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Linux User & Developer No. 189

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 189 of linux user & developer

Welcome to the UK and North America’s favourite Linux and FOSS magazine. Somewhat appropriately, I experienced an earthquake while writing up this month’s inspiring open source piece on open source mesh networks being used for disaster relief (p34). Fortunately, it was only 4.3 on the Richter Scale. But this month there are plenty of other things to get excited about as we devote 14 pages to setting up a network suitable for advanced home or small-business use (p18). If security and privacy are more your concern, you’ll enjoy our guide to building Qubes OS from scratch, with its bare-metal hypervisor-based compartmentalisation measures (p60). Meanwhile, in tutorials we have a standalone primer on the wonders of statistical programming with R; server hardening with Nate Drake; and in Pi tutorials we have ‘Mr. ZeroPhone’ himself, Arsenijs…

2 min
ubuntu: wayland dropped as default

Forthcoming Ubuntu release 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’ will abandon the Wayland display server and revert to X.Org , it has been announced. A blog post from Ubuntu desktop engineering manager Will Cooke revealed that both the traditional X.OrgX.Org graphics stack and the Wayland-based stack will be included. However, in a massive reversal, it was underlined that will be the default – for several reasons. Bearing in mind that the LTS has a five-year support life, and therefore needs to be working out of the box, Cooke cited three key deciders: screen sharing on services such as WebRTC, Google Hangouts and Skype; remote desktop with RDP and VNC; and recovery from shell crashes. These all work better with X.Org than with Wayland. Given that Canonical increasingly sees Ubuntu as a business-ready operating…

2 min
wine updated with support for direct3d 10/11

The Wine team has announced the release of Wine 3.0, the favoured option for running Windows apps and games on Linux, which brings with it a number of long-awaited improvements. Among these are Direct3D 10 and 11 support, the Direct3D command stream, the Android graphics driver, and improved DirectWrite and Direct2D support. Noting the lack of some other hoped-for additions, the Wine team clarified that “because of the annual release schedule, a number of features that are being worked on have been deferred to the next development cycle. This includes in particular Direct3D 12 and Vulkan support, as well as OpenGL ES support to enable Direct3D on Android.” Most significant for PC users, particularly gamers, is the Direct3D 10 and 11 support, which includes compute shaders, tessellation shaders, depth bias, multi-threaded command…

1 min
distro feed

Top 10 (Average hits per day, 30 days to 11 Feb 2018) This month In development (5) Stable releases (5) The usual suspects occupy the top 10 list, although it’s worth noting that ArchLinux has dropped to 12th place; rival Manjaro remains at number 1. Highlights ArchLinux One of the most well-known alternatives to the Debian family, ArchLinux has its own package manager and is available for x86, x64 and ARM devices. Manjaro Linux Manjaro is a more powerful interpretation of Arch, with automatic hardware detection, multiple kernel support and desktop configurability. Archman GNU/Linux Although based on Arch, this version eschews pacman in favour of Octopi, with the intention of making software installation easier. It’s lightweight, too. Latest distros available: filesilo.co.uk…

1 min
purism breaks silence on the librem 5

User interface and user experience work is also underway Following the announcement of Purism’s new security and privacy-focused Linux smartphone, Librem 5, in August 2017, news about its progress has largely disappeared. That’s about to change. In a blog post in late February, Mobile Development Lead Nicole Faerber revealed that the team has been expanded, with 15 new roles filled as of January 2018. Some volunteer roles are also expected. More importantly, weekly blog posts will provide progress reports, an alternating weekly focus on the hardware and the UI. But what has been happening to prompt the Librem 5 team’s radio silence? Most significant is that the NXP i.MX 6 system-on-chip (SoC), used in early evaluation for the project, is unsuitable for use in a phone. “The most important feature of the i.MX6…

1 min
softmaker office adds microsoft-style ribbon

Writing and managing documents, spreadsheets and presentations on Linux can be tricky for anyone who has recently migrated from Windows. Microsoft Office won’t run without Wine; LibreOffice, for all its strengths, doesn’t look like Microsoft Office. One solution is to try a different office suite, and Softmaker Office – the 2018 version of which has just been released – could be the answer for many people. As well as adopting the DOCX, XLSX and PPTX file formats by default, Softmaker Office 2018 also introduces a Microsoft Office-style ribbon menu. First seen in Microsoft Office 2007, the ribbon is intended to ease access of rarely used tools. In Softmaker Office it has a secondary purpose, however: to ‘ease in’ newcomers to office tasks on Linux. Available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, Softmaker Office…