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Linux Format Annual

Linux Format Annual

Linux Format Annual

A celebration of all that's great about Linux and open source software from the No.1 Linux magazine. Enjoy a fistful of chunky longform features on everything from smart homes to sysadmin essentials and dive into a host of expert projects and tutorials.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd

in this issue

2 min
vpn services

we compare tons of software so that you don’t have to! Our selection Buffered VPN IVPN Mullvad Perfect Privacy SlickVPN Whether it’s hackers and malware, Google and Microsoft, or the CIA and NSA, we’re never far away from another story on how the world is being tracked and monitored online. Virtual private networks can help by encrypting web traffic, keeping it safe from snoopers– and that could easily include your own ISP – and even protect you on insecure Wi-Fi hotspots. They’ll mask your real identity by giving you a new IP address, and maybe give you access to geo-blocked websites. Finding the right VPN can be tough, especially if you’re the demanding type. Most consumer VPNs focus on simplicity above all else, with a bare minimum of features and settings, and basic support for the most common…

4 min
easing into a cli

Top Tip: Shift+PgUp/ PgDown: Use these key combinations to scroll the commandline interface. Aterminal emulator is one of the core applications that’s bundled with every Linux desktop environment. Gnome has the gnome-terminal while KDE uses konsole though they are usually simply labelled as ‘Terminal’ in the application menu, When you fire up a terminal you get a prompt like bodhi@epoch: ~ $. While it may vary in appearance somewhat depending on the distribution (distro), it’s usually made up of your username@machinename, followed by the current working directory and a dollar sign. Note that the last character changes from $ to # when the terminal session has superuser privileges. Let’s begin our terminal travels by learning to navigate the Linux file system. Files under Linux are organised in a hierarchical directory structure that…

7 min
examine your interfaces

Just like in Mr. Robot, some of the exploits that have been exposed in smart devices and phones are not very likely to happen and would be difficult to achieve. For instance, in order to obtain your Wi-Fi password a person has to physically access your Google Nest Thermostat and plant malware by a USB stick, so there would most likely be evidence of a break-in and you would change your password accordingly. However, the situation can be more nuanced than this as compromised devices could be sold second-hand and find their way into your home, and as we already mentioned devices are exploited remotely. The malware known as ‘Mirai’, which was responsible for the huge IoT hack of 2016, exploited the weak default passwords in a variety of devices including internet…

2 min
the verdict

All the distros in this Roundup can be used to help put an unused computer back into active service. What separates them is how they deliver functionality on the limited hardware. Cub Linux, for example, works best for people who can live with cloud apps. The distro can be fleshed out without much effort, but it isn’t designed with the extra baggage in mind. The same is true for WattOS. The distro creates a functional system but that’s more down to a clever selection of applications. It’ll quickly put on weight and become lethargic as soon as you start piling on applications. To an extent, this is also true for LXLE. The distro extends the usability of Lubuntu while taking up less resources than say Xubuntu. But while it performs admirably…

13 min
install linux on a macbook

Given that macOS is based on Unix, you’d think Macs would be a lot friendlier towards Linux than they are. But then perhaps the reverse could be said as well: most iterations of Linux won’t appeal to Mac users who believe Apple’s ‘it just works’ mantra that’s stuck in a one-button world. Nevertheless, why limit yourself to Apple’s closed garden when you can – with the help of this feature – install a Mac-friendly flavour of Linux alongside OS X? Our dual-boot approach ensures you won’t lose access to OS X, and we’ll even step you through the process of setting up a shared data partition – and moving your Mac home folder to it – so both OS X and Linux can easily access key folders. We’ve also chosen a flavour…

11 min
package check

Joe Damato is a lowlevel computologist and the creator of packagecloud.io, a site that offers free and enterprise repository hosting for packages of all formats, shapes and sizes. They range from the.debs and.rpms we’re all familiar with, to more exotic things like Maven repos. It can talk to all manner of build/orchestration/ continuous integration systems, including but not limited to Chef, Puppet, Jenkins and TravisCI, and generally takes the pain out of software distribution. We caught up with Joe at OSCON Europe in London, where he gave a fascinating talk entitled “Infrastructure as code might be literally impossible”, in which he talked about the myth of high-level code and all the terrible things that go on behind the scenes when ostensibly nice-looking code runs. He also regaled us with some epic…