March 5, 2010 @ 11:56am
For the tinkerers and testers, 2010 is shaping up to be a perfect year. Almost every desktop and application we can think of is going to have a major release, and while release dates and roadmaps always have to be taken with a pinch of salt, many of these projects have built technology and enhancements you can play with now. We've selected the few we think are worth keeping an eye on and that can be installed easily, but Linux is littered with applications that are evolving all the time, so we've also tried to guess what the next big things might be.
Take a trip with us on a voyage of discovery to find out exactly what's happening and how the Linux desktop experience is likely to evolve over the next 12 months...
March 4, 2010 @ 4:22pm
Title: SUSE SUSE Studio
In this episode: Version 2.6.33 of the Linux kernel is here and it includes a new 3D accelerated Nvidia graphics driver. Canonical's online music store will only provide MP3 files, and Apple sues Android partner, HTC. We report back on our experiences with SUSE Studio and answer our critics in the Closed Ballot.
March 4, 2010 @ 10:35am
Yes, after six years of the Human theme and bouncy-roundy Ubuntu logo, it's time for a change. Canonical has announced the new artwork planned for Ubuntu 10.04, aka Lucid Lynx, and it's a major departure. For starters, the word 'Ubuntu' now has sharp, clearly defined points in the font, with the familiar three-folks-hugging logo a mere blob in the corner. On the interface side, new GTK themes accompany a curious arrangement of titlebar buttons - not quite Windows, not quite Mac...
March 2, 2010 @ 11:32am
Everyone wants a Network Attached Storage (NAS) box - at least, everyone who wants somewhere to store swelling amounts of data. Whether you're a huge megacorp looking for an accessible and secure storage device, or you're a home user who needs something to serve your music and movies, NAS boxes are the solution. Now, you could go out and buy a special NAS box for oodles of cash, or you could covert an existing machine to do the job. And what better machine than something small, quiet and friendly with your electricity bill? Our friends at PC Plus show you how to turn your old netbook into a NAS device using the OS most perfectly suited to the job, Linux.
February 25, 2010 @ 4:49pm
If you wanted to learn about Linux, you might think spending $40 on a book is a smart investment. Well, we're here to tell you in our Entirely Unbiased Way that you're wrong, because we've got a better deal: for US$107 we'll give you 2,119 tutorials, features and reviews from Linux Format magazine to download as beautiful DRM-free PDFs. And whether you're in Canada, Australia, France, the UK or indeed anywhere else in the world, we've got an equally great price for you too.
You're probably thinking that's a great deal, but wait - there's more! Your money also gets you 13 monthly issues of Linux Format magazine for the next year, which means you get the magazine delivered to your door every issue wherever you are in the world, as well as all those magazines available to download as PDFs if you want them. Once your subscription expires, those PDFs you downloaded as still yours to keep, because we hate DRM as much as you. Plus, you also get our awesome free DVD with every issue, or you can download it through our BitTorrent server.
Still not convinced? Here we've put a list of just some - maybe half - of all the incredible content you get for your money. Feast your eyes on what you're missing out on, then, when you simply can't bear it any longer, click the button to subscribe online.
(PS: if you were wondering, it's $107 because of the conversion rate between Queen Elizabeth's very own British pounds and the US dollar - it fluctuates, see. If you wait two weeks it might get more expensive!)
February 25, 2010 @ 3:06pm
We don't normally make a big fuss about kernel releases - after all, many of the changes are low-level and don't directly affect us mere mortals - but 2.6.33 is an exception. First up, this release includes Nouveau, a totally free, reverse-engineered driver for Nvidia graphics cards. Not only does this driver support more cards than the proprietary, closed one, but it can be updated and maintained by the community indefinitely.
February 24, 2010 @ 2:52pm
Previously we gave you 7 Cool Linux Projects that anyone could do, but if you still have a few hours to kill and you've already watched the latest Maru videos on YouTube, we have the perfect follow-up article for you: read on to discover just how versatile Linux is by trying nine easy projects that should take no longer than the kettle does to boil - learn how to run your own wiki, encrypt files, blog from home, create your own network wormhole and more!
February 18, 2010 @ 4:26pm
Title: Badger Dog
In this episode: Nokia and Intel combine Maemo with Moblin to create MeeGo. OpenOffice.org 3.2 is here, and it's fast. We report back on our experiences of avoiding the command line and ask whether we'll ever use KDE 4.4.
February 16, 2010 @ 11:25pm
KDE 4.4 is here, bringing with it improved support for social networking and online collaboration, plus thousands of bug fixes. The question is, do you intend to try it out? Post a comment below with your thoughts!
Usually our answers come down to a simple yes or no, but here you're welcome to prevaricate as much as you want - are you going to upgrade to 4.4 simply because your distro will sooner or later? Are you still using 3.5 and are going to stay there until you die? Are you a Gnome user tempted by all the new features, but unsure about switching desktop? Does the sheer number of bugs fixed scare you a little, or is it all progress in the right direction?
As per usual, we'll read out the best comments in our podcast, but please do make sure you leave a name other than Anonymous Penguin!
February 16, 2010 @ 11:53am
Yes, it's that time of the year again: we've built up a stack of spare Linux Format magazine coverdiscs in the office, and we'd love to give them away to Linux advocates: eg if you work in education, run a LUG or have another way to spread the word of Free Software.
These DVDs include a variety of bootable distros - Ubuntu, Fedora, CrunchBang, Slackware and more - and also have newbie-friendly guides (in the Help/New to Linux section of the HTML interface).
UPDATE: We've had a huge response to this, so to make sure that everyone who applied gets a decent amount of DVDs, we're closing this offer now. Thanks!
February 13, 2010 @ 12:00am
If you're a beginner who wants to learn Python programming, you've come to the right place. If you're a more advanced coder who wants to push their skills even further, we've got your covered there too. Below you'll find our list of code projects for Python: tutorials that help you learn Python without boring you to death with hello world nonsense - we want to help you learn how to Make Cool Things, and you'll learn along the way.
We'll be adding more tutorials as time goes by, but for now just jump in - click here to visit our Python tutorials page and get started!
(PS: if you're looking for all our coding tutorials regardless of language, visit our programming tutorials section)
February 12, 2010 @ 4:01pm
If you already read our beginner's guide to the Clutter toolkit and wished it were available in something other than C, then good news: we're putting together a tutorial series covering PyClutter, the Python binding to Clutter, which merges all the power and beauty of the Clutter toolkit with the simplicity and brevity of Python.
So, let's start with a simple project to get things going: you're going to produce a network monitor that monitors data transfer and displays it all on the screen using Clutter. It's nice and easy, but we're going to be adding more involved PyClutter tutorials in the coming months, so you should get started while the learning curve is shallow!
February 7, 2010 @ 12:10am
Sometimes it's easy to forget that we all had to start somewhere with Linux. When you're not used to the way it works, or the kind of concepts involved, Linux can seem like a foreign language. If you're struggling with free software, or if you know someone who needs help making the switch to Linux, we hope this feature will help.
Fedora is a great choice of distribution to start with. It's easy to install and just as easy to use. It's one of the most well-respected distributions available, and has a very tight relationship with its parent and chief sponsor, Red Hat. With Fedora, you have access to one of the largest communities in the world of Linux, and one of the the biggest selections of software to play with. In this mini-feature, we're going to walk you through your first steps installing and using Fedora 12 so that everyone can get started and have fun in the Linux community.
(If this really is your first time using Linux, you might want to read our extensive Linux newbie FAQ before you start, then, when you're up and running, check out our guide to fixing Linux problems yourself. Finally, place a bookmark to our searchable archive of Linux solutions - you never know when it might come in handy...)
February 4, 2010 @ 5:34pm
In this episode: Three quarters of the Linux kernel code is written by developers being paid to do so and Facebook transforms PHP performance. We promise to give up the command line for two weeks and ask whether Ubuntu is wrong to switch the default search engine in Firefox from Google to Yahoo. Plus, we introduce two new sections.
February 4, 2010 @ 1:12pm
Pretty much every Linux user thinks they're immune to viruses, but they're wrong. Just recently, malware was found hidden inside an innocuous-looking Gnome theme from a reputable site. Users who installed the theme also got several scripts installed as root that were designed to attack internet targets, but it could easily have been much worse.
You see, the problem with thinking that Linux is immune is that sooner or later, something like this happens, and you'll have no protection. Yes, 99% of the time you won't need it. Maybe even 99.9% of the time. But if a virus checker saves you just once a year, we think that's a good enough reason to install one.
(For a second opinion from another reviewer, check our reviews of BitDefender and AVG Anti-virus.)
February 2, 2010 @ 4:59pm
As you probably already know, Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04 will use Yahoo as its default search engine because Canonical has struck a revenue-sharing deal with Yahoo. This potentially leaves us with a small dilemma: if you're an Ubuntu user then you probably want to help support the distro at least a little, but on the flip side Microsoft Bing is the search engine behind Yahoo, which means using the default means supporting Microsoft.
So, we're looking for your input: will you give Yahoo+Bing a try and help Ubuntu a little, or will changing to Google be the first thing you do on any 10.04 machine? Perhaps more importantly, is Canonical's move a step away from its free software roots while also arguably providing users with inferior search results by default, or just sound business sense?
Post your comments below, make your answers clear, and please provide a name other than Anonymous Penguin otherwise we're likely to ignore you. (NB: we'll be releasing the first podcast of season 2 on Thursday.)
February 2, 2010 @ 10:48am
Building your own Linux distribution sounds like a hair-raising experience, and it would be if you had to compile every source file from scratch with no guidance. Thankfully, though, the OpenSUSE folks have made it much simpler with their SUSE Studio build service, as our friends at PC Plus explain. With just a few mouse clicks you can generate your own custom version of OpenSUSE - and even test it inside a web browser! Good going.
January 27, 2010 @ 1:42pm
If you're a Linux newbie who wants to learn a bit more about the command line, or if you want to chain a few commands together to get some special output, we have a new tool for you to try. We call it TermBuilder, and it's a web-based command-line generator for Linux and other compatible Unixes. All you have to do is click buttons and choose options and it will generate commands for you to copy and paste into your terminal.
January 22, 2010 @ 11:57am
We love Linux, us. We breathe it, eat it, and install it on anything that can add two numbers together. But we're also fans of other free software operating system projects - large or small - and we love to watch them improve. Our chums at PC Plus have uploaded a look at 10 alternative operating systems, covering ReactOS, Haiku, Syllable and more. Many of them ape classic OSes, so if you were a total Amiga or Atari ST addict back in the day, you might just fall in love again here...
January 15, 2010 @ 4:34pm
Issue 128 of Linux Format magazine carries the last instalment of our Gimp tutorial series. It's been going on-and-off for years now, with the latest batch running from June 2008 until now.
Although we're sad to see the Gimp tutorial go away for the time being, we'd like to thank its author - the incredibly prolific Michael J. Hammel - for all the awesome work he's done over the years, and we're happy to announce that we're releasing high-res PDFs of Michael's 18 most recent GIMP tutorials for everyone to enjoy.
LXF readers have, we hope, learned a lot following in Michael's footsteps over the years, and it's great to be able to share these tutorials with an even wider audience. In these tutorials, you'll learn how to create all sorts of fun, weird and wonderful effects with Gimp, and the step-by-step guide should make it easy for users of all levels to follow.
Read on for download instructions and more information about what's inside...