Penguin Platform

By “Free John” Kennedy, Advisor, Regions 3 and 6/7.  

LIBREOFFICE 6.1 RELEASED WITH ICONS THAT MAKE IT MORE WINDOWS-LIKE – On Thursday, August 9, The Document Foundation announced LibreOffice 6.1 for Microsoft’s Windows operating system and macOS. This release comes with a long list of new features and improvements and this is the second major update of the LibreOffice 6 series introduced in early 2018.

In a blog post, the company says that the new features have been developed by a large community of developers. These features include revamped image handling which is faster and smoother than before as well as icons that make it have more of Windows-like feel. Read more of this BleepingComputer article at:

LINUX SHUTDOWN COMMANDThis Linuxize tutorial will show you how to use the shutdown utility through practical examples and detailed explanations of the most common shutdown options.

CHOOSING A RASPBERRY PI OS? HERE’S THE DEFINITIVE LISTThis list rounds up the free systems that are available, from easy-to-use desktop systems aimed at novice users to powerful systems designed for those familiar with the command line. Get all the details from TechRepublic:

LINUX WITH EDUCATION – BEST FREE EDUCATION APPSIn 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. From LinuxLinks:

MOUNTING GOOGLE DRIVE ON XFCE OR MATE DESKTOPS (UBUNTU, LINUX MINT) – Gnome offers an easy way to access your Google Drive files from your Linux desktop. But what about other desktop environments? There are ways of mounting Google Drive on any desktop environment, and this Linux Uprising article includes two  such options: installing and using Gnome Settings (Control Center) and Gnome Online Accounts in other desktop environments, like Xfce or MATE, or using Google Drive OCamlFUSE, a tool that achieves something like Gnome Online accounts, but without all the Gnome dependencies. Here’s how:

HOW TO INSTALL UFW AND USE IT TO SET UP A BASIC FIREWALL – UFW basics including UFW installation and setting up a basic firewall, follow this LinuxConfig tutorial:

HOW TO SCHEDULE FILE BACKUPS TO GOOGLE DRIVE ON UBUNTU – The Deja Dup backup tool is preinstalled on the Ubuntu desktop by default — but like many, Joey Sneddon,, didn’t use it.

Or rather he didn’t, not until this week when he learned that Deja Dup can backup files to Google Drive automatically.

Simple, zero-fuss backups, at that.

Thanks to some spiffy GNOME Online Accounts integration Deja Dup can schedule file, folder and even entire system backups directly to Google Drive.

These file backups can happen as often/when you like, as well as run automatically in the background. You can also restore file backups from Google Drive to your local system.

If this handy backup feature sounds like something you want to use, learn how at this OMG!Ubuntu! web page:

A MAJOR GNOME ICON REDESIGN IS GETTING UNDERWAY – Your favourite GNOME applications will soon have dramatically different icons.

GNOME devs are redesigning the default icons for all GNOME core apps as part a wider overhaul of GNOME design guidelines.

The move hope to make it easier (and less effort) for app developers to provide high-quality and useful icons for their software on the GNOME desktop. Read more at this OMG!Ubuntu! web page:

A FORBES WRITER SPENT 2 WEEKS USING UBUNTU, THIS IS WHAT HE THOUGHT… Guy ditches Windows for Ubuntu – and you WILL believe what happens next! It’s a tale as old as time: laptop user gets frustrated by Windows, tries Ubuntu, falls in love, and computes happily ever after…

After two decades of relying on Windows a tech contributor decided it was time for the nuclear option…

A classic love story — one Hollywood has yet to use as source material for a major motion picture/musical starring Robert Downey Jr (It seems he’s in everything).

The latest case in point? That comes courtesy of online magazine and its tech contributor Jason Evangelho.

Jason shares his experience of using Ubuntu for a solid fortnight on a swanky Dell XPS 13 laptop. He says he was spurred into “ditching” Windows by yet another ill-timed and infuriating wait while the OS opted to install updates.

“After two decades of relying on Windows I finally decided it was time for the nuclear option,” he writes. Read more of this OMG!Ubuntu! article:

GET MOJAVE’S DYNAMIC WALLPAPER IN WINDOWS AND LINUX RIGHT NOW (WHILE MAC USERS WAIT UNTIL FALL) – Mojave, the new version of macOS coming out this fall, features a desert wallpaper that subtly changes throughout the day, reflecting the sunrise and sunset where you live. Windows and Linux users can have this feature right now, even though macOS users must wait until the fall. Life isn’t fair.

Enjoy the wallpaper, and the subtle switches throughout the day. Be sure to tell your Mac using friends how great not waiting feels. Read how to install the wallpaper at this How-To Geek post:

LINUX HOW-TOS – Many advanced computer DIY projects rely on Linux to get the job done. Lifewire explores all the ways Linux can light up your life. Have fun clicking and learning the topics on this How-To page:

MAKE UBUNTU LOOK LIKE MACOS MOJAVE’S DARK MODE – If you’re a Linux user who likes the look of the dark mode coming in macOS Mojave, you’re in luck: there’s a GTK theme just for you. The theme is available on alongside several other macOS inspired themes. You’re looking for the one titled McOS-MJV-Dark-mode, but feel free to download more if you think you might want to switch it up later. How-To Geek thanks Joey Sneddon at OMG Ubuntu for pointing this theme out to us. It’s not a perfect match for Mojave’s dark mode, but it’s a lot better than the terrible Windows Dark Mode. Read more of this How-To Geek post at:

SUPERCOMPUTERS: ALL LINUX, ALL THE TIMEThe latest TOP500 Supercomputer list is out. What’s not surprising is that Linux runs on every one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. What is surprising is that GPUs, not CPUs, now power most of supercomputers’ speed. Read the rest of the article at ZDNet:

HOW RED HAT MORPHED FROM LINUX PIONEER INTO CLOUD-COMPUTING PLAYERThink of Red Hat (RHT) as a technology company that has reinvented itself not just once, but twice in 15 years. Red Hat’s reinvention is tied to the rise of cloud computing. Like many traditional suppliers of information technology, it has been pressured to adapt. Read more at this Investor’s Business Daily article:

HOW TO OPEN FILES AND FOLDERS AS ADMINISTRATOR IN NAUTILUS IN UBUNTU 17.10 AND 18.04In Nautilus on Ubuntu, you can see all the files and folders on your system. Sometimes you might want to edit basic file configurations like settings for programs. But there are some system files and folders that you can’t open and edit from Nautilus unless you open Nautilus as Administrator. Today we’ll show you how to add two options to the right-click menu that will allow you to open folders and edit files as administrator. Read more of this groovyPost article at:

HOW TO RESET LOST ADMINISTRATOR PASSWORD IN UBUNTU OR LINUX MINTIf you forgot the administrator account password for your Ubuntu or Linux Mint system, don’t worry, it’s quite easy to set a new password and you don’t need any extra tools to do it. Get the steps from Linux Uprising:

OVERCLOCKING RASPBERRY PI: HOW TO DO IT AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWThe Raspberry Pi 3 is a great little computer, far more powerful than the models before it. But did you know you can squeeze even more power out of it? Here’s how to overclock your Raspberry Pi and push it further than you ever imagined!

HOW TO INSTALL WINDOWS 10 IN A VM ON A LINUX MACHINELearn how to install Windows 10 on your Linux machine using the bundled license key on preassembled systems and get tips on how to reduce the amount of system resources Windows uses. Get the steps from TechRepublic:

DOES LINUX NEED ANTIVIRUS? – Linux has long been touted as an extremely safe platform, but should users also run antivirus software? Here’s what you need to know.

LINUX AND OPEN-SOURCE JOBS ARE IN MORE DEMAND THAN EVER – Do you want a tech job? Then, it’s time to move away from Windows and head toward Linux and open source. According to The Linux Foundation and Dice’s 2018 Open Source Jobs Report, 87 percent of hiring managers are having trouble finding open-source talent, while hiring open-source talent is now a priority for 83 percent of employers.

10 APPLICATIONS EVERY LINUX USING MUSICIAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT – When it comes to creativity, people are always assuming that a Mac is best, even in today’s Windows-centric ecosystem. As a result, so few people know about the diverse landscape of Linux-based tools and suites available, most of which for free. Learn about the 10 Apps for Linux Musicians can use in 2018 at FossBytes:

TIMEKPR REVIVED: EASY TO USE PARENTAL CONTROL SOFTWARE FOR UBUNTU – If you’re looking for an easy to use tool with a graphical user interface for parental controls for Ubuntu, it’s recommend you give Timekpr Revived a try. Using Timekpr Revived, you can control the computer usage for certain user accounts by setting some predefined access rules. Get details here:

LINUX RUNNING TOO SLOW? HERE’S HOW TO FIND THE CAUSE – Have you ever wondered why your Linux computer is running slow these days? Despite high transmission speed and powerful hardware, it still takes forever in executing or processing services or applications. Your Linux computer seems to be slow because of some of the following reasons:

PC GAMING ON LINUX: 7 COMMON QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ANSWERED – You use a Windows PC, but you’ve been thinking about trying out Linux. The only problem: no games. After all, you can’t play games on Linux, right? Wrong! Anything you can do with a Windows computer, you can do with Linux. That includes watching and editing movies, playing local and streamed music, standard browsing and office tasks… and yes, even gaming.

GETTING STARTED WITH LINUX AND UBUNTU – You’ve heard about Linux, but it’s only recently that you realized this free and open source operating system is something that you could actually use. It’s not hard to install, it has plenty of great apps, and it extends the life of your computers. These days, Linux even makes for a decent way to play games. You get this. You don’t need to be sold on Linux, you just want someone to hold your hand as you get started. This MakeUseOf article will help:

LINUX GETS LOUD – Linux is ready for prime time when it comes to music production. New offerings from Linux audio developers are pushing creative and technical boundaries. And, with the maturity of the Linux desktop and growth of standards-based hardware setups, making music with Linux has never been easier. Joshua Curry tells us more in Linux Journal:

LIBREOFFICE 6 REVIEW: THE OPEN-SOURCE FAVORITE GETS AN UPDATE – The free and open source suite LibreOffice is loved by many for its excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office formats including the newer DOCX, PPT, and PPTX files. LibreOffice 6, its first major update in a couple years, continues that tradition but redesigns the UI and adds productivity improvements to its “big three” programs—Writer, Calc, and Impress. Read about the new features in this PC World article:

3 JOURNALING APPLICATIONS FOR THE LINUX DESKTOPKeeping a journal, even irregularly, can have many benefits. It’s not only therapeutic and cathartic, it’s also a good record of where you are and where you’ve been. It can help show your progress in life and remind you of what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong. No matter what your reasons are for keeping a journal or a diary, there are a variety of ways in which to do that. There are several very flexible and very useful journaling tools for the Linux desktop. Let’s look at three of them at this web page:

6 BEST CCLEANER ALTERNATIVES FOR UBUNTUA common category of software you will find on many Windows PCs are system optimizers and cleaners. One such application is CCleaner, a powerful and popular Windows PC cleaner which scans for and deletes unwanted files, private information such as browsing cache and history, freeing up space and guarding your privacy and more. Unfortunately, there is no CCleaner release for Linux systems, so if you were using it on Windows and made a switch to Ubuntu Linux (one of the recommended distros for Linux beginners), you are probably wondering which software to use for the same purpose on your new platform. Check out your options reading this TechMint article:

CREATE BOOTABLE USB DRIVES FROM WINDOWS WITH RUFUS (VERSION 3.0 RELEASED)Rufus can be used not only to create bootable Windows drives from ISO files or disk images, but also create bootable Linux USB drives from Windows, format USB drives, and perform bad blocks checks. And it’s free open source software. Get the instructions from Linux Uprising:

THE BEST LINUX DISTROS OF 2018If you can’t stand the lackluster security of a Windows computer, but macOS is much too shallow, allow us to introduce you to Linux. It is, quite simply, the ultimate in open source software. The OS started out as being exclusive to regular x86 desktop PCs but has since found its way into everything from Android phones to Google Chromebooks. This guide, from TechRadarPeo, focuses on picking out the very best distros overall. Review it re:

CHOOSING THE BEST LINUX DISTRO FOR DESKTOP 2018And another point of view. Searching for the best Linux distro (distribution)? This article will probably be most useful to those who don’t know what /etc/fstab is used for. Also, this post does not cover Linux server distributions, but instead focuses on Linux desktop distributions. One great way to increase your familiarity with Linux servers is to run Linux on your laptop and/or workstation. Get another person’s viewpoint/recommendation at this Hayden James blog post:

HOW TO ADD A SHOW DESKTOP ICON TO UBUNTU DOCK / DASH TO DOCKIf you’re a Gnome Shell user and you’re missing having a Show Desktop icon on your dock to quickly show / hide all open windows, here’s a script to achieve this with the Ubuntu Dock, Dash to Dock, or any dock you may be using. Full instructions on Linux Uprising at this web page:

COPYING AND RENAMING FILES ON LINUXThere’s more to copying and renaming files on Linux than cp and mv. Try some commands and strategies that might surprise you and save you some time. Linux users have for many decades been using simple cp and mv commands to copy and rename files. These commands are some of the first that most of us learned and are used every day by possibly millions of people. But there are other techniques, handy variations, and another command for renaming files that offers some unique options. Learn what these are from NetworkWorld:

HOW TO CUSTOMIZE THE GNOME SHELL IN UBUNTU USING EXTENSIONSStarting with Ubuntu 17.10, the GNOME 3 desktop is the default. There are many new features in Ubuntu 18.04, and you can even extend the functionality of the Ubuntu desktop with GNOME shell extensions. These extensions are add-ons for the GNOME desktop that either add new functionality or modify existing functionality to expand it, a bit like browser add-ons. Read more of this MakeUseOf article to  find different ways to install and enable GNOME Shell extensions, how to remove extensions, and how to get notified of extension updates:

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LINUX DISTRO FOR YOUR NEEDSThere are hundreds of Linux distributions and according to some people there are too many. For people new to Linux, however, it is tricky to know which Linux distro is best for them. This guide goes through the top Linux distros as listed at and gives a short description of each one as well as a table showing how easy they are to install, who they are for, level of expertise required and the desktop environment that they use. Find your Linux at this Lifewire article:

DEBIAN-GOODIES – A SET OF USEFUL UTILITIES FOR DEBIAN AND UBUNTU USERS – Are you using a Debian-based system? Great! I am here today with good news for you. Say hello to “Debian-goodies”, a collection of useful utilities for Debian-based systems, like Ubuntu, Linux Mint. These set of utilities provides some additional useful commands which are not available by default in the Debian-based systems. To find out what these utilities are, check this article from OSTechNix at:

22 ESSENTIAL LINUX SECURITY COMMANDSIf you’re looking after the security of Linux systems, these are the commands you must know. There are many aspects to security on Linux systems – from setting up accounts to ensuring that legitimate users have no more privilege than they need to do their jobs. This is a look at some of the most essential security commands for day-to-day work on Linux systems. Read the full article at NetworkWorld:

THE BEST LINUX DISTROS FOR EVERY KIND OF USERThere are Linux distributions (distros) for every niche and need. The best and most suitable Linux operating system for you depends on your specific needs and hardware. So, what’s the best Linux distro for you?  Read this article from MakeUseOf to find out:

FEDORA 28 COMES WITH NEW SOFTWARE OPTIONS – On May 1, the Fedora Project announced the general availability of Fedora 28, which introduces a new software delivery system based on a modular repository. The new system provides alternative versions of the software and updates that come with the default release. Find out more from LinixInsider:

A QUICK LOOK AT WHAT’S COMING TO KDE CONNECTKDE Connect is a project that helps integrating Android devices with Linux desktops, allowing you to receive phone notifications on your Linux desktop, easily transfer files between Android devices and a desktop, use your phone as a desktop remote control, synchronize the clipboard across devices, and more.

While it’s created for KDE / Plasma desktop, KDE Connect works on any desktop, and there are various third-party implementations, like an Ubuntu AppIndicator, or the Gnome Shell GSConnect extension which implements the KDE Connect protocol for Gnome Shell, without requiring KDE dependencies. Read more about this new integrating piece of technology in the article from Linux Uprising at:

HOW TO MOVE UBUNTU’S LAUNCHER BAR TO THE BOTTOM OR RIGHTThis works on Ubuntu 17.10 and 18.04, as Ubuntu now uses GNOME Shell instead of Unity. This trick doesn’t even require obscure terminal commands, as it did with the Unity desktop. You can move the launcher with just a few clicks. Find out how you can move the launcher bar in this How-To Geek article:

OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE: WHAT IS IT, AND WHICH IS THE BEST?If you were to take a time machine ride back to the late 1990’s and look at the Internet, there are some things you would notice. The main one would be the dominance of Microsoft products. Internet Explorer and the Office word-processing suite. Nowhere would there be any evidence of open source software.

If you got into that same time machine and moved forward at least a decade, you would see signs of Microsoft’s monopoly slackening. A lot of that has to do with open source projects. But what is open source? What are some of the best examples? Today we look at all of that and more. Read more of this groovyPost article:

HOW TO ENABLE CLICK TO MINIMIZE ON UBUNTUThe launcher at the left-hand side in Ubuntu is a handy tool for quickly accessing applications. When you click on an icon in the launcher, the application window appears in focus.

If you click again on the icon of an application already in focus, the default behavior is to do nothing. This may bother you if you expect the application window to be minimized on the second click. This quick It’s FOSS tutorial shows you how to enable click to minimize option on Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 16.04:

HOW TO PERMANENTLY CHANGE THE MAC ADDRESS ON LINUXThis article explains how to permanently change / spoof the MAC addresses of network interfaces. For this purpose, we’ll use Macchanger, a utility for manipulating MAC addresses, for which we’ll create a systemd unit to start it automatically on boot. Get the full set of instructions complete with detailed screenshots from Linux Uprising at: