From the archives: the best graphics tools of 2001

Archives

With The Gimp not being bundled as standard with Ubuntu 10.04, we thought it was time to get out the shovel, chainsaw and fork-lift truck and do some digging through the archives of the world's best Linux magazine to see how far The Gimp - and its competitors - have come.

Well, it just so happens we did a group test of image manipulation programs over eight years ago, in which the Gimp featured rather centrally. Would you like to know more? Of course you would - so read on!

Drupal: Get started the easy way

Web

You probably already have a few ideas about what it takes to set up a website, but put those to one side for now, because we're going to look at a different way of doing things. With Drupal, all you really need is a name and an idea of the type of content you want. However, before we get going, the big question you have to answer is: with all the free hosting services available today, do you really need your own website at all? If the answer is yes, read on to discover how you can create anything from a simple blog to a complex website using Drupal in a matter of minutes.

Clutter: a beginner's tutorial

Code

There are lots of cool things in Moblin, but Clutter is our #1 most favourite thing of all. Why? If its OpenGL-accelerated, object-oriented, GTK-integrated API isn't enough to convince you, then perhaps its powerful animation framework, easy texture manipulation, and lightning-fast object picking system might.

But one problem with Clutter is a distinct lack of documentation - a lot of folks want to learn how to use it, but the web is somewhat lacking in tutorials right now. We hate to see awesome free software projects without the userbase they deserve, so we spent a few hours putting together a kickstart guide for people who want to get into Clutter in the minimum time.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 22

Podcast

Title: The Sound of Fail

In this episode: Google releases the source code to its new operating system, Chrome OS. The Fedora 12 distribution makes its way onto the mirrors and The Gimp is too powerful and too complex for Ubuntu 10.04. We present the results of our two-week Bing research project and ask whether we'd switch to Bing if it was the only place to find News Corp. coverage.

Open Ballot: Microsoft/News Corp deal - would you switch to Bing?

TuxRadar

Word has it that Microsoft is in talks with News Corp to discuss paying the publisher to de-index its websites from Google. With Redmond struggling to get a major foothold in the search market, the company is seeking to have content exclusively indexed on Bing - content from Rupert Murdoch's vast media empire (encompassing The Sun, The Times, FOX News, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal...).

Now, imagine that this deal goes ahead. Technically, hypothetically, Bing would be able to turn up search results that Google couldn't. Would you switch to Bing? Would you stay with Google? What matters more: the number of search results you can get, or the company operating the search engine? Let us know and we'll discuss the results in our podcast.

TuxRadar by the numbers 2.0: the rise of Karmic

TuxRadar

Many moons ago we posted some stats about TuxRadar, explaining the breakdown of our visitors, which pages were proving popular and more. That article proved popular enough with you folks that we think it's time to rinse and repeat to see what we find this time. But - thanks to sifting through 32GB of logs - we have some even more interesting numbers for you this time, showing that Ubuntu 9.10 adoption is outpacing that for both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard...

Command line tricks for smart geeks

Command line

Everyone knows the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything is "42", but for the first time we can reveal the question. It is this: how many command-line tricks must a man memorise? You see, graphical user interfaces are all well and good, but when you want to get real work done it's time to switch to the terminal.

And so, we squeezed our brain cells, dug through dusty piles of old issues of Linux Format, and sat reflecting quietly over many a pint of ale, all with the goal of bringing you this: 42 awesome new command line tricks we think you ought to commit to memory. We've tried to include a few that are easier for our, er, less-experienced readers to enjoy, but we think even the most hardened Linux veteran will learn something new over the next 12,000 words.

So, strap yourself in and get ready for command-line heaven: it's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and we're all out of gum...

Microsoft open sources .NET Micro Framework

Microsoft

Back in July, Microsoft announced it was making .NET available under its Community Promise, which in theory allowed free software developers to use the technology without fear of patent lawsuits. Unsurprisingly, many free software geeks were unconvinced by the promise (after all, what's a promise compared to an actual open licence?), but now Microsoft has taken things to the next level by releasing the .NET Micro Framework under the Apache licence. Yes, you read that correctly: a sizeable chunk of .NET is about to go open source.

TuxRadar originals

TuxRadar

If you've been too busy playing with [Ubuntu 9.10/OpenSUSE 11.2/Mandriva 2010 - delete as appropriate] to check in with us every day for your latest Linux learnings, never fear: here's our pick of the best that you missed:

Plus: Christmas is coming, so it's time to deploy pester power to have your loved ones buy you a year's subscription to the world's best Linux magazine, Linux Format. Yes, we put a lot of content here on TuxRadar every month, but it's only about 1/5th of what we publish in the magazine, and with 13 issues a year delivered to your door it's the easiest way to keep yourself overflowing with new tutorials to try, new apps to play with and new news to be, er, new.

In addition, all our subscribers to get access to over 2000 PDFs from back issues, with new PDFs uploaded as soon as they leave for the printers, plus BitTorrent access to our DVDs.

We have special Christmas subscription rates online for the next ten days, so place your order now to avoid disappointment:

(NB: Some people may find that the subscriptions deal we include in our awesome Linux podcast gives them an even lower price - it pays to shop around, folks!)

Win one of two free annual subscriptions: if you want the chance to get a year's supply of LXF for the princely sum of $0, all you have to do is retweet our message: Identica users can find it here and Twitter users can find it here. Yes, you're eligible regardless of where you live in the world. If an existing subscriber wins, we'll tack a year onto their existing subscription and send them a freebie for being so awesome. Good luck!

The best Linux collection managers compared

Apps

Collecting things is human nature. The things we collect change over time, but the process never stops. It was cuts and bruises when you were seven, cards when you were a teen and, although no one will admit it, those sweet wrappers with the free tattoos made an appearance somewhere too.

That's where collection mangers come in. These days, most are equipped with a slick GUI that can pull information from the internet to help you with cataloguing your collection. Moreover, they'll often enable you to tag the items in your collections, search through your stuff and even export the information to another system.

Linux means liberty

Linux

We'll just leave this here.

Linux means liberty. Freedom!

Build your own Linux distribution the easy way

Distros

Many people want to create their own Linux distro, perhaps for fun, perhaps to help them learn more about Linux, or perhaps because they have serious neds to solve. But the secret is this: it doesn't need to be hard to get the perfect distro for you. In fact, we've put together several ways that everyone - yes, even you - can make your own perfectly customised distro that suits your individual needs, applying as many or as few changes as you want - it's your Linux, your way.

Reviewed: Parallels Desktop 4 for Linux

Apps

After conquering the desktop virtualisation space on the Mac, Parallels has decided to take the fight to VMware with a client for Windows and Linux desktops. But unlike the bi-polar world of the Mac (with Parallels and VMware being the only options), Parallels faces a multi-pronged attack on Linux, from proprietary brethren like VMware's Workstation, and free-to-download options such as Sun's VirtualBox.

So, what does Parallels Desktop 4 for Linux (let's just call it PD4) have over the competition? Here's the low down...

Podcast Season 1 Episode 21

Podcast

Title: Mammoth Mammoth

In this episode: Firefox turns 5, Microsoft allegedly borrows some GPL code and the Fat Elf is no more. We talk about what our perfect Linux distribution would look like and ask whether everyone should be compelled to contribute to free software projects.

Code Project: control Digg with Python

Code

Everyone knows that Digg is a hugely popular social news website where like-minded folks gather and flame each other to death. But if you're a Digg user and want to flex your coding skills to get a little more from the site, we've got the perfect code project for you: we're going to show you how to write a Python app to read Digg submissions and geo-locate them using GeoIP.

You should know that, even though there's a perfectly reasonable - if slightly out of date - API for Digg, we're going to create our own miniature one instead that does just what we need. If you want to go further you'll find this an easy place to start, and it also gives you some good practice in working with XML.

Open Ballot: should we all be contributing to open source?

TuxRadar

Everyone loves the New Distro feeling: great new features, more efficiency, fewer bugs (usually!) and general computer improvement. But how many people actually take the time to contribute back to the free software movement? Given the vast number of ways that people of differing skill levels are able to take part in the community, should we be actively encouraging people to help out more, even if it's only a small thing such as correcting typos in documentation or by donating money?

Remember, this is the Open Ballot for our podcast: please include a name with your comment, and please answer the question "yes" or "no" along with some sort of reasoning. Also, if you have contributed to free software - either by helping in forums, submitting patches to someone else's work or even perhaps releasing your own open-source project, please include that too!

Solve your own Linux problems

TuxRadar

We've been relatively quiet over the last few weeks, because we've been busy pulling together 60 issues of Linux Format magazine, converting all the reader questions and answers about Linux into web-friendly formats. Fortunately, that work is now done, so we're proud to present the TuxRadar Linux Answers Archive - a searchable database of over 700 common Linux problems and their solutions from the last five years.

The goal of this project is pretty straightforward. Even though we know many of these questions aren't relevant to the majority of users any more (unless you're still running Mandrake 10.1!), we know what it's like when you encounter obscure problems in Linux and Google searches aren't turning up the goods. And so, if even only a few hundred people are helped using all these Linux solutions, it will still have been worth the effort.

So, dive in, take a look around, ping us on Identi.ca or Twitter if there are any egregious errors (although we'd rather not hear about typos simply because we have more important things to be doing!), and pass the URL on to friends if they have trouble: http://www.tuxradar.com/answers.

How to clone hard drives with Clonezilla

Sysadmin

Clonezilla is a Ncurses-based front-end to a set of scripts that use several open source disk utilities such as Partimage, ntfsclone, Partclone and dd. It'll jump at your command and duplicate particular partitions, or better still complete disks. It'll also restore the partitions, and help you mirror an old disk onto a bigger new disk.

How to install software in Ubuntu

Ubuntu

So, you've heeded the security warnings, run Ubuntu's update manager and you're happy that your system is now bang up to date with the latest whizz-bang software. But is it?

The truth is that packages are only added to Ubuntu's main repository as and when the maintainers deem them stable enough, so often users are left for months waiting for packages with the latest killer features. You can download these packages and compile from source, but you then have the trouble of satisfying the list of dependencies. Also, when you come to update the package you've compiled from source, you have to purge the current install from the system, satisfy any new dependencies that have sprung up, apply patches and then recompile, which is a messy solution.

Ubuntu Personal Package Archives (PPAs) are APT directories provided by third parties on Launchpad (Ubuntu's third-party developer platform). This is where the latest and greatest software is bundled into a Debian package and made available for download. The likes of Google and the Wine community are well known for using this service, so if you'd like to take advantage of their hard work and install some cracking new software for your Ubuntu, read on...

Mandriva 2010 released

Mandriva

Clearly not ones to bother about such trifling matters as the year we're actually in, the Mandriva team has delivered a shiny new release. Codenamed "Adelie", Mandriva 2010 brings a bunch of improvements as detailed in the announcement. The new "Smart Desktop" technology lets you assign tags and notes to documents, images and other files, while boot times have been reduced and the latest desktop environments (KDE 4.3 and Gnome 2.28) are included. Read on for a summary of the changes.

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