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Join the Linux revolution

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Linux

You have undoubtedly heard of Linux, and as a PCW reader it’s very likely you have tried it. Only a few years ago, Linux was something largely best left to the most technically minded, to those who liked to configure and tweak their operating system and liked the idea of free software.

That’s not true any more; you will find Linux on the latest mobile phones, on desktops, on laptops, netbooks, and on servers. Pretty much anyone who has switched on a computer before can now give it a try. Things have changed a great deal –­ for the better ­ – and will continue to change.

Maybe you tried Linux some years back and found it confusing or difficult; maybe you have never really considered Linux, making assumptions about who it is for or what it can do. You may be surprised at just how suitable it is. Having lower hardware requirements than Windows XP generally, and significantly lower than Vista, it can also breathe new life into an older computer.

Of course Linux is not for everybody, and in this feature we will look at Linux as it is today, how to install it, configure and update it, and how to get the most from this free and extremely versatile operating system.

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Security: Updates, Intel, Torvalds

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    Thanks to an investigation by third-party researchers into Intel's hidden firmware in certain chips, Intel decided to audit its firmware and on Monday confirmed it had found 11 severe bugs that affect millions of computers and servers. The flaws affect Management Engine (ME), Trusted Execution Engine (TXE), and Server Platform Services (SPS).
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    Josh and Kurt talk about GitHub's security scanner and Linus' security email. We clarify the esoteric difference between security bugs and non security bugs.
  • Linus Torvalds 'sorry' for swearing, blames popularity of Linux itself
    Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has apologised – a bit – for calling some security-centric kernel contributors “f*cking morons”. Torvalds unleashed a profanity-laden rant at Google developer Kees Cook, over the latter's proposal to harden the kernel. Another Google security chap, Matthew Garret, asked Torvalds “ Can you clarify a little with regard to how you'd have liked this patchset to look?” To which Torvalds responded that “I think the actual status of the patches is fairly good with the default warning.”

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