Linux Format 159 On Sale Today - Ubuntu vs Windows


Ubuntu 12.04 vs Windows 8: we throw them both to our merciless testers.

We've been hearing from Canonical for ages about how Ubuntu is trying to attract new users to Linux, which is why the company doesn't seem too bothered to be losing ground to Mint: it figures that it will more than replace them with people who are new to computers and may not even have heard of Linux. So why not compare it with another operating system that's also had a renaissance: Windows 8? Let the battle of the reinvented desktop paradigms commence!

Learn to Hack pulled from Barnes and Noble


We've just learned that issue 154 of Linux Format, the one with 'Learn to Hack' on the cover, was removed from Barnes and Noble bookstores in the US after a complaint was made. We'd like to apologise if you were affected and couldn't find a copy.

As a reminder, we’ve put the contents of the main feature online:

Here's a quote from Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter from August 2003 where he announces his book 'Beyond Fear', and explains why demystifying security is so important:

“This is a book for everyone. I believe that security, as a topic, is something we all can understand. And even more importantly, I believe that the subject is just too critical, too integral a part of our everyday lives, to be left exclusively in the hands of experts. By demystifying security, I hope to encourage all of us to think more sensibly about the topic, to contribute to what should be an open and informed public discussion of security, and to participate vocally in ongoing security negotiations in our civic, professional, and personal lives.”

We feel exactly the same, which is why we ran that feature.

Linux Format 158 On Sale Today - Beat the CIA


Keep prying eyes out of your Linux box – including those of the CIA!

There`s always someone trying to get into your data, whether that be an insurance company wanting to find out how much of a risk you are, a non-evil search engine company wanting to target its advertising at you or a government agency trying to extend the powers of the state onto your hard drive. But help is at hand: with our ultimate guide to privacy and data protection you can keep them all out of your /home folder, whatever their nefarious intentions.

Open Ballot: You've got to fight, for your right, for privacy.

The government of the United Kingdom has proposed legislation which will allow them to monitor their citizens online activity in real time: This, in our opinion, is a massive and unwarranted intrusion into our lives.

Of course, there are ways of evading this snooping (like Tor), but now is the time for political solutions so that technical ones don't become necessary.

Linux Format now available on Ubuntu’s Software Centre


A quick update: we’ve uploaded digital versions of the latest issue and our previous issue to Ubuntu’s Software Centre, and we’ll try to do the same for future issues as well.

Issue 157 is here:

And issue 156 is here:

Linux Format 157 On Sale Today - Linux Wins!


If it’s brilliant, Linux had it first.

Find out just how awesome your machine really is. We're not idiots. We know that Apple's OS X is great, and Windows 8 is shaping up nicely too. But we also know that all of the cutting-edge tech and brilliant ideas that are forming the next generation of computer operating systems were all available in Linux before Microsoft's 3D desktop effects were a twinkle in Bill Gates' eye.

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...

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.

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!

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 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.

Linux Format 154 On Sale Today - Learn to Hack!

Learn to Hack!

The best gamekeepers used to be poachers, so what better way to keep your security in tip-top shape than by learning the dark arts of the hacker? We`ll teach you to break into networks, exploit services running remotely, beat encryption techniques, crack passwords and more.

LXF 153 On Sale Today!

Linux 2013

We just wanted to let you know that the latest issue of Linux Format goes on sale today.

On our disc double-pack you`ll find full versions of Fedora 16 and OpenSUSE 12.1. That`s 6330 packages alongside all our other great content.

Take advantage of our Christmas subscription campaign, saving up to 50%, by following this link:

Issue 153: Wallpaper


Issue 153 of Linux Format is due out next Thursday, the 8th December. It has a great cover illustration, and as a little preview of what's coming in that issue, we thought we'd share it on TuxRadar as a wallpaper for your desktops.

We'll be adding it to the pool of Linux Format cover wallpapers, where you can download this cover and loads of others.

Open Ballot: How valuable is a Computer Science degree?


Out of the staff here at Linux Format, only one of us actually has a Computer Science degree. The rest of us ended up in the job as a result of our hobbies, random hacking and volunteering in various open source communities.

This got us thinking, how worthwhile are Computer Science degrees? Many technology companies complain that graduates, even of Computer Science, arrive with little understanding of how to work in industry - knowledge of version control and the like - and often lack knowledge of basic coding paradigms.

Mike and Jon's Bet


Jon had never had a Pot Noodle. Mike was shocked.

Mike had never tried Arch Linux. Jon was shocked.

A bet followed...

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