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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: how can free and open source software help you learn? What’s your favourite tool or tip for learning a subject? Alex Cox Forget RTFM: dive in head first. Drown slightly. Find some poor sap who also has lungs full of water, and determine how they coughed it up. Dive in again, and repeat the process until one has transcended the water metaphor completely.
Nate Drake I’ve become a great fan of the method of Loci ,whereby you visualise objects placed in locations around somewhere familiar to you. This is a particularly good way to learn long lists of information. You can combine this with a peg system, whereby some objects represent numbers if necessary.
Nick Peers Unfortunately, I have to admit my favourite tool for learning is DuckDuckGo. Fifteen years of answering reader questions has taught me that it’s not what you know, it’s how to search for the right keywords (and sift through the results) in order to find what you’re looking for.
Les Pounder It might sound very basic, but learning how to search for your question is a great skill. Sure we can just Google it, but there are times where we need to ask the right question. And if your problem is with a specific Unix command, then the man pages are invaluable!
Mayank Sharma ‘Getting stuck’ is an important part of learning. I have a half-hour rule, where I struggle for at least 30 minutes to figure something out on my own before asking for help. This works best when learning to code, and I believe makes me a better and more confident coder.
Class of 2018 To quote Natalie Portman, “Learning is beautiful.” Isn’t that the truth? If you’re reading Linux Format, you undoubtedly have the same sentiment; that’s the beautiful thing about using Linux and open source – the continuous learning curve. Just as you think you’ve mastered one area, a whole new technology appears for you to tackle. With the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission to push coding into the curriculum, Linux powering more areas within schools, and open source becoming an increasingly important area, we’re dedicating our back-to-school issue to explaining how you can use Linux, open source and low-cost single-board PCs to power your own and children’s education at school. We’ll look at how you can outfit a laptop with the ideal selection of educational FOSS tools that’ll stay with you for life, get all the resources you need to start becoming an ace coder, and finally look at the hardware kit you might use in class, with a few cool hardware projects you can try out. So, if you’re just interested in expanding your mind, want to help your children, or get involved in a user group and Code Club, this issue is the perfect place to start. But we know study, study, study makes Jane a dull girl, so we’re also looking at the exciting world of mobile phones and what the heck happened to the open source mobile OS dream? How did Canonical mess up so badly with the Ubuntu Phone, and what projects are picking up its mantle? We have a tutorial on installing the Cyanogenmod replacement Lineage OS, too. Roundup looks at all the file sync tools you need to keep your documents consistent everywhere and everywhen. While our tutorials cover using the Terminal, Vagrant automation, music in the Linux Multimedia Suite, recovery with Scalpel, podcast recording in Audacity and even more! Enjoy!
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Contents “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” – 1 Timothy 6:10
Reviews ii Synology DS1817...............15 10 Gigabit Ethernet makes it into the price range of small businesses and rich folk. This eight-bay NAS offers super speed and masses of storage – if you can afford it.
Learn better with Tux and open source. Kit out a laptop with Linux and the best education tools, get up to speed with coding and be top of the class with our neat hardware projects. All on p30.
This wasn’t quite the sort of bay watch we were expecting…
Fedora 26 Workstation.....16
Roundup: File sync services p22
The bluest of distros makes Jonni Bidwell blush with embarrassment as he tries to summon a hat-based pun under pressure.
Linux Mint 18.2..................18 Impressed by the richness of its latest release, Shashank Sharma is prepared to award Linux Mint the prestigious ‘Debian of the desktop distros’ award...
SwagArch 2017.07.............19 When working with Arch-based distros, Shashank Sharma always tries to gauge how far the apple has fallen from the tree.
Hollow Knight................... 20 A crumbling empire built on glories of the past, an empty-eyed insect hero bent on saving it. One of the best open-world platform games we’ve ever played.
Two Les Pounders enter, one Les Pounder leaves, this is the way of the Thunderborg. Look, it’s that or more Skynet references; you takes your pick and makes your choice.
Les Pounder has the very power of creation for a crustacean.
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Most decisions were made behind closed doors and on private bug trackers. Simon Raffeiner’s journey developing Ubuntu Touch p38 www.linuxformat.com
On your FREE DVD Fedora 26 Gnome Fedora 26 LXQt Mageia 6.0 XFCE
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Raspberry Pi User
In-depth... Open source phones............ 43
Pi news.................................... 56
Is the dream of an open source phone OS dead? No way – we look at the contenders.
Arduino is once again a happy place to be, trademark wise at least, GPIOZero gets an update and Pimoroni gets older.
Thunderborg...........................57 Les Pounder can’t help but make Skynet gags; you could almost say he’s programmed to do it.
Pi Zero print server............... 58 Les Pounder shows us how to reuse our old printer using a Pi to connect it to our network.
Hardware firewall ..................61 Turn your Pi into an ultra-secure access point complete with firewall to protect your computer from the dark side of the internet.
Tutorials Terminal Chain operators...............68
The LXF puzzle!.................... 88
The third LXF puzzle asks how well can you sort things, with limited memory to work with? Mihalis Tsoukalos can barely remember what day of the week it is, never mind writing this.
Nick Peers groups multiple commands together by using chaining operators.
Music Multimedia Suite..............70
Serverless framework.......... 92
Shashank Sharma unlocks your creative side with LMMS and your music talents.
Dan Frost hates servers, so he deploys cloudscale applications with just a few lines of code from his golden chariot in the sky that’s running on Amazon Lambda.
Regulars at a glance News.............................. 6 Roundup..................... 22 Overseas subs........... 67 Mayank Sharma reveals why he’s
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talk. Open source is accelerating our
never lost a file using his favourite file
outlawed and VPNs are banned!
3D games. Open source doesn’t pay
sync services and server tools.
Open source is helping us all chat and
the bills and GnuPG needs your help.
User groups................. 11 Les Pounder goes back to school and has family fun at Makersphere.
Mailserver....................12 Ranting, puzzling, printing,
Next month................98. Become a super spy, kit yourself out
Alexander Tolstoy hasn’t got time
with a Pi-based security kit, run the
to worry about Congressional
latest network monitoring tools and
sanctions against him, he already
generally secure everything with Pi.
has access to the best FLOSS, like
Shotcut, Makehuman, Rapid Photo
correcting; it’s all going on in this
PulseEffects, Doublespeak, Tilix, Stunt Rally and Dead Ascent.
They’re holding us here against our
Grab LXF227 and discover how you can run everything in a virtual world.
Bobby Moss dynamically creates virtual machines and deploys software with Ansible.
Audio Podcast with Audacity.... 84
All the world’s a virtualised container.
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Automation Vagrant for dummies...... 76
Alex Cox gets you up to speed with the project that replaces Cyanogenmod.
Subscriptions............28 Back issues................66 Save, save, save! Please, save us!
Nate Drake doesn’t panic much, especially with the file recovery tool Scalpel to hand.
Android Install Lineage OS........... 80
Downloader, Wine, Qt5ct, Parlatype,
month’s letters pages.
Linux can make beautiful music.
Recovery Scalpel............................... 74
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Adam Oxford explains how to create the perfect podcast with Audacity.
September 2017 LXF228 5
This ISSUE: Next-gen comms
The rise of free and open discourse
A new generation of software has risen to keep our chats secure.
s governments around the world (we’re looking at you UK) become ever more interested in the private conversations of their citizens, it’s become ever more essential to use communication software that values its users’ privacy. Sadly, the big beasts such as Skype and Slack cannot be relied on for this, either through design, in the case of Skype allowing law enforcement agencies to eavesdrop into conversations (http:// news.softpedia.com/news/SkypeProvided-Backdoor-Access-to-theNSA-Before-Microsoft-TakeoverNYT-362384.shtml), or through bugs and vulnerabilities, such as a recently found issue in Slack that could potentially reveal people’s private chats and message history (https://www.wired.com/2017/03/ hack-brief-slack-bug-everyonesworst-office-nightmare). Thankfully for anyone who wants their private conversations to remain exactly that, there are a number of free and open source projects emerging that put the user’s privacy first. One of the most popular services to emerge is Riot (https://about.riot.im), which offers group chat, VoIP, file transfer and endto-end encryption – basically everything you’d need from a secure instant messaging platform to communicate with friends, family and co-workers. It can be used through a web client, desktop app or mobile app, and gives you an impressive amount of control, allowing you to install your own server – so you can be certain that your data is kept completely secure.
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Riot is a user-friendly client for Matrix (https://matrix.org), the decentralised network that also powers the WeeChat (http://weechat.org) CLI chat client and Quaternion, a Qt/ QML-based client. The range of features available for Matrix and its clients is too large to repeat here, but check out the blog at https://matrix.org/blog/posts. If you use Matrix or a client based on it, and you want to support it financially, check out the Matrix project’s Patreon (https://patreon.com/matrixdotorg) and Librepay (https://liberapay.com/ matrixdotorg) pages to find out how. Ring (https://ring.cx) is another communication platform that offers security and privacy controls and has recently come out of beta. It’s free and released under the GPLv3 licence, while using the OpenDHT protocol and a decentralised network. It offers an attractive and easy to use interface, which should hopefully persuade people that there are alternatives to Skype and Slack. It also includes some cool features not found elsewhere, such as the ability to make local calls between devices on a network that isn’t
Ring proves there are safe, secure and easy to use alternatives to the likes of Skype and Slack.
“There are a number of emerging projects that put the user’s privacy first” connected to the internet. Another peer-to-peer communication tool that supports the right to privacy is Briar (https://briarproject.org), which
claims it is a “messaging app designed for activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate”. It uses direct encrypted connections between users – rather than a centralised network – to keep messages private, and it uses the Tor network to sync. The rise of these communication tools is heartening, especially in parts of the world where government intrusion is far more prevalent, but they aren’t perfect. Some of the projects have unfriendly or buggy interfaces and can be complicated to install and configure. But they’re improving, and it’s good to know the open source community is working to help keep us all secure. Remember, wanting your conversations to remain private doesn’t mean you have anything to hide – it’s a right we all should have.
Newsdesk gaming Graphics
OpenGL now plays nicer with Vulkan Khronos Group launches OpenGL 4.6.
he low-level graphics API, Vulkan, continues its impressive rise with the Khronos Group (www.khronos.org), an open consortium of hardware and software companies that includes AMD, Intel and Nvidia, announcing at the 2017 SIGGRAPH conference that OpenGL 4.6 is now available. OpenGL is a cross platform alternative to Microsoft’s Direct3D and DirectX APIs, and this new version (which coincides with OpenGL’s 25th anniversary) adds support for SPIR-V shaders, which previously were only available either through extensions or as part of the Vulkan and OpenCL specifications. Now that OpenGL supports SPIR-V, programs using it can now be used by Vulkan without modifications, making Vulkan an even more flexible API. In a release announcement that can be read at https://www.khronos.org/news/press/ khronos-releases-opengl-4.6-with-spir-v-
support, Piers Daniell, chair of the OpenGL Working Group at Khronos, said, “I’m proud to announce OpenGL 4.6 as the most feature-rich version of OpenGL yet. We’ve brought together the most popular, widely supported extensions into a new core specification to give OpenGL developers and end users an improved baseline feature set. Nvidia has already released a beta OpenGL 4.6 driver, which can be downloaded from https://developer.nvidia.com/opengl-driver.
OpenGL celebrates 25 years in the graphics API business with a brand new version!
GnuPG needs your help! Relied on by millions, GnuPG needs help to raise funds.
The popular RPCS3 PlayStation 3 emulator has now come to Linux, and after a difficult development period (the creators admit that earlier this year “quite literally nothing was working”), it has now reached compatibility and stability parity with Windows. On the project’s website (https://rpcs3. net), it shows a number of PS3 games running on various Linux machines. If you’d like to find out more about playing your old PS3 games on Linux, check out the quickstart guide at https://rpcs3.net/quickstart. We won’t go into the morality of emulating games you don’t own here – we’ll just leave that up to your conscience.
The delightful Ni no Kuni, a game from Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, can now be played in Linux.
open source Funding
NU Privacy Guard (https://gnupg.org), also known as GnuPG, is a vitally important encryption software program that many people around the world rely on to protect their emails and other digital communications. It’s especially important for activists, journalists and lawyers in countries ruled by oppressive regimes, but unfortunately since 2012 it has encountered a number of funding crises that have impacted the project and the number of people who can work on and continue to develop it.
Previous rounds of fund raising has allowed the project to take on five additional developers, while adding new features such as Python bindings and improvements to Enigmail (www.enigmail.net). However, to carry on this vital work, GnuPG is asking for more donations, with a primary goal of raising €15,000 a month – with a stretch goal of €30,000 a month. At the time of writing, the project has only managed to raise around one-third of the total it needs, so if you want to support the project with a donation go to https://gnupg.org/donate.
GnuPG does vital work in making our communications private and secure, so make sure you donate to help the project continue.
Mozilla has got good news for people who hoard tabs while browsing the internet, with the upcoming Firefox 55 (which is in beta) able to handle a huge amount of open taps. As Mozilla developer Dietrich Ayala explains (https://metafluff. com/2017/07/21/i-am-a-tabhoarder/), he did some testing with Firefox having 1,691 tabs open and found that while Firefox 54 took over four minutes to start up with this massive multi-tab configuration open in the browser, with Firefox 55 that time reduced to just 15 seconds. With those tabs open, Firefox 54 used over 2GB of RAM, while Firefox 55 cut the memory usage to less than 500MB. If you want to download and try early beta versions of Firefox, head to https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/ firefox/channel/desktop/. The Krita foundation (https:// krita.org), which works on the Krita painting application, has found itself in a spot of bother with the taxman. Due to the foundation selling training books and videos, rather than being funded solely by donations, the authorities said it should be viewed as a company, handing Krita a tax bill for €24,000. However, the foundation worked with an accountant to lower the tax bill to €15,006. Krita raised funds to cover the bills and has spun off its sales to a separate company.
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The Gnome project is 20! Olivier Crête In July 2017, new and old members of the GNOME community met in Manchester to discuss the future of the Linux desktop at the latest edition of GUADEC, the annual GNOME Conference. While the schedule was packed with great talks, the highlight of the week was undoubtedly the main event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the GNOME Project, enhanced by the presence of one its co-founders, Federico Mena Quintero. With Ubuntu having recently decided to move to the GNOME 3 desktop, and Endless re-basing their desktop to a more recent version, 2017 is turning out to be a year of reunification for the project, bringing new energy and excitement that could be felt throughout the conference and a united GNOME platform for developers to build on. A number of improvements targeting app developers were discussed during the conference, notably Flatpak, a system to package and deploy desktop apps. Now getting to the point where it can be used by developers, one of its great features is that it’s containerised, meaning that one can safely run untrusted apps from any website while almost eliminating the risk of malware. It also defines a standard format for repositories, which, along with allowing for the creation and use of multiple app stores, also means distributions will be able to create their own app store as well. GNOME’s developer infrastructure is also about to enter a new phase. After spending the last two decades using Bugzilla, GNOME launched a pilot project to move to GitLab, the open source git repository manager and issue tracker. Received enthusiastically by the community, this project is especially promising thanks to the supportive developers at GitLab, one of which was present at the conference to answer a range of questions on their software.
Distro watch What’s behind the free software sofa?
TITLE Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 The latest version of the enterpriseclass distro also commonly known as RHEL has been released, and this new update brings a number of tools to help combat modern IT infrastructure threats. According to the press release (www.redhat. com/en/about/press-releases/ red-hat-bridges-hybrid-multicloud-deployments-latest-versionred-hat-enterprise-linux-7), “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 offers new automation capabilities designed to limit IT complexity while enhancing workload security and performance. This provides a powerful, flexible
Run your machines on Red Hat? Then make sure that you install the latest version.
BackBox Linux 5 BackBox Linux 5, the new version of the Ubuntu-based distro, has been released. BackBox Linux is a distro designed for penetration testing and other advanced security tests, with a large amount of easy to use yet powerful security tools. The new version comes with the Linux 4.8 kernel, improved tools (while dropping outdated ones) and a new logo and identity. To download the new version head to: https://backbox.org/download.
First released in 2010, BackBox continues to be an excellent distro for many security professionals.
Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 Last issue we announced the release of Netrunner 17.06, and this month sees the latest snapshot from the project’s rolling release edition, which last saw an update around 18 months ago. This means there’s a lot of updates to be had, including the KDE Plasma 5.10.3 desktop environment,
Good things come to those who wait.
Olivier Crête, Multimedia Lead, Collabora Ltd. .
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operating system backbone to address enterprise IT needs across physical servers, virtual machines and hybrid, public and multi-cloud footprints.” For a full list of new features check out https://access.redhat.com/ documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_ Enterprise_Linux/7/html/7.4_ Release_Notes/index.html.
Firefox 54 and version 4.11.8 of the Linux kernel. As the release announcement (www.netrunner. com/netrunner-rolling-2017-07released) acknowledges, “18 months after its last release, Netrunner is now available again on the two biggest non-commercial, community-driven distributions: Debian and Arch.”
Open Source hits Prague
TITLE SparkyLinux 5.0 A new version of SparkyLinux has been released. Based on Debian’s Testing branch, it comes in three editions: LXQt, MATE and Xfce. New features in this version include upgraded repos from Debian Testing; the Linux kernel has been updated to 4.11.6 (though you can also upgrade to 4.12.x from the Sparky Unstable repo); and new themes and wallpapers. Calamares 3.1.1 is the default installer. To find out more, and to install the latest version, visit: https:// sparkylinux.org/sparky-5-0.
SparkyLinux gets some sharp new themes to go with its logo.
Based on Debian 9 and now featuring a new graphical user interface that makes encrypting partitions on hard drives and USB drivers nice and simple, while giving you control over what repositories to use. The Backports repository has been disabled by default, though you can re-enable it if you wish. Overall, this is a much easier to use and more efficient version of SolydXK, and you can read the release announcement at https:// solydxk.com/solydxk-9-released/.
SolydXK has had an overhaul for version 9.
Mageia 6 Emerging after a troubled development process and several delays. The new version comes with KDE Plasma 5, the DNF package manager and live test media for the Xfce desktop environment. According to the release statement, which can be read at https://blog.mageia.org/ en/2017/07/16/announcingmageia-6, the extra time the team had due to the delays has been put to good use, saying “the extra time that has gone into this release has allowed for many exciting additions”. New icons for Mageia tools and successful integration of the ARM port also made it into this release.
It’s a close run thing as to which took the longest to be released – Mageia or Netrunner Rolling.
LinuxCon, ContainerCon and CloudOpen have brought thousands of open source professionals together in Europe for years. In 2017, these events have combined with the new Open Community Conference and Diversity Empowerment Summit under one umbrella name: the Open Source Summit. The event will take place on 23-26 October in Prague. Open source has expanded to become the default method of software development in just about every area of technology, so we felt it was time for a new event that retains the great technical and business content we have offered for years but in a way that is inclusive of all types of projects, technologies and community members. At Open Source Summit Europe, attendees will collaborate, share information and learn across a wide variety of topics, with 2,000 technologists and community members. The event will offer content from some of the top minds in the industry. Confirmed keynote speakers include: Jono Bacon, community developer; Keila Banks, a 15-year-old programmer; Sarah Novotny, Program Manager at Kubernetes community; Reuben Paul, an 11-year-old hacker and founder of CyberShaolin; and Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux and Git in conversation with Dirk Hohndel, Chief open source officer at VMware. Attendees will also be able to choose from hundreds of educational sessions, network at a variety of social events, participate in a career fair, take advantage of a mentoring programme, join diversity activities and much more. Registration includes access to all sessions and activities at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, held at the same time and venue. At its heart, open source is about community, which is why it is so important for events like Open Source Summit Europe to take place. We look forward to seeing everyone in Prague! Angela Brown, VP Events, The Linux Foundation .
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Linux user groups
The intrepid Les Pounder brings you the latest community and LUG news.
Find and join a LUG Alpinux, le LUG de Savoie Meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at the Maison des Associations de Chambéry www.alpinux.org Bristol Hackspace Studio G11, 37 Philip Street, Bedminster, Bristol, UK, BS3 4EA http://bristol.hackspace.org.uk
SurreyEARS University of Surrey Makerspace, 18AB04, 7pm Fridays www.surreyears.co.uk Leeds Hackspace Open night every Tuesday 7pm-late, Open day 2nd Saturday of the month, 11am-4pm http://leedshackspace.org.uk Hull Raspberry Jam Malet Lambert School, Hull. Every other month. For more information see their Twitter account. https://twitter.com/hullraspjam
Plymouth LUG (part of DCLUG) Hush coffee, 1 Old Town St, Plymouth. 4th Saturday of the month (except December), noon. http://www.dcglug.org.uk/calendar/
Huddersfield Raspberry Jam Meet every month at Huddersfield Library, typically the 4th Saturday of each month. Huddersfieldraspberryjam.co.uk
Medway Makers 12 Dunlin Drive, St Mary’s Island, Chatham ME2 3JE http://www.medwaymakers.com/ Cheltenham Hackspace The Runnings trading estate, Cheltenham. Thursday night is open evening from 7pm. www.cheltenhamhackspace.org
Penwortham Makersphere Pupils, projects and primary school learning.
hen thinking of technology, St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School, Penwortham near Preston, may not be the first place that you think of. But on July 15th the school was full of tech! Makersphere was created in 2016 by Lara Lowe, a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator who wanted to create an event where parents and children can learn how to use the many different technologies on offer. Over the course of the day there were sessions using the Raspberry Pi, Codebug, micro:bit to create many different projects. Classrooms became hubs full of eager families, children showing parents how they can hack their ideas to life. One of the best sessions was Codebug, where children built circuits using crocodile clips and LEDs. This session started out as an introduction, but within ten minutes the children were leading the session, showing their parents how to make cool projects, and shaping the session into a crazy laboratory! But there are times when you need to relax, and Makersphere had its very own arcade, this was provided by various Raspberry Pi powered arcade cabinets, and a market had stalls from
Preston Hackspace, papercraft, and Tony Hughes from Blackpool Makerspace who demonstrated Linux running on laptops from between two and ten years of age! Tony also managed to help families try out Linux, and converted a few to trying out Linux Mint and MX Linux, which is really good on low-power machines! Makersphere attracted 300 people to the event, it helped families to learn more about the technologies used and expectations for our children in primary school. This family fun day has once again provided the people of the North West with a fun, inventive and informative event that shows how accessible technology can be. Roll on 2018! http://makersphere.org.uk LXF
The children of Makersphere loved getting hands on with the latest tech.
Community events news
Crafts Council Each year at the end of October the Crafts Council runs a weekend-long event across the UK. Make:Shift:Do is a celebration where makers throw open their doors and invite the
public to see what they make. This event is open to all maker/ hack spaces, nationwide. You are encouraged to offer a project for the weekend, which will engage the public and show how the act of making can be used to encourage better health. Take part and to learn more: http://www.craftscouncil.org. uk/what-we-do/makeshiftdo/ Pi Birthday 2018 The Raspberry Pi Birthday event takes place in early March each
year. But for 2018 there will be a change of format. Rather than a large central party, Raspberry Jams around the world are encouraged to host their own parties and link up via a Google Hangout. The Raspberry Pi Foundation are providing free kits for Jams, all you need to do is register your event. There will still be a central celebration event in Cambridge, June 30 and July 1. https://www.raspberrypi.org/ blog/raspberry-jam-bigbirthday-weekend-2018/
Derby Mini Maker Faire Saturday October 28, Derby will celebrate its sixth Mini Maker Faire. If you haven’t been to a Maker Faire event, then the basic premise is that it is a space for makers to show their projects, and for the general public to sample the many different aspects of the maker community. So you should definitely check out their website and grab your tickets and submit your ideas! https:// makerfairederby.com LXF
September 2017 LXF228 11
Write to us at Linux Format, Future Publishing, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Famous! The crossword puzzle in The Spectator (18 February) contained the clue, “Wife after course wanting electronic operating system (5)”. It looks as if Linux has made it into the public consciousness at last. Keep up the good work. Chris Watts, via email Neil says: What a spot! I think I remember spotting that Emacs had made it into the New York Time crossword. I believe the clue was “Partner of vim.”
MOAH 3D! Imagine taking a 3D project across the different software programs. For modelling you could use Blender, 3ds Max, Rhino, SolidWorks, FreeCAD. Fixers: Blender, MeshLab and
Netfabb (Basic). Across the varying print processes and printers (from low end to expensive) there’s Shapeways, Sculpteo, 3D Hubs and home printing. For materials you could use plastic, PLA, metal, acrylic and sandstone (colour). The different formats include OBJ, STL, PLY, WRL, X3D and so on. Delve a little deeper into the design process. Available tools that are built in as well as online are TinkerCAD, SVG 2 STL, Inkscape to OpenSCAD, Shapeways 2D to 3D and Voronator. Then you’ve got Blender add-ons: Math Functions, Mesh vs Curve, Poly vs CAD, Modeling for 3D vs Animation, Web and Image. And finally, there’s the high cost and the complexities of design and the 3D printing process compared to, say, paper copying, word processing and regular printing. So for all the talk of 3D printing, one will also find that conventional production is often cheaper.
You’re also limited by the suitability of materials for cooking, the limitations of size as well as the advantages and drawbacks of workarounds. There are clearly advantages and limitations of the various processes. There still doesn’t seem to be much allowance for fine detail. Your design is very much limited by what will print. These are things talked about in blogs, in forums and boards, but not so much in more readily available platforms… such as Linux Format. As more and more people delve into this new technology, it would seem, like the Raspberry Pi, that there’s a real need for useful, practical, applicable information on the subject of 3D printing. Mike Moore, Covington, WA, US Neil says: I hope we can revisit 3D printers down the line, but until there’s some serious advances I’m not sure it’s a topic we’re going cover in the next few issues. Like most technologies it’s going through the various stages of
Early printers were pretty rough around the edges.
Emacs Vs Vim, similar to man Vs boy.
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adoption, so we’ve gone through the initial early adopter excitement, the period of disappointment and seem to be seeing consolidation with many early projects creating much improved third- and fourthgeneration machines. Once the price drops on these new commercial printers I’d expect us to revisit what should be a much more accessible and improved experience.
Sudo you I was reading your magazine (LXF221, March 2017), in which you have an article about Ubuntu on laptops. I have to comment on the way sudo is used in the article. On page 72, there are two commands like sudo gedit /usr/share/X11/xorg. conf.d/30-touchpad.conf But advanced Ubuntu users (please don’t count me!) don’t advise using sudo this way in case of graphical program like gedit. Instead, they advise to use something like: sudo vim /path/to/the/file or sudo -H gedit /path/to/the/file or gksudo gedit /path/to/the/file The reason for this is that it is possible to mess up the permissions of some configuration files in the $HOME. Yes, sometimes it’s possible to use sudo like this,