30 Dec 2014

Linux Antique

I have mentioned several times that my acquaintance with Linux started somewhere in the XX century, long before it became a part of our everyday life. It was in a form of Linux distribution downloaded from the Internet, and in a form of CD I bought from a stall on one of the markets in Moscow.

I have recently found the CD I bought that time.

Let me introduce you to Linux Antique, aka Red Hat 5.2 KDE.

I hope you like the Linux history.

And if you want to buy a Linux disk for yourself, you can always use a service from Buy Linux CDs site.

23 Dec 2014

DarkDuck wishes you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hello to all my readers!

Year 2014 has almost gone. It was difficult for many of us. It was full of pleasures for many of us too.

It was turbulent and difficult for myself. There were many changes in my personal life, in my work, in my location. But I cannot say that there were no nice moment. They were.

Let's leave all bad memories in 2014, and let's hope for good times in 2015!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

I wish you all the best in the coming year!

Stay tuned to Linux notes from DarkDuck.

4 Dec 2014

Zorin: That is Flexibility!

I will start off by saying that I am a 67 year old retired male who is only moderately computer savvy.

I started out using Linux with the Mandrake version about 8 years ago as an experiment. I was upset with Windows 95 & 98 because it would continuously freeze up and eventually would ruin the hard drive. Not to mention the virus problems.

I tried Lindows for a while because I liked their repository and the ease at which one could download and install programs. After a few years Lindows which had changed its name to Linspire was discontinued so I switched to Ubuntu with the KDE GUI desktop.

About 2 years ago I tried Zorin 6.0 and have used it and upgraded it on one of my computers since. I especially like the Zorin OS desktop experience because I can change it to look like Windows 7 or like Mac. That is flexibility! I also enjoy the Ubuntu type repository system!

I feel that anyone who has never tried Linux and wants to convert over to Linux from Windows should try a Linux system that is most like Windows - that would be Zorin.

This is a guest post by Harry S. Durham, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.

23 Oct 2014

We would like to thank the Zorin OS team

I'm currently working as the only IT staff member at a small neighbourhood council that is dedicated to helping our neighbours as much as we can by providing various services such as reconditioning schools, parks, and in my case computers.

Now recent we received a huge batch of laptops (Lenovo Thinkpad T60) as donations. We use these laptops so they can provide online and local training to youth workers so they can learn work skills and etiquette that will be essential for them to advance their careers professionally. The issue we are currently facing with these laptops is that the hardware is rather low end and that they were originally designed to work with Windows XP, which unfortunately recently stopped being supported.

Thanks to Zorin OS I was able to breath a new life into these laptops while providing a very similar environment to the end users so that they can feel right at home and continue their work without suffering from freezes or crashes and with greater performance and security to boot.

On behalf of the neighbourhood council, we would like to thank the Zorin OS team for their commitment on an extraordinary software that we hope will be going strong for years to come.

This is a guest post by Cesar Escoto, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.

14 Oct 2014

Linux notes from DarkDuck blog is now 4 years old!

It was 4 years ago when the first post was published in English on this blog, Linux notes from DarkDuck.

Do you remember that time? I think there are not that many of you who do. How may of my readers joined the Linux community after I started the blog? Are there any who was influenced by me on this road? I hope at least couple of you are...

Congratulations to everyone!

And, of course, stay tuned for more interesting stuff to come...

7 Oct 2014

Users don't want Ubuntu 14.10

Linux notes from DarkDuck announced a poll few weeks ago. The poll contained two questions:
  1. Are you waiting for Ubuntu 14.10 release?
  2. Are you planning to update/upgrade/install Ubuntu 14.10 on your computer?
It is time now to announce the results of the poll.

23 Sept 2014

Order your personal copy of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu 14.10

It is not the first time I announce something similar, so my old readers know what I mean...

With the coming release of next version of Ubuntu 14.10 just a month away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Utopic Unicorn.

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.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 14.10 (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 23rd of October 2014, 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 14.10. 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 14.10 pre-order (UK)

USA (6.00 USD):
Ubuntu 14.10 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (4.00 GBP):
Ubuntu 14.10 pre-order (Other countries)

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

18 Sept 2014

A Linux love story with real love and romance

My first encounter with Linux occurred about ten years ago when I used to enjoy reading software magazines. I was about 14 at that time. Loving to put in practice everything I was learning from those magazines, I downloaded my first Linux distribution: Ubuntu! I really can't remember which version, but if I look in some old boxes I'm sure I will find the CD I used to install it.

I loved it but my parents that needed to use very often the only PC in the house got quickly tired of the dual boot start page and they asked me to get rid of it. That is how my first experience with the Linux world came to an end. It was quite painful but I never forget the good moments.

9 Sept 2014

Ubuntu 14.10 expectations

There is no doubt Ubuntu and its siblings Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions. It became synonym to Linux to many, though Ubuntu is not only a Linux distribution.

New versions of Ubuntu family come out every six months, April and October each year. Every forth of them, released in April on even year, is a "long-term support" version. It means users get updates for their LTS systems longer than for non-LTS. The current version of Ubuntu 14.04 is LTS. It is so stable that many Ubuntu derivatives like Linux Mint and Zorin decided to remain on 14.04 base and not upgrade it until the next LTS version.

However, it is not so obvious that Ubuntu 14.10 will be worse than 14.04. It will come out on the 23rd of October. That is why I decided to make a little poll for my readers. There are two questions:
1. Are you waiting for Ubuntu 14.10 release?
2. Are you planning to update/upgrade/install Ubuntu 14.10 on your computer?

The poll is now open, and I will announce its results early October.


2 Sept 2014

Ubuntu... the unusual one

For most of us Ubuntu and Canonical are synonyms.
Ubuntu is a brand in the world of Linux-based operating systems, while Canonical is a company behind that brand.
However, I was surprised recently when I saw a different Ubuntu. Namely, this one.

It was found in a pharmacy store in the UK. Apparently, Ubuntu (or Ubuntu Oils) is a brand of haircare products. Nothing to surprise here. Ubuntu means "humanity to others", as per their official About page.

If you are interested in haircare product, or want to make an unusual gift to your Linux friends, you can buy it from Amazon. They are available in both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com parts of that web store.

Even more... if you want to have Ubuntu cola, it is available too: Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

And, of course, if you just need a disk with Ubuntu, you can order it via BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk.

Happy shopping!

29 Aug 2014

Clusterbit Developed the World’s Smallest Datacenter

64 cores of high performance computing at your desk

We now have the freedom to test a wide variety of solutions without the need to run loud, hot, expensive high end hardware or outdated power hungry servers.

The project began in March 2014 with both co-geeks Raffi Manoian and Zohrab Tavitian who founded Clusterbit. They decided to cram 8 credit card size servers into a little box and develop an open source platform where home enthusiasts, IT professionals, Linux technicians as well as high-end users can explore new possibilities.

To read more: http://www.clusterbit.com/press-release

Other links

This is a guest post by Zohrab Tavitian, co-founder of Clusterbit

28 Aug 2014

Six Advantages of Choosing Linux over Windows

Linux is a computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. It has many advantages over Windows and some of which are listed below.

12 Aug 2014

Another article got published off-line

You, readers of my blog, know that my articles are often translated into other languages and published in off-line press. My usual partner for this is magazine "User and Linux".

Today I am happy to announce that my article "How to enable spell-checking in different languages in Pidgin in Linux" has been published in Russian in the issue 14.08 (#30) of that magazine.

Welcome to read the original and translation, which you can find of page 24.

7 Aug 2014

How I stopped distro hopping

I, a Microsoft user since DOS 5.x was introduced to Linux in the late 90's when a friend gave me a copy of Novell Linux. I was in awe that you could get a "free" operating system without having to pay for it. The system didn't hold my attention long because there were not a lot of applications for it that were similar to the Windows programs I was accustomed to.

Along comes Fedora and in 2004 I picked up a book called Linux for Non Geeks by No Starch Press which included a copy of Fedora. I learned of Open Source and the Free Software Foundation through this book and thought it was great that a community of folks could come together and make a product they then would give to the world. I loved the idea that software should be shared freely. I used fedora for about a year while dual booting with Windows. During that time I learned there were many Linux distributions gaining popularity like never before. I tried as many as I could but were never satisfied. I had my Windows XP operating system so why bother getting serious about Linux when Windows provided all I needed.

I began to notice Microsoft in the news more and more for unscrupulous business practices. This contrasted with the meaning of Open Source I had learned from my Linux experience. Microsoft started losing it's appeal. I began to see how with each new Windows release the systems became more draconian and restrictive. I am a hard core first person single player shooter fan and Windows played all my games when nothing else would. I could not just leave Windows no matter how I wanted to.

I decided I would try to use Linux for everything else except gaming. I used several distros for a while, PC Linux OS, Mint, Ubuntu (until Unity) and learned to love a slackware distro called Vector Linux. I even tried and liked PC-BSD 9 and 9.1. My goal was to try to find the system that most resembled the look and feel of the Windows systems I was used to because of familiarity and ease of use. I didn't like the terminal much and only used it when I had to. Though I liked each distro they somehow fell short of my expectations.

I first found Zorin with Zorin 5. I liked it but Zorin 6 had just come out and so I switched but felt Zorin was still too new so I didn't stick with it. Zorin 7 came out and it was Linux love at first install. I used Zorin 7 till Zorin 8 came out and now I'm onto Zorin 9 my first LTS Zorin distro (still dual booting). I have seen how the Linux community has grown up over the years with stable distros that have all the features I could desire but Zorin has a style that matches my expectations of how a distro should work.

Steam now has games that work in Linux and thanks to the stability of Ubuntu I know Zorin will play those games. GOG will be coming out with game versions for Linux at the end of this year. Between the two, I hope to leave Windows forever in a heap of dust. I can finally have my cake and eat it too. Linux for me means a chance at computer freedom. I know I can have that with Zorin.

Thank You Zorin!

This is a guest post by Electric Rider, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.

2 Aug 2014

Zorin OS Contest Results

And today is the day...

First of all, Zorin team, Linux notes from DarkDuck and Linuxaria would like to say THANK YOU to all the participants of the contest that we ran for last few weeks. It was a real pleasure to see such a response, and to read all your article.

Unfortunately, not all of them could get the prizes. It was a difficult task to select the winners. It is time to announce their names!

Drums, please!

29 Jul 2014

An unusual comparison of Desktop Environments

I created and published a series of videos few months ago, that show how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments.
Just to refresh your memory, here they are:

Statistics of the views is quite interesting. Here are just naked amounts:

22 Jul 2014

Zorin OS 9 - a step forward for Windows migrants

Linux notes from DarkDuck has closely followed the development of Zorin OS for a long time now. The first review was for Zorin OS 4, and since then it seems like I haven't missed any new release. I also interviewed Artyom Zorin, the leader of the distribution.

Even though I don't do reviews en masse now, I felt I had to write a review of Zorin OS 9, which was released in July 2014, just few days ago.

I downloaded the version Zorin OS 9 32-bit Core. It is about 1.3 GB in size, which means you either need a DVD or a USB stick with >1GB capacity to get this ISO working.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get Live USB with this distribution. I tried different methods: dd command, Unetbootin, and even USB image writer from Linux Mint 17 toolkit. None of them created a workable Live USB stick.

Then I reverted to a Live DVD option.

So, DVD with Zorin OS 9 Core is in the DVD-ROM of my laptop Dell Vostro 1500. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

19 Jul 2014

Contest for Zorin OS lovers

Contest is closed. Results are here.

You probably remember a contest that ran about two years ago. It was dedicated to Zorin OS 6. A new release of Zorin OS 9 has been released only few days ago, that is why it is time for yet another contest, isn't it?

Let's Do It!

Just to refresh your memories, here are the rules.

This contest is organised together by Zorin OS team, Linux notes from DarkDuck and Buy Linux CDs.

Who can participate?

Everyone with a passion for Linux, and with some writing skills. If you're good enough to compose a short e-mail to your friend, then you're ready for the contest.

What you need to do?

Please write a short story about Zorin OS, or maybe just Linux in general.

Why do you use Linux? How did you come to the Linux world? What do you like here? What are you doing to promote Linux? Any of these, or maybe your own themes are good.

It would be better, if your post is about Zorin OS, but this is just "nice to have".

The text you're going to write should not be one-liner. Please be little bit more productive. At least 50 words, if you don't mind.

Where to send your works?

Please e-mail them to zorinos.contest@darkduck.com.

When to send?

Any time until the 31st of July 2014.

What will you get?

Organizers of the contest will select winners, and they will receive:

  1. Disk with Zorin OS 9 Premium with all the attached support. Prize is given by Zorin OS team.
  2. 10 GBP e-voucher for Amazon.co.uk site. Prize from Buy Linux CDs.
  3. CD with any Linux distribution of your choice. Prize from Linux notes from DarkDuck.
Update: there is another prize from Linuxaria: 25 USD voucher for amazon.com. It will be awarded to the 10th article submitted to the contest, disregarding the content of it (unless it is a really dummy submission)! Please hurry!

Will my work be published?

By submitting your work, you allow organizers to use your work on their web sites, unless you specifically withdraw your permission in writing.

When will results be announced?

The results will be announced on the 2nd of August 2014.
The winners will be contacted by e-mail.

Small print:

  1. One prize per contestant.
  2. Decisions of contest organizers are binding, and cannot be changed.
  3. Non-monetary prizes cannot be exchanged for money.
  4. No cash equivalents.
  5. Monetary prizes will be given in currency stated: 10 GBP and 25 USD.
  6. In order to get non-monetary prizes, you must provide your postal address. This will be kept confidential and never disclosed to 3rd parties.
  7. Winners must respond the requests within 14 calendar days. If there is no response, the prize will be withheld.

26 Jun 2014

Linux Mint 17 Xfce quick screenshot tour

Linux Mint team produces a number of distributions. Of course, the most famous of them are based on Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments.
However, KDE- and Xfce-based versions of Linux Mint also find their fans.

Linux Mint 17 Xfce was released today. Let's look at what it offer to the user. This is not going to be a full-blown review, rather a quick screenshot tour in the Live session.

Let's go!

24 Jun 2014

How to enable spell-checking in different languages in Pidgin in Linux

If you are a person who speaks different languages, you are very likely to end up having friends in different parts of the world that you need to communicate with. The modern technological world gives you a good way of doing so using various instant messaging protocols.

Pidgin is a free open source application that allows you to communicate through different protocols. I believe it covers most of the protocols currently known in the world. Some of these protocols are available out of the box, others are available through additional plugins.

I have previously written a guest post on Linuxaria's blog that shows the power of plugins for Pidgin. Today I’m going to dive into a similar topic once again, looking through a different prism.

27 May 2014

How Handy HandyLinux Is?

I haven't written reviews for Linux distributions for a while. I think the last review I've done was about OpenSuSE 12.3 about a year ago, but it was a rather short article. The last full-blown review from DarkDuck was SLAX 7.0 in January 2013.

However, I have received a request to make a review, and I simply could not say "no".

We will discuss HandyLinux today. This is an operating system released by a French community, but targeted to worldwide use. You can download the English release from here - please be sure to select the file *-l10n-*, otherwise you get a French edition.

So, I downloaded the ISO image of HandyLinux 1.5 for "modern" computers, i.e. 686 architecture. The ISO size is about 1.2 GB. Then I "burnt" it onto a USB drive with a dd command. USB stick is plugged into the Dell Vostro 1500 laptop.

Fasten your seatbelts. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

20 May 2014

Great Linux articles are now in Russian

The readers and fans of Linux notes from DarkDuck have noticed already that the blog has not been updated for a while. There are 2 major reasons for that:

  • I have changed my job. Settling on new grounds took a serious part of my time, leaving almost no space for additional activities.
  • My laptop Sony Vaio VGN-NR21Z decided to end its life after less than a year with me, and I had to acquire a new hardware. My new device is Dell Vostro 1500 with dual core 2.2 GHz Intel Centrino processor, 3Gb RAM, Intel 3945ABG wireless network card.

I think you would expect a "Tux moving house" article again, but I must disappoint you this time. The reason is that I have nothing to write about. All the Linux operating systems installed on the hard drive (Debian Wheezy, Mageia 4 and Linux Mint 15) made absolutely no problem for me when the disk had been moved across. The only problem I had was linked to new drivers for Windows Vista, but that was easy to solve using the Dell web site.

However, I still have something to tell you about. My hardcore fans should remember a series of articles I wrote about keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments:

I also produced a series of videos showing the process of keyboard layout configuration.

The original articles were written in English. Now they are available in Russian, published in User and Linux magazine as my guest articles:

Welcome to read both original and translated articles!

17 May 2014

Get disks with Linux distribution for free!

As you may know, Linux Notes from DarkDuck has a sister site: BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk. That is the place where you can purchase disks with your favourite Linux distribution, and they will be delivered to anywhere in the world.

You may remember the time when you could get disks with Ubuntu for free. I personally have one copy for my memories! Unfortunately, Canonical withdrawn that offer long ago.

Nicely, seems like the good times are back! There are some Linux fans that are ready to send you disks with Linux for free! Yes, you read that right - free disks with any Linux distribution you like, to anywhere in the world.

All you need to do is to e-mail Sean Rickerd seanrickerd@gmail.com with your postal address and name the distribution you want. He will burn the disk specially for you! (I would ask an authograph too!) Sean lives in Canada, so you can calculate the estimated delivery time for your place.

Please note: this initiative is Sean's personal, and Linux notes from DarkDuck is not responsible for any outcome you may get when contacting Sean. Of course, the offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice.

Anyway, I wish Sean and his initiative all the best in his way to promote Linux!

15 May 2014

Pre-order your personal copy of Linux Mint 17 Qiana

You have been waiting for long 2 years!

With the coming raelease of next long-term support version of Linux Mint 17 just a couple of weeks away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Qiana.

I was waiting for this too! That is because I run Linux Mint 15 as one of the systems on my laptop. I waited for version 17 to upgrade the system, because Qiana will be based on Long-term-support version of Ubuntu, and will be a LTS version itself.

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 DVDs with operating system images.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Linux Mint 17 (Cinnamon or MATE) right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the release date at the end of May 2014, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

You may ask why I cannot tell you the exact date of dispatch? This is because Linux Mint team, as usual, does not announce the release date, but only states that it is approximately "end of May".

How you can get the DVD? There are 2 options!

1. Free - email seanrickerd@gmail.com with your postal address and distribution you want. Presumably Linux Mint 17.

2. Read below and purchase from there.

Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Linux Mint DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 17. 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):
Linux Mint 17 pre-order (UK)

USA (6.00 USD):
Linux Mint 17 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (4.00 GBP):
Linux Mint 17 pre-order (Other countries)

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

1 May 2014

Emmabuntüs is a finalist of the cyber-activism competition

Emmabuntüs Collective, the one that stands behind the Emmabuntüs Linux distribution, was recently named a finalist in a contest rewarding the cyber-activism. The competition in question is THE BOBS contest. It was organized ten years ago by a German radio and television to reward cyber-activism.

But what is cyber activism?

According to Wikipedia:
The terms of online activism - or hacktivism - refer to various forms of activism practised using the Internet.
Originally the term activist was related to those who fought, arms in hand, to defend (or impose) their own ideas and beliefs, or those of their school of thought. Today activism is the active support of a cause, an ideal, an ideology, a political party. Activisms does not accept violence.

The Emmabuntüs Collective is a collective of people who promote Distribution Emmabuntüs to assist in repacking hardware donated to humanitarian organizations, including associations Emmaus. The second well-known fact about Emmabuntüs is that is it used by JerryClans in Jerry - a canister / container with PC components, intended to serve as a central processing unit, without needing other things. They also call it Jerrycan.

The Collective Emmabuntüs campaigns to promote free software, extend equipment life through reuse and recycling of materials to reduce waste caused by the consumption of raw materials, to help all humanitarian organizations in their reconditioning work to reduce the digital divide. Collective Emmabuntüs is a group of people working at their level to make it a little more possible.

Here is the presentation of the contest site thebobs.com:

The Bobs awards honor websites and projects in 14 languages that champion the open exchange of ideas and freedom of expression. When the annual awards launched in 2004, blogs were just beginning to establish themselves as a new type of media and The Bobs aimed to show that this new form of communication was worthy of being taken seriously and to point to the excellent example of work being done online to foster dialogue across language barriers.
The Bobs represent one of Deutsche Welle’s ongoing efforts to contribute to promoting freedom of expression and the upholding of human rights on the Internet and around the world.

Collective Emmabuntüs is proud to be selected among the finalists of the competition and encourage you to vote for our project.

You can vote on The Bobs site once per day in each category, you can vote with your facebook account, with your twitter account, and you can also create an account on the contest website to vote with, it is fast and easy. We did a tutorial on our blog to show how to vote. Do not hesitate to vote today and probably on other days if you find that our project brings something to the world of Free, and our world in general. You can also support us a second way, in addition to voting for us, you can spread this news to your network, ask around you. ;)

The article was originally published in French on linuxfr.org. Translation by DarkDuck.

1 Apr 2014

The Unexpected Present from Microsoft

The day is very close!

I mean the day when Linux installations will flood the desktop market. It may be even closer than you think! Let me explain.

Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP in a week’s time, on the 8th of April 2014. The number of users who still use Windows XP is astonishing. Let's be honest – XP was the best and the most stable of all the releases of that Redmond corporation.

Another thing to point out is that quite a lot of users prefer Microsoft Security Essentials to all the antivirus software available on the market.

And here is the trick… and a present that Microsoft prepared to all Linux fans in the world. The update of Microsoft Security Essentials for XP released on the 1st of April 2014 contains a direct recommendation to upgrade Windows XP to… Linux!

Yes, you read that right. The link in the MSE article gives a list of most popular Linux distributions (Hsiloof, Zorin, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Mageia) with a short description of each of them. The user has a choice of a system to migrate to – similar to browser selection screen available for European Windows users for a while now.

That's very nice of you, Microsoft! Thank you very much! We appreciate!

What should we do now? Fasten our seatbelts, relax and watch the army of Linux users grow!

Then look out – every XP user who knows you will begin to ask you to teach them Linux!

And for those who took this article seriously: please scroll to the top of it and check the date. 

27 Mar 2014

Why an Open Software and What Are the Benefits

Essentially, an open-source software or OSS is a kind of computer software which has its source code made available and licensed by virtue of such a license agreement which authorizes the copyright holder to study, modify and distribute the software to anyone, without any further charges and for any purpose whatsoever.

18 Mar 2014

Pre-order your personal copy of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu 14.04

You have been waiting for long 2 years!

With the coming release of next long-term support version of Ubuntu 14.04 just a month away, many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Trusty Tahr.

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.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 14.04 (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 19th of April 2014, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

You may ask why it is 19th of April, if the release date is the 17th of April? This is because 18th of April is a bank holidays in the United Kingdom - Good Friday. Royal Mail will not process any post on this day.

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 14.04. 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 14.04 pre-order (UK)

USA (6.00 USD):
Ubuntu 14.04 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (4.00 GBP):
Ubuntu 14.04 pre-order (Other countries)

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

11 Mar 2014

Recommended reading for Linux beginners

Linux popularity increases every day. That’s the fact we all face. More and more people come to the Linux world. It means that more and more people become interested in the beginners-level information about Linux.

I have recently published a guest post with a video introduction into Linux world from CBT Nuggets. It became really popular.

Today I want to let you know about some other resources that may help Linux beginners.

6 Mar 2014

Run your own repository with Apt-Mirror

I have been using Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and 12.04 (Precise) for a while now and as I like the Gnome 2 type desktop (Classic) I would love to continue using them into the future. But there will come a time (Precise ends April 2017, Lucid already stopped last year) when support will seize and quite possibly the repositories of their software packages will fold up as well; meaning that we won't be able to install new applications any longer.

One solution is to create your own repositories of all the software packages they offer. They can then be stored on your own computer or external hard drive. I won't get into the possibility of creating it for Internet or LAN streaming; but just for your own use.

The basic idea is to sync the repositories of your choice with the ones on your own computer. The application apt-mirror does just that. It downloads the package lists. Then compares it with the existing files you already have and eventually downloads the new one. There is also the option to delete previous versions of those new packages.

4 Mar 2014

Your most expected Linux distribution is...

I have asked you recently about the most expected Linux distribution due to official release within next 3 months.

The options in the poll were Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, OpenMandriva, Tails, Tanglu, or other.

It is time now to announce the results.

27 Feb 2014

The Ivorian Adventure of Jerry and Emma

I have recently published a first part of the love story between Jerry and Emma. That was a guest post by Cyriac Gbogou. Today is the time for the second part of the story.

18 Feb 2014

What is your most expected distribution?

Distrowatch.com, no doubt, is one of the most respectable resource for the Linux and, more generic, open source enthusiasts. This site's the most known feature is to list all possible Linux distributions available around the world. It may be your first point of contact if you are looking for the distribution of your choice.

Other than listing the distributions, Distrowatch also tracks reviews of them. DarkDuck is proud that his several reviews are listed there. Just to name a few: Ubuntu, KubuntuXubuntuMageia, PCLinuxOSPorteus, Dynebolic, Kongoni, Agilia, SliTaz, Crunchbang, PuppyROSA.

Yet another feature of Distrowatch is announcement for coming releases for Linux distributions. If you look at the list of distributions due to be released within next 3 months, which one is the most interesting for you? Which new release are you looking for most?

Please vote! The results will be announced in a couple of weeks.

13 Feb 2014

Open Source VoIP: What is Linphone?

VoIP phone systems are great allies for cost-effective communication needs. Regardless of the business size the features can be adapted to the office requirements. Some small businesses prefer using the VoIP technology on devices different than VoIP phones. This can be accomplished with the available software and apps that can be installed on desktop or mobile.

Linphone was the first open source software to use the session initiation protocol (SIP) with VoIP. The open software has voice, video and messaging features that can be used with any SIP VoIP operator. And because of its open source nature, it can be distributed for free.

What VoIP phones essentially do for business is transform the telephone data so it can be transmitted over the internet. VoIP software transmits data straight from the internet from a computer or mobile device and it offers the same features a VoIP phone system would in an office environment.

Linphone allows simultaneous call management with hold music, audio conferences and transfers. It can also work on a low bandwidth mode and supports encryption of voice and video. Linphone is no longer linux exclusive, it now runs on Windows and MacOSX. As well as the android, iOS and blackberry platforms.

The reason for VoIP phone systems to have rapidly increased popularity is that it represents a more efficient way of handling communications. Not only because it reduces costs, but because the data can be tracked in order to provide a better customer service.

Also an attractive quality, VoIP allows users to work from different places and receive the same calls they would if they spent 8 hours in the office. This flexible features adapts to the modern mobile lifestyle we have gotten used to. Linphone’s features and functioning place it on the same level as well known VoIP software such as Skype, Viber or 3CX. Proving that communication solutions is a still growing market that can only benefit from competing developers.

Have you tried an open source VoIP software yet? Share your impressions on Linphone or other apps to get the conversation started.

Article by CreativeWorks

CreativeWorks Systems, Inc. is a state-of-the-art New York State outsourcing firm with more than 10 years of experience in providing a wide range of cost-efficient, tailored Web Development and Inbound Marketing Services for clients looking to achieve online results, in a very specific geographic market, that would be out of reach for in-house staff.

Image provided is royalty free and the credit is given to commons.wikimedia.org

11 Feb 2014

To upgrade or not to upgrade?

You may know that my current laptop Sony VAIO VGN-NR21Z has 4 operating systems installed. Three of them are Linux: Debian, Linux Mint and Mageia.

Debian WheezyXfce sits there as a guarantor of boot stability. It controls the GRUB records. As usual, it is a rock solid distribution without much fun in it, although I have an issue with a mounted network drive: like some other distributions before, Debian switches off the wireless network interface before unmounting the shared drive. Thus, the unmounting process hangs for about 10 minutes before the computer can finally shut down.

However, that is not the point of today's article.

6 Feb 2014

Linux for beginners (video)

Hi DarkDuck blog readers!

My name is Steve Barth, and I am a video producer for IT training company: CBT Nuggets. Part of my job is to produce a video podcast, with the goal of taking difficult IT concepts and making them easy to understand and entertaining to learn about. I write, film and edit the show with the help of our amazing CBT Nuggets trainers. But, I have a confession to make: My passion is video production.. so I'm not an IT or Linux guru.

When DarkDuck asked me to guest write a blog post, due to our recent Linux show, I scratched my head and then immediately enlisted the help of Shawn Powers, our own Linux trainer. Here's what he had to say about our Linux themed show.

4 Feb 2014

Mageia 4 GNOME Quick Screenshot Tour

It was just a coincidence probably, but last week brought us update for two distributions I like very much.
Though I don't use Zorin OS personally, I like their approach in popularization of Linux. You have probably seen my Quick Screenshot Tour for Zorin OS 8 Core already.
Mageia in opposite is one of the permanent tenants on my laptop. I like this distribution very much, enjoying it even with some bugs I encounter. It is time now to have a Quick Screenshot Tour for Mageia 4 GNOME.
(Attention! Heavy graphics!)

29 Jan 2014

Happy Birthday to... DarkDuck

I am not the most modest person in this world.

That's why I will not hide from you the fact that I turned 37 today.


Thanks to all my readers who continue to support me through all the years!

28 Jan 2014

Zorin OS 8 Core Quick Screenshot Tour

Zorin OS is one of the Ubuntu derivatives that aims the fresh Linux converts. It allows you to start using Linux in the interface similar to Windows.

Zorin OS 8 was released on the 27th of January 2014. Let's have a quick screenshot tour on the features of Zorin OS 8 Core.
(Attention! Heavy graphics!)

21 Jan 2014

How to configure keyboard layouts in LXDE (video)

I have recently written an article about configuring multiple keyboard layouts in different Linux desktop environments: LXDE, Openbox, Enlightenment.

That was a text version.

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

I hope you will enjoy!

The link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNP9J6i87Qs

16 Jan 2014

When Jerry met Emma on the Ivory Coast

On Saturday July 27, 2013 a Jerry Marathon was held at the Attecoube community in the northern part of Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast.

The inhabitants of that community didn't ask to be told about that great event. Therefore more than the invited guests crowded the social center of Attecoube to see the principal guests who had created so much conversation.

Some came to touch them, others to take their pictures or to take pictures with them.

But who are the real Jerry and Emma?

14 Jan 2014

Pre-order your personal copy of Mageia 4 DVD

You may be aware that the newest version of Mageia 4 will be released on the 1st of February 2014. I am happy tell you that pre-ordering of disks with this distribution is now open!

You can pre-order your own copy of Mageia 4 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 Mageia DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 4. 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):
Mageia 4 pre-order (UK)

USA (5.50 USD):
Mageia 4 pre-order (USA)

Other countries (3.50 GBP):
Mageia 4 pre-order (Other countries)

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

9 Jan 2014

Great News from BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk

You probably know that BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk is a commercial arm of Linux notes from DarkDuck. This is a site where you can purchase disks with any Linux distribution of your choice, delivered straight to your mailbox anywhere in the world.

I am happy to bring you some happy news from that site. As of today, you can purchase CDs or DVDs with your favourite Linux distributions via http://buylinuxcds.co.uk even cheaper!

It means that disk with a Linux distribution of your choice with delivery to USA now costs only $5.50 instead of previous $6.50.
A disk a Linux distribution with delivery to any other country, except for USA or UK, will cost you only GBP 3.50 instead of GBP 4.50.
The price for UK customers remains the same - GBP 2.00.

The choice of available distributions is astonishingly vast. Check yourself! Even if you don't see the distribution in the list, you can request a disk via the contact form.

Hope you like this little New Year present from BuyLinuxCDs, even though it is a bit late.

I would appreciate if you spread the news to help your friends get the disks they want.

7 Jan 2014

How to configure keyboard layouts in LXDE, Enlightenment, Openbox

I have written recently about multiple keyboard layout settings in different Desktop Environments. The first article was about Unity, KDE and GNOME3. The second part of series was about Xfce, Cinnamon and MATE. I also created video how-tos for this.

Today we will talk about less popular, still existing desktop environments: LXDE, Enlightenment and OpenBox.

2 Jan 2014

Easy Steps to Build Your SMS Gateway in Linux

An SMS Gateway allows you to send and manage your messages from a computer or server (depending on the volume). It's a great option to set a Free SMS system for your business. For example, GMS Gateways like the ones offered by iQsim.com are reliable and flexible, and this means your text messages are sent more efficiently.

Since SMS Gateways are implemented to avoid higher costs and contracts with traditional telecom operators, their legality has been discussed around the world. For instance, a spokesperson from Ofcom, an independent telecom regulator from the UK states:

"An unsolicited marketing message that a subscriber has opted into receiving is one that they haveb not invited but they have indicated that they do not, for the time being, object to receiving it."
That being said, discretion is advised for sms campaigns, since saturating customers with random messages could minimize the reaching effect.

FrontlineSMS is one the most popular servers used in any of the Linux distributions. The software is free and it sends the messages via GSM modems, so the SMS termination rates depend on the standard plan of each provider. Frontline V1 is available for Linux, but the second version is only available in Beta. For more information on other commercial SMS Termination options click here.

Let's go through 3 simple steps to set the software up: