Linux Format logo

Linux Format Blog

A virtual world

Buy it now!
Read a sample

We expect virtualisation isn’t anything new to you, our happy reader, but it’s a topic that’s constantly evolving, improving and has become essential to a world that expects the ability to spin up multiple instances remotely in seconds. So this issue we’re holding your hand and taking you through the vital basics of creating a VirtualBox, getting more from managed snapshots to newer Docker Containers and cutting-edge development of GPU passthrough. So by the end of this issue you should feel you know your KVMs from your kernel chroots.
Even if you’re just using VirtualBox to keep a sneaky install of Windows hidden away (admit it, you know it’s true), the copious amounts of storage and computing power that even a modest PC offers can happily cope with storing and running multiple instances. It’s just a matter of knowing the best approaches, and is another fine example of how open source technologies have come to rule this admittedly virtual world.

Escape Windows! (again)

Buy it now!
Read a sample

Don’t use Linux because it’s free, but because it frees you and your hardware. We’re not here to bash Windows, we’re here to give you choice. When you buy a Mac you have to run MacOS. Buy a PC and you’ll be steered in the direction of Windows 10. I’m not even going to mention tablets, phones, TVs and even cars. All are examples of companies attempting to lock-in consumers to a walled software ecosystem. When you own the hardware, why is the software you can run being dictated to you?
The PC is a general-purpose computing engine. It should and usually can run any software you like – though recent examples show even the PC is being walled off through its firmware. That’s where open source Linux-based OSes come into play.
If you believe you shouldn’t be locked out of hardware that you own, then that’s just one reason open source software is so vital to the world. For us older types, another reason is the fun of getting to play with the inner workings of the OS – something that modern devices and their OSes are making increasingly difficult.
Even if you don’t accept the privacy and spying arguments for open hardware and software, surely having full ownership and control over the devices you buy is important? I feel you shouldn’t have to be beholden to huge corporations to do basic computing, worry about what personal information they’re retaining, or forced to use specific types of software.

Shields up!

Buy it now!
Read a sample

Companies that market products like to talk about the “threatscape”. Long gone are the days when someone might be coding a virus for fun, as an experiment or to see if they could get it to propagate widely enough to gain some notoriety and online kudos in equal measure. Yet for the majority of Linux users there’s not even a threat of traditional malware, be it spamming toolbars into your browser or trying to monitor what you do. Today, the threatscape is more directed at online systems, which can be attacked directly using any known weakness and then typically hit with ransomware. This, alongside social engineering attacks – in terms of phishing emails – are the biggest threats that most standard users face today.
That’s the guiding light for the 2017 edition of the Linux Format Learn to Hack guide. By looking at the methods and techniques hackers use to attack systems, we can learn how to plug holes and protect those systems. It feels like it’s been at least a little while since the last major security hole appeared after the torrent filled 2016. Though having just written that, both Sod and Murphy’s law will now apply...

Orange army

Buy it now!
Read a sample

We know there’s a collective roll of the eyes from many regular readers when we run our (bi)-annual Ubuntu release covers. But there’s no escaping the sales boost every orange-soaked cover gains on the yearly 04 release schedule. It’s actually heartening to see so many people looking forward to, or at least welcoming, the release of a new version of Ubuntu by rushing out and snapping up our little magazine.
The truth is that Canonical, and its prime distro Ubuntu, remains a key driver for Linux both on the desktop and in the enterprise world. Red Hat and SUSE certainly have made their own mark in enterprise, but Canonical is seeing wins in the telephony industry, ‘cloud’ market and the emerging IoT world of devices from Pi-like boards to self-driving cars and robots, as we covered the LXF223 show report.

Better infrastructure

Buy it now!
Read a sample

The stupid thing is that we all know to keep our desktop and server up to date, right? We truly hope so. The simple reason being that new exploits are being discovered all the time – let’s not even get into the CIA Vault 7 revelations – so unless you can keep your infrastructure updated, you have no security.

The Terminal Man

Buy it now!
Read a sample

It’s one of those issues where we’ve had to sneak the main feature past management to get it into the magazine. But using the terminal is so core to Linux day-to-day life we were way overdue a decent look at the subject. Over the last year of Linux Format we’ve been slowly pecking away at the terminal with a regular tutorial section, but like the clichéd guided horse there’s no reason that someone might try it unless they’re forced to!

Slippery slope

Buy it now!
Read a sample

In the USA there’s the Fourth Amendment, here in Europe there’s the European Convention on Human Rights and both protect an individual’s rights when it comes to government interference over person, possessions and private life. In the past that largely meant the government couldn’t just waltz into your property and seize any documents (or persons) it felt like, listen in on your private conversations or stop you from moving around the country without a damn good reason. Sounds reasonable, right? It seems in the internet age those rights no longer apply.

Secured for 2017

Buy it now!
Read a sample

We know 2016 was bad for security threats and 2017 isn’t looking any better. But with hackers turning their attention to poorly secured internet of thing (IoT) devices, rather than better secured servers or desktop computers, isn’t it about time you started taking your network security more seriously?

This issue we take a long look at the rush by consumers to install insecure devices on their home networks, what you can do to lock down your own network and devices to help protect yourself, create a truly secure smart home built not only on Linux servers, but also Linux-powered IoT devices that you control. It’s these last two points that are just as important. Part of the issue with the IoT is the loss of ownership and control people have over these devices.

Get into Linux!

Buy it now!
Read a sample

When was the last time you tried to get someone to use Linux? A family member, a friend, your workplace, heck, how about your entire government? It all starts with a simple install, but unless there’s someone there to give them a disc or the right download, it’s only the lucky few that are ever going to discover Linux for themselves. Considering it’s nearly impossible to buy a new PC preinstalled with Linux it really is down to people to get into Linux themselves or with a little help from their friends…

So if you’re new to Linux we have a complete guide to get you started, it’ll hold your hand, explain how to use live discs and try Linux in a virtual machine, so you don’t even need to change a thing on any existing PCs. If you’re already sold on Linux, we look at building a reassuringly fast PC for a modest amount of cash. It’s an impressively speedy box that runs Linux like a champ.

Ultimate Ubuntu

Buy it now!
Read a sample

While us Northern hemisphere types pull out the thermal underwear to endure chillier weather and longer nights, we do get the bonus at this time of the year of a whole new Ubuntu distro release to enjoy. Ubuntu 16.10 has hit the internets and brings with it a host of updates, upgrades and Ubuntus.

This issue we’re not going to dwell on the core release – where enhanced support with the Linux kernel 4.8 and the Unity 8 preview are the highlights – instead we’re asking how can you make Ubuntu even better? Install Fedora you cry? Surely not, though Fedora 25 is just around the corner. Our resident experts have given us their tips on how to boost Ubuntu and make it even better.


Web hosting by UKFast