LJ Archive


Say Goodbye to Windows XP—StartUbuntu Project

I'm amjjawad from Ubuntu Community, and I am the founder and leader of the StartUbuntu Project (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/StartUbuntu). You can find all the information about the project from that link.

I'm approaching you to help me so we can spread the word of Linux worldwide. We don't have much time left. We are trying to reach as many users as possible. I am in charge of many teams and projects, but I am trying to keep a low profile in all these other areas in order to focus on StartUbuntu, so we can reach as many Windows XP users as possible. With your help and support, we surely can achieve that in no time.

I appreciate your time reading this, and I am looking forward to hearing what you think about it.


I didn't realize Windows XP was still being supported. You probably are correct that computers running XP will not be able to run Windows 7 or Windows 8 very well, but they'll still be able to run Linux. I hope the expiring support opens doors that might otherwise have been closed. Good luck!—Shawn Powers

Supercomputers Run Linux

This is not your everyday Linux computer, but it is currently the world's fastest supercomputer. It's the Tianhe-2 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianhe-2), and it runs Kylin Linux, which is a version of Ubuntu.

But, that's not all! The top ten ranking supercomputers all run Linux (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOP500).

There's even more. From the top 500 fastest computers on Earth, 476 run Linux. That's more than 95%.

Keep up with the good work at LJ. I'm glad to be part of the community.


We're glad to have you. It does make me wonder about that other 5% though, you know? Most of those are running UNIX of some sort, and three of them are running Windows. I wonder if those are hosted by Microsoft itself—Hotmail servers?—Shawn Powers

Integrating Linux into a Windows Network

I am a system administrator for a large secondary school in England. I've always been fine with Windows, and I have used Linux for desktop environment use or for just researching different technologies. However, as part of an expansion from our ICT office, I am having to manage and help other local primary schools in the near vicinity. We look after a total of five primary schools now, and I am encountering a problem. Most of these primary schools have very limited ICT budgets, and they have a range of equipment with some of it dating to ten years ago. Suffice it to say that money for licenses is also almost nonexistent, which brings me to the point of Linux. How can I use a flavour of Linux, say CentOS or Ubuntu, to sit along with the other Windows servers and offer extra services to enhance functionality? I was thinking to use them as a Backup to HDD solution, Clonezilla to dish out Windows or Linux images, and maybe even using Samba to blend it with AD and host user accounts or shares. I know some of the basics, but I just don't know how to bring everything together. The boxes I'm thinking of using were running on Windows 2003.

Any help would be appreciated.

Rene Duranona

I'll give you two really quick suggestions. If you're mixing platforms, definitely use Windows AD for user authentication. Linux is much better at playing with AD than Windows is at playing with, well, anything other than Windows. Second, include your teachers in the discussion. They will frustrate you, and they won't always understand you, but if they are a part of the planning, their ownership of the project will make your life infinitely easier. And a third bonus suggestion: find other schools that already have implemented Linux, and learn from their successes and failures. Good luck. I've been where you are, and it's both awesome and terrifying!—Shawn Powers

Article of Interest

I've lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for 34 years, and I am trying to visualize the 15-level parking deck in downtown Grand Rapids mentioned in “Dude, Where's My Car?” (in the UpFront section of the October 2013 issue). I have no real knowledge of Freenode, so I've written my thought here. Thanks in advance.

Tad Gilliam

Hmm...well I didn't really count the floors, so 15 might have been a high estimate. I was referring to one of the Ellis Parking complexes. I know it was really tall, and it took a million years to walk down. (Oops, I did it again!)—Shawn Powers

Parallella Review?

Since the boards are to be available by December 2013, will LJ cover the board, its Ubuntu release and possible applications any time soon? That would be great.

I'd write an article myself, but I know for sure I would not be writing any parallel code to some meaningful level.


If we get a developer who wants to share, that's the sort of thing we love to publish. At the very least, this letter will get people thinking about it. Thanks for the heads up!—Shawn Powers


I know nothing about the technology behind, or the reasons for the problems with, HeatlhCare.gov, the Obamacare interface that has been in the news so much lately. But, a quick look at the Web suggests that this was an open-source project, largely. I would love to see Linux Journal examine this technology, the problems, what went wrong, what went right and why. This even seems like a reporting, analysis and writing project that could be distributed across a few of your usual excellent contributors.

Greg Laden

I'm not sure we'll be privy to the inner workings of the Web site, but I'll be interested to see what sort of information (if any) comes out of the situation. There's no doubt more planning should have gone into the project, regardless of the software involved. I know there was some of the front-end code on GitHub at one point, but it was pulled, etc., etc. I doubt there was a single issue with the launch, but rather many things that went wrong, compounded by enormous amounts of traffic. I'm just glad it wasn't my project!—Shawn Powers

Games Section Needed

My name is António Casqueiro and I've been a Linux Journal subscriber since 2011.

I've been a regular Linux user for about eight years now. I came from the Windows world, frustrated with having to be concerned about viruses and having to pay for operating system licenses for each PC I have (I've got three). And that was not enough. There was, and still is, the MS Office issue. Even when I was a regular Windows user, I started to use OpenOffice.org, and I was glad with it, but my coworkers insisted on sending me MS Word files. I could open them to read, but if I changed the document and saved it again, the formatting was affected. So I was being coerced into buying MS Office licenses too!

I decided to shout and say, that's enough, no more Windows for me. Linux has all I need! Since I'm a Java programmer and that programming language is cross-platform, I can do my job in Windows, Mac or Linux.

When I'm not programming, most of the time I'm surfing the Web. Since FireFox is multiplatform and even faster than Internet Explorer, the transition was painless. If I'm doing other stuff like listening to music, Amarok and Clementine are perfect for that. As far as watching a movie, MPlayer made it simple because it had all the required codecs, and there was no need to search and install custom codecs like I had to do in Windows. Currently, I'm using VLC and I'm quite happy with it. And for editing images, GIMP is a must.

So do I miss or need Windows anymore? Well unfortunately, that's not quite true yet. Why, you may ask, what's missing in Linux? The games!

Sure there are some games, but almost all of them are available only in Windows. So something was missing in my life, since I detached myself from Windows, but that constraint changed last year when the Unity 3D engine started to support Linux as a deployment platform. This year, another great engine is also coming with Linux support, it's LeadWerks.

Okay, I've shared my Windows-to-Linux conversion story with you, but what can Linux Journal do besides publish it? Actually, you can do something to fill the hearts of the Linux users like myself, because there is a relevant section missing from Linux Journal, the games section. If every month you tell us about cool software, hardware and books, why not games?

What I'm asking is for you to consider adding a game section to the journal, telling us about new cool Linux games being developed or that have been published. Since Steam is betting big on Linux now with SteamOS in the near future, the lack of Linux games will not be an issue anymore.

Also keep an eye on Kickstarter, because many indie developers are there trying to get their cool games funded. One noteworthy amazing space simulation game is fighting for its chance to become a reality there. It's called Skyjacker. Make sure you check it out, and maybe you could write about it so that the word among Linux gamers is spread (I would really appreciate that). Just think of this game as the Star Citizen (SC) for Linux in terms of quality. Because SC is being made using a game engine that doesn't support Linux, Linux gamers will not be able to play it any time soon. But Skyjacker (www.skyjackergame.com) also has AAA graphics, the spaceships are awesome and the gameplay will be so much fun, you can't miss that one!

António Casqueiro

All I heard is “Readers demand Shawn plays more games!” Seriously though, when I do post game-related information (like mentioning The Humble Bundle stuff, and my constant discussion of Steam), I wonder if readers are more annoyed than informed. It's nice to hear there is some demand for gaming information. I'll do my best!—Shawn Powers


I have seen that you have a “Mastering iptables” three-part video series on your YouTube channel. May I ask if you would consider making a video about IPv6 firewalling with ip6tables?

It definitely would be helpful to someone, for sure for me.


Thank you for the excellent idea. We'll continue to have IPv6 discussions here at LJ and see what we can come up with.—Shawn Powers

Photo of the Month

I have many interests besides Linux and open source, and one of them is multicopters using some excellent software like the Arduino IDE, which uses GNU tools. Here's one photo of Tux having second thoughts about flying in my Xcopter.

Luis Sismeiro

LJ Archive