How to Set or Change Timezone in Ubuntu Linux [Beginner’s Tip]

When you install Ubuntu, it asks you to set timezone. If you chose a wrong timezone or if you have moved to some other part of the world, you can easily change it later.

How to change Timezone in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

There are two ways to change the timezone in Ubuntu. You can use the graphical settings or use the timedatectl command in the terminal. You may also change the /etc/timezone file directly but I won’t advise that.

I’ll show you both graphical and terminal way in this beginner’s tutorial:

How to  Change Time Zone in Ubuntu

Method 1: Change Ubuntu timezone via terminal

Ubuntu or any other distributions using systemd can use the timedatectl command to set timezone in Linux terminal.

You can check the current date and timezone setting using timedatectl command without any option:

[email protected]:~$ timedatectl 
                      Local time: Sat 2020-01-18 17:39:52 IST
                  Universal time: Sat 2020-01-18 12:09:52 UTC
                        RTC time: Sat 2020-01-18 12:09:52
                       Time zone: Asia/Kolkata (IST, +0530)
       System clock synchronized: yes
systemd-timesyncd.service active: yes
                 RTC in local TZ: no

As you can see in the output above, my system uses Asia/Kolkata. It also tells me that it is 5:30 hours ahead of GMT.

To set a timezone in Linux, you need to know the exact timezone. You must use the correct format of the timezone (which is Continent/City).

To get the timezone list, use the list-timezones option of timedatectl command:

timedatectl list-timezones

It will show you a huge list of the available time zones.

Timezones In Ubuntu
Timezones List

You can use the up and down arrow or PgUp and PgDown key to move between the pages.

You may also grep the output and search for your timezone. For example, if you are looking for time zones in Europe, you may use:

timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i europe

Let’s say you want to set the timezone to Paris. The timezone value to be used here is Europe/Paris:

timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Paris

It won’t show any success message but the timezone is changed instantly. You don’t need to restart or log …

Zorin Grid Lets You Remotely Manage Multiple Zorin OS Computers

One of the major hurdles institutes face is in managing and updating multiple Linux systems from a central point.

Well, Zorin OS has come up with a new cloud-based tool that will help you manage multiple computers running Zorin OS from one single interface. You can update the systems, install apps and configuration all systems remotely using this tool called Zorin Grid.

Zorin Grid: Manage a fleet of Zorin OS computers remotely

Zorin Grid Dashboard

Zorin Grid is a tool that makes it simple to set up, manage, and secure a fleet of Zorin OS-powered computers in businesses, schools, and organizations.

When it comes to managing Linux distributions (here, Zorin OS) on a multitude of systems for an organization – it is quite time-consuming.

If it will be easier to manage Linux systems, more organizations will be interested to switch using Linux just like the Italian city Vicenza replaced Windows by Zorin OS.

For the very same reason, the Zorin team decided to create ‘Zorin Grid‘ with the help of which every school, enterprises, organizations, and businesses will be able to easily manage their Zorin OS-powered machines.

Zorin Grid features

Zorin Grid Features
Zorin Grid Features

You might have guessed what it is capable of – but let me highlight the key features of Zorin Grid as per its official webpage:

  • Install and Remove Apps
  • Set software update and security patch policies
  • Monitor computer status
  • Enforce security policies
  • Keep track of software and hardware inventory
  • Set desktop settings
  • Organize computers into groups (for teams and departments)
  • Role-based access control and audit logging

In addition to these, you will be able to do a couple more things using the Zorin Grid service. But, it looks like most of the essential tasks will be covered by Zorin Grid.

How does Zorin Grid work?

Zorin Os Computers

Zorin Grid is a cloud based software as a service. Zorin will be charging a monthly subscription fee for each computer managed by Zorin Grid in an organization.

You’ll have to install the Zorin Grid client on all the systems that you want to manage. Since it is cloud-based, you can manage all the Zorin systems on your grid from a …

Insights into Why Hyperbola GNU/Linux is Turning into Hyperbola BSD

In late December 2019, Hyperbola announced that they would be making major changes to their project. They have decided to drop the Linux kernel in favor of forking the OpenBSD kernel. This announcement only came months after Project Trident announced that they were going in the opposite direction (from BSD to Linux).

Hyperbola also plans to replace all software that is not GPL v3 compliant with new versions that are.

To get more insight into the future of their new project, I interviewed Andre, co-founder of Hyperbola.

Why Hyperbola GNU/Linux Turned into Hyperbola BSD

Hyperbola Linux BSD

It’s FOSS: In your announcement, you state that the Linux kernel is “rapidly proceeding down an unstable path”. Could you explain what you mean by that?

Andre: First of all, it’s including the adaption of DRM features such as HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). Currently there is an option to disable it at build time, however there isn’t a policy that guarantees us that it will be optional forever.

Historically, some features began as optional ones until they reached total functionality. Then they became forced and difficult to patch out. Even if this does not happen in the case of HDCP, we remain cautious about such implementations.

Another of the reasons is that the Linux kernel is no longer getting proper hardening. Grsecurity stopped offering public patches several years ago, and we depended on that for our system’s security. Although we could use their patches still for a very expensive subscription, the subscription would be terminated if we chose to make those patches public.

Such restrictions goes against the FSDG principles that require us to provide full source code, deblobbed, and unrestricted, to our users.

KSPP is a project that was intended to upstream Grsec into the kernel, but thus far it has not come close to reaching Grsec / PaX level of kernel hardening. There also has not been many recent developments, which leads us to believe it is now an inactive project for the most part.

Lastly, the interest in allowing Rust modules into the kernel are a problem for us, due to Rust trademark restrictions which prevent us from applying patches …

Get Trained and Certified on Kubernetes and Other Cloud Technologies With Linux Foundation [70% Off]

If learning cloud related technologies is one of your new year resolution then I have a good news for you.

Linux Foundation, the official organization behind Linux, is running a limited time sale on its cloud training and certification bundles.

There are three bundles in this offer for people with varying experience and interest.

Cloud Deal

Cloud Engineer Starter Pack

This bundle is for beginners to sysadmin, containers and Kubernetes. You will learn the fundamentals of Linux system administration, containers (Docker), Kubernetes, DevOps and Linux security.

This bundle includes the Certified Kubernetes Adminstrator exam. Obtaining the CKA certification assures employers you have the skills, knowledge, and competency to be a Kubernetes Administrator.

The total price of these courses and the exam is $1695 but you get them all in this bundle for $329 if you use the code CESTARTER at checkout.

Turbo Charge Pack

This one is for the senior system administrators. It uses the CKA exam as the jumping-off point into the complementary sysadmin tools. You will learn specialized cloud and container skills to take your career to the next level.

You pay only $329 instead of $1795 for this bundle by using CETURBO coupon code.

Cloud Developer Starter Pack

This pack is targeted for junior and mid-level developers. You’ll learn the basic knowledge on open source software development along with cloud and container technologies. The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer is perfect for boosting your resume.

Root User in Ubuntu: Important Things You Should Know

When you have just started using Linux, you’ll find many things that are different from Windows. One of those ‘different things’ is the concept of the root user.

In this beginner series, I’ll explain a few important things about the root user in Ubuntu.

Please keep in mind that while I am writing this from Ubuntu user’s perspective, it should be valid for most Linux distributions.

You’ll learn the following in this article:

What is root user? Why is it locked in Ubuntu?

Root User Ubuntu

In Linux, there is always a super user called root. This is the super admin account that can do anything and everything with the system. It can access any file and run any command on your Linux system.

With great power comes great responsibility. Root user gives you complete power over the system and hence it should be used with great cautious. Root user can access system files and run commands to make changes to the system configuration. And hence, an incorrect command may destroy the system.

This is why Ubuntu and other Ubuntu-based distributions lock the root user by default to save you from accidental disasters.

You don’t need to have root privilege for your daily tasks like moving file in your home directory, downloading files from internet, creating documents etc.

Take this analogy for understanding it better. If you have to cut a fruit, you use a kitchen knife. If you have to cut down a tree, you have to use a saw. Now, you may use the saw to cut fruits but that’s not wise, is it?

Does this mean that you cannot be root in Ubuntu or use the system with root privileges? No, you can still have root access with the help of ‘sudo’ (explained in the next section).

Bottom line:
Root user is too powerful to be used for regular tasks. This is why it is not recommended to use root all the time. You can still run specific commands with root.

How to run commands as root user in Ubuntu?

LMMS: A Free & Open Source Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

In this week’s Linux application highlight, we take a look at a free and open-source DAW that helps make music with most of the essential features offered.

LMMS: A Free & Open Source Software To Help Make Music

LMMS is a cross-platform open source DAW hosted on GitHub. It is completely free to use and you do not need to purchase any kind of license to use it.

If you’re curious, there’s no specific full-form for “LMMS” acronym but you can consider it along the lines of “Let’s Make Music” or formerly known as “Linux MultiMedia Studio” as stated in one of their official forum post years back.

So, with the help of LMMS, you should be able to work on making music on Linux.

Of course, you should not expect a free DAW to replace a full-fledged professional DAW bundled with proprietary plugins – but for starters, it isn’t a bad one.

Lmms Screenshot

If you’re used to other DAWs, it might take a while to get comfortable with the user interface. For instance, I’ve used Studio One and Mixcraft as a beginner – so the UI of LMMS looked different.

But, the good news is – you get a detailed official documentation of LMMS. So, if you have trouble learning how it works, simply refer to the official documentation available on their website.

Recommended Read:

Best Audio Editors For Linux

These awesome free and open source audio editors let you create awesome music in Linux. Check out the list of top Linux audio editors.

Features of LMMS

Lmms Project

Just like any other DAW, you will find plugins, samples to use, instruments, and MIDI support. However, it is indeed a long list of features. So, instead of taking a whole day explaining it, let me highlight all the necessary features that LMMS provides.

  • Ability to add notes within the project without needing a separate note-taking

How to Install Ubuntu Linux in the Simplest Possible Way

When it comes to the choosing a Linux for beginners, Ubuntu always comes on the top. I am not going to tell you why you should use Ubuntu. I am going to show you how to install Ubuntu.

There are various ways to install Ubuntu (or other Linux):

  1. You can install Ubuntu inside a virtualbox in Windows
  2. You can use Bash on Windows feature to install it inside Windows
  3. You can dual boot Ubuntu with Windows (so that you can choose which OS to use at the time your system boots)
  4. You can replace Windows with Ubuntu by wiping it altogether from your system

The method I am going to show in this tutorial is the fourth one. You wipe out the entire system and let Ubuntu be your only operating system. In my experience, this is the easiest way to install Ubuntu.

The procedure shown here works for Ubuntu and all other distributions based on it such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Linux Mint, Linux Lite etc. The screenshot might look a little bit different but …

Don’t Use ZFS on Linux: Linus Torvalds

“Don’t use ZFS. It’s that simple. It was always more of a buzzword than anything else, I feel, and the licensing issues just make it a non-starter for me.”

This is what Linus Torvalds said in a mailing list to once again express his disliking for ZFS filesystem specially over its licensing.

What’s the licensing issue with ZFS and Linux kernel?

Dont Use Zfs Torvalds

Oracle open sourced ZFS in 2013. This would have meant that Linux distributions start supporting ZFS. But that didn’t really happen because of the complexity of open source licenses.

ZFS is open source under Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) 1.0 whereas Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0.

These two open source licenses are not fully compatible with each other. As noted by PCWorld, if ZFS with this license is included in the Linux kernel, this would mean that kernel+ZFS is a derivative work of the (original ZFS-less) Linux kernel.

Torvalds doesn’t trust Oracle

Linus Torvalds Zfs Quotes

While the whole derivative thing is a matter of debate for legal and licensing experts, Torvalds is skeptical of Oracle. Oracle has a history of suing enterprises for using its code. Remember Oracle vs Android lawsuit over the use of Java?

Other people think it can be ok to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it ok, and that’s their decision. But considering Oracle’s litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there’s no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.

And I’m not at all interested in some “ZFS shim layer” thing either that some people seem to think would isolate the two projects. That adds no value to our side, and given Oracle’s interface copyright suits (see Java), I don’t think it’s any real licensing win either.

Torvalds doesn’t want Linux kernel to get into legal troubles with Oracle in future and hence he refuses to include ZFS in mainline kernel until Orcale provides a signed letter that a kernel with ZFS will be under GPL license.

And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official

Huawei’s Linux Distribution openEuler is Available Now!

Huawei offers a CentOS based enterprise Linux distribution called EulerOS. Recently, Huawei has released a community edition of EulerOS called openEuler.

The source code of openEuler is released as well. You won’t find it on Microsoft owned GitHub – the source code is available at Gitee, a Chinese alternative of GitHub.

There are two separate repositories, one for the source code and the other as a package source to store software packages that help to build the OS.

Openeuler Website

The openEuler infrastructure team shared their experience to make the source code available:

We are very excited at this moment. It was hard to imagine that we will manage thousands of repositories. And to ensure that they can be compiled successfully, we would like to thank all those who participated in contributing

openEuler is a Linux distribution based on CentOS

Like EulerOS, openEuler OS is also based on CentOS but is further developed by Huawei Technologies for enterprise applications.

It is tailored for ARM64 architecture servers and Huawei claims to have made changes to boost its performance. You can read more about it at Huawei’s dev blog.

Openeuler Gitee

At the moment, as per the official openEuler announcement, there are more than 50 contributors with nearly 600 commits for openEuler.

The contributors made it possible to make the source code available to the community.

It is also worth noting that the repositories also include two new projects (or sub-projects) associated with it, iSulad and A-Tune.

A-Tune is an AI-based OS tuning software and iSulad is a lightweight container runtime daemon that is designed for IoT and Cloud infrastructure, as mentioned on Gitee.

Also, the official announcement post mentioned that these systems are built on the Huawei Cloud through script automation. So, that is definitely something interesting.

Downloading openEuler

OpenEuler

As of now, you won’t find the documentation for it in English – so you will have to wait for it or choose to help them with the documentation.

You can download the ISO directly from its official website to test it out:

What do you think of Huawei openEuler?

As per cnTechPost, Huawei had announced that …

Kali Linux Will No Longer Have The Default Root User

Kali Linux is a specialized Linux distribution for cyber security testing and hacking related tasks.

If you’ve used Kali Linux, you probably know that it followed a default root user policy. In other words, you are always root in Kali Linux. Whatever you do – you will be accessing tools/applications as root by default.

It looks like everything back then was kind of “root for all” for everything. So, the default root user policy existed.

They also explained the history for this in their announcement post:

A lot of those tools back then either required root access to run or ran better when ran as root. With this operating system that would be ran from a CD, never be updated, and had a lot of tools that needed root access to run it was a simple decision to have a “everything as root” security model. It made complete sense for the time.

Kali Linux will now have a default non-root user (like most other distributions)

Kali Linux Default Root User

A default non-root model was necessary because a lot of users now use Kali Linux as their daily driver.

Of course, they do not recommend using Kali Linux as a replacement for stable distributions like Ubuntu/Fedora/Manjaro – however, with its active development, some users do consider using it on a day-to-day basis instead of just using it for its tools.

So, with a wide mainstream usage of the distro, the Kali Linux team thought of switching to a default non-root model because nowadays a lot of applications/tools do not require root access.

While we don’t encourage people to run Kali as their day to day operating system, over the last few years more and more users have started to do so (even if they are not using it to do penetration testing full time), including some members of the Kali development team. When people do so, they obviously don’t run as default root user. With this usage over time, there is the obvious conclusion that default root user is no longer necessary and Kali will be better off moving to a more traditional security model.

So I am reiterating that you should …