Linux User & Developer, Issue 130

Linux User & Developer Issue 130This 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.

Linux User & Developer, Issue 119

Linux User & Developer, Issue 119This 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.