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Linux User & Developer No. 187

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 187 of linux user & developer

Welcome to the UK and North America’s favourite Linux and FOSS magazine. To steal a quote from Mignon Clyburn, a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission, “a legally-lightweight, consumer-harming, corporate-enabling, destroying-internet freedom order” has passed in the USA. It’s sad times, indeed, for net neutrality. Technically, this order reclassifies broadband as an information service and puts it under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission. Their job will merely be to make sure ISPs disclose when they do things such as block sites or content they don’t like, or throttle services that haven’t paid a fee, rather than preventing such practices. However, the fight continues. Just to perk you all up, we thought we’d talk about Microsoft… Sorry about that, but it’s about time we discussed Microsoft’s change of heart over Linux…

2 min
linux hardware retailers spurn intel

“The only way for this vulnerability to be dealt with would be for Intel to stop shipping processors with the ME” Confirmation that Intel’s Management Engine (ME) represents an active risk to computers running Linux, Windows and macOS has not only been demonstrated with a proof-of-concept, it has resulted in decisive action from Linux OEMs. Along with enabling access to various portions of a powered-down system (including network access), it now transpires that flaws in the ME can be exploited to allow arbitrary code execution. Discovered by Positive Technologies researchers Mark Ermolov and Maxim Goryachy, and demonstrated at the Black Hat Europe 2017 event, this exploit bypasses established ME protections. Currently, the exploit can only be used by an attacker with physical access, but this could change. Unfortunately the patching program recently…

2 min
vivaldi browser launches on arm devices

Vivaldi Technologies, the company helmed by former Opera co-founder Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, has launched an ARM version of its Vivaldi browser, with the Raspberry Pi its first port of call. While Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and Zero models should run the browser, the original A and B versions of the Pi are likely to encounter significant performance lags. “Enthusiastic Raspberry Pi users who are looking for a more feature-rich and flexible browser will find Vivaldi a thrilling experience,” said von Tetzchner. Beyond the Raspberry Pi, other SBCs (such as the CubieBoard) are being targeted. Not surprisingly, there’s an intention to launch on Android, too. Initially an experimental build, Vivaldi for ARM devices includes most of the features as the x86/x64 version, such as advanced tab management and detailed browsing history. “Vivaldi is…

1 min
distro feed

Top 10 (Average hits per day, month to 8 December 2017) This month Stable releases (12) In development (1) A strange month. Mint and Solus aside, there’s been a marked decline in hits – and so downloads – of the top 10 distros, but Linux Mint is the clear winner. Highlights Lubuntu Light and fast, Lubuntu is an energy-efficient version of Ubuntu, with the LXDE desktop. With low hardware requirements, Lubuntu is ideal for reviving old PCs, and for virtual machines. This recognised flavour is available as both 32-bit and 64-bit downloads. Xubuntu Replacing the usual Ubuntu desktop with Xfce,Xubuntu focuses on “integration, usability and performance”. This is another lightweight version of Ubuntu, ideal for low-RAM devices such as old netbooks. Ubuntu MATE Offering a more traditional desktop experience to the Unity-era Ubuntu, the MATE desktop environment is based on GNOME 2. Latest…

1 min
crossover 17: use office 2016 in linux

Despite Microsoft’s support for Linux in recent years, there remains a key stumbling block for individuals and businesses planning to switch to an open source operating system: Microsoft Office. While LibreOffice and other FOSS office solutions are adequate, they tend to fall at the final hurdle. Certain features and functions found only in Microsoft Office are missing, which means compatibility in certain scenarios often fails. “While CrossOver relies on Wine, Wine’s development also benefits from CrossOver’s tweaks” Microsoft Office 2010 and earlier have been available for Linux for some time now via Wine, but if you’re looking for a way to run Office 2016 on Linux, CrossOver 17 has the answer. The commercial version of Wine has added support for Office 2016 (and the earlier 2013 release), enabling business users – and…

1 min
world’s top supercomputers all run linux

Quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modelling… the list of uses for supercomputers goes on and on. It should come as no surprise to learn that these systems usually don’t run Microsoft Windows. Over the past few years, versions of Linux have increasingly dominated the list of the world’s top 500 supercomputers, and according to TOP500.org, every single device now runs Linux. Unsurprisingly, these aren’t standard distros; highly customised versions of Linux are used. Because there is no typical supercomputer, the hardware differs with each. Interestingly, however, some do utilise operating systems you’ll be familiar with. • 5 run Ubuntu • 20 of the supercomputers run RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) • 109 supercomputers run RedHat’s CentOS Perhaps most interesting is what runs on the fastest supercomputer, Sunway TaihuLight. This Chinese-built device features over 650,000…