Issue #172 / Mar 2015

DVD: Fedora 21 and Openwall

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Jan 30
  • USA/Canada: Feb 26
  • Australia: Mar 29


Hadoop version 2 has transitioned from an application to a powerful Big Data platform. Take a swim in the data lake.

SERVICE: Welcome

How many patents are enough? Or perhaps more importantly, how many patents can be squeezed from one body of knowledge when you're basically doing what everyone else is doing? These questions are fresh in mind as I read the report at eWeek stating that IBM set a new record by receiving 7,534 patents in 2014, the 22nd year in a row that IBM has topped the list for most patents.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

Fedora 21 and Openwall

NEWS: News

Updates on Technologies, Trends, and Tools

COVER STORIES: Hadoop 2 and Apache Spark

Of lakes and sparks – How Hadoop 2 got it right

Hadoop version 2 has transitioned from an application to a Big Data platform. Reports of its demise are premature at best.


All-purpose admin tool

Administrators often assume that if all nodes are functioning, the system is fine. However, a common problem is poor or unexpected application performance. In this case, you need a simple tool to help you understand what's happening on the nodes: nmon.

REVIEWS: Gimp 2.9

Gimp 2.9 – A sneak preview of the next major version

The Gimp revamp is in full swing. We look at developer version 2.9.1 to explain the new components and features that are expected to find their way into the Gimp 2.10 major release.

REVIEWS: Fedora 21

Exploring the new Fedora 21

Fedora 21 appears with a new vision and some interesting new tools for developers and system administrators.

FEATURES: Swiss File Knife

Platform-independent toolkit – Swiss File Knife

Swiss File Knife replaces more than 100 individual command-line tools at once, but it still fits on a USB stick and runs on all major operating systems.

FEATURES: Semplice Linux

Lean Debian derivative Semplice Linux

Semplice is a fast and simple desktop system that avoids the clunky, stripped-down look associated with many "lean" Linux distros.

FEATURES: Logrotate

Lock down your logfiles with logrotate

The simple act of logging can create management and storage nightmares. Logrotate brings creative solutions to your logging needs.

FEATURES: Next Gen Distributions

GoboLinux, NixOS, and Bedrock flourish undercover

With systemd poised to revolutionize the init process, we look at Linux distributions that have left the familiar path, use new approaches and techniques, and are paving the way for the next generation of Linux distros.

FEATURES: Ask Klaus!

Klaus Knopper answers your Linux questions

FEATURES: Systemback

Backing up and restoring your system using Systemback

At the push of a button, Systemback backs up or clones the complete current system and can restore it as required.

PROGRAMMING: Perl: Rain Checker

Perl checks for rain and issues umbrella warning

A Perl script that retrieves the current weather forecast at dawn helps the Perlmeister decide whether to run the risk or take an umbrella just in case.

SYSADMIN: Charly's Column: Metasploitable

The sys admin's daily grind – Metasploitable

If you mess around with a pen-testing tool on your own network, you might survive the consequences, but chances are you'll take the prize for outstanding recklessness. Charly has some advice: Use Metasploitable, perhaps the most broken Linux ever.


Getting the best performance from solid state drives on Linux

Nothing accelerates a PC like transitioning to an SSD, but some special configuration might be in order if you want to get the most from your drive.

LINUXUSER: Workspace: phpMyFAQ

Create a knowledgebase with phpMyFAQ

Transform information into knowledge by deploying a phpMyFAQ-based database of frequently asked questions.

LINUXUSER: LibreOffice Draw

Create vector graphics with LibreOffice Draw

The LibreOffice suite is best known for its word processing and spreadsheet applications. However, LibreOffice also comes with Draw – an excellent vector drawing program.

LINUXUSER: Command Line: Vim Plugins

Managing Vim plugins

Managing plugins is a requirement for Vim users, and plugin managers can make the task easier. We look at four options.


Tracking appointments and tasks with Task Coach

The legacy handwritten diary has outlived its usefulness. Task Coach helps you organize your tasks and appointments.


Enhancing your work habits with KDE

KDE extends the concept of the desktop with innovations that can significantly enhance your productivity.

COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK: Doghouse: Higher Education

The rise and fall of technical colleges

"maddog" discusses some of the benefits of affordable technical education.

Issue 172/2015

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