Linux Journal

Linux Journal is Back

As of today, Linux Journal is back, and operating under the ownership of Slashdot Media. As Linux enthusiasts and long-time fans of Linux Journal, we were disappointed to hear about Linux Journal closing its doors last year. It took some time, but fortunately we were able to get a deal done that allows us to keep Linux Journal alive now and indefinitely. It's important that amazing resources like Linux Journal never disappear.

The DevOps Issue

Every few years a new term is coined within the computer industry—big data, machine learning, agile development, Internet of Things, just to name a few. You'd be forgiven for not knowing them all. Some of these are new ideas. Some are refinements on existing ideas. Others still are simply notions we've all had for a long time, but now we have a new word to describe said notions. Which brings me to a topic we cover in depth in this issue of Linux Journal: DevOps.

The Command-Line Issue

Summer. 1980-something. An elementary-school-attending, Knight Rider-T-Shirt-wearing version of myself slowly rolls out of bed and shuffles to the living room. There, nestled between an imposingly large potted plant and an over-stocked knick-knack shelf, rested a beautifully gray, metallic case powered by an Intel 80286 processor—with a glorious, 16-color EGA monitor resting atop. This was to be my primary resting place for the remainder of the day: in front of the family computer. That PC had no graphical user interface to speak of—no X Window System, no Microsoft Windows, no Macintosh Finder. There was just a simple command line—in this case, MS-DOS. (This was long before Linux became a thing.) Every task I wished to perform—executing a game, moving files—required me to type the commands in via a satisfyingly loud, clicky keyboard. No, "required" isn't the right word here. Using the computer was a joy. "Allowed" is the right word. I was allowed to enjoy typing those commands in. I never once resented that my computer needed to be interacted with via a keyboard. That is, after all, what computers do. That's what they're for—you type in commands, and the computer executes them for you, often with a "beep".

Linux Journal ASCII Art Contest

Do you have l33t ASCII/ANSI art skillz? Your work could grace the cover of Linux Journal! That's right—your ASCII art on the cover of the longest-running Linux publication on the planet. What the artwork is depicting is, really, up to you. But, since this is Linux Journal, here are a few good ideas:

The Kernel Issue

How much do you know about your kernel? Like really know? Considering how critically important the Linux kernel is to the world—and, perhaps just as important, to our own personal computers and gadgets—it's rather amazing how little most people actually know about it.

Party Like It's 1994

THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED   Issue #1 of Linux Journal was released 25 years ago this month. To celebrate, we're partying like it's 1994! We're offering 1-year subscriptions for—you guessed it—just $19.94. That's almost $15 off our regular price. Unfortunately, this price is not sustainable for us long-run so we can only offer this special rate through April 11, 2019. If you can, subscribe now. It's a great rate for a magazine that has a lot of love put in to it each month. :-D

A Big Thanks to Our Subscribers

Anonymous (not verified) - April 5, 2019
We asked LJ subscribers to write in and tell us about themselves, so we could feature them in our 25th Anniversary Issue as a way to thank them for their loyalty through the years. The response was so overwhelming, we were able to include only a few of them in the issue, but read on to see all of the responses here and to learn more about your fellow readers. We truly enjoyed "meeting" all of you who participated and are humbled by your words of support.

What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community

"Marley was dead, to begin with."—Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. As you surely know by now, Linux Journal started in 1994, which means it has been around for most of the Linux story. A lot has changed since then, and it's not surprising that Linux and the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community are very different today from what they were for Linux Journal's first issue 25 years ago. The changes within the community during this time had a direct impact on Linux Journal and contributed to its death, making Linux Journal's story a good lens through which to view the overall story of the FOSS community. Although I haven't been with Linux Journal since the beginning, I was there during the heyday, the stroke, the decline, the death and the resurrection. This article is about that story and what it says about how the FOSS community has changed.

25 Years Later: Interview with Linus Torvalds

Linux Journal's very first issue featured an interview between LJ's first Publisher, Robert Young (who went on to co-found Red Hat among other things), and Linus Torvalds (author of the Linux kernel). After 25 years, we thought it'd be interesting to get the two of them together again. You can read that first interview from 1994 here.

The 25th Anniversary Issue

"Linux is an independent implementation of the POSIX operating system specification (basically a public specification of much of the Unix operating system) that has been written entirely from scratch. Linux currently works on IBM PC compatibles with an ISA or EISA bus and a 386 or higher processor. The Linux kernel was written by Linus Torvalds from Finland, and by other volunteers."

Linux Journal at 25

It's been great. And we'll make it greater. Most magazines have the life expectancy of a house plant. Such was the betting line for Linux Journal when it started in April 1994. Our budget was a shoestring. The closest our owner, SSC (Specialized System Consultants) came to the magazine business was with the reference cards it published for UNIX, C, VI, Java, Bash and so on. And Linux wasn't even our original focus. Phil Hughes, who ran SSC, wanted to start a free (as in speech, not beer) software magazine, which was hardly a big box office idea. I was a member of the email group doing the planning for that, which started, as I recall, in late 1993. Then, in early 1994, Phil announced to the group that he had made up his mind after finding "this Finnish kid" who had written a UNIX of sorts called Linux.

Subscribers: Auto-Download Linux Journal From the Command Line (v2.0)

There's an old saying, "anything worth doing, is worth automating"—or something like that. Downloading and reading Linux Journal always has been worth doing, and now you can automate it with our autolj script, which you can get here (updated to version 2.0, see the end of this article for a list of feature enhancements).

The Single-Board Computers Issue

When I was a child in the 1980s, I had a computer—a very 1980s computer. It had a hefty, rectangular, grey case made of some sort of industrial sheet metal. Two plain (but rather large), square buttons adorned the front, begging to be pressed: "Reset" and "Turbo". On the right side of the case, far in the back (nearly out of reach), sat an almost comically large, red power switch. It was the kind of lever that would look right at home in an action movie—used to cut the electricity to all of New York City.

A Line in the Sand

There's a new side to choose. It helps that each of us is already on it. Linux Journal was born in one fight and grew through a series of others. Our first fight was for freedom. That began in 1993, when Phil Hughes started work toward a free software magazine. The fight for free software was still there when that magazine was born as Linux Journal in April 1994. Then a second fight began. That one was against all forms of closed and proprietary software, including the commercial UNIX variants that Linux would eventually defeat. We got in the fight for open source starting in 1998. (In 2005, I got a ribbon for my own small part in that battle.) And last year, we began our fight against what Shoshana Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism, and Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger call re-engineering humanity.

January 2019, #294: The Distributions Issue

Do you remember your first distro? The first version of Linux I truly used, for any length of time, was back at the end of the 1990s—in Ye Olden Times, when 56k modems, 3.5" floppies and VGA CRT monitors reigned supreme. Linux itself had been a thing for a number of years by this point—with both SUSE (then known as the gloriously mixed-case and punctuation-filled S.u.S.E.) and Red Hat doing good business supporting it—when I decided to really give this "Free" operating system a try. Because I'm a nerd. And that's what we do.

The High-Performance Computing Issue

Since the dawn of computing, hardware engineers have had one goal that's stood out above all the rest: speed. Sure, computers have many other important qualities (size, power consumption, price and so on), but nothing captures our attention like the never-ending quest for faster hardware (and software to power it). Faster drives. Faster RAM. Faster processors. Speed, speed and more speed. [Insert manly grunting sounds here.] What's the first thing that happens when a new CPU is released? Benchmarks to compare it against the last batch of processors.

Auto-Download Linux Journal Each Month

There's an old saying, "anything worth doing, is worth automating"—or something like that. Downloading and reading Linux Journal always has been worth doing, and now you can automate it with our new autolj script, which you can get here. Follow these few simple steps, and you can be downloading the PDF (or the .epub or the .mobi file) with the greatest of ease each month: