November 13, 2009 @ 8:39pm
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!
November 13, 2009 @ 7:44pm
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.
November 13, 2009 @ 10:48am
We'll just leave this here.
November 12, 2009 @ 10:22am
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.
November 12, 2009 @ 9:34am
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...
November 11, 2009 @ 7:39pm
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.
November 11, 2009 @ 9:46am
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.
November 10, 2009 @ 5:26pm
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!
November 10, 2009 @ 3:47pm
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.
November 9, 2009 @ 10:13pm
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.
November 9, 2009 @ 10:12pm
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...
November 5, 2009 @ 12:04pm
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.
November 4, 2009 @ 10:25am
It has only been out for a week-ish, but already the reviews of Karmic Koala are scurrying around the intertubes. Jamie's Random Musings at ZDNet has "mixed impressions" of the release, comparing it to 9.04 which he thought was "truly excellent". The Globe and Mail, meanwhile, looks at the Koala from a non-geek perspective, describing it as "a package that won't be a horrible stretch for the novice". Linux Critic gives thumbs-up to the faster boot times, improved artwork and inclusion of the Empathy IM client, but criticises the poor integration of the Ubuntu One cloud storage service.
October 30, 2009 @ 12:43pm
With just a few tweaks, your Linux box can be lighter, sprightlier and quicker than ever before. Read on for the best ways to speed up your boot sequence, optimise KDE and Gnome, and get better performance from your favourite apps. We've also got some top tips from our favourite free software gurus...
October 29, 2009 @ 5:58pm
The Great Boot Race
Hot on the heels of the final release of the Karmic Koala, we've put together a video montage of 64-bit versions of Microsoft's Vista and Windows 7 operating systems booting alongside Canonical's Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10. Watch all four at once and see which one wins!
Each operating system has been freshly installed and features exactly the same hardware configuration. Auto-login is enabled, and each will launch Firefox which will then proceed to load our homepage.
October 29, 2009 @ 3:18pm
Title: Manky Monkey
In this episode: Ubuntu 9.10 has been released! To celebrate, we talk about what's new and what's old, review a version of Ubuntu each, discuss what we love and loathe and set our minds on the future with Lucid Lynx. Koala Ho!
October 27, 2009 @ 1:06am
October 25, 2009 @ 2:31am
A few days ago, a BBC journalist was on air saying that Ubuntu was "a whole sort of little community of enthusiasts building operating systems for absolutely nothing." Since then, as you can imagine, he's had some angry emails from Linux users, so Canonical sent him over a laptop with Karmic Koala Netbook Remix installed.
The result, sadly, isn't great for Linux, but there's a lot we can learn from the results of the test.
October 24, 2009 @ 4:09pm
This might be a strange thing to hear on a Linux website, but it's true: we're big fans of Windows 7. Is it because of the new features? Is it because of the new user interface? Is it because of the blazing speed vs Vista? Is it because it's anything but Vista? The answer is "no" to all those.
Instead, we love Windows 7 because it seems to be providing Linux with a massive PR boost and indeed may well backfire on Microsoft - people are more curious than ever about how Linux stacks up against Windows 7. Read on for more information...
October 24, 2009 @ 3:28pm
Many Linux users pride themselves on being highly technical geeks. And, while that's great for finding people to contribute code patches to projects, it means that a lot of first-time Linux users get branded a "newbie" and are made to feel stupid when they ask fundamental questions about things we take for granted.
To be blunt, that situation sucks. If people have honest questions about Linux, we need to be helping them find answers, and we need to do so without sarcastic comments, without "RTFM" and without telling people "just use Google."
Here at TuxRadar, and in the magazine behind the website, Linux Format, we get a lot of really basic questions from new users. We've taken the most common questions and printed them verbatim below, providing Plain English answers along the way, trying to simplify technical information as much as we can. We didn't write the questions, so more experienced users might look at them and think "wow, that's a stupid question," but if you're a newbie asking Linux questions or if you have friends asking you questions that you don't have time to answer, we hope this information will prove useful.
NB: if you have technical questions about Linux, we have an archive of common Linux problems and their solutions - you should check there first.