Tech & Gaming
Linux Format

Linux Format May 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
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R1 128,71
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
who we are

Jonni Bidwell I was preparing for second-year exams in a bleak coastal town in Fife. I believe graph theory, combinatorics, vector calculus and Fourier analysis were things I was supposed to know about. Three years later, I started using Linux as my daily OS. And look at where that got me. Nick Peers Two decades ago – a whole other life now – I was in my first editor’s role at this very publishing stable, on the short-lived Quick & Easy Windows. Luckily for me, I went on to better things – two years editing PC Answers, which is where I encountered Linux properly for the first time. Les Pounder 20 years ago I remember downloading Mandrake Linux on my 512KB cable internet. It took ages to download all the CDs, and then after writing…

2 min.
protect your devices!

We’re VERY aggressive around here at LXF Towers. Mexican art editor Effy runs a twice-weekly Fight Club in the sub-basement car park (this is an actual thing), while Jonni has been known to ring his bike’s bell at tardy headphone-using pedestrians on the Avon River cycle path. That’ll show ‘em. Meanwhile your erstwhile editor here is often found sticking passive-aggressive notes on monitors about people not refilling the coffee pot. Oh the humanity! You get the picture. As with most things involving open source and Linux, there’s a multitude of ways to solve a problem and a multitude of problems to solve. As we often do, we’re approaching protection with a broad brush stroke. This comes in three solid defences: firewalling your network, learning to audit and lock down your servers,…

2 min.
us government wants to read your messages

The US government is once again trying to gain access to our private online messages, with a new so-called EARN IT bill (which can be read at http://bit.ly/LXF262EARNIT) being proposed. If passed, this bill could have grave implications for online privacy. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports (http://bit.ly/LXF262EFF),this new bill essentially creates a government commission, controlled by the attorney general, that will have “legal access” to digital messages. Any company, website, or service that does not allow the commission access to its users’ messages could no longer be allowed to operate. The EARN IT bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), is apparently aimed at combating online child exploitation, and while that’s certainly a topic that needs to be urgently addressed, opponents of the bill argue…

1 min.
mozilla wants to fix dns

Firefox, the open source web browser, now enables encrypted DNS over HTTPS by default in the US, which Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, claims will address the current insecure DNS system used by many people to access the internet, and which leaves their data unencrypted. In a blog post explaining the feature (read it at http://bit.ly/LXF262DoH), Mozilla claims that its DNSover-HTTPS (DoH) protocol will protect its users by encrypting DNS traffic through its Firefox browser to resolvers via HTTPS, so Firefox users’ browsing behaviour can’t be intercepted by anyone spying on the network. Mozilla is working with Cloudflare and NextDNS, which have joined Mozilla’s Trusted Recursive Resolver programme (http://bit.ly/LXF262MozillaTRR) and will adhere to strict requirements on how they will handle user data. As Mozilla explains, “this includes placing strict limits on…

1 min.
protonmail battles censorship

ProtonMail (https://protonmail.com), an encrypted email provider, could avoid censorship by routing connections to its servers via “third-party infrastructure and networks we do not control, some of which might belong to companies such as Google.” ProtonMail is an email service that puts heavy emphasis on protecting the privacy of its users by using client-side encryption, and it has often positioned itself as a secure and private alternative to Gmail – which means its reliance on Google’s infrastructure will certainly raise a few eyebrows. Because of its emphasis on encryption, ProtonMail has been subjected to censorship in countries such as Turkey and Russia, which has led to this rather surprising move. A new tool is being rolled out to ProtonMail users on desktop and mobile, which will avoid censorship by using alternative infrastructure providers…

1 min.
the old ways

“I’ve gotten to meet some wonderful and highly regarded people through my employ in the strange world of dead tree tech publishing. But I must say this month’s assembly of LXF editors past and present was really quite special. There are those who say making magazines was more fun back in the day, but they probably know very little of my antics. Naturally, magazines at Future Towers are a lot more uniformly treated nowadays. LXF, when I joined, still described itself as “an isolated silo of maverick publishing”. Now we have to make our covers please not only our art editor, who strives for perfection in everything, but also management, who get scared of Linux argot. Somehow we make it work, exactly how those Jupiters of LXF-past did, when challenged by…