Issue #205 / Dec 2017

DVD: Knoppix 8.1 (Multiarch Live) and Lubuntu 17.04 (32-bit Live)

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Nov 04
  • USA/Canada: Dec 01
  • Australia: Jan 01


The mysterious world of cryptocurrency is quickly becoming part of everyday life. If you've been around computers and the Internet for the past five years, chances are you're either using Bitcoin or you're curious about it. This month we look at BitKey, a Debian-based Linux designed to serve in a hyper-secure Bitcoin cold storage environment.

Also inside:

  • Hardware Analysis Tools -- we study some leading Linux tools for diagnosing hardware problems.
  • HDF5 -- this hierarchical filesystem supports several programming languages and is ideal for Big Data and machine learning environments.

This issue also unveils our new MakerSpace section, with articles on a Raspberry Pi access point and a tool for building an HPC cluster with tiny Pi Zero computers.

SERVICE: Welcome

Install the Patch

Once it was announced to the public, the news of the KRACK attack spread quickly over the Internet – a flaw in the handshake system for wireless devices that allows an attacker to compromise encryption. According to reports, the attack puts almost all devices that engage in WPA2-encrypted wireless networking at risk.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

Knoppix 8.1 (Multiarch Live) and Lubuntu 17.04 (32-bit Live)


Updates on technologies, trends, and tools

Kubernetes 1.8 announced, final Ubuntu Desktop 17.10 Beta arrives, Linus Torvalds invites attackers to join the kernel community, Oracle donates Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation, and Microsoft is building a programming language for quantum computers. 

NEWS: Kernel News

This month we discuss replacing the random number generator, checking when a process dumps core, fixing filesystem security issues, and adding build dependencies to clean the source tree.

: BitKey and Bitcoin

Protecting your bitcoin with BitKey

Bitcoin is the king of cryptocurrencies, which makes it attractive prey for Internet predators. BitKey is a Live Linux distribution designed to ensure that your Bitcoin wallet stays protected.

REVIEWS: OpenStack Pike

How the OpenStack community is shaping the new Pike release

The quintessential open source cloud platform unveils a new development model with its latest release.

REVIEWS: Hardware Analysis Tools

Locate and fix hardware faults

If your hardware is causing trouble, good advice can be hard to find, but Linux users have a number of easily installed analysis tools to help systematically track down the root cause of problems. This month, we present a selection of these tools.

IN-DEPTH: smenu

Create a select menu with smenu

The smenu tool reduces the effort of creating shell menus to one line, with numerous options for a wide range of design alternatives.


HDF5 for efficient I/O

HDF5 is a flexible, self-describing, and portable hierarchical filesystem supported by a number of languages and tools, with the ability to run processes in parallel.

IN-DEPTH: Programming Snapshot – Markov Chains

Developing an AI system with Markov chains

Markov chains model systems that jump from state to state with predetermined probabilities, but can they help write new columns like this one after learning from previously written articles?

IN-DEPTH: Command Line – Hacking Free Fonts

OpenType and HarfBuzz

Thanks to OpenType and HarfBuzz, you can now modify fonts like a designer.

IN-DEPTH: Professor Knopper's Lab – Knoppix 8.1

Klaus talks about some new features in the latest Knoppix

The latest Knoppix comes with a new I/O scheduler, and the new hybrid ISO image format allows you to boot from either a DVD or USB stick. Klaus talks about the changes with the latest edition of Knoppix, and offers a glimpse at some of the problems he faces when producing a new Knoppix version.

IN-DEPTH: Social Aid

Reddit Terminal Viewer

Fortunately, Facebook is not the only place you can chat: When sys admin columnist Charly Kühnast visits the web chat center Reddit, he often goes without a web browser and uses the RTV tool, which can even display photos and videos on plain text consoles.

IN-DEPTH: Pony Programming Language

Developing concurrent programs with Pony

Pony, an object-oriented programming language with static typecasting, trots down well-mapped paths to deliver secure, high-performance code for concurrent applications.

: Wireless APs with Ubuntu Core

A Rasp Pi wireless access point

Set up a wireless access point with a Raspberry Pi 3, Ubuntu Core, and snaps.

: Rasp Pi ClusterHAT

A Rasp Pi HAT for clustering Pi Zeros

Inexpensive, small, portable, low-power clusters are fantastic for many HPC applications. One of the coolest small clusters is the ClusterHAT for Raspberry Pi.

: Open Hardware – Librem 5

The challenge of the free phone

Purism is committed to creating a completely free phone that protects your data, keeps your communications private, and supports your digital rights.

LINUX VOICE: Introduction


This month in Linux Voice.


The Linux Voice view on what's going on in the world of Free Software.

Learning lessons from the business success of Linux and applying them to privacy.

LINUX VOICE: Doghouse – FOSS Activist

Spreading the FOSS Word

Even if you aren't a programmer, you can help spread the word about Free and Open Source Software and Hardware.

LINUX VOICE: Web Security Dojo

Learning about web security with Web Security Dojo

Protecting your own websites from attack either costs a lot of money or requires a lot of expertise. Web Security Dojo helps you learn to think like an expert.


Sparkling gems and new releases from the world of Free and Open Source Software

Graham Morrison looks at VCV Rack, Audible Instruments, TripleA, Neofetch 3.3.0, TripleA, Eolie 0.9, and more!

LINUX VOICE: Tutorial – Devilspie2

Scripted Window Actions

Stop battling your window manager to position things as you like – make scripts do all the hard work!

LINUX VOICE: Swap stops in for SUSECON 2017

Prague Time

SUSE travels to Prague to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Issue 205/2017

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