Linux & Open Source Genius Guide, Volume 7

Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 7Each year, Imagine Publishing takes the content from its Linux User & Developer publication and repackages it in ‘Bookazine’ format – a portmanteau of ‘book’ and ‘magazine,’ equivalent to Dennis Publishing’s rival ‘MagBook’ brand. The Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 7 is the latest, and includes as one of its central offerings a cover feature I wrote for the magazine.

Originally published in Linux User & Developer Issue 148, the Ultimate Distro & FOSS Guide 2015 does exactly what it says on the tin: attempts to provide the information required for users to sort through the thousands of Linux distributions and free software packages available and pick the one that best fits their needs.

It’s a spin on the traditional format: rather than simply listing the ‘best’ distributions in general, I took a selection of categories and selected the front-runners for each: Linux for developers, for enterprises, for security professionals, and for those looking for a distribution with rolling-release development methodology.

To keep things interesting, the piece also included five related free and open source software (FOSS) packages related to each category, aside from the last which instead highlighted five general-purpose FOSS packages to which I gave my personal seal of approval. The result is a detailed guide which is significantly larger and more involved than in previous years, and one which was a pleasure to research.

There’s plenty more to be found in the ‘Bookazine,’ of course, and if you’re interested I’d recommend heading to your local newsagent, supermarket, or staying in and picking up a copy electronically via Zinio or similar services.

Linux & Open Source Genius Guide, Volume 4

Linux & Open Source Genius Guide, Volume 4The latest Linux & Open Source Genius Guide, a ‘bookazine’ from Imagine Publishing comprised of reprints from Linux User & Developer Magazine, is out now and includes my regular look at the top ten Linux distributions.

An annual feature in the magazine, Top Ten Distros is a look at the movers and shakers in the Linux world. Biased towards desktop Linux distributions, the feature requires me to make a shortlist of popular distributions – based on download figures, page traffic rankings, comments to the magazine and other metrics – and then download and test each one.

The write-up of each distro, while around half the size of a normal review, takes some time to complete: it includes facts about each distribution, comments from its developers and/or users, and snippets regarding the distribution’s history.

It’s the screenshots that take the time, however. Rather than using stock images provided by the distribution team, as some magazines might, I install each distribution into a virtual machine and set up the desktop according to a pre-set layout: the menu open on the Internet category, a video playing from Archive.org in the default player, and a calculator app open in the bottom-right.

Yes, it’s fiddly – but it provides an at-a-glance comparison between distributions that the use of stock screenshots simply can’t match.

This latest Top Ten Distros feature first appeared in Linux User & Developer Issue 122, and is now reprinted in the Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 4.

Linux & Open Source Genius Guide, Volume 3

Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 3Hot on the heels of Linux Tips, Tricks Apps & Hacks Volume 1 – Imagine Publishing’s latest ‘bookazine,’ gathering themed content from the company’s Linux User & Developer magazine – is Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 3, which takes some of the more technical content from Linux User & Developer and repackages it for those who missed it the first time around or who prefer a meatier read.

As before, my content features prominently in the publication: a reprise of my Arduino feature from Linux User & Developer Issue 95 is included, along with all three parts of my special feature on getting started as an open-source contributor to the LibreOffice project originally published in Linux User & Developer Issue 108, Issue 109 and Issue 110.

The ‘bookazine’ also includes a whole host of my regular group tests, including Issue 112‘s look at mind mapping software, project management packages from Issue 111, CD ripping apps from Issue 110, email clients from Issue 109, password managers from Issue 107, and my annual look at the best Linux desktop distributions.

If you missed any or all of that content the first time around, Linux & Open Source Genius Guide Volume 3 is available now from the Imagine Publishing Shop.