Tip for newbies: Use alias to create shortcuts for commands

The average linux users use the terminal commands for many tasks and some certain commands are very frequently used. For example, if you are a user of Ubuntu, you have to type " sudo apt-get install" every time you want to install a new package or the command "xset dpms force off" to turn off the desktop/laptop monitor. To save time, you can create shortcuts for these commands by adding aliases into the bash configuration file (~/.bashrc or /etc/bash.bashrc). The syntax to use aliases is:
 alias shortcut-command="regular-command"  

For example:
 alias install="sudo apt-get install"  
 alias monitoroff="xset dpms force off"  
 alias poweroff="sudo shutdown -h now"  

After adding these lines into the bash configuration file and log out and log in again, you can use the new aliases. For example, to install new packages, you can use the following command after you used the above aliases:
 install package1 package2  

Hope this small tip can help you enjoy your linux experience.
use alias terminal commands

Top artworks on Gnome-look in April 2012

When a linux user needs new artworks to change the look and feel of his desktop, the first place he would look for is gnome-look, a website where linux users can submit their artworks, ie GTK themes, icon themes, conky configs, and many other things for everybody to download and use for free. Each month, hundreds of new artworks have been uploaded on gnome-look so you may have missed a lot of nice stuffs if you dont check gnome-look regularly. But dont worry, today's article of Linux and Life will list all the best artworks which just got submitted on Gnome-look in this month, April 2012.

 GTK themes
 
Here are the five new GTK themes that I like the most

Elementary-mod-silver
 

A silver-ish GTK theme, suits best for those who prefer light themes. Click here to download Elementary-mod-silver theme.

ImmUnity


This GTK theme is not completed yet but it got a lot of potential. ImmUnity, according to the author, is the combination of several themes like Ambiance, Radiance and Elementary. Click here to download ImmUnity theme.

Ambiance DS BlueBroken


Fans of dark themes will love Ambiance DS BlueBroken. It's just a modified version of the old Ambiance theme yet it looks very innovating and elegant. I am myself using this theme and really like it. From my own experience, it will look even better with a little opacity. Click here to download Ambiance DS BlueBroken theme.

The Lot of 36 Swar themes


This is not a single theme, in fact, it's a collection of 36 Swar themes with different colors and styles. The downloading file is pretty huge ( more than 80 MB) but you will have a lot of themes to select afterward. All the themes are of the dark style and the colors vary from red, yellow, blue, green, silver and grey. Click here to download this amazing collection of swar themes

Elementary GTK 3.0


A new version of the famous Elementary theme, this theme got a very high score (69%) just after 2 weeks. It's a light theme which focuses on elegance and simplicity. Click here to download Elementary GTK 3.0 theme.


Icon themes

There are three new icon sets that got high score in this month.

Alienware Invader 


If you have an Alienware laptop, you should check this icon set as soon as possible. Very unique and stylish. Click here to download Alienware Invader icons.

Kalahari


A new squarish icon set, can be a worthy rival for the popular Fienza. Click here to download Kalahari icons.

Sphere


This icon set is inspired by the 3D spherical icon set for Windows of  D.Arneaz. All the icons look really amazing. Click here to download Spere icon set

Conky configs

Linux users love conky and we have many new conky configs in April

Conky Circles


You can create many awesome works with just the good old lua rings and Conky Circles is one of these awesome artworks. Download Conky Circles here


Future Conky


You may notice that this conky has appeared in the screenshot of the Alienware Invader icon set. Im pretty sure that if you use both the Alienware icons and this Future Conky, all the humanoid creatures will be scared away of your Alienware desktop. Click here to download this Future Conky


Hej Conky


A new thing for the lovers of fancy conky configs. Download Hej Conky here

The conky collection of Caymus



Caymus has been submitting many different conky configs recently and all look good IMO. (Too bad that he isnt very creative at giving names). Click here to download all the conky configs of Caymus

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin released

Eventually, after 6 months of development, Ubuntu 12.04 code name Precise Pangolin has been released. Ubuntu 12.04 will be a LTS ( Long Term Support ) release which means it will be backed up and updated for the next five years. I myself dont use Ubuntu anymore since version 10.10 (although I did test 11.04 and 11.10 for some days) so Im not really excited about it. But from what I've been reading on the web, there are many improvements and new things in this release. If you are curious about this new release of Ubuntu, check the two articles about the new stuffs in Ubuntu 12.04 on OMG Ubuntu and Web Upd8. These articles are very thorough, well-written and consist of many screenshots.

linux dedicated server

If you are using the old version of Ubuntu, you can upgrade into Ubuntu 12.04 directly from the terminal. First, make sure everything is up-to-date:
 sudo apt-get update  
 sudo apt-get upgrade  

Next, run the following command to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04:
 update-manager -d  

If you want to download Ubuntu 12.04 to test it, click here to download the ISO.

4 things to do after installing Bodhi Linux

As you can guess from my Bodhi Linux review article, I've been testing and playing with Bodhi Linux for a few fays. And all I can say is that Bodhi Linux is giving me a very special experience, the more I mess around, the more I love Bodhi. Because Bodhi Linux comes with the philosophy of "user choice", users of Bodhi are supposed to do a lot of things to make their Bodhi system work as they expect and each user will have a distinctive route to make his Bodhi box a totally unique system. However there are still 4 important things that everybody should do after installing Bodhi Linux to get their experience with Bodhi to the fullest.

things to do after installing Bodhi Linux

 1 - Update the system

 This is a mandatory step whenever you install a new linux distro. And since Bodhi Linux is a very minimalistic distro, there would be not much for you to update after a fresh install. However, before updating the system, you need to find the fastest downloading mirrors first. To do so, you just need to left click on the desktop to open the Enlightenment menu, choose Preferences then Software Sources. After you click on the Software Sources option, a window will appear to ask you for the password. Enter the password and the Software Source window will open. On this window, you will see the "Download From" tab, click on this tab and choose the "Other". You will then be presented to the window to pick the best downloading servers.

4 things to do after installing Bodhi
 
4 things to do after installing Bodhi

 The server speed test will take about a minute to finish. After you find the best download server, to update the system, you just need to open LXterminal ( you can either click on the terminal icon or go to Menu > Applications > Accessories > LXterminal) and run the following command. The updating process will run very fast since Bodhi is very lightweight and you already use the fastest server.
 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade  

2 - Install other applications

Bodhi Linux comes with very few applications preinstalled so users are supposed to install many other applications. In Bodhi, you have at least three easy ways to install applications. The first place you can look for applications is the AppCenter of Bodhi. Just click on the Menu, choose "Bodhi Linux " then "Add Software" and the browser Midori will open the AppCenter page of Bodhi. On that page, you can browse around the categories and pick your favorite softwares. You will also find the popular codec packages and browser plugins in the AppCenter.

bodhi linux to do things after installing

However, you may find some favorite applications of yours arent listed in the AppCenter of Bodhi. Just dont worry, you can open the Synaptic Package Manager ( Menu > Application > Preferences > Synaptic Package Manager) to search for these applications in the Ubuntu repositories.

And another method to install packages in Bodhi Linux is to use the command lines. Since Bodhi is based on Ubuntu, everything that works in Ubuntu will works well in Bodhi. In other words, you can use all the PPAs and installing commands that you learn in Ubuntu to install applications in Bodhi Linux.

Here is a list of some applications that you may need to install in Bodhi:

Web browser: Chromium, Chrome, Firefox, Opera ...
Office: Libre office, Open Office, Abiword
PDF reader: Evince, Adobe reader, Foxit
Image editor: Gimp, Shotwell
Video editor: OpenShot
Multimedia: Deadbeef, VLC, Mplayer...
Chat client: Irssi, weechat, xchat, pidgin, empathy ...
Torrent client: Transmission
......

3 - Decorate your Bodhi desktop

Everybody, especially Linux users, loves to decorate their desktop. And you wont have your fullest experience with Bodhi without trying to make your Bodhi desktop as beautiful as possible. Bodhi offers its users many things to decorate their desktop, which is listed on the Art Wiki page of the official Bodhi website. On this page, you can find a humongous collection of a lot of things to make your Bodhi desktop the best, from Enlightenment themes, GTK themes, icon themes to wallpapers, conky configs and many other things. And if this huge collection of arts still cannot satisfy you, you still can check from other sources like gnome-look or deviant art.

Note: to change GTK themes and icon themes in Bodhi, you need to install LXappearance first:
 sudo apt-get install lxappearance  

After having LXappearance installed, open the Menu, go to Preferences > Customize Look and Feel to open LXappearance. In the LXappearance window, you can select your favorite gtk theme, cursor theme, icon themes .. for your Bodhi desktop


After finishing decorating your desktop, dont forget to compare to many other beautiful desktops that are listed in the Desktop of the Week page on the Bodhi website. And if you are confident, try to submit your desktop to the Desktop of the Week contest that is held weekly on the Bodhi Linux forum.

4 - Explore and get used to Enlightenment

The last and perhaps most important thing you need to do after installing Bodhi is to explore and get used to Enlightenment, the special desktop environment of Bodhi. The first thing you need to be accustomed to is the menu. In Englightenment, the whole desktop is the menu so you just need to click whenever on the desktop to open the menu. This feature is somewhat similar to OpenBox but in OpenBox, you will right-click to open the menu instead of left-clicking.

Another thing that will be strange to new users is the keybindings. For instance, in Bodhi, when you hit Alt+F4, it will lead you to the fourth workspace in stead of closing the application ( to close an application, you need to use Ctrl + Alt + X). To know more about and customize the keybindings in Bodhi, just open the menu, go to Settings > All > Input > Key and you will be presented to the Keybinding configuration window:


Enlightenment will offer you many things to explore. From a comment in my review article, I discovered that Enlightenment has a built-in tiling feature which works like a tiling window manager. Here is the screenshot of tiling Enlightenment:


To enable this feature, you open the menu, go to Settings > All > Settings > Profiles and choose the tiling profile. There are also other profiles that will be interesting to you as well, here is the screenshot of the fancy profile:


Besides these profiles, Enlightenment also have other intriguing things like the eyecandy effects ( the penguins that you see in the screenshot), the shelf and its plugins ... etc but I wont cover about them in this article because Im still playing with them and I think it's better to let you figure them out.

And if you need to know more about Enlightenment, I recommend you to read the well-documented Enlightenment Guide on the Bodhi website.

Alternative for IDM in Linux

If I am asked to name some Windows applications that I miss the most after switching to Linux, IDM (Internet Download Manager) will be the first to come to my mind. Internet Download Manager, as suggested by the name, is a download manager and perhaps the best one in the Windows platform. Having been so accustomed to IDM in Windows, I ought to find a replacement for such a useful application after switching to Linux ( since IDM works only in Windows and it doesnt work on Wine) and I found that the add-on "DownThemAll" can be a good alternative for IDM in Firefox. In today's article, I will show you how to utilize the power of Firefox and its extensive list of available add-ons to give you the feel that you used to have with IDM in Windows.

There are 2 features that miss the most in IDM. The first one is the ability to accelerate the download speed to the fullest. To help DownThemAll get a faster download speed, you need 2 additional add-ons that will help you tweak many network and rendering settings and bypass the restriction and the limits you have in the networks when downloading files. These 2 add-ons are:

 1- Download Unlimited
 2 -Fasterfox Lite

After having DownThemAll and these two additional add-ons installed in Firefox, you need to edit the settings of these add-ons to maximize the download speed. First, you need to edit the settings of DownThemAll, go to the add-on configuration page of Firefox ( Tools -> Add-ons ) and click on the Preferences tab of DownThemAll. Under the Network tab, max out your Concurrent downloads and the downloads per server and under the Advanced tab in the Advanced download control, max out your Max. number of segments per download to 10. Your settings should look like the images below:

alternative for Internet download manager for Linux

alternative for IDM in Ubuntu Linux

Next, click on the Preferences tab of FasterFox Lite and select the Turbo Charged option:

alternative for IDM in Linux

After editing these settings, you will notice a faster download speed when using DownThemAll.

The other feature of IDM that I care about is the pop-up button that will appear whenever you come across some video or audio on the internet to ask if you want to download this video or audio. Some people may find this pop-up annoying at times but to me it's really useful. IDM allows users to download any kind of media files, from flash videos to mp3 audio files. To have this feature on Firefox, you need an add-on called FlashGot. After having FlashGot installed and restarting Firefox, whenever you come across some video or audio, there will be a FlashGot button appearing on the address bar and you just need to click on it to have the downloading option. In the image below, the FlashGot button is in the red circle:

alternative for IDM in Ubuntu

And there you have it, an alternative for IDM that works in Linux and nearly has most of the useful features of IDM

Ubuntu 12.10 release schedule

People are still waiting for the final release of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin but Canonical has been already planning for Ubuntu 12.10, whose code name is still unknown to us. Yesterday, Canonical has published the initial release schedule for Ubuntu 12.10 on the Ubuntu wiki. Ubuntu 12.10 (the code name will start with the letter "Q") will have 3 alpha versions, 2 betas and no release candidate like Ubuntu 12.04.

ubuntu 12.10 release schedule

 Here's the Ubuntu 12.10 release schedule:

 Alpha 1 - June 7th
 Alpha 2 - June 28th
 Alpha 3 - August 2nd
 Beta 1 - September 6th
 Beta 2 - September 27th
 Final Ubuntu 12.10 release - October 18th

So if everything goes as scheduled, we will be able to download Ubuntu 12.10 on Oct 18.

Calcurse - a text-based calendar and scheduling application

Calcurse is a text-based application for task and scheduling, it has many useful features but consumes very little resource. Based on the Curses interface system, Calcurse uses the terminal-based application to help you keep track of appointments, events and everyday tasks. You can even set Calcurse to connect to your email to give you a notification whenever an appointment is coming up. Because of the terminal-based interface of Calcurse, it will work best for those you love to use the command lines and keyboard-oriented desktop environments like xmonad or awesome. According to the official page of Calcurse, here are the important features of Calcurse:
  • fast and customizable curses-based interface
  • user-definable key bindings
  • fully user-configurable notification system (ability to send mails or anything else that could remind you of your upcoming appointments)
  • moon phases calculation
  • import capabilities with support for iCalendar format
  • export capabilities with support for iCalendar and pcal formats
  • ability to attach notes to each calendar element, and to edit them with your favorite text editor
  • support for internationalization with texts and manual translated in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish and Italian
  • complete online help system
To install Calcurse in Ubuntu or other Debian-based distro, since it's already in the repository, you just need to search for it in the Software Center or run the following command:
 sudo apt-get install calcurse  
In Arch Linux, the installing command will be:
 sudo pacman -S calcurse  
After you have Calcurse installed, to run Calcurse, you just need to open the terminal and type "calcurse". Here is the default look of Calcurse in the Gnome termnial of Ubuntu:

calcurse ubuntu
To customize Calcurse, you can either edit the config file which is located at /home/user/.calcurse ( You need to quit Calcurse first before editing the config file or calcurse wont save the changes) or you can use the configure commands directly on Calcurse. When you have Calcurse running, just hit the key "o" twice and you will see the config option ( key "c"). After you hit the key "c", you will be presented to other config options, i.e Layout, Color, Sidebar.. you just need to pick the option you want to customize. The screenshots below are how the Layout and Color configuration options of Calcurse:

calcurse layout


calcurse color customize

Cairo Dock 3.0 released

The new version (3.0) of Cairo Dock - an animated application launcher for Linux that can be run in Gnome, KDE and Xcffe - has recently been released with many changes, improvements and bug fixes. The most important change in this release is that Cairo Dock now use GTK3 for a better integration in a Gnome desktop. Other prominent enhancements are:
  • The taskbar has been greatly enhanced.
  • The Log out applet has been rewritten, now allowing you to switch users.
  • The control of the dock from the keyboard is now very powerful:
    • many shortkeys have been added in several applets.
    • you can activate a launcher by pressing a shortkey + its number.
    • all shortkeys can now be managed in a single place in the configuration window.
  • The Sound Menu from Ubuntu has been integrated into the Sound-Control applet.
  • A new Twitter applet lets you tweet in one click.
  • A new applet to inhibit the screensaver in one click.
  • Separators are transparent to click in 'Panel' mode.
  • Few additions to the DBus API.
  • Text drawing (e.g. with Clock) has been improved.
  • Icons from user icons theme are now loaded with the right size.
  • The new default theme with a panel is now included in the core package.
  • It's possible to donate to support the project!

Here is a screenshot of Cairo Dock in action on a Ubuntu desktop:

cairo dock 3.0 released

More info about the this new version of Cairo Dock can be found on its official page

Ubuntu and Linux Mint users can install Cairo Dock 3.0 via ppa using the following commands:
 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cairo-dock-team  
 sudo apt-get update  
 sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins  

Bodhi Linux review

Bodhi Linux is a very interesting Linux distro. It is generally based on Ubuntu but unlike the other Ubuntu-based distros which usually try to give users a newbie-friendly and work-out-of-the-box experience, Bodhi is very minimalistic. By default, Bodhi comes with very few necessity applications pre-installed so users will have to choose the other applications to install. Beside the simplicity, another special thing about Bodhi is Enlightenment - the desktop environment. I myself have been using Linux for serveral years but I never tried Englightment before ( as I just recently heard about it) so 2 days ago, I decided to try Bodhi Linux on my Sony laptop. This article is my review about Bodhi Linux after 2 days of playing and testing it.

Download and Installation

The ISO image of Bodhi Linux is just a little bigger than 400 MB ( the version Im using here is the newest one, 1.14), very light comparing to most other linux distros. Another good point is that the torrenting download option is available. And as in common with most Linux distro, you can burn the ISO image to make a live CD or use Unetbootin to create a bootable USB to test and install Bodhi Linux. When you first boot up with Bodhi, you will be presented with a number of Enlightenment desktop profiles to choose from, namely Bare, Composisting and Desktop. After choosing the desktop profile, you will need to choose a theme for Enlightenment, currently, there are 5 themes to choose. After you chose the desktop profile and the theme, you will log in the desktop of Bodhi to test it, just like the image below.

Bodhi Linux review

To install Bodhi into your hard drive, just click on the install button on the bottom panel and you can start installing Bodhi. Similar to other Ubuntu-based distro, Bodhi uses the Ubiquity installer which is very easy, clear and self-explained. If you have installed Ubuntu or Linux Mint before, you wont find any trouble when installing Bodhi.

Enlightenment

This is the first time I've used Enlightenment so it's both confusing and intriguing to me. The first thing I can say is that it is very light and fast, as the hardware requirements are only 300mhz i386 Processor and 128megs of RAM, which can be a worthy rival for Openbox. In the desktop profile, there is a panel at the bottom of the screen which is call the "shelf". Shelf behaves somewhat similarly to Docky or AWN. By default, on the left corner of the shelf you can see the menu button then the launcher of some applications, on the right is the date indicator, volume icon, workspace indicator then the network manager applet. You can easily configure the shelf by right clicking on it and you will be presented with some options, i.e to choose the position and size of the gadgets, to add or remove gadgets, to adjust the position and theme of the shelf and to create a new shelf or delete the current one.

Bodhi Linux review

Enlightenment can be a little confusing for new users. When you hit alt+f4 it will change the workspace instead of closing the application. And similarly, you can move around the 4 workspaces by hitting Alf+f (1,2,3,5). Another thing to notice is that, when you double click on the menu bar, the application window will collapse into a horizontal bar and when you double click again on the bar, the application window will return to the former size. So if you find a linux desktop that looks like the screenshot below, you can tell this is Englightment.

Bodhi Linux review

In Englightment, when you left click wherever on the desktop screen, the Enlightenment menu will appear, which is somehow similar to in Openbox ( in Openbox, to get the menu, you will do the right click instead). This feature can be annoying at times for new users, especially when you are dragging the application windows around and the mouse suddenly slips out. Here is how the menu looks like:

Bodhi Linux review

To change the theme of Enlightenment, you just need to open the menu, then go to Settings > themes and choose the one you like as in the image below.

Bodhi Linux review
 
To get more themes, you just need to click on the "Online" button and it will open Midori and lead you to the art gallery of Bodhi Linux, and you can choose the Enlightenment option in the theme category to install more Enlightenment themes. Here is the screenshot of the theme gallery you will see on Midori, just click on the one you like and install it as you install a theme for the Chrome browser.

Bodhi Linux theme

 After that, just open the menu, go to Settings -> themes to change the theme. Here are some screenshots of the englightment themes I just installed on my box:




To know more about Enlightenment, I recommend you to read the wiki documents about Enlightenment on the official site of Bodhi Linux

Applications

As I have said, the philosophy of Bodhi Linux is that it respects User Choice and a Minimal Environment in which to make those choices. That's why Bodhi Linux comes with very few pre-installed applications and the Enlightenment Desktop to keep system resources to a minimum. And these preinstalled applications are Leafpad - the text editor, LXterminal- the terminal client, PCmanfm - the file manager and some other system applications, namely NetworkManager, LXDM, Software sources, Synaptic and the screenshot capture. LXterminal and Leafpad are very nice applications, PCmanfm can be a little confusing for new users. Midori is a very light, simple web-browser that has all the basic features you will need for a browser. The only drawback in Bodhi Linux is that the laptop function keys dont work out of the box so it will require a little tinkering if you use Bodhi on a laptop.

Installing applications in Bodhi Linux is very simple. You can either use the software center of Bodhi by opening the menu, then pick Bodhi Linux, then Add Software and the Appcenter page of Bodhi Linux will be open on Midori. Then you just need to click on the application you need and click on the install button to install it into your system. Another way to install packages in Bodhi is to use the old "sudo apt-get install app-name" that you are already fimilar with in Ubuntu or Linux Mint.


Conclusion

After 2 days of using Bodhi, I can say that I really like it. Bodhi Linux has many great values to offer to the users. First of all, because Bodhi Linux is very light weight, you can use it on any old computer. Secondly, Bodhi comes with very few applications pre-installed so it will appeal the users who dislike a bloated system. And last but not least, Enlightenment is a very interesting and highly configurable desktop environment that will give a lot of fun to those who love tinkering around with new stuffs.

Gmediafinder - a better alternative for Minitube

Perhaps most Linux users have heard about Minitube, an application to search and download videos from Youtube. The  biggest difference between watching youtube videos with Minitube and browsing Youtube with a web-browser is that you dont need Flash Player at all, therefore it will load the videos faster. That's why many people prefer using Minitube to watch youtube video because it's faster than browsing Youtube using a web browser and Minitube also offers the ability to download the videos to save it to your hard disk.

Gmediafinder is really similar to Minitube. It helps you watching youtube videos without  Flash Player. Using Gmediafinder, you can search for videos by entering some words in the search box and a list of relevant videos will appear for you to choose. And you can make a playlist of multiple videos to watch them respectively at once by creating a playlist then adding videos to it.

Gmediafinder better alternative for minitube

Just like Minitube, you can download Youtube videos using Gmediafinder. By default, Gmediafinder disables the downloading feature. To enable it you need to click on the tool icon at the top right and you will the the option to enable the downloading feature like the image below. You also have other options to display preview images, system tray ...

alternative for minitube

Until now, you can see that Gmediafinder has all the features of Minitube and you may ask why I think Gmediafinder is better than Minitube. The real advantage that Gmediafinder has over Minitube is that, Gmediafinder supports not only videos from Youtube but also from many other interesting sources. If you are wondering how interesting these sources are, just see the list of available video sources in the image below. And if you are an internet veteran, you must definitely know how interesting these sources are. With these video sources, I can bet with confidence that your entertainment will see no limit. And of course, you can always use the features to make a playlist, to download videos ... for videos from these awesome sources.

Gmediafinder

Since Gmediafinder isnt in the official repository of the popular distros, installing it will require some extra steps. To install Gmediafinder in Arch Linux, here is the AUR package of Gmediafinder. If you are using Ubuntu or Linux Mint, run the following commands to install Gmediafinder:
 sudo apt-add-repository ppa:s-lagui/ppa  
 sudo apt-get update  
 sudo apt-get install gmediafinder  

Meet Linux Tycoon - Linux distro building simulator game

Last week, a friend of mine from Italy (who is an aficionado of indie games) introduced to me Linux Tycoon, a Linux distro building simulator game. And being a fan of Linux myself, Im obviously very interested. Yesterday, I decided to pay $4 to get this game and have spent more than an hour playing it since then. The game is actually still in beta and after the final version got released, the price will go up to $5. Linux Tycoon is available for both Linux, MacOS and Windows so you dont need to be a real Linux user to play that game and although the game is about building Linux distro, it doesnt require any actual programming at all. For Ubuntu and other Debian based distro, there are .deb packages ( 32 and 64 bit) so it's very easy to install and play.

Linux Tycoon review

In Linux Tycoon, players will build a Linux distro with some packages and try to make it become the most successful distro around. You will have to compete with 20 other distros whose names are parodies of popular Linux distros like Ooboontoo, Plebian, CuteLittleDoggy, OpenSnuggle ... The trick to win the game is to choose the right packages to put into your distro, keep the size of the distro as small as possible and reduce the bugs. There are 5 factors for you to consider when choosing a package:

Linux Tycoon review

- OpenSource: the packages you choose should be opensource or you will be called some bad name by the opensource community
- NerdCred: the more NerdCred you can accumulate in your distro, the more likely the volunteers will come to help you. And you can use these workers to fix bugs.
- Popularity: Each package has its own score for popularity, the more popularity points you have, the more users your distro will appeal.
- Size: the size of the package, you should try to keep you distro as small as possible
- Bugs: each package will contain a number of bugs and the total bugs of your distro will increase over time. So you need to assign workers to fix bugs and release new versions more often. There are two types of workers, the paid workers, harder to get but more efficient in work and the volunteers, easy to get but not as efficient as paid workers.

And after you pick the packages, just hit the "release version" button and a message like this will appear

Linux Tycoon review

And each time after a new version got released, you will have the feedback in the middle column of the game window. It's usually a review from some Linux magazines ( including Linux action show where Lunduke works IRL) which either gives your distro a thumb up or compares it with stinky cheese. It also gives you hints about how to improve your distro in the next releases. You can know how well your distro is doing by observing the stats in the left column, which shows you the hype, the amount of bugs, the size of the distro and the number of paid workers and volunteers you can use to fix bugs. And to release a new version, just click on "Edit packages" then hit " Release Version" again and watch the new version of your Linux distro rollilng.

Linux Tycoon review

Conclusion

The idea behind Linux Tycoon is really unique, as Lunduke said in his site " probably the only Linux distro building simulation game in the universe". However, to make the game more interesting , in my opinion there should be more packages to choose and more other factors to decide the success of the distro. Beside I wish it is possible to change the font, theme and size of the window. Hopefully this game will be really better in the final version. All in all, if you are a real Linux fan, you should check this unique game. Click here to go to the homepage of Linux Tycoon

Reasons to use Linux servers

With the development of Linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora ..., many people nowadays know about Linux as an operating system for personal computers, ie desktops and laptops. But when comparing to Windows or MacOS, the share of Linux in the market of operating system for personal computers is still very tiny. However, in the field of dedicated servers, Linux is the undisputed king. Today's article will give a brief summary about the reasons why Linux is always preferred over other operating systems to use for dedicated servers.

reasons to use Linux servers

The first and foremost reason why many people prefer Linux is because of the cost. As you may already know, the basic concept behind linux when it was created is to offer softwares that are absolutely free and open source. By the same token, most linux operating systems are completely free, as opposed to the windows servers that usually require the licensing fee for the operating system. Also, Linux is a powerful operating system that has a ton of features that you have to pay for additional costs if you want to have these features on Windows. Besides, there are tons of free applications for Linux servers. Those free softwares are web browsers, games, audio and video players, graphic programs, email programs, and many more. And you can use them all without having to pay for them

Secondly webmasters need to choose the operating system of their hosting servers carefully because the operating system determines what scripting languages can run and what databases are supported. And since Linux supports popular scripting languages like Perl, PHP and Python and other languages that are based on Unix, Linux meets most of the common needs of webmasters. Also the database systems of MySQL and PostgreSQL are fully supported in Linux.

The next factor that to be considered is Linux is very stable. Linux doesn't need to be rebooted periodically to maintain performance levels and doesn’t freeze up or slow down over time due to memory leaks and such. It is not uncommon to see Linux servers that run for years without rebooting. And if we compare that to servers that run on Windows, these servers usually require to be rebooted after every update of the OS, software installation or after performing some tasks on the server. For a personal user this may be not a big deal, but if you are running a business or online store, a server reboot can mean loss of business which is absolutely something to avoid.

And last but not least, we cannot forget about the security value of Linux. Linux offers some of the best security and is one of the most secure operating systems. This fact happens because of many walls and flexible file access permission systems that help prevent access by unwanted visitors or malwares. And when something wrong happens, with the availability of security updates within hours of security breaches your operating system is going to be safe eventually. More than that, networking on Linux is far superior to other commercial software and hardware functions. Linux servers feature rich networking which are fully customizable to many applications as well as being secure.