Linux Format September 2020

Linux Format is your complete guide to the world of Linux. Whether you've just discovered Linux, or you're a full-time guru, Linux Format has everything you need to make the most of your OS. The editorial formula is a mix of features, reviews and practical tutorials that tackle topics as far ranging as installing software to socket programming and network management. Thought-provoking features and interviews also provide a focus on key technologies, trends and issues in the fast-paced world of Free and Open Source software.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 号


who we are

Jonni Bidwell That feeling that you saw something in a tweet half an hour ago, but after scrolling through your and other people’s timelines it’s nowhere to be found. Both witty tweet and precious hours are lost, and all you’ve got to show for it is some poor-to-average memes and a healthy dose of Twitter rancour. Also, one day I smashed two phones. Nick Peers Back in 1999 I managed to wipe the Master Boot Record on a friend’s hard drive that contained hundreds of text files – all irreplaceable. Luckily, I found a data-recovery tool and spent most of that Christmas holiday recovering each file to a floppy disk, one at a time. Les Pounder I had a 2TB drive die, no warning. There were no backups. I bought a new drive and spent…

backups are dead, long live backups!

No one needs to back up any more. Yes, after decades of tech “journalists” telling you to back up your systems, modern ways of working have made the backup obsolete. No, wait, don’t go! We’re not obsolete, just yet. It’s true enough that many of us are working in “the cloud” and have work assets and media automagically backed up with some unknown level of redundancy. Yet how can you do that yourself? How can you protect your system? How can you make backups of everything run like clockwork, while making any data recovery just as slick? We’re here to show you how. From traditional backups, to cloud backups and on to automatic snapshots, we’ll cover a solution that will meet your needs. While it’s good to back up, it’s better…

libreoffice looks to protect long-term viability

There was a brief internet drama back in July when a release candidate for LibreOffice 7.0 appeared with the tag of “Personal Edition”. Some people assumed this version lacked features that some other, yet-to-be-released edition may sport. This then led to the conclusion that The Document Foundation – the non-profit body that oversees LibreOffice’s development – was moving the suite to some other type of licencing model. This was not the case. Initially, TDF’s response was to propose using a “Community Edition” tag that better expresses the intent. Now the naming plans have been put on hold until after LibreOffice 7.0 is released. The worry is understandable; many open source projects have changed direction to enable better commercial support of the core product. One model is called Open Core and is an…

tor project under threat

You may never have heard of the US Open Technology Fund (OTF), but it’s a US digital rights non-profit body that’s funded by the US government. The OTF helps fund a wide range of projects that enable people in repressed regimes – and the UK – to safely access the whole of the internet, including pro-US news outlets. Such projects include Signal, Tails, Tor, Wireguard, DNS Privacy, No Script and Qubes (more projects are listed at So it seems bizarre that this body is under close scrutiny from the Trump administration. The previous CEO, Libby Liu, and the entire board of the OTF was fired by Trump appointee Michael Pack out of the blue with no justification, while a $9 million Congress-approved payment has been withheld by the White House. Letters…

encrypted data act

Conspiracy theorists often say governments love spying on their citizens. Yet the US Congress is living up to that label, as it tries to pass a law that forces private business to place government-accessible backdoors in any encryption systems. The latest bill called the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act follows on from the recent EARN IT bill that had similar goals. The bill would instruct companies to comply with decryption orders, while online services would need to have central access to all encrypted data, possibly with a general decryption key. When being presented with a court order, they would have to decrypt the data of this particular user, but leave the data of all other users untouched. Data breaches are already at an all-time high, and that’s without a central…

ring the plumber!

“A key improvement that PipeWire brings over PulseAudio is that the policy is separate from the media handling. The policy is the code that decides which audio device to use, which software has access to them and how it’s all connected. In PipeWire, the policy engine is called a session manager. WirePlumber is the modular and extensible session manager that brings configurability and an abstraction layer to make it easier to create these policies. Released late June, WirePlumber 0.3.0 brings support for desktop use cases. It introduces the use of session, endpoint and endpoint-stream abstractions to orchestrate the PipeWire media graph. My blog post on is a good starting point to read about endpoints. Also noteworthy in this release is the ability to arbitrate the capture of audio devices between PipeWire…