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Asus Tinker Board Vs Raspberry Pi


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UBUNTU 17.04 Revealed! Discover the inner workings of this essential Zesty release! The future of Unity 8 AMD inside – Kernel 4.10 New-look Gnome 3.24

Maker Faire 2017 The community plays a big part in the movement, everyone helps each other and offers advice Robin Hartley on building the Amazing Shortcut Keypad!

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We support the open source community by providing a resource of information, and a forum for debate. We help all readers get more from Linux with our tutorials section – we’ve something for everyone! We license all the source code we print in our tutorials section under the GNU GPL v3. We give you the most accurate, unbiased and up-to-date information on all things Linux.

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This issue we asked our experts: What are your thoughts on Ubuntu moving back to Gnome? Happy, sad, or indifferent Slackware user?

Jonni Bidwell I’m a little sad, but I don’t know exactly why. I use Gnome every day and always found Unity to be a bit clumsier/clunkier. I suppose that I thought it was more beginner friendly, and now a lot of people that have never encountered Gnome 3 will, come to 18.04 and suddenly find themselves in terra incognita. Neil Bothwick I think many users may be disappointed. Unity is already using Gnome3 technology so I think the ‘new’ desktop will be a lot more like Unity than the old Ubuntu desktop. Had they gone with Cinnamon​ things would have been different. But I’m a KDE diehard so what do I know?

Les Pounder When Unity was first released I fell out of love with Ubuntu. For years I loved the Gnome desktop, and before that I was a KDE user. But Unity for me just didn’t work. Fast forward to 2016 – 2017 and I am now using Unity, but secretly happy for the return of Gnome.

Mayank Sharma The whole thing is so against the open source ethos. What of the unending spiel about the benefits of Mir and Unity 8 for the desktop? Just because he couldn’t sell enough phones, suddenly Shuttleworth realises that fragmentation isn’t good and his ‘pragmatic’ solution is to shutter these projects? Bah humbug!

Shashank Sharma When writing reviews, I’m pained when confronted with below-par software because criticising and dismissing somebody’s labour of love is not easy. While not an Ubuntu user, I’m feeling equally pained at this development, more so when Unity is being discarded in so cavalier a fashion.

Orange army We know there’s a collective roll of the eyes from many regular readers when we run our (bi)-annual Ubuntu release covers. But there’s no escaping the sales boost every orange-soaked cover gains on the yearly 04 release schedule. It’s actually heartening to see so many people looking forward to, or at least welcoming, the release of a new version of Ubuntu by rushing out and snapping up our little magazine. The truth is that Canonical, and its prime distro Ubuntu, remains a key driver for Linux both on the desktop and in the enterprise world. Red Hat and SUSE certainly have made their own mark in enterprise, but Canonical is seeing wins in the telephony industry, ‘cloud’ market and the emerging IoT world of devices from Pi-like boards to self-driving cars and robots, as we covered the LXF223 show report. So in many ways it’s no shock to hear that Unity 8 has been killed, the dream of convergence dispelled and its CEO dismissed. It seems Mark Shuttleworth, self-appointed benevolent dictator for life, has dictated that Canonical and therefore Ubuntu needs to concentrate on projects that make it money. This must be devastating for the people involved and you can learn more in our news on page 6. But a return to a Gnome desktop (on top of Wayland) will be fantastic, a focus on projects that deliver can only benefit everyone and we’re looking forward with optimism to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. But orange distros aren’t the only Linux fruit, so this month we’re looking at the best KDE-based distros in Roundup, how to systematically benchmark any Linux distro, reporting on all the excitement at the UK’s Maker Faire 2017, and we review the Pi-sized Asus Tinker Board and dole out the usual top selection of mind-expanding tutorials. What a time to be alive!

Neil Mohr Editor

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On digital and print, see p30

June 2017 LXF224    3


Learn Linux in 5 days on p70

“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” – Leo Tolstoy

Reviews Google WiFi........................15 Take one wireless router into your home? Nonsense, at least three are required to reach the darkest corners of LXF Tower’s dungeon. Bath’s stone walls are thick.

Yes, we’re still doing shampoo-based jokes for things that come in groups.

Crucial MX300 2TB...........16

Get inside Ubuntu 17.04 We go hands-on with the latest release of Ubuntu 17.04, rip off its top and peer into its gooey inner workings to see what makes it tick, on p32.

Roundup: KDE distros p23

We find out if the latest low-cost (Ha! – Ed), high-speed SSD from Crucial can do enough to tempt Brexit-strapped LXF readers from their spinning-disc alternatives.

Parrot Security OS 3.5...... 17 A modern day Robin Hood with a conscience, Shashank Sharma merely tests security measures with this pentesting distro, while remaining anonymous. Erm…

FreeNAS Corral..................18 Shashank Sharma looks at the popular NAS solution that has been reborn, much like himself.

4MLinux 21.0......................19 Ambitious minimalist distros are quite a tempting bait (without the switch, we hope,) but will Shashank Sharma bite?

Civilization VI.................... 20 Gather around, children, as holographic great, great granddaddy TJ Hafer describes how all this here rocket port used to be fields.

Maker Faire 2017

How will you rule your kingdom, like Trumpton or a Little England?

4     LXF224 June 2017

It’s all about the attitude, the willingness to learn, and the sense of community. Robin Hartley, at the UK’s premier maker show p40

On your FREE DVD Ubuntu 17.04 32-bit, Ubuntu 17.04 64-bit, Linux Lite 3.4 32-bit.

Only the best distros every month Plus HotPicks, code and library

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Raspberry Pi User

In-depth... Benchmark Linux.................. 45

Pi news.................................... 58

Testing stuff is hard, let us show you how to make it easy(ier) with our benchmark guide.

The sales of Pi keep on growing, more than the Commodore 64 (and yes, soon its entire range), there’s a Mac Pi and Julia is here.

Asus Tinker Board................ 59 Les Pounder tries a new SBPC that thinks it’s a Pi beater from big-name Asus.

Analogue explained.............. 60 Les Pounder turns it up to eleven connecting his analogue thingies to his GPIO whatsits.

Digital wall calendar............. 63 Nate Drake is the most organised man you’ve never met, discover his secret and build your very own Pi-based digital wall calendar.

Coding Academy

Tutorials Terminal Custom profiles................72

Django unchained................. 88 Thomas Rumbold walks you through the basics of the Django Framework and   Daniel Samuels show you how to get   started with your first lines of code.

Nick Peers reveals how the Terminal can be customised for different uses with the help of custom profiles.

Firewalls pfSense..............................74

Web development................. 92 Kent Elchuk strings English words together to make sentences that explain how you can build a ready-to-go web development machine.

Afnan Rehman demonstrates that building your own router and firewall system has never been this easy.

Regulars at a glance News.............................. 6 Subscriptions............30 Overseas subs...........69 Unpleasant news from Canonical

Why walk to the shops when we can

Towers, dropping of Unity, dropping of

come to you and save you £££? Grab America and other territories too.

Mir, dropping of staff, but we’ll have

our latest subs offer today!

Gnome and Wayland in the future.

User groups................. 11

HotPicks......................51 Alexander Tolstoy most certainly is

Like the Stranglers we’re Big in

Next month................98. Pop on your white-hat hoody and prepare to defend your networks

Les Pounder loves a bit of jam

not drawing outlawed clown pictures

from attack! We enter Room 101 of

especially when it’s with a nice Pi.

of Mr Putin, he’s too busy drawing

the pen-testing world. Please, no rats.

conclusions on top FOSS like:  


MATE, MtPaint, Meteo-Qt, NTFS-3G,

Puzzles are coming! Firewalls are

Guetzli, LanguageTool,

coming! Digital editions are coming!

Webenginepart, GNU Nano,

Even the kitchen sink is coming!

Classifier, Man vs. Olives, Tank island.

John Lane expands your worldview with a dive into GnuPG’s key-based trust model.

Networks Build a router.................... 84

Discover exactly what the new Pi

Ubuntu. He’s got better things to do,

Zero W is capable of in LXF223, then

like play with pretty KDE distros.

build yourself chattering devices.

Mihalis Tsoukalos tires of endless maths and tinkers with his web proxy instead.

Encryption GnuPG............................... 80

Roundup..................... 23 Back issues................68 Mayank Sharma is shirking the new

You see? Easy.

Servers haProxy.............................. 76

Our subscription team is waiting for your call.

Afnan Rehman brings all the boys to the yard, his router is better than theirs.

June 2017 LXF224    5

This ISSUE: Canonical crisis

Unity lives on

Samsung’s holes

Netflix on Firefox

Distro drama

Not so Canonical now

Canonical in turmoil as it drops Unity 8, Mir (sort of) and Ubuntu phone, while axing jobs mean turbulent times for the company and people behind Ubuntu.


ews has been coming thick and fast from the Canonical camp recently, with major new developments happening even as we go to press. It all started at the beginning of April 2017 when Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, announced in a blog post ( that Canonical would stop working on Unity 8 and Mir, saying that the Ubuntu desktop will “shift back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.” Perhaps the biggest news of all was that Canonical is also dropping its goal of putting Ubuntu on smartphones and tablets. While the Ubuntu-powered smartphones that have already been released have been met with a poor critical (see Reviews LXF197, LXF212) reception, Canonical had until recently maintained that its vision of ‘Convergence’ – where Ubuntu worked across desktop and mobile devices – was vital to the company. That has now all changed, with Shuttleworth admitting that he made a mistake when he “took the view that – if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software – that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers.” He concludes “I was wrong on both counts.” In the blog post, Shuttleworth admits that contrary to Canoncial’s aims for convergence, its efforts were seen by the community as “fragmentation not innovation”. Many people were concerned that Canoncial’s strategy of chasing after the mobile market – which is dominated by Android and Apple – was taking

6     LXF224 June 2017

resources away from the desktop version of Ubuntu, which would then suffer. Instead, Shuttleworth emphasised Canonical’s “ongoing passion for, investment in, and commitment to, the Ubuntu desktop that millions rely on. We will continue to produce the most usable open source desktop in the world, to maintain the existing LTS releases, to work with our commercial partners to distribute that desktop, to support our corporate customers who rely on it, and to delight the millions of IoT and cloud developers who innovate on top of it.” Stripped of PR speak, that means Ubuntu is going to focus on Ubuntu for desktops, servers, virtual machines, as well as snaps and Ubuntu Core for IoT (Internet of Things) embedded devices. Cloud infrastructure technology will also continue to be worked on.

Big changes are coming to Canonical.

Canonical “will invest in Ubuntu GNOME with the intent of delivering a fantastic all-GNOME desktop”, which all but confirms that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will come with the GNOME Shell. Despite Canoncial’s high hopes for Unity, it also looks like we won’t be getting a heavily modified version of GNOME – and will instead get the vanilla experience. “We’re helping the Ubuntu GNOME team, not creating something different or competitive with that effort. While I am passionate about the design ideas in Unity, and hope GNOME may be more open to them now, I think we should respect the GNOME design leadership by delivering GNOME the way GNOME wants it delivered.” However, as the month went on, the full implications of Canonical’s move became apparent.

“Ubuntu is going to focus on Ubuntu for desktops, servers, virtual machines, snaps and IoT.” While not many people will mourn the passing of Ubuntu Phone the announcement has wider implications for Canoncial and Ubuntu. By dropping Unity 8, Ubuntu will return to using GNOME as its interface, with Shuttleworth confirming on his personal Google+ account that

Newsdesk Unity desktop

What now for Unity? Is this the end of the road for the desktop environment?


ne of the biggest questions hanging over Canoncial’s abrupt dropping of Unity is what will happen to the desktop environment – and the versions of Ubuntu that are currently running it. For seven years Canoncial has been concentrating on Unity after dropping GNOME, and since Ubuntu 11.10, Unity has been the default desktop for the distro. For the time being, it looks like not a huge amount will change. Unity hasn’t had any major updates for a while now, instead getting a few minor adjustments to make sure it continues to work. Unity should still get some updates, then, in the future, to make sure people using it aren’t left completely unsupported. As Mark Shuttleworth stated, “Unity 7 packages will continue to be carried in the archive. I know there are quite a few people who care enough about it to keep it up to date.” Also, while Canoncial will revert to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, that won’t be released until April 2018. Before that, two version of Ubuntu will release, 17.04 and 17.11. Both of these releases will continue to use Unity 7. Unity 7 will also be available in next year’s version of Ubuntu, according to Shuttleworth. “I expect it will be in-universe for 18.04 LTS.” As with so many open source projects, it looks like the community will come to the rescue, with many people pledging to continue working on Unity 7 – and even the unfinished Unity 8. Marius Gripsgård, a developer who worked on Unity, said on his

Google+ account that “I’m not giving up! I will do my best to keep Ubuntu Touch and Unity 8 standing on both its legs!” Ubports has also stepped up to continue development for Unity 8, and has a project website at There, it explains that “After the announcement that Canonical will stop investing in Unity 8, we stepped forward stating that we will continue development for Unity 8. The reason why we will do that is that we believe in convergence, we believe convergence is the thing people want in the future, and now that desktop is slowly decreasing in users ... investing in mobile is a smart move in our opinion.” This is an important reminder that just because Canonical is no longer working on Unity, it’s not the end for the project. The beauty of open source software is that if you don’t agree with a company’s decision to stop working on something, you can work on it yourself. Canonical is also ceasing work on its Mir display server. But, as Canonical has reiterated its support for Ubuntu on IoT, which often relies on Mir, it looks like it will continue to be updated by Canonical – just not for the Don’t count out desktop Ubuntu. Unity just yet.

Human costs

Layoff hit Canonical The repercussions of Canoncial’s decisions begin to hit.


t the beginning of April when Mark Shuttleworth announced Canonical’s plans to drop Ubuntu Phone and Unity, he was known as the founder of Canonical and ex CEO. Less than a month later, he was once again the CEO. This follows the announcement that the (then) current CEO of Canonical, Jane Siber, was standing down. In a blog post (https://insights., Siber wrote that “We’re now entering a new phase of accelerated growth at Canonical, and it’s time to pass the baton.” Siber insisted that this was not a sudden decision. She had “originally agreed to be CEO for five years and we’ve extended my tenure as CEO by a couple of years already”. Siber will remain CEO for the next three months, with Shuttleworth

replacing her in June. Siber will continue to work with Canonical in a new position on the Canonical Board and within the Ubuntu community. Canonical has also told over half the team working on Unity that if they cannot be mapped to new positions in the company, they will be made redundant. Reports suggest other departments at Canonical are being reduced, some losing 30 percent of their workforce, others up to 60 percent. In comments reported by The Register (, Shuttleworth said of the cuts “we need to look at those things and say, ‘Could we run a marathon in six months to a year?’ and we could, but to do that we need to get a bit fit.” Being considered dead weight that needs to be shed will be little comfort to Canonical employees.

Newsbytes It may come as little surprise, but a security researcher has uncovered 40 unknown zero-day vulnerabilities in Tizen, the mobile operating system that runs on a number of Samsung devices. According to the person who found the vulnerabilities, Amihai Neiderman, “It may be the worst code I’ve ever seen... You can see that nobody with any understanding of security looked at this code or wrote it. It’s like taking an undergraduate and letting him program your software”. All the vulnerabilities Neiderman found would give hackers the ability to perform remote-code executions to hijack software running on other devices. Let’s hope these findings prompt Samsung to take the security of its smart devices more seriously. The results of Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey are in (see insights/survey/2017) with over 64,000 developers sharing details about their jobs. It will probably come as little surprise, but Linux remains incredibly popular with developers, with 26 percent of respondents saying it was their platform of choice. Linux was the second most popular platform after Windows (which got the nod from 32.4 percent of developers polled). While it’s a shame to see Microsoft’s OS in first place, the fact that Linux has such a large percentage of the vote among developers, considering its usage among the general population, is a testament to developers’ love of Linux. Netflix now works on Linux via the Firefox browser. Linux users have been able to watch Netflix for a few years now, since the company began the transition from Microsoft’s Silverlight to HTML5 plugin-free playback across multiple platforms – but only if they were using Chrome. Netflix, in a blog post about the move (, said that “Plugin-free playback that works seamlessly on all major platforms helps us deliver compelling experiences no matter how you choose to watch.” Even Iron Fist?

Netflix is now much easier to watch on Linux.

June 2017 LXF224    7

Newsdesk Comment

Ubuntu goes Wayland Daniel Stone Ubuntu’s decision to move back to a GNOMEbased desktop will have ramifications for years to come. For user experience, unifying the desktops means combining forces and eliminating duplicated effort. For developers, a lot of the differences in APIs such as indicators, menus, and scrollbars could now come to an end, making Linux an easier target for ISVs. Not to mention that we are back to only supporting two window systems: Wayland and legacy X11. With Ubuntu following Fedora’s lead in shipping Wayland-based GNOME for 18.04, all major distros will reap the benefits of the work done to Wayland, EGL, and Vulkan across the board. And we’ll undoubtedly see more focus on improving and extending Wayland. But you may be surprised with continuity, and just how much of the graphics infrastructure is common. When I started working on X11 nearly 15 years ago, the idea of a fork or alternate window system was unthinkable. Not just because the drivers and platform specifics were tied up in the XFree86/X.Org servers, but the toolkits too: much of the big breakage between GTK+ 2.x and 3.x was removing X11 implementation details from the toolkit API. However, 2017 is a different time. KMS provides device-independent display control, Vulkan and EGL provide GPU acceleration across multiple window systems, xkbcommon provides keyboard infrastructure, and logind lets us do all this without being root. GBM allocates graphics buffers, and the universal allocator being designed by the whole community including Nvidia, will join the family. As Mir also relied on these, the change is less seismic than you might think. From this point of view, nothing changes: we continue to cooperate on the bedrock infrastructure borne of X.Org’s incredibly long-sighted view that it had a duty to make itself replaceable.

Distro watch What’s behind the free software sofa?

RancherOS 1.0.0 A major release for the minimalist distro that focuses on running Docker containers has emerged. The idea behind the distro is to keep the footprint of the OS as small as possible, so your machine can commit as many resources as possible to the containers. According to the official blurb: “Key features of RancherOS include: minimalist OS – eliminates the need for unnecessary libraries and services; automatic configuration – simplifies OS configuration by using cloud-init to parse the cloudconfig files from multiple data

RancherOS makes setting up and using Docker containers as simple as possible.

KaOS 2017.04 The newest version of KaOS has been released in time for the fourth anniversary of the KDEbased rolling release distro. New in version 2017.04 is an improved installer that now lets users use GPT disk layouts in BIOS systems, as well as a separate Wayland edition for people who don’t want to run the Plasma desktop using the X display server. Running the distro in a virtual machine is now more streamlined thanks to the inclusion of VirtualBox guest modules. However, you aren’t able to run the Wayland version of

KaOS as a VM. For more information on what’s new, visit http://kaosx. us/news/2017/kaos04.

KaOS is celebrating four years in the business with a new release.

Tiny Core Linux 8.0 This major release of the minimalist distribution features the 4.8 version of the Linux kernel, along with glibc being updated to 2.24, GCC updated to 6.2.0, and much more. Meanwhile, according to the brief release notes (which can be found if you browse over to

index.php/topic, 20934.0.html), “most extensions have been copied over from the 7.x repo.” The release notes also state that “the Xorg-7.7 extensions have been updated, the ncurses and readline extensions have changed major versions and the openssl extension has been factored out into openssl and ca-certficate.”

Tiny Core, big update.

Daniel Stone, Graphics Lead, Collabora Ltd.

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sources; simple setup – runs services inside containers orchestrated using Docker Compose service files, making setup as simple as running a Docker container.” To find out more, and to download, head to http://rancher. com/press-release-rancheros-ga.

Newsdesk Comment

Harmonisation: Bringing open source together

TITLE OpenElec 8.0.0 This specialist distro, which is built around the popular Kodi platform, and primarily designed for media playback on big screens, has been updated. A major new change is the inclusion of the WeTek 2Play 2 platform. This allows you to stream “endless entertainment to your living room, enjoy the latest movies and series in 4K UHD, play games, browse the internet, keep up with the news, or use the DVB modular tuner to watch thousands of TV channels via satellite, terrestrial and cable connections.” This new platform comes with its own build. Check out

the full release announcement at

Media fans will be pleased to see there’s a new version of OpenElec.

TalkingArch 2017.04.04 TalkingArch is an accessibility re-spin of the Arch Linux live ISO image, which includes support for speech and Braille output for blind and visually impaired users. The latest release brings support for x86_64 processors – a first for the distro. It drops i686 support, which means

that very old PCs may no longer work. The upshot of this is that the new version is much smaller. This version also includes the 4.10.6 Linux kernel, and a number of upgrades to packaged software. Head to https:// to find out more.

TalkingArch helps blind and visually impaired users work with their PCs.

NuTyX 9.0 NuTyX may have a rather annoying name, but it’s a great distro that’s based on Linux From Scratch and uses the “cards” custom software manager. This latest release comes with a range of updates to the included software, including Plasma 5.9, GNOME 3.22, MATE 1.16 and Python 3.6. The Linux kernel is now 4.10, and the ISOs have been updates so that they can be launched on UEFI machines. NuTyX 9.0 can be loaded completely into a system’s memory as long as it has over 1GB of RAM, giving you flexibility if you no longer want to run the live ISO from a USB

stick. Find out more at:

Useful distro, useless name.

Arpit Joshipura Open source networking has come a long way in the past five years. In this time, it has evolved from a disaggregation of networking components at all levels of the stack, to production-ready components matured and deployed in various production networks. This year, open source is poised to enter its third phase of development: production-ready end-to-end solutions. With this comes fresh challenges, the most glaring of which is the current fragmentation in the industry. For open source to move forward, harmonisation needs to take place across the stack. This will give rise to common frameworks between the different open networking projects that will, in turn, dictate their interoperability. Without this crucial step, the mass adoption of open source solutions in the carrier network space will prove impossible. How can we, as an industry, best achieve harmonisation? The key is a massive increase in collaboration and standardisation, a direction in which The Linux Foundation is already spearheading initiatives. In February, the Foundation announced the merger of two massive projects in the MANO sector – OPEN-O and ECOMP – into ONAP, effectively eliminating duplicate efforts and supplying end users with a unified platform for all issues relating to open source virtual networks. In fact, the Foundation has, for many years now, been bringing disparate elements of the open networking industry together through its networking events. These include the Open Networking Summit, ContainerCon, and LinuxCon, all gathering the best in the industry to exchange ideas and discuss developments. At The Linux Foundation, we hope to use our resources to provide the structure and support for a sustainable community that will work together to continually advance the open source agenda. Arpit is the new general manager for networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation.

June 2017 LXF224    9

Linux user groups

United Linux!

The intrepid Les Pounder brings you the latest community and LUG news.

Find and join a LUG

Raspberry Jamboree 2017 This formerly fruitful event has been preserved.

Alpinux, le LUG de Savoie Meet on the first and third Thursday of the month at the Maison des Associations de Chambéry.

Bristol Hackspace Studio G11, 37 Philip Street, Bedminster, Bristol, UK, BS3 4EA. Surrey and Hampshire Makerspace Tuesdays and Fridays at the Boileroom in Guildford.

Lancaster and Morecambe Makers Unit 5, Sharpes Mill, White Cross, Lancaster, Open Night on Wednesday evening 6:30pm till late.

Hull Raspberry Jam Malet Lambert School, Hull. Every other month. See their Twitter account. Preston Hackspace 28a Good St, PR2 8UX. Open night is 2nd Monday of the month, 7pm. Huddersfield Raspberry Jam Meet every month at Huddersfield Library, usually 4th Saturday. North Kent Raspberry Pi User Group Every two weeks at Medway Makers, 12 Dunlin Drive, St Mary’s Island, Chatham ME4 3JE.

Cheltenham Hackspace The Runnings trading estate, Cheltenham. Thursdays from 7pm.


he Raspberry Jamboree was can do in your home or classroom. last seen in 2014 under the These workshop sessions are the only expert guidance of Alan curated part of the event, aimed at O’Donohoe, aka Teknoteacher. Now a introducing new projects and nurturing leaner event is taking on the name. new talent. If you would like to run a The Raspberry Jamboree 2017 is session then please contact the organised by Claire Wicher, a Raspberry organisers via their form. Pi Certified Educator who works in This free event aims to provide the community outreach in Manchester. community with an additional means to Claire specialises in helping children express and showcase new projects, and adults learn about computing. ideas and opinions for this ever popular This one-day event takes place on board. But is it limited to just Raspberry May 27 at Manchester’s Central Library, Pi fans? No, this is an inclusive event. If St Peter’s Square. The library has kindly you are a fan of Arduino, micro:bit etc provided three rooms where delegates you are more than welcome. can take part in two tracks of More details and tickets can be unconference/barcamp talks where the found on the Eventbrite page, at: delegates are the speakers. If you have LXF a talk in your head, and it has a Raspberry Pi, micro:bit or other single board computer theme, the Raspberry Jamboree would love to hear about it. The Jamboree has also set up one room to be a classroom/workshop space, for 25 delegates to learn new skills and help others learn more about At previous Jamborees we have seen the the Raspberry Pi and what it Raspberry Pi Foundation run workshops and talks.

Community events news

The Perl Conference in Amsterdam This three-day conference starts on August 9. Perl is a powerful tool that has been used to solve many problems with only a few lines of code. What started life as

a grassroots user meeting has now grown into a much larger conference where Perl Mongers can share projects. For 2017 their keynote speaker is Larry Wall, creator of the Perl language. More information and a schedule of talks and workshops can be found on their website. EMFCamp 2018 This is still over a year away, but a date for your diaries. August 31 to September 2, 2018.

Electromagnetic Field, shortened to EMFCamp, is a festival not unlike Glastonbury, but replaces the music with technology! Blacksmithing, carpentry, electronics, wearable technology, lock picking and craft ales along with the other many facets of maker culture meet in a lovely field for three days of talks, workshops and networking. If you are a maker, tinkerer, or hacker in the UK then this is the event for you! More details at:

GUADEC 2017 The GNOME conference comes to Manchester, UK, July 28 to August 2. It covers the latest technical developments in the desktop environment, as well as talks, workshops, panels and the chance to socialise with GNOME project members. The event is split into two sections, days 1-3 cover talks, days 4-6 are for workshops and training. Right now there’s a call for papers, so this is your chance to submit.

June 2017 LXF224     11

Write to us at Linux Format, Future Publishing, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA or

Firewalls Don’t worry, I’m not writing for a USA edition, the UK version works just fine. I was wondering if you could cover my favourite Linux firewall, either in a firewall Roundup, or as part of an OpenSuse review? I find the SuSEfirewall2 to be very easy to use, using either Yast or editing the config file directly, and I can get much more granular with the rules than I can with most of the other firewalls out there. Chris Lucht, CT USA Neil says: As you might have noticed we ran openSUSE Tumbleweed with LXF222 and we managed to squeeze the entire 4.7GB of the full openSUSE on to LXF220! So hopefully that will help slake people’s thirst for the green geko for a while at least. I have to admit openSUSE doesn’t get anywhere near enough love from us, but I think that’s also a reflection of the wider situation – even though it’s a bulletproof distro with solid inroads into the enterprise business, and constantly in the top five distros.

Do digital

It turns out people do love their walled gardens

the Linux Format online PDF archive – DRM-free PDF versions of every issue back to number 66 – but a couple of years back this was extended to digital-only subscribers too, who paid through our own MyFavouriteMagazines. service so we are able to validate the subscription database; something we’re unable to do through Google or Apple.

A great year A big thanks to everyone for continuing to produce such an excellent magazine. My favourite articles of 2016? Well, the history lesson on the birth of Linux (LXF215) made absolutely fascinating reading, as did Jonni Bidwell’s Security Suite (LXF216), but that’s not to say nothing else is good; Nick Peers’ terminal tutorial is always useful,

I have been a faithful reader of Linux Format for over ten years. Recently, I have had some difficulty in getting my copies by post, so I have been buying them from J Sainsbury. I have very

recently tried to renew my subscription changing to the digital edition. Having paid for an annual digital subscription I find that it is only available for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. Fancy a publisher of one of the world’s leading Linux publications not offering a digital edition for Linux platforms! It is rather like the Houses of Parliament publishing online the text of Hansard only in Urdu and Farsi. There may be millions of Indians and Persians out there, but how many want to read British parliamentary proceedings? Please draw the attention of the senior executives of Future Publishing to the ridiculousness of the current situation. John Hunter, via email Neil says: Believe it or not the majority of our digital subscriptions are bought by Apple (boo, hiss) owning readers. Splitters, etc. As you’d hope, Android devices have caught up, but it’s still not quite on parity. None of that really deals directly with your point, but one man’s platform is another man’s walled garden. What is the Linux platform? Android, which runs Linux? Ubuntu? Many people wouldn’t want to create the required Ubuntu One account. The compromise we ended up with is that print subscribers can access

12     LXF224 June 2017

as is Jolyon Brown’s Administeria (what I can understand, anyway). As a little aside, I recently queried with you the validity of the claim by Firefox v50.1.0 that your own website was considered insecure. Is Firefox just being overly cautious or is its database of acceptable certificate issuers not up to date, I wonder? Keep up the good work. David Bones, via email Neil says: Thanks for the kind words, we’re hoping to make 2017 an even better year for Linux Format with new writers wanting to contribute and new ideas from you the readers! In terms of the website report, we had a technical issue with the website at the start of 2017 due to a security protocol being deprecated by Google and Mozilla. We disabled HTTPS access as a temporary workaround – though this then caused its own warnings – but once Jonni got back from travelling we were able to build a new version of Apache and all is well once more.

Kitchen sink Here’s a challenge or a suggestion for a future article… As an example I have a Dell Latitude E5520, Intel Core i3 with 8GB of memory. On it, I’ve installed: Pluma (because it retains

Linux Format 224 (Sampler)  

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