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Linux Format

Linux Format

February 2021

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.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
who we are

Jonni Bidwell According to my inbox, late last night I ordered a significant quantity of Raspberry Pi gubbins. I’ve gotten a soil moisture meter, a temperature and humidity sensor, a mini TFT display and a Pi Zero. So the year will definitely start with some botanically themed adventures, and my houseplants (what sort?–Ed) will grow yet mightier. Nick Peers 2021 is the year of the self-built Ubuntu 20.04 server, built on a low-powered Celeron J5040 motherboard housed in a four-bay NAS-sized chassis. Migrating everything across from my QNAP TS-251+ is going to be an interesting experience... Les Pounder In 2021 I’m looking forward to RISC-V, open source CPUs, making their mark. Right now I have a RISC-V devboard and a soldering iron on the way. Did you know that RISC-V can even be used as…

2 min.
year of the linux…?

2021 is the year everyone can blast off with Linux! There’s the aging meme – it’s the year of the Linux desktop! – that’s supposedly a call to arms for mainstream consumer Linux adoption. The irony, of course, is that it hasn’t happened, even though Linux is now running pretty much everything else in the world: from your Android phone and tablets, to the fastest supercomputers and large chunks of the internet. The last holdout is the consumer desktop. There are very good reasons why Linux hasn’t had a look-in here. The Microsoft Windows monopoly ensures consumers only ever get to see Windows pre-installed on systems they buy and, of course, there’s human laziness to factor in. You might not like it but Windows works well, and has all the software…

2 min.
red hat kills off centos eight years early

Many CentOS users have been left fuming after Red Hat, the distro’s parent company, announced that it’ll be ending support for CentOS 8 by the end of 2021 – a good eight years earlier than initially promised. In a blog post (which can be read at https://bit.ly/LXF272CentOS), the company stated that “the future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream,” and that once support for CentOS ends in December 2021, CentOS Stream will serve as the “upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.” It means that CentOS will no longer be a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which for many people was a key selling point. Instead, it’ll be a rolling release Linux distro, similar to Arch. Rather than having fixed releases where major updates are released according to…

1 min.
google changes sign-ins

Google has been sending out emails to developers reminding them that from 4 January 2021, sign-ins to Google accounts from embedded browser frameworks will be blocked. According to a blog post (https://bit.ly/LXF272GoogleDev ), Google has acted because man-in-the-middle attacks are hard to “detect when an embedded browser framework (say, Chromium Embedded Framework – CEF) or another automation platform is being used for authentication.” Instead, devs for apps and “non-supported browsers” are being advised to set up OAuth 2.0 flows in supported user-agents, or use a “compatible full native browser for sign-in.” A support engineer for Netify, which supports signing in using a Google Account, has explained what this change means (https://bit.ly/ LXF272Netify). Apparently, “Google will block any browser (“User-Agent”) that seems like it’s an automated browser such as Headless Chrome.” While this shouldn’t…

1 min.
what now for 32-bit linux?

An increasing number of Linux distributions are dropping their 32-bit editions and moving to only supporting 64-bit kit. As a result, a huge amount of 32-bit systems may be in danger of being abandoned. Many 32-bit machines are embedded systems, as well as some Android tablets running on ARMv7 processors, and while 64-bit replacements have generally been brought in, there remains a sizable amount of 32-bit machines out in the world. The problem is that while the manufacturers of these systems are promising continued support, the reality is more complicated. As LWN.net explains (https://lwn.net/Articles/838807), while the OpenRISC project is still active, many of its contributors have moved over to working on RISC-V. Other 32-bit architectures, meanwhile, are just being left to die. Further complicating things is the fact that many older 32-bit CPU…

1 min.
pay the man!

“So Red Hat has pulled long-term support on CentOS and some of the Open Source community are up in arms about it. They’re wrong to be. CentOS was always the “free” version of Red Hat. Functionally identical, but with the branding removed. A lot of people used CentOS because they wanted Red Hat but didn’t want to pay for Red Hat support. Red Hat is a commercial company and it’s in business to make money. It’s never pretended otherwise. Despite that, the company has made enormous contributions to Linux that we all benefit from. Furthermore, when Red Hat acquired CentOS almost seven years ago, it continued to make the Linux distro available without charge. The community owes the company a huge debt of gratitude. Instead, many are badmouthing Red Hat, talking of “broken…