Whisky! Thanks!

LXF

When we asked listeners of TuxRadar to send in beer, we all thought we were being a little optimistic. Well, thanks to Wayne Rooney (not the football player, though he assures us that is his real name) our optimism and faith in our listeners proved to be well placed!

Hailing from New Zealand, where it's legal to own a still and make your own spirits, he kindly sent two bottles of his homebrew whisky. None of us expected to be whisky tasting on a Monday morning, but it was a definite plus.

Open Ballot: Has Ubuntu 11.10 fixed the problems with Unity?

TuxRadar

Flamewars and controversies are ten-a-penny in the ever-changing world of computing, but Ubuntu 11.04's switch away from Gnome to Unity caused a particularly large dollop of anger to be spooned onto the internet. While some users cheered the new desktop design, many others felt frustrated by its limitations and glitches. So as we gear up to record our next podcast, we want to hear from Ubuntu users: how do you feel about 11.10's Unity? Has it changed sufficiently to fix any problems you had previously? Is it worse in any respects? Or has it made you simply switch to Xfce?

Let us know in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in our next podcast. Ta!

Linux Format now available on the iOS App Store!

LXF


Update: You can now download issue 149, Seed Your Own Cloud, for free through our app.

Love the UK's biggest-selling Linux magazine? Also have a secret soft-spot for shiny Apple gadgets? Well, Linux Format is now available on the iOS App Store, through both Newsstand and as a standalone application for older devices. You can download the most recent issue on its own, or take out a subscription. Click (or tap!) here to get the latest offer and carry info-packed LXF goodness on your tablet today.

Open Ballot: Will "secure boot" hinder Linux adoption?

TuxRadar

By the end of the decade, you might not be able to install Linux on a random, off-the-shelf PC. At least, not easily. This is because the UEFI "secure boot" system is being pushed by Microsoft, and could restrict the installation of other operating systems. You see, in order to boot an OS, the bootloader will need to be signed with special keys, which causes complications for totally open, free-as-in-freedom GPLed software. There may be ways around it, but it'll be fiddly.

Baby causes podcast delay

TuxRadar

Silly babies. They can't talk about cricket, they have stumpy little limbs, and they don't know the difference between an Imperial Courier and an Imperial Trader. What's the point of them? Still, they happen, and the uncertainty of their exact arrival dates can cause problems in the workplace. So yes, due to the potential arrival of a new mini LXF crew member in the next few hours, we've had to delay the podcast by a bit. We're hoping to have it done by Monday or so - can you handle the excitement?

LXF 150 On Sale Today!

LXF

Well, after reading everyone else's favourite LXF moments from the last 150 issues, today's the day that issue 150 goes on sale! To celebrate, you get to enjoy these reflections from the newest member of our team, Jonathan Roberts:

I'm still relatively new to the LXF staff, but that doesn't mean I'm new to LXF. Before joining the team here, I was a reader for many years and enjoyed going in to Smiths once a month to buy the new issue - I'd then get it home and read it almost cover to cover.

Linux Format 150: the countdown continues

LXF

It’s Graham Morrison’s turn to divulge his choice picks from his time at Linux Format:

There have been many memorable moments. And the vast majority have been positive. But inevitably, as I'm sure any Linux writer will concur, it’s the tough projects that stick in your mind.

Open Ballot: Is Linux really so secure?

TuxRadar

As Linux users, we watch our poor Windows-suffering brethren battle with viruses, spyware, malware and other problems, safe in the knowledge that our operating system is designed to minimise such risks. But is Linux really as secure as we like to think? The recent hacking of kernel.org and impact on related sites has given us much food for thought.

You could argue that Linux is intrinsically very secure, but a high-profile site such as the home of kernel development is going to be a big target. Or maybe Linux isn't really that secure - it's just that the users are typically more tech-savvy and are less likely to run HOTBRITNEY.EXE attachments in their emails. What would happen if all Ubuntu users started installing random .deb packages in emails? Is it all down to the users?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in our upcoming podcast. Gracias!

Linux Format 150: the countdown continues

LXF

Solar Power (LXF79)

What does he know of Linux who only Linux knows (asks Andrew Gregory)? Well, lots actually, but whatever your specialist subject it's always useful to take a step back and look again at what you know from a different angle. That's why Mike's look at OpenSolaris back in issue 79 is worth reading even now, despite the fact that free software has moved on so much in the intervening five years.

Linux Format issue 150 is approaching!

LXF


Here at Linux Format Towers, we're about to reach a milestone in the history of the magazine: 150 issues. A lot has happened in the last 11 years, and before LXF150 goes on sale this Thursday, 15 September, we're asking the team to recall their favourite moments from the magazine's life. Kicking it off is Mike Saunders who clearly wants darn kids to get off his lawn. Take it away...

Open Ballot: What are your highlights and lowlights of the past 20 years?

TuxRadar

It has been 20 years since Linus Torvalds made his famous announcement about a certain kernel that we're all using today. Yes, Linux is now two decades old (and we know that GNU/Linux is older than that, RMS fans!) and a lot of things have happened in that time. For our upcoming podcast, we want you to tell us: what've been your high and low points of the last 20 years? Like, for instance, the release of a certain distro or desktop environment, or the battles against SCO and Microsoft.

Tap your musings into the comments box and we'll read out the most awesome in our podcast. Except for you, Anonymous Penguin. That ain't a proper name.

Open Ballot: Does Tux help or hinder Linux?

TuxRadar

Penguins are cute, right? Pretty much everyone agrees with that, but whether a penguin makes a good mascot for an operating system - that's open to debate. On the one hand, Tux's cheerful face and relaxed posture could be the perfect way to express what we love about Linux. It's not too corporate, it's fun, and it's happy to welcome anyone into its fold. But on the other hand, it could be argued that such a toy-like mascot stops big business from taking the community seriously. Would a more conventional logo make us look more professional? How about a different, more powerful sort of animal?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in our podcast. (If you are an actual penguin, please note that in your message, and we will put on the appropriate voice.)

Open Ballot: What will Linux look like in 10 years?

TuxRadar

It's crystal ball time as we get prepared for the next TuxRadar podcast. We want you to tell us: how do you think Linux will look like, one decade from now? We don't mean in a cosmetic sense (although you're free to comment on that if you want). But rather, what sort of OS will it be, and how will most people be using it? For instance, you might predict that the desktop wars will die out and most users will be running little more than a browser on the kernel. Maybe via Android it'll morph into a free alternative to iOS.

Whatever the case, and no mater how ker-azy your ideas, let us know in the comments below and we'll read out the best in our podcast. Extra points will be awarded to those who fit MikeOS into their visions of the future.

Back from OSCon

LXF

And we're back! Graham and Mike have returned from talking to awesome FOSS developers, looking at mountains and drinking Indian Pale Ales. Stay tuned in the next few issues of Linux Format magazine for interviews, features and more - including a special look at Free Geek, a great service in Portland that refurbishes computers (and puts Linux on them). In the meantime, have a gander at a few pictures after the break.

Open Ballot: Is it time to start trusting Microsoft?

TuxRadar

Few people reading this site will claim to be supporters of the Redmond behemoth, but arguably, Microsoft has changed in recent years. The poor reception of Windows Vista, the advancement of Linux in the server space, and the birth of Android and iOS have made Microsoft vulnerable. In many areas, they're the underdog now. And then we have the news that a Microsoft coder made the most changes to Linux 3.0, albeit primarily to support the company's Hyper-V virtualisation interface.

So as we roll up our sleeves for the next podcast, we want your opinions: can we start trusting Microsoft more? Has the company changed - is it competing more fairly than in the past? Or is the Redmond giant's heart still the same, and we should be cautious more than ever of embrace, extend and extinguish? Let us know if the comments below, and we'll read out the best in our podcast. Even if you happen to be Steve Ballmer.

Open Ballot: Is Firefox moving too quickly?

TuxRadar

Unless you've had your head stuck in a bucket of sand in a cave on Mars for the last few weeks (or you're running Chrome and don't care), you will have seen the furore surrounding Firefox 5. But it's nothing to do with features, the UI or anything like that - it's outrage that merely three months after Firefox 4, that older release is no longer supported. No bug fixes, no security fixes - nothing.

Now, Mozilla supporters say this is a good thing: the team can concentrate on new releases, accelerating the pace of development and bringing new features to home desktop users. But those deploying Firefox in the enterprise are fuming: they need to roll out updates carefully, checking for breakage with apps and extensions, and this break-neck pace is turning them to alternatives.

Let us know what you think for our next podcast: is Firefox moving too fast? Should the developers consider business users a bit more, or just focus on the home desktop?

Captchas Fixed?

TuxRadar

Just a little update...

Thanks to everyone for their encouraging comments about TuxRadar - they were all very greatly received here at LXF towers!

We think we've fixed the captchas so that logged in users should no longer see them. Hopefully this is the case, but let us know if not.

One small improvement at least.

Linux Format issue 147 is on sale now!

LXF


We all need a change of scenery now and then, so how about a change of distro? With so much rapid innovation going on in the Linux world, distros are constantly edging ahead of one another in areas such as performance stability and ease-of-use. In this month's cover feature we throw six of the best distros into a pit and let them battle it out for supremacy. Who's the winner? You may very well be surprised...

What do you think about TuxRadar?

TuxRadar

We've been wondering, what do you think of TuxRadar? What do you like about it, what would you change about it, and what would you like to see more (or less) of on it?

We can't make any promises that things will change of course (the magazine keeps us fairly busy!) but we have been making an effort to do more with TuxRadar lately, so any feedback on what you'd like to see from this space might help us to spend what time we do have for TuxRadar more effectively.

Open Ballot: Is Ubuntu on the way out?

TuxRadar

Pop over to the DistroWatch popularity stats page and you'll see something very interesting: Ubuntu is sliding down. As each set of data gets more recent, you can see the gap between Ubuntu and other distros narrowing - and in the last month, Mint and Fedora have overtaken it. So this leads to perhaps the biggest Open Ballot we've ever posted: has Ubuntu had its day? Has the switch to Unity, the talk of Wayland, and all the upheaval on the desktop driven traditional Linux users away?

Maybe this is inevitable, and Canonical isn't concerned, as it's chasing bigger markets. Or conversely, perhaps Canonical should try harder to keep old-time Linux users, as they're the advocates who will spread Linux in the future. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, choosing a hipper name than Anonymous Penguin, and we'll read out the best in our upcoming podcast recording.

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