Issue #226 / Sep 2019

DVD: Manjaro Gnome and MX LInux

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Aug 03
  • USA/Canada: Aug 30
  • Australia: Sep 30


Hardware resources keep expanding, and mainstream OS systems also keep expanding, sucking up the newfound space with more and better bloatware. But many users would rather escape the arms race and keep it simple. This month, we review some of the top resource-conscious small distros. Also inside:

  • Nftables -- this new tool for managing Linux firewalls is gradually replacing iptables.
  • Timeshift -- a user-friendly app for creating and managing system snapshots.

Check out MakerSpace for a homegrown IoT humidity monitor, and see our LinuxVoice section for tutorials on WordPress and 3D

SERVICE: Welcome

The Big Picture

IBM finally closed the deal to purchase Red Hat this month, writing a $34 billion check for the leading Linux company in hopes of restarting its cloud and network service endeavors. Red Hat was a really big fish in the open source scene, but they are tiny compared to IBM, and many observers are wondering how this story will unfold.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

MX Linux 18 and Manjaro Gnome 18.0


Debian Buster Arrives; IBM Acquires Red Hat; Raspberry Pi 4 Is Here; Ubuntu Takes a U-Turn with 32-Bit Support: OpenSSH Fixes Side Channel Attacks; Firefox Fixes Error that Crashed HTTPS Pages; and Altair Releases HyperWorks 2019

NEWS: Kernel News

Adding git Documentation; Untangling the System Call Situation; and Bit or Bitmap?

: Choose a Small Distro

We round up some top small Linux distributions

Beyond the realm of mainstream, enterprise-ready desktop giants lie a handful of miniscule Linux distributions that barely leave a noticeable footprint on a computer's resources. Here's a look at some of the leading small distros.

IN-DEPTH: Nftables

Exploring the new nftables firewall tool – a successor to iptables

The nftables firewall utility offers a simpler and more consistent approach for managing firewalls in Linux.

IN-DEPTH: Better Safe than Sorry

Unit testing Go code with mocks and dependency injection

Developers cannot avoid unit testing if they want their Go code to run reliably. Mike Schilli shows how to test even without an Internet or database connection, by mocking and injecting dependencies.

IN-DEPTH: Timeshift

Create snapshots with Timeshift

Timeshift lets users easily create, manage, and restore system snapshots.

IN-DEPTH: Reconstruction

Editing PDF Structure with QPDF

Use QPDF to easily make structural changes to your PDFs, including reorganizing pages, creating watermarks, setting encryption options, and changing permissions.

IN-DEPTH: LibreOffice Writer PDF Security

Making PDFs More Secure in LibreOffice Writer

Depending on your needs, LibreOffice Writer offers varying degrees of security for PDFs.

IN-DEPTH: wikit

Read Wikipedia from the command line

Save time and mouse clicks by using wikit to search and read Wikipedia entries at the command line.

IN-DEPTH: Just for the Record

Log2Ram and frontail

If you run 25 Raspberry Pis at home, and an equal number of other IP devices, you might also think like Charly does when it comes to log management. The result is atomic technology and a logfile disk that is not permanently overloaded.

IN-DEPTH: arp-scan

Using ARP for Network Recon

When it comes to network recon, arp-scan allows you to collect device intel quickly and stealthily.

: Robotics with PiXtend

Controlling a four-axis robot arm

Learn the basics of robotics with a Raspberry Pi and a PiXtend controller.

NEWS: Programmable USB Hub

Improving USB reliability

The Programmable USB Hub promises to resolve common issues with USB reliability in the short term, making way for future open hardware testing and debugging.

: WiFi Thermo-Hygrometer

Wireless thermo-hygrometer

A WiFi sensor monitors indoor humidity and temperature and a Node-RED dashboard reports the results, helping you to maintain a pleasant environment.

LINUX VOICE: Introduction


This month in Linux Voice.


Getting Started with Scribus 1.5

Scribus is a desktop publishing tool for Linux that expands your options when designing simple flyers and brochures, giving you plenty of room to be creative.

LINUX VOICE: Puppy Linux

Get to know BionicPup, the latest version of Puppy Linux

Like its predecessors, this ultralight OS is fast and versatile with an easy-to-use interface.


This month Graham dives into LMMS, Name Generator, Heaptrack, Binaural Audio Editor, Meshroom, Palapeli, and much more!

LINUX VOICE: Blog Central

Making the most of WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. With the introduction of the new Gutenberg editor, now is the time to (re)learn WordPress.

LINUX VOICE: Printing Proper

Tools to monitor your 3D prints

One last step remains in our 3D-printing voyage: actually printing something. This issue, we'll tackle how to print and monitor your print at the same time.

Issue 36: Getting Started with Linux – /Special Editions

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