How to set up a web server with Apache


Ask anyone to name a web server for Linux and they'll either mention Apache or be deliberately obtuse by picking something else. It's not that there aren't alternatives, but Apache is everywhere. The others have their advantages, often being lighter, but if you're ever going to transfer a site from your local server to a commercial one, the chances are that it'll run Apache and all your configurations will copy straight across.

Why would you want to install a web server? There are many reasons, but only one needs to apply for you to want to proceed.

The beginner's guide to coding


You don't learn to ride a bike by reading books. No one can become a pilot by listening to someone else talk about plane journeys they've been on. Instead, we learn by doing, by trying, by failing and - most importantly - by succeeding. Because when you feel like you're winning, you get confidence in your skills and know that you can do anything.

Programming your computer is no different: it might seem hard, confusing or perhaps even boring, but it isn't. In fact, programming is hugely rewarding, because you exercise complete control over your computer. You can make it do things the way you want them to happen. And, if you're good, it can also lead to a whole new career.

This tutorial will teach you programming by making you program. Along the way you'll learn some theory, you'll learn some jargon, but most importantly you'll write your own program. More specifically, you'll write your own game. Even more specifically, you'll write your own super-cool game for Linux. Excited yet? You should be. Let's not hang around any more - it's time to get started...

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 gets the review treatment


We didn't hear much from the PCLinuxOS team for about 18 months -- sure, plenty of development effort was taking place behind the scenes, but with the six-monthly release schedules of Ubuntu and co. taking up all the limelight, PCLinuxOS's absence of major releases may have left many to question the distro's lifespan. Well, 2009.1 proudly arrived a week ago, and Raiden's Realm has given it a thorough going-over.

10 Linux games needing help


Fancy digging your fingers into a new project? Free Gamer has put together a list of 10 Linux games that deserve to be revived. Some of these games were formerly commercial projects and open sourced when the developer(s) moved on to pastures new, while others were free software from the start but fell into obscurity when the hackers behind them got bored. There's an FPS, a top-down RPG, a pinball game and more -- all waiting for some coding love.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 4

Title: GScrot's Previous Icon

In this episode: Jim Zemlin wants a united front for netbooks, Codeweavers starts on DirectX 10 for Linux, has Firefox been exploited, can we help people who are new to Linux, and should proprietary software be easy to install?

Managing your log files


Are you responsible for any Linux systems that are important to the running of your business? A web server, database server or mail server, perhaps, or some edge-of-network appliance like a firewall? If so, it's important to monitor the health of these machines, and the log files are perhaps your first port of call. Log files can tell you if things are misconfigured, alert you to break-in attempts, or simply reassure you that all is well.

In this tutorial we'll begin by taking a peek inside a few log files to get a hint about the kind of stuff you'll find there: then we'll move on to examine some tools for summarising and managing the files.

TuxRadar originals


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

  1. Take the Linux Filesystem Tour
  2. Compile source code - and solve problems
  3. Programming languages that melt your brain
  4. Group test: note takers
  5. From the archives: the best window managers of 2000

Plus there's much more to come - add us to your bookmarks or subscribe to us on Identica or Twitter 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. Click here for the latest subscription deals - starting at just $US99 for 13 issues!

Open Ballot - proprietary codecs


We're just about to record the TuxRadar podcast #4, and this episode our Open Ballot question is: should distros make it easy for users to install proprietary codecs/drivers/apps on Linux? Please give a yes or no answer, and show your workings to get all the marks available for this question. Oh, and Anonymous Penguin, please provide a name that we can reference alongside your comment in the podcast. Gracias!

How the Linux kernel works


In depth: My trusty Oxford Dictionary defines a kernel as "a softer, usually edible part of a nut" but offers as a second meaning: "The central or most important part of something." (Incidentally, it's this first definition that gives rise to the contrasting name 'shell', meaning, in Linux-speak, a command interpreter.) In case you're a bit hazy on what a kernel actually does, we'll start with a bit of theory.

Economic plight boosts Linux adoption


In our second podcast we pondered whether the dodgy economic outlook could actually bring more users to Linux and free software. With everyone afraid to open their wallets, surely software that has an initial zero cost is much more attractive for businesses looking to move on from legacy software, right? And home desktop users -- how many of those will really want to splash out on the much-hyped Windows 7 when it comes out, if things get worse?

Take the Linux Filesystem Tour


Well, hello! Welcome to the Linux Filesystem Tour. My name is Manuel Page, and I will be your guide today. I and my bus driver, Hal D., are very pleased to have you on board. Just a couple of safety announcements before we start off - please keep your hands inside the bus at all times, and don't delete anything you might see along the way, unless you're sure you know what you're doing. OK, off we go!

Compile source code - and solve problems


Building software from source - that's a bit old-school, isn't it? Who wants to wrestle with the command line, hunting down dependencies and coaxing the GCC compiler into running properly? Well, it does sound like a strange thing to do in this world of binary packages and online repositories.

We have thousands of packages available via the internet, all neatly compiled for our distros, thereby usually nullifying the need to get down and dirty with a Makefile. Or so it seems... Read on to find out why you may want to compile a program from its source code, and deal with the problems that can crop up.

Linux kernel 1.0 turns 15 years old


That's right -- it's a day short of a decade and a half since Linus Torvalds announced version 1.0 of his kernel. On 14 Mar 1994 at 12:51:16 GMT, Torvalds posted a newsgroup message informing the world (well, the lucky few who had access to USENET) that despite his plan to release 1.0 earlier, "being just two years late is peanuts in the OS industry". Torvalds originally announced his kernel hacking antics in August 1991, little realising that his hobby project would attract so many developers and eventually garner enough commercial interest to make Messrs Gates and Ballmer scratch their chins in unison. Original comp.os.linux.announce post after the break.

Programming languages that melt your brain


In their day-to-day jobs, coders naturally focus on the more commonly used languages, such as C++, PHP and Python, but there are plenty of more left-field choices, such as Ruby and assembly, that are well worth learning to broaden your coding knowledge. Now we're going to have fun with some really esoteric languages, all of which are so fabulously crazy and entertaining to try that you'll look at programming in a completely different way.

Before continuing, you should know we'll be assuming you have a general programming background; that said, even if you've never written a line of code in your life, you'll still find some of the concepts here compellingly mind-twisting. You wouldn't want to use any of these languages to write any large, complicated applications, but you'll learn a lot about the makeup of programming languages. Plus C, for all its fiddliness, will seem like a gorgeous paradise once you've spent some time in these foreign lands...

Renoise 2.0


Reviewed: Soundtrackers are cool. They let musicians create music in a style reminiscent of the way assembler programmers write code. Notes become numbers and timing becomes a position in a list. Renoise is a proprietary sound tracker for Windows, OS X and Linux with a mostly functional demo version. But does it live up to the memory of OctaMED? Read on...

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 released


You'd expect the seventh most popular distro on DistroWatch to pump out new releases more often, but it has been a quiet couple of years for PCLinuxOS. The last release arrived in May 2007 -- which is, like, a bajillion years ago in the distro world -- but we're not complaining. We're super glad, as no doubt many other Linuxers are, that the distro is still thriving and we have a new version to explore thanks to the awesomely named Ripper Gang.

Group test: note takers


Paper - don't you just hate it? We live in the 'information age', and yet the much promised era of the paperless office still seems decades away. Our desks are cluttered with notes, reminders and scraps of random information that desperately need to be sorted, but it's hard to find the time.

You've probably tried the brute-force method of computerising your notes: keeping a plain text file (or word processor document) on your desktop, ready at hand to tap in phone numbers, reminders and other tidbits that you need to store in a hurry.

This system works fairly well at first, but it soon becomes unwieldy. As much as you try to keep notes together in categories and purge expired information when necessary, eventually you end up with a morass of data that's impossibly hard to manage. Sure, it's a slightly better system than playing 'hunt the Post-It Note', and it certainly saves on trees, but there has to be a more elegant solution...

Practical PHP Programming has a new home


We've had a number of complaints from people saying that the e-book Practical PHP Programming (also available in print, albeit cutdown, as PHP in a Nutshell from O'Reilly) was running on a slow server, which made it rather hard to read.

So, thanks to the fact that the author also just happens to be the editor of Linux Format and TuxRadar, we've moved the entire book to our super-fast server. What's more, he also took the time to update the text for the first time since it was originally released, so it now covers lots of new functions and features added to PHP in recent releases.

So, update your bookmarks: the new home for Practical PHP Programming is This is just the beginning of our plans to upload a great many more programming tutorials in coming weeks - watch this space!

From the archives: the best window managers of 2000


A lot people read and enjoyed our previous article, "From the archives: the best distros of 2000", so we had a hunt around in the dark, damp cellar where old copies of Linux Format magazine live, and dug up another gem, this time from issue 2: a group test of the best window managers, complete with screenshots. Read on!

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