Tech & Gaming
Linux Format

Linux Format September 2019

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
Read More
SPECIAL: Subscribe and get 1 year of FREE back issues! Free issues will be served within 72 hours after purchase
R1 128,71
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
who we are

Jonni Bidwell Debian hasn’t said anything about dropping i386 yet – and if Debian supports it, then so will at least some of it’s progeny like Sparky, AntiX and Slax. Old hardware already struggles with the modern web, so in a couple of years all it’ll be good for is terminal apps. Les Pounder I’ve been using Ubuntu since Dapper Drake (6.06) and it has served me well. But just recently I have tried out the latest Manjaro release on an old Thinkpad – and wow! Admittedly it takes a little getting used to, but it is slick and easy to use. Mayank Sharma Ubuntu dropping 32-bit support will have a knock-on effect and other distros will soon follow. I have quite a few 32-bit machines doing one thing or the other. I’ll seriously consider…

2 min.
escape ubuntu?

Is Ubuntu about to stop being my daily desktop driver? Probably not today, probably not tomorrow – but next year, the year after that, perhaps? Since 2004 Ubuntu has been making Linux users’ lives easier offering access to all the software their heart’s desire, but what happens when access to that software stops? My bet is people go elsewhere. I don’t play games much, but I do game and I want access to my 15-year old Steam (for better or for worse) and GoG accounts. Canonical has clearly said 32-bit library support is basically on life support, so it feels like the time to up sticks and find a new home is approaching. That’s not to say Ubuntu is bad – it is without doubt superb for what it’s designed for,…

2 min.
blender 2.80 arrives with a sponsored fanfare

Blender (www.blender.org) is arguably the most popular open-source 3D creation suite in the world, powering animated films, 3D applications and video games, and it’s just had a major update that brings some exciting new features. Perhaps the biggest change with Blender 2.80 is the new user interface, which focuses on making the software more accessible and easier to use. It now has a new dark theme and updated icons, which change depending on whether you’re using the light or dark theme, ensuring they are clear and easy to read. It’s now easier to interact with Blender, with support added for single-button trackpads and stylus inputs, while a new right-click context menu gives users quick access to useful commands depending on what they are doing. Templates and workspaces have also been added, which…

1 min.
valve’s on a mission to boost linux gaming

Valve, the company behind iconic PC games such as Half-Life and Portal (and now perhaps best known for its Steam game store), has long been an advocate for Linux gaming – which it sees as a way of challenging Microsoft’s Windows monopoly on gaming PCs. This has resulted in a surge of Linux games either running natively or via emulation, and it even saw the creation of the gaming-orientated, Debian-based distro SteamOS. Now Valve is proposing changes to the Linux kernel itself to improve gaming on the open source operating system. The proposed changes (which can be seen at http://bit.ly/ LXF254ValveKernelChange) mainly deal with extending the futex (fast user-space locking) system call for optimal thread-pool synchronisation, and therefore improve the performance of CPU-intensive and multithreaded games. Gabriel Krisman Bertazi, a kernel…

1 min.
the linux desktop moves to vr

Virtual reality appears to be sticking around, whether you like it or not, and now two of the most popular Linux desktop environments, Gnome and KDE, support it. As Lubosz Sarnecki writes in a blog post announcing VR support (http://bit.ly/LXF254LinuxVR), the early days of VR on Linux were rough, to say the least. Virtual reality headsets were treated as a second monitor, which simply extended the desktop onto it. Now a new open source project has been created, called xrdesktop (http://bit.ly/ LXF254xrdesktop), with a goal to render traditional desktop environments like GNOME and KDE in virtual reality 3D space – while allowing users to interact with them via VR controllers. For example, you can hold the trigger button of the VR controllers that come with the HTC Vive headset to select,…

1 min.
linux vr desktop

“In recent years, several milestones have been achieved towards making Linux the best environment for VR and AR. The Linux graphics stack was made aware of head-mounted displays via DRM leasing, Khronos specified the OpenXR standard API, and Monado became the first OpenXR runtime for GNU/Linux. The ability to interact with the desktop from XR is one of these milestones. In contrast to existing VR-only window managers for Linux, the new open source project xrdesktop integrates into traditional desktop environments, allowing you to seamlessly interact with a Gnome or KDE desktop from VR. The libraries implement interaction with 3DUI elements, generate mouse and keyboard events from VR controllers, and can be integrated into any X11 and Wayland window manager. The OpenVR API is supported, making xrdesktop usable with headsets like the HTC Vive…