Linux Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks, Volume 2

Linux Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks Volume 2Imagine Publishing’s popular range of Bookazine titles – they’re not quite a book, nor quite a magazine, but they are a competitor to Dennis Publishing’s MagBook range – is one entry larger this month with the launch of the latest volume of Linux Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks.

As with its predecessor, the content of the Bookazine is culled from the pages of Linux User & Developer magazine. Due to my prolific contributions to said magazine, it’s therefore no surprise to find my work republished within the pages of Linux Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks Volume 2.

The highlight of the volume is an investigation into the best Linux distribution for a given user’s needs. It’s a reprint of last year’s Ultimate Linux Distros 2013 feature I wrote for Linux User & Developer Issue 130. The feature takes a look at various categories of user – home user, gamer, hacker, coder, office user – and makes a recommendation of the best distribution to suite that given use case.

The volume is, naturally, filled with additional material including tutorials and software reviews, and makes for a fascinating précis of the year for those who do not subscribe to the magazine itself.

Linux Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks Volume 2 is available at newsagents and supermarkets around the country now, or for direct order from Imagine’s webshop.

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 & 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 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.