Chris HoffmanPCWorld

Chris Hoffman is a tech geek who's been writing about everything technology-related for years. When he's not writing about gadgets and software, he's probably using them in his spare time.

Firefox for Linux will soon support Netflix and Amazon videos

In order for Firefox for Linux to play encrypted HTML5 video, some closed-source code is required, which could rankle open-source purists.

An Ubuntu Bash shell window on Windows 10

How to get Bash on Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update

Presently, Bash in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is based on Ubuntu 14.04, but Microsoft is working on support for the newer Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, too.

PIN unlock on a Chromebook.

Chromebooks are getting PIN unlock

Use a numeric PIN instead of your Google account password—this will be especially handy on touchscreen Chromebooks.

TP-Link Archer C3200

The FCC just forced TP-Link to support open-source router firmware

In a settlement with TP-Link, the FCC clarified its stance on open-source router firmware: It's not totally against it.

LibreOffice 5.2 includes classified documents and a streamlined interface

The Document Foundation releases a new version of LibreOffice every six months.


Vulkan Next will bring better support for VR and multiple GPUs

Vulkan, the cross-platform alternative to DirectX 12, was recently released, but Vulkan Next is already in the works. That’s big news for Steam Machines, Linux, Android, and even Windows gaming PCs.

Skype for Linux Alpha's About screen.

Microsoft's Skype for Linux Alpha gets device settings and a system tray icon

Microsoft promised to update Skype for Linux Alpha every two weeks, and so far it's following through, promptly adding some new useful features to the client.

Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus installer splash image

Ubuntu 16.04.1 is out with improvements to software installation and low-graphics mode

Canonical will support Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with updates until 2020.

CodeWeavers CrossOver for Android running on a Chromebook

Chromebooks can run Windows software with CrossOver for Android

It's now possible to install Steam and Windows-only games on your Chromebook. Using CrossOver for Android, a Windows compatibility layer runs on an Android compatibility layer.


Ubuntu's Unity desktop shows the limits of Windows 10's Bash shell

Ubuntu's Unity desktop doesn't run properly on Windows 10, and neither do many other Linux applications.

Skype for Linux Alpha on Ubuntu 16.04.

Microsoft is replacing Skype’s ancient Linux client with a web app (sort of)

Skype for Linux Alpha is based on Skype for Web, and Microsoft's active development of the client will benefit users of Chromebooks as well as Linux.

Linux Mint 18's default desktop background image.

Linux Mint 18 is here, but Linux Mint 17.3 users can't upgrade just yet

The first new major release of Linux Mint in two years features Ubuntu 16.04 underpinnings and a host of new features, while work on Linux Mint 18.1 is already underway.

Skype for Web placing an audio call on a Chromebook.

Chromebooks can now make voice calls with Skype for Web

Video calls aren't here yet, but audio calls work well.

amd radeon rx 480 primary

AMD has you covered: Its new Linux graphics driver already supports the Radeon RX 480

It’s available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and SteamOS, but it only supports newer hardware.

inteldevilscanyon primary 100309249 large

End of an era: Linux distributions will soon stop supporting 32-bit PCs

Linux 32-bit support is going away. According to developers, it's too much hassle to support, for a decreasing numbers of users. “I know some people passionately enjoy their old 32-bit hardware, but I think now’s the time to consider letting it go,” said OpenSUSe's Richard Brown.