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Linux User & Developer No. 193

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 193 of linux user & developer

Welcome to the UK and North America’s favourite Linux and open source magazine. It’s been another fractious month as Microsoft announced that it was acquiring GitHub, the central repository for most open source projects, for $7.5billion (see p6). It’s too early to say how much business GitHub may lose to the likes of GitLab, but it’s perhaps the clearest indication of the ideological divide in the open source community as Microsoft continues its open source charm offence. We’ve spoken to a number of influential figures and some feel an independent ‘GitHub Foundation’ is in order. There’s precedent for this; for example Citrix bought XenSource for $500 million and later handed the Xen Project over to the Linux Foundation, although the price this time makes this less likely. Maybe we’ll see a…

2 min
microsoft acquires github, leaving devs concerned for its future

“This will enable GitHub to expand into new territories without relying on investors” Tech giant Microsoft has agreed a $7.5 billion buyout with GitHub, resulting in a change at the top of the world’s leading software development platform. Currently home to over 27 million developers and over 80 million code repositories, GitHub hosts code from Microsoft alongside millions of smaller projects. Everything from Kodi plug-ins to iPhone app code can be found on GitHub, where most code is hosted with open source licences. The long-planned departure from GitHub of co-founding CEO Chris Wanstrath will be completed with the arrival of Microsoft’s Nat Friedman, although Wanstrath will be starting a “new role at Microsoft working closely with Nat and the team.” Traditionally, Microsoft’s relationship with the FOSS world hasn’t been cordial, but under the…

2 min
purism finalises librem 5 specs and partners

Social purpose corporation Purism has announced that the Librem 5 Linux smartphone (running PureOS) will launch in January 2019, with significant progress being made on its development. With a finalised case design and UI shell (pictured), several apps are also ready for the Librem 5, including the contacts and calls apps. Capable of encrypted calls and with native VoIP planned, the Librem 5 will be the most secure smartphone yet, also offering end-to-end encryption of text messages and emails, and hardware kill-switches for the camera, microphone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and baseband. Pre-configured VPN services will also be available for browsing the web. “The progress we’ve made over the last seven months is exciting,” says Todd Weaver, CEO and founder of Purism. “And it is a thrill to see the Librem 5 that…

1 min
distro feed

Top 10 This month In development (5) Stable releases (16) While Ubuntu and Debian distros jostle for position with Manjaro in the top 10, Arch Linux itself has dropped out of sight. Highlights ArchLabs ArchLabs is a distro originating from New Zealand and features the Openbox window manager. Available as a 64-bit rolling release distribution and live DVD. ArchBang Linux Canadian-originated, this Arch variant also comes with Openbox, and is a fast, lightweight distribution suitable for desktops and notebooks. Bluestar Linux Employing the KDE Plasma desktop environment, Bluestar includes up-to-date packages and a good selection of desktop and multimedia software. Latest distros available: filesilo.co.uk…

1 min
meltdown forces kubuntu to drop 32-bit

It’s a trend that has stalked the Linux world for the past few years: the retiring of 32-bit disk images. Ubuntu was among the first to abandon these, suitable for older hardware, and its family of Ubuntu flavours have slowly followed suit. Now, Kubuntu has announced it will be jumping on the one-way 64-bit train. Via an email on the Kubuntu Developer mailing list, Valorie Zimmerman revealed that Kubuntu developers intend to stop images for 32-bit users. Several reasons are given, but most compelling in the accompanying notes from Canonical’s Bryan Quigley is the mention of Meltdown. As Quigley explains: “Machines running i386 Ubuntu which are capable of running amd64 Ubuntu are vulnerable to the critical Meltdown vulnerability, where they wouldn’t be if they were running amd64.” While it’s noted that…

1 min
new arduino boards announced at maker faire

Just when you thought that cloned boards were the future, a resurgent Arduino has released not one but two new PCBs. Announced at the Maker Faire Bay Area in May, the new boards are intended to set the direction for Arduino, which has recently been retiring some boards while tweaking and relaunching its older PCBs. First to be announced was the newly revised Arduino UNO WiFi Rev 2, which boasts an ATmega4809 microcontroller and the ESP32 SoC. Wireless connectivity for the Arduino UNO is obviously a massive advantage, and this revision includes an ECC608 crypto-chip accelerator for secure connections. Beyond this, you’ll find all of the usual Arduino UNO features including PWM outputs. The microcontroller features a high-speed digital-to-analogue converter, 6KB RAM, 48KB flash and three universal asynchronous receiver/transmitters. A brand new…