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Linux User & Developer No. 186

Linux User and Developer is the UK’s only magazine aimed solely at Linux professionals and IT decision makers. Every month, Linux User and Developer provides the best in tutorials, features, hardware reviews, information and inspiration to help GNU/Linux professionals expand their knowledge base and perform more effectively in the workplace. Written by experts in the field, the magazine also features informative interviews with leading figures from the GNU/Linux scene and high-profile companies that have built their businesses using OpenSource software. Please note: Digital versions of the magazines do not include the covermount items or supplements that you would find on printed editions.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
Back issues only
$7.95(Incl. tax)

in this issue

1 min
welcome to issue 186 of linux user & developer

Welcome to the UK and North America’s favourite Linux and FOSS magazine. I’m writing this on the day that it was discovered that anyone can ‘hack’ Apple’s macOS High Sierra by clicking a prompt and typing ‘root’ in the username field. I laughed, but I shouldn’t as it’s quite a ridiculous security failure that should never happen. Back in the world of Linux, we’re looking at ways to reduce the chances of failures of a different kind with our Ultimate Rescue & Repair feature (see p18). We explore what to do when disaster strikes: how to analyse issues, recover from them, and clean and maintain systems to avoid problems in the future. For our second feature, we consider what programming languages we’ll be using in ten years’ time (p60). As in the…

2 min
intel & amd develop revolutionary cpu

Intel has brought on board the only company that could appreciate the engineering difficulties of balancing a CPU and discrete GPU What would you say to a powerful new CPU from Intel with built-in graphics from AMD? Nice idea—and something you’re going to be able to buy soon. Rumours of an Intel-AMD collaboration have been swirling since early 2017, but it seemed just too far-fetched. After all, the former partners have a history of litigation between them. Even more surprising is that the venture has yielded results so swiftly. Clearly noting the obvious weaknesses in its own graphics processors, Intel has done the sensible thing and brought on board the only company that could appreciate the engineering difficulties of balancing a CPU and discrete GPU. But not only does this cessation of a…

2 min
firefox 57 “quantum” challenges chrome

Billed as the biggest update to hit Mozilla Firefox in the browser’s 13 years, Firefox 57—dubbed “Firefox Quantum”—is here. But does it make the quantum leap needed to combat the popular browser’s decline? Featuring 4,888,199 new lines of code and taking a year to produce, Firefox Quantum has taken an important step into the future. This version of the browser finally casts off the shackles of the legacy extensions, providing compatibility only with web extensions. While this means a good number of older add-ons will no longer work, 6,000 working web extensions are listed. A much-needed stability and security improvement, the benefits outweigh the shortcomings. “We couldn’t do any of this without our loyal and rabid users,” blogged the Firefox Quantum team, “Who make us try harder, work later, code longer, cheer…

1 min
distro feed

Top 10 (Average hits per day, month to 17 November 2017) This month Stable releases (5) In development (4) Another Debian-heavy month in the top 10. Meanwhile, several distros are gaining interest for their Windows-like desktop environments… Highlights PCLinuxOS Perhaps the most famous of the Window-likes, PCLinuxOS comes with out-of-the-box support for many graphic and sound cards, and runs most popular hardware.The grey toolbar and menu deliver a strong Windows feel, while a user forum exists for troubleshooting. Zorin OS Based in Ireland,Zorin OS is perhaps the ultimate Windows-esque Linux distro. As well as offering a start menu experience similar to Windows 10,Zorin OS ships with Wine pre-installed. antiX Fast and lightweight, antiX uses a classic Windows-style desktop taskbar and start menu reminiscent of Windows XP. Based on Debian, antiX can also run on old Pentium III systems. Latest distros available: filesilo.co.uk…

1 min
slax abandons slackware for debian

Slax 9 is now available for download, but in a surprise move developer Tomas Matejicek has announced that the new version of the lightweight distro has abandoned its roots. “What’s running underneath the leafy new desktop background? Well, it’s Debian” So if Slax isn’t based on Slackware, what’s running underneath the leafy new desktop background? Well, it’s Debian. Outlining his reasons with clarity, Matejicek has basically stated that it’s too complicated to maintain Slax if it continues to be based on Slackware. “The reason is simple: laziness,” Matejicek blogged. “I am too lazy, really, really lazy. When I prepared Slax from Slackware, I had to patch kernel with aufs, configure, recompile, and so on. Then compile other software from sources, fight dependencies, and so on. I enjoyed doing that in the past, but…

1 min
pentagon switching to open source in 2018?

Could the Pentagon be abandoning proprietary software foro open source? That’s the implication of a key portion of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, in an amendment introduced by Sen. Mike Rounds and cosponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But why? First, as the world’s biggest single employer, the Department of Defence has a massive IT requirement. A lot of money is spent on data warehousing, statistics, briefings, presentations, spreadsheets and documents. Licencing costs are expensive. Second, there is a perception that waiting for closed-source applications to update puts the DoD at a disadvantage. Rather than playing catch-up, it’s preferable to adopt new software tools. Procurement takes time, both in terms of signing off requests and waiting for a release date. Then there’s the roll-out, another potential delay. Of course, this…