Issue #221 / Apr 2019

DVD: System Rescue CD and MX Linux

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Mar 02
  • USA/Canada: Mar 29
  • Australia: Apr 29


As computers get more powerful and computer applications get bigger and more ungainly, users end up with the same question no matter how many times they upgrade: How do I make the most of my system resources by tuning up system performance? This month we explore some tools that offer a window into the performance and health of your Linux system: Netdata and perf.

Other highlights in this issue include:

  • Steam Proton -- this Wine fork running within the Steam Play gaming system provides a seamless way to run Windows games on Linux.
  • Gnome Boxes -- an easy interface for configuring and managing KVM virtualization.

Check out LinuxVoice for a look at the Pixelitor graphics editor and another installment in our series on Bash scripting -- this time with the emphasis on flow control.

SERVICE: Welcome

As this issue goes to print, news is circulating about a catastrophic hack on the mail provider VFEmail. According to reports, two decades of saved data for all US users is lost – totally wiped out.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

MX Linux and SystemRescueCD


Linux Kernel continues to offer mitigation for Spectre Mitigation, SpeakUp Trojan targets Linux servers, KDE Plasma 5.15 beta arrives, Canonical announces latest Ubuntu Core for IoT, vulnerabilities found in Cisco routers, two new malware campaigns, and US government shutdown ties up $139.2 million in grant funding.

NEWS: Kernel News

Considering Plan 9 extensions for type conversion, supporting heterogeneous systems, and optimizing CPU idle states.

: Netdata

Real-time performance monitoring with Netdata

What cannot be measured cannot be improved. Netdata lets you measure almost anything – at least as long as it's about the performance and health of a Linux computer.

NEWS: perf

Measuring performance with the perf kernel tool

The kernel supports performance analysis with built-in tools via the Linux performance counters subsystem. perf is easy to use and offers a detailed view of performance data.

REVIEWS: Steam Proton

Testing of Steam's Wine fork Proton

The Proton runtime environment, which is based on Wine, brings a new crop of Steam-powered games to Linux.

: The Kitchen Sync

File syncing with unison

Unison is a handy tool for file syncing, backups, and merging. To get the most out of unison, however, you need to invest time perfecting your preference files to meet your needs.

: Gnome Boxes

Run virtual machines in Gnome Boxes

In the past, using virtual machines required expensive programs such as VMware or open source add-ons such as VirtualBox. Today, thanks to Gnome Boxes, many distributions native support for virtual machines.

: Strict Education

The sys admin's daily grind: sudoers

"I've seen penguins that can type better than that." If you give sudo the wrong password, you deserve to be shouted at, says sys admin columnist Charly. He is not exempt from the insult and sees it as an opportunity to raise sudoing awareness.

: Kraft

Kraft helps small companies keep track of invoices and other docs

If you're running a small company, and you can't seem to keep up on invoices, orders, and other business documents, time to have a look at Kraft.

: Shadow World

Image processing with Go

Go comes with an image-processing toolkit right out of the box. In this month's column, Mike Schilli explains how to walk through a photo's pixels to detect the foreground by comparing values against a threshold and shows how to manipulate the original by creating a nice looking silhouette.

: RabbitMQ

Open source messaging middleware

Connect multiple protocols and servers together on your IoT projects.

: Open Hardware – Electronic Voting

Solving US electronic voting issues

In a quest for better voting machines, open source hardware may hold the answers.

: Smartphone Pi Display

Use an Android smartphone as a Raspberry Pi screen

A simple Python program turns a disused smartphone into a wirelessly connected Raspberry Pi display.

LINUX VOICE: Introduction

This month in Linux Voice.

LINUX VOICE: Doghouse – Computing Costs

The limits of affordability

Fifty years ago, limitations in computing had more to do with cost than know-how; maddog takes us back to 1969.

LINUX VOICE: New Pixelitor release with interesting featuresLightweight

Pixelitor offers the basic functions of a full-fledged image editing program, along with some useful filters and a few pitfalls.

LINUX VOICE: Network configuration with the versatile ipBasic Networking

Network commands like ifconfig and route are still popular with users even though they are far past their prime. Their successor, ip, provides the capabilities of several legacy tools with a single, unified syntax.


This month Graham fires up MuseScore 3.0, hexyl, weborf, Chrono, and several other useful Linux tools.

LINUX VOICE: Shell Flow Control

Making your script responsive

Knowing the right shell commands may be all the artificial intelligence you need to make your computer work for you.

LINUX VOICE: Four Corners

Embed elements into your clips using Natron

Tracking is good for stabilizing video clips, and it helps you put stuff in scenes that wasn't there in the first place.

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