Tools you should know about

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Ying Feng Johansson,

Ying Feng Johansson,


The Ubuntu toolbox is jam-packed with interesting stuff. So much so, it is sometimes easy to miss what you really need. In this issue, we'll try and solve that.

Ubuntu's repositories come with literally tens of thousands of packages. With so many apps to choose from, sometimes you may not know what to look for when searching for a tool for a specific task. Other times, and if you're like me, you'll just get distracted and end up installing something that has nothing to do with what you were originally looking for, just so you can play with it.

To address this problem, we have compiled in this issue a set of articles that cover tools to deal with software and system administration, distribution deployment, command-line scripting, and security.

Take for example, our article on apt-fast. Apt-fast is the answer to slow and scatty Internet connections. Apt-fast allows you to identify the fastest mirror servers – usually those geographically nearer to you – and use them in parallel to download chunks from whichever is faster at any given moment.

In our article on Etcher , you'll learn how to create bootable USB drives with live and installable distributions in a snap. Three steps and a few minutes is all you'll need to get your USB ready.

Getting down and dirty in the system, we look into all the Linux tools that will help you identify filesystems. Knowing what filesystem you're dealing with and understanding some of their basic properties will help you mount it, interact with it, and rescue your data if things go south.

And if you feel the shell doesn't come with enough tools to manage your system… well, you'd be wrong. But, just in case, the moreutils package gives you even more. This set of 15 terminal apps give you extra power in your command pipelines and scripts.

Finally, we take a look at security and privacy protection from the point of view of the end user. Using half a dozen user-friendly applications, you will be able to audit your system and network, create sandboxes in which you can run insecure applications, use encrypted messaging, protect files and directories against tampering, set up firewalls to keep intruders out, clean up your hard disk, and keep your passwords and emails safe.

So, if you're feeling a bit at sea, don't worry: we've got you covered; just check out all the things you soon won't be able to live without.

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