February 28, 2009 @ 7:52pm
In depth: What if we told you that not everyone welcomes the growth of Creative Commons? And we're not referring to the RIAA and their friends - instead, many people openly fear Creative Commons as little more than a friendly face on unwelcome copyright laws, saying that it has too many varieties to be easily understood, and that, worst of all, it gives people who otherwise hadn't even considered copyright before a perhaps unwelcome taste of the Western legal system. Marco Fioretti reports...
February 28, 2009 @ 5:56pm
What separates average Linux users from the super-geeks? Simple: years spent learning the kinds of hacks, tricks, tips and techniques that turn long jobs into a moment's work. If you want to get up to speed without having to put in all that leg-work, we've rounded up over 50 easy-to-learn Linux tips to help you work smarter and get the most from your computer. Enjoy!
February 28, 2009 @ 3:26pm
Booting, or "bootstrapping" for us older folk, is that deeply mysterious sequence of operations performed by your computer between the moment when you switch it on and the moment it's ready for you to log in. During this time, all kinds of incomprehensible messages scroll up the screen, but they're not something you usually take much notice of, and most linux distros cover them up with a pretty splash screen and a nice encouraging progress bar. This is all fine, of course, until it stops working.
February 28, 2009 @ 2:52pm
In depth: Some people are scared of Linux because the error messages it produces seem to imply the coming of the apocalypse. And there's a great number of them. If you search for the word 'Error' on the Linux Format forums, you get more than 150 pages of results. That's a lot of people experiencing a lot of problems!
The biggest difficulty for these users isn't the number of error messages; it's trying to get something useful out of them. What does 'Kernel Oops' mean, for example, or 'PCI Can't Allocate'? Linux error messages are obtuse, difficult to understand and rarely helpful. Which is a pity, because the vast majority of problems can be solved quite easily, and a considerable number involve the same problems recurring again and again. In business speak, these are low-hanging fruit. And it's these problems we want to target.
You shouldn't need to be a Linux expert to get your machine to boot, or a programmer to play a movie file. Yet it's this level of expertise that most error messages seem to assume of their users. We want to demystify these common errors, and provide solutions that should help ordinary Linux users side-step the problem and get their machine back on track. We've chosen areas we think are the most problematic. These include booting problems, general software usage, the filesystem, networking and distro installation.
We've picked a few of the most common errors from each, and explained what's happening along with the solution. The intention is that even if the problems don't apply to you, you can get an idea of how and why Linux error messages might seem arcane and a little intimidating. And hopefully, this will leave you with the knowledge to find a better solution that might help you to solve your own problems.
February 27, 2009 @ 10:00pm
February 23, 2009 @ 12:59pm
Here at TuxRadar we love quick little programming projects, and hope you do too. The word 'projects' is important here: we're not going to dwell on theory or mundane technical gubbins, but instead look at making cool things - after all, programming is the most fun when you're actually making things rather than spending hours learning about tedious loop constructs!
In this tutorial we're going to produce an IRC bot written in Perl. If you're an old-school internetter, you'll probably have used IRC before; if not, see the Hang on, what is IRC? box explaining the basics overpage. In a nutshell, IRC is a real-time chat protocol, commonly used in open source projects for interaction between developers. It's simple, fast and easy to understand - and best of all, it lets you create virtual participants in the conversation.
February 23, 2009 @ 12:24pm
What’s wrong with using Windows? As with other addictions, informed recreational use has few drawbacks, but continual dependence on particular software is a different matter. If you simply can’t boot a computer without using Windows or can’t get anything meaningful done without it, then you’re an addict who needs to be weaned off this habit.
Most addicts will tell you that kicking a habit needs to be done in stages and that the support of friends and relatives is vital. This feature will look at a step-by-step process for giving up Windows and moving to an alternative that doesn’t involve being locked into using one vendor.
February 21, 2009 @ 10:00pm
The road from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4 has been a long and winding one. It's had its bumps and several false summits, but there's no doubt that over the last 12 months things have dramatically improved for KDE lovers everywhere.
But KDE is still KDE, and that means that many of its best features are undocumented and undisclosed. Which is why now is the best possible time for a feature crammed full of the best tricks we can find for getting the most out of KDE 4. It doesn't matter if you're a new convert, an experienced user, or a potential switcher, you'll find something here that will make you feel a micron of pride of what open source can achieve.
February 20, 2009 @ 4:00pm
New to the wonderful world of Linux? Looking for an easy way to get started? Download our complete 130-page guide and get to grips with the OS in hours rather than weeks or months. We show you how to install Linux onto your PC, navigate around the desktop, master the most popular Linux programs and fix any problems that may arise.
We put the Linux Starter Pack on sale one year ago, and in our quest to support the community we're giving it away as a free download. Please go ahead and tell everyone about this offer -- all we ask is that you link to this page rather than directly to the zip below.
Click here to download now!
After reading the guide, head over to Linux Format for more information on the world's finest Linux magazine. Each month we include all the tutorials, features, tips and help you need to get the most from your operating system. Don't miss it!
February 20, 2009 @ 12:17pm
DragonFlyBSD has reached a major milestone with its HAMMER filesystem in the new 2.2.0 release. DragonFly was forked from FreeBSD in 2003 in order to "grow in an entirely different direction from the one taken in the FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD series" - its ultimate goal being to provide native clustering support in the kernel. Besides supporting such clustering, HAMMER "has been designed to solve numerous issues and to add many new capabilities... such as fine-grained snapshots, instant crash recovery, and near real-time mirroring." Sounds lovely, but we're waiting for Netcraft to confirm that it's still alive...
February 19, 2009 @ 1:10pm
February 17, 2009 @ 3:59pm
Title: Was that Mike or Tony Blair?
In this episode: Moonlight 1.0 is released, how will the recession affect Linux, is Ubuntu a 'good thing' and just what exactly is Slime Forest Adventure?
February 17, 2009 @ 2:38pm
Historically, most power management work in Linux has been focused on the CPU -- keeping it cool, making sure it switches to a slower speed when idle, and so on. But as graphics chips continue to improve, they're starting to munch through battery life too. Our hardware-loving chums at Phoronix have looked at the latest work from Red Hat to conserve power on GPUs, which focuses on 'clock-gating' and frame-buffer compression techniques. As always, though, much of the work depends on access to spec-sheets from the hardware vendors.
February 17, 2009 @ 2:30pm
HP's decision to stop shipping Linux on its European netbook range has been a bit of a blow, but now there's some good news. Chip maker Freescale has announced that it will use Android for its netbook chipsets later in the year. So far, the Google-made Linux-based Android OS has only been used on mobile phones, but Freescale's move could strengthen Linux's position in the netbook market, especially if the final hardware is cheaper and has better battery life than current offerings.
February 16, 2009 @ 12:51pm
Despite Qt's cross-platform credentials Google has opted to use Gtk+ with its Linux port of the Chrome browser. Ben Goodger (Chrome's Interface Lead) stated that this choice was to avoid using a framework which "limits what you can do" to its lowest subset, and to avoid more obscure problems when porting the program between platforms. Goodger describes the latter as the application "speaking with a foreign accent".
The Chromium team initially felt that a Windows clone would be acceptable for Linux users (eg via Wine), but was later convinced that this was not a permanent option. However, as one pundit (Alex Russell) said, the solution they need was one which "would work for *most* Linux users", because building a separate version for each platform was "out of the question". See OSNews.com for further analysis.
February 15, 2009 @ 9:51am
After almost two years of work since the release of Etch, the Debian team has finally released Debian 5.0 "Lenny" to the world - their tenth major release. When we spoke to Steve McIntyre, the Debian Project Leader, he said "we basically decided that if we were happy that stuff looks and is legal, as in there isn't any source missing or anything like that, then screw it - we'll go with that." To find out what he was talking about and see our initial views on the new release, read on...
February 15, 2009 @ 12:13am
Not everyone who's into Linux is a dyed in the wool techie. While some people need to know the intimate workings of their PCs and what runs them, others are quite happy simply to use them. There will always a certain amount of crossover, but the one thing that neatly distinguishes the techies from the power users is the command line interface (CLI).
Old-school Linux users swear that it's the only real way to do things properly, while the rest of us often avoid it like the plague. But what if we gave you just enough command-line knowledge to let you do all the important things, without having to don sandals and a fake beard?
February 14, 2009 @ 11:41pm
Download managers exist for two reasons. Firstly, they help organise your downloads, moving them to a single, central location on your desktop. Secondly, they help to improve download performance. But with so many around, which to choose? Let us help you...
February 13, 2009 @ 9:03am
Are you looking to master OpenOffice.org? Or do you want to help one of your friends or family make the switch from Microsoft Office (or, worse - Microsoft Works!) to something free and just as good?
Look out for our new special edition magazine on OpenOffice.org 3.0 in your local magazine outlet, or buy one from our online store with delivery available worldwide - it's 132 pages of tutorials and tips to help everyone get more from OOo, and includes OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux on the free disc.
Contains 40 hands-on tutorials: Writer, Calc, Impress and Base are all covered, as is Draw, macro scripting, extensions, web-site creation, working with templates and more!
February 12, 2009 @ 3:56pm