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Mot e oZero g D: Us deinRE No mm Wi-Fi jathe GPIO pins B ming WiFi Jam Tutorial

Evil genius Les Pounder offers four-wheel drive! takes a look at an entry-level motorGivin g you that controller No terrain is safe from his nascent robot army!your fill of delicious uilding robots with RACHEL your

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Features at a glance

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Rating 9/10

Decembe r 2017 December 2017 LXF231


Get your


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Your 6-page Raspberry Pi companion Build four-wheel drive robots Block and jam wireless networks Node-RED web controlled devices

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.

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This issue we asked our experts: We’ve been discussing the past RAGE over desktop changes in Gnome 3, Unity and KDE4. What open source or Linux change has caused you red-hot rage? Jonni Bidwell Linux doesn’t make me angry any more. Not even the flaky suspend/resume support that sees my machine crash every couple of days since Kernel 4.13 came out. Not even the fear that installing a new distro is going to wipe out extant GRUB or UEFI entries. These things keep you on your toes.

Nate Drake As an InfoSec Specialist, I was apoplectic about Canonical’s ill-advised move to include Amazon products in Ubuntu’s Unity Dash searches a few years ago. The latest LTS release of Ubuntu also includes Snap packages that have access to all your keystrokes if used with X11 – hardly ideal.

John Knight I’m happy to say that I haven’t had rage over anything OSS – it’s been mild annoyance at most. Can distros bring back virtual desktops, or at least make it easier to bring back my virtual desktop switcher? Oh, you know what? My rage is reserved for Nvidia: FIX THE DAMN TEARING!!!!

Les Pounder My biggest rage is with video editing on Linux. There are many great video editors, such as OpenShot and Kdenlive, but everything I try has bugs and frequent crashes, sometime causing my edits to be lost. Video editing is something that needs to be improved on Linux.

Shashank Sharma I especially welcome changes that are made after copious discussions with the user community, as was the case with GPLv3. However, the initial Gnome 3 announcement, and even Unity were disappointing. I’ve since grown fond of Gnome again, but can’t get past Ubuntu’s casual discarding of Unity.

Gnome sweet gnome People love being passionate and it seems nothing gets people more worked up than meddling with their desktop environment. Gnome 3 was originally released back in April 2011 – that’s over six years ago – and yet people are still posting sweary rants online as if the release had just happened. There was a similarly strong reaction when Ubuntu switched to the Unity desktop in Ubuntu 11.04, with people rage quitting Ubuntu hoping it all crashed and burned.And yes, we still get letters to this day stating the like. Messing with the way people work, overhauling their personal space – you’re tinkering with people’s lives and that can certainly enrage. How much responsibility do FOSS projects have to deliver results that please (pander to, perhaps...) everyone? How much responsibility do they have to keep them up to date with leading-edge technology? To maintain backwards compatibility? I enjoy trying new things and I admit I wasn’t initially keen on the Gnome 3 desktop, but design was just one of the many revamp rationales. Another huge switch was the introduction of the GTK3 toolkit. Dropping support for the aging GTK2 was a necessary step; even the Mate desktop has had to eventually make the switch at the start of 2017. It’s about bravely embracing the new, as otherwise everything stands still and nothing progresses. So enjoy Ubuntu 17.10 with its Gnome 3 desktop. We review the new Intel Coffee Lake processor, the new Google Pixel 2 phone, the latest Linux desktops, 10Gbps Ethernet, Let’s Encrypt certificates, the new LibreOffice Calc, the new Administeria and for good measure the old BBC Basic, because some things never change. Enjoy!

Neil Mohr Editor

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“If fascism ever came to the United States it would come wrapped in the American flag.” – Anonymous.

Reviews ii Google Pixel 2.................. 15 Can the latest Google gadget update restore our loathing for Pixel devices? We doubt it! Find out if a best-in-class camera can help save Google’s latest flagship phone.


Ubuntu 17.10

The Gnome 3 desktop has landed! We tweak, customise and hack it, and explore the new and exciting technology inside version 17.10. Page 30

The Pixel 2 has plenty of silly-named colour schemes to choose from.

Intel Core i5 8400............. 16 Big Blue is back with the new Coffee Lake processor architecture. It’s impressive and should probably be powering your next Linux PC. Find out why!

Roundup: Desktops p22

Intel Core i9 7960X.......... 17 Do you have a spare £2,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Then we’ve got just the thing for you! The Intel Skylake-X range of power-hungry, multi-core processors. Nuts.

Knoppix 8.1......................18 Years after its first release, the distro remains as fresh and reliable as ever. Take a bow, you’ve impressed Shashank Sharma, the Simon Cowell of the open source world.

Korora 26 Gnome............. 19

If you’ve never seen Finding Nemo, trying Korora is one way of discovering its characters. Shashank Sharma, however, likes it for its simplicity and usability.

Tacoma............................... 20 A desolate, post-disaster outpost, orbiting empty and unused, but enough of the Linux Format Space Tower, what about FullBright’s latest space-based walking simulator…?


Augmented reality makes Linux Format almost a tolerable place.

4     LXF231 December 2017

The engineers have kind of taken over at Microsoft now… and it’s awesome! Martin Woodward on Microsoft’s acceptance of OSS p40

On your FREE DVD

Ubuntu 17.10 Remix Lubuntu 17.10, Q4OS 2.4 p96 64-bit



Only the best distros every month

Raspberry Pi User

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In-depth... Build your own distro........... 46

Pi news.................................... 60

Package, customise, choose your own desktop and apps to build a distro you can call your own, all with the help of Nate Drake.

Raspberry Pi continues to educate the world. It can also help the blind to read online news and we round up the latest Jams to attend.

MotoZero.................................61 Les Pounder takes a look at an entry-level motor controller that offers four-wheel drive.

GPIO with Node-RED........... 62 Create a simple web interface to control the GPIO pins. Les Pounder shows us how.

Wi-Fi jamming........................ 64 Nate Drake offers you a way to stay safe from cyberterrorists and wardrivers by harnessing Dan McInerney’s nifty Wi-Fi jamming script.

Coding Academy

Tutorials Terminal Pipes...................................68

BBC Basic V........................... 88 Nate Drake helps readers to relive the glory days of programming BASIC while hurriedly combing over his bald patch.

John Knight takes the advice of the ancient ones of Unix to bring you the ultimate guide to pipes.

Kotlin system tools............... 92

Desktop apps LibreOffice Calc...............70

If you’ve always wanted to develop system utilities, create threads and generate random numbers in Kotlin, then you’re in luck, because Mihalis Tsoukalos is your expert guide.

Puzzling out pivot tables or building bar charts? Bobby Moss is determined to make you a cell-wrangling ninja.

Networking 10Gbps Ethernet.............. 74

Regulars at a glance News.............................. 6 Subscriptions............28 Overseas subs........... 67 Best get your Krack patched. Best get

Nothing says Chrimbo more than the Ho, ho, humbug… it’s a Linux Format

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subscription, just in time for Chrimbo

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Bionic Beaver ready. Best get reading!

User groups................. 11 Les Pounder has on his Kiss-MeQuick hat, as he’s up in Blackpool.

Mailserver....................12 People hating on Ubuntu. People

HotPicks.....................49 Next month................98. Alexander Tolstoy hasn’t got time to Linux is built for speed, so we explore set up an army of Russian Twitter

the best of the lightest and fastest

bots. He’s too busy setting up the

distros to power your hardware.

best FOSS, including Storyboarder,

Borg Backup, Calibre, Gnome Commander, MConnect, Geary,

hating on printers. People hating on

Zrandr, Glances, Klavaro, BeFive

the bookshelf. We need a hug.

Smartball and ChickenPeppa.

Shashank Sharma knows his

There’s a lot of streaming noses in

Linux Format Towers and a lot of

them all a run for their money.

media streaming in LXF230.

Privacy Using OpenVPN............... 76

Nick Peers takes you by the hand and drags you down an encrypted pipe so all your data can stay private and safe.

Security SSL certificates................ 80

Sean D Conway provides a look behind the mirrors of certificate security, from the command line implementation of SSL/TLS certificates to the Let’s Encrypt system.

Sysadmin Administeria..................... 84

Roundup..................... 22 Back issues................64 desktops, which is why he’s giving

When Gigabit Ethernet isn’t fast enough it’s time to upgrade to the next-gen network standard. Tim Armstrong’s here to help.

Our subscription team is waiting to take your call.

We’ve busted down Linux Format Tower’s deepest dungeon door and discovered   Dr Valentine Sinitsyn lurking inside oiling the LXF server, polishing platters and doing household tasks linked to PC components.

December 2017 LXF231    5

This ISSUE: KRACK causes havoc

Behold Bionic Beavers

Librem 5 gets funded


Major security flaw found in WPA2

Known as KRACK, the vulnerability in the WPA2 protocol has serious implications for both Android and Linux users, but thankfully patches are incoming.


serious flaw in the WPA2 security protocol, which many people use to encrypt Wi-Fi networks, was recently uncovered. If exploited then the flaw, called KRACK, would enable malicious users to access passwords, emails and other data on a compromised device or network. The security flaw is particularly alarming due to the almost ubiquitous use of WPA2 at this stage, and as the website that announced the flaw ( pointed out, if your device supports Wi-Fi, then it’s probably affected by this flaw. In an age when even fridges can connect to a wireless network, that’s not a terribly encouraging sentence to read. A huge range of devices are vulnerable to KRACK (which stands for key reinstallation attacks), including products and software from Apple, Windows and OpenBSD. Linux and Android 6.0 or higher are particularly at risk of being compromised. The researcher who identified the flaw, Mathy Vanhoef (who can be followed on Twitter at vanhoefm), produced a proof-ofconcept attack that was especially catastrophic against wpa_supplicant 2.4 (or later), a Wi-Fi client commonly used in Linux and Android 6.0 and above. The vulnerability occurs due to a quirk of the Wi-Fi standard that clears the encryption key from memory once it’s been installed. When a device joins a network it initialises a four-way handshake to

6     LXF231 December 2017

obtain a fresh encryption key, which will be installed after receiving message number three. With the key installed, it’ll encrypt using the protocol. However, the network access point will retransmit message three if it doesn’t receive a response, assuming the message had been lost or dropped. If the client receives a retransmitted message three of the four-way handshake, it’ll reinstall the cleared encryption key, turning it into an all-zero key. As Mathy states, “this makes it trivial to intercept and manipulate traffic sent by these Linux and Android devices”. The good news is that the flaw is patchable and a number of companies and projects have released updates to fix their software. This includes Ubuntu 14.04, Arch, OpenBSD, Debian, Gentoo, Windows 7 to 10, Synology, DD-WRT and Lineage OS. Android will be fixed at patch level on 6 November, with Pixel and Nexus devices getting it first, while

KRACK is a nasty vulnerability, with Linux and Android devices particularly at risk.

If having an embargo on the announcement of a vulnerability (and by addressing the vulnerability

“The good news is that the flaw is patchable and a number of companies have released updates to patch their software” iOS 11.1 should also be out with a patch by the time you read this. Speaking of OpenBSD, the developers were accused of breaking the embargo of the reveal of the KRACK vulnerability by quietly patching the vulnerability before the embargo lifted.

developers are accused of breaking that embargo) sounds a little odd… well, you’d be right. An OpenBSD developer shares the rationale behind them putting security before embargoes at attacks_breaking_wpa2#c_pbhnfz.

Newsdesk Licencing

Linux kernel gets revamped licence Linux Kernel Community Enforcement moves to bolster the GPLv2 licence to prevent copyright trolling.

Photo attribution: Sebastian Oliva


or 26 years the Linux kernel has gone from strength to strength, with more developers, companies and users contributing, changing and using the kernel than ever before. However, a number of challenges also have also arisen, and as Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer, wrote in Linux Kernel Community Enforcement Statement released in October 2017 (, the Linux kernel’s current licence, GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 (GPLv2), is no longer as robust as it should be. This is because ambiguities in the GPLv2 licence have been exploited for patent trolling and monetary gain – concepts that the Linux kernel was Greg Kroah-Hartman is specifically concerned with ambiguities in the GPLv2 licence. created to avoid.

This has spurred Greg and other kernel developers to announce in the statement that the Linux kernel licence will now include an additional permission, which copyright holders may voluntarily opt-in to, which changes the license of their copyrights to allow the copyright license termination provisions from the GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3) in some cases. This move has been broadly welcomed by the community, with the Software Freedom Conservancy releasing a statement (which you can read at oct/16/linux-kernel-enforcement-statement/) applauding the decision. It must be stressed that this move doesn’t change the licence of the kernel – it remains GPLv2. Instead, it simply prevents copyright trolls from using the GPLv2’s immediate termination (and threat of immediate injunction), and turning apparent compliance concerns into an automatic claim for money, by adding a 30-day window for people to come into compliance. This removes that immediacy while enabling legitimate compliance concerns to be addressed. For more information, read the in-depth FAQ at


Canonical beavers away Ubuntu 18.04 LTS finally gets a name…


ith Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” out in the wild, attention is being directed to the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release, and Mark Shuttleworth has announced ( what the next version’s alliterative animal-based name will be. Brace yourselves for… Bionic Beaver. According to Shuttleworth, the beaver is an ideal animal to name this version after as, he says, “It’s builders that we celebrate – the people that build our upstream applications and packages, the people who build Ubuntu, and the people who build on Ubuntu”, hence the mascot is “a mammal known for its energetic attitude, industrious nature and engineering prowess.” Meanwhile the ‘bionic’ part of the name is a nod to “the relentless robots running Ubuntu Core.”

So, what will this bionic beaver bring (sorry)? Cloud support gets a big boost with improvements to OpenStack and Hadoop on Ubuntu, while the default Gnome desktop is accompanied by KDE and MATE alternatives, with Unity 7 being updated with the newest X and kernel graphics. Meanwhile the latest version, 17.10, is the first release since 2010 not to use Unity as the default desktop, following on from the project being shuttered earlier in 2017. The eWeek website has an excellent video with Mark Shuttleworth (, where he says he never wants to go through a process of ending a project like that again. However, the move has put Canonical on course for an initial public offering. Will that move be worth it? Time will tell.…


Paint over the Kracks Keith Edmunds So what did you make of KRACK? Was it an OMG moment, a bit of a worry or a meh moment? Or maybe you haven’t heard? In which case, stop reading now and read through this month’s lead news story over there on the left. I’ll be right here, waiting for you to finish... Okay, so the truth is that it’s not the first security vulnerability to stick its head over the parapet, and it won’t be the last. Remember, WPA2 is only a way of encrypting data between the WiFi device and the access point: nothing stops you encrypting the data sent over WiFi. And maybe you’ll have to: in reality, most of the devices affected by KRACK will never be patched. So what can you do? Use secure protocols wherever possible. There’s no excuse for running websites without a TLS certificate now that Let’s Encrypt enables you to get and maintain as many as you could reasonable need for free. If you’re running your own mail server, you can use Let’s Encrypt certificates for SMTPS and IMAPS, too. You might need to do a bit of Googling if you don’t know how to do that, but that way you take full responsibility for your security. As IOT spreads, security vulnerabilities outside of your control will continue to grow. Now is a good time to decide: No More Clear Text. Keith is the managing director at Tiger Computing Ltd (

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Newsdesk Comment

Strength to strength


Purism gets over $2m to make Librem 5 Funding goal for the Linux-based phone is smashed!

Jim Zemlin The results of the 2017 Linux Kernel Development Report, which analyses the work done by 15,600 developers over more than a decade, are in – and Linux is growing faster than ever. The average number of changes accepted into the kernel per hour is 8.5, a significant increase from the 7.8 changes in last year’s report, translating to 204 changes every day. The 4.9 and 4.12 development cycles featured the highest patch rates ever seen in the history of the kernel project. Since the last report, over 4,300 developers from more than 500 companies have contributed to the kernel, with 1,670 of these developers contributed for the first time, comprising about a third of contributors. Also of interest is the number of unpaid developers may be stabilising, with these developers contributing 8.2 per cent of contributions, a slight increase from 7.7 per cent in last year’s report. This is still significantly down from the 11.8 per cent reported in 2014, likely due to kernel developers being in short supply, leading those who demonstrate the ability to submit quality patches to not have trouble finding job offers. To download the full report, visit www.linuxfoundation. org/2017-linuxkernel-reportlanding-page. Jim is the executive director at The Linux Foundation (

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e’ve been keenly following the progress of Purism’s crowdfunding efforts for the Librem 5 Linux-based smartphone, so we’re pleased to see that it managed to beat its goal by some margin. The funding goal was a still ambitious $1,500,000, but in the end the team was able to raise an incredible $2,146,495. This shows how much appetite there is for a smartphone running open source software, with a ‘standards-based freedom-oriented’ operating system based on Debian. Now that the Librem 5 has been funded, Purism will start building and shipping the handsets to backers. If you’ve missed out on the fundraising part, don’t worry, as you can still order the device from, and you’ll be added to the shipping queue. The phone costs $599 and includes free worldwide shipping, and has an estimated delivery of January 2019 – and that’s after all the backers get their handsets first.

The Librem 5 has been fully funded. Whoop!


Closed smartphones

DIY laptop

Linux on Galaxy

MNT Reform enables you to build your own laptop.


o, you crave as much control, freedom and hackability with your hardware as you do with your software? Then you may be interested in the MNT Reform, a laptop built with open source hardware that can be swapped out and replaced by users. The first modular design will come with a chassis, exchangeable keyboard, LiPO batteries and more. Lukas Hartmann, the creator, wants to make the Reform available to the public soon. Learn more at reform, and people interested in the idea are urged to contact Hartmann with their thoughts.

Fancy installing Linux on your Samsung smartphone?


hile Canonical has ditched its convergence dream of having Ubuntu run on smartphones, it appears Samsung has taken up the mantel by enabling owners of its Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 smartphones to install a full desktop version of Linux when used with its DeX docking system. Installed as an app, Linux on Galaxy could be the answer to running a full desktop version of Linux from a pocketable smartphone device. It’s still a work-in-progress, but the potential here is huge, with the DeX dock enabling the smartphone to be attached to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. As the Samsung press release announcing Linux on Galaxy ( states: “whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment.” Linux on Galaxy is still in its early stages, but if you want to know when an early version is available to test, sign up at com/linux-on-galaxy. It sounds promising – it’s just a shame you need a very expensive phone…

Newsdesk Comment

Distro watch

Cars talk open source

What’s behind the free software sofa?

Guy Lunardi

CAINE 9.0 As the name suggests (it stands for Computer Aided INvestigative Environment), this is a distro that offers TITLE various tools for digital forensics, with tools easily added as software modules and presented in a user-friendly interface. It’s based on Ubuntu, and version 9.0 brings Nirsoft suite with launcher, WinAudit, MWSnap, Arsenal image mounter, FTK Imager and many other tools. Check out the project’s news page at page6/files/category-release.html for more information and instructions on how to download and install it

CAINE 9.0 brings new tools and a complete forensic environment.

antiX 17 This lightweight operating system is based on Debian 9.2 and its developers have now dropped systemd, choosing instead to use SysV init. It supports both 32- and 64-bit processors, features four windows managers, a full LibreOffice suite, a customised 4.10.5 kernel with fbcondecor splash and lots more. Designed for older computers, it only needs 256MB of RAM and can run from either a live CD or USB stick. For the full release announcement, head over to

antiX is a great distro for old hardware with aging components.

ArchLabs 2017.10 Based on Arch Linux, and using the Openbox window manager, this 64-bit distribution now uses a long-term support kernel. The release announcement (which you can read at https://archlabsblog.wordpress. com/2017/10/24/archlabs-2017-10-release) states this will bring greater stability to the distro, mainly due to the fact that there won’t be as many updates and changes made to the LTS kernel. ArchLabs specific packages have also be repackaged and signed with the project’s own GPG signatures and added to the ArchLabs repository.

ArchLabs comes as a Live DVD, so you can try it out before you install.

Lubuntu 17.10 This lightweight Ubuntu-based distro gets its own taste of ‘Artful Aardvark’, and is supported until July 2018. The 13th release of Lubuntu brings the Linux kernel 4.13, along with general bug fixes, as well as continuing to lay the foundation for the future switch to LXQt. If you want to try out Lubuntu with the LXQt desktop, you can also download the ‘Next’ version, which is an experiment build of Lubuntu, although, of course, you try at your own risk. For more information, visit the release announcement at

Lubuntu’s LXDE can happily run on older computers.

Modern vehicles are loaded with sensors that report values constantly. These range from the simple, and often rarely changing such as door sensors, to the speedometer and GPS sub-system that broadcast all the time. On-board computers have to analyse and react to these signals in isolation with limited context awareness. Each time a value changes, a signal is emitted on one or more of the data buses. We can do better. Collabora assisted in creating a fully open source vehicle signal manager (VSM) that offers to process incoming signals, evaluates them against a set of precompiled rules and hopefully re-emits the right signals to the right processes. This helps centralise the signal processing, accelerate the software development environment and greatly improve testing capabilities. VSM has been contributed as a GENIVI open source automotive project and is available on GitHub. VSM is in prototype form and used in python implementation. As the interest in consolidating communication protocols grows in the car industry, we hope that the industry as a whole makes the right decisions. Open standards and free open source software is the way to go (as always). Guy is the vice-president of business development at Collabora Ltd (

December 2017 LXF231    9

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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

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

Hull Raspberry Jam Malet Lambert School, Hull, running every other month.

rLab Reading Hackspace Unit C1, Weldale S, Reading, Open Sessions Wednesday from 7pm Huddersfield Raspberry Jam Meet every month at Huddersfield Library, typically the fourth Saturday of each month.

Medway Makers 12 Dunlin Drive, St Mary’s Island, Chatham ME2 3JE

Cornwall Tech Jam Second Saturday of the month alternating between Bodmin and Camborne

Makerspaces Collective knowledge gets puts into practice


ust around the time we write this and interestingly, all of the skills needed (27 October 2017), Blackpool to build this rig aren’t known by one Makerspace is preparing to throw person. Rather, a team of people who open its doors to the public for the each come to the Makerspace to share Crafts Council Make:Shift:Do event and learn are helping each other and ( their own version of this do/makeshiftdo). This annual event expensive piece of kit. challenges a space to take part in a This is what makers do: they solve national programme, but each space is problems, they help and they share. free to suggest its own session ideas These traits are also present in the Linux and these are listed on the Crafts community: we spot a problem and we Council website. fix it, we share the knowledge on how to This year will see Blackpool fix it and this is passed into the Makerspace taking part for the third community who then help each other. time. It’s tackling 3D photography with Long may this continue, and Linux a view to 3D printing the output. To take Format is proud to be part of such a the pictures the team are building a great community. LXF camera rig using multiple Raspberry Pis and an Arduino that will control the rotation of the object in the rig. All of the photos are then sent to a central powerful computer where they’re stitched into a 3D object, which can then be converted to an STL file ready for printing. All of the kit in the rig will be running Linux (Blackpool Makerspaces contain vast amounts of knowledge that can be passed on to the next generation. Makerspace is also a LUG)

Community events news

Makerfaire UK 2018 Taking place at the Life Centre Newcastle on April 28 and 29, the two-day event covers the diversity of what being a maker is. This event is family friendly so take the kids, your nan and

grandad and explore woodworking, soldering, electronics, robotics, rocketry and so much more. Keep an eye on its website for more information, which will include the programme of events and early access to tickets. Linux.Conf.Au Sydney, Australia plays host to Linux Conf Au from 22 to 26 January. It’s the largest Linux conference in the Asia-Pacific

region, and attracts delegates from across the region: around 800 users, from hobbyists to professional users. Tickets are now on sale for this non-profit event, which is run by volunteers in the Linux community. You can read more about this event and purchase tickets via its website. Red Hat Summit San Francisco, California is where you will find Red Hat Summit, running from 8 to 10 May. Here,

you’ll learn more about cloud computing, virtualisation and other topics for system administrators. The event is a mix of talks, workshops, stalls and of course “the corridor track” where everyone shares knowledge and contact details. Events of this size are best appreciated over a few days, giving you time to enjoy the social aspect of the event. See the website for more details. summit/2018

December 2017 LXF231     11


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Hate without end

Neil says: It’s just an operating system! The irony is Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and some might say they find the old-school desktop of Linux Mint too clumsy. It’s horses for courses. We’d certainly like to hear what you think of the new Gnome desktop – we’re sure you hate that, too!

I’ve now got Bleached bits After installing Ubuntu 15.04 at a friend’s house and doing some tweaking, I finished off by installing and configuring BleachBit and ran it as a final farewell. Upon reboot I was greeted with a ghostly image of two middle-aged overweight bald blokes. It turned out to be our reflection on a black screen and

Cleaning stuff has never been so easy or deadly (for germs).

From the first I’ve hated Ubuntu with a passion. I’m a very simple bear and no expert. I want to communicate with my computer as if it were running Windows XP. It’s simple for those of us who don’t want the bother of memorising key strokes, instead of following a simple menu. I like to be able to right-click on my desktop and create a shortcut or a text file. (Why does this raise Mr Shuttleworth’s hackles?) Each time you hype a new version of Ubuntu I try it and discover that it doesn’t want to help. It gets in the way. Every time I go back to relax into the comforting haven of Mint. It’s easy to use, I don’t have to change my way of working to suit it. It accommodates me. There might be a hint there. John King, Grimsby

not even a blinking cursor. Even Windows gives you an error code. MEOW!!! Clearly I was the better looking one but felt like a fool as i had no idea how to fix this. Could you please do a section on understanding log files and knowing what to look for when problems occur with some realworld examples. Andy Greenhalgh, via email Neil says: How do you know it was BleachBit that caused the issue, because you mentioned other tweaks? An entirely blank screen would be pretty hard to achieve. The BIOS, the bootloader, Grub… even the Kernel would usually throw something up on the screen. Remember Linux isn’t Windows, so you don’t really need to be running BleachBit to clear out the rubbish. However, a sudo apt-get autoremove now and again doesn’t hurt.

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Open source is more a bazaar than a cathedral, read the book on the DVD and find out why!

Dusty books I’m a long-term Linux Format reader and have a suggestion… namely, your Bookshelf section of the DVD, where Linux and Linux Format promote opensource, which I think is very good. But I noticed your DVD Bookshelf doesn’t change much. That is, it seems very static. Making your Bookshelf more active could be good in several ways: it’d better promote open source and help introduce real basics to your Linux content. How about if you change your Bookshelf section so that for three months of the year, it’s as I see it now. But then for the next three months, it’s full of annotated pointers to computer science resources? So over the year your Bookshelf section would cycle through these topics, with updates, for the next year. It would certainly reduce the sameness from your present policy. Martha Adams, via email


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Linux Format 231 (Sampler)  

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