Issue 229 Dec 2019

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Cover Theme: The Future of Vector Graphics

DVD Theme: Arch Linux and CentOS 8.0.1905

Article Code

Vector graphics applications like Inkscape are a popular option for creating scalable graphics. Could these tools be even better? As is often the case, the science is out in front of the mainstream. We show you some innovations that could revolutionize tomorrow's graphics apps. Also in this month's issue:

  • Go Game Development -- Create a gambling machine using the versatile Go programming language.
  • Mediapurge -- Organize your media files and eliminate duplicates.

Turn to MakerSpace if you're wondering how to configure a multiboot Raspberry Pi with BerryBoot. And see our LinuxVoice section for an introduction to Anbox, a cool tool that lets you launch Android apps on Linux.

Issue 228 Nov 2019

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Cover Theme: Anonymous File Sharing: Pass files secretly with OnionShare

DVD Theme: Knoppix 8.6 and Super Grub2

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Sure you've heard of the Tor Browser, but what about OnionShare? This cool tool for the invisible web lets you share files without revealing your identity. Also in this month's issue:

  • Baobab - find and remove unnecessary files and directories.
  • Secure Online Passwords - discover some tools and techniques for keeping online passwords safe.

Check out MakerSpace for a look at how to expand the range of wireless communication for IoT devices using the low-power and long-range LoRa communication protocol. Also inside, our LinuxVoice section, we study the Lutris gaming platform and takes a swat at McFly, an innovative solution that brings the power of AI to the Bash shell.

Issue 227 Oct 2019

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Cover Theme: Backup: Practical tools for protecting your data

DVD Theme: Linux Mint 19.2 “MATE Edition” and Debian 10 “Buster”

Article Code

The bad news is that disasters happen. The good news is that Linux has a variety of powerful backup tools that will protect you when disaster strikes. This month, we cover some backup apps for the†Linux environment, including Rclone, restic, and rsnapshot. Elsewhere inside:

  • Local DNS with Unbound – improve performance and enhance security with a local DNS server.
  • Jade Desktop – the creators claim this new desktop environment will “change the way you interact with your desktop.”

See our MakerSpace section for a look at the LibreELEC media center distro, and check out LinuxVoice for a study of some useful and little-known photo tools.

Issue 226 Sep 2019

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Cover Theme: Spotlight on Small Distros

DVD Theme: Manjaro Gnome and MX LInux

Article Code

Hardware resources keep expanding, and mainstream OS systems also keep expanding, sucking up the newfound space with more and better bloatware. But many users would rather escape the arms race and keep it simple. This month, we review some of the top resource-conscious small distros. Also inside:

  • Nftables -- this new tool for managing Linux firewalls is gradually replacing iptables.
  • Timeshift -- a user-friendly app for creating and managing system snapshots.

Check out MakerSpace for a homegrown IoT humidity monitor, and see our LinuxVoice section for tutorials on WordPress and 3D

Issue 225 Aug 2019

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Cover Theme: IoT on the Cheap

DVD Theme: openSUSE Leap 15.1 and SystemRescueCd

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This month we show you how to hack a smart plug, reflash the firmware, and control it from a nearby Linux computer. If you love the concept of the Internet of Things but you don’t like spending a lot of money on proprietary gadgets, read on for our low-tech high-tech solution. Also in this month’s issue:

  • eBPF – explore the performance and monitoring tools available through the enhanced BPF in-kernel virtual machine.
  • Karoshi – an innovative Linux distro with the emphasis on simplifying configuration.

Look in MakerSpace for a look at the Rasp Pi as a function generator, and check out LinuxVoice for articles on GnuCash and the Fanurio time management tool.

Issue 224 Jul 2019

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Cover Theme: Energy Consumption

DVD Theme: Ubuntu 19.04 and Fedora 30

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Energy efficiency studies often focus on hardware, but what about the software? As it turns out, software tools created for similar tasks sometimes use energy very differently. Also in this month's issue:

  • Barrier -- declutter your desk with a free tool that lets you operate multiple computers with one keyboard and one mouse.
  • Network Analysis -- Search for intruders with tcpdump, Wireshark, and NetFlow.

Check out MakerSpace for a look at malware analysis on the Raspberry Pi, as well as a study of Amazon's Greengrass IoT services. This month in Linux Voice, we highlight some unsung command-line tools and explore some useful LibreOffice extensions.

Issue 223 Jun 2019

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Cover Theme: Git Tricks

DVD Theme: FreeBSD 12.0 and Ubuntu Mate 18.10

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This month we share some advanced techniques for working with the famous Git remote version control system used by open source developers. Other highlights in this issue include:

  • Desktop FreeBSD – is this highly secure and stable server operating system a worthy replacement for desktop Linux?
  • Sudo Voodoo – Sudo is a popular tool that lets you change user privilege levels on the fly. We show you some tricks for making sudo more powerful and more secure.

Look in MakerSpace for a study of Google’s Firebase cloud platform for IoT, and check out LinuxVoice for a tutorial on Bash shell math.

Issue 222 May 2019

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Cover Theme: Snapshots

DVD Theme: CentOS 7.6.1810 and Kubuntu 18.10

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Modern filesystems make it easy to take a snapshot -- a precise copy of your data at a moment in time. This month we review some leading Linux snapshot tools.

Also in this issue:

  • Redundant Internet Links -- With a little help from OpenWrt, you can support two Internet uplinks from your little home router.
  • tmate -- access a remote shell session.

Stop by MakerSpace to build your own WiFi-controlled airboat. Check out LinuxVoice for a helpful tutorial on Bash test conditions and a study of two useful outline tools: CherryTree and Piggydb.

Issue 221 Apr 2019

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Cover Theme: Monitoring Performance

DVD Theme: System Rescue CD and MX Linux

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As computers get more powerful and computer applications get bigger and more ungainly, users end up with the same question no matter how many times they upgrade: How do I make the most of my system resources by tuning up system performance? This month we explore some tools that offer a window into the performance and health of your Linux system: Netdata and perf.

Other highlights in this issue include:

  • Steam Proton -- this Wine fork running within the Steam Play gaming system provides a seamless way to run Windows games on Linux.
  • Gnome Boxes -- an easy interface for configuring and managing KVM virtualization.

Check out LinuxVoice for a look at the Pixelitor graphics editor and another installment in our series on Bash scripting -- this time with the emphasis on flow control.

Issue 220 Mar 2019

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Cover Theme: VirtualBox Hacks

DVD Theme: Linux Mint 19.01 “Cinnamon” and ArchLinux

Article Code

The FOSS tool known as VirtualBox is a popular alternative for easy virtualization in Linux. Many users are satisfied to spin up a virtual machine and start a system inside it, but VirtualBox can do so much more. We show you some advanced tricks with VirtualBox.

Also in this Month's issue:

  • Scapy – This cool packet analysis app integrates easily with Python, which lets you build packet analysis into your homegrown admin scripts.
  • Programming Snapshot – Mike Schilli explores the joys of building a homegrown progress bar.

Check out MakerSpace to learn how you can use Waveform 9 to turn your Rasp Pi into a recording studio, and read on to LinuxVoice for a special article by Elvie cartoonist Mark Crutch on how you can create your own cartoon strip using open source tools.

Issue 219 Feb 2019

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Cover Theme: Customize the Boot Menu

DVD Theme: Tails 3.10.1 and Ubuntu 18.10

Article Code

That drab default boot menu on your Linux computer isn’t just boring; it also could be confusing users and obscuring important boot choices. This month we show you how to add clarity and visual appeal to the GRUB boot menu with GRUB themes and the Grub Customizer. And while we're on the subject of GRUB, check out the Command Line column this month for a closer look at GRUB 2 passwords and encryption.

Also in this month’s issue:

  • Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” – Ubuntu is back on Gnome and back to normal.
  • PCIe SSDs on old hardware – if you're planning on upgrading the storage on an old computer to a PCIe SSD drive, you'd better study the options before you buy.

Also inside, check out MakerSpace for a story on how to build a heart monitor using a Raspberry Pi, and read on to LinuxVoice for a look at converting your old analog audio and video files to digital format.

Issue 218 Jan 2019

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Cover Theme: Navigation

DVD Theme: Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” Desktop and Fedora 29 Workstation

Article Code

A free mapping service is a wonderful thing, but you might not find all the information you need in OpenStreetMap’s standard view. A number of other free mapping projects extend and enhance OpenStreetMap data to add new features and services. This month, we tour some useful mapping tools based on OpenStreetMap.

Other highlights include:

  • Kernel Disposal – Nuke those old kernels taking up space on your hard drive.
  • Out of Memory Killer – This important component keeps the kernel from running out of memory – but is there a better way?

Check out MakerSpace for a lesson in wearables, and read on to LinuxVoice for a report on the dark market for security exploits.

Issue 230/2020

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