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New UBUNTU! 16.04 has landed All-new super-secure ZFS storage All-new convergence devices All-new Software Center All-new Unity 8 desktop …and so much more!
They go from one instance of their app to 100 instances… it behaves in a very similar way
Brandon Philips on CoreOS powering containers Roundup
We test the hottest solutions to protect your networks
OpenGL is dead, DirectX is history, Vulkan is here
Vulkan death grip
Hook into AirPlay to easily stream hi-def audio around your home
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This issue we asked our experts: What are you most looking forward to in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS?
Jonni Bidwell I’ve sort of spoiled the surprise by playing with the latest daily builds. I would say I look forward to moving the launcher to the bottom of the screen, but I’ve discovered that I actually prefer it hidden on the side. I’m positively agog about arcane errors from Mir, though.
Neil Bothwick I’m not looking forward to that much in Ubuntu 16.04, because it’s an LTS release. That means it is full of stable and reliable software and I prefer life on the bleeding edge. I firmly believe in the maxim “If it ain’t broken, fix it until it is”.
Matthew Hanson Although they may be little things, such as being able to move the Unity Launcher bar, but it’s the tweaks to the user interface that I’m looking forward to. It might seem short-sighted in a LTS release, but anything that makes Ubuntu easier – and quicker – to work with is a big deal in my book.
Nick Peers I’m hoping that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will play even better with Windows tablets— and in particular my Linx 1010B. It would be great to get more hardware working, specifically the nonexistent sound and ACPI. The potential is there for greatness, so I’ve got my fingers crossed!
Mayank Sharma The next Ubuntu with Unity 8 is going to make several people foam at the mouth. They will naturally seek refuge in 16.04. So not only will the release have to please existing users, it’ll have to bear the brunt of disheartened Ubuntu users, too. It’ll be interesting to
The convergence Another year, another Ubuntu release. It feels almost relentless but without its six-month release schedule would Ubuntu have come as far as it has in such a short time? Ubuntu 16.04 is here and with it comes ‘The Convergence’, the culmination of a host of technologies that are going to change forever how we use mobile devices and desktop operating systems. It’s the logical progression, as mobile devices start to gain desktop-levels of computing power, existing mobile OS’s are going to be left wanting. Ubuntu is stepping in to fill that gap and you don’t have to be interested in any of this to benefit; to accommodate the new flexibility required to fit into the many different shapes and sizes of device screens, Ubuntu already had a scalable interface, but now it’s become more configurable. The Unity bar can be prised from the left-side of the screen – where it’s been rigidly stuck for five years – and moved to the bottom. Behind the scenes a pile of new technologies have been introduced to accommodate the new display, the new file system requirements, the new startup system and new standard applications. It’s something of a home run for Ubuntu, we cover all the new technologies in our cover feature on page 32. If you’re new to Ubuntu and Linux we show you how you can be up and running with Ubuntu in as little as four minutes. Honestly, it’s that easy. As always there’s a lot more going on in the FLOSS world. We look at Vulkan that hopes to replace OpenGL and take on DirectX for performance. We take a look at building a Pi Zero AirPlay streamer so you can have easy audio streaming in your home. We talk to the CoreOS guys, go further with Rust and get started with R and RStudio. As always it’s as packed as the open source world is—enjoy!
Neil Mohr Editor email@example.com
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On digital and print, see p30 www.techradar.com/pro
June 2016 LXF211 3
“We should be astonished that we’re able to get it so right, so much of the time.” – Matthew Garrett
Reviews Acer Chromebook 11........ 17 Don’t I recognise you? Didn’t you use to have an ‘R’ at the end of your name? Acer release a cut-down, super-cheap, but still awesome Chromebook that everyone can afford.
No sign of upgrades yet, but even replacing modules is cool.
HP Chromebook 14...........18
16.04 LTS The biggest distro release of the year is upon us, discover what’s new and cool p32
Roundup: Firewalls p24
HP comes out guns blazing into the Chromebook market with a model that packs a 1080p display, blue chassis and an x86 quad-core Intel processor.
PCLinuxOS 2016.03..........19 ”Begone Systemd!” shouts Jonni Bidwell as he installs the latest rolling release from one of the few distros that still clings to SysV and he likes it, he likes it a lot.
FreeBSD.............................. 20 Ever wondered how the other half live? Jonni Bidwell dives into the ‘other’ open source kernel to become a dirty BSDer and finds it’s a bit like Arch…
FreeBSD offers the security but not quite the polish of Linux—yet.
PC-BSD................................21 Can you actually use BSD as a desktop OS? Jonni Bidwell is prepared to tackle that beast and likes what he finds.
Soul Axiom........................ 22 Prepare your cerebellum for puzzles, one of which might be why you’re playing this.
4 LXF211 June 2016
Interview It’s very consistent so it actually behaves more like an embedded OS. Brandon Philips on everything CoreOS p40 www.linuxformat.com
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In-depth... Vulkan explained................... 44
Pi news.................................... 58
The answer to poor 3D performance is here and its name is Vulkan. OpenGL is dead and this low-level system with wide support is coming.
Things are afoot at Pi HQ with a tweaked Pi Zero on its way, new cameras and new courses!
CamJam EduKit 3................. 59 Fancy building your own robot projects? Here’s possibly the ideal way to get started.
Hard controls in Sonic Pi..... 60 Les Pounder explains how you can leverage hardware controls in Python and Sonic Pi.
Pi Zero media streamer....... 62 Hack together the perfect audio streaming system using a Pi Zero and AirPlay.
No longer will Linux suffer poor FPS.
Tutorials Terminal basics Edit config files................. 68
Rust: Modules........................ 84 Mihalis Tsoukalos brushes off a few more flakes of Rust and uncovers error handling, functions and modules.
Nick Peers explains how you can tweak your text config files quickly and easily from any old terminal—neat.
R and RStudio....................... 88
Ubuntu Quick Linux install........... 70
Attention big-data scientists! Yes, you at the back! Rafeeq Rehman explains how R and RStudio can help make handling your results easy with a bit of scripting.
Neil Mohr is in a rush and needs Ubuntu in the next four minutes. Here’s how you too can be up and running in no time.
Regulars at a glance News.............................. 6 Subscriptions............30 Back issues................66 Microsoft goes mad with a new OS
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kernel wrapper so Windows can run
This won’t last long.
native Bash and other Linux programs. Winter continues in hell.
Sysadmin....................48 Mr. Brown finishes looking at the
desktop back in LXF210.
Next month................98. We pick out the best FLOSS of 2016: 100 top tools you need to use. Plus
next-gen sysadmin monitoring tool
we’ve been living with the BQ Ubuntu
We attempt not to reprint letters
Prometheus, by adding in some
tablet and report on how it works.
from last month and wonder why no
deadline monitoring tools.
one complains about 32-bit distros.
President Obama compliments, he’s too busy complimenting
Telegram Control a Wi-Fi lamp....... 80
awesome FLOSS like: Gnome Photos,
Piper, Enguage, Digitizer, Pass,
Mayank Sharma is antisocial,
Firejail, NTFS-3G, qTox, TBFTSS:
erecting a huge firewall around him.
TPW, Hextris, Xdg-App, Kid3.
Neil Mohr uses RDP to control both Linux and Windows PCs over the internet.
Ali Jennings wants to build a better printer and shows you how to do the same.
Alexander Tolstoy isn’t giving
Les Pounder brings us OggCamp
Remote desktop Windows control.............. 74 3D printers Build a 3D printer.............. 76
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Chris Notley tinkers with the Telegram API and builds a bot to create a simple custom home automation control interface.
June 2016 LXF211 5
This ISSUE: Microsoft
ZFS in Ubuntu
Hell continues to freeze over news
Windows supports Linux
Developers will be able to run Linux tools natively in Windows.
ecently it has seemed that every month we’re reporting on a new initiative by Microsoft to woo Linux developers and the wider open source community. This month has seen the Redmond company’s strongest pitch to Linux developers yet, with the announcement at Microsoft’s Build 2016 developer conference that the Bash shell is coming to Windows. The announcement, by Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo, means that developers can run Linux tools natively in Windows without the need of a virtual machine or emulation. As Gallo explains “This is not a VM. This is not cross-compiled tools. This is native … We’ve partnered with Canonical to offer this great experience, which you’ll be able to download right from the Windows Store.” The process of running the Bash shell in Windows promises to be pretty straightforward as well. Users will be able to run the Windows 10’s command prompt running /bin/bash straight from the Start Menu – which will launch Microsoft’s cmd.exe program with full access to the Ubuntu user space. Microsoft is referring to this as the ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’. It’s not currently open source, but it will allow developers access to Ubuntu binary packages direct from the Windows desktop, and it’s currently based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. The Windows Subsystem for Linux should be made officially available with the big Anniversary update to Windows 10 later on in 2016, but if you’ve signed up to the Insider Preview you can access an early version of these tools. Of course, many of you reading this won’t have Windows 10 – and have no desire to ever own it – so why should we get excited about this? The fact that developers can use Linux tools within
6 LXF211 June 2016
Windows 10 without having to switch operating systems – or by using virtualisation or container technology and the performance overheads they demand – should be welcomed in our view. It makes developer’s lives easier, and it could result in more developers creating Linux versions of their applications while they are working on
Microsoft has once again made a bid to woo Linux users and developers at its Build conference.
announcement being met with applause at the Build keynote. For more information on running Bash in Windows, as well as a video demonstrating its potential, head over to Microsoft’s Windows blog (http:// bit.ly/BashOnUbuntuOnWindows). In other Microsoft and Linux news, Gopi Kumar, Senior Program Manager in the Microsoft Data Group has announced a new custom virtual machine image, the Linux Data Science Virtual Machine (http://bit.ly/LinuxDataScienceVM), which is available on the Azure marketplace. It’s been built on the OpenLogic CentOS-based Linux version 7.2 and it is aimed at data scientists, developers, educators and researchers. Linux Data Science Virtual Machine comes with a number of pre-configured data tools, such as Microsoft R Open (with Intel Math Kernel Library), Anaconda Python Distribution and a number of Azure tools, along with standard Linux applications.
“Developers are excited about this, with Microsoft’s announcement being met with applause.” the Windows version. Despite its faults Windows 10 has proved to be pretty popular as well, so if people can run Linux applications natively then that could bring these tools to a wider audience. Also, although we’d much rather people ditched Windows altogether and install a Linux distribution, it could at least prove to people weary of open source software that there’s nothing to fear. It certainly seems that developers are excited about this, with Microsoft’s
Newsdesk newsdesk internet news
Let’s Encrypt leaves beta
The free automated open certificate authority has reached another milestone, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
fter entering beta in September 2015 (and issuing over 1.7 million certificates to 3.8 million websites during that time), Let’s Encrypt, the free automated open certificate authority, is now leaving beta. The Let’s Encrypt service is provided by the Internet Security Research Group (https://letsencrypt.org/isrg) with the aim of allowing anyone who owns a domain name to obtain a trusted certificate for free. In a statement on the Let’s Encrypt website (http://bit.ly/LetsEncryptNewSponsors) the team believe that it has gained enough experience and confidence in its systems that it no longer feels the beta label is required. The team isn’t
alone in that confidence either, with founding sponsors Cisco and Akamai renewing their Platinum sponsorships for three years, while Gemalto, HP Enterprise, Fastly, Duda and ReliableSite.net all joining as new sponsors. With the goal to encrypt 100% of the web, there’s still an upward struggle, but Let’s Encrypt certainly has a lot of good will and momentum. Let’s Encrypt is doing good work, and it’s now out of beta!
Canonical’s courts controversy with ZFS
Canonical faces the wrath of the FSF by including ZFS in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
anonical is planning to include OpenZFS in Ubuntu 16.04, with the announcement (http://bit.ly/ZFSinUbuntu16_04) claiming that OpenZFS support is “one of the most exciting new features Linux has seen in a very long time.” While the inclusion of ZFS – a combination of a volume manager and filesystem – can be seen as an exciting addition, thanks to features such as copy-on-write cloning, automatic repairs and efficient data compression, not everyone is happy. In a lengthy post (which can be read here: https://www.fsf.org/licensing/zfs-and-linux) for the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman explains how ZFS, developed by Sun Microsystems for Solaris, uses the Common Development and Distribution License, version 1.0 (CDDL), which is incompatible with the GNU General Public Licence (GNU GPL). While he does not call out Canonical by name, it’s pretty clear that he is talking about Ubuntu 16.04 when he says that “Code under GPL-incompatible licenses cannot be added, neither in source nor binary form, without violating the GPL”.
Meanwhile, Canonical has defended its decision to include OpenZFS and claims that it has sought legal advice with the industry’s leading software freedom legal counsel, to ensure that what they are doing is legal and in compliance with the terms of both licences. In a statement (http://bit.ly/ZFSLicensingAndLinux) Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland explains the steps the company has taken. This may not be enough to appease Stallman, who suggests another workaround: “the copyright holders of ZFS (the version that is actually used) can give permission to use it under the GNU GPL, version 2 or later, in addition to any other licence … This would make it possible to combine that version with Linux without violating the licence of Linux. This would be the ideal resolution…” The copyright holder in question is now Oracle, and hasn’t so far shown any interest in changing the licence, but hopefully we will see a solution that pleases, if not everybody then at least most people.
Newsbytes If you’ve been looking forward to running a laptop with Intel’s new Skylake processors (the sixth generation of Core I CPUs), then we have some bad news. Although Linux 4.5 plays nicely with most aspects of the mobile processors – including improved integrated graphics performance – the power management side of things appears to be a bit broken – with many components continuing to draw power when not in use, and not dropping into deeper power saving states. This results in laptops running Linux and a Skylake processor having pretty awful battery life. Hopefully this issue gets sorted quickly – there’s already been rumblings about a fix – but for the moment it’s best to hold off buying a Skylake-powered laptop for now. A crucial security bug in Windows and Samba has been found, named Badlock, which can introduce man-in-the-middle and denial of service attacks. The versions of Samba that are affected are 3.6.x, 4.0.x, 4.1.x, 4.2.0-4.2.9, 4.3.0-4.3.6, 4.4.0. Older versions have not been assessed, but it is worth making sure you apply the patches released by the Samba team which can be downloaded from https://www. samba.org/samba/history/ security.html.
All the cool exploits now have their own logos. A story has emerged about when the Internet of Things (IoT) goes wrong. While we love a bit of home automation here, we also fear we’ll be hearing more of these stories. Arlo Gilbert has described in a blog post (http://bit.ly/RevolvShutDown) how Google is discontinuing support for the Revolv home automation hub, that it acquired 17 months ago. Not only is Google no longer supporting the hub, but from 15 May 2016 the app won’t open and the hub won’t work. Gilbert’s carefully created smart home, that uses the hub for security, turning on lights and much more, will stop working, and there’s nothing he can do about it. This story highlights how handing over control of our homes and appliances to a third party is all well and good when it’s convenient, but if the company drops the service, you’re left with a lot of expensive useless gadgets.
June 2016 LXF211 7
Let’s talk about Cryptography Alex Campbell
Nearly everyone who uses the web uses encryption, though it usually remains invisible. Log on to Facebook? You’re using crypto. Amazon? Crypto. Twitter? Crypto. Google? Yep, you get the idea. All of these sites use public-key encryption and the X.509 system of certificates to prove that the machines serving up the web pages are who they say they are. This means that even if you’re not a crypto geek and don’t use device encryption on your phone or don’t use PGP-encrypted email, you use crypto every day. I spent a week at the RSA Conference in March 2016, where this issue was addressed in nearly every keynote. The FBI versus Apple fight was the elephant in the room whenever a government employee or crypto expert was speaking.
If privacy advocates and government agencies agreed on one thing at RSA, it was that these issues have to be talked about. For years, the government has sought to weaken encryption or get companies to adopt a system of key escrow. Privacy advocates have fought back, saying that the government can’t be trusted, and such compromises introduce an unacceptable amount of vulnerability to encryption systems. Mostly, the two sides have talked past one another, but this year’s RSA saw them make the first attempts to talk to one another. I spent about three hours talking to my brother, explaining how encryption works, and where it’s used, and how everyone – including governments – rely on it. Because he interned for a district attorney’s office, we also talked about the need for law enforcement to be able to investigate crimes. Conversations like these need to happen. As Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, said during his keynote, “We do not need our courts to define the laws that govern 21st century technology with laws that come from the era of the adding machine.” Alex is the associate editor and resident Linux geek on Maximum PC (@MaximumPC).
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What’s behind the free software sofa?
IP Fire 2.19 The 100th update to the IPFIre project’s 2.19 branch has been released, and to mark this milestone the latest update includes some substantial features, including a 64-bit build for the first time ever, along with an update to the Linux kernel to
Linux 3.14.65. IPFire is a distro that combines high level security with ease of use, and is controlled via a web-based interface. It also includes a custom package manager, Pakfire.You can find out more about the latest release at http://bit.ly/IPFire2_19Core100.
PrimTux Eiffel The latest version of the education-orientated PrimTux distro is now available to download. This distro comes with educational programs, LibreOffice 4 and games that’s all been packaged with a user interface that has been specially designed for young
children in mind. Developed by a small team of experienced teachers, PrimTux is light enough distro to be installed on old and obsolete hardware, allowing children to access educational tools no matter what their background. For more information visit http://bit.ly/PrimTux.
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Samsung M.2 Your article in LXF207 [Reviews, p17] about the Samsung PRO 950 SSD has whetted my appetite for an upgrade to my desktop computer. Can you recommend a suitable motherboard and CPU which would allow me to install and run Kubuntu using this SSD as the root and home drive please? Internet searches only refer to Windows and that only a few boards can boot from this SSD so I am a bit hesitant to take the plunge and purchase without further guidance. Alan Reid, via email Neil says: I’m glad you found the review helpful – I like putting in the odd cutting-edge hardware review to keep readers up to date – I’m never sure how interested readers really are in these types of reviews (but I find them useful and interesting, so I guess someone
else must!). As this is a new technology direct chipset support is only on the high-end Intel chipsets and so motherboards. Look to the Z97 or H97 range of socket 1150 boards or the Z/H/ Q170 range of socket 1151 Skylake motherboards. Though you’ll still need to confirm the connections on the motherboard. Alternatively you are able to get slot-in PCIe adaptors into which you can mount your M.2 drive and get full speed access, but unless your mobo supports booting from a M.2 port or PCIe drive it’s unlikely to support booting from one of these. A BIOS update could add in support, but we wouldn’t hold out much hope except for the latest of boards.
Absolute beginners I am an absolute beginner when it comes to Linux, being at the stage of trying out various distros in the hope of ridding
Getting the latest hardware, means getting the latest hardware.
myself of Microsoft (and not just the OS). I am sure it’s a familiar story nowadays. I was very impressed by the Linux Mint 17.2 version that was supplied with the October 2015 issue of Linux Format [LXF203], and – because ‘eye candy’ is important to me – I was really
pleased with the large amount of wallpapers that came with it (about 160). I decided though not to install it permanently but rather to wait for Mint 17.3. I was delighted to see that you had included it with the February 2016 edition [LXF207] and duly gave it a full installation.
Letter of the month
Pi over consumption
ll the way down, here in Namibia, Linux Format is about the only magazine on Linux. For the last couple of years I enjoyed it. At the beginning of a new month I started looking forward to the next one. Most of the time our local book store only gets its copies at the end of the month. Anyway, while living in Africa it’s a good thing to learn some patience. Years ago, through Linux Format, I learned about the Arduino, at that time it was something new here. Even in South Africa one could not buy them. That has changed; now it takes me just ten days after ordering online, before I get one from South Africa, to my home in Namibia. At present an important part of the irrigation-
system of our greenhouses is controlled through Arduinos. Currently in Linux Format I miss interesting articles on the Arduino; it looks like you guys are totally hooked on Raspberry Pi. Can’t you do something about it? George Ellis, Namibia Neil says: We think the Arduino is great – when we can pronounce it correctly – and we do plan to cover it again down the line. The reason for the Pi coverage and all the Pi love is that to start it’s a British creation— so yay! But it’s also a full-blown, low-cost PC that runs Linux. It’s also being used in UK (and overseas) education and the Pi Foundation supports a full Linux distro in Raspbian. This means we can do a software
project on the Pi that’s still relevant to x86 desktop Linux. The Pi has also shifted almost 10 million units too. Arduino is more limited in terms of what you can actually do with it and the audience that we can reach. So a tutorial on the Pi may reach 50% of our readers, while Arduino not so much.
Arduino is a triumph of open hardware and open source development.
June 2016 LXF211 11
I am not lodging a complaint by any means, but I am puzzled by what appears to be a reduction of about 73 stunning background pictures in the latest version. My enquiry was sparked by a screenshot on www.linuxmint.com in an article about Mint 17.3 entitled ‘New Features in Linux Mint’, which appears to show all of the background sets including Rosa and Retro. Perhaps the earlier backgrounds had been imported into the version the author was using for the article? Tony Frost, via email. Neil Bothwick says: I used a virgin 17.3 ISO, so they must have been dropped from the default list. However, they can be installed from the package manager, just search for ‘mint-backgrounds’ and you’ll get a list of all the older sets.
DNSing it Regarding your feature on Plasma 5 in LXF206 [p59].
I actually have a sweet spot for KDE/Plasma (although I feel your bashing of Plasma 4 is unwarranted—some great features of 4 have disappeared in 5, notably the ability to tab different windows), and I don’t have the most cutting edge hardware, but 4 used to run fine, just as 5 does. The issue is that we all know that KDE/Plasma can be tweaked to your heart’s content, so it was quite a disappointment to see that your feature didn’t indicate anywhere where one would go to tweak stuff. Tell me where I can really tweak things, and forget the fluff about how great Plasma 5 is—yes, it’s great, but I want to set it up to my needs! This has nothing to do with the previous rant. A long time ago there was a nice article in LXF about using Dnsmasq as a simple but effective DNS service on your own network. Together with a couple of comments in
12 LXF211 June 2016
Web server DNS server
Your PC DNS server There’s nothing easy about handling your own DNS infrastructure.
LXF forums about his, I was able to set things up like I wanted. That is: I have a dedicated computer acting as mail and file server. Using Fetchmail it sweeps my emails from a number of accounts I have and makes it available to my working computers. Using Unison, I have the server keep an updated copy of all my essential files. To do this from outside my LAN I (obviously) have to open an appropriate port on my router. The trick comes when I want to use these features (POP3 access to my mail on the server and SSH access used by Unison to synch files) both inside my LAN and when I am out in the wild. This is where the Dnsmasq +Exchange did the job: I have a No-IP service providing an URL to my system when I am on the road, and setting up my Dnsmasq server with a hosts field that includes the No-IP URL
Getting the latest wallpapers, means getting the latest wallpapers
DNS request DNS reply Connection
as its local hostname, allows me to use one URL for email and file synch access. That’s great, but I ran into a glitch that I haven’t seen flagged anywhere. So, it turns out that if any participant in the LAN lists a DNS server on its own (except 128.0.0/1.1 or the router—in my latest case, it’s my VoIP gadget), opening up a port on my router for POP3 or SSH (or whatever, I assume) breaks access from the LAN as the requests to the server is listed as coming from the router instead of the actual originating computer. This seems pretty exotic, but it has entirely messed up my access to email and synch, and the way out was to keep the POP3, SSH, whatever ports open strictly only when I am actually using them (from outside my LAN), but shut otherwise. This is actually a good safety feature, and my Linksys router allows me to manage