Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Friday, September 29, 2017

GNU/Linux is for everyone.

GNU/Linux is the GNU operating system with Linux kernel. GNU/Linux distributions are highly customizable. You can completely change the look and feel and adjust nearly every part of it so that it works exactly as you want it to. You will find tons of Linux distribution catered for a different set of needs. So, you can choose to install any of the available distros according to your requirements. For example, there are distributions for hackers, there are Linux distributions for programmers, there are distributions for extremely old computers. There is a GNU/Linux distribution for everyone.

They support the widest possible range of PC hardware, including sound cards, video cards & monitors, laser & dot-matrix printers. Ethernet network cards, and other specified peripherals. It has a great set of applications which for most people provide all the features you could need. For example, the LibreOffice suite is great for 99.9% of the average person's needs. The Rhythmbox audio player is better than anything Windows offers, VLC is a great video player, the Chrome browser is available, Evolution is a great email client and GIMP is a brilliant image editor.

It is hard choosing a distribution to start with. As there are hundreds of GNU/Linux distributions so it might always be a confusing part. In this article, I'll walk you through a list of 4 Best Linux distributions for new Linux users. It is just not just for geeks or developers. GNU/Linux is for everyone. As I always say, It runs Google, Facebook, Amazon, it can surely run your home computer right?

Zorin OS
Manjaro Linux
Knoppix live DVD

Monday, September 25, 2017

Antivirus for GNU/Linux distributions.

Comodo Antivirus is free and powerful email server/anti-virus software for the Linux-based operating system. It works with a wide range of GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Fedora, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, openSUSE Linux, and CentOS, all of which are officially supported.

It has no Web-based protection against malicious and fraudulent URLs but all four major web browsers Safari, Firefox, Chromium, and Chrome offer fraudulent site protection.

Both 32 and 64-bit computer platforms are supported. This application requires a computer with a CPU running at 2 GHz, at least 2 GB of RAM, and at least 40 GB of free disk space.

Friday, September 22, 2017

K3b (KDE Burn Baby Burn)

K3b is the default burning program for the KDE desktop environment. It is an open source CD burning application developed for Linux by Sebastian Trüg and the K3b developer team.

It includes support for burning CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs, copy locked DVD-Video discs, 1:1 copy of CD, DVD, and Blu-ray media, rip Audio-CDs to standard digital audio file formats, CDDB support, as well as burning of ISO, CUE, and Cdrdao images.

Like say Nero or Roxio, K3b gives you a complete burning program for the Linux platform. It lumps together several tools that you probably get only by bouncing among two or three other burning tools.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


LibreOffice is a very feature-rich free MS Office alternative suite without an Internet connection.  It is the default office suite in the majority of Linux and is developed under GNU’s LGPLv3 and the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). It suitable for government and other security-conscious offices. opens almost any legacy document.

I've been using LibreOffice ever since it forked from OpenOffice. It's one of the best office suites out there. For the most part, LibreOffice and Microsoft Office have the same suite of software except Outlook. So there is no email client built in. If you need Outlook or an equivalent, like Evolution which combines e-mail, a calendar, and an address book.

Windows 10 PCs come with a trial of Microsoft Office installed, but this will expire, leaving you with no office suite. However, LibreOffice for Windows is also free for creating text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations which you can then save in Microsoft Office formats. With LibreOffice, you get nearly all everything of Microsoft Office without the hefty price tag.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The GNU+Linux ready SFF PC

If you're thinking about building your own S.F.F (small form factor) system, keep in mind that every compact case is unique, so no single build guide can tell you exactly how certain components will fit together in that case. S.F.F cases often arrange components in a way that makes it difficult to install otherwise standard PC parts.

I finally got my hands on an AM4 mini ITX motherboard. It’s the Gigabyte AB350N-GAMING WiFi which is using AMD's B350 chipset. The Gigabyte AB350N-GAMING WiFi supports AMD's line-up of AMD AM4 processors, provides 2 x DDR4 DIMM slots up to DDR4-3200 supported by its BIOS, Realtek ALC1220 audio, Gigabit Ethernet, a rear M.2 Socket 3 connector, USB 3.1 Gen 1 / Gen 2 Type-A ports, and onboard 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.2. So if you’re looking to build a Kodi/HTPC GNU/Linux media box for the living room or just want a small form factor PC that can fit anywhere and do almost anything, this mini-ITX motherboard offers a lot of functionality for its small size.

Silver Stone Raven RVZ03

Now the Silver Stone case is the crown jewel of this build. The Silver Stone Raven RVZ03 chassis is a small enclosure with more space inside than one would think. Now, this case doesn't offer enough space to mount a graphics card perpendicular from the motherboard But Silver Stone did engineer a riser bracket that lets you place the graphics card parallel to the motherboard. They say this case has space for full-length graphics cards up to 13" long and up to 5.88" thick. So in this build, I have worked hard to put together a comprehensive set of parts that fit together nicely. 
Note: This is not a comprehensive set of step-by-step assembly guide.
All of my tests with this mini-ITX motherboard have been working in conjunction with:
  • AMD Ryzen 3 1200
  • GIGABYTE Radeon RX 560 (GV-RX560OC-2GD)
  • Viper Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4 (PVE48G240C5KRD) 
  • Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB (ST2000LX001)
  • EVGA 500 BQ, 80+ BRONZE 500W, Semi-Modular (110-BQ-0500-K1) (make sure the switch is in the “ON” position)
  • SST SilverStone Technology Slim Computer Case (RVZ03B)
  • 1 Silverstone Tek Professional Slim 120mm Fan  (FW121 or FN123) (an optional third fan in the graphics card bay.)
Test distros are in no special order

  • Fedora 26 comes with the latest Gnome 3.24 Portland Desktop Environment. If GNOME is not for you, there is KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE, LXDE and the LXQT, which is the next-generation version of LXDE, built using the Qt framework. And it ships with is using the Linux 4.11 kernel and Mesa 17.1.4
  • Ubuntu artful 17.10 beta with GNOME Shell Theme and Mesa 17.2. The artful kernel is now based on Linux 4.11 but they intend to ship 4.13 kernel for the Ubuntu 17.10 October release.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed does not really have a default desktop. Users of can choose several desktops environments GUIs like GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, LXQt, and Xfce. Tumbleweed ships with Linux kernel 4.12.11, Mesa 17.2.0.

Note: Due to the Linux kernel being updated very frequently, users who rely on proprietary graphic drivers should not use the Tumbleweed.

Note: The ATI/AMD free open software drivers included by default should work very well for most.

Note: The onboard sound, WiFi, Bluetooth, LAN and USB3 ports are all functional and working under Linux 4.12 and Mesa 17.2 with the Gigabyte AB350N-GAMING WiFi 
Note: If you get the AMD A12-9800, no graphics card is needed. This CPU has the Integrated Graphics (Radeon R7) built in.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Play MP3, MP4 and other media files in Ubuntu.

Legal issues stop Ubuntu from being able to play MP3, MP4, and other media files out of the box.

Ubuntu can play your audio and video files, you just have to tell it to do so.

Durning installation check (tick) the ‘Enable Restricted Formats‘ box during installation. This will install all the required multi media codecs automatically, along with the OS itself.

If it wasn't done during installation (or upgrade from an earlier release) you can install the multimedia codecs manually via terminal.

Note: Using the sudo command can result in severe system damage. Read all instructions and confirm you understand before executing any commands. Make sure you type commands correctly, or copy and paste the entire code. Your first click will highlight all the code, or you can double click in the code area to do it again.

open up a terminal and run the following command:sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

If you are using Kubuntu: sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Xubuntu: sudo apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Lubuntu: sudo apt-get install lubuntu-restricted-extras

In order to play DVDs, you need to install libdvdcss by entering the following in a terminal: sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Year XII of the rebel said....

On Saturday, September 10, 2005, I made my first post. My last post was September 10, 2012. Yes, it’s been a long break. 5 years. I've used Linux for over 14 years, and Linux has been my only OS for over 8 years. I typically run Linux Mint, OpenSuse Tumbleweed and Ubuntu with Gnome or Cinnamon. My favorite distro of all time was Lindows/Linspire, RIP August 2001-October 2007.

If you’re seeing this site for the first time, this is not a place just for geeks. It’s for those who like computers or computer software. I've been working with computers for a little while. In that time I've used a variety of environments. It is not my intent to debate the Open source development methodology versus the free software social movement. Also, this site is NOT anti-Microsoft or anti-Windows.

Gnu is freely available, and most are not required to register their copies with any central authority, so it is very difficult to know how many people use Linux to date. It could be as many as five million users.

For the last 2 years, I have been using OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Plasma Desktop (KDE). OpenSUSE combines the power, stability, and cost-savings of Gnu with a familiar, easy-to-use Plasma Desktop environment. It came with everything I needed to browse the Internet, instant message, e-mail, and share and write documents, works with digital photos, listens to music, play games and much more. Tumbleweed completely solves the problem of outdated software through the rolling release model, but not at the expense of stability or by creating a high risk of breakage after updates. However, OpenSUSE's model of providing timely software is large download when there are a large number of updated packages.

Note: That was not a review of openSUSE

The world of Linux is filled with free software some cool, some very forgettable. Yet millions of people around the world including governments are using free software on their computers. The main reason is the corporations behind proprietary software will often spy on you and restrict you. Our computers control much of our personal information and daily activities.  Proprietary software can represent a danger to a free society. We must fight any and all attempts of university administrations, to force faculty and students to use non-free/proprietary software or to use university resources to promote that kind of software.

Note: I’m not telling people to never use proprietary software. Only what they’re risking by doing so.

I should have a lot more to say after five years. I will have a lot more to say in the coming days.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The return of the One Percenter.

The development of GNU, started in January 1984, and is known as the GNU Project. GNU is an operating system that is free software as it respects user’s freedom. The development of GNU made it possible to use a computer without software that would take away your freedom. On 14 March 1994, Linux 1.0.0 was released, with 176,250 lines of code. As 2017 version 4.12 has 24,170,860 lines of code.

Today there are many different variants of the GNU+Linux system (typicality called “distros”). And yes many of them include non-free software. Richard Stallman once wrote “If you run a nonfree program on your computer, it denies your freedom” he also wrote “If you recommend that others run the nonfree program, or lead them to do so, you're leading them to give up their freedom.”  I will say that I do not recommend using non-free/proprietary apps. Like smoking, it is very bad for your health. However some applications and drivers require firmware to function, and sometimes that firmware is distributed only in object code form, under a nonfree license.

I am not playing both sides. I just don't believe in hiding information from people because I don't feel that is true freedom. I believe in freedom of choice, even if it’s a bad choice. Using non-free software does directly translate into a loss of control over your computer. No question. We must fight any and all attempts of university administrations, to force faculty and students to use non-free software or to use university resources to promote that kind of software. Many proprietary software apps that people use can easily be replaced by free alternatives. Instead of Microsoft Office, use LibreOffice. Instead of Microsoft Windows or MacOS, use a GNU/Linux variant such as Trisquel, Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre or Debian.
It is not my intent to debate the Open source development methodology versus the free software social movement. Other sites do a much better job of that. I'm like Switzerland. I'm just here to pass along information.

Soon I will be talking about SteamOS, which is a Linux-based operating system developed by Valve. SteamOS is Valve's specialized gaming operating system. It's optimized for PC gaming but doesn't run some of the most popular PC games. I will show you  what parts are the best for SteamOS. For these builds, I am using the following components.

Note: I have no priceing for components because they change too often.

Note: Components in red are mandatory.

Full ATX build 
ASRock AB350 Pro4 (BIOS 2.60  6/9/2017) 
G.SKILL Flare X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) (F4-3200C14D-16GFX)

  • Cooler Master N400 NSE-400-KKN2 N-Series Mid Tower Computer Case
  • EVGA 650 B3, 80 Plus BRONZE 650W, Fully Modular PSU
  • AMD RYZEN 7 1700 8-Core 3.0 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo) Socket AM4 65W  EVGA
  • 1050 2GD5/SC Samsung 850 EVO 500Gb 2.5 SSD (MZ 75E500B)
  •  + WB Blue 1TB SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM (WD 10EZEX) 

Full MATX build

ASRock AB350M Pro4  (BIOS 3.00  7/18/2017)  
Patriot Viper Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4 2400MHz  (PVE48G240C5KRD)

  • AMD RYZEN 5 1600 6-Core 3.2 GHz (3.6 GHz Turbo) Socket AM4 65W
  • Or AMD RYZEN 3 1200 4-Core 3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz Turbo) Socket AM4 65W
  • EVGA 450 B3, 80 Plus BRONZE 450W, Fully Modular 
  • MSI N750TI TF 2GD5/OC
  • Seagate 2TB Fire Cuba Gaming SSHD 7200 RPM
  •  Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3 Computer Case (MCW-L3S2-KN5N) 

Note: The Patriot Viper Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) and G.SKILL Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) will work in either Ryzen MotherBoard.

Note: Many are seeing the segmentation faults and/or crashes when running concurrent compilation loads on Zen CPUs.  I haven't encountered the issue on my Ryzen Linux boxes. However it seems there are a number of Ryzen Linux users who are facing problems.

The current system hardware requirements for default SteamOS installations include: 

• Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor. 
• 4 GB (or more) RAM.   
• 200 GB or larger hard disk.  
• NVIDIA (Fermi graphics cards or newer), Intel, or AMD graphics card (Radeon HD 5XXX or newer)   
• UEFI boot support.