How to install Gnome Do in 3 minutes

Apps

Gnome Do is easily the coolest piece of software on any Linux desktop right now, so it's no surprise you want to try it for yourself and see whether it lives up to all the hype. Well, follow these simple instructions for Ubuntu 8.10 and you'll have it up and running in minutes - and you can get on with trying all its features!

We've included as many screenshots as we possibly can to make it easy enough for everyone to try Gnome Do - there's no excuse any more.

Build your own email server with Postfix

Sysadmin

Whether you work for a small organisation or just use email to keep in touch, tailoring an open source email server to your needs is a great way to regain control over your mail. Using any of the big, free providers makes having an email account easy, but leaves you little that can be centrally monitored, configured or enforced.

If you work for a small organisation you may also have concerns about privacy or want more control over your account options. You could buy a domain name and get dedicated email hosting from a specialised provider, but even that doesn’t give you as much flexibility as it could. Thanks to free software, however, even a small group can get more bandwidth or disk space and make use of full custom filtering, privacy protection and many other features – all with the smallest possible costs and maintenance effort.

Your views wanted: are there too many distros?

TuxRadar

Our podcast is released every two weeks, and in our regular Open Ballot section we ask you, our readers, what you think - and there's no room for sitting on the fence, because your answer needs to be either "yes" or "no" along with any explanation you feel like attaching.

We're about to record our third episode, so it's time to tell us what you think: are there too many Linux distros? Is such a thing even possible, or do we already have so much choice that newbies are overwhelmed with Ubuntu respins containing nothing more than a different wallpaper?

Tell us in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in the episode!

Warren Woodford on MEPIS kernel, favourite features

Distros

Warren Woodford, founder and lead developer of MEPIS Linux, had previously complained that Debian 5.0 "Lenny" didn't ship with a long-term support Linux kernel, and so the latest release of MEPIS breaks form with Lenny only days after its release by shipping with a newer kernel - something that could potentially make MEPIS less compatible with software certified for Debian. We asked Warren what kind of thinking was behind the switch, and also about his favourite new features in MEPIS 8.0...

The tragedy of Creative Commons

Community

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...

Linux tips every geek should know

LXF

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!

How to fix Linux boot problems

Linux

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.

Error messages explained

LXF

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.

Hudzilla Coding Academy: Project Four

Code Project: Build an IRC bot

Code

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.

How you can help Windows users quit

LXF

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.

20 all-new tips for KDE 4.2

KDE

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.

Download the Linux Starter Pack

LXF

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!

Stop! DragonFlyBSD HAMMER time

BSD

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...

Under the hood of Palm's webOS

Hardware

Palm recently announced its potentially iPhone-beating Pre to much acclaim. Small, shiny and featuring a pop-out keyboard, the Pre is an attractive bit of kit, but best of all it runs the Linux-based 'webOS'. Ars Technica has dug into the tech behind the platform, looking at the JavaScript-based application engine and various layers that make up the OS. Oh, and Palm has more documentation online for your perusing pleasure.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 2

Podcast
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?

Red Hat keeps graphics chips chilled

Hardware

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.

More Linux-powered netbooks on the way

Linux

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.

Google snubs Qt; chooses Gtk for Chrome

Apps

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.

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