[sticky] Tired of paying for Windows? Linux is your answer!

Welcome to PrescottLinux.com, we are a local team dedicated to informing dispirited computer users of the tri-city area that there is an alternative to Microsoft Windows. You may very well have a Dell PC right now, did you know you paid Microsoft a percentage of the cost of that PC? With Microsoft’s versions of Windows, you are paying them for the privilege of providing you with an operating system that will open you up viruses, spyware, and all types of malware. Windows by far is the biggest platform for attracting all the unwanted nuisances floating around on the Internet.

If you have kids in the house going online, then you probably have had problems with your Windows computer catching a virus, and all the popups, hijacking of your computer, etc. It is an expensive nightmare to try to get that computer cleaned out. That’s where Linux has a huge advantage over Windows- It is designed from the ground-up with security in mind.

Linux is Free and Open Source Software, a concept known by the acronym, FOSS. As such, you don’t have to pay for Linux, most of the software that runs on Linux is also free and open source. All your favorite applications, such as Mozilla Firefox, web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail client, Sun’s Open Office, their office suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s Office, as well as many other programs you are probably using already.

Linux also gives you freedom from knowing that there isn’t a big, centralized corporation controlling what do you with your computer, with just its shareholders in mind.

We will add more posts here to explain the virtues of Linux periodically and hope to inform the public.

Folder Color for Nautilus to Better Organize Folders

As the name indicates, Folder Color lets you better organize your folders by assigning colors. App provides a rather simple functionality, but have been proving quite useful to me.

folder color for ubuntu

Add some color to your Folders!

The simplest of apps can have profound impact on your daily routine. Folder Color is one such application. Color code your folders so that you can easily find/differentiate the important stuff when you need it. Works great with Nautilus, Nemo and Caja File Browser (official file manager for the MATE desktop). Supports major distros such as Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, openSUSE, Arch etc. Installation and usage is pretty straight forward. Take a look:
Click here to download and install Folder Color from Ubuntu Software Center (Ubuntu 15.04 & 15.10)

OR ELSE: Those using older versions of Ubuntu (prior to Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet), please use the following PPA (copy-paste the following commands in Terminal).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:costales/folder-color
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install folder-color
nautilus -q

The last command will restart Nautilus and voila! Folder-Color is up and ready to go. Open your file browser and right-click on any folder. You will find Folder’s Color entry with a lot of options to choose from. If the Folder’s Color option does not appear immediately, restart you file-browser using nautilus -q command and then try again. Those who are using other distros and file-browsers, more download options are available. HERE

XOR Trojan Threatens Linux Networks

Researchers for the Security Intelligence Response Team at Akamai on Tuesday issued a high-risk threat advisory for XOR DDoS proliferation. The XOR DDoS Trojan is used to hijack Linux servers to build a botnet for distributed denial-of-service attacks with SYN and DNS floods, researchers tracking the malware said. The massive Linux-based botnet, which they discovered last year, can take down websites under a flood of DDoS traffic exceeding 150 Gbps using heavy volumes of junk network traffic.

Linux Foundation’s Open Source R&D Worth $5B

The Linux Foundation on Wednesday released a white paper that puts the estimated value of development R&D costs of its Collaborative Projects at $5 billion. The Linux Foundation has provided independent funding for the collaborative software projects since 2008 to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. More than 500 companies and thousands of developers from around the world contribute to these open source software projects. The report offers a state-of-the-industry assessment that open source is changing the world in which we live.

Google Lines Up a Batch of Marshmallow-Ready Hardware

Google on Tuesday introduced a pair of new phablets, a couple of Chromecasts and the first tablet it built by itself. The unveilings took place at the company’s Nexus event in San Francisco. Months of leaks drew very accurate portraits of the $499 Huawei Nexus 6P and $379 LG Nexus 5X and other Android hardware, but Google filled in the details ahead of the expected Oct. 5 release of its next mobile operating system: Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Google has billed the Nexus 6P as its “most premium phone” to date.

VectorLinux Light Has That Old-School Linux Feeling

VectorLinux 7.1 Light Edition targets fans of the IceWM desktop environment who own older computers. VectorLinux released its latest light edition this summer. What makes it new compared with previous editions is the shift to the lightweight IceWM. Yes, IceWM is very old school. Still, it is a handy and functional alternative that serves legacy computers well. The standard edition of VectorLinux 7.1, which arrived several weeks prior to the latest light release, uses the Xfce desktop environment.

BlackBerry Sees the Android Light

BlackBerry on Friday announced that it would introduce an Android smartphone later this year. The announcement came during the company’s Q2 earnings call. The device will be known as the “Priv” and will be built around user privacy, said CEO John Chen. “Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform,” he added. BlackBerry didn’t offer any specifics about the Priv beyond the name — nothing about pricing, U.S. carrier partners or any handset specs.

LibreOffice 5.0 Is the Office Suite Champ

LibreOffice 5.0, The Document Foundation’s latest open source office suite, deserves to top the list of contenders for best performance in this category. The Document Foundation last month released LibreOffice 5.0 for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It is the 10th major release since the launch of the project, and the first in the third development cycle. The release coincides with the rollout of Windows 10 and positions the LibreOffice suite head to head with Microsoft Office. This is an important milestone for LibreOffice.

1,500 Titles & Counting: Steam becomes Linux’s Killer App

As far as am average Linux user is concerned, the launch of Steam for Linux was perhaps the most critical event happened in the last decade. Speculations started as early as in 2010 when it came to know that Valve is actively looking for people who can port Windows games to Linux. After many ups and downs, Steam for Linux was finally confirmed in 2012 and they even went on to launch a limited access beta in November that year itself. But not even the most optimist among us expected such a tremendous turn around for Linux gaming.

steam on linux

1,500 Linux Titles: Steam on Linux Breaks New Ground

Most hardcore Linux users had a Windows partition just to meet their gaming needs. But things were starting to change. The floodgates were opened when the Steam client for Linux came out of beta in 2013. Barrage of major gaming titles started pouring in so much that Steam client is a must have app now if you are a Linux user (available in Ubuntu Software Center). Left 4 Dead 2, Half Life 1 & 2, Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2, Portal 2, XCOM, Witcher 2, Football Manager 2014, Shank 2, Dota 2, Don’t Starve, the list goes on.  
Not only that. Valve also builds and runs all of its source code, animation and assets on Linux – a typical setup for companies in the gaming industry, says Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve inc., while speaking at LinuxCon 2013. “Valve became convinced that Linux is the future of gaming,” he added.
According to a report by Phoronix, Valve has been adding as much as 100 Linux titles per month throughout the last several months. The total number of games for Linux platform swelled to a whopping 1,500 now from 1000 in February 2015. A significant number even when compared to other supported platforms. To put this in context, number of supported titles for Windows is 6,464 and OSX is 2,323 respectively. New games continue to be ported to Linux and offered via Steam almost daily.
But there is still room for improvement, the report adds. Even though there has been a number of exciting titles like DiRT Showdown, Company of Heroes 2, Metro 2033 etc., many of the games ported over to Linux have been small, indie-type games. According to Valve, the five most popular Linux games right now include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, ARK: Survival Evolved, Team Fortress 2, and Dota 2. 
[Image source: Linux Gamecast, Full report: Phoronix]

Patched Android Lockscreen Still a Threat

Google recently issued a patch for Nexus mobile devices to fix an Android Lollipop vulnerability that lets hackers bypass the lockscreen and gain control of mobile devices. However, it could take weeks to months for manufacturers and service providers to roll out the patch for other Android devices. University of Texas security researcher John Gordon discovered the vulnerability, dubbed “CVE-2015-3860,” and posted details and a video showing the how the lockscreen is bypassed on a Nexus device.

Italian Military Ditches MS Office; Adopts LibreOffice, ODF Standard

Open source became part of state policy in India recently. French Armed Forces ditched many thousands of Windows PCs for Ubuntu and used FOSS solutions to cut costs. So did UK Government. And speaking of Italy, Turin recently became the first Italian city to adopt Ubuntu and LibreOffice saving millions of Euros in licensing and other costs involved with proprietary solutions. The momentum is clearly building in favor of FOSS alternatives. And Italian Military becomes the latest to join the Open Source bandwagon.

Italian Army ditches Microsoft, adopts LibreOffice

Italian Armed Forces Adopts LibreOffice and Open Document Format (ODF)

Italian Military joins the latest list of LibreOffice and ODF adopters. The Ministry of Defense will over the next year-and-a-half install this suite of office productivity tools on some 150,000 PC workstations – making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation, according to Open Source observatory.
Italian Agency for the Digitization of the Public Sector (AGID) congratulated the Ministry of Defence, and hoped that other organizations will follow through. The switch was announced on 15 September by the LibreItalia Association, an NGO working to promote FOSS solutions in Italy. The NGO will help the ministry to ready trainers in different parts of the military, and the Ministry is to develop a series of online courses to help with the switch to LibreOffice. The material is to be made public using a Creative Commons licence.
The switch to LibreOffice is a consequence of a June 2012 law which says that free and open source should be the default option for the country’s public administrations, according to LibreItalia. The project is also one of Europe’s largest. In a world where the mightiest of corporations and even the International Space Station adopting Linux and FOSS, this is hardly surprising. (further reading, image source)