Software

Software news or reviews with focus on GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source software

Xara releases sources for GPL'd Xara LX

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The vector graphics package Xara Xtreme so far was only available for Windows. Back in October, the Xara company announced the porting of its flagship product to Linux and Mac OS X. But at the time they consoled hopes for an immediate release to a later date.

Now the day has come.

Gotmail 0.8.8 Released!

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The Gotmail project, a perl script which downloads mail from hotmail.com without user interaction, released version 0.8.8 today (actually two weeks ago). Gentoo ebuilds finally made their way into portage today. This is a maintainance release that fixes recent breakage.

Virtualization vendors jostle for position in wake of Red Hat's virtual play

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VMware Inc. reacted quickly to Red Hat's integrated virtualization roadmap this week, which uses open source Xen instead of VMware.

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Build a Secure Wireless Portal with Linux

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Ever since wireless Ethernet was born, a sizable number of folks decided that it should be freely available to the masses at no cost. Humans being what they are, admins of open wireless networks should be canny and careful. It's a good idea anyway to have some controls in place. There are a number of specialized applications for building wireless portals.

Off the Beaten Browser

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WHEN THE VAST MAJORITY of the world's PC users want to surf the web, they fire up Microsoft's Internet Explorer. That's a shame, because IE, as it's known in the Internet business, is probably the worst web browser you can use. Many users don't know there are alternatives.

TW My sysadmin toolbox

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My list of tools is aimed at non-professional system administrators who manage Linux machines in a home or small-office network. On my network, I use a number of security-related programs that I usually run as cron jobs. None of the programs are mentioned in the Top 75 Security Tools list, but I like them because they are easy to install and configure, and they work well. I also have a few recovery tools that I use when a system is having problems.

Samba: Coverity Bugs Down to Zero

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The Samba Team is happy to report that Samba is now free from Coverity reported defects! In a week and a half, Samba Team developers have fixed all 216 reported bugs.

Automatix kicks Ubuntu into gear

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Ubuntu

There's been some discussion lately about whether Ubuntu is suitable for Linux beginners. If you raise this issue, someone is sure to tout a script called Automatix as the solution to any perceived notions of the user-unfriendliness of Ubuntu. Automatix automatically installs a laundry list of applications, plugins, and utilities that are supposed to turn a barebones Ubuntu install into desktop perfection. That sounded like something I should try.

LilyPond Helper Applications: Development Status

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Last month I presented a brief update about the LilyPond music typesetting software. This month I look at three graphic front-ends that can make LilyPond easier to use for beginners and for users who simply prefer the more familiar interface of standard music notation.

Why you should try Epiphany as your default browser with GNOME 2.14

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In the GNOME philosophy, we want applications that do their job, only their job, and we want those to do it perfectly. Epiphany's job is to browse the web. Only browsing the web. But browsing the web in a GNOME fashioned way.

Also: Celebrating the release of GNOME 2.14!

Five reasons why you should never use PostgreSQL -- ever

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While PostgreSQL's adoption rate continues to accelerate, some folks wonder why that rate isn't even steeper given its impressive array of features. One can speculate that many of the reasons for not considering its adoption tend to be based on either outdated or misinformed sources.

The other big Linux office suites

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If you're new to Linux, you may be excused for thinking that there are only two note-worthy Linux office suites: OpenOffice.org and its commercial brother, StarOffice. Nothing could be further from the truth. By my count, there are three other significant Linux office suites.

The Ultimate No-Cost Network Toolkit

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Need to boost network performance, manage servers remotely, protect your network from hackers and more? Don't spend a bundle on expensive technicians or software -- instead, turn to these free and Open Source tools.

Browser war 2.0

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A new browser war is brewing and is promising fireworks. The new browsers like Opera, Firefox, Netscape, Safari and Mozilla are clearly making their own place. Microsoft has upped its ante too and is soon releasing a new version of its Internet explorer. Beta version is already out. Claims and counter-claims of which is the more secure browser are also doing rounds.

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TW My sysadmin toolbox

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I maintain a Web server using Apache 2, PHP, Perl, MySQL, and OpenSSL; an IMAP server running the up-and-coming RoundCube Webmail client; and a server for streaming MP3s. GNU Emacs, OpenSSH, TightVNC, and netstat are just a few of the tools I use to maintain my servers.

Sealing Red Hat security gaps with open source security tools

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Maybe you think open source doesn't have the chops for security. Sure, you're using Apache, Tomcat, MySQL and other open source applications in mission critical situations. You're using open source network management tools, like Nagios or OpenNMS, the latter of which is a complete enterprise network management solution. None of this worries you, but you don't feel comfortable using open source tools for IT security.

OpenVZ Delivers Easy Virtualization

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Understanding virtualization is not an easy thing to do. The concept of many virtual machines running on board a single physical machine sounds all well and good but to many, even in the IT field, the idea seems rather, well... virtual.

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