Master Linux Now! 2012 - On Sale Now


Each month in Linux Format magazine, we print the coolest tutorials we can find, for the best operating system out there. But those tutorials are too good to leave to a single issue — which is why we've ploughed through our archives to bring you a selection of our favourites, from building a video arcade machine to recovering deleted files. But most importantly, we've chosen projects that are fun and informative, whatever your level. Just dive in! and outage


If you've been trying to access this site, or any of the sites hosted on (including the forum), since around 8am, you may have noticed that we've been offline! We only noticed ourselves around 1pm, but almost everything should be back to normal for the time being.

The only thing you'll want to take note of is that, until Monday morning at least, seasons 1 and 2 of the podcast are currently unavailable.

Right, back to the weekend now...

Podcast Season 4 Episode 4


Title: Perpetual Bond

In this episode: The Arch distribution is ten years old! Ubuntu adoption has overtaken RHEL, according to Mark Shuttleworth. Raspberry Pi faces further delays and nVidia joins the Linux Foundation. Hear our discoveries - including a new addition - and hear your own views in our famous Speak Your Brains and Open Ballot sections.

Open Ballot: Is privacy only for those with something to hide?


Many Linux distributions, including Fedora and Ubuntu (on the alternative installation, at any rate), provide an installation option to encrypt your hard disk. This kind of full disk encryption has become so good and widely available that at least one academic paper has argued that it "can significantly hamper digital investigations, potentially preventing access to all digital evidence in a case." We all want the police to be able to do their jobs effectively, and since powerful encryption is causing them problems, why should this kind of technology continue to be available to anybody? If you've got nothing to hide, why should you care about encrypting your data?

Podcast Season 4 Episode 3


Title: The Guild of Linux Podcasters

In this episode: Raspberry Pi is out, and sold out. Mozilla kicks Boot to Gecko into game. OpenSUSE annoys Linus Torvalds and Canonical has announced a smartphone/PC mashup. Learn about Cheetahs, secret smartphones and your own opinions in our infamous Open Ballot.

Like a virgin...


Gary says: Well, they finally got to me. Since taking over as Linux Format's production editor in October I've spent many a happy hour listening to Andrew enthuse about Mint, Graham's Pulse Audio gripes, general misty-eyed recollection of Mike's creation of MikeOS, and Effy's insistence that ChimiChangas are a valid and relevant component of the free software movement. Throughout all this, I've managed to keep my head down and remain aloof from the world of Linux, clinging to the belief that ignorance is bliss.

Linux Format 156 On Sale Today - The incredible Raspberry Pi!

Raspberry Pi!

We`re wildly excited about the Raspberry Pi, and you should be too. It`s a full, working PC, it runs Linux and it costs just $25. It`s not Windows 8-certified, but it`s going to change the way the world thinks about computing. We go behind the scenes to bring you the inside story of this revolutionary bit of kit.

KDE: 2 weeks later


Jon says:

OK, so after our last podcast/open ballot, I felt that I'd been a bit hard on KDE. At the very least, I thought I should give it a decent run so that next time I complain about it, I've actually got reasonable grounds to do so! After the podcast, I moved both my work desktop and home laptop to KDE 4.7 (the latest in Fedora's repositories), and have used nothing but for 2 weeks now.

Open Ballot: Ubuntu, the next Apple?


Canonical obviously has grand dreams for Ubuntu's future. It all started with Bug #1 in 2004, when Mark Shuttleworth declared Microsoft's majority market share on new desktop PCs to be a bug that Ubuntu was designed to fix. Then, in 2008, Shuttleworth declared that he wanted Ubuntu to not just match, but to blow past Apple by providing a more beautiful and user friendly desktop. More recently, Ubuntu has been undergoing a redesign with the goal of allowing it to compete with the likes of Apple and Google on mobile phones, tablets and televisions. So, while in 2004 it was Microsoft that Canonical was wanting to usurp, in 2012 it looks like Apple is the company in their sights.

The question is, does Canonical have the capacity to succeed in this goal? Can Ubuntu be the next Apple, and be the success that Canonical clearly wants it to be.

Learn to Hack


Attack servers, crack passwords, exploit services, beat encryption - everything you need to protect yourself from evil.

There are two rules of computer security: one – don’t buy a computer; and two – if you have to buy a computer, don’t turn it on. If you break these rules then you’ll be opening yourself up to potential problems. No system is 100% safe from hackers, but by following a few simple steps you can make yours much harder for intruders to attack.

Podcast Season 4 Episode 2


Title: Lilley's Pear and Apple Cider

In this episode: XBMC Eden is nearly out. There's a new Gnome applications design guide. Raspberry Pi has announced a manufacturing date. Canonical announce the Ubuntu Enterprise Remix and ends support for Kubuntu. Linux Foundation says Linux jobs are on the up and LibreOffice 3.5 is out. Also, hear the sound of our discoveries, a listener's submission for 'Speak your Brains' and the rumble of a battle in our Open Ballot.

Open Ballot: Has KDE become a second class desktop?


Last week, it was announced that Canonical are no longer going to fund Jonathan Riddell to work on Kubuntu. Add to that, Aaron Seigo has also announced that his funding to work on KDE development is also coming to an end. This got us thinking, has KDE become a second class desktop on Linux?

Recursive Hanging


Readers of this blog are no doubt aware of some programmers penchant for recursive acronyms, Gnu Not Unix (GNU) being the most popular.

With that in mind, here at LXF towers we all enjoyed seeing BoingBoing link to this recursive e-petition on Public hanging for those who propose public hanging.

Whatever you (or we) think about the petition, recursion should be celebrated where ever it's found!

Podcast Season 4 Episode 1


Title: Freaky Friday

In this episode: We turn our news section into a lightening news section and briefly discuss Ubuntu, Red Hat, Plasma Active, Tizen, GKH, Samsung and Firefox. Hear our discoveries from the last couple of months, our rants and raves and your own awesome opinions in our internet famous Open Ballot.

Update: Here's Greg Kroah-Hartman's piece on patching the kernel.

Linux Format 155 On Sale Today - Discover Linux!

Get on board

Get on board the Linux bus. Destination: expertsville!

If you`re looking for a way into the weird and wonderful world of Linux (by weird we mean being able to install what you want without being branded a pirate. We also mean no longer having to worry about viruses corrupting your expensive machine), LOOK NO LONGER! This issue holds your hand and guides you through those first tentative steps to software freedom.

Jargon File Available


The Jargon File is now available. With a bit of luck, we'll continue to update, expand and improve it as time goes by. Thanks for all your feedback and suggestions!

Update: The URL is fixed and now matches the magazine. The guide can now be found at Sorry to anyone who's already shared the link - but it's important the magazine and the website match if possible.

Open Source Education

Open Source

This post was written by Mel Chua. We asked her to write it in response to the recent developments in UK computer science education, in order to provide a different take on what an 'open source' education means. The text is available under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. We hope you enjoy this guest post.

Open Ballot: Which is the biggest threat to freedom - Google, Microsoft or Apple?


We're going to record our first podcast of 2012 later this week. And as we're feeling a little cold, we want to warm things up with our first open ballot question of the year. We’re asking whether you think it’s Google, Microsoft or Apple that represents the biggest threat to our freedom, and why. We’ll give our opinions in the next podcast. If you’d like to hear your own, sign out of your Google account, delete your cookies and leave a comment. Double points for those with an amusing name.

TuxRadar Podcast 2012


Fear not! Our podcast will be back!

Many apologies for the delay. The truth is that time has been incredibly tight over the last few weeks (mainly because we're short of a Mike). But we've just put issue 155 to bed, and we've got a new member of the team starting shortly. So, we're planning to record our first podcast of 2012 in the first week of February, and we'll stick to the usual schedule.

Thanks for your patience, and let us know if there's anything you'd like us to change or add.

Jargon File


Jon says:

I'm compiling a jargon file for the website and for the magazine's disc. In case anyone has any suggestions, I've set it up as a Google Doc that anyone can comment on. I'd love to see comments on my definitions and ideas for definitions that I've missed.

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