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T oma Aute dytion pHARFID: Controller

Spe Wi-Fi:mappAing GPS

introduction to that offers a budgetNight coffee. watchman Les Pounder Giving a look at a new board is train his robot to make you shows us how to make Les Pounder takes system using a Raspberry all he needs to do our own securityyour fill of delic Pi, a magnetic lock and home automation. Now ious Rasp an RFID reader. berry home monitoring and


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or this month’s project LES POUNDE we shall build our own R door is LXF’s security system, which can be used to log who Raspber pie and enters a property using inexpensive (he’s alsory Pi expert RFID (radio frequency identification) cards. known These RFID cards are dabble read using an RFID in quiches)to reader – the RFID-RC522 – which gives a unique . ID for each card. This is checked against a dictionary of accepted cards, and if found a relay is triggered, disconnecting a 12V circuit used to power the magnetic lock. Watch your fingers, the magnet is strong though: ack in August and can supply 280kg of force! we saw release of the latest the This time Raspbian it moves Wheezy . There are two parts away from to become to this project: the low-voltage based on layerUnk the first circuit for the Raspberry Pi, and nown’s Debian Raspbian the higher-voltage 12V Stretch. 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There boot be made otherPi is made to the door at £27 is less value an circuit connected by logging everythin quite provide le Network low voltage and a lock, causing the magnet the to controlledfor for a LiPo Fortune 50When  toNames the Pi, and the your first steps g, so room for up to 24V and enablea circuit istoplaced log in in the output, to Powerbo aren’t newhigher Interface battery If you’d like to take energise and lock voltage circuit the password the door. See the diagram connected to our company.   cloudneed sort is to whichtooffers 5V source had to ost. These and relay Mageia and magnetic 12-bit chip, (top right). – distros or would like to By default, in. You’ll ADS1015 source – typically the required not create ers he  first itemcompared power/boot/ lock. home automation, There are quite a few libraries have been door and other an Adafruit to with such plugged . 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The finalPi Commun the adata to update offers an easy entryclone” because it’s not in the “pip” repositories, rumble RFID-RC522 will return t ( sudo and to the and creatin things. hdmi_forc Always importsity. Projects practice ffer in reliedtwo so we also the I2C protocol voltages. need using to logzero. config.tx to install (The on hard-codrelate It’s best output device connected the This Monkmakes to higher line with logzero Python is introduction the that , a interesting library simple the upon exit. light that based Python logging tool provides an easy an LED, will voltages interface Locateit receives ed network with save on that can write to Clever Card way to create logfiles, the voltage external Kit)when working terminal, for example and to format the data files be careful Using a ent it, then that’snames Pi is and provide easily identifiable output of the board are Relay outputnow tweaking to the Python shell: the Raspberry reference uncommvoltage supplied. Python shell. in up. 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We’ll then by download Wheezy you’ll see Price: root filesystem ul shutdow mode, so the eth0 ing your and the pHATor Wago connector sudo nano at http://b file is interface Learn more nloads/r projects that your the larger HAT version 8/10 ns. Having reader = SimpleMFRC522.SimpleM and change below, substitut Start off names the image .img at this .org/dow means will need Locate for review. Features remainFRC522() lines in a wlan0 that only pberrypi Magnetic pull the rone. to be rejigged that some 9/10 door version that we have as eth0/ – this issue The next line of code using the www.ras power it. Ensure be one file ending dable from uses the analog and lock (http://bit. Performance In Thonny, address cord with before relay only object that we’ve just http://b 8/10 and unzip only The inputs, outputs, click File>Save affects created. Thisinstallatio (downloa . they can impunity zip file ones listed. ns of and call the project will turn the should fresh Ease of use py GPIO Stretch via the Python ly/2yEfqR0) the image and open Etcher pin for the RFID-security. on . There /10 , though. 9 handled and all out and that This are -only for save the file in the LXF230-RFID-Door-Lock will trigger our relay on a Pi. relay to click into life. change card extracted See to write It’ll take Value in-depth On thehelps Code: https:// classes, and we otherRaspbian auto eth0 Etcher side of the relay is our stay current Micro SD directory. Remember inet static click Start. instructio library using their own circuit, in this 12V to save your code as point. Use hardware and we Insert the case iface eth0 and and then to ns. Offers a simpleOur + inline power connection, a connection, or you go. to Debian the 12V n card Pi 3 wishing first which is those can set the value of with the few connected to lesp/LXF230lines of Python are the project. www.etc the destinatio remove the image. the relay Raspberry software interface for 55.0 address as “Normally libraries. First, we I mean, Closed” We created a simple that much with their Pi. import the Button card, then and verify 255.255.2 RFID-Door-Lock/ can read the value. that when the it’s not , NC. This means and OutputDevice classes First select try out home automation to write relay is of of there Micro SD USB Wi-Fi netmask turned the the valuearchive/ a the problem. on, read point from ADS1015 the would circuit Raspbian GPIO minutes The Make that Zero. button class is self-evident, to with program cable. At this terminals power can flow to themoved Now, hadis active and , unmount several disk.Screw adaptor the gateway but the OutputDevice a 10K ADS1015 analog magnetic door remote The mode: lock, triggering it to plug in input as we turned to connect the Raspberry is used servers it as a fat32 provide the solid Once complete relay.on() from one corner the window To enable monitor .These lock. converter (ADC)done so, the analog Pi to the relay. The next digital dns-name folder. Do it. Mount TL-WN72N mounted andthe to another… buttons If the value was over bootconnections two libraries are SimpleMFRC522 d: robust TP-Link connect to already younot Now, to log all of the and reinsert /boot partition and time. Again, time enables ssh in comman potentiometer. If you’ve events for entering is obvious, but the trigger the relay to click be a file called that are required for using the and leaving the USB GPS building we create a livedevices. up to three should g restart 2.0V it would an empty d: U-Blox 7 logfile changes voltages. using logzero. higher create networkin module: 56 LXF230 This is called access comman 58 LXF230 November Pi, and 57 to sudo service Novembe 2017 it in the using this November 2017 LXF230 Cigarette r 2017 this by ot/ssh and place USB charger the card touch /media/bounmount point Note: the LXF230.pi_ At this 14:54 should the power. int.indd www.linu adaptors £20 on m 27/09/2017 LXF230.pitut1_rfid.indd 56 27/09/2017 14:51 58 xformat.c then turn under £12? automation board for Surely that’s not possible? to readjust your

In brief...

Well gang, it’s time

levels of expectation… the Pi Zero range, n and map from Pimoroni has o sca but compatible The team Pi 3 t Pi with all 40-pin erry released another of its Raspberry ituation!The Pis, this GPIOaspb p a R W sized “pHAT” boards. Zero win s  wina board offers a tiny board,  It’s a w to set u rofit. Automation pHAT is safe and robust Zero, but compatible to designed for the Pi reveals ho n and for p introduction Pi. It features Burns working with the with all 40-pin GPIO Stuart on the go, for fu working with higher voltages plenty of solutions for commonly found and comes with higher voltage devices, networks  in home a terminals to ensure Designed for

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Engineering Linux

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Sean Finney on using Linux in engineering Software


The future of software is central, secure and safe

Tear down the walled garden & run apps on Linux

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60     LXF230 N

Plus: Pi User t2_wifi.indd





8-page Raspberry Pi companion Expand your Pi Zero! Map your wireless coverage Create an RFID access system

Welcome Get into Linux today!

What we do

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.

Who we are

This issue we asked our experts: When you’re not streaming exciting, engaging and informative media around your homes, how do you stay entertained while using Linux? Jonnni Bidwell Linux is very entertaining – you can stream YouTube clips straight to the terminal, for example. There’s also a bit of a cottage entertainment industry emerging whereby phone-scammers are pranked into trying to figure out Linux systems, with hilarious results. “There’s no Start menu”.

Nate Drake Variety is the spice of Linux. I often use The GNOME Tweak tool to install colourful new themes and icon sets while working. I also keep the point-and-click adventure Beneath a Steel Sky running in one corner. Does anyone know how to get past the weird eyeball?

John Knight In some ways I’m a grumpy luddite: I don’t stream to any devices, and I’m more tinfoil hat than RFID. But why bother to stream something? I do everything from my Linux PC anyway! I don’t use TV anymore, so the amp and speakers are front and centre with the computer!

Nick Peers I practise what I preach on page 30 – I’ve got my music collection (did someone mention A-ha?) in digitally pristine FLAC format, so I can stream tracks and albums through my Pi Zero audiophile-friendly setup to suit my mood as I immerse myself in the latest Linux-based project.

Popularity contest We all want to be successful, in one way or another, don’t we? And when it comes to our favourite kernel the same is true. Most people want to think that they’re backing a winner, right? It’s a bit puerile, but obsessing on Linux usage figures (even if it’s just web browsing) does at least give some tangible bread crumbs to rally around. Forget the two billion active Android devices,(1) overlook the 498 of the top 500 super computers running Linux,(2) ignore the 98 per cent of the top million websites(3) powered by Linux… lately people seem to be most excited that mainstream Linux use(4) topped 3.3 per cent, creeping closer to the 3.8 per cent of Mac OS X 10.12 users. Our tribe is bigger than your tribe, my team scored more goals than your team. Lovely. I use Linux because it gets the job done the way I want it to. I don’t have to be locked into Amazon’s dreadful system, Google’s digital dream or the expensive, dongle-filled Apple lifestyle. It’s exactly that freedom and flexibility which helps deliver this issue’s streaming media feature. Store your content wherever you like, stream it however you like, to wherever you like, using whatever device you like. And you can still use Amazon, Google or Apple devices because we respect your freedom to choose to do so. It’s heartening to think more people are warming to Linux – even if it’s perhaps through Chrome OS more than a mainstream distro – but we hope it’s because Linux delivers an experience that’s better than the rest can do, rather than because it’s a hip thing to do. Please do write in to and let us know the hip things you’re up to, how your beard trimming is coming along and the artisan <insert product name> you’ve just discovered. Enjoy!

Neil Mohr Editor

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Les Pounder You may have 4K streaming media and the latest dazzling CGI. But you haven’t really seen Star Wars until you’ve experienced it in the original telnet. Yes, you can watch Star Wars over a network connection, rendered in ASCII text. Open a terminal, type telnet and enjoy!

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On digital and print, see p14

November 2017 LXF230    3


“Life is pain. Anybody that says different is selling something.” – Fezzik’s mother, The Princess Bride.

Reviews ii Bodhi Linux 4.3.1.............16

Jonni Bidwell spent the day working on a netbook and is now convinced they’re going to make a comeback. “Pah, away with your Chromebook!” he says with a flourish.

Stream it! Enjoy your videos, music and photos where you want to, when you want to, without even us telling you off! Page 30

From ultra-modern to ancient PCs, Bodhi Linux can run them all.

CentOS 1708.....................17

Jonni Bidwell’s the first to admit that stability and reliability aren’t his strong points, so will he find a healthy source of inspiration in CentOS? Here’s hoping…

Roundup: Android on Linux p23

OpenShot 2.4.0................18

An out-of-pocket Bobby Moss is ruing the day he subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud, after discovering this brilliant free video editor that doesn’t crash all the time.

KaOS 2017.09................. 20

Resident chaos monkey Jonni Bidwell demands an unsullied, purely Qt5 desktop, and KaOS provides this in spades with its rolling release model.

Factorio ........................... 21

John Knight explores trainspotters’ latest obsession and gets in over his head. Indie gaming just became more technical – hail thee, automation!

Automation pHAT.............57

Les Pounder takes a close look at a new board that offers a budget introduction to home automation design for the Pi Zero, but that will also fit any 40-pin device.


The Pi once again proves to be the ideal platform for IoT devices.

4     LXF230 November 2017

Just because Linux is free, it has no bearing on the final cost to use in any situation! Sean Finney thinks this Linux thing will take off on p40

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Raspberry Pi User

In-depth... Reproducible builds.............. 44

Pi news.................................... 56

Open source code means anyone can read it. But to trust it you need to be sure of the build process too, advises Jonni Bidwell.

See how a FPS is running via a Raspberry Pi Zero W, there’s Pi-powered drone fun in New York, and read-only mode comes to Raspbian Lite.

Automation pHAT..................57 Les Pounder looks at a new board that offers a budget introduction to home automation.

RFID access system............. 58

It’s lockdown at LXF Towers as Les Pounder wields a Pi, a magnetic lock and an RFID reader.

Wi-Fi scanning....................... 60 Stuart Burns sets up a Raspberry Pi 3 to scan and map local networks on the go, both for fun and for profit. It’s a win-win situation!

Coding Academy

Tutorials Terminal Taskset..............................66

Kotlin datatypes.................... 84 Mihalis Tsoukalos shows you how to use Kotlin arrays, lists, for and while loops, with blocks and ranges, what else?

John Knight gives control freaks a taste of ultimate power by bonding programs to the CPU cores of their choice.

Purple encryption................. 88

Desktop apps 360 VR videos...................68

Relive your WWII Pacific conflict days by recreating the Japanese Purple encryption.

It’s a nascent art form, but Adam Oxford thinks 360 video is starting to find its feet, so rush out and capture your own.

Android apps......................... 92 Kent Elchuk is on a gold-seeking ride down Cordova Alley for building that next Android app.

Regulars at a glance News.............................. 6 Overseas subs........... 22 Back issues................64 We worry about how the web is

Ho, ho, humbug… it’s a Linux Format

growing up, we worry about what

subscription, just in time for Chrimbo! the murder slits; prepare your best

Atari are doing, we worry if Purism will

Drop the portcullis, boil the oil, man Raspberry Pi defences with LXF229.

make its target. We worry a lot!

Roundup..................... 23

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

Mats Tage crosses the streams, as he

Next month................98.

presents a range of options for

We delve into the new Gnome

Les Pounder previews next year’s  

running Android apps on your Linux

desktop of Ubuntu 17.10 to discover

Pi Wars, Pi Birthday Jams and more.

box, using emulation software.

what’s new and improved.

Mailserver....................12 HotPicks.....................49 CAD tips, calls for advice on how to get Linux on a Nexus 7, old Apple

illegal oil into North Korea (Best Korea), he’s too busy sneaking the


PC! Including Shutter, Trufont,  

Nothing says Christmas more than

Babe-Qt, SVAR, Palemoon, Imgp, LANShare, Moneyguru, Focuswriter,

Save money and spread joy today!

Agent 008 Balls and Piu-Piu-SH.

Take back control and manage your emails, appointments and address book with Bobby Moss’s email masterclass.

Servers Build a MediaWiki........... 76

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Interwebs Master your email............ 72

Jamie Munro reveals how to make the most of your MediaWiki site with a semantic extension turbo boost. Give it some welly!

Alexander Tolstoy isn’t sneaking

hardware, and joy at Unity’s demise.

We spin you right round, right round.

Our subscription team is waiting to take your call.

Learn how to use existing eBPF scripts written in Python and how to develop your own. Mihalis Tsoukalos is your expert guide.

November 2017 LXF230    5

This ISSUE: Online DRM

Atari via Linux

Librem 5 phone update

Bluetooth threat

closed Internet

End of the open web?

The World Wide Web Consortium ignores protests and implements DRM.


fter months of furious debate, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has introduced a DRM standard, Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), despite protests from many of its members that the W3C should only implement standards that keep the internet open. However, corporations such as Netflix, Microsoft and Google have argued in favour of EME as a means to stop people downloading, copying and sharing copyrighted media online. The implementation of EME was decided by a vote, with 58.4 per cent of W3C members voting in favour, 30.8 per cent against and the rest abstaining. Those in favour of EME were bolstered in February 217, when Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, spoke up in support of the DRM standard in a blog post ( blog/2017/02/on-eme-in-html5). While acknowledging that his support of EME would be controversial, Sir Tim explained that if W3C implemented EME, it would “lead the industry who developed it in the first place to form a simple way of putting encrypted content online, so that there’ll be interoperability between browsers.” If, Sir Tim argued, W3C didn’t implement EME or any type of DRM, then browser vendors and likely media companies like Netflix would just build their own without input by W3C. As he goes on to explain: “W3C isn’t a court or an enforcement agency. W3C is a place for people to talk, and forge consensus over great new technology for the web. Yes, there’s an argument made that in any case, W3C should just stand up against DRM, but we, like Canute, understand that our power is limited”. We should say that Sir Tim did have reservations over DRM, and understood people’s arguments against it.

However, many people are concerned that W3C’s implementation of EME doesn’t offer any compromises, arguing that the implementation fell short of protecting accessibility, security research, archiving and competition. It also led to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) resigning from the W3C. In an open letter ( LXF230eff (1)) to the W3C, Cory Doctorow, EFF advisory committee representative to the W3C, stated that it had offered a compromise – the EFF would refrain from protesting against EME if W3C extended its existing IPR policies to prevent members from using

The World Wide Web Consortium has just made a controversial move to standardise DRM on the internet.

“W3C bequeaths a legally unauditable attack-surface to browsers used by billions” DRM to restrict legitimate activities, such as research and modifications. The EEF argued this would “signal to the world that the W3C wanted to make a difference in how DRM was enforced: (1)

6     LXF230 November 2017

that it would use its authority to draw a line between the acceptability of DRM as an optional technology, as opposed to an excuse to undermine legitimate research and innovation.” The W3C rejected the EFF’s suggested compromises, leading to its resignation from the consortium. Cory states that with this move to implement EME, “W3C bequeaths a legally unauditable attack-surface to browsers used by billions of people. They give media companies the power to sue or intimidate away those who might re-purpose video for people with disabilities. They side against the archivists who are scrambling to preserve the public record of our era.” So, is this the beginning of the end for a free and open web? While we have our concerns, that may be a little alarmist at the moment. We’ll be keeping an eye out to make sure companies are not misusing DRM to stifle legitimate activities, while the EFF has also sworn to “keep fighting to keep the web free and open.”

Newsdesk Linux gaming

Atari announces the Ataribox The latest nostalgia-inducing console is built on Linux.


fter the success of Nintendo’s NES mini and SNES mini compact consoles, which emulate classic games in micro cases designed like the larger originals, Atari has revealed it’s releasing the Ataribox ( This compact machine will come with a number of classic Atari games preinstalled, but unlike Nintendo’s offerings, the Ataribox will run on desktop components, as well as a form of Linux that should make tinkering with the box easier. The Ataribox will be available in two models – one with a classic wood grain front, and another that’s black and red – and will include an HDMI output, four USB ports and an Ethernet cable port. It’s also planned to support SD cards, which could make it straightforward to bring games, media and other content to your Ataribox. Inside the box there’ll be an AMD-customised processor with Radeon Graphics technology, and according to Atari this will bring a full PC experience to the TV, including the ability to stream shows and movies, access Linux applications, browse the web and stream music. If Atari is successful we could see a popular, and open, Linux box designed for streaming in many people’s homes, which could give a real boost to

Linux’s perception amongst gamers. There are some caveats, however. Atari has been a bit vague around a launch date but, so far, it looks like the company is targeting spring 2018. It’ll also be crowdfunding the Ataribox via Indiegogo, so there’s still a chance that it’ll never become a reality. It’s also worth noting that the company called Atari has very little to do with the original Atari, inc company expect for owning rights to its games and intellectual property. This incarnation of Atari hasn’t looked after its legacy that well, releasing a stream of modern updates to Atari games that were met with critical derision. Let’s hope it takes more care with the Ataribox.

The Ataribox presses all the right nostalgia buttons. Let’s hope it meets its potential.

Mobile devices

Newsbytes A nasty new Bluetooth exploit, known as BlueBorne, is making its around the world, affecting unpatched Android, Linux and Windows devices. According to researchers (who published an in-depth whitepaper on the exploit at, devices that haven’t been recently updated could be compromised by an attack from within 32 feet or 9753.6 millimetres. Worryingly, all the device needs to do is have Bluetooth turned on – there’s no need for the user to click any malicious links or pair with an unknown device. Android and Linux devices are said to be most vulnerable to this attack, because Bluetooth runs with high system privileges, and are vulnerable to memory corruption exploits. So, make sure all your devices are updated with the latest security patches. Canonical has teamed up with Microsoft to create a Linux-Azure kernel for Ubuntu Cloud images of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS running on Microsoft’s Azure platform, a collection of cloud services used by developers and IT professionals. From 21 September, any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS image obtained from the Azure portal will use the new kernel package by default. This new Azure-tailored kernel brings a number of features, such as Ininiband and RDMA capabilities for optimised performance, Accelerated Networking, an 18 per cent deduction in kernel size and a lot more. For a full list of features visit

Librem 5 nears reality GNOME Foundation supports the open source phone project.


ast issue we reported on the Librem 5, a device that’s being billed as the world’s first free and open smartphone with end-to-end encryption built in. It’s currently raising funds via crowd sourcing ( – due to end 31 October), and the project has now had a major boost with the news that the GNOME Foundation is partnering with Purism, the company behind the Librem 5, to make it a reality. The GNOME Foundation promises to provide hackfests, tools, emulators and build awareness that surround moving GNOME/GTK onto the Librem 5 phone. This is a big sign of confidence in the project at such a crucial time in raising funds, with Neil McGovern, executive director of the GNOME Foundation, saying that “having a Free/

Libre and Open Source software stack on a mobile device is a dream come true for many people, and Purism has the proven team to make this happen.” It’s not just the GNOME Foundation that is putting its weight behind Purism’s Librem 5 either, PostmarketOS ( has created a touch-optimised, pre-configured version of Alpine Linux that can be installed on smartphones and other mobile devices, and also endorses the handset. While Librem 5 will use a form of Debian, there are many shared goals between the Librem 5 project and postmarketOS, which could lead to a version of that operating system being made for the Librem 5. Let’s hope this spirit of cooperation continues as Librem 5 nears its funding goal.

Microsoft and Canonical, live together in perfect harmony. The Mozilla MOSS support programme has announced it’s given over $500,000 to five open source projects that help enhance Mozilla’s work and improve the health of the internet. Previously, awards have been given to projects such as the Tor Project to enhance its metrics, the Kea DHCP server and ReadTheDocs. The new awards go to projects such as, an open source platform for crowd-sourcing and monitoring reports for activists in areas of political turmoil. Find out more at:

November 2017 LXF230    7

Newsdesk Comment

Sustainable OSS projects Jim Zemlin

At The Linux Foundation, we believe that the open source projects with sustainable ecosystems are the ones that matter, because they provide a codebase and security that can be relied on. And there’s a consistent pattern among these projects. First, developers create open source projects. Those projects are used in products, and value is created from those products. Finally, that value is reinvested into the projects. This virtuous cycle defines sustainable open source projects, the kind that you see hosted at foundations like The Linux Foundation, Apache Software Foundation and others. Many individuals and organisations don’t understand where their project stands though, and how to make sure it’s sustainable both now and in the future? That’s why we’ve released free resources to help anyone who wants to get involved in open source projects, and make those open source projects reach sustainability. First, there’s a series of Open Source Guides for the Enterprise, created in partnership with the TODO Group. They’re designed to help organisations be successful in their open source participation, development and deployment. These guides can be downloaded for free at resources/open-source-guides. Next, the Community Health Analytics for Open Source Software (CHAOSS) Project. CHAOSS focuses on creating analytics and metrics to help define the health of an open source project community. Those who want to learn more or get involved can visit To be successful, open source projects require participation. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these resources, help improve them and create your own tools to ensure the community continues to grow and improve.

Distro watch What’s behind the free software sofa?

TITLE Korora 26 Creating a Linux distribution that’s easy for new users, while providing advanced tools for experts, is a tricky balance to get right. Korora, a Fedora remix, attempts just that, and the latest version brings a host of new features including Cinnamon 3.4, GNOME 3.24, a new default desktop view with KDE Plasma 5.10, and an overall polish of the user experience.

Korora is an excellent Fedorabased distro for all audiences.

Kali Linux 2017.2 For security testers and researchers, Kali is an essential distro, because it collects a number of security and forensic tools together in a Debian-based operating system. The latest version is now available and brings package updates from Debian’s Testing branch, along with a number of new utilities including

hurl, a hexadecimal and URL encoder/decoder and ssh-audit, a server auditor that checks for encryption types, banners, compression and more. For the full run down of new features, read the release announcement at news/kali-linux-2017-2-release.

Kali Linux offers advanced security and forensic tools.

ArchLabs 2017.09 This Arch-based distro, which features the Openbox window manager, has recently benefitted from a number of changes (https://archlabsblog.wordpress. com/2017/09/17/archlabs-areproud-to-present). Highlights include a new welcome script, known as AL-Hello, which runs when you log in and helps you quickly and easily choose extra software that isn’t included in the default installation. You’re able to select up to 60 additional apps to install at once, rather than installing them one by

Jim Zemlin is director of The Linux Foundation.

8     LXF230 November 2017

To find out more, and to download, visit about/news/korora-26-is-here.

one, as well as choosing the default panel and installing various drivers.

Install tools selectively, not in bulk.


Treble time for LTS releases

TITLE Security OS 3.8 Parrot If you’re looking for a distro that specialises in penetration testing, computer forensics and various other security disciplines, then this Debianbased distribution is definitely worth considering. Now based off Debian’s Testing branch, it brings support for ZFS storage volumes, better wireless drivers and includes MATE 1.18, GCC 6.4 and 7.2, Java 9 and much more. It also now boasts Electrum, a lightweight Bitcoin client. Find out more at https://blog.parrotsec. org/parrot-3-8-release-notes.

Mark Filion

Like Kali Linux, Parrot Security is a great distro for security testers.

Oracle Linux 7.4 Enterprise users will be pleased to hear about the latest features that have made their way to this popular distro. These include improved security tools, support for Cloud and Container environments, and various tweaks to performance. It now supports UEFI Secure Boot, a secure boot mode that only loads boot loaders and kernels which have been signed by Oracle. For more information, you can read the indepth release notes at http://docs. E88149/html/index.html.

The popular enterprise-grade distro has had more features added.

Parted Magic 2017 09 05 Partitioning hard drives is a common task, and this live CD/USB distro is an excellent tool for doing so. A recent update brings GParted 0.29.0, the 4.12.9 Linux kernel, as well as packages to support Btrfs and ZFS file systems. The Clonezilla app has

also been updated to 3.27.13, and a number of other apps and tools have also been updated to their latest versions. The changelog at https:// contains details about this update that’s now available to download.

If you need a hard drive partitioned, Parted Magic is a very good choice.

Linux Kernel 4.14, the new long term support (LTS) branch of the project led by Linus Torvalds, is set to be released this November, bringing with it a significant change in the maintenance life cycle of Linux overall. LTS branches have recently enjoyed at least two years of maintenance after their releases. However, at Linaro Connect in San Francisco, a few weeks back, Iliyan Malchev (Google) announced that the maintenance life cycle for LTS kernels would triple to a six-year cycle starting with version 4.4. The extended time will encourage hardware vendors to adopt the latest available LTS. While this change is particularly appealing for devices such as smartphones running Android, it’ll also be beneficial to Google’s new Project Treble, which focuses on addressing another important issue: the fragmentation of Android versions out there. With massive out-of-tree patches, smartphone hardware vendors are using kernels that are completely unsecure. In some cases, less than 20 per cent of the kernel code running on the device comes from upstream. That’s what Project Treble aims to address. Designed to make it easier for manufacturers to update their devices to new versions of Android, Treble creates a common Android tree for hardware vendors to work from. Ideally, vendors will start pushing patches upstream but short of that, they’ll now be able to push to that common tree, allowing for smoother updates and eventually ending fragmentation. It’s undeniable that Google has been pushing the largest amount of devices running Linux into consumers’ hands. This new LTS life cycle will benefit everyone using Linux though, and we hope to see enterprise Linux distribution vendors and others align behind these efforts as well. Mark Filion is marketing manager at Collabora Ltd.

November 2017 LXF230    9


Take complete control of your computer by learning how to choose, install and use a version of Linux thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tailored just for you



Ordering is easy. Go online at: Or get it from selected supermarkets & newsagents

Linux user groups

United Linux!

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 first and third Thursday of the month at the Maison des Associations de Chambéry, France.

Build Brighton Thursday evenings is open night. Sandbox Sandbox Digital 5 Brasenose Road, Liverpool L20 8HL. Open maker night is Tuesday 6-9pm, kids clubs are Monday 6-8yrs and Wednesday 8-12s. Leeds Hackspace Open night every Tuesday 7pm-late, Open day second Saturday of the month, 11am-4pm.

Hull Raspberry Jam Takes place at Malet Lambert School, Hull every other month. rLab Reading Hackspace Unit C1, Weldale S, Reading. Open sessions on Wednesday from 7pm. Huddersfield Raspberry Jam Meet up every month at Huddersfield Library, typically on the fourth Saturday of each month.

Medway Makers 12 Dunlin Drive, St Mary’s Island, Chatham, Kent, ME2 3JE. Cornwall Tech Jam Second Saturday of the month, alternating between Bodmin and Camborne.

Pi Wars 2018 Prepare to shout, “Roboteers, stand by!”


i Wars has become an annual But Pi Wars isn’t just about tradition in the same vein as the competition. There are stall holders Pi Birthday weekend, and in ready to sell you upgrades to your robot 2018 it’ll celebrate four years of robotic and talk you through the latest gadgets carnage. Competitors from around the and add ons for the Raspberry Pi. world come to Pi Wars, which is a Pi Wars is organised by the same two-day, challenge-based robotics team who run the successful competition for Raspberry Pi-controlled Cambridge Raspberry Jam led by the robots. These robots are created by renowned Michael Horne. teams who then compete in various The 2018 event takes place on April non-destructive challenges to earn 21-22 at the Cambridge Computer points with the chance to win prizes Laboratory. Applications to take part and trophies. In previous years, Pi Wars have since closed, but soon there’ll be has seen teams from schools, families, tickets for the general public to groups of hobbyists and solo roboteers spectate and learn how to build the all battle for robotic supremacy. ultimate robot, powered by Pi. Pi Wars is a great event for those You can find out more via the eager to build robots. Not only do you website: LXF learn key programming and engineering skills, but you also get the chance to meet other makers who share that same passion. In 2017 the event saw 50 teams take part across various challenges such as the allaction Pi Noon (a duel to the “death”), to the gentile robotic crazy golf, which was more “Cyber” Woods, Pi Wars draws a crowd of eager makers and inventors, covering all ages and abilities. than Tiger.

Community events news Pi Birthday Jams In March 2018, around the world there’ll be a series of Raspberry Jam events that will link up to form one giant party celebrating the impact of the Raspberry Pi. You can read more about this event via the Raspberry Pi website:

thanks largely to its low resource usage. On 12-14 March 2018 in Portland, Oregon the Embedded Linux Conference takes place and it offers you a chance to learn more about embedded Linux from developers in the community. There are more details on the website:

Embedded Linux Conference Linux powers a lot of home projects, but it’s also a strong leader in the embedded market

FOSDEM 2018 Is it nearly that time of year again? The free event returns on 3-4 February at the ULB

Campus Solbosch in Brussels and it attracts thousands of free and open source developers from across the world. It’s a great chance for developers to share ideas, knowledge and keep up to date with the latest developments. If you’d like to speak at FOSDEM then there’s a call for participation, ending November 3. More details about 2018’s event and travel arrangements can be found on the FOSDEM website:

November 2017 LXF230     11


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

Open CAD When it comes to CAD, interoperability is key for me. To that end, code can be ported from OpenSCAD into FreeCAD via FreeCAD’s OpenSCAD workbench. There’s a handy tutorial here: com/watch?v=G66zAjnZpcc. From Inkscape, there’s an Extension to Generate from Path /Paths to OpenSCAD, available here: thing:25036. There’s also an openSCAD Export add-on for Blender: forge/io_mesh_openscad. The advantage of porting OpenSCAD code over to FreeCAD is the expanded variety of export options available over OpenSCAD’s limited choices. Mike Covington, WA, US,

Linux Nexus Having switched my desktops and laptops to that OS, I gravitated naturally to Android for mobiles and tablets. It’s a kernel thing. My first Nexus 7 from 2012 was a fine tablet, but it couldn’t keep up with the last Android upgrade pushed out to it. I’ve since moved on to the 2013 Nexus 7, which means that I still have a mostly unused “grouper” lying around for software reasons, as the hardware is still fine. Since this old tablet already runs a Linux kernel, there should be a way to switch the rest of the software to a complete GNU/Linux distro. Could this be made into a “conversion to Linux” article? I read that some seven million Nexus 7 of the 2012 vintage were sold, so this may be a useful article for other readers, too. Marek Bilinski, Ottawa, Neil says: It’s just a computer so anyone willing to support a Linux

Tux shot first. FACT!

distro on the Nexus 7 could do so. Bodhi Linux was available to Nexus 7 users for a while, until the team dropped support in 2013 as it was more work to support than all of its desktop builds put together. You can still try it from It looks like Lineage OS development has updated the 2012 model to Android Marshmallow 7.1, which is your best bet for a happy experience.

Terminal Jedi Thanks for your wonderful tutorial on Jedi mastering the Linux terminal [LXF222]. You hit the sweet spot between the common “beginner” commands (ls, cp, etc) and some more advanced stuff like scheduling tasks with at and cronjobs. I’m already looking forward to part two. Keep up the good work! Pieter Marres, via email

Open source is making the design of 3D objects easier.

Neil says: Thanks for the CAD tips. With an open source approach being used more widely with 3D printing, in the maker community and being pushed into the creative 3D world with Blender and even gaming engines via Unreal et al, interoperability is an important cornerstone.

12     LXF230 November 2017

Neil says: Thanks! Obviously keep an eye our on our regular Terminal tutorial for new ideas. .

Remote failure

Your Remote Clients Roundup in LXF220 was severely limited. Most people have multiple monitors attached to their main machine these days. Your Roundup didn’t mention whether any of the Remote Clients have multi-screen remote-control capability. And one of the best features about Microsoft RDP, as well as the virtualisation platforms such as VMWare Workstation, is their ability to share clipboards. You only briefly mention that TigerVNC can do this. These are the two most important features for people looking to work for long periods via a remote client. Your Roundup concluded that there


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Linux Format 230 (Sampler)  

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