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How to Create Curve Text in GIMP in 5 Simple Steps [GIMP Beginner’s Tutorial]

Sunday 7th of June 2020 07:01:27 AM

When you are working on a badge, poster or any other composition in GIMP and you need to bend or curve some text. The versatile GIMP tool offers several ways to create curved text. Depending on how you will use it and the curvature you want to give to your text, some methods are better than others.

In this GIMP tutorial, I’ll show you my preferred way of creating curve texts.

How to create curve text in GIMP

Please make sure that you have GIMP installed on your system already.

Step 1: Create a path that matches the type of curve you want

Create a new image or open an existing one. Select the paths tool and then having in mind roughly the position of the curved text, create your path by clicking once for the start and then for the end of path point.

Create a path

Then give to your path a curvature. First drag the line in the middle either up or down, and fine tune by moving the adjusting points. This will give it an arch.

Curving the path Step 2: Create the text you want to curve

When you are satisfied with your curved path, you can move to the next step and create your text.

You may want to change the font and the font size. My selections are for demonstration purpose only.

Create a text Step 3: Create a new layer

I strongly suggest separating each different element of a GIMP image in different layers, in order to manipulate them easily like move, turn on/off an element etc.

Following this rule our curved text will be placed at a new layer. It is recommended to name your new layer like “Curved Text” or something similar to easily identify it.

Create a new layer for the curved text Step 4: Curve the text

Now you need to click on the layer that your text is and right click on it and then click on “Text along path” to bend your text. The curved text will be placed at the newly created layer.

Text Along Path

You just curved the text! Let’s make the text more presentable by filling it with colour.

Step 5: Final touches and export

Click on the curved text layer and then go to the path tab to select the text boundaries.

Path To Selection

Finally, select the bucket tool, a colour of your choice and apply your selection as per below.

As the last step, turn the visibility of the layers that you don’t want and keep only the curved text. Then you are ready to export your file as your preferred image format.

Bonus Tip: Create shade effect

I have an additional step as an exercise/challenge if you want to go the extra mile. Let’s create a shade effect to the curved text by outlining the text in GIMP.

I will give you some hints:

  • Turn all the layers back on
  • Click on the curved text layer and the use the move tool to move the text away
  • Create another layer and repeat the bucket fill procedure with a black colour
  • Overlay the layers in a way that they mimic a shaded position (you may need to change the layers order)
  • Turn off the auxiliary layers

The final result!

Let me know in the comments below your thoughts about this GIMP tutorial and how many of you tried the bonus step.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter as It’s FOSS team has much more for you in the near future!

SoftMaker Office 2021 is an Impressive Alternative to Microsoft Office on Linux

Saturday 6th of June 2020 02:15:38 PM

While we have amazing open source alternatives to Microsoft Office, it’s always good to have more options supported for Linux.

For that very same reason, the latest release of SoftMakerOffice 2021 grabbed my attention.

SoftMaker Office suite is a collection of TextMaker (word), PlanMaker (spreadsheets), and Presentation program.

It is a cross-platform solution which is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Planmaker on Linux

Non-FOSS alert!

SoftMaker is not open source software. We have covered it because they cared to make their software available on Linux. Not many developers care for desktop Linux, unfortunately. Sometimes we cover such software that are helpful to desktop Linux users even if they are not open source.

SoftMaker Office 2021: What’s New? Textmaker 2021

With the latest release, I found some very interesting changes which you may find useful for yourself.

Intuitive language and research tools

In the word processing program (i.e. TextMaker), they have added new features to facilitate the creation of extensive scientific work.

As per the press release, they mention the details as:

The literature management program Zotero is now integrated directly into the program and thus provides powerful support in terms of managing citations, bibliographies and literature sources.

In addition to the integration of Zotero, you will also find it very easy to search for online dictionaries and references from within TextMaker without endlessly browsing the Internet.

Improved support for database files Mysql Sample Planmaker

With SoftMaker Office 2021, you can now easily manage SQLite, XLSX, PMDX, and dBASE files.

Subtle & useful improvements

While this is a major overhaul, you will notice some good attention to details when we talk about the addition of automatic fold marks in a document and pre-made templates to help you quickly make a document.

Similarly, the latest release includes a bunch of improvements under-the-hood. I’ve mentioned some of them here:

  • Improved file version control
  • New page break preview simplify the printing of spreadsheets
  • Ability to create portable slideshows
  • Improved navigation within a document
Improved pricing structure

For the 2021 version, the manufacturer has made its licensing policy far more generous: The purchase of SoftMaker Office 2021 will now entitle you to install it on Windows, macOS, and Linux — on up to five computers in total.

And, this is a very good offer for a cross-platform Microsoft Office alternative that asks for a one-time fee of $59.95 for Office 2021.

You need to pay for the upgrade if you need to get the next major version. But, you also get an option to subscribe for $2.99 per month which includes free upgrades as long as your subscription is active. You can learn more about its pricing in their official website.

My Thoughts On SoftMaker Office 2021

I’ve tried the latest SoftMaker Office 2021 on both Linux (Pop OS 20.04) and Windows 10. It works as expected in my basic usage for sometime to test it out.

SoftMaker Office 2021 offers both .deb / .rpm package along with a .tgz archive file for 64-bit systems only.

If you want help installing the .deb file on any Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, you can always refer to our solutions to install deb files on Ubuntu.

Personally, I still prefer LibreOffice because they are open source in true sense. However, I understand that some people have to work with MS Office documents regularly and SoftMaker provides a mean to edit those documents on Linux.

What do you think about SoftMaker Office 2021? Is it something that sounds good to have for Linux as a replacement to Microsoft Office? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!

Top Arch-based User Friendly Linux Distributions That are Easier to Install and Use Than Arch Linux Itself

Saturday 6th of June 2020 07:14:12 AM

In the Linux community, Arch Linux has a cult following. This lightweight distribution provides the bleeding edge updates with a DIY (do it yourself) attitude.

However, Arch Linux is also aimed at more experienced users. As such, it is generally considered to be beyond the reach of those who lack the technical expertise (or persistence) required to use it.

In fact, the very first steps, installing Arch Linux itself is enough to scare many people off. Unlike most other distributions, Arch Linux doesn’t have an easy to use graphical installer. You have to do disk partitions, connect to internet, mount drives and create file system etc using command line tools only.

For those who want to experience Arch without the hassle of the complicated installation and set up, there exists a number of user-friendly Arch-based distributions.

In this article, I’ll show you some of these Arch alternative distributions. These distributions come with graphical installer, graphical package manager and other tools that are easier to use than their command line alternatives.

Arch-based Linux distributions that are easier to set up and use

Please note that this is not a ranking list. The numbers are just for counting purpose. Distribution at number two should not be considered better than distribution at number seven.

1. Manjaro Linux

Manjaro doesn’t need any introduction. It is one of the most popular Linux distributions for several years and it deserves it.

Manjaro provides all the benefits of the Arch Linux combined with a focus on user-friendliness and accessibility. Manjaro is suitable for both newcomers and experienced Linux users alike.

For newcomers, a user-friendly installer is provided, and the system itself is designed to work fully ‘straight out of the box’ with your favourite desktop environment (DE) or window manager.

For more experienced users, Manjaro also offers versatility to suit every personal taste and preference. Manjaro Architect is giving the option to install any Manjaro flavour and offers unflavoured DE installation, filesystem (recently introduced ZFS) and bootloader choice for those who wants complete freedom to shape their system.

Manjaro is also a rolling release cutting-edge distribution. However, unlike Arch, Manjaro tests the updates first and then provides it to its users. Stability also gets importance here.

2. ArcoLinux

ArcoLinux (previously known as ArchMerge) is a distribution based on Arch Linux. The development team offers three variations. ArcoLinux, ArcoLinuxD and ArcoLinuxB.

ArcoLinux is a full-featured distribution that ships with the Xfce desktop, Openbox and i3 window managers.

ArcoLinuxD is a minimal distribution that includes scripts that enable power users to install any desktop and application.

ArcoLinuxB is a project that gives users the power to build custom distributions, while also developing several community editions with pre-configured desktops, such as Awesome, bspwm, Budgie, Cinnamon, Deepin, GNOME, MATE and KDE Plasma.

ArcoLinux also provides various video tutorials as it places strong focus on learning and acquiring Linux skills.

3. Archlabs Linux

ArchLabs Linux is a lightweight rolling release Linux distribution based on a minimal Arch Linux base with the Openbox window manager. ArchLabs is influenced and inspired by the look and feel of BunsenLabs with the intermediate to advanced user in mind.

4. Archman Linux

Archman is an independent project. Arch Linux distros in general are not ideal operating systems for users with little Linux experience. Considerable background reading is necessary for things to make sense with minimal frustration. Developers of Archman Linux are trying to change that reputation.

Archman’s development is based on an understanding of development that includes user feedback and experience components. With the past experience of our team, the feedbacks and requests from the users are blended together and the road maps are determined and the build works are done.

5. EndeavourOS

When the popular Arch-based distribution Antergos was discontinued in 2019, it left a friendly and extremely helpful community behind. The Antergos project ended because the system was too hard to maintain for the developers.

Within a matter of days after the announcement, a few experienced users palnned on maintaining the former community by creating a new distribution to fill the void left by Antergos. That’s how EndeavourOS was born.

EndeavourOS is lightweight and ships with a minimum amount of preinstalled apps. An almost blank canvas ready to personalise.

6. RebornOS

RebornOS developers’ goal is to bring the true power of Linux to everyone, with one ISO for 15 desktop environments and full of unlimited opportunities for customization.

RebornOS also claims to have support for Anbox for running Android applications on desktop Linux. It also offers a simple kernel manager GUI tool.

Coupled with Pacman, the AUR, and a customized version of Cnchi graphical installer, Arch Linux is finally available for even the least inexperienced users.

7. Chakra Linux

A community-developed GNU/Linux distribution with an emphasis on KDE and Qt technologies. Chakra Linux does not schedule releases for specific dates but uses a “Half-Rolling release” system.

This means that the core packages of Chakra Linux are frozen and only updated to fix any security problems. These packages are updated after the latest versions have been thoroughly tested before being moved to permanent repository (about every six months).

In addition to the official repositories, users can install packages from the Chakra Community Repository (CCR), which provides user made PKGINFOs and PKGBUILD scripts for software which is not included in the official repositories and is inspired by the Arch User Repository.

8. Artix Linux Artix Mate Edition

Artix Linux is a rolling-release distribution based on Arch Linux that uses OpenRC, runit or s6 init instead of systemd.

Artix Linux has its own package repositories but as a pacman-based distribution, it can use packages from Arch Linux repositories or any other derivative distribution, even packages explicitly depending on systemd. The Arch User Repository (AUR) can also be used.

9. BlackArch Linux

BlackArch is a penetration testing distribution based on Arch Linux that provides a large amount of cyber security tools. It is specially created for penetration testers and security researchers. The repository contains more than 2400 hacking and pen-testing tools that can be installed individually or in groups. BlackArch Linux is compatible with existing Arch Linux packages.

Want real Arch Linux? Simplify the installation with graphical Arch installer

If you want to use the actual Arch Linux but you are not comfortable with the difficult installation, fortunately you can download an Arch Linux iso baked with a graphical installer.

An Arch installer is basically Arch Linux ISO with a relatively easy to use text-based installer. It is much easier than bare-bone Arch installation.

Anarchy Installer

The Anarchy installer intends to provide both novice and experienced Linux users a simple and pain free way to install Arch Linux. Install when you want it, where you want it, and however you want it. That is the Anarchy philosophy.

Once you boot up the installer, you’ll be shown a simple TUI menu, listing all the available installer options.

Zen Installer

The Zen Installer provides a full graphical (point and click) environment for installing Arch Linux. It provides support for installing multiple desktop environments, AUR, and all of the power and flexiblity of Arch Linux with the ease of a graphical installer.

The ISO will boot the live environment, and then download the most current stable version of the installer after you connect to the internet. So, you will always get the newest installer with updated features.

Conclusion

An Arch-based distribution is always an excellent hassle-free choice for the many users, but a graphical installer like Anarchy is at least a step closer to how Arch Linux truly tastes.

In my opinion the real beauty of Arch Linux is its installation process and for a Linux enthusiast is an opportunity to learn rather than a hassle. Arch Linux and its derivatives has a lot for you mess up with, but It’s FOSS will unravel the mystery behind the scenes. See you at my next tutorial!

Open Source Password Manager Bitwarden Introduces Two New Useful Features: Trash Bin & Vault Timeout

Friday 5th of June 2020 06:49:42 AM

Bitwarden is unquestionably one of the best password managers available for Linux. It’s also a cross-platform solution — so you can use it almost anywhere you like.

You can also read our review of Bitwarden if you want to explore more about it.

Now, coming back to the news. Recently, Bitwarden introduced two new major features that makes it even better.

Bitwarden Password Manager: What’s New?

You will find two new useful additions to Bitwarden. Here, I’ll highlight those for you:

Trash bin to store deleted items for 30 days

Before this update, if I deleted something on Bitwarden, there was no way I could recover that. Hence, it was an irreversible process.

But, now with the addition of Trash section, your deleted items will now reside in the Trash for 30 days unless you delete it from the Trash manually.

Bitwarden Item Trash

So, you don’t have to worry about losing your important items on Bitwarden vault. You have 30 days to easily recover it.

To be clear, the trash will include your complete item including the attachments, recovery codes, and the two-factor authentication tokens.

You can access the Trash items on your web vault, standalone app, and on the browser extensions as well.

In my case, I utilize a Firefox add-on and I can perfectly access the Trash items and restore/delete it when needed.

Timeout feature to lock or log out user

Usually, when you restart the browser or refresh the session, you had to log back in to Bitwarden.

Depending on what you use — browser, app, or the web vault, this behavior may be different. But, now, you can actually control the timeout from your end.

For starters, you can set the timer for timeout from the predefined options. Some of those options are:

  • Timeout immediately
  • Timeout in 1 minute
  • Timeout in 5 minutes
  • Timeout in 15 minutes
  • Timeout on browser restart
  • Never timeout

In addition to this, you also get to decide the action of the timeout feature. After the timeout period ends, what do you want to happen?

Do you want to lock the Bitwarden app/vault? Or, do you want to log yourself out? This definitely sounds to be something very useful and should help you keep things secure as well.

To explore more about the vault timeout feature, trash feature and other features on Bitwarden, you can also check out their official help articles.

Wrapping Up

It looks like Bitwarden is shaping up pretty good as one of the most competitive offering as an open-source password manager when compared to other big players like LastPass.

What do you think about the latest additions to Bitwarden? Let me know in the comments below!

Linux Foundation Launches Cloud Engineer Bootcamp to Make You Job Ready for Cloud Industry

Thursday 4th of June 2020 06:18:01 AM

Linux Foundation, the official organization behind Linux project, has launched a 6 months online training program to prepare more cloud engineers as the demand for cloud-skilled people grows in the IT industry.

These days, when the IT infrastructure revolves around cloud computing, traditional Linux sysadmin knowledge is not sufficient anymore.

Sysadmins need to know the newer technologies related to Linux containers, the backbone of cloud servers.

No one understands the technology trend in this field better than Linux Foundation. They work closely with industry giants like IBM, Microsoft, Google, Cisco to lead, to guide and to set industry standards.

Their latest training module Cloud Engineer Bootcamp is another step in this regard to bridge the demand and supply in the IT industry.

Cloud Engineer Bootcamp from The Linux Foundation

The course is designed in a way that you could start learning from scratch. It starts covering the core, traditional knowledge of Linux system administration and then moves on to networking. You may take the certification exam at this point but that’s not mandatory and you can do it later.

The second part of the course module introduces you to containers (heard of Docker?) and then goes on to educate you on DevOps and SRE (Site Reliability Engineering). You’ll then learn about Kubernetes, the latest hot topic in the DevOps world.

When you cover the DevOps courses, you can take the certification exam. Linux Foundation certifications are one of the most valued in the industry, and it would help you boost your resume and your job prospect.

Here’s what you’ll get if you join the bootcamp:

  • Hand-on labs and assignments
  • 12 months access to the online courses
  • Dedicated discussion forums to ask for help with option to live chat with the instructor (within office hours)
  • Retake for both certification exams within a period of a year
  • 30 days money back guarantee

The course is self-paced and you should cover it in 6 months with an effort of 15-20 hours a week.

Cloud Engineer Bootcamp is priced at $999 but if you join before 17th June, you can get it for $599 (saves you $400). Individually, these courses and exams will cost you around $2000.

You may also use ITSFOSS15 coupon code at check out to get additional 15% discount.

Cloud Engineer Bootcamp Should you sign up for the Cloud Engineer Bootcamp?

Frankly, this could not have come at a better time. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, economy is in poor state. People are losing jobs everywhere.

But the pandemic has also given boost to remote working and cloud computing business. As more companies prepare to adopt remote working, cloud servers will be more in demand.

It is high time to improve or learn skills that are sought after in the industry.

$600 may not be a small amount but considering that it can lend you a new job or promotion at your current work, Cloud Engineer Bootcamp is worth the investment.

If you don’t like the training or think it’s not worth the money, you can use the 30-day money back guarantee and get your money back. It cannot be safer than this.

Though Linux Foundation hardly makes any effort for “desktop Linux”, they are constantly working to promote Linux in the IT industry. Their training and certification programs are part of their effort to make more and more people job ready.

It’s FOSS is an affiliate partner with Linux Foundation. Please read our affiliate policy.

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