Linux Format October 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 It’s amazing what one can achieve when one turns off social media. There are so many other more interesting avenues of distraction. Oh wait, working smarter... Nextcloud’s Notes app is great for keeping track of websites and words that would otherwise be lost to the vagaries of memory. Les Pounder My top tip is to edit your .bashrc file and add handy commands to automatically fetch information. I have set mine up to get the latest news and show the current CPU temperature every time I open a new terminal. You can run any command via .bashrc! Nick Peers If, like me, your thoughts and inspirations vanish as quickly as they appear, you need some way of getting them down on (virtual) paper. And what better tool than Joplin (, which ended my…

work smarter and harder

I’ve never done so many video conferences, to the point where they’re not even called that any longer, they’re just ‘meetings’ once more. While a lot of these have been through LXF Tower’s Google Meet system, I have had the pleasure of using Jitsi, and my word it’s accomplished – but then why wouldn’t it be? Open source office solutions are no longer ‘also ran’ options, but first-world choices. Last issue we caught up with LibreOffice 7.0 and its many advancements, being used in governments and enterprises around the world. This issue we’re focusing how an open source smart home office looks and runs with a bit of help from the Raspberry Pi. From setting up a low-overhead video conferencing system to collaborative document editing and sharing, to more mundane smart-|home control…

risc heads for the linux desktop

Back at the end of June 2020 Apple made the not entirely unexpected announcement that it’ll eventually be ditching all Intel processors for a CPU architecture of its own design. As you may know, since 2010 Apple has been using its own in-house designed Arm-based mobile processors to power its iPhone and iPad devices. The evolution of these processors has delivered substantial speed increases generation over generation to the point that they could challenge low-end Intel desktop processors a number of years ago, while the latest designs were as fast in single-core results as high-end Intel cores. So it’s no surprise Apple would move to create its own desktop processors. While initial reports seemed to indicate Apple Arm devices would be entirely locked down, our own Jon Masters reported that this may…

mozilla lays off 50% of employees

Mozilla Corporation announced it will lay off around 250 employees, cutting its workforce by a quarter. The company, best known for its popular Firefox web browser, has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and will now focus on projects that generate greater revenue – such as the newly launched Mozilla VPN. “We know we need to go beyond [Firefox] to give people new products and technologies that both excite them and represent their interests,” wrote CEO Mitchell Baker. “Over the last while, it has been clear that Mozilla is not structured properly to create these new things – and to build the better internet we all deserve.” While Firefox will remain a core of Mozilla’s business, the company’s privacy- and security-related products will take on newfound importance. Specifically, the company will…

russian fancy bear

The NSA and FBI have released a new cybersecurity advisory warning that Russian government hackers known as Fancy Bear have begun deploying a previously undisclosed malware which targets Linux systems. The hackers in question, also known as APT28 or Stronium, work for Russia’s General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate’s 85th Main Special Service Center and refer to the new malware strain as Drovorub. It’s a rootkit designed to infect and take control of Linux systems in order to steal their files, and Fancy Bear is using it against targets valuable to the Kremlin. The NSA and FBI provided more details on Drovorub’s capabilities in their cybersecurity advisory, saying: “Drovorub is a Linux malware toolset consisting of an implant coupled with a kernel module rootkit, a file transfer and port forwarding tool, and a…

observe the observers

“Observability comes from control theory and means that you should be able to determine or infer a system’s state by its output. For some setups, this can involve using strace and grepping through logs, but the number of machines that DBA’s are dealing with is exploding, and finding failure points is often like finding a needle in a data haystack. In the DevOps era, observability demands tools that can aggregate logs, metrics, alerts visualisations and now tracing. Tracing enables you to follow a transaction through a system — by combining all these sets of data together, you can get a complete view of your service. Setting up a system that handles all these has been difficult in practice, but there are a lot more tools now. At Percona, we use Grafana and…