7 Linux Desktop Environments In a Nutshell

Linux PenguinLet’s face it: Linux is not a graphical environment. Linux revolves around a simple text-only interface commonly referred to as “the command line”.

That being said, one unique feature of Linux is the veritable multitude of desktop environments (the Graphical User Interface parts) that can be run on most distributions.

Each desktop environment (DE) has different graphical elements, layouts or functionality that set them apart.

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12 Linux Distributions In a Nutshell

Linux PenguinThe question of how many Linux distributions there are, is a very hard one to answer.

Short answer: hundreds.

Long answer: The number fluctuates based on factors such as what one considers a distribution to be, how many people have to be using (and/or aware of) it, and whether it has to be actively maintained to make the list.

Experienced Linux enthusiasts might put together their own personalized distributions, including all of the features and applications that they need, and excluding all those irrelevant to them. That counts as a distribution, right?

For the rest of us, the extent of the options available make the choice just that much more difficult.

Let’s look over 12 of the most widely-known distributions to further confuse — excuse me, I mean enlighten — the matter.

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How to Monitor Bandwidth on Windows and Linux

Bandwidth Usage MonitoringBandwidth is a prized commodity — and generally in short supply — in my household.

Due to this preciousness of bandwidth, the question of “where does it all go?” soon arises.

With that question in mind, I have spent time in the past experimenting with various means of monitoring bandwidth, to see how much I actually use on my PC.

My research resulted in several promising candidates.

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Clipboard Managers for Linux and Windows

ClipboardAre you familiar with clipboards?

Before you raise you hand in confirmation (or not), allow me to clarify: I’m not talking about the old-school paper-holding kind of clipboards. I’m talking about the PC kind of clipboard.

When you Ctrl + C, Ctrl + X, or Ctrl + V (because, please tell me you don’t still Edit > Copy,Edit > Cut and Edit > Paste!) you are temporarily storing your data in what is called a clipboard.

PC clipboards allow for data to be moved across applications; you can cut/copy from one application or window, and paste in another. They’re an essential tool to handle data efficiently.

Clipboard managers allow a history of clipboard data to be saved, re-selected, and sometimes even edited.

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A Belated Introduction to Linux Systemd

Linux SystemdSystemd is a system and service manager for Linux.

It initializes and manages/maintains/tracks system services.

Systemd is the first process started by the Linux kernel during boot-up, and as such has a process id (PID) of 1.

Systemd then starts the required daemons, processes and services that are required to make the system work.

Systemd targets determine which daemons, processes and services are started, and so targets are as good a place to begin as any other.

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A Belated Introduction to Linux Runlevels

Linux RunlevelsI’ve read books and watched tutorials on the subject of Linux, that start right out with runlevels, do a good job of explaining the init feature, and manage to loose me in a state of confusion and despair.

What I did learn, very early on, was that I could use Linux and get along just fine without understanding runlevels at all, thank you very much.

At the same time, there was always a little voice at the back of my head, telling me that unless I understood what appears to be one of the most fundamental principles of the operating system that I’m trying to learn, then why I am bothering to try?

Guess what? I looked into runlevels, and on one level — pun intended — I now understand them. Now I can continue to live, with runlevels functioning quietly in the background, without giving them a second thought.

If anyone else is in the same boat as I once was, read on. You might just learn enough to be able to appreciate their quiet efficiency.

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How to Find Files and Folders on Windows 7

Search Magnifying GlassMy sister recently “lost” an entire folder that was supposed to be on her PC’s desktop.

(The fact that the folder turned out to be on her desktop after all, but had moved — and her desktop was simply too cluttered for her to be able to tell — is another story entirely.)

(We’re also not going to discuss the fact that she’s still running Windows, despite the combined efforts of myself and our Dad to convert her to — or convince her to at least try — Linux.)

Instead, what we’re focusing on here is how we found the folder, and how you can find any files or folders that have up and walked away… or (more likely) got put somewhere and you forget where.

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How to Set Up Cron Jobs on Linux

Scheduled Cron Jobs LinuxCron is a software utility that schedules jobs to be run, or automates tasks in the background.

Each job can be scheduled to run periodically (at specific intervals ranging from once every minute to once every year).

The cron utility is a great asset on a server that runs 24/7, when used to perform scheduled maintenance, etc.

On a PC, the cron utility can also be useful, but I personally think that it’s pranking potential is unparalleled.

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