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Linux With Education – Best Free Education Apps

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In this article, we award 42 medals to superb open source educational software. We identify free software ideally suited for young people, parents, teachers, academics, and administrators – basically anyone involved in education.

Even though the UK economy is fairly strong, many of its educational establishments are in a perilous financial position. For example, a high achieving West Midlands school faces a £350,000 shortfall in its budget for next year, with another £5m repair bill to fix the building; it’s roof has 300 holes alone. The biggest outlay for the school is, of course, its staff, and it’s having to let 14 staff go. While IT costs pale in comparison to staffing and building maintenance costs, more and more schools are scrutinizing every single penny of their expenditure. And this doesn’t just apply to schools. Universities, colleges, parents, and students are all under increasing financial pressures.

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FOSS Project Spotlight: ONLYOFFICE, an Online Office Suite

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ONLYOFFICE is a free and open-source office suite that provides an alternative for three major MS Office apps—Word, Excel and PowerPoint—working online.

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Software: Firefox, GTK3, Wireshark, PacVim and GNOME

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  • The Best Firefox Extensions for Managing Tabs

    Frequent crashes, slow performance, and not being able to find the tab you’re looking for—we’ve all been there. Here are some of the best Firefox extensions for helping you manage tab overload.

    Generally, we don’t recommend using any extensions you don’t have to—they can be a privacy nightmare. But until makers of browsers build in some better tab management solutions, we tab hoarders have to rely on extensions to keep us sane. We’ve rounded up some of the best extensions for managing tabs in Firefox. And, while there are a ton of these extensions out there (and everyone has their favorites), we’ve tried to keep our list to well-regarded extensions without reported privacy issues.

  • Marker Is A Powerful Gtk3 Markdown Editor

    Marker is a free and open source GTK3 Markdown editor designed with the Gnome desktop in mind. While the application is still in early development, it already includes most of the things you'd need in a Markdown editor.

  • How I use Wireshark

    Wireshark has a TON of features and I definitely only use a small fraction of its features. The 5 tricks I’ve described here are probably 95% of what I use Wireshark for – you only need to know a little Wireshark to start using it to debug networking issues!

  • PacVim – A Game That Teaches You Vim Commands

    Although Vim (short for VI Improved) is a popular text editor on Linux systems, people still find it hard to learn, it has a steep learning curve especially the advanced features; a lot of Linux newbies are literally afraid of learning this powerful and highly recommended text editor.

    On the other hand, so much effort has been directed by the Tecmint and Linux community towards making Vim easy to learn; from creating Vim tutorials, sharing useful Vim usage tricks and tips, to developing interactive learning web-apps and command-line games such as PacVim.


  • Testbit is going static

    I’ve always felt at odds with the fact that I’m not able to use the same facilities for blog post creation as for programming. Looking back at my old posts, I’ve actually started out in 2005 with a command line tool that allowed me to easily upload simple text passages for planet aggregation.

    I later started running my own Wordpress instance with full fledged online editing which turned out to be fairly entertaining in the beginning. But I never went back to produce posts as frequently as was the case when I had my command line tool.

    These days, any content I’m working on needs to be tracked in a local Git repository. I want to diff, merge, rebase changes and edit things in-place in Emacs and a terminal. Not being able to utilize my familiar editing environment has really thwarted my efforts to blog even semi-regularly.

    For the above and a plethora of other reasons, I’ve long wanted to move away from venerable Wordpress and any kind of dynamic website management, that includes the Mediawiki instance that used to be hosted on Testbit. Both served a role at some point, but lately the Wiki became more of an archive for old works and the blog felt more and more like a maintenance burden and writing block.

  • Segregating views

    For a long time now Games has had a very basic UI, displaying only a collection of games. Having already had added the developer key to Games, I chose to add a developer view, displaying collection of games by developer. Along with the developer view a platform view was also added to display collection of games by platforms. A GtkStackSwitcher was added to the header bat to easily navigate between these views.

View GIFs on the Command Line (Cos Why Not, Right?)

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Not going to lie: there’s a great satisfaction in deploying a well-timed GIF as a mic-drop moment or snark-tastic comeback.

But while these pithy animated clips make sense on service like WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter and Reddit, is the humble terminal sorely in need of them?

Debatable, but a Google dev has gone and done it anyway, releasing GIF for CLI to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Gif.

How does the tool work? How is it possible to get colorful rich animations display in the terminal?

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A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

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Though it may not have managed to bring Linux to the desktop in any meaningful sense, 4 July marks 25 years since the first stable release of not-a-Windows-emulator, Wine.

Created in 1993 as a way of inflicting Windows 3.1 applications on the then positively pristine Linux world (mastermind Linus Torvalds had only just emitted the first version of the open-source operating system in 1991), Wine was originally envisaged as a way users could leave Windows behind without abandoning their favourite apps.

Unlike a traditional emulator, Wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator) translates Windows API calls to POSIX calls on the fly, meaning that applications could run on the Linux desktop without requiring the usual technical paraphernalia associated with emulation. Unlike a virtual machine solution, users also do not require a licence to access Windows-based application goodness.

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Comparing Twine and Ren'Py for creating interactive fiction

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Any experienced technology educator knows engagement and motivation are key to a student's learning. Of the many techniques for stimulating engagement and motivation among learners, storytelling and game creation have good track records of success, and writing interactive fiction is a great way to combine both of those techniques.

Interactive fiction has a respectable history in computing, stretching back to the text-only adventure games of the early 1980s, and it's enjoyed a new popularity recently. There are many technology tools that can be used for writing interactive fiction, but the two that will be considered here, Twine and Ren'Py, are ideal for the task. Each has different strengths that make it more attractive for particular types of projects.

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5 Best Terminal Emulators Built With Web Technologies

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One of the reasons why I became hooked on Linux was the command line. The command line offers advantages day-to-day because of things like its scalability, scriptability, simple design, and simple interface. At the command line, there’s so much power at my fingertips. Its continuing flexibility and power remain big draws to this day.

It’s true that some people consider the command line to be arcane and obsolete. They prefer graphical interfaces. And for non-technical people and beginners, few dispute good graphical user interfaces make life easier. But who doesn’t want the best of both worlds?

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Also: Version 14 Of The D-Bus Message Broker Released

Admin and Command Line Tools

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  • 10 killer tools for the admin in a hurry

    Administering networks and systems can get very stressful when the workload piles up. Nobody really appreciates how long anything takes, and everyone wants their specific thing done yesterday.

    So it's no wonder so many of us are drawn to the open source spirit of figuring out what works and sharing it with everyone. Because, when deadlines are looming, and there just aren't enough hours in the day, it really helps if you can just find free answers you can implement immediately.

    So, without further ado, here's my Swiss Army Knife of stuff to get you out of the office before dinner time.

  • DomTerm – A terminal Emulator and Console for Linux
  • cTOP – A Command Line Based Linux Containers Monitoring Tool

    Docker is a software that allows operating-system-level virtualization also known as containerization.

    It uses the resource isolation features of the Linux kernel such as cgroups and kernel namespaces, and others to allows independent containers to run within a single Linux instance.

    Docker provides a way to run applications securely isolated in a container, packaged with all its dependencies and libraries.

    Recent days Linux containers are famous, even most of us already working on it and few of us start learning about it.

    We have already covered article about the famous GUI (Graphical User Interface) tools such as Portainer & Rancher. This will help us to manage containers through GUI.

Instantly Share Terminal Session Using Tmate

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Open source tool tmate allows you to easily share SSH sessions. If you want to share terminal session, tmate is the best option. Above all, it works with tmux.
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Software: BusyBox, RoundCube Next, HarfBuzz, Atelier, IRI RowGen

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  • SUSE Acquired by EQT, Google Becomes Newest Platinum Member of The Linux Foundation, MintBox Mini 2 Launches and More

    BusyBox version 1.29.0 has just been released. According to post on the Appuals site, "This new release might end up seeing more serious use as part of boxed network routing solutions. For instance, companies that manufacture a Linux-based router that doesn't have a proper GNU userspace could include BusyBox with it and therefore provide a useful coding environment."

  • In 2018, RoundCube Next Remains Dead In The Water

    Three years after Kolab Systems raised more than $100k USD to develop "RoundCube Next" as a next-generation mail and communication platform, there is little to show for it and no active development.

    A Phoronix reader who was one of the backers helping to create the $103,451 war chest for the Swiss company to "create the future of email", there has been seemingly no progress now half-way through 2018 for making RoundCube Next a reality. By late 2016 there were already signs of problems with being well behind schedule and our last post about RoundCube Next was in April of last year when it was a silent 2017. Since then, there's been next to no progress on this next-generation RoundCube from Kolab Systems.

  • HarfBuzz Now Supports Dfonts

    HarfBuzz is the open-source text shaping library that supports various font technologies and is used by a variety of toolkits and more. The latest addition for HarfBuzz is supporting Dfonts, as is common to macOS systems.

  • Atelier hits Flatpak

    I know that I’ve been quiet here for a few months now, but you know that from time to time life get’s crazy and you can’t do much about and just go with the flow.

    A while ago, our developer Chris Rizzitello made a script to build AtCore and its Test Client for Flatpak inside KDE Apps structure, you can find it using Discover:

  • IRI upgrades its flagship data transformation tool, marking 40 years of innovation

    All jobs run on Unix, Linux, and Windows through CoSort's DML and DDL program, SortCL. SortCL is also the foundation of the IRI FieldShield data masking; IRI NextForm data migration and IRI RowGen test data generation products; and, the IRI Voracity data management platform.

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Graphics: Intel and AMD Developments

  • Intel Has Quietly Been Working On A New Gallium3D Driver Being Called "Iris"
    After resisting Gallium3D for the past decade with a preference on continuing to maintain their "i965" Mesa classic driver and all they've invested into its compiler stack and more, it seems times are changing as the open-source Intel team has been starting up development of a modern Gallium3D driver. This is not to be confused with the former i915g or i965g efforts from about a decade ago that were the experiments of Tungsten/LunarG for driver research/experimentation purposes or in the case of i915g to handle some features with LLVM in software, but this is a modern Gallium3D driver targeting their current hardware.
  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Linux Graphics Driver Released with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and RHEL / CentOS Support
    The long awaited AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 driver update for the AMD Linux graphics driver package has finally been released, with a driver installation option for both “all open” and closed / proprietary driver modules. What is great about this driver package update is that it is supported on the latest Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS as well as Ubuntu 16.04.5, and RHEL / CentOS 6.10 and 7.5 respectively for their Enterprise Linux support targets.
  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Released With Ubuntu 18.04.1 Support & WattMan-Like Functionality
    AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 is now available as the long desired update to this official AMD Linux graphics driver package that consists of the driver installation option for both the "all-open" and closed/proprietary driver modules. Notable to the AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 release is that Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS is now supported as well as Ubuntu 16.04.5. Additionally, RHEL/CentOS 6.10 and 7.5 release series round out their enterprise Linux support targets.

Wine 3.14 Released

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 3.14 is now available.
  • Wine 3.14 Adds DXTn Texture Decompression, Other Improvements
    Due to the summer holidays it's been four weeks since Wine 3.13 but it has now been succeeded by Wine 3.14 as the newest feature release. Wine 3.14 adds support for DXTn texture decompression, deferral support for MSI install actions, Japanese keyboard support within DirectInput, improvements to the standard task dialog, more Shell32 icons, and a total of 36 bug fixes. Those bug fixes range from Adobe CS4 issues to problems with Wargaming, Chromium, Guild Wars, Civilization V, Chaos League, and other software.
  • Grab a glass as Wine 3.14 is out today with DXTn texture decompression support and plenty of fixes
    The latest and greatest in fine Wine [Official Site] is out today with Wine 3.14 filled with features and the usual bug fixes including support for DXTn texture decompression

Android Leftovers

Zephyr Project Embraces RISC-V with New Members and Expanded Board Support

The Linux Foundation’s Zephyr Project, which is developing the open source Zephyr real-time operating system (RTOS) for microcontrollers, announced six new members, including RISC-V members Antmicro and SiFive. The project also announced expanded support for developer boards. Zephyr is now certified to run 100 boards spanning ARM, x86, ARC, NIOS II, XTENSA, and RISCV32 architectures. Antmicro, SiFive, and DeviceTone, which makes IoT-savvy smart clients, have signed up as Silver members, joining Oticon,, Synopsys, and Texas Instruments. The other three new members -- Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, The Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), and Northeastern University – have joined the Vancouver Hack Space as Associate members. Read more