Issue #189 / Aug 2016

DVD: Linux Mint 17.3 and Clonezilla

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Jul 02
  • USA/Canada: Jul 29
  • Australia: Aug 29


In Linux, everything is a file, but different filesystems handle metadata, optimization, and other functions differently. We look at three popular filesystems.

SERVICE: Welcome

The Great Debate

The history of high tech in politics writes another chapter this season, with Twitter taking on new importance. Barack Obama pioneered the use of Twitter as a campaign vehicle in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, carefully coordinating his tweets to complement a comprehensive strategy of voter outreach.

This time, candidate Donald Trump appears to be using Twitter even more than Obama did. In fact, one could argue that Twitter is Trump's primary mode of communication – every day a few more Trump tweets appear in the news headlines.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa" Mate and Clonezilla Live 2.4.6-25


Updates on technologies, trends, and tools


Btrfs and the future of the filesystem

The Btrfs filesystem offers advanced features such as RAID, subvolumes, snapshots, checksums, and transparent compression, but do desktop users really need all that power?


The professional filesystem ZFS

ZFS is a first-class filesystem for big iron, but for various reasons, it is still waiting for widespread Linux adoption.

COVER STORIES: Understanding Ext

Life and times of the classic ext Linux filesystem

The ext filesystem celebrates its 25th birthday next year. A brief tour of ext history will give you some insights into how this classic Linux filesystem works – and how it has evolved to meet users' needs.

REVIEWS: Tool Tips

Tool tests on the fast track

We test DK Tools 4.2.2, Midnight Commander 4.8.15, Datamash 1.1.0, F3 6.0, Sauvegarde 0.0.7, and WackoWiki 5.4.3.


The Matrix decentralized communication tool tested

One tool to rule all online communication: one tool to find them, one tool to bring them all in, and the Matrix to bind them. An open standard for decentralized communication enters the scene.

REVIEWS: Remote Administration

Remote desktop applications

Remote desktop applications allow remote access to machines, including desktop sharing, which makes them useful assistants in both the personal and professional spheres. We look at a few candidates.


Restore Btrfs files at the push of a button with Snapper

Thanks to Btrfs snapshots, Snapper lets you restore a system to a previous state in case of failure.


Debian 8 on the Nexus 5

Maru OS provides a desktop Debian on a smartphone.

FEATURES: Relax-and-Recover

Disaster recovery framework

A simple Bash shell script can be a very powerful tool: Relax-and-Recover generates rescue media from running systems, takes care of backups, and helps when migrating computers to new hardware or converting to virtual machines.

FEATURES: Ask Klaus!

Klaus Knopper answers your Linux questions

Klaus talks about the gpm mouse driver for ncurses, auto-login without a password, using Live discs, and associating MIME types.

SYSADMIN: Charly's Column – Etckeeper

The Sys Admin's Daily Grind: Etckeeper

Configuration files change over the life of almost every Linux system, but not always for the better. Sometimes individual /etc files literally degenerate. Don't despair: You can restore a state from better days.

FEATURES: Perl – IFTTT Home Automation

Switch power outlets on and off with home automation tools

The "If This Then That" web service lets you simply click together home automation components, instead of laboriously integrating them via their APIs. However, you still have to open the hood for the nitty gritty where applicable.


Billing for small businesses and freelancers

Finances and accounting are among the more unpopular tasks in small businesses. With Linux and the free program Yabs, however, you can easily keep track of your finances.

LINUXUSER: Command Line – Firejail

Sandboxing with Firejail

Firejail makes sandboxing as easy as typing eight letters in front of a command.

LINUXUSER: Workspace – Document Management

Scan Tailor and Paperwork

Transform piles of paper into a neatly organized and searchable digital library with Scan Tailor and Paperwork.


Faster search filter: ICgrep

One of the most common tasks when working on computers involves browsing texts for search patterns. Here, ICgrep offers a modern, parallel, and Unicode-enabled alternative to the classic grep.


What's new in Krita 3.0

Krita, a free sketching and painting program, has new features and improvements in version 3.0.

COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK: A tale of long-lived Free and Open Source projects

Doghouse – Open Source Endurance

I was reading an Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts (ALE) mailing list recently that has been around a long time. Many of the people on that list have been reading and writing to the list for 20 years. One of them had just installed a version of the Common Desktop Environment (CDE), which was developed when I was working at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) more than 20 years ago.

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