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Linux Format February 2019

Linux Format is your complete guide to the world of Linux. Whether you've just discovered Linux, or you're a full-time guru, Linux Format has everything you need to make the most of your OS. The editorial formula is a mix of features, reviews and practical tutorials that tackle topics as far ranging as installing software to socket programming and network management. Thought-provoking features and interviews also provide a focus on key technologies, trends and issues in the fast-paced world of Free and Open Source software.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

1 min.
who we are

Jonni Bidwell I recently dug up my old Sansa Clip MP3 player (the greatest budget MP3 player of the mid-2000s) which is, or was, not a Linux tool. But then I installed Rockbox on it and it became such. Now it can play not only MP3s (and OGGs and FLACs) but also Doom, in glorious monochrome. John Knight My brother swears by PDFsam, which splits and merges PDF files. I don’t know about “unknown”, but Qtractor is very underrated as an audio editor. Definitely not underground, but if you’ve been pulling your hair out with GIMP, Krita might be the alternative you’ve been looking for. Nick Peers I recently stumbled across the perfect open-source password manager tool: BitWarden. It’s cross-platform, boasts strong encryption and has a host of user-friendly features to make password and form…

1 min.
an open source world

HotPicks is one of, if not the most popular section of Linux Format and while the reader survey tells me that, I don’t actually understand why! My gut feeling is that people love the choice, variety and freedom HotPicks delivers every issue. I guess the truth is the sheer variety of open source means it can be hard to discover the best tools for the job and HotPicks offers a way to discover the best each issue… so say hello to our HotPicks Special! It’s a guide to this vast open source world and isn’t that what this magazine is here for? So we’re running a best open source software list for 2019. We’ve not done anything like this for over two years, so it’s more than time we help people…

2 min.
microsoft confirms that edge is dead

Although Microsoft bundles its Edge web browser with Windows 10, the software continues to go unloved. A recent Netmarketshare report indicated that Edge’s user base has been shrinking (http://bit.ly/LXFNetMarketShare). Microsoft has now confirmed that Edge will be rebuilt on the Chromium rendering engine. While Microsoft isn’t ditching Edge, it’s embarrassing for the company to admit that its Edge browser, and the EdgeHTML browser engine have failed. In a blog post (http://bit.ly/LXFEdgeBlog),Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows, stated that “we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers”. Edge has its own browser engine, EdgeHTML, which had been praised for its performance in some areas, but…

1 min.
nvidia makes physx open source

Nvidia has announced that its PhysX toolkit, which is used to create realistic computer physics in games and demos, will become open source. This means that under the BSD-3 licence, anyone can use the technology. In a blog post announcing the news (http://bit.ly/LXFPhysX), Nvidia stated that, “PhysX will now be the only free, open-source physics solution that takes advantage of GPU acceleration and can handle large virtual environments.” While PhysX is often associated with PC games, its physics simulation has applications in a wide variety of fields, including AI, robotics, computer vision, high-performance computing and self-driving vehicles. By making PhysX open source, these tools will be available to more people, and in our view this is a very welcome move on Nvidia’s part. As Rev Lebaredian, Nvidia’s senior director of engineering for…

1 min.
libre risc-v m-class soc launched

Over on CrowdSupply (http://bit.ly/LXFCrowdSupply ) the Libre RISC-V M-Class project is looking for funding. Described as a “100 per cent libre RISC-V + 3D GPU chip for mobile devices”, it promises to be a low-power 64-bit quad-core SoC running at 800MHz and suitable for tablets, netbooks and embedded systems. Its full source code and files are available, including operating systems, processor and 3D GPU and VPU. This system-on-chip features a RISC-V CPU, along with the Kazan GPU (http://bit.ly/LXFKazan) which was previously known as Vulkan-CPU back when it was a Google Summer of Code 2017 project. It’s a libre-licenced software-rendered Vulkan driver written in Rust, and uses optimised 3D instructions. According to the Libre RISC-V M-Class SoC project, it’s targeting graphics performance of 25fps at 1,280x720 resolution, an 5-6 GFLOPs. The project looks…

1 min.
pipewire expands

“Recently, a group of Linux multimedia and desktop experts, including myself, gathered in Edinburgh to take part in a hackfest with a common goal: improving the state of multimedia handling under Linux by exploring a new paradigm: PipeWire. PipeWire is a new daemon that aims to improve the way applications share multimedia content and access devices under Linux. Originally designed to provide access to webcams, it now also supports audio. By enabling existing JACK applications to run unmodified alongside normal desktop programs, PipeWire is bringing Linux to parity with macOS and meeting one of its key design goals: supporting JACK-like low latency while having PulseAudio-level automation and ease of use. PipeWire also introduces an enhanced security model for interacting with audio and video devices. It allows both sandboxed and normal applications to…