Issue #233 / Apr 2020

DVD: Complete Raspberry Pi Geek Archive

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: Mar 07
  • USA/Canada: Apr 03
  • Australia: May 04


The line between computers and television blurred long ago, but the new tools and new ideas keep coming. This month we highlight some innovative apps for multimedia in Linux, including Gnome Cast for TV, and the easy-to-use Serviio media server. Also in this issue:

  • Apache Cassandra – Find out why this free NoSQL database fills an important niche for companies with lots of data.
  • Metadata in the Shell – Use Bash scripts and built-in commands to track down useful metadata.

Check out MakerSpace for a look at how to create a smart picture frame, and turn to LinuxVoice for a tour of the privacy-focused Jami messenger app.

SERVICE: Welcome

Here's to Knowing That Again

This column is about IT, not about politics. The names of politicians sometimes come up in this space – mostly because of something they did that is related to IT, but it is never my goal to descend into the political fray.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

Complete Raspberry Pi Archive DVD

This comprehensive collection includes awesome projects, in-depth programming tutorials, and product reviews – all in a convenient searchable format.


In the news: LibreOffice 6.4 Released; Official Evernote Client Coming to Linux; Thanks to Linux, Google and Valve are Bringing Steam to Chromebooks; Nine-Year-Old Bug Found and Fixed in Sudo; and Systemd-homed Is Coming to a Linux Distribution Near You.

: Cast to TV

Cast to TV Gnome Shell Extension

Cast to TV is a Gnome extension that streams media files from a PC to a Chromecast-enabled device.

: Serviio

An easy-to-use media server for your home network

Home media servers like Kodi or LibreELEC are feature-rich but difficult to set up. Serviio promises to make things simpler.

: Spotify in the Terminal

Spotifyd delivers beautiful music without the bloat

So you like to travel light and work at the command line? Why not access Spotify in the terminal and do without the official client?

REVIEWS: Kubuntu Focus

Exploring the Kubuntu Focus laptop

If you're a gamer, a developer, or a Linux power user who appreciates powerful hardware, you might be ready for the Focus – a high-end Linux laptop built and tested for Kubuntu.

IN-DEPTH: Apache Cassandra

Disaster tolerance with Apache Cassandra

The size and scope of today's Internet companies require more than your average SQL. Apache Cassandra is one of the NoSQL systems filling the need for high availability at scale.

IN-DEPTH: Working the System

Options for systemctl

Every major aspect of a system that runs in userland can be controlled by systemctl, a command that acts on systemd's units.


Creating bootable images in a GUI

Kindd offers a GUI alternative to the ubiquitous dd command-line tool, offering a risk-free option for transferring bootable images to USB sticks.

IN-DEPTH: Metadata in the Shell

Analyzing file metadata in the shell

Armed with the right shell commands, you can quickly identify and evaluate file and directory metadata.

IN-DEPTH: Everything Must Go

Dstat, NetHogs, and nload

Every sys admin has a few favorite tools that they always carry with them, if only because they do not want to be without these often overlooked treasures. The gems dangling from Charly's key ring include Dstat, NetHogs, and nload.

IN-DEPTH: Sorted

Introducing sorting algorithms in Go

Whether alphabetical or numerical, bubble sort or quicksort, there is no escape from sorting in computer science. In this month's column, Mike Schilli sorts out the pros and cons of various sorting algorithms in Go.

IN-DEPTH: Web Scraping

Scraping the web for data

Web scraping lets you automatically download and extract data from websites to build your own database. With a simple scraping script, you can harvest information from the web.

: Smart Picture Frame

A digital picture frame with weather forecast

A digital picture frame displays photographs and a current weather forecast with just a few hundred lines of Bash and a Raspberry Pi.

NEWS: The Joy of 3D Printing

An inexpensive open source 3D printer

Printy offers an inexpensive, open source DIY 3D printer kit, with a license that paves the way for future open source solutions.

LINUX VOICE: Introduction

This month in Linux Voice.

LINUX VOICE: maddog's Doghouse

Early Distributions

Maddog remembers when his computer first spoke to him – thanks to Yggdrasil – and the (just!) 150 floppy disk images it took to install Slackware.


Chat freely with Jami

The messenger app Jami offers clients for all popular operating systems and promises maximum anonymity for chats, as well as voice and video calls, by dispensing with central servers.

LINUX VOICE: Krita Vs. MyPaint

Draw and paint in Linux

If you are looking for an open source drawing program, Krita and MyPaint both offer graphic tablet support and brushes. Deciding which one works best depends on your specific needs.

LINUX VOICE: Customized GRUB and KDE Boot

Adapt the appearance of the GRUB boot menu, boot screen, and KDE splash screen

Power users can adjust the look of their desktops in openSUSE with just a few clicks. We'll show you how to customize the GRUB boot menu, the boot splash screen, and the KDE start screen.


Graham has just recorded a one-off podcast featuring the wonderful open source VCV Eurorack emulator, often written about here. He's now strongly considering doing a more regular synth-related podcast.

LINUX VOICE: The Linux Box of Tricks

Creating a simple laptop notification

With Bash, keeping a task simple often means using several different tools that all do their jobs well. Here's an easy, effective way to create a notification for when your laptop is unplugged.

Issue 234/2020

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