April 30, 2016

bash on windowsRecently Microsoft announced that it is planning on incorporating the Unix-based Bash shell in Windows. For most users this does not come as very useful or interesting news, but for developers and TTIG server administrators this is big. What does it mean, though?

What is Bash?
Bash is a command line shell for the Unix system. For Windows users, this is something like the “C:\_” prompt you see when you open up the Command Prompt application. Basic functions allow you to manipulate file systems and run programs within those file system. Bash is the Unix equivalent of this. Both Command Prompt and Bash are referred to as shells.

What does it mean?
Great. What does this mean for Windows users or computer users in general? Well, in short, it will allow Windows to run a Unix based system, Ubuntu specifically, natively within a Windows environment. For your average Windows user, this will not change very much. For developers, however, this is huge in that it will let them run and port code to Windows that expects a Unix file system or system calls and responses. Also, for server administrators, it will make interfacing between Windows and Unix based servers much easier. (more…)

April 22, 2016


Like clockwork, Canonical released it’s latest version of the Ubuntu operating system for Linux this month, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, code named Xenial Xerus. The LTS stands for Long Term Service, which means that Canonical will support this version for 5 years, rather than the 9 months that it supports its non-LTS releases.

One of the more interesting changes in this Ubuntu 16.04 is the Snap application format. Ubuntu will still use traditional deb packages and the snaps, as they are calling them, will coexist together. Some of the features of this new packaging system is its security and ease of use for package developers. Also, Snap offers a more robust and reliable iteration of packages across different Ubuntu flavors in that a user can install an application via Snap and not worry that it will interfere with other applications on the system. (more…)

Many Linux lovers view this operating system as desktop only, but you might be limiting yourself if you haven’t tried to install it on anything else. There are dozens of device types that are compatible with Linux, many of which you can purchase cheaply and some of which you might even have lying around.

The following are just a few devices on which you can install Linux:

Non-Android Smartphone or Tablet

Remember when many techies purchased the original Kindle Fire from Amazon simply so that they could load stock Android or Linux on it? At less than $200, the Amazon Fire was among the cheapest tablets on the market. Used tablets and phones are also a steal on eBay!

A similar line of thinking is useful when it comes to Linux on tablets. You’ll specifically want a non-Android device such as HP’s Touchpad, which will allow you to install Linux. In fact, this tablet is compatible with Ubuntu.

There are many compatible devices with Linux but finding the right one for you may take time and research. Surf the internet or ask an expert in the IT field for feedback on a device before purchasing. PCMag.com, PCWorld.com, and thetechinfogroup.com are a few online resources that can help you determine which device is best for you. (more…)