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!

Lenny has landed!

Distros

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...

The command-line phrasebook

LXF

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?

Group test: download managers

Apps

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...

Get more from OpenOffice.org!

Apps
Master OpenOffice.org - a Linux Format Special

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!

More proof that Linux is on the rise

Linux

Some people have said that Mac OS X is eating away at the Linux market as hardcore Unix-heads get their Posix fix on Macs. Others have said that Linux marketshare is as tiny as it was several years ago and that Windows 7 might even kill Linux.

Well, today we have something positive to announce: Linux Format magazine sales are up 13.3% over the last year, as measured by the Audit Bureau of Circulations - an independent body founded to track and verify magazine circulation data. You might think that a 13% is fairly small, but keep in mind that many other magazines are reporting steep sales drops right now, so any rise at all is a good sign!

People are crying out for good Linux knowledge, and we think it's great to have some more irrefutable numbers that Linux continues to be on the march against closed-source software.

Group test: web editors

LXF

Way back at the beginning of the web (or when it started to become mainstream) it was popular to spend hours hacking away at a keyboard to type your first web page. These early efforts were horrific mish-mashes of colour, style (or lack thereof) and seemed to consist entirely of people telling you just how they felt about certain topics. - you only have to spend some time with the Internet Archive to see shining examples of the terror that could be wrought with a simple text editor and far too much knowledge.

From there web development got a bit smarter, and it wasn't long before GUI-based tools became available to make the whole process more speedy and user friendly. Sadly, they didn't improve on the whole colour clashing, but they did make a lot more people a lot more productive. Even Microsoft, having previously dismissed the power of the web, did a complete U-turn and ended up releasing FrontPage to fuel even more abuse of the senses.

So, if you're looking around for a great web editor for Linux, just what is the state of editors for Linux and does it get any better than Vi or Emacs? Let's take a look at what options are on offer today.

Your views wanted: is Ubuntu a good thing for Linux?

TuxRadar

The awesome debut episode of the TuxRadar podcast has been brightening up the interwebs at www.tuxradar.com/podcast for a while now – so long in fact that we’re about to produce episode 2.

For the Open Ballot section we’re revisiting a topic we’ve had loads of emails about recently; namely, the rise and rise of Ubuntu. Is it a force for good, unifying the masses behind a single banner? Or is it an inhibitor of free choice, herding us into the kind of narrow computing landscape associated with closed operating systems such as Windows and OS X?

Let us know your thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears, and we’ll shoehorn as many as we can into the next podcast.

Benchmarked: Firefox Javascript on Linux and Windows - and it's not pretty

TuxRadar

As you might have guessed from our domain name, TuxRadar.com, we're big fans of Linux. But being a fan of Linux doesn't necessarily make you a Linux fanboy - the kind of person who blindly ignores anything negative about their passion of choice as if that somehow made it better.

In fact, we think more Linux users need to admit there are some places where Linux isn't quite as good as its competitors. And one place where that's certainly true is in web browsing. Don't believe us? We did some simple JavaScript benchmarks of Firefox 3.0 using Windows and Linux to see how it performed across the platforms - and the results are pretty bleak for Linux.

TuxRadar originals

TuxRadar

If you've been too busy to visit the site every day, relax - here's our pick of unmissable TuxRadar original features from the last seven days.

  1. Want to switch distros without losing data? Here's how you do it
  2. Learn how to tweak KDE 4 to your liking
  3. Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7
  4. TuxRadar podcast episode 1 - don't miss it!
  5. From the archives: the best distros of 2000
  6. Try your hand at the Linux Pub Quiz - we bet you can't get them all right

Plus there's much more to come - add us to your bookmarks or subscribe to us on Identi.ca to make sure you don't miss a thing.

And remember, TuxRadar is brought to you by Linux Format magazine - the #1 source for Linux news, reviews, tutorials and wit, available from all good magazine outlets worldwide.

Get broadband on the move with Linux

Hardware

Mobile telecoms companies are now pushing "mobile broadband" in the form of a connection that uses the 3G mobile phone networks. While the bandwidth available can be variable, you don't need massive bandwidth for most tasks, as long as it has sufficient throughput for the main business tasks: email, Facebook and YouTube. That leaves us a few questions. Has mobile productivity come of age? How do these systems work? What sort of coverage and speeds do they provide? Most importantly, do they work with Linux?

We're going to try to answer all of these questions, using the USB mobile broadband dongles provided by three UK mobile telecom companies: O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone...

Yes, you can read us on Identi.ca

TuxRadar

Want to know the minute we put a new story up? Subscribe to us on Identi.ca to get our updates delivered straight to your desktop.

The Linux Pub Quiz

LXF
The Linux Pub Quiz

 

How well do you know your free software people, apps and commands? Put yourself to the test and see just how much you know - we don't think even Linus Torvalds knows all these...

How to install Linux on a USB flash drive

Distros

Nothing can beat having a great Linux distro installed on a super-fast hard drive, with all your favourite apps configured just how you like them and all your files at your fingertips. But this has one major drawback: perfect as your setup is, it's also just one machine, and sooner or later you'll be forced to leave that computer behind and use something else. Something that might run Windows. Something that might not even have Firefox.

Because no one likes being parted from their data for too long, we present a smarter option: store it all on a USB flash drive...

Hudzilla Coding Academy: Project Three

From the archives: the best distros of 2000

Distros

Back in May 2000 the first issue of Linux Format magazine hit the newsstands. One of its features was a group test of Linux distributions, reflecting the state of play in Linux flavours at the time. If you fancy a trip down memory lane or just a quick look at how beautiful Linux wasn't all those years ago, we've dug out the original article complete with screenshots - read on!

How to turbo-charge your Linux desktop

LXF

Manufacturers and PC vendors would have you believe that there's only one way to speed up your machine: buy new kit. And then, in 18 months, buy new kit again. However, it's usually our software that's the real bottleneck. If you've been using Linux for a while, you'll already have discovered lighter alternatives to some of the platform's bloatfests - for example, using AbiWord and Gnumeric in the place of OpenOffice.org.

But what about the desktop itself? That's where you can get some real speed gains...

Hudzilla Coding Academy: Project Two

Group test: home finance software

Apps

In the past, Linux was not overly blessed with decent budgeting software, and installing GnuCash was regarded by many as the epitome of a descent into dependency hell. Thankfully, things have since changed, and anyone using a modern distribution could now have the software ready to go in just a few minutes.

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