This month’s Linux User & Developer sees the return of my regular Top Ten Distros feature, but this time in a subtly modified format that should hopefully freshen it up while still providing the handy glimpse into the world of Linux that readers have come to expect.
As usual, I take a look at ten of the best Linux distributions – but this time around I categorise them. No longer is the feature simply a run-down of the most popular distributions, but instead a look at the best distributions in ten given fields ranging from general-purpose computing to penetration testing and reviving outmoded hardware.
My methodology, of course, remains the same. Each distribution was downloaded, installed and tested into a virtual environment – save for those targeting embedded platforms, a new category this year, which were run on native hardware. Customised screenshots are also included for easy at-a-glance comparisons.
Each category not only highlights the best of the best, but also a selection of runner-ups that may provide something missing from the most popular option. For those looking for a change, it’s a feature worth checking out for clues as to what other distributions may be worth trying for a given workload.
In addition to the eight-page cover feature, this issue also includes my regular four-page news spread covering the latest happenings in Linux, open source, open hardware and open governance.
If you fancy having a read, Linux User & Developer Issue 130 is available from all good newsagents and supermarkets now, or digitally via Zinio and other platforms, with more details available on the official website.
This month’s Linux User & Developer features my biggest work for the magazine yet: a massive ten-page test of Canonical’s Ubuntu 12.10 operating system. It also marks the first time I’ve written news articles for the magazine, taking care of the initial two-page spread to cover for a staff writer’s absence.
First, the Ubuntu 12.10 feature. Officially the biggest single feature ever run in Linux User & Developer magazine, and the major focus of the magazine’s cover, the article takes a look at Canonical’s latest Linux release in a novel manner: rather than judging the software in a vacuum, as with most reviews, it is instead compared to close rivals in a range of categories including openness, appearance, support and community engagement. The result is somewhere between a review and a group test, but on a much larger scale: a typical group test takes up five pages, where this feature takes up a massive ten.
It’s a departure from my usual features for the magazine, and something I enjoyed. It’s not strictly speaking a review, as there were no scores and no real conclusion about the quality of Ubuntu 12.10 in and of itself – but if you’re a long-time Ubuntu user or simply a distro-hopper looking for a change, I’d recommend giving it a read.
The news feature, a two-page spread at the front of the magazine, looked at three stories from the open-source world – including one which, shock horror, paints Microsoft in a reasonably positive light. I’m not going to tell you what the stories are, naturally: go and buy the magazine if you’re that curious.
Linux User & Developer Issue 119 is available now wherever you would normally buy magazines, unless it isn’t – in which case either ask the staff to order it in, or grab a digital copy via Zinio.
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