February 28, 2009 @ 3:26pm
Booting, or "bootstrapping" for us older folk, is that deeply mysterious sequence of operations performed by your computer between the moment when you switch it on and the moment it's ready for you to log in. During this time, all kinds of incomprehensible messages scroll up the screen, but they're not something you usually take much notice of, and most linux distros cover them up with a pretty splash screen and a nice encouraging progress bar. This is all fine, of course, until it stops working.
February 28, 2009 @ 2:52pm
In depth: Some people are scared of Linux because the error messages it produces seem to imply the coming of the apocalypse. And there's a great number of them. If you search for the word 'Error' on the Linux Format forums, you get more than 150 pages of results. That's a lot of people experiencing a lot of problems!
The biggest difficulty for these users isn't the number of error messages; it's trying to get something useful out of them. What does 'Kernel Oops' mean, for example, or 'PCI Can't Allocate'? Linux error messages are obtuse, difficult to understand and rarely helpful. Which is a pity, because the vast majority of problems can be solved quite easily, and a considerable number involve the same problems recurring again and again. In business speak, these are low-hanging fruit. And it's these problems we want to target.
You shouldn't need to be a Linux expert to get your machine to boot, or a programmer to play a movie file. Yet it's this level of expertise that most error messages seem to assume of their users. We want to demystify these common errors, and provide solutions that should help ordinary Linux users side-step the problem and get their machine back on track. We've chosen areas we think are the most problematic. These include booting problems, general software usage, the filesystem, networking and distro installation.
We've picked a few of the most common errors from each, and explained what's happening along with the solution. The intention is that even if the problems don't apply to you, you can get an idea of how and why Linux error messages might seem arcane and a little intimidating. And hopefully, this will leave you with the knowledge to find a better solution that might help you to solve your own problems.
February 27, 2009 @ 10:00pm
February 23, 2009 @ 12:24pm
What’s wrong with using Windows? As with other addictions, informed recreational use has few drawbacks, but continual dependence on particular software is a different matter. If you simply can’t boot a computer without using Windows or can’t get anything meaningful done without it, then you’re an addict who needs to be weaned off this habit.
Most addicts will tell you that kicking a habit needs to be done in stages and that the support of friends and relatives is vital. This feature will look at a step-by-step process for giving up Windows and moving to an alternative that doesn’t involve being locked into using one vendor.
February 21, 2009 @ 10:00pm
The road from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4 has been a long and winding one. It's had its bumps and several false summits, but there's no doubt that over the last 12 months things have dramatically improved for KDE lovers everywhere.
But KDE is still KDE, and that means that many of its best features are undocumented and undisclosed. Which is why now is the best possible time for a feature crammed full of the best tricks we can find for getting the most out of KDE 4. It doesn't matter if you're a new convert, an experienced user, or a potential switcher, you'll find something here that will make you feel a micron of pride of what open source can achieve.
February 20, 2009 @ 4:00pm
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!
February 15, 2009 @ 9:51am
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...
February 15, 2009 @ 12:13am
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?
February 14, 2009 @ 11:41pm
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...
February 13, 2009 @ 9:03am
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!
February 12, 2009 @ 3:56pm
February 12, 2009 @ 2:55pm
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.
February 11, 2009 @ 6:32pm
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.
February 11, 2009 @ 4:18pm
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.
February 11, 2009 @ 2:27pm
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.
February 10, 2009 @ 2:05pm
February 10, 2009 @ 12:07pm
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...
February 10, 2009 @ 12:34am
February 9, 2009 @ 6:54pm
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...
February 9, 2009 @ 4:03pm
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...