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Linux User & Developer No. 188

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 188 of linux user & developer

Welcome to the UK and North America’s favourite Linux and FOSS magazine. Through the storm of Spectre and Meltdown, we need to tip our hats to those unsung heroes who are rapidly creating new kernel features to help protect users against these vulnerabilities. It’s a Herculean task and they should celebrated, not berated. We need to include in there Kernel Column writer Jon Masters, who, as well as working doggedly on the ARM side of the issues, has written an extended column this month on the battle to mitigate both vulnerabilities. What a guy! For the rest of the magazine, we hope to make your life less stressful, with a guide to becoming a virtualisation power user (p18); a write-up on the inspirational work of the Arribada Initiative in animal conservation (p32);…

3 min
linux hit by meltdown and spectre security vulnerabilities

Meltdown and Spectre have made headlines around the world for being among the most serious security vulnerabilities found in the last 20 years. And if you’re using a device with a CPU built in those last 20 years, you’re almost certainly affected. Although problems with Intel CPUs had been rumoured throughout December, the sheer scale of what would come to be dubbed Meltdown could not have been predicted. Add in the twist that even AMD (and some ARM) CPUs are at risk alongside Intel chips thanks to a ‘sister’ bug, Spectre, and it’s clear that this is a real mess. The exploits take advantage of a bug in out-of-order instruction execution in your CPU. This is essentially a way for CPUs to continue processing small amounts of data (out of order)…

2 min
open source celebrates its 20th anniversary

Designed as an educational and advocacy organisation to promote open development, the Open Source Initiative is adding an additional responsibility to its missions in 2018: celebrating its 20th anniversary. Founded in February 1998 in Palo Alto, California, the OSI was the result of a strategy session during which the term ‘open source’ was created. In 1998, the computing landscape was very different. The notion of open source, sharing code for reuse and modification, and even free software was completely alien to most, and a fringe activity to the rest. Thanks to Linux and the efforts of the Open Source Initiative, we live in a world that continues to move closer to intellectual collaboration. Case in point: long seen as the enemy of open source, Microsoft joined the OSI as a premium sponsor…

1 min
distro feed

Top 10 (Average hits per day, month to 15 January 2018) This month While Manjaro leaps to the top spot, just outside the top ten there are surprise appearances from Endless and feren. Highlights MX Linux A collaboration between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities, MX Linux was first launched in 2014 and has developed into a usable operating system with a medium-sized footprint.Xfce is provided as the default desktop in this stable distro. Endless OS A growth in popularity for Endless OS, which uses a customised version of GNOME 3. But is its abandonment of the traditional package management system an advantage? feren Based on Linux Mint, feren ships with the Cinnamon desktop and Wine pre-installed. Windows compatibility and productivity is a focus: Microsoft Office and WPS Office are also pre-loaded. Latest distros available: filesilo.co.uk…

1 min
ubuntu 17.10 reissue commences with important bugfix included

Following reports that Ubuntu 17.10 bricked certain laptops, Canonical has finally reissued the October 2017 version of Ubuntu. At the root of the problem was the Intel SPI Driver, which resulted in Lenovo laptops (and some from Dell and Acer) being unable to boot, or blocked from making changes to the BIOS. Worryingly, the bug could impact your system simply from being loaded as a live image. Worst of all, while fixes are now in circulation, this bug can leave the motherboard unusable. The Intel SPI driver enables direct BIOS upgrades, but remains disabled in future versions of the Linux kernel. With the ability to overwrite SPI flash memory, the Intel SPI driver’s documentation warns against enabling it “unless you know what you are doing.” The entry for Artful Aardvark in the…

1 min
mint 19 details and june 2018 release confirmed

As expected, Linux Mint 19 has been confirmed for a summer release, and continues the convention for female names as ‘Tara’. Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Linux Mint 19 will include critical security fixes for the duration of the Long Term Support, making it an ideal hopping-on point for newcomers, as well as a vital upgrade. Several new features have been announced for Linux Mint 19. For instance, improved HiDPI support is included – perhaps better known as ‘Retina Display’ in Apple-speak marketing. This means that Mint 19 should look amazing on the latest MacBooks and iMacs. Various core apps are being updated, too. These include adding full text search to Nemo, and some tweaks and improvements to the Mint Update tool. Mint Welcome is undergoing a modest change, too. Other apps…