Issue #211 / Jun 2018

DVD: Linux Mint 18.3 "Mate" and Arch Linux

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: May 05
  • USA/Canada: Jun 01
  • Australia: Jul 02


You can’t get more sci fi than a little box that listens to your instructions and talks back. Most of the leading personal assistants come in very opaque little boxes, but the open source community is hard at work on finding its own solutions. Mycroft is an open source assistant that comes on a hardware device, but you can also download the software and install it on a Linux system. Other highlights:

• Meltdown and Spectre – These catastrophic hardware bugs have created problems for computer users around world. Find out what Linux developers are doing to clean up the mess.

• Knight’s Tour – Practice your skills with a Python solution to this classic chess puzzle.

Check out MakerSpace for a look at how to control your Raspberry Pi from an Android, and visit LinuxVoice for a tutorial on writing apps with the Qt Modeling Language (QML).

SERVICE: Welcome

Root of Trust

Every day, things seem to happen that I never thought I'd see, but one recent announcement was particularly striking if you've been around the FOSS community anytime in the last 20 years: Microsoft just proclaimed they are creating their own custom version of the Linux kernel.

SERVICE: This Month’s DVD

Linux Mint 18.3 “Mate” and Arch Linux

NEWS: News

Solomon Hykes Leaves Daily Operations at Docker; Red Hat Celebrates 25th Anniversary with a New Code Portal; Gnome 3.28 Released; Install Firefox in a Snap on Linux; Arduino Adds Rasp Pi and BeagleBone to the Arduino Create Platform; and IBM Launches a New Data Science Platform.

NEWS: Kernel News

Improving Netfilter Efficiency; Protecting Memory from Malicious Modification; and Speeding Up Workarounds for Intel Security Flaws.

NEWS: KDE Sets a Course

KDE looks at the path ahead

Two leaders of the KDE project report on priorities and celebrate a funding victory.

NEWS: Mycroft

Meet the open-source community’s answers to Google Assistant and Alexa

Voice-activated assistants like Mycroft bring online, hands-free help to users, but with more transparency and less spying.

REVIEWS: Peppermint OS

A lightweight Linux with excellent cloud connectivity

If you are looking for a lean but modern Linux with a solid foundation and seamless cloud connection, take a look at Peppermint OS.

REVIEWS: Scanners in Linux

Testing scanners under Linux

Using scanners to digitize documents in Linux was once a perilous business, but Linux scanner technology has improved in recent years. We study the state of the art with some leading scanners from various manufacturers.

IN-DEPTH: Probability Party

Shared birthdays among party guests

At a party with 23 guests, having two guests with the same birthday in more than 50 percent of cases may sound fairly unlikely to amateur mathematicians. Armed with statistical methods, party animal Mike Schilli sets out to prove this claim.

: Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown, Spectre, and what they mean for Linux users

The blatant security holes known as Meltdown and Spectre, which are built into the computer hardware, are likely to keep us busy for the next few years. How is the Linux community addressing this unexpected challenge?

NEWS: Knight's Tour

A Python solution for a classic chess puzzle

If you're looking for a head start on solving the classic Knight's Tour chess challenge, try this homegrown Python script.

: Command Line – Ledger

Accounting from the command line

By learning a few basic functions, you can take your accounting to the command line.

NEWS: The sys admin's daily grind: colorls

Charly’s Column – colorls

The first time in our lives we got to a black-and-white Linux or Unix shell, most of us probably typed ls first. In a mixture of nostalgia and the knowledge that life is colorful, columnist Charly Kühnast plays a colorful trump card with colorls.

NEWS: PirateBox

Anonymous communication with PirateBox

PirateBox provides an easily accessible server for files, chats, and forum posts for meetings of all kinds. The system works without logins and protocols, so users remain anonymous.

NEWS: Node-RED on Android

Control devices on your Rasp Pi network with text messages

We show you how to control devices connected to Rasp Pi GPIO pins with text messages from an Android phone.

: Open Hardware – Keyboardio Hack

An introduction to hacking an open keyboard

Reprogramming the Keyboardio Model 01's firmware is limited only by its memory and your imagination.

: Fedora IoT

Red Hat's IoT architect Peter Robinson talks about a lean new Fedora

Fedora enters the IoT space with a lean new distro with atomic updates.

LINUX VOICE: Introduction


This month in Linux Voice. 

LINUX VOICE: maddog's Doghouse

Doghouse – The Year of *x

Maddog gives a brief history of the last (almost) half century of *x, plus a call for spreading the love.



If you have totally messed up your Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, or Linux Deepin, you can simply reset with Resetter.

LINUX VOICE: Podcasts with Audacity

Podcasts with Audacity

The glory days of podcasts might be over, but if you have something to say to your fellow humans, a digital audio recording is still a great way to deliver the message. Audacity is a free and easy tool for creating podcasts in Linux.

LINUX VOICE: Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer vector graphics tool

Edit vector graphics with Gravit Designer and save the results in the SVG, PNG, and JPEG formats.


Graham looks at Krita 4.0, FreeTube 0.2.0, OpenSnitch, Yoda, Citybound, GZDoom, and much more!

LINUX VOICE: Like Qlockwork

Use QML to build smart graphical applications

QML makes writing desktop applications a breeze, and you can later compile them into standalone programs that work more or less anywhere.

Issue 212/Features

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