Tools for Desktop Success
The last thing we're going to try to do this month is answer the question, “Is Linux ready for the Desktop?”, because only you can answer that. Nobody's going to blow a whistle and make it practical for everyone at once to install desktop Linux.
I've been using Linux on the desktop since around the time Netscape Navigator came out. Unfortunately, many of the applications people use to get their jobs done aren't available on Linux yet. So if you have a lot of data buried in some proprietary format, you might have to keep some proprietary desktops around. In this issue though we're going to provide as much information as possible to help put your company or organization on the path of freedom and self-determination.
Leading by example is Gary Maxwell, who's no Linux or UNIX guru—just a small-business owner looking for stability in his working environment. He's now running his whole commercial writing firm on free software. Find out how he's doing on page 48.
If you don't like the fact that applications written with different toolkits often don't work well together, now there's something you can do about it. Check out our cover and read Marco Fioretti's “The Grand Unified Desktop” article on page 38. Marco received a lot of comments on our web site when he praised Red Hat's Bluecurve desktop for mixing the best of GNOME and KDE, and now he's taking an in-depth look at standards for things like drag-and-drop and configuration files. Don't take sides in the desktop war—follow standards so you can use the applications you like.
Page 44's article comes from the “stuff the editor wanted to learn” pile. Chris Schoeneman has invented what you might call a software KVM switch. It's Synergy, a program that lets you move the pointer to the edge of one system's display and start working on another system. Set your laptop down next to your desktop system, and automatically get more work space without switching keyboards.
Setting up Linux for desktop use still has some tricky parts, and scanning certainly qualifies. On page 54, Michael J. Hammel goes through the intricate dance of setting up a scanner. If you can do this, buy yourself a beverage and consider yourself ready for most Linux tasks.
Whether you're planning to develop software for desktop Linux, run The GIMP or design a web content management system, there's plenty of other good stuff in this issue too.
Finally, you might not think of “Hacking Red Hat Kickstart” (page 83) as a desktop Linux article. After all, the whole point Brett Schwarz makes is you can install and configure a new system without touching the mouse and keyboard even once. But the promise of user control over time-consuming tasks is one important reason people think a Linux desktop is worth the effort in the first place.
Don Marti is editor in chief of Linux Journal. Since reading the Bayesian spam-filtering article from last issue, he is most likely to read mail with the words “wrote”, “discussion”, “mutt”, “hardware” or “reform”.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SourceClear Open
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide