Issue #165 / Aug 2014

DVD: Linux Mint 17

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Jul 07
  • USA/Canada: Aug 01
  • Australia: Sep 01


This month, we compare some leading Linux filesystems. We also show how to set up a storage cluster in the cloud, and we explore the userspace filesystem SSHFS.

SERVICE: Welcome

It is no secret that Ubuntu isn't the coolest, new-kid-on-the-block distro sensation anymore – actually that news is already a few years old. Still, Ubuntu has kept itself in the headlines with community dramas, desktop debates, and a crowd-funding effort to launch a mobile phone. The Ubuntu vision is so vast and enthralling that it is hard for the press – and the Ubuntu management – to let it go: a single unifying Linux popping up on phones, tablets, desktops, servers, and other devices that no one has even invented yet.

NEWS: This Month's DVD

The new Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon Edition long-term support release offers five years of upgrades, tweaks, improvements, and stability through 2019. Mint 17 has spiffed up its appearance and made changes so apps launch faster and use fewer resources.


Updates on technologies, trends, and tools

NEWS: Choose a Filesystem

Comparing the ext3, ext4, XFS, and Btrfs filesystems

Every Linux computer needs a filesystem, and users often choose a filesystem by habit or by default. But, if you're seeking stability, versatility, or a small performance advantage, it pays to take a closer look.

: Storage Cluster

Ceph and OpenStack join forces

When building cloud environments, you need more than just a scalable infrastructure, you also need a high-performance storage component. We look at Ceph, a distributed object store and filesystem that pairs well in the cloud with OpenStack.


Combining directories from multiple servers on a single mountpoint

With some simple tuning, SSHFS performance is comparable to NFS almost across the board. In an effort to get even more performance from SSHFS, we examine SSHFS-MUX, which allows you to combine directories from multiple servers into a single mountpoint.

REVIEWS: Manjaro and Antergos

Exploring Arch derivatives Antergos and Manjaro

Manjaro and Antergos put the power of Arch Linux in a beginner-friendly form.

FEATURES: Baloo: KDE Semantic Search

A new semantic search engine for the KDE desktop

Baloo replaces Nepomuk as the semantic search engine on the KDE desktop, but it gets off to a bumpy start.

FEATURES: Ask Klaus!

Klaus Knopper answers your Linux questions.


Exploring the next generation KDE desktop

The KDE desktop has at least a thousand tweaks for configuring your user interface down to the tiniest detail. KDE SC 5, the next generation K desktop, will be no exception.

FEATURES: Google Translate CLI

Google Translate CLI: Translating at the command line

If you regularly work in a terminal and need to translate sections of text, you can run the Google Translate CLI tool to avoid annoying changes to the browser window.


High-resolution network monitoring with ping

The Pinger network monitoring tool uses ping to look for switches and estimate cable lengths.

FEATURES: Charly's Column: iWatch

The sys admin's daily grind: iWatch

Recently, sys admin Charly was faced with the task of synchronizing a directory on a server with two NFS-mounted clients. He wanted the whole thing to happen quickly and to be easily manageable, which ruled out DRBD and GlusterFS.

PROGRAMMING: Calculating Probability

Calculating Probability

To tackle mathematical problems with conditional probabilities, math buffs rely on Bayes' formula or discrete distributions, generated by short Perl scripts.

FEATURES: Pipelight: Using Silverlight on Linux


Video-on-demand services often don't play well with Linux because they depend on Microsoft's Silverlight browser plugin. Luckily, you can call on the Wine offshoot Pipelight to rescue your next home movie night.

LINUXUSER: Command Line: Debootstrap

Using debootstrap and schroot to run a chroot jail

We provide basic instructions for using Debian's debootstrap to create a schroot jail for building and testing packages.

LINUXUSER: Sunflower File Manager

Sunflower – A small, highly configurable file manager

Sunflower is a highly configurable graphical file manager with two windows that implement an unusual concept by trying to integrate the command line with the file manager.

LINUXUSER: Workspace: Photo Helpers

Entangle, Rapid Photo Downloader, and GTKRawGallery

Capture, transfer, process, and manage photos using the Entangle, Rapid Photo Downloader, and GTKRawGallery applications.

LINUXUSER: Lernstick: Education Distro You Carry in Your Pocket

USB flash drives with Live Lernstick distro deliver educational software in schools

The Lernstick free distribution provides a unified and mobile environment for students and teachers. At home or in the classroom, you always have access to the same programs.


Chronicler Zack Brown reports on the latest news, views, dilemmas, and developments within the Linux kernel community.

COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK: Doghouse: Reusing Hardware

Examining the costs of reusing old hardware

"maddog" takes a look at some of the costs, as well as advantages and disadvantages, of refurbishing old hardware.

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