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Software: FreeCAD, Text Editors, Man-Pages and Kiwi TCMS

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  • Checking out FreeCAD

    Our look at running a CNC milling machine using open-source software led me to another tool worth looking at: FreeCAD. I wasn't previously familiar with the program, so I decided to check it out. In this article I will walk through my experiences with using FreeCAD for the first time to do a variety of CNC-related tasks I normally would have used a commercial product for. I had varying degrees of success in my endeavors, but in the end came away with a positive opinion.

    FreeCAD is an LGPL v2+ licensed CAD and CAM program written in Python and C++. The first release of the project was in 2002, and its last stable version 0.18.4 was released in October 2019. The project's GitHub page indicates that it has 271 contributors with new commits happening often (generally more than 50 a week). Beyond code contributions, FreeCAD has a welcoming community with active forums to answer any questions users might have along the way. FreeCAD is designed to be cross-platform, supporting Linux, macOS, and Windows, with binary releases provided by the OS-independent package and environment management system Conda.

    I decided to take on a relatively simple CNC project: milling a new street-address sign for my home. The plan called for a 700mm x 150mm sign, and I decided to mill it out of a plank of maple wood. The design I have in mind is pretty straightforward, so it should be a great way to put FreeCAD through a test on a real project. I also looked at using FreeCAD for taking existing models that are available online with an open license and importing them for milling (in this case, a wooden spoon).

    It is worth noting that before this effort I had never used FreeCAD before. My personal goal is to become fluent enough with FreeCAD that I can replace my dependence on the commercial CAD software I presently use in my design work. The goal of this article, however, is to share what my experience with FreeCAD was, and provide a glimpse of FreeCAD from the perspective of an inexperienced user.


  • 9 Best Emacs-Like Text Editors

    Over the years, one of the most emotive areas in the world of Linux is the choice of text editor. Some people are strong advocates of Vim, others prefer Emacs. And there’s tons of other text editors available with strong backing. Having robust opinions is the way the land lies in Linux.

    Emacs has a long and revered history. The original program was written in 1976 as a set of macros for an existing text editor called TECO. Emacs originally was an acronym for Editor MACroS, unifying the many TECO command sets and key bindings. TECO is both a character-oriented text editor and an interpreted programming language for text manipulation.

    Emacs has come a long way since 1976. It offers a robust Lisp interpreter that is hugely extensible and hackable. It brought to light lots of novel concepts such as an infinite clipboard, tree-based exploration of history, a reverse variable search, structural editing of code, and recursive editing that let you stop what you are doing, perform other edits, and then revert back to the original task.

    Emacs is an incremental programming environment, a mutable environment that provides functionality without applications.


  • Michael Kerrisk (manpages): man-pages-5.08 is released

    I've released man-pages-5.08. The release tarball is available on The browsable online pages can be found on The Git repository for man-pages is available on

    This release resulted from patches, bug reports, reviews, and comments from more than 30 contributors. The release includes more than 190 commits that change around 340 pages.

  • QGIS has chosen Kiwi TCMS

    We are happy to announce that QGIS has chosen Kiwi TCMS for the basis of their Quality Assurance methodology and infrastructure improvement program! Kiwi TCMS will play a central role in storing test case definitions, organizing test cycles, and assigning and tracking test executions by testers from the QGIS community.

More in Tux Machines

Stable Kernels: 5.8.13, 5.4.69, 4.19.149, 4.14.200, and 4.4.238

I'm announcing the release of the 5.8.13 kernel.

All users of the 5.8 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.8.y git tree can be found at:
	git:// linux-5.8.y
and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.4.69 Linux 4.19.149 Linux 4.14.200 Linux 4.4.238

Firefox 81 Gets First Point Release to Fix High Memory Bug and Improve Stability

Firefox 81.0.1 is here only a week after the launch of Firefox 81 to fix a bunch of nasty issues that could disturb your web browsing. One of the important issues addressed in this point release is a high memory bug that occurred when add-ons like Disconnect were installed, causing the web browser to become unresponsive. Also fixed in Firefox 81.0.1 is an issue with the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) controls not being visible on web pages with audio-only elements, several issues that affected the printing functionality, the missing content on Blackboard course listings, as well as an issue with legacy preferences not being properly applied if they’re set via GPO. Read more

Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Is Coming Just Before Christmas

The Linux Mint project unveiled today the codename of the upcoming Linux Mint 20.1 release and an approximate release date of mid December. What’s coming after Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana”? Linux Mint 20.1, of course, and it’s codename has been revealed today by Linux Mint project leader Clement Lefebvre as “Ulyssa,” continuing the long tradition of naming new Linux Mint releases alphabetically. Linux Mint 20.1 is the first point release of the Linux Mint 20 series, so the codename also uses the “U” letter. As expected, it will be based on Canonical’s latest Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) point release, which includes various updated packages, but not a major kernel or Mesa graphics stacks bump. Read more

Enlightenment Desktop Review: A Beautiful, Lightweight but Different Desktop Manager

Continuing with our series of Desktop Environment Reviews, today is a choice that definitely has a specific purpose. Enlightenment is an extremely lightweight window manager that has a huge amount of utility baked into it. It’s a really specific choice that you either like or dislike. In this Enlightenment review,we will cover its user experience, notable features, performance, and recommendations as to who should use it and where to experience Enlightenment. Read more