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Reviews

pfSense is the alternative to the Linux Small Business Server you've been looking for..

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Take a look out at the Linux Distro landscape and there are no end of small business server distributions, these are the distros which provide you with a cheap alternative to create a small business server which in turn provides eMail, DNS, DHCP, Web Servers and many other services you'd need on a server when running a small business.

Usually the scenario would be that you use Microsoft's server products to provide your staff with a reliable back end server system, however over the last few years some of the Linux alternatives have risen like cream does to the top. Everything you could do with a Microsoft server can now be done for free on a Linux Small business distro. Zentayal is an example of this type of Distro. Its polished, there are support options, its well documented, it runs on Ubuntu as a core OS.

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A Year Into Linux Mint Debian Edition

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LMDE is a mixed bag. On one hand, you get a Debian install with the Mint specific user software that makes the end user a very nice experience. On the other hand, it's still being tweaked and played with. This can lead to some frustration with apps that haven't had all the kinks worked out yet.

Kobo Tablet

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While Amazon do whatever they need to do with UK Publishing companies before they release the Kindle fire over here in Blighty, there is of course the normal Kindle touch, however having had a play with it I wasn't that impresses with the Interface or the lack of cheap books. I decided to have a scout round for alternative eInk/eBook readers.

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Subsonic Media Streamer 4.6: The Proper Review

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I've done a few write up's on my blog about Subsonic however none of them were a proper review. So i've put one up. Covering What this is, stup, media, codecs and performance. this is great software especially if you're and Android user. However it's not limited to Android as the Web Interface is special too..

This is a followup to a couple of article's i've written about Subsonic, the first was a comparison with AudioGalaxy the other a bit of a puff piece really. This software however deserves a complete review as it's only having been using it for a week and a recent update i've really found out just how powerful it is.

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Subsonic

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A really good system for streaming your media, audio and video over the internet to your remote mobile and desktop devices. Works on any *nix system with a LAMPP stack.. and a uPNP router..

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Spideroak. Doing Dropbox better than Dropbox..

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Let's face it dropbox dropped its guard and proved it's not as secure as it needs to be. Opening the door for a service which is doing Dropbox better and more secure than Dropbox..

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Lastpass.

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Ensuring your security on any system is essential, while Linux offers many security enhancements over other OS's when it comes to the Internet you can never be too safe. Lastpass offers an incredible solution on a cross platform level for securing your Website access and making sure you only ever have to remember one password, but use as many as you like.

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Google Currents for Android..

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Google have just released Google Currents and although its US only there are AFK files for the rest of us on Android devices outside of the US.. I have to say, its aimed fair and square at Flipboard and does what it does VERY Well.

This is the sort of thing we need on the Linux Platform, a Gnome interface for this would work wonders...

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VyprVPN a great way to protect your public internet surfing.

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The hatches are coming down slowly on the underground downloading of media, its just starting now, the various lobbies are chipping away at the BitTorrent sites and the various Indexing services such as Google are self governing themselves to slowly stop providing links to other locations hosting shared media.

There are options however and this time they are Linux compatible and require very little fiddleing.

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Parted Magic - The Ultimate Linux Tool

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A sysadmin's toolbox doesn't contain physical spanners or screwdrivers, it does however contain tools. We pick them up over the years. Open source software which provides servers, tools, scripts they all end up in the metaphorical toolbox.

One such tool in my toolbox is a Linux distro i found a few years ago and has become invaluable. So much so that slowly but surely converts to the Microsoft cause i work with who felt that Linux offered them nothing are now using this as well.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME News: Black Lab Drops GNOME and Further GNOME Experiments in Meson

  • Ubuntu-Based Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 Drops GNOME 3 for MATE Desktop
    Coming about two weeks after the release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11, which is based on the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system using the HWE (hardware enablement) kernel from Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.0.1 appears to be an unexpected maintenance update addressing a few important issues reported by users lately.
  • 3.26 Developments
    My approach to development can often differ from my peers. I prefer to spend the early phase of a cycle doing lots of prototypes of various features we plan to implement. That allows me to have the confidence necessary to know early in the cycle what I can finish and where to ask for help.
  • Further experiments in Meson
    Meson is definitely getting more traction in GNOME (and other projects), with many components adding support for it in parallel to autotools, or outright switching to it. There are still bugs, here and there, and we definitely need to improve build environments — like Continuous — to support Meson out of the box, but all in all I’m really happy about not having to deal with autotools any more, as well as being able to build the G* stack much more quickly when doing continuous integration.

Fedora and Red Hat

Debian and Derivatives

  • Reproducible Builds: week 108 in Stretch cycle
  • Debuerreotype
    The project is named “Debuerreotype” as an homage to the photography roots of the word “snapshot” and the daguerreotype process which was an early method of taking photographs. The essential goal is to create “photographs” of a minimal Debian rootfs, so the name seemed appropriate (even if it’s a bit on the “mouthful” side).
  • The end of Parsix GNU/Linux
    The Debian-based Parsix distribution has announced that it will be shutting down six months after the Debian "Stretch" release.
  • Privacy-focused Debian 9 'Stretch' Linux-based operating system Tails 3.0 reaches RC status
    If you want to keep the government and other people out of your business when surfing the web, Tails is an excellent choice. The Linux-based operating system exists solely for privacy purposes. It is designed to run from read-only media such as a DVD, so that there are limited possibilities of leaving a trail. Of course, even though it isn't ideal, you can run it from a USB flash drive too, as optical drives have largely fallen out of favor with consumers. Today, Tails achieves an important milestone. Version 3.0 reaches RC status -- meaning the first release candidate (RC1). In other words, it may soon be ready for a stable release -- if testing confirms as much. If you want to test it and provide feedback, you can download the ISO now.

OSS Leftovers

  • Chef expands its cloud and container menu
    Chef, a leading DevOps company, announced at ChefConf 2017 that it was adding new capabilities to it flagship Continous Automation/DevOps program, Chef Automate. This enables enterprises to transition from server- and virtual machine- (VM) based IT systems to cloud-native and container-first environments with consistent automation and DevOps practices.
  • Nextcloud 12: The bigger, better, in-house small business cloud
    It's not even been a year since Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud. Since then, this do-it-yourself, open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud has become increasingly popular. Now, its latest version, Nextcloud 12, the program is adding more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) features.
  • The Spirit of Open Source
  • What happened to Mastodon after its moment in the spotlight?
    More than a month later, the buzz over Mastodon has quieted. But though it may not be making headlines, the service continues to grow.
  • Mozilla: One Step Closer to a Closed Internet
    We’re deeply disheartened. Today’s FCC vote to repeal and replace net neutrality protections brings us one step closer to a closed internet. Although it is sometimes hard to describe the “real” impacts of these decisions, this one is easy: this decision leads to an internet that benefits Internet Service Providers (ISPs), not users, and erodes free speech, competition, innovation and user choice.
  • The eternal battle for OpenStack's soul will conclude in three years. Again
    After six years as a formal project, OpenStack has survived numerous raids and famines and now finds itself in a not-too-weird space of being boring, on-premises infrastructure. That is, “boring” in the good way of focusing on what users want and fixing existing problems, only chasing shiny objects – cough, PaaS, cough, containers, cough, orchestration – as much as needed.
  • With version 2.0, Crate.io’s database tools put an emphasis on IoT
    Crate.io, the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Battlefield, is launching version 2.0 of its CrateDB database today. The tool, which is available in both an open source and enterprise version, started out as a general-purpose but highly scalable SQL database. Over time, though, the team found that many of its customers were using the service for managing their machine data and, unsurprisingly, decided to focus its efforts on better supporting those clients.
  • NewSQL CockroachDB Ready for Prime Time
    There's a new open source database on the block. Although it has a name that will most likely make you cringe for the first dozen or so times you hear it -- CockroachDB -- I have a feeling that if it isn't already on your radar, it will be soon.
  • Windows 10 S Won't Support Fedora, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu
  • Manage Linux servers with a Windows admin's toolkit [Ed: Well, the solution is learning GNU tools, not relying on proprietary stuff with back doors from Microsoft]
  • FreeBSD quarterly status report
  • openbsd changes of note 622
  • Book Review: Relayd and Httpd Mastery

    Overall an excellent book which is typical Michael W Lucas writing style. Easy to follow, clear cut instructions, and tons of new stuff to learn. If one must use OpenBSD or FreeBSD, then the chances are high that one will stick with the defaults that come with OpenBSD. No need to use fat Apache, or Nginx/Lighttpd web server especially when httpd and relayd audited for security by OpenBSD core team.

  • Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) 0.13.0 GNU/Linux OS Supports 64-bit ARM CPUs
    The GNU Guix and GuixSD 0.13.0 releases are here about five months after the December 2016 launch of version 0.12.0, and it appears to be a major milestone implementing a few important changes. First off, this release can now be installed on computers powered by AArch64 (64-bit ARM) processors.
  • The Good And Bad In WikiTribune, Wikipedia Founder's Open-Source News Site
    Countering the fake news threat has become a real challenge for social media platforms, which also serve as avenues of news dissemination along with the traditional media outlets.
  • Android Studio 3.0 Canary 1
  • Jaded by Java? Android now supports Kotlin programming language
  • Rcpp 0.12.11: Loads of goodies
    The elevent update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN yesterday following the initial upload on the weekend, and the Debian package and Windows binaries should follow as usual. The 0.12.11 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, the 0.12.9 release in January, and the 0.12.10.release in March --- making it the fifteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.
  • Master Haskell Programming with Free Books
    Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically statically typed, lazy, purely functional language, very different from many programming languages. Recent innovations include static polymorphic typing, higher-order functions, user-definable algebraic data types, a module system, and more. It has built-in concurrency and parallelism, debuggers, profilers, rich libraries and an active community, with approximately 5,400 third-party open source libraries and tools.
  • [Older] Manifesto: Rules for standards-makers

    If we work together on a project based on open tech, these are the principles I will try to stick to. I wanted to put all this in one place, so I can pass it along to future software developers.