Podcast Season 4 Episode 10


Title: Everybody loves Linus

In this episode: Two of the biggest distributions of the year have been released - Fedora 17 and Mint 13. Red Hat finds a solution to the UEFI problem with Windows 8 certified hardware, and both Steam and Carmageddon Reincarnation are coming to Linux. We've got more discoveries, a great Speak Your Brains section and one of the best Open Ballots for weeks.

Open Ballot: What does Torvalds know about interface design?


Just in time for this week's open ballot, Linus Torvalds has made his opinions about Gnome 3 known once again. Just in case you missed it, you can read what he had to say here.

The thing is, this is not the first time Linus has made a big deal about changes to one desktop or another. But what does Linus know about interface design, and should the community worry about what he thinks on this topic?

LPI: Learn Linux and get certified. Part 5: The Command Line


Some naysayers would have you believe that the command line is a crusty old relic of the 1970s, a pointless propellerhead playground which real human beings don’t touch. But when it comes to the world of a system administrator, nothing could be further from the truth. The command line, aka shell, is more important than ever – and for good reason:

It’s always there. It exists underneath all the layers of GUI goodness that we see on a typical desktop Linux installation, so even if your window manager is playing up, you can hit Ctrl+Alt+F2 to bring up a prompt and fix it.

TuxRadar: May 2012


May turned out to be quite a busy month for us, so ahead of the long weekend in the UK, we'd thought we'd give a quick recap of some of this month's content.

First, after Ben got a generic reply from his MP about the proposed Snoopers' Charter, we published the second part of our popular LPI tutorial, along with the third and fourth parts later on in the month. We're planning to put the next part up tomorrow, but in case you need to brush up, here's the links:

PHP Coding Academy: write your first script


You might already know that TuxRadar hosts the Practical PHP Programming guide. But we wanted to do something for beginners. So here it is. The first part in a series that will take you from neophyte to professional in baby steps. Let us know what you think!

PHP dates back to 1995 when its creator, Rasmus Lerdorf, began work on a scripting toolset dubbed Personal Home Page (PHP). The sudden demand for the toolset spurred Rasmus to further develop the language and, in 1997, version 2.0 was released with a number of enhancements and improvements from programmers worldwide. The version 2.0 release was hugely popular and spurred a team of core developers to join Rasmus in developing the language even further.

Podcast Season 4 Episode 9


Title: Minted

In this episode: Linux Mint 13 has been released. Chrome becomes the number one web browser (kinda). Google beats Oracle. Mandriva now belongs to you. KDE has announced a new Partner Network and there's going to be a new rival to the Raspberry Pi. Share in our discoveries, speak your brains and hear your opinions in our Open Ballot, a section which has very little to do with ballots these days.

Linux Format 159 On Sale Today - Ubuntu vs Windows


Ubuntu 12.04 vs Windows 8: we throw them both to our merciless testers.

We've been hearing from Canonical for ages about how Ubuntu is trying to attract new users to Linux, which is why the company doesn't seem too bothered to be losing ground to Mint: it figures that it will more than replace them with people who are new to computers and may not even have heard of Linux. So why not compare it with another operating system that's also had a renaissance: Windows 8? Let the battle of the reinvented desktop paradigms commence!

Open Ballot: Does Mozilla think desktop Linux is dead?


According to Internet News, Mozilla isn't including Linux in the platforms that will get initial support for their new web applications features. The reason given by some Mozilla developers: they need to focus on the platforms which provide the bulk of their users, which are Windows and Mac OS X.

The question is, if even Mozilla no longer see it as worth their while to support desktop Linux as a first class platform, is it finally time we give up on the dream of desktop Linux succeeding? Tell us what you think in the comments, and we'll discuss the responses in our infamous open ballot.

LPI: Learn Linux and get certified. Part 4: Package Managment


Installing software on Linux – that’s a doddle, right? Just fire up your lovely graphical browser, poke checkboxes next to the apps you fancy and they’ll magically be downloaded from the internet and installed. That’s all well and good for most users, but if you’re looking to be a serious sysadmin some day, you’ll need to know the nitty-gritty of managing packages at the command line, too. (Note: we’ll be covering the command line fully in a later tutorial; we’re just going to focus on a small set of utilities here.)

xdotool: Script your mouse


Back in the day, we were all told that computers would make our lives easier. They’d automate everything, and we’d have to give them only the minimum of input to get extraordinary results. Well, the calendar on the wall of LXF Towers says that it’s officially The Future(™) now, so how far have we come? Oh wait, we’re still spending ages pushing a plastic box around to move a cursor on the screen to point at fiddly little icons. For all the advancements we’ve seen in GUI technologies over the years, we still spend far too long clicking bits and bobs to get work done.

Podcast Season 4 Episode 8


Title: Odysseus Returns

In this episode: Electronic Arts and Canonical make an important announcement. Microsoft won't allow Firefox on Windows RT. Ubuntu will ship on 5% of PCs worldwide next year and Linux Format magazine gets into the news. As ever, share our discoveries, hear our rants and raves and listen to your own opinions in the Open Ballot.

LPI: Learn Linux and get certified. Part 3: filesystem layout, partitioning and shared libraries


Guess how many files you end up with on your hard drive after a single-CD Debian 6 installation. Go on – we’ll wait. Well, the answer is 82,698. That seems almost unbelievable – and impossible to manage – but fortunately the Linux filesystem layout handles this vast number of files well, providing everything with a sensible place to live. You don’t need to know what each individual file does in great detail, but from its location you can determine its overall purpose in the grand scheme of things.

Open Ballot: Should Apache abandon OpenOffice?


In 2010, Libre Office, a new fork of OpenOffice was created. The main goal was to return control of the premiere free office suite to the community and creating new processes that would reinvigorate its development. By all accounts, it succeeded. Developers are getting behind the project, as are companies, and it seems that there's something of a feature gap opening up between the two projects.

This would be a straight forward good news story if it wasn't for the fact that the Apache Foundation took on development of OpenOffice and have continued to develop and support it.

Is competition good, or is the split effort just silly and a waste of resources? Given that Libre Office now has so much momentum, should the projects be merged and all efforts focussed on creating one amazing free office suite?

Let us know what you think in the comments and we'll read out a selection in this week's podcast!

Learn to Hack pulled from Barnes and Noble


We've just learned that issue 154 of Linux Format, the one with 'Learn to Hack' on the cover, was removed from Barnes and Noble bookstores in the US after a complaint was made. We'd like to apologise if you were affected and couldn't find a copy.

As a reminder, we’ve put the contents of the main feature online: http://www.tuxradar.com/content/learn-hack

Here's a quote from Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter from August 2003 where he announces his book 'Beyond Fear', and explains why demystifying security is so important:

“This is a book for everyone. I believe that security, as a topic, is something we all can understand. And even more importantly, I believe that the subject is just too critical, too integral a part of our everyday lives, to be left exclusively in the hands of experts. By demystifying security, I hope to encourage all of us to think more sensibly about the topic, to contribute to what should be an open and informed public discussion of security, and to participate vocally in ongoing security negotiations in our civic, professional, and personal lives.”

We feel exactly the same, which is why we ran that feature.

LPI: Learn Linux and get certified. Part 2: booting


You press the power button on your PC. A bunch of messages scroll by, or perhaps a flashy animation if you’re using a desktop-oriented distro, and finally you arrive at a login prompt. What exactly happens in the mean time? That’s what we’ll be explaining in this instalment of our School of Linux series.

Snoopers' Charter?

Ben writes:
As listeners to the podcast will know, I've written to my MP (Peter Luff, the Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire) to protest against the proposed legislation allowing the UK government to intercept electronic communication in real time. He's written back to me with the official government position which I've included here (with his permission).

Podcast Season 4 Episode 7


Title: UCubed

If you're in the UK this Saturday, why not head over to Manchester for the fantastic UCubed open source unconference. There are only 40 tickets left!

In this episode: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS has been released. Steam might be coming to Linux again. Google Drive should be on Linux, but isn't. And Linus wins the Millenium Technology Prize. Hear our compressed discoveries and your own opinions in both the Open Ballot and Speak Your Brains sections.

Linux Format 158 On Sale Today - Beat the CIA


Keep prying eyes out of your Linux box – including those of the CIA!

There`s always someone trying to get into your data, whether that be an insurance company wanting to find out how much of a risk you are, a non-evil search engine company wanting to target its advertising at you or a government agency trying to extend the powers of the state onto your hard drive. But help is at hand: with our ultimate guide to privacy and data protection you can keep them all out of your /home folder, whatever their nefarious intentions.

Open Ballot: GNU/Linux or Linux?


That dreaded question came up again recently in the magazine. Jason Irwin wrote to us protesting that we had used 'Linux' as opposed to 'GNU/Linux' in our beginners guide; Andrew replied with a robust defense of our usage. The issue was picked up on in the Linux Format forums, and now there's a poll running. Perfect timing, we thought, for our fortnightly open ballot. So, readers, let us know your thoughts in the comments, and do take the time to vote in the poll!

LPI: Learn Linux and get certified. Part 1: Hardware


How do you prove just how good your Linux knowledge is? To your friends and family, it’s not so hard – set someone up with a Linux box, let them see you doing a few intricate operations at the command line and they’ll soon be pretty convinced that you’ve got the nous. For companies, however, it’s not so easy. They can’t necessarily tell from a CV, covering letter or interview whether your brain is swelling with useful information on package management, the Linux boot process and so forth. That’s something that has to be confirmed somewhere else.

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