Last year for Software Freedom Day I did a presentation on XBMC media centre. I don’t think I ever posted the slides, so here’s the XBMC presentation.
Category Archives: Linux
The Clonezilla Live CD is one of those tools no system builder should be without. It’s server counterpart, DRBL, allows multi-cast cloning, meaning you can clone dozens of machines without sending a copy of the image to every machine (saves bandwidth traffic on your network). Version 2.1.2-2, a testing image, adds 5 updates:
- The Linux kernel is newer than previous versions of Clonezilla: 3.8.11-1
- DRBL is updated to 2.4.4-drbl1 and Clonezilla to 3.3.43-drbl1.
- Syslinux is updated to 5.0.1
- lziprecover and nwipe were added to the Clonezilla live CD
- a lvm2 bug was fixed.
The addition of lziprecover looks interesting because it appears to mean clonezilla might be able to recover itself from compression problems it might have during the cloning process. Nwipe is also interesting because it’s a fork of the DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke project). This means with 1 CD you can clone and wipe your drive(s).
There are a lot of cool ways to use Linux. People, businesses and not-for-profits use Linux in a lot of different ways. Here are some of the cool projects you might want to try out:
- Build a rocket with OpenRocket – Link to Linux Journal article.
- Hunt hurricanes – older Linux Journal article.
- Build a cluster with PelicanHPC – we’ve actually tried this and it takes less than 20 minutes to set up.
- Make movies. Linux has lots of great software that can be used to edit and cut movies including: OpenShot, Kdenlive, LIVES, Toonloop, Avidemux, Kino (old) and Cinelerra.
- Write a blog. If movies aren’t your thing, but you can write, Linux has lots of software that can connect to blogs (Blogilo), check spelling (spell), or just give you a distraction-free slate (pyroom) to write on.
- Inventory your collection in a database. Linux comes packed with many different types of database tools. For example: You could run a database server with MySQL then use Calligra to connect to it and get a visual overview of your databases.
- Fully customize your desktop. I know this seems like a lame thing to throw in the middle of a list of cool things to do, but we all love making Linux our own and Linux offers more options for desktop customization than most OS’s. You can even change your window manager.
- Security and surveillance. You can set up a simple web camera streaming to a website with Camstream or opt for a more professional solution using Zoneminder.
- Check out the stars with astronomy and space simulation software (Celestia).
- Build a MAME cabinet and run retro games all from one box. One guy’s blog about building a mame cabinet.
- Edit, organize and publish photographs to social networking sites with software like F-Spot, Shotwell, Fotoxx, Digikam or Rawtherapee.
- Create PDFs without expensive software (LibreOffice).
- Boot Linux from a Live USB key for troubleshooting or just keeping your surfing secure on a different computer.
- Record a podcast with Audacity, and create the music with different midi software (Rosegarden).
- Conduct biological sequence analysis. Link to what looks spammish but is actually a large collection of Linux biological sequence analysis software at Bioinformatics.org.
- Create 3D models and renderings for your movies or games with Blender.
- Build a custom Personal Video Recorder (PVR) with MythTV. Want to never worry about drive space on your PVR? Put a few 4 terabyte drives in a system and run MythTV.
- Build a robot using an embedded board and Linux. Linuxpcrobot.
- Learn to program in python, C, C++, Assembler, Scratch, or another language with the wealth of compilers, debuggers and visual editors in Linux.
- Test hardware with software like memtest86 or one of the hundreds of tools in the Phoronix Test Suite.
- Face off against your friends in a friendly 3D game of Alien Arena.
- Host you own cloud server with OwnCloud.
- Virtualize other operating systems with virtualization software like Xen, VirtualBox or VMWare.
- Go Wardriving for access points: wardriving.com has a lot of links to Linux wireless software.
- DJ a party or just remix music you like with Mixxx.
We’ve been very brief here touching mostly on software and not detailing the software in order to show some of the range of things that can be done with Linux. Books have been written on a number of the programs in this list including Blender, MythTV, Scratch, VMWare, LibreOffice, MySQL, and so on. What’s your favourite Linux project?