Ubuntu User #28 - Digital Issue

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Issue #28 (Spring 2016) Alternatives: Discover the Worlds Beyond Ubuntu

Alternatives – Believe it or not, Ubuntu is not the be-all and endall of Linux distributions. You may think having hundreds, maybe thousands of distros, is overkill, but when someone, often a group of someones, has put time and effort into developing a new distro, you can be pretty sure it’s for a reason. In this issue of Ubuntu User, you may discover some of those reasons yourself.

Editorial: Open Source is winning and why this is a bad thing.

On the DVD: Linux Mint 17.3 + Kubuntu 15.10

Ubuntu User #28 - Digital Issue

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Widen Your Horizons
*buntu distros are great and all, but, if you stick to one flavor and never dip your toes into the really vast and, admittedly, sometimes scary sea of Linux distros, you’ll never really know what you’re missing.

Lean Linux Distros
Most companies producing PCs today claim that a computer becomes outdated after four years of use. Even so, there are computers much older than four years that work just fine when they are outfitted with a lean operating system and suitable software.

MX Linux
MX Linux is blooming largely in secret. This distribution is best suited for older hardware, but it is also accommodating to those who want many administration tools and scripts.

BunsenLabs Hydrogen
BunsenLabs Linux is a community continuation of CrunchBang. Like its predecessor, BunsenLabs is based on the stable version of Debian, in this case, Debian Jessie. It is also appealing thanks to its radically modified Openbox window manager.

Build your own Distro
No two Linux distributions are alike. But, if you can’t find a Linux distribution suited to your needs in spite of the large selection available, then you can put one together yourself.

Bodhi Linux & Moksha Desktop
Bodhi Linux 3.1 combines the advantages of Ubuntu with the advantages of the brand new fork of Enlightenment E17, the Moksha desktop.

Atom Text Editor
GitHub advertises the Atom text editor as a combination of the best features from vi, Emacs, Sublime, and Textmate with none of the inconveniences. GitHub hopes to attract new users with an editor that is nicely integrated with its own VCS.

uText - The Markdown Editor
The Markdown mark up language provides an easy way to format wikis and HTML pages. uText helps users of Ubuntu and its derivatives create and edit these types of texts.

Slow Computer? Dstat!
Dstat helps identify bottlenecks that hide in the complex interplay of CPU, hard drive and network. Thanks to an extensive number of parameters, the program is also suitable for monitoring a server.

Managing Servers
Managing multiple computers can often be accomplished just by using SSH & co. You don’t necessarily need to have a big, complex solution like Puppet or Cfengine.

LaTeX Barcodes & QR Codes
The pst-barcode package in LaTeX lets you generate a wide variety of professional-quality barcodes and QR codes for many different purposes.

Scripting for Launchpad
Launchpad provides a complete API that allows you to write scripts to automate your access. We look into its Python 3 bindings.

Find Binary-like Files with Ssdeep
Normal checksums are used to identify “identical” files. The ssdeep tool is used for finding files that are similar in terms of content.

Lean Web Browsers
Linux offers a large number of lean web browsers that can substitute resource-hungry options like Firefox and Chrome. Although austere in appearance, these Linux browsers are nonetheless remarkably convenient to use.

Pretty Window Arrangement with X Tile
Tiling window managers are very effective. X Tile can be used to expand a standard window manager with tiling functions, combining the best of both worlds.

Sync Things with Syncthing
The open source software Syncthing synchronizes files among a wide variety of devices. It accomplishes this task with significantly more flexibility than popular online services such as Dropbox.

Save Stuff with Qt4-Fsarchiver
Qt4-fsarchiver can easily save and restore files and entire partitions plus completely write and restore hard drive images.

OpenSCAD for 3D Modeling
The program OpenSCAD makes it possible to build 3D objects with just a few commands. STL Exporter makes the software interesting for users who have a 3D printer.

Scribus: The Best Free DTP Program
The open source DTP software Scribus is back on the stage with a much improved import capability for file formats and many more functions for use in the professional realm. The beta version discussed here promises good things for the future.

Discovery Guide

Installing Ubuntu 15.10
We’ll walk you through upgrading or installing the latest Ubuntu release.

Network and Updates
Use the NetworkManager to access your WiFi and download updates.

Package Management
Ubuntu’s Software Center lets you install just about anything.

You can configure your Ubuntu system to support movies, music, and Internet telephony. We present some favorite multimedia apps.

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