Linux-penguin-big-624x741Basic Information
The Spokane Linux User’s Group has been meeting for over 10 years, discussing technology, Linux troubles, and advice. All are welcome to join us for festive Linux discussion over food and beer at Shari’s Restaurant, from the grizzled Unix long-beard to the timid newbie. There are no dues or registration – just drop by!
Meeting Times
Meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month, at 7:00 PM. They generally run 1½ to 2 hours long.
Find us at Shari’s Restaurant, in the Spokane Valley, on N. Sullivan just south of Valleyway. 320 N Sullivan Rd. Spokane Valley, WA 99037   MAP


Ubuntu Unleashed 2016 Edition

Ubuntu Unleashed 2016 Edition is filled with unique and advanced information for everyone who wants to make the most of the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated by a long-time Ubuntu community leader to reflect the exciting new Ubuntu 15.10 while including tons of information that will continue to apply to future editions.

Former Ubuntu Forum administrator Matthew Helmke covers all you need to know about Ubuntu 15.10 installation, configuration, productivity, multimedia, development, system administration, server operations, networking, virtualization, security, DevOps, and more—including intermediate-to-advanced techniques you won’t find in any other book.

Continue reading Ubuntu Unleashed 2016 Edition

Jan 20, 2016

Some interesting projects from members:
text endcoding: “What every programmer absolutely, positively needs to know about encodings and character sets to work with text”

the Spokane Public Library offers free courses on a variety of technical subjects, both workshops and online, including a free online Linux course that leads to certification:

discourse-logoDiscourse forum software: Why break conversations into awkward and arbitrary pages, where you have to constantly find the Next Page button? They’ve replaced all that with the power of just-in-time loading.
superbetter-logoreading list: PLAY MORE GAMES? Jane McGonigal (Author) thinks so.
SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient–Powered by the Science of Games. She also has a couple interesting TED talks and a game app.
We also talked about some of our favorite immersive games:, Goat Sim, and Rocket League.
tigerlogoOpen source remote access: Tiger VNC
Hands on: Interesting project to turn a low cost Ikea table into a living-room data center
roll you own: Owncloud server
Access, Sync and Share Your Data, Under Your Control!
ownCloud is a self-hosted file sync and share server. Now at version


The Art of Scalability, Second Edition

The Comprehensive, Proven Approach to IT Scalability–Updated with New Strategies, Technologies, and Case Studies

In The Art of Scalability, Second Edition, leading scalability consultants Martin L. Abbott and Michael T. Fisher cover everything you need to know to smoothly scale products and services for any requirement. This extensively revised edition reflects new technologies, strategies, and lessons, as well as new case studies from the authors’ pioneering consulting practice, AKF Partners.

Continue reading The Art of Scalability, Second Edition

Oct 21, 2015

our members recommend: pfSense if you need a captive portal to visitors of your open wifi. The pfSense project is a free network firewall distribution, based on the FreeBSD operating system with a custom kernel and including third party free software packages for additional functionality. pfSense software, with the help of the package system, is able to provide the same functionality or more of common commercial firewalls, without any of the artificial limitations.

eFax: lets you send and receive faxes over the Internet, from any device with email access (even your mobile phone). No more paper jams, busy signals or waiting by a fax machine.

Black Tide Rising book series by John Ringo,

Nova’s CyberWar Threat. As internet connections multiply so do points of attack and risks to national security. Aired October 14, 2015 on PBS.

3D printing at Gonzaga’s new student center.

help desk: Adjusting the screen resolution of an Ubuntu virtual machine on VirtualBox: usually done in the ‘displays’ dialog of the virtual machine – but sometimes with 15.04, or perhaps others, there is a bug where the resolution is stuck in 640 x 480 mode and makes the ‘display’ dialog impossible to use, or it only presents one low resolution. Increasing the video memory of the virtual machine did not help – A brief search online indicates that installing the Virtualbox Guest Additions onto the virtual machine may allow the correct video drivers to be selected, either automatically or using the ‘additional drivers’ dialog in the ‘Software & Updates’ section of the System Settings.

solutions dept.: Our members are testing: OpenSCAD: The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller, for designing small 3D models for your 3D printing projects. Also try: Google Sketch-Up (not open source) and Blender.

managing your passwords: LastPast, KeePassX, and writing your own.

iPhone vs. Android: depends on your comfort level with tinkering around. Android is more flexible, more customizable, with a larger variety of software available; iPhone is an easier, safer “sandbox” that’s difficult to mess up.

How to annotate PDF documents: xournal and LibreOffice Draw duke it out.

nostalgia: Who remembers The Valiant Turtle and the Logo programming language?

Jobs: PayTrace is looking for developers and a project manager: for more info –

off topic: Driving in rural Romania, combustion engines, and discouraging telemarketers by using the “disconnected” tone at the start of your answering machine.

Is plain email a safe and secure form of communication? Richard may have a few words about this at our November meeting….

September 23, 2015

discussion topics: Handbrake and ripping Blu-rays, Ting mobile phone service, (where someone recently started a new Spokane Linux Users Group), Google Nexus 7 2013 tablet and other ways to be productive on the go, apg – automated password generator (see also: pwgen), Stagefright Andriod security problem, and the Ashley Madison hack.

keeping stuff safe dept.: MD5 versus SHA256 – MD5 should no longer be used for anything secure.
plausibly deniable encryption (
Steve Gibson’s SQRL secure log-in system (Secure Quick Reliable Login
A highly secure, comprehensive, easy-to-use replacement for usernames, passwords, reminders, one-time-code authenticators . . . and everything else. With SQRL you either tap, snap, or click a login page’s QR code and YOU are securely logged in. The SQRL system revolutionizes web site login and authentication. It eliminates many problems inherent in traditional login techniques.) Read more about it here:

chromecasthow to: stream content to a remote TV. Chromecast ($35), HDMI to Networking adaptor, Raspberry Pi ($42), and DLNA were mentioned as possible solutions.

members are tuning in to: Linux Action Show : (Steve Gibson of GRC Research does a weekly show about security issues here)
Alien Quadrilogy (the movies), Kill Bill 1 and 2,  Gray Zone Comics, The 13th Floor, The Game, Stargate TV series, xkcd comics, Cosmos TV series (both Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson versions).

get creative with: GIMP, Inkscape, Krita, and MyPaint (MyPaint is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters. It lets you focus on the art instead of the program. You work on your canvas with minimum distractions, bringing up the interface only when you need it). Recommended graphics tablet: Wacom (plug-and-play with Linux).

introduce young children to writing code: with Coding is the new literacy! With ScratchJr, young children (ages 5-7) can program their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer.


Cloud Computing Design Patterns

Cloud Computing Design Patterns (The Prentice Hall Service Technology Series from Thomas Erl) 1st Edition
by Thomas Erl (Author), Robert Cope (Author), Amin Naserpour (Author)

“This book continues the very high standard we have come to expect from ServiceTech Press. The book provides well-explained vendor-agnostic patterns to the challenges of providing or using cloud solutions from PaaS to SaaS. The book is not only a great patterns reference, but also worth reading from cover to cover as the patterns are thought-provoking, drawing out points that you should consider and ask of a potential vendor if you’re adopting a cloud solution.”
Phil Wilkins, Enterprise Integration Architect, Specsavers
Continue reading Cloud Computing Design Patterns

July 15, 2015

pPBS3-14489717regThis off-topic meeting included some fun discussions about: The Piano Guys: Batman Evolution

What is Flaming, and why should people who communicate online be aware of it:
miscommunication caused by the lack of social cues available in face-to-face communication

From the interesting shows dept.: PBS: First Peoples,   NOVA: Ancient Computer — Ancient Greek computer is 2,000 years old
(watchable online)   Solving the problem of longitude —   Antarctica: A Year on Ice
2014 ‧ Drama/Short Film ‧ 1h 32m   (available on Netflix streaming)


DevOps: A Software Architect’s Perspective

The First Complete Guide to DevOps for Software Architects

DevOps promises to accelerate the release of new software features and improve monitoring of systems in production, but its crucial implications for software architects and architecture are often ignored.

In DevOps: A Software Architect’s Perspective, three leading architects address these issues head-on. The authors review decisions software architects must make in order to achieve DevOps’ goals and clarify how other DevOps participants are likely to impact the architect’s work. They also provide the organizational, technical, and operational context needed to deploy DevOps more efficiently, and review DevOps’ impact on each development phase. The authors address cross-cutting concerns that link multiple functions, offering practical insights into compliance, performance, reliability, repeatability, and security. Continue reading DevOps: A Software Architect’s Perspective

May 20, 2015

genius-tabletdiscussions: Members talked about Spokane Linux Fest — and we’re looking forward to the next one. Mining Bitcoins, Virtualbox, and Ubuntu’s native support of Genuis tablets.

recommended program: NOVA: Rise of the Hackers.

April 2015

Our members recommend: Use ‘sudoedit‘ instead of ‘sudo‘ to edit config files.
Set up Bash to record all commands into a log file because History can disappear a bunch of different ways. Handy to be able to log everything you do.
Segment on 60-minutes about online tracking:
Browser add-ons recommended: Ghostery, NoScript, and AdBlock Plus
Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system.

Tip of the day: persuade everyone to do hard-core backups of everything — ‘crypto-lock’ viruses are getting very bad. These viruses have been seen to mutate in real-time in response to online forums talking about them.