and certified Black Lab Linux for Education with Google Apps for Education.  Googles solutions have been tested with the three  browsers, Firefox, Google Chrome and Chromium.  With this testing we have certified the following solutions:

Google Voice
Google Talk
Google Hangouts
Google Calendar
Google Apps
Google Classroom

These solutions work out of box with the following distribution releases of Black Lab Linux:

Black Lab Linux 5.x and the upcoming Black Lab Linux 6.x
Black Lab Linux for Education 5.x and Black Lab Linux for Education 6.x
Black Lab Professional Desktop 5.x and the upcoming Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.x

With Google Apps for Education and Black Lab Linux for Education customers can be rest assured that we make the grade.

We sat down with Roberto J. Dohnert of the Black Lab Linux software team and asked a few questions.

Q) What does this mean for Black Lab Linux for Education and school systems that use Black Lab Linux?

A)  We have established Black Lab Linux as the best of breed in the three markets of desktop Linux computing; consumer, business and education.  We are fully committed to the Education market as that is one area where Linux has not seen much adoption but that adoption is growing thanks to our efforts and other efforts by other companies and courageous school districts.  What it means is that customers are not stuck with Google proprietary platforms like ChromeOS and Android and that they have the benefit of an open desktop system where they can utilize much more function than they can with ChromeOS or Android.

Q) Will we support Google Apps for Educations and Classroom through support contracts or is that something we rely on Google for?

A) Both actually, for users who subscribe to our support services and custom builds.  We will help users set up their accounts if need be and build in the links into their distribution.  Of course if there is a problem with Google's cloud services thats something Google will have to handle.

Q) Google has been touting of late the convenience of Google Chromebooks and one of those conveniences is that one sign in access to their services.  How do we compliment that ourselves?
A) Well, the Google Chromebook is a great device.  With Black Lab Linux we have built in support for Google Apps for Education and users have the same access with Black Lab Linux as they do with the Chromebook.  With Google Chrome and Firefox built in, all users have to do is login with their credentials and all their apps, documents and files are available immediately and they have the convenience of their favorite offline applications being available as well with Black Lab Linux for Education.  Another added benefit is the fact that with the Thunderbird Suite ,available only from Black Lab Linux, we have built in support for Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education.

Q) Why did we test with Firefox?

A) We tested with Firefox because with version 35 of Google Chrome, Google does not support Java on Linux or Mac OS X anymore.  There are a lot of districts that still use older model web apps that utilize the Java platform.  Since we build in both browsers (Chrome and Firefox) with Education we wanted to make sure that users can utilize Google's services on their favorite browser despite what it may be.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 Preview now available

We have released the Preview of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6.  The release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 signals our 8 years of operation in the enterprise and education sectors.  There were three things that we focused on with this release.

A) Compatibility.  We have worked to be as compatible with other Linux distributions as well as Microsoft Windows.
B) Security.  Security and data security is paramount.  We have built in DoD specification wipe, stronger folder and file encryption as well as setting system access times.
C) Management.  We have built in utilities to help users manage VM's, to help them manage Windows systems and to ease the management of their Black Lab Enterprise Linux environments

With this release we have made some major improvements to the Black Lab Enterprise stack.

1.  GNOME 3, Our default desktop is now a customized GNOME 3.  We bring to Black Lab Enterprise the most popular and some would say defacto standard of enterprise Linux distributions.
2.  Based on the Ubuntu 14.04 system.  Using Ubuntu 14.04 we bring alot of things aside from a newer kernel.  We ensure compatibility with the #1 Linux distribution in the world this includes application support and OpenStack support.
3.  LibreOffice 4
4.  Evolution 3.10.4
5.  Firefox 31
6.  PostgreSQL 9.3
7.  OpenLDAP
8. Samba
9.  GLOM Database Creator
10.  PowerBroker Identity Services Open 8
11. Remmina and Vinagre for RDP and Remote Support
12.  VNC support
13.  GUFW
14.  Terminal Services Support
15.  VMWare Manager, allows you to manage VMWare Virtual Machines from Black Lab Linux.
16.  Timekeeper - System Access utility

Among many more applications and kernel enhancements.

If you are currently a user of Black Lab Enterprise Linux, drop us an e-mail and we will send you a copy of the preview to test against.

This Preview is not intended for production use.  We offer no warranty either expressed or implied for data loss or corruption.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Black Lab Linux for Enterprise 5.0.3 and Black Lab Linux for Education 5.0.3 released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux for Enterprise 5.0.3 and Black Lab Linux for Education 5.0.3.

Black Lab Linux for Enterprise and Black Lab Linux for Education are commercially supported Linux distributions targeted towards desktop computing.  While other Linux distributions focus on the server our sole focus is on the desktop.  We have many customers who use Black Lab Linux in different industries.  Science, education, law enforcement, music, film and warehouse.

With these releases we bring some important major updates to the Black Lab Linux OS. Although an incremental release we bring some changes. We once again prove why Black Lab Linux is an important IT upgrade to your school or business.

1. New streamlined visual experience.  We now use the KDE Desktop as the default desktop for both Enterprise and Education.  The one thing we have done by listening to customers is updated the UI to a more modern look and feel as well as provide an experience that is familiar and will require much less retraining than moving to Red Hat or any other Enterprise Linux distribution.

2. Updated kernel. We have updated the kernel to include drivers for a wider variety of devices and systems. Point of Sale devices and systems. We have greatly improved the driver support for users who want to run Black Lab Linux on Point of Sale machines. We also support this kernel until 2019.

3. Thunderbird Suite has become more of a groupware suite than just a mail client. We include full support for the Google Apps for Business line, we also include a new translation utility so you can translate e-mails sent to you in a different language to the language of your choice as well as translating e-mails that you write to different languages. We also support full calendar functionality.

4. Wine has been updated so you can run many of your mission critical apps that are written for Windows in Black Lab Linux. We have also made installing those apps more convenient so users coming from Windows can install their apps as easily as they do on the Windows platform.

5. Support for Windows terminal services. We support the full line of Windows Terminal Services through the use of the Remote Desktop Protocol as well as through the Citrix client so users who have Windows Terminal Servers can continue to run them or integrate Black Lab Linux into their environment.

6. Command Line install. We have included a command line installer for users who want to install on a headless server or system.

7. New web app support. We made creating web apps simple, painless and seamless with the ICE utility from the PeppermintOS team. You just simply enter the URL choose the menu where you would like it stored and hit enter. This works for LAN based apps as well as web apps.

8. Support for new app drawers. Are you tired of a cluttered taskbar? Simply create an app drawer and drop all your commonly used applications in it. You can download the how-to from here.

9. Support for NVIDIA CUDA and Android development. We included all the prerequisites and tuned Black Lab Linux for Enterprise for these unique development environments. If you meet the hardware requirements, Black Lab Linux can host the SDK's and you can begin development at any time.

10. The Black Lab SDK 1.7 is included which contains all development IDE's and tools for developing in Java, Python, C++, ADA, Objective C, MONO, Fortran , and PASCAL

We have also included all updates to the system up to July 3, 2014. Black Lab Linux for Education also contains all these great enhancements as well as all critical updates for our educational programs included in that distribution.

Pricing, we have arranged pricing so we are affordable and competitive with Red Hat, Oracle and SUSE. We offer 2 different unlimited subscription themes, one for education and the other for enterprise that allow you to install Black Lab Linux on as many systems as you would like. You can find out more about pricing and more information on the product page

With Black Lab Linux for Enterprise and Black Lab Linux for Education you get a dedicated team, as well as a focus on enterprise and educational desktop computing that is unmatched in todays enterprise and education linux markets. For more information on what our subscription service provides please read the following datasheet.

Any question can be e-mailed to

Black Lab for Enterprise Subscriptions

Black Lab Linux Education Licenses
Delivery method

Friday, July 4, 2014

Black Lab Linux Enterprise and Education Service Report - June 2014

These are the current number of service calls that we responded to in June 2014

Number of incidents 14
Number of Incidents fixed remotely 12
Number of Onsite fixes 1

Most Customer Downtime: 2.5 hours

Number of Software bug fixes submitted to the developer tree 130
Number of software bug fixes submitted to external projects 79

Welcome to Black Lab Microsystems.

Black Lab Microsystems. is dedicated to providing top customer service including integration, providing Linux compatible hardware and enterprise desktop software solutions. We provide solutions tailored to your needs whether its building systems to suit your needs. Whether its a custom database solution, providing Linux powered PC and Server Solutions. Whatever you need you can rest assured that Black Lab Microsystems will deliver a high performance and stable product

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About Black Lab Microsystems

Black Lab Microsystems. is a small consulting firm and the only Linux retailer in NC for Linux PC's and custom systems located in Franklinton North Carolina. We specialize in hardware repair and we resell custom Linux based computers, software maintenance as well as custom application development.