Like Linux itself, Linux magazines go back a long way and have a checkered history. Some have burnt out after brief lives, some are struggling on, a few are building up an international reputation. In this article I will look at the major Linux magazines and their websites. In addition to these, of course, every local Linux users’ group will have its own newsletter, website and/or mailing list.
Linux Magazine – known as Linux Pro in the USA – is a monthly magazine produced in Germany and distributed globally. It includes a cover disk with a recent distro. Articles cover both introductory and more technical topics. It tries to give an even-handed treatment to all the major distros, which means that users of any one specific distro are going to find that much of the content is irrelevant. The articles are fairly long and fairly well edited, although it is clear sometimes that the authors’ first language is not English. Beginners may want to leaf through this for ideas but are unlikely to find much of immediate value, other than the monthly distro installation DVD. Linux Magazine also produces ‘specials’ focusing on particular new distro versions as they appear. Many of its articles are also made available through the website after publication. Registered members (registration is free) have access to more material and can opt to receive weekly newsletters on a variety of topics.
Linux Format is a monthly UK Linux journal which is delivered worldwide. It includes tutorials, a Reader Round Table and a distro DVD. The website hosts a wide range of forums for user discussions. The magazine also produces ‘specials’ for beginners introducing various distros or describing common programs like OpenOffice.
Linux Journal is published in the US and has more of a corporate focus than Linux Magazine. Its website includes selected articles, video tutorials and other support for users, and links to a weekly videocast.
Tux Magazine was a monthly eJournal issued as a PDF file. Although it ceased publication in 2007, the full set of twenty issues is available for download from the Tux site at www.tuxmagazine.com.
Linux Gazette is a long-running free monthly journal produced by volunteers. Copies are available electronically from linuxgazette.net, but be warned - they are fairly technical!
Full Circle magazine, for Ubuntu users, is produced by volunteers and distributed on the web at fullcirclemagazine.org. There are currently 21 back issues which can all be downloaded as PDF files. It contains many articles aimed at beginners and users in transition from Windows systems.