Linux

Fedora Linux version 20 (code name “Heisenbug”) has been released and available for download. Fedora Linux is a community-based Linux distribution which is sponsored by Red Hat, Inc. The code name “Heisenbug” is a term for a software bug that seems to disappear or alter its behaviour when one attempts to study it. Fedora is considered as the popular cutting edge distro, behind Ubuntu and Mint Linux for desktop and laptop usage.

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The year of Linux on the desktop or living room is here. Today Valve software announced SteamOS, a free Linux-based gaming operating system designed for the TV, DIY enthusiast, and the living room. From the announcement page:

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

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The first-person shooter Half-Life 2 released for Steam on Linux. I truly enjoyed Counter Strike, and I am going to install Half-Life 2 this weekend.

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You can dump Linux or Unix server memory. This is useful for forensics analysis, and testing your own system. This is often desirable to see:

  • What code and what data actually resides in memory.
  • You can search for specific pids memory.
  • Search memory for string and other data such as passwords.
  • Works as add-on tool for gdb and others.
  • Search/replace/dump memory from running processes and core files.
  • All kinds of deep hacking activities that simply saves your time and solve problems.

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Kali Linux is the successor of the BackTrack Penetration Testing Linux distribution has been released. From the official project page:

Kali is a complete re-build of BackTrack Linux, adhering completely to Debian development standards. All-new infrastructure has been put in place, all tools were reviewed and packaged, and we use Git for our VCS.

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bookofgimpI usually use GIMP (the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”) for editing photos, changing colors, resizing photos, applying significant effects and more. It is a free software alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is also quite popular with graphics artists and webmasters who wants to edit digital images. GIMP is not just a Linux specific program. It works on all leading operating systems, i.e., Mac OS X, MS-Windows and Unix variants. However, like many other powerful open source software, GIMP can be difficult to master. There are many options and plugins. So if, you are looking to learn or master the GIMP program, give The Book of GIMP a try.

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A typical Wordpress blog contains a mix of static stuff such as images, javascript, style sheets and dynamic content such as posts, pages and comments posted by users. You can speed up your blog by serving static content via content delivery network such as Akamai, Edgecast and so on. The big boys of CDN business also offered the solution to accelerate dynamic content to improve the performance and reliability of the blog. However, solutions offered by big and traditional CDNs are expensive. Amazon cloudfront recently started to serving dynamic content at lowered price. In this blog post, I will explain:

  1. How to serve your entire blog using cloudfront.
  2. DNS settings.
  3. Wordpress settings.
  4. Documenting limitations of cloudfront.
  5. Documenting performance improvements.

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Goldendict is a cross-platform (Linux/Unix/MS-Windows/Apple OS X) and dictionary lookup app written in QT. This application support of multiple dictionary file formats. The program can search Wikipedia, Wiktionary, or any other MediaWiki based sites to perform lookups. You can listen to pronunciations for any word or setup text to speech to read out pronunciations. The dictionary also provides word stemming and spelling suggestions. You can also use this program to find out translations of words and phrases for different languages. A commercial mobile version is also available for Android based devices.

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Geany is a great and light weight cross-platform integrated development environment for Linux and Unix based systems. It supports C, C++, Java, PHP, Python and 50+ other programming languages. Geany is known to run under Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, MacOS X, AIX v5.3, Solaris Express and Windows. Geany more closely resembles programming editors available for Microsoft Windows such as Notepad++. So if, you are switching from MS-Windows to Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora/Mint or BSD/OS X/Unix like platform try geany IDE.

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Linux on the desktop is making great progress. However, the real beauty of Linux and Unix like operating system lies beneath the surface at the command prompt. nixCraft picks his best open source terminal applications of 2012.

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