Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Commonly Asked Questions and Answers For Windows Users Looking to Switch to Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Many people know “Linux” as an operating system, but the term “Linux” is actually referring to the Linux kernel. The kernel is the core of an operating system that controls and facilitates interactions between hardware and software components.

When packaged with different desktop environment and software, it becomes an operating system, just like Windows or macOS. More accurately, it should be called a “Linux distribution” instead of “Linux”.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

Security: Patches, Ease of Use and Debian Key Signing

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (libetpan, libqt4, lilypond, otrs, and perl-DBI), Red Hat (kernel-rt), Slackware (seamonkey), SUSE (grafana, libmspack, openldap2, ovmf, pdns, rubygem-actionpack-5_1, and samba), and Ubuntu (debian-lan-config, ldm, libdbi-perl, and netty-3.9).

  • Balancing Linux security with usability

    Building an operating system is a difficult balance, and a Linux distribution is no different. You need to consider the out-of-the-box functionality that most people are going to want, and accessibility for a wide swath of administrators' skillsets. If you make your distro very secure, but a newbie sysadmin can't figure out how to work with it…well, they're going to find an easier distribution to go learn on, and now you've lost that admin to another distribution. So it's really no surprise that, right after install time, most Linux distributions need a little bit of tweaking to lock them down. This has gotten better over the years, as the installers themselves have gotten easier to use and more feature-rich. You can craft a pretty custom system right from the GUI installer. A base Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) system, for example, if you've chosen the base package set, is actually pretty light on unnecessary services and packages. There was a time when that was not true. Can you imagine passwords being hashed, but available in /etc/password for any user to read? Or all system management being carried out over Telnet? SSH wasn't even on, by default. Host-based firewall? Completely optional. So, 20 years ago, locking down a newly installed Linux system meant a laundry list of tasks. Luckily, as computing has matured, so has the default install of just about any operating system.

  • Key signing in the pandemic era

    The pandemic has changed many things in our communities, even though distance has always played a big role in free software development. Annual in-person gatherings for conferences and the like are generally paused at the moment, but even after travel and congregating become reasonable again, face-to-face meetings may be less frequent. There are both positives and negatives to that outcome, of course, but some rethinking will be in order if that comes to pass. The process of key signing is something that may need to change as well; the Debian project, which uses signed keys, has been discussing the subject. In early August, Enrico Zini posted a note to the debian-project mailing list about people who are trying to get involved in Debian, but who are lacking the necessary credentials in the form of an OpenPGP key signed by other Debian project members. The requirements for becoming a Debian Maintainer (DM) or Debian Developer (DD) both involve keys with signatures from existing DDs; two signatures for becoming a DD or one for becoming a DM. Those are not the only steps toward becoming formal members of Debian, but they are ones that may be hampering those who are trying to do so right now. DDs and DMs use their keys to sign packages that are being uploaded to the Debian repository, so the project needs to have some assurance that the keys are valid and are controlled by someone that is not trying to undermine the project or its users. In addition, votes in Debian (for project leaders and general resolutions) are made using the keys. They are a fundamental part of the Debian infrastructure.

KDDockWidgets 1.0 has been released

KDDockWidgets is an advanced docking system for Qt, with features that are not available in QDockWidget. See our first blog post, for a quick introduction and the motivation for a new docking framework. We’ve come a long way since the initial announcement of KDDockWidgets. The 1.0 release represents the culmination of one year of using the library in production for five different huge projects — one year of incorporating real feedback in the form of new features, bug fixes, or simply making the framework more customizable. Read more

Tumbleweed Gets New KDE Frameworks, systemd

KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 and systemd 246.4 became available in openSUSE Tumbleweed after two respective snapshots were released this week. Hypervisor Xen, libstorage-ng, which is a C++ library used by YaST, and text editor vim were also some of the packages update this week in Tumbleweed. The most recent snapshot released is 20200919. KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 was released earlier this month and its packages made it into this snapshot. KConfig introduced a method to query the KConfigSkeletonItem default value. KContacts now checks the length of the full name of an email address before trimming it with an address parser. KDE’s lightweight UI framework for mobile and convergent applications, Kirigami, made OverlaySheet of headers and footers use appropriate background colors, updated the app template and introduced a ToolBarLayout native object. Several other 5.74.0 Framework packages were update like Plasma Framework, KTestEditor and KIO. Bluetooth protocol bluez 5.55 fixed several handling issues related to the Audio/Video Remote Control Profile and the Generic Attribute Profile. A reverted Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures patch that was recommended by upstream in cpio 2.13 was once again added. GObject wrapper libgusb 0.3.5 fixed version scripts to be more portable. Documentation was fixed and translations were made for Finnish, Hindi and Russian in the 4.3.42 libstorage-ng update. YaST2 4.3.27 made a change to hide the heading of the dialog when no title is defined or the title is set to an empty string. Xen’s minor updated reverted a previous libexec change for a qemu compatibility wrapper; the path used exists in domU.xml files in the emulator field. The snapshot is trending stable at a 99 rating, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Read more

Games: Arch Conf 2020, Pixelorama, Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus and More

  • Arch Conf 2020 confirmed for October, has a talk on the SteamOS-like GamerOS

    Want to learn more about Arch Linux? In October they've confirmed Arch Conf 2020 is happening and there's going to be plenty of interesting talks. All of which will be online of course, especially with COVID19 still raging on. The dates set for it are between October 10-11 and the talks will be quite varied starting with a talk about the past, present and future of Arch Linux as the first which starts on October 10, 10:00am UTC.

  • Arch Conf 2020 schedule

    On the 10th and 11th of October there is going to be an online edition of Arch Conf. The conference is going to have presentations from the Arch team along with community submitted presentations and lightning talks. We are proud to announce the first revision of the schedule!

  • Free and open source sprite editor 'Pixelorama' gets a massive upgrade

    If you're working with sprites and pixel-art, you need to pay attention to Pixelorama as this free and open source program is coming on nicely and another massive upgrade is out now. As an editor for artists, the 0.8 release that went up on September 23 has made it that step closer to an all-in-one solution for all your sprite needs. There's now a lot of different built in tools you can use, different pixel modes, animation support and much more.

  • Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus announced for release in October

    Hearts of Iron IV takes aim at the Turkish Straits with the Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus country pack that's coming on October 15. As one of Paradox's best-selling and most loved titles, there appears to be no end in sight for continuing to expand the experience with plenty of new events and decision paths. This new DLC will let you take control of the destinies of Bulgaria, Greece or Turkey through years of uncertainty and conflict.

  • StoryArcana is an upcoming open-world wizard school RPG

    Become like the wizard you always wanted to be in StoryArcana, an upcoming wizard school RPG that looks like it could be a huge amount of fun. It's not another roguelike experience full of random generation. Instead, StoryArcana has a focus on mystery solving, exploration, puzzles and a combat system based around intricate spellcasting. Mixing together a week of learning new spells and exploring your academy to find a secret or two, with running around a big city on the weekends to pick up new quests and perhaps a fancy new broom to fly on. [...] We spoke with the developer of email recently, and they confirmed StoryArcana will be "readily available to play on Linux the same day it launches on Windows and Mac OS". They're building it with the pretty amazing Construct game engine, so everything is built with web-tech.

  • Be a ruthless 80s salesman and close those deals in Dirty Land

    Dirty Land puts you in the shoes of Frank Marsh, a newly hired salesman for Pure Sky Properties, a real estate office where coffee is for closers and the status quo is hawking swamp land to unsuspecting buyers for a tidy profit. Inspired by classic 80s and 90s sales movies like Glengarry Glen Ross. Currently in development by Canadian crew Naturally Intelligent, the same developer behind the quirky title Patchman vs. Red Circles. Dirty Land will see if you prefer to scrape by honestly, or throw ethics out the window and make some quick cash.