Issue #235 / Jun 2020

DVD: Knoppix 8.6.1 and OpenMandriva Lx Plasma 4.1

Article Code

Approximate on sale dates:

  • UK/Europe: May 09
  • USA/Canada: Jun 05
  • Australia: Jul 06


Systemd is a mystery that keeps on giving. Now a new feature of the leading Linux init system will change the way you think about user home directories. This month we take a closer look at systemd-homed.

Also inside:

  • Vagrant – cool tool for managing and provisioning virtual machines.
  • Tangram – integrate social media portals in a single convenient interface.

Then turn to MakerSpace for a look at the MetPy Python science library, and check out LinuxVoice for a tutorial on building a 2D computer game with the Lua-based LÖVE framework.

SERVICE: Welcome

Domain Drama

Some dramatic stuff is going down right now for a few of the powerful organizations that run the Internet.

SERVICE: This Month's DVD

Knoppix 8.6.1 and OpenMandriva Lx Plasma 4.1

NEWS: News

In the news: Nextcloud Partners with IONOS; Linux to Get High Resolution Wheel Scrolling; KDE Developers Are Working on a TV Interface; System76 is Developing a New Keyboard; Embedded Linux Joins the Fight Against COVID-19; and AWS Launches a New Linux Distribution.

NEWS: Zack's Kernel News

This month in Kernel News: Kernel Gatherings Canceled Due to COVID-19; Kernel Meta-Organizations Changing Due to COVID-19; and Minimum Version Numbers for Build Tools.

NEWS: The Xen Project

The Big Picture

Lars Kurth of the Xen Project talks about trends, markets, and the project's various threads of development.

: systemd-homed

Reinventing Linux home directories with systemd-homed

Systemd has already changed almost everything about the Linux startup process. Now an experimental new feature takes on the challenge of user home directories.

IN-DEPTH: Vagrant

Managing and provisioning VMs

With Vagrant, you can automate the creation and management of consistent virtual machines that work across platforms.

IN-DEPTH: Glances

System monitoring with Glances

Admins and power users like to watch the load on their computers. Glances lets you see immediately if something is wrong.

IN-DEPTH: On the Hunt

Security automation with rkhunter

The Rootkit Hunter script efficiently checks for malware, with the potential to detect over 240 rootkits.

IN-DEPTH: PlantUML Diagrams

Drawing diagrams with PlantUML

With PlantUML, you can quickly create all kinds of diagrams using human-readable text and reuse them anywhere.

IN-DEPTH: What's Going On?

All-in-one performance analysis with standard Linux tools

Experienced sys admins always use the same commands to analyze problematic system loads on Linux. Mike Schilli bundles them into a handy Go tool that shows all the results at a glance.

IN-DEPTH: The sys admin's daily grind: traceroute

Advanced Tracing

Like every admin, Charly regularly uses the classic traceroute tool. If unfriendly digital natives interfere with an ICMP filter, he simply switches to a clever alternative like LFT.

IN-DEPTH: Universal Package Systems

Universal Package Systems and competing standards

Billed as the future of package management, universal package systems like Snappy and Flatpak have failed to live up to their promise.

IN-DEPTH: Tangram

Tangram integrates social media services in a single app

Tangram lets you track social media portals like Facebook and Twitter, as well as web-based messengers like Whatsapp and Telegram, in a single application window.

IN-DEPTH: ShellHub

Reenvisioning SSH with ShellHub

ShellHub offers an innovative approach to remote access with minimal reconfiguration of a firewall.

: MetPy

Science projects with the Python MetPy library

MetPy can help you answer your kids' science questions.

: BerryLan

BerryLan simplifies headless Raspberry Pi install

BerryLan installs a system on a Raspberry Pi that can be integrated into the wireless network with a smartphone app over Bluetooth.

LINUX VOICE: Linux Voice Introduction


This month in Linux Voice.

LINUX VOICE: Simplenote and sncli

Manage Simplenote with sncli

If you're using Simplenote, check out sncli, a Python-based tool for syncing and managing your notes.

LINUX VOICE: Using CalDAV/CardDAV to manage calendars and address books

Personal Data Manager

You can manage your calendars and address books with the CalDAV/CardDAV standards, Nextcloud, and a few open source tools.


Like tardy London buses, Graham has waited months for a decent open source instant messenger client to arrive, and then in this month's FOSSPicks, he found two. Perfect for staying in touch with friends and family from the comfort of your own sofa.


Implementing physics in a LÖVE game

Video game animation is not simply a matter of making your characters move – you also have to consider the physics of the world in which they move.

Issue 235/2020

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