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Long live Linux!

We tend to avoid the ‘W’ word but this is a special occasion because Windows XP is officially dead, killed by Microsoft. Support for the longstanding desktop operating system has ceased and it has left millions of PC
systems on security life support. It’s a sickly side effect of the proprietary world that people can be forced into using an insecure operating system, unless they keep buying new releases or new systems.

A minty fresh start

We’re into a new year, so isn’t it time you thought about a fresh new start? Mint 16 is out and it’s easily the best version of Mint to date, packing Cinnamon 2.0 as its desktop. To celebrate its launch we’ve got eight pages dedicated to how the Mint community pushed through these key features, bug fixes, taking Mint 14 from what it was, to today; making Mint 16 a truly awesome Linux desktop experience. We also look forward to Mint 17, which creator Clement “Clem” Lefebvre and the Mint community have huge
plans for.

Digital engine of the world

As we dive headlong towards a new year, it seems everything is changing. So welcome to the next issue of Linux Format and a new editor graces this page. While the faces may change, the game most certainly stays the same; packing as much informative, fun and inspirational content into the hallowed pages of the world’s best GNU/Linux and open-
source software magazine.

Update && Upgrade

Welcome to the new, but same-old awesome Linux Format. While the title remains the same, the team behind it has changed. I'm Neil Mohr and will be taking the open source championing reins, as the new Linux Format editor.

We're currently mid-production on the next issue, 179 of Linux Format, and you can be assured it's going to be packed with the features, tutorials, coding and interviews you know and love. It has been your support and that great content, which has made LXF the number one title for free software it is today.

Bishop to King 7

Nine years ago, when I started working for this wonderful magazine, the Linux landscape and the general outlook for open source was very different.

You couldn’t use the Linux desktop to access your online bank account, you could barely play any video and audio media and mentioning Linux to strangers was akin to admitting to a criminal past.

Difference Engine

This month, Andrew and I were lucky enough to be able to travel to Portland, Oregon, to attend O’Reilly’s open source conference (OSCON). It was a good one, but after travelling all that way, one of the best talks came from a fellow Brit, John Graham-Cumming.

Viva la desktop!

To some, the desktop is an anachronism; a style of input that’s increasingly redundant in a world of tablets and smartphones. But I don’t agree, and I think there’s plenty of evidence to show the desktop is going to be around for some time yet. And more importantly, Linux may become the only viable option. I’m primarily a KDE user, and as such, I’ve been mostly shielded from the turbulence created by several desktops reinventing themselves. KDE went through a similar period and I’m glad it’s now firmly in the past. But like

Google-a-go-go

I think Google does a brilliant job. So too does Twitter. I use services from both everyday and I don’t see any reason for not continuing to do so. Google, in particular, has innovated while remaining relatively open. I know its ‘Data Liberation Front’ initiative, a portal designed to help people get their data out of Google’s domains, is taken seriously both internally at Google and by many of its customers, and Google’s overall effect on promoting Linux and open source adoption across the industry, albeit indirectly, is indubitable.

Jante’s Shield

It’s difficult to be critical of open source software. Often, it’s created by volunteers who are motivated purely by the challenge and the desire to do something good. This

Free as a bird

Yes, we really have installed and tested fifty different distributions for this issue’s main feature. And yet, it feels like we’ve only scratched the surface. The diversity we found in each distribution is incredible, whether for security, size, design or community support, plus any number of other unique features. Linux is unique. Just look at how many successful distributions they are, all thriving alongside one another. This diversity is a testament to both the ingenuity of the teams responsible and the rights enshrined within the GPL.



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