26 Dec 2013

I have no intention of ending my relationships with Linux

Serge Sounchio
I didn't know it (Linux) existed until the day I was introduced to it. That's a chance event for some, but for me it was part of a plan.

It was in 2009 that someone installed a Linux distribution (Ubuntu) for me because my feeble little hard drive capacity (8 GB) would accept nothing else. From that moment on I began to learn to understand it and to trace its evolution. I came across many other distributions, Debian, CentOS, Kubuntu, and Fedora, to name only a few.

In time my connection with it became stronger than just my own interest; that was when I created the Open Source club in my school; two years later I founded the Open Source Laboratory, an association for the promotion and popularizing of Libre/Open technologies.

In all my efforts and research to find solutions for problems in my environment I have been welcomed by the Emmabuntüs collective whose distribution has been adopted by my followers.

To this day our relationship has been working perfectly and I have no intention of ending it.

Text written by: Serge Sounchio, Chairman of the Laboratoire Open­Source Yaoundé Cameroon, and translated by David d'Emmabuntüs.

24 Dec 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hello to all my readers!

Yes, this is that time of the year again! It is time for me to tell you

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

I wish you all the best in the coming year!

And as a part of my Christmas / New Year presents for this year, there is my article re-published in Russian in the magazine User and Linux. You can read it here on the page 45. The original English version is here.

19 Dec 2013

A collection of 12 Tweaks for Ubuntu and related OS

Here are some tweaks I used on Ubuntu 12.04. Most of them had been gathered from the net.

Many thanks to the dedicated Linux users who posted them.

13 Dec 2013

Order your personal copy of Fedora 20!

You may be aware that the newest version of Fedora 20 will be released on the 17th of December 2013. I am happy tell you that pre-ordering of disks with this distribution is now open!

You can pre-order your own copy of Fedora 20 right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt for you as early as possible, and dispatched on the day of release, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

How you can get the DVD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Fedora DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 20. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop that you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card! T&Cs from Buy Linux CDs site apply.

UK (2.00 GBP):
Fedora 20 pre-order (UK)

USA (6.50 USD):
Fedora 20 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (4.50 GBP):
Fedora 20 pre-order (Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

10 Dec 2013

How to configure keyboard layouts in Xfce (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE.

That was a text version.

Today I will show you a video about keyboard layouts configuration in Xfce.

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5olesKalEc

5 Dec 2013

Conky - Highly Configurable Desktop Monitor

Conky, or call it an "Active Wallpaper", is an application that can display dynamic information on what's going on with the computer on our desktop.

Conky is highly configurable in its looks, in what and how it displays, whether text, bar, graph or special iconic fonts and how often and where-about on the screen, in all three dimensions.

27 Nov 2013

2 000 000

 It's a nice day today, isn't it?

At least for this blog, because yet another level has been taken.

The counter of page views now shows values more than 2 000 000 (two million)!

2 000 000

Just to remind you, it took Linux notes from DarkDuck blog 1 year and 9 months to get the first 1 000 000: between October 2010 and August 2012. The second million page views came in only 1 year and 3 months: between August 2012 and November 2013.

Thanks to all the readers of the blog for their support!

26 Nov 2013

How to configure keyboard layouts in MATE (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE.

That was a text version.

Today I will show you a video about keyboard layouts configuration in MATE.

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7H0TjeRaQs

19 Nov 2013

How to configure keyboard layouts in Cinnamon (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE.

That was a text version.

Today I will show you a video about keyboard layouts configuration in Cinnamon.

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXgczN1_msk

14 Nov 2013

The Joint Contest of Emmabuntus and Linux notes from DarkDuck

You probably know that Linux notes from DarkDuck sometimes organizes contests for the readers. One of the contests was about Zorin OS, another about Linux Mint, and so on.

You probably know that Emmabuntüs community prepares the next release of their operating system: Emmabuntüs 2. This is the reason why I am happy to announce today a joint contest from Linux notes from DarkDuck and Emmabuntüs community.

12 Nov 2013

How to configure keyboard layouts in Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE

This article continues the series about keyboard layout configuration techniques in different desktop environments, currently available for Linux distributions.

Last time we spoke about the three leaders, as measured by total numbers of users: Unity, GNOME 3 and KDE. In the future, we will also speak about LXDE, Enlightenment, Openbox.

Today we look at the second echelon: Xfce, Cinnamon and Mate.

7 Nov 2013

Confessions of a 40 year old virgin

Until a couple of week s ago I was a virgin.

A frustrated, 40 year old virgin. There, I've said it. 

Well actually, to be more specific, I was a LINUX virgin who didn't know the difference between Ubunto (yes, in that spelling!) and Mint. And DarkDuck helped me to 'pop my cherry'. Now I think that I should stop with the lame sexual analogies before this gets downright weird.

5 Nov 2013

How-to configure keyboard layouts in KDE 4 (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: Unity, GNOME 3, KDE.

That was a text version.

Today I will show you a video about keyboard layouts configuration in KDE 4.

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-878X2PT3BU

31 Oct 2013

Rolf Sommerhalder: Developing my own Linux Distribution

Rolf Sommerhalder has already written on my blog about his life in Linux and his favourite Desktop Environments. This time round, he decided to let us know about his own distribution he uses. This is guest post on Linux Notes from DarkDuck.

Starting Point                                             

There is a great site on the net: distrowatch.com

It introduces dozens of new or updated distros to the world of Linux-admirers and users.

I spent the last 7 years with trying out many distros (short for distribution) available via that site. There must be a couple of hundred CDs imprinted with Linux Operating Systems in the cupboards. That was before unetbootin allowed running them from flash drives and virtual platforms like vbox,

Over the years I collected mainly Debian files for off-line installation. And to make most of that treasure trove I focused on Debian based distros: Debian-6 and Debian-7, Ubuntu, Knoppix 7x and then those many Ubuntu derivatives such as Mint, ArtistX, DreamStudio and some yet to be checked like Zorin, Bodhi, Emmabuntus, etc.

Anyway, for the past year I concentrated all into creating my own distro and add my own flavour to it. So the first question arises:

29 Oct 2013

How-to configure keyboard layouts in Ubuntu Unity (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: Unity, GNOME 3, KDE.

That was a text version.

Today I will show you a video about keyboard layouts configuration in Unity.

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJv6CFV2zuE

25 Oct 2013

Order your copies of OpenSuSE 13.1 and Linux Mint 16 Petra

The readers of my blog already know that I often put adverts about coming releases of operating systems, letting you pre-order a disk with a copy of that system through the site Buy Linux CDs. It gives you an opportunity to get the personal copy of the OS as soon as it is technically possible to download, burn and deliver.

This time I am happy to announce that pre-orders for two different operating systems are now taken. They are OpenSuSE 13.1 and Linux Mint 16 Petra.
  • OpenSuSE 13.1 will come out on the 19th of November 2013.
  • Linux Mint 16 Petra will come out at the end of November 2013, without any specific date known at this moment.
You can pre-order your own copy of OpenSuSE 13.1 and Linux Mint 16 Petra right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt for you as early as possible, and dispatched on the day of release, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

How you can get the DVD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the OpenSuSE or Linux Mint DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 13.1 or 16 respectively. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop that you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card! T&Cs from Buy Linux CDs site apply.

UK (2.00 GBP):
OpenSuSE 13.1 pre-order
Linux Mint 16 pre-order

USA (6.50 USD):
OpenSuSE 13.1 pre-order
Linux Mint 16 pre-order

Other countries (4.50 GBP):
OpenSuSE 13.1 pre-order
(Other countries)
Linux Mint 16 pre-order
(Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

24 Oct 2013

DarkDuck makes another visit

You should have already noticed that there are quite a few guest posts on this blog, especially since I changed the strategy about a year ago.

But it does not mean that I stopped writing about Linux and Free Open Source Software myself. I still do.

Moreover, I was recently asked to guest write on one of the most respectable blogs about FOSS: Foss Force.

I happily accepted the offer, and now you can read my article there: Using FOSS in a Windows-Centric Corporate Environment.

All welcome to read!

22 Oct 2013

How Canonical thumbed its nose at the international Ubuntu community... and then fixed that

There's a lot of controversy around Canonical and its Ubuntu now. Unity, Wayland, commercial lenses in Dash - these are only few. Let me add to the list.

If you are American or English, you may close this browser window now. The rest of the article will not be interesting for you.

If you are not, you are very likely to have more than one keyboard layout in your system. This is because you have to type in your native language, as well as in English.

I have written recently about the options to configure multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments, including Unity.

I wrote the article using Ubuntu 13.04, where all the steps worked like a charm.

Things have changed since Ubuntu 13.10 came out – the charm became an evil spell.

15 Oct 2013

How-to configure keyboard layouts in GNOME 3 (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: Unity, GNOME 3, KDE.

That was a text version.

Today I will show you a video about keyboard layouts configuration in GNOME 3.

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq1OcS3c9ks

14 Oct 2013

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog is now 3 years old!

Hello my dear readers!
Today is the 3rd anniversary of the blog Linux notes from DarkDuck!
I prepared you a little surprise for today.
Please enjoy this video

Video link: http://youtu.be/L7vUUXkopLw

8 Oct 2013

How to configure keyboard layouts in Unity, GNOME 3, KDE

It is not a secret that I am Russian living in the UK. Even if I was not leaving in the UK, being Russian means I need to type in Russian using Cyrillic alphabet. Also, I need to type in Latin (English) for blogging and other technical needs.

I have written quite a lot of reviews of different operating systems. While doing this, I always had a strategy in mind. The strategy covers a list of questions for the review, including ability to configure different keyboard layouts and a hotkey switch for them.

Now I plan to release a series of how-to articles covering configuration of multi-layout keyboards in Linux. It is obviously a task for the desktop environment in use for the particular Linux distribution. Let's starts with the obvious leaders in the Linux world.

In the future, we will also speak about Xfce, Cinnamon and MATE and also LXDE, Enlightenment, Openbox.

4 Oct 2013

Another level taken: 900 subscribers

It was not that long, only in early July 2013 when the number of subscribers of Linux notes from DarkDuck blog reached the 700 mark.

Today I am happy to tell you that number of subscribers is more than 900! Another mark was passed in just 3 months time!

I think this is a great achievement for all of us, who like to use and popularize Linux.

Thank you to all my subscribers!

And don't forget, Facebook and Twitter accounts of Linux notes from DarkDuck are also active!

1 Oct 2013

Is it time to betray?

I need to apologise before you start reading this post. It is neither about Linux, nor about Linux-run application. It is about software I use on my work laptop, which unfortunately has to be Windows-based. Although, the article relates to FOSS-world too.

And… It is very fuddy-duddy.

24 Sep 2013

Patrick d'Emmabuntüs: Emmabuntüs is more than a Linux distribution

DarkDuck loves to interview different people in the Linux community. Especially if they are real developers of distributions, or take part in the development teams. Examples are Artyom Zorin, Anne Nicolas Eugeni Dodonov , Porteus Team, Robert Milasan and so on.

Today I am happy to introduce you a member of another team: Patrick from Emmabuntüs team.

19 Sep 2013

How-to make hard-to-crack passwords you can easily remember

by Emery Fletcher

For better or worse – and more often worse – passwords are required to do a lot of things on the Internet and even in your home. For example, you need password for your Linux account or at least for root in your Linux installation.

At the same time, cracking passwords has never been easier. It's not just for experienced hackers any more: now even the general public can buy a ready-made cracking utility, or even download one free. There are even forums that give detailed instructions so you can learn how to use it. Some people have earned a lot of Bitcoins by sharing unused GPU/CPU cycles on their computers to crack passwords on a commercial basis.

One thing you can't do is create an unbreakable password. In principle, despite all the salting and hashing and encrypting you or a website enforces, any collection of symbols you use as the sole key for protecting your digital asset (computer, website, whatever) can eventually be discovered by a determined cracker with good resources and lots of time. The best you can do is make the cracker need huge resources and nearly-endless time – in short, make it so tough it just isn't worth the cracker's time.

18 Sep 2013

(Pre-) order your own copy of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu or Lubuntu 13.10

It's this time of year again...

With the coming release of next long-term support version of Ubuntu 13.10 just a month away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system.
But many of you are not so lucky, and will need to wait longer, because you can not or do not want to create their own CDs with operating system images.
Here we are to help!
You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 13.10 (or Xubuntu, or Lubuntu, or Kubuntu) right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the 17th of October, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.
How you can get the DVD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Ubuntu DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 13.10. If you want K-, L- or Xubuntu, state it also in the same comment. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout, similar to Buy Linux CDs site. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card!

UK (2.00 GBP):
Ubuntu 13.10 pre-order (UK)

USA (6.50 USD):
Ubuntu 13.10 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (4.50 GBP):
Ubuntu 13.10 pre-order (Other countries)

And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.

12 Sep 2013

I love GNOME 3 because...

James Knight
Yes, I really love GNOME 3!

It's pretty! Seriously, I'm clearly weird as the rest of the internet seems to hate it. But I like the font, I like the total lack of clutter with no dock/launcher.

The social media plugin is pretty handy so I don't have to keep Facebook open all the time. 

About the only thing that I've still to get used to after a month on Fedora 19 is the clock being in the top-middle of the screen, rather than the top-right which I'm used to in Ubuntu

Then again, I like Unity, so... I'm weird!

This article by James Knight won the prize in the Desktop Environment articles contest which Linux notes from DarkDuck ran together with BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site.

5 Sep 2013

Debian LXDE with LXLE Added Features

LXDE is a desktop environment, which aims the low-performance hardware and old computers. However, you can use it on with modern computers and accessories too, making them flashing fast.

LXLE is an Ubuntu based distribution using LXDE desktop with the LTS kernel. It has some added features not found in Lubuntu. We will try to mimic them in Debian.

First install Debian. We will use a 32-bit install of Jessie (testing). I have only tried this on Debian Jessie so I can't confirm everything will work on Debian Wheezy. On the boot menu be sure to select the LXDE desktop.

Hopefully you are familiar with installing Debian, as we aren't going to delve into that here, but here are some good instructions.

The features we are going to add from LXLE, are the following:
  • Deepin package manager
  • Areo.. hot keys for moving windows around the screen
  • Fast Forecast... a local forecast retriever
  • Fehlstart ...a keyboard application launcher
  • Compton...a low resource compositor
  • Random wallpaper... for automatically changing wallpaper at login.
  • Lxweather which as of this writing is not included in LXLE

29 Aug 2013

My favourite is KDE. Why? I'm not sure

I'm not sure I have a favourite distribution. The first disto I used (1999) was Debian. So I'm used to thinking first in terms of "apt-get/dpkg" rather than "yum/zypper/rpm/...".

My favourite distro tends to change every 9-18 months, butat times  it's been Debian, SuSE, Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. The longest as my favorite would be openSuSE

Ubuntu, Debian and Mint seem to have the best variety in default software repositories, and I prefer Debian on my 7 rack servers, though  ~half of them (3) are CentOS, because Red Hat coded 'modules/drivers' were better for some prolinear/poweredge servers. I love how Ubuntu/Mint auto-play movies and mp3 music without having to load codecs separately.

22 Aug 2013

4 favourite C's in Ubuntu setup

The introduction of Unity in Ubuntu was a great disappointment. For newcomers it would be an easy to use environment; in fact an ideal "granny" system. But for the serious tweaker it was a big step backwards.

Then came a little ray of hope with the MATE desktop. But even that wasn't perfect with the two configurations, MATE and GNOME, running side by side and confusing things. The advantage of MATE was the file browser which was better than Nautilus, because also at that time Nautilus lost important features like the "up to parent folder" button gone.

Then came a double break-through with the new GNOME session fallback desktop imitating Gnome 2 within Gnome 3 and thanks to Mr Kirby with his nautiluspatch which brought back the missing functions in nautilus....and I was over the moon.

15 Aug 2013

Another poll, another vote

My dear readers!

I asked you to vote for my blog recently when FOSS Force blog ran their poll.
I am lucky enough to be included into the second round of this poll, which for some reasons has even more blogs in the list compared to the first round.
Please visit the poll page and cast your voice! I hope it will be in my favour.
Even if you don't want to vote, you can still find links to interesting blogs there!

Thank you!!!

13 Aug 2013

Desktop Environment Article Contest Results

Thank You for everyone who took part in the contest of articles about your favourite Desktop Environment. And Thank You to everyone who ever considered to take part in the contest, but never managed to write anything.

I am happy to announce the winners now. Drums... Light... Maestro, please!

The third prize, which is a disk with a distribution of DarkDuck choice, goes to James Knight! This will be Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit from BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk.

The second price, which is a disk with a distribution of his own choice, goes to Chris Guiver from Australia.

And the first prize, an Amazon.com voucher for amount of just under 15 USD goes to Rolf Sommerhalder, also from Australia.

Congratulations and applause to all the winners!

You, my dear readers, will be able to read the winning articles soon. Stay tuned!

7 Aug 2013

Do you like this blog? Vote for it!

My dear readers!

Do you think my blog about Linux and free open source software is the only similar in the Internet? Of course it is not!

How many other do you know? And how do you compare Linux notes from DarkDuck with others?

Now you have a fantastic opportunity to share your admiration! Vote for the blog(s) - up to two - in the poll organized by FOSS Force. It is easy!

Even if you don't want to vote, you should still follow the link above, for example to learn other alternatives to Linux notes from DarkDuck. Are there any you don't know about?

6 Aug 2013

Open Source Encryption for everybody

This is a guest post provided by the team from BlockPRISM.org site: Stefan, Felix, Carolyn and Thomas

With an increasing importance placed on communication via social media, privacy is imperative now more than ever over the Internet. The NSA scandal has shown that there is a great demand for secure communication on the Internet. However, many people do not try to protect their privacy by any means either because encryption is difficult to implement in social media or simply because they are unaware of the resources out there for encryption. Encryption needs to be made easily available for everyone so that privacy is no longer a concern.

That’s where BlockPrism comes in. BlockPrism is a non-profit organisation that works on the encryption plugin with the same name.

BlockPrism plugin encrypts messages in social networks and keeps your data yours. Our idea is to provide transparent free open source plug-ins and tools that let you communicate safely over the media you already use, in a simple way.

Once the plug-in is installed, messages can be sent to friends as they were before. However, when you now message a friend that has the plug-in installed as well, the message is encrypted before it leaves your browser and is decrypted in your friend’s browser before it is displayed to him or her.

We use a strong and proven public private key encryption for our system. Your message is encrypted with your friend's public key in your browser. The message can only be decrypted using your friend's private key. This private key is securely stored in your friend's browser so no one but him or her can access it.

Right now we have a Chrome browser plugin, which can be found at blockprism.org. We are working on Chromium, Firefox and Opera ports. The proof of concept can be seen working in Facebook Chat here (video).

An indiegogo campaign has also been launched to support progress. We launched the campaign to get help to finalize the browser plugin, give smartphone support , and provide support to other messaging services besides Facebook.

Our vision is to provide a simple means of encrypting messages for everybody. If you are interested, check us out and read more about the encryption process at blockprism.org

30 Jul 2013

SAP GUI for Linux Users

If you're working with SAP ERP, it is very likely that you use a computer with the Microsoft Windows operating system. SAP GUI for Windows is the most common way to log into the SAP ERP backend system.

But what if Linux is your preferred operating system?  Do you have any option to use SAP GUI?

Yes, there is a way: SAP GUI for Java. It runs on any machine with Java enabled, even though the list of officially supported operating systems is not that long.

28 Jul 2013

Desktop Environment Contest from Linux notes from DarkDuck

There were quite a few contests on this blog already.

I bet you liked all of them. Do you want another contest? I have one for you!

This time round, you will need to use your writing skills again. But this contest will not be driven by a specific product. Neither will it be about Linux in general. It will be something in the middle.

25 Jul 2013

The main reason I love Linux: it works. Plain and simple.

I got introduced to Linux in 2006. My first distributions were Kubuntu, then PC Linux OS. Until eventually I arrived to Mint Daryna.

By the middle of 2007-09 I was hooked on Mint 9 Isadora. Recently I have installed Mint 13 Maya on my wife's tower, and I am presently tearing my hair out, using a tower with WinXP.

I find that Mint is so much easier to use then any other Distro. Everything works out of the Box. Very little has to be tweak or altered.

The boot up time, and the shut down time has not altered. The Win XP is slowing down.

The main reason I love Linux: it works. Plain and simple. It means more productivity to me.

This is a guest post by Joseph Barr, which took part in the Linux Mint contest where the main prize was the book Linux Mint System Administrator’s Beginner’s Guide and the second prize was the Linux disk from Buy Linux CDs.

23 Jul 2013

I've been interviewed!

The readers of this blog know that I perform interviews from time to time. People like Carla Shroeder, Katherine Noyes, Artyom Zorin and  Eugeni Dodonov  visited my virtual interview room.

It's now my turn to become a "victim". Steven Ovadia asked me about My Linux Setup. Please welcome to read!

18 Jul 2013

How To Video Record Your Desktop

Screencasting software has sprung up all over the place in recent years, and there are a number of good reasons why you might want to use it to record your desktop.

Firstly, it’s a great way to create software tutorials that you can share with others. There are thousands of them on Youtube to date already, and companies use them to display clear instructions for their own products, as well as putting them to use for marketing purposes.

Screencasting is also useful if you’re having PC issues and need tech support – by recording your screen as you step through a problem, you can show the techie exactly what goes wrong where, and you’ll give them the best chance of helping you resolve the issue.

Here are some of the best tools currently available for recording your desktop. Some of them are OpenSource.

11 Jul 2013

Experiences of a software consultant with various Linux distributions

I like reading comments under the posts of my Linux blog.

Some of these comments are short. Some of them are extended to several paragraphs. And some of them deserve a separate post. That's why I decided to re-publish a comment by Balaji Neelakantan to the post "What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?" as a separate story. 

I hope you will enjoy. Fasten your seatbelts! Let's go!

9 Jul 2013

Another level taken: 700 subscribers

I am not sure whether I should be proud, or I should be embarrassed.

The number of subscribers to this blog continues to grow rapidly after I stopped writing much of the content for it. As I've written just 2.5 months ago, most of the content of this blog is currently written by yourselves, my dear readers. I mean guest posts, of course.

Just 2.5 months ago I announced that the number of subscribers reached 600. And today.. It's over 700!

I should admit that 700 limit was not reached today for the first time. It was above 700 level as well on the 26th of June - exactly 2 months after the previous announcement. Unfortunately, I could not fix that achievement that time, and I had to wait for another 2 weeks. Not a big deal.

Anyway, thank you to all the subscribers who follow Linux notes from DarkDuck! I appreciate your support and your interest! I'll keep this blog alive!

And, if you are interested, please feel free to contact me with ideas of your own guest articles, or maybe ideas for my own Linux- and FOSS-related posts.

4 Jul 2013

Linux is here to stay

Christopher Cox
For me Linux has become more than just a kernel.  Though a kernel it most certainly is. Linux has now become synonymous with a platform. But even better it has become transparent solution provider. A part of daily life.

For me my adventure into Linux started with wanting Unix at home. As a Unix programmer and administrator, I was very comfortable with the power and (dare I even say this) ease of which solutions could be developed in Unix. One day another systems administrator had me log into his machine at his house (via modem back in those days). What I saw was something that was somewhat System V like (unlike all of the BSD variants of the day, which still contained proprietary AT&T System V code and so were somewhat "untouchable").

You see Unix was very expensive. The machinery was expensive and if you tried to put it on a PC, commercial Unix was too far out of reach for most pocketbooks.

Linux provided not just a cheap POSIX Unix clone, but a whole new platform... the opportunity to take the ideas of Unix and take it beyond the limitations of both System V and BSD. Linux gave a kernel to the GNU tools, which really helped launch the success of Linux and made the whole idea of Linux distributions easily achievable.

As a student of microprocessor architectures, I had a natural disdain for Intel 386 architectures especially as implemented by IBM in what we now call the PC. So, making the choice to get a 386 architecture machine was difficult for me, but because of the potential of Linux, I took the plunge. My first PC dual booted Windows 3.1 and Yggdrasil Plug & Play Linux. I had a 14" 1024x768 8bit display (which was pretty high end in those days). The host machine had a huge 8M of main memory (thank you Microsoft Windows 95 for making that affordable!) and ran an early (buggy) Intel Pentium processor.

Thus my first real Internet connected home host was Linux based. I have been a fulltime Linux desktop user ever since.

But look at today... now my switches run Linux, my storage subsystems run on Linux, my phone runs on Linux. Yes, it's not just about a kernel anymore, it's a platform... no... it's a solution provider!  Because of Linux, we have solutions. And not just solutions, but lasting solutions because you see, Linux is also about freedom and primarily about the GNU Public License which protects intellectual property and preserves it indefinitely. This is something that proprietary licensed software does not have today. In other words, not only is Linux at the heart of all solutions today, it's also not going to fade away due to corporate impropriety, mistakes or acquisition.

Linux is here. It's here to stay. And it just keeps getting better and better everyday. I am proud to be a contributor of software and solutions built on top of Linux.

And the story goes on and on... (must be because of Linux uptime)...

This is a guest post by Christopher Cox, which won a prize in the joint contest of Linux notes from DarkDuck and Zinio.

26 Jun 2013

Blog article in the podcast discussion

The recent guest post Divergence in the distros surely made a big impact in the Linux world.

It almost set a record between this blog's articles for the number of shares, likes and retweets.

And now it became the discussion topic for the Everyday Linux podcast. Seth, Chris, Aaron and Mark share their thoughts about 2- or 3-tier Linux world.

Interested? Welcome to read listen!

Copy the feed link and paste it into your aggregator Subscribe to this podcast with iTunes

25 Jun 2013

What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?

There was a question addressed to me recently, after publishing the "Divergence in the distros" article. The person asked me
You tested many distros so you maybe have some pros/cons seen on distros to share.
That made me think about the most perfect distribution I'd like to get, ever. Let me share these thoughts with you.

18 Jun 2013

Anne Nicolas: Mageia project is a viable and mature

"This is a good time for the next interview", DarkDuck thought. And there was a good reason for it.

DarkDuck's favourite distribution Mageia has just jumped into the version 3.

Let's cut this story short. My today's guest is Anne Nicolas, the chairperson of Mageia.org association.

13 Jun 2013

Divergence in the distros: how the Linux community is splitting into a two-tier system

Multiple revenue streams aren't a bad thing.

Look at any major service provider: Heroku, Google, Amazon, Apple. All of them offer different levels of access to what they offer, usually at different prices. There's even an established route to enticing customers towards the paid plans, via the well-worn 'freemium' model.

Let's be clear about this: Linux isn't dividing into paid and unpaid. It's not going the freemium route (although the cynical will suggest that Canonical might be thinking about it). What we're seeing, though, is the development of a clear split. A kind of meiosis.
And, much like the mythical beast itself, these heads enable the Linux beast to tackle both the herculean developer community while snapping up computer-averse consumers at the same time. If Linus Torvalds ran the Linux Foundation for-profit, this would be exactly the kind of business move that'd make sense: a two-tier system of Linux distributions, with one aimed at various levels of consumer and the other squarely aimed at the million unpaid developers who'll push the company forward.


7 Jun 2013

Tell people you use Linux

What is the most obvious way to tell other people you use Linux. Talk to them!

But what if there are too many people, and you can’t talk to [all of] them really… But still want to get the message "I am a Linux user" delivered? In this case, put this message on something visible. Computer sticker, mug, pen – the options are there. And, of course, with this summer season asking us to change clothes to something light, T-shirt is a nice way to promote your favourite operating system too!

Linux notes from DarkDuck helps you here. Links below lead to merchandise stores of different Linux distributions. Purchasing (and using) items from these stores, you not only promote Linux and tell other people you're a Linux man (or woman), but also help your favourite distribution: part of your purchase goes to the developers and helps them to continue their valuable work.

Of course, I have not listed all the available distributions there, just a selected few.

Also, there are items available on Amazon. Here are the links to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk – depending on where you live. Clicking through these links and buying anything there, you help this blog.

4 Jun 2013

Debian Wheezy vs Intel 4965AGN: flop-flop

Installing Debian may be a trivial task for someone.

It has never been so easy for me.

To start with, my first attempt to install it failed epically. Installation of Debian 6.0 Squeeze without a network connection was a serious mistake.

Has installation improved in Debian 7.0? It was my task to study this.

What do I have now on a hardware side? Since my old laptop died and I got a new one, I wrote a new post about "Tux moving house". You can get technical specs of my new laptop Sony Vaio VGN-NR21Z there too.

I downloaded and burnt onto a DVD+RW drive the Live Xfce version of Debian 7.0 Wheezy. So, disk is in the drive. Reboot. Let's go!

28 May 2013

New book from a Linux geek

This time I am not going to write about Linux, sorry guys.

But if you're into Linux world, you should know the person called Dedoimedo. I have even interviewed him once.

Igor Ljubuncic, who goes under Dedoimedo's nickname in the Linux world, is a multi-talented person. He is not only a computer and Linux geek, but he is also a writer. Last year he published his first book, The Betrayed. This year the second part of the story is out, called The Broken.

By the way, if you want to get The Broken for free, you can take part in the competition which Dedoimedo currently runs! Good luck!

21 May 2013

Steven Ovadia: I wiped Windows and never looked back

This man usually sits in a different seat of the interview room. Many people in the Linux world recognise him as a person who interviewed a lot of high-profile Linux advocates, prophets and journalists. But let me now put him into the interviewee's seat and introduce the man to you. Please meet: Steven Ovadia.

18 May 2013

Facebook fans: 200

It was not long ago when I was happily announced that more than 600 people subscribed to this blog.

Today I have yet another nice announcement: the number of Facebook page fans is now 200.
Thank you to everyone in this list!

Do you want to join this fantastic outfit? Like the Facebook page of Linux notes from DarkDuck too!

14 May 2013

Linux Screenshot Beauty Contest from DarkDuck (Part 3)

I hope you have enjoyed the first and the second parts of the Linux Screenshot Beauty Contest.

Let's see the third part.