When cloud storage services first came on the scene, personal data security wasn’t a common feature. Even now, as concern over data privacy has grown, many cloud storage services don’t encrypt the user’s data by default. It’s largely up to the user to take the initiative and enable settings that ensure files are encrypted and private, which can be tedious. Believe it or not, a little command-line program called Rclone simplifies things. It’s available for Linux and other open-source OSes, as well as Windows and OS X.
There are several ways to encrypt your data before you send it to the cloud, but if you simply want to back up or sync your data while keeping it private, Rclone has you covered. Rclone is a bit like the command-line tool rsync, a staple for developers and other advanced users. However, Rclone is designed to work with established cloud services, no need to set up rsync services on remote machines. Rclone can work with Google Drive, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, Amazon Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Hubic, and Backblaze B2, just to name a few.
Handset maker Fairphone is teaming up with the community project UBports, which seeks to get Ubuntu Touch on mobile devices. They will be showing off Ubuntu Touch running on the Fairphone 2 during Mobile World Congress, which starts February 27 in Barcelona. While Ubuntu is probably not the first name that comes to mind when you think of mobile devices, the phone in question offers some compelling features.
“UBports Foundation will be showcasing its work at the Canonical booth, the company behind Ubuntu. Canonical is planning to tell about the latest developments around the convergence of its devices and UBports Foundation will share its mission ‘Ubuntu On Every Device’ with the visitors,” UBports said in a February 8 press release.
Currently, UBports’ website lists three devices as “fully working as daily drivers:” The OnePlus One, Nexus 5, and the Fairphone 2, with the latter showing all parts as functioning with Ubuntu Touch, save the GPS radio. (Interestingly, the UBports project website for the Fairphone 2 still lists the GSM radio [in addition to the GPS] as a work in progress. However there is a video of two people talking with the handset, so it’s likely the Fairphone 2 project website is out of date.) The website also has instructions for flashing Ubuntu to the Fairphone 2.
If you’re reading this article on a PC, it’s quite likely the processor under the hood is 64-bit. Most computers these days run 64-bit CPUs, and most computers run 64-bit operating systems. Arch Linux is acknowledging that fact by making February the last month the distribution will include an i686 (32-bit) download option.
“Due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community, we have decided to phase out the support of this architecture,” Bartłomiej Piotrowski said in a January 25 announcement on the Arch Linux website.
“The decision means the February ISO will be the last that allows [installation of] 32-bit Arch Linux,” Piotrowski continued. The announcement goes on to say that i686 installs will continue to receive upgraded packages for a nine-month “deprecation period.” But starting November 2017, i686 will be effectively unsupported.
Installing Linux on a laptop is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to adoption of the OS. After all, taking a perfectly good PC, nuking Windows, and replacing it with an unfamiliar OS can seem a lot like performing open-heart surgery to an inexperienced user. When you take into account that there are precious few laptops with Linux preinstalled, it’s no wonder that desktop Linux adoption numbers are so grim. (There are other reasons too, but I won’t go into those here.)
One of the few laptops to come correct with a Linux OS is Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition. I got a chance to benchmark the 2015 model a few months ago, and really enjoyed playing with the little ultrabook. Physically, it’s virtually identical to the consumer version of the XPS 13, only it came loaded with Ubuntu 14.04. Flash forward, and Dell has updated its Developer Edition with Intel’s Kaby Lake CPU and Ubuntu 16.04. I have to say, there’s not much to dislike about the revamp.
For many users who get started with the command line in Linux, there’s a good chance they’re using Bourne Again Shell, or Bash. Bash is the default shell on Mac OS X, and Windows users can use Bash through the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
While Bash generally works just fine with little to no configuration, there are some features that can really make the shell more useful. One of those commands is history.
One of the things that makes Linux awesome is that finding and installing common software is really fast and easy. If you use a graphical tool like GNOME’s Software, you can download and install an app in a couple clicks. If you’re a command-line commando, you can install an application with one or two relatively short console commands.
It's all thanks to the package manager. And while the trusty package manager has served as a centerpiece of Linux distributions for years, it has some serious shortfalls as well.