Linux Format 174 On Sale Today - Upgrade your desktop


We asked in the latest TuxRadar podcast for the reasons that you change distro. The most frequent one was the choice of desktop. But you don't have to ditch your whole distro in order to get a new user interface: you can follow our Technical Editor Ben's advice and find the desktop that's right for you, so you end up bossing your Linux machine around rather than it controlling you

Elsewhere in the magazine we've more desktoppery, as we follow Linux Torvalds' advice and tweak Gnome with a tool called Gnome-Tweak-Tool, and the Unity/KDE 4/Gnome 3 debate rumbles on in the letters pages. Back in the world of Real Work, we manage multiple machines with Puppet, get a better filesystem with btrfs and learn how to buy Aeroflot tickets to Caracas without anyone finding out, with our roundup of the finest anonymising distros known to man.

All that, plus reviews (Snow Linux. Noobs, the Mirabox, er, Prison Architect), news and other essential free software information, delivered on 100% recycled electrons or 100% chlorine-free paper.

On the DVD: Mint Mega Mix (64-bit), Bodhi, Siduction, Snowlinux, Gnome Tweak Tool, Hotpicks, books, and more.

For a complete issue overview, and subscriber PDFs, take a look at our archives:

Digital Editions: Linux Format is now available on Android and Chrome with Google Play Magazines, from just £3.99 per issue. It's also available on both Apple's iPhone/iPad/Touch and Android devices through Zinio. You can also purchase individual copies from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

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Your comments


The beauty of GNU/Linux is having the ability to "downgrade" my desktop to ever more light weight environments i.e. XFCE, LXDE, Enlightenment and/or window managers.

This allows me to use my computer horsepower to run applications instead of a pretty desktop and gets me to at least a degree, out of the cycle of constantly upgrading hardware.

I just finished installing "Antix" on an old 1.0 GHz. Pentium III that I plan to give away. The "full" install idles at about 130 MB RAM on a machine with only 512 MB RAM.

A machine that Microsoft would have me toss into the landfill is now useful again!

Google Play Subs

just seen your mag on Google play for £13.99/year. Don't know if this is an error but I've signed up having just last week had to cancel my postal sub due to
limited funds! Be sure to advertise this next podcast...


Still waiting for the last issue... :/

Re: Rezin

Hi Rezin,

Can you drop me an e-mail at and we can try to find out what's happened.


Some info

I just was reading about the different subscriptions and start wondering.
How does it come, that a printed yearly subscription cost £59.99 but an electronic version £43.99.
How much does it cost to send over 13 issues of a magazine in UK? 1£ including shipping and handling. That means selling an electronic version makes a gross difference 3£/year!.
For this 3£ you print 13 magazines, you create the DVDs and you take all that other costs which comes with selling it from shelf.

Is it just me or does this makes the electronic version sound rather overpriced?!

How much do you get (or just what left more for you) from selling electronic subscriptions vs. paper versions?
How is the ratio of subscription at the moment?
What is the printing costs of a magazine like Linux Format vs. the editorial costs (knowing that only a bunch of heavily underpaid Linux-Geeks is doing the editorial work)

I really would love to hear about that in the next podcast.

Furthermore, I would like to see a picture with names posted here. I enjoy your podcast for some years now and still have no idea how you look like.

Re: Some info

Torwag, the actual situation is worse than that because Future (usually?) offer discounts on printed subscriptions.

In defence of them though, at least the eSub is cheaper than "real" one (I've seen some magazines where it's MORE EXPENSIVE for them to send you nothing) and the subscription charge is actually pretty much what you'd expect. E.g. Linux Magazine (imho the nearest competition) is £39 for DigiSub, so Linux Format is only 10% more (and worth the extra).

Where the other Linux mag scores is that they do a DVD-less subscription for exactly the same price as eSub. Or you can add eSub (as a PDF) to a print sub for £8.

So basically you can select exactly what combination of print+digital+dvd you want. That's pretty good! (Hint, hint)

Electronic mag's

I brought a subscription to Linux Format a year or so ago, I could only read it online and one third of the mag's never turned up. Totally over priced.
I have since gone back to buying hard copies from the local mag shop. In Australia $25.00 each, and I can keep it, and it has the disc.
Sometimes the cheaper option is just not worth it.

I've got the magazine just

I've got the magazine just now and was surprized you didn't mention WindowMaker. It looks like this desktop isn't favored by many people. Well, it's still very useful for some others.

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