Xmind is Mind Mapping Software for Linux, Mac, and Windows

Mind mapping software tools are an integral part of organization for both personal and professional use. A good mind mapping software application helps you map your thoughts sequentially and logically with precision and resourcefulness.  Here we look at XMind 3 which is free mind mapping software that you can run on Linux, Mac, and Windows systems.


About XMind

XMind 3 is both a product and an open source project released on November 10, 2008. XMind 3’s mission statement is to create, as a community, the leading international mind mapping and brainstorming software that will run on all major platforms and raise users’ work efficiency.  You will need to create a free account to download and start using the XMind application from their site.  The free account also allows you to easily share your maps with others for collaboration.

Installing XMind

There are 2 versions of XMind. One is totally free and open source and the second is a pro version which provides a number of advanced features, including presentation mode, audio notes, and is geared more toward corporations. We are going to download and install the free version of XMind which is perfect for individuals and small groups.
1. Download the free version of XMind deb file which includes 32 and 64 bit versions (download links below).
2. Once you have the deb file. Double click it to start the installation.

Once you click Install Package, you’ll be prompted for the admin password in order to begin the installation.

3. Once installed click close.

Running XMind

Once installed XMind will appear under Applications \ Office \ XMind.

The interface is quite intuitive and creating mind maps using XMind is like a walk in park.

You can also upload your mind maps on the XMind website for others to download, use and collaborate.  You’ll need to have an account on XMind in order to upload your mind maps.

Exporting Mind Maps

You can also export your mind maps in various formats like, html files, image etc.
Click on File \ Export.

You can also download various mind maps uploaded by users.  Have fun creating some gorgeous mind maps and don’t forget to share by uploading them!

Download XMind for Linux, OSX and Windows Systems
Map Example Here

How to Install, Remove, and Manage Fonts on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Whether you want to use a new font in a Word or just change your operating system’s system font to give it a different look, you’ll first have to install the font on your operating system.
The installation process makes the font available to all programs on your operating system. Most applications don’t allow you to simply load a font file and use it — they provide a list of installed fonts for you to choose from.

Warning: Too Many Fonts Can Slow Down Your Computer

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Having too many fonts installed can slow down your computer. Don’t go out of your way to install a large number of fonts for no particular reason — install only fonts you actually want to use. Don’t uninstall fonts that came with your operating system, but feel free to uninstall fonts you’ve installed after you’re done using them.
This slow-down happens with all operating systems — Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The operating system has to keep track of the larger amount of fonts, and each program that uses fonts will have to load and deal with them.


To install a font on Windows, download it in OpenType (.otf), PostScript Type 1 (.pfb + .pfm), TrueType (.ttf), or TrueType Collection (.ttc) format. Right-click the downloaded font file and select Install. If the font file comes in an archive — such as a .zip file — extract it first.

You’ll find a list of installed fonts in your Fonts folder. Open the Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, and click Fonts to access it. You can also press the Windows key once to open the Start menu or Start screen, type “Fonts” to search your system, and click the Fonts folder shortcut that appears.

From here, you can preview your installed fonts. Uninstall a font by right-clicking it and selecting Delete. To install multiple fonts at once, drag and drop them into the Fonts window.

Mac OS X

To install a font on Mac OS X, download it in OpenType (.otf), TrueType (.ttf), Datafork TrueType Suitcase (.dfont), or an older type of font file Macs supports, like PostScript Type 1. Double-click the downloaded font file to preview it. Click Install Font in the preview window to install it.

You’ll find a list of installed fonts in the Font Book application. To open it, open the Finder, click Applications in the sidebar, and double-click Font Book. You can also open Launchpad and click the Font Book shortcut. To launch it from your keyboard, press Command + Space to open Spotlight search, type “Font Book,” and press Enter.

Preview a font by clicking it. To remove a font, right-click it and select Remove “Font Name” Family. To disable a font you’ve installed, right-click it and select Disable “Font Name” Family. You can then re-enable it from the same menu later.
To install multiple font files at once, drag and drop them onto the Font Book window.


Different Linux distributions come with different desktop environments, and those different desktop environments contain different applications for this.
To install a font, first download it in TrueType (.ttf), PostScript Type 1 (.pfb + .pfm), or OpenType (.otf) format. You can then double-click the font to preview it. On Ubuntu or any other GNOME-based Linux distribution, GNOME Font Viewer will appear. Click the Install button to install the font for your user account.

You can install fonts manually — or install multiple fonts at once — by placing them in your user account’s .fonts directory. First, open your Home directory in a file manager. In Nautilus, click View > Show Hidden Files to view hidden folders. Locate the .fonts folder and double-click it. If it doesn’t exist, right-click in your home directory, create a new folder, and name it .fonts. Place font files in this directory to install them for your user account.

You will need to update your font cache before fonts you place in this folder are available in applications. Open a terminal and run the fc-cache command.

To delete a font, open the .fonts folder in your home directory and delete the font files from there. If you added the font with GNOME Font Viewer, browse to the .local/share/fonts directory in your home folder instead. Run the fc-cache command afterward to unregister the fonts from the system.

If you need to use a very large number of fonts for some reason, you may want to use a font management program. You can load all your fonts into a single program so you can preview and manage them in one place. You can then use the font management program to install the fonts on your system when you need them and uninstall them when you don’t, avoiding slowdowns.

Be Prepared: Create a Recovery Drive for Windows, Linux, Mac, or Chrome OS

Computers don’t come with operating system installation CDs anymore. If your operating system won’t boot, you’ll need a bootable recovery drive to fix it. All operating systems allow you to create these.
These recovery drives provide access to the same recovery options your operating system includes. You can always create them later, although you may need access to a computer running the same operating system.


Windows 8.1 and 8

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Use the Recovery Media Creator to create a USB recovery drive on Windows 8.1 or 8. Tap the Windows key on your keyboard to access the Start screen, type Recovery drive, and press Enter to open the “Create a recovery drive” tool. Insert your USB drive and go through the wizard.
This tool also gives you the option to move your recovery drive to the USB drive, deleting it from your system drive. This can help free up disk space on devices with small amounts of storage, but you’ll need the USB drive to refresh or reset your PC in the future.

Windows 7

RELATED ARTICLECreate a System Repair Disc in Windows 7
Windows 7 doesn’t allow you to create USB recovery media. You’ll have to create system repair disc on a CD or DVD. Press the Windows key to open your Start menu, type System Repair Disc, and press Enter to open it. A system repair discallows you top access tools like Startup Repair, which can fix problems that prevent your operating system from booting.
On Windows 8, you can press Windows Key + R, type recdisc.exe into the Run dialog, and press Enter to access this tool. It allows you to create a CD or DVD recovery disc for Windows 8. This hidden tool was removed in Windows 8.1, so you’ll have to create a USB recovery drive instead.


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There’s no need to create separate, specialized recovery media on Linux. Just ensure you have a bootable USB drive, SD card, DVD, or CD with your Linux distribution’s live environment on it. If your Linux distribution ever becomes damaged and unbootable, insert your live CD and use the tools on the live CD to fix it.
Unlike on other operating systems, Linux distributions like Ubuntu don’t have specialized “repair installation” options that will attempt to repair an existing installation. But there are other ways you can attempt to repair your Linux system.
For example, you could reinstall your Linux distribution without formatting the drive, keeping your files. You could follow guides to fixing your operating system online and run the appropriate terminal commands. You can also use other tools — for example, we have instructions for using the Boot-Repair tool to fix a GRUB boot loader problems.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLE8 Mac System Features You Can Access in Recovery Mode
OS X Recovery is built into your Mac. Modern Macs even support Internet Recovery, so they can download the OS X Recovery environment from Apple’s servers when necessary. This is all integrated into the Mac’s UEFI firmware, so it can download the recovery environment and use it even if your hard drive is completely wiped.
You can also create an OS X Recovery disk, which is useful on Macs without Internet Recovery or if you want to access recovery mode without an Internet connection.
Download the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant from Apple’s website. Run it, select an external drive to install the recovery environment to, and follow the instructions. You can then boot any Mac while holding the Option key, select the recovery drive, and access the recovery environment.

Chrome OS

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You can create a Chrome OS recovery drive on any operating system — on Chrome OS itself, or on any Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X system with Chrome installed.
Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility from the Chrome Web Store, insert a 4 GB or larger USB drive or SD card, and select the model of your Chromebook. The utility will create a recovery drive with all of Chrome OS’s system files on it — the recovery drive allows you to reinstall the entire Chrome OS operating system if it ever becomes corrupted. For example, this may happen if you’re using developer mode for full access to the Chrome OS operating system.
Unlike the other recovery tools here, the drive you create is only good for the particular model of Chromebook you choose when you create it. You can’t re-use the recovery drive with multiple different models of Chromebooks, although you can quickly rewrite new Chrome OS recovery files to it.

To boot the recovery media, just insert it into your computer and reboot. If the computer’s boot order is set up properly, it should boot straight to the recovery environment.

How to Wipe Drives From Windows, Mac, or a Bootable Disk

Whether you’re letting go of a computer or disposing of a USB drive, it’s a good idea to wipe that drive if there was ever sensitive, unencrypted data on it. This will prevent someone from using deleted-file-recovery tools to recover sensitive data from that drive.
You should probably use full-disk-encryption instead of wiping disks afterward like this. This will protect your files, whether you’ve deleted them or not. Standard drive-wiping utilities also won’t work properly with SSDs and might reduce their performance, while encryption is guaranteed to work.

Wipe Your PC the Easy Way with SafeErase

If you want to securely erase your computer before selling it or giving it away, it doesn’t get easier than using the SafeErase utility by Laplink:

  1. Install SafeErase.
  2. Click “SafeErase entire computer”.
  3. Done!

SafeErase will reboot your computer and completely wipe all of the attached drives completely in no time at all. There’s no need to burn a CD or create a USB drive to wipe your computer. It’s also a handy way to securely erase files, folders, partitions, and more.
Download SafeErase and Wipe Your PC the Easy Way

Windows 10 (and Windows 8)

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Windows 10 offers a built-in way to wipe your system drive if you’re passing your computer onto someone else. Open the Settings app, navigate to Update & security > Recovery, click or tap the “Get started” button under Reset this PC, select “Remove everything,” and then select “Remove files and clean the drive”.
This feature was added in Windows 8, so you’ll see the same option when resetting your Windows 8 or 8.1 PC to its factory default settings.

Windows 10 also includes a built-in way to securely wipe a USB drive, SD card, or any other drive from within the operating system. This option was added to the format command in Windows 8, so it will also work on Windows 8 and 8.1.
To do this, launch a Command Prompt window as administrator by right-clicking the Start button and selecting “Command Prompt (Admin).” Type the following command into the window:

format x: /p:1

Replace “x:” with the drive letter of the drive you want to format, being very careful to select the correct drive or you’ll wipe another drive. The “/p” switch tells Windows how many passes to use. For example, “/p:1” will perform a single pass on the drive, overwriting every sector once. You could enter “/p:3” to perform three passes, and so on. Doing this to solid-state storage can decrease the life of your drive, so try not to use more passes than you really need. In theory, you should only need a single pass, but you might want to perform a few extra to be safe.

Windows 7 (and Computers Without Operating Systems)

Windows 7 doesn’t contain any integrated disk-wiping features. If you’re still using Windows 7, you can boot up your computer using DBAN (also known as Darik’s Boot and Nuke) and use it to wipe an internal drive. You can then reinstall Windows on that drive and get back to factory-default settings with a wiped drive, or just dispose of the drive after overwriting it with junk data — whatever you want to do.
DBAN is a bootable environment, so you can throw it on a USB drive or burn it to a disc and boot it up on a PC that doesn’t even have an operating system to ensure that PC’s drive is wiped.

To wipe a USB drive, SD card, or another drive, you can use a program like Eraser. You could also use this on Windows 10, 8.1, or 8 if you’d rather not use the format command in a terminal. With Eraser installed, you can right-click a drive in Windows Explorer, point to “Eraser,” and select “Erase” to erase it.

Mac OS X

The Disk Utility tool included with Mac OS X can securely wipe drives. It works for internal system drives, external USB hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, and whatever else you might want to securely wipe.
To use this tool from within Mac OS X to wipe an external drive, press Command + Space to open Spotlight search, type “Disk Utility,” and press Enter. Select the external drive, click the “Erase” button, click “Security Options,” and you can choose a number of times you want to overwrite it with junk data. Click the “Erase” button afterwards and Disk Utility will wipe the drive.

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To erase your system drive, you’ll need to boot your Mac into recovery mode by restarting it and holding Command + R as it’s booting.
Launch the Disk Utility from recovery mode, select your system drive, and erase it with the same options you’d use above. You can then reinstall Mac OS X from recovery mode.

This is possible on Linux, too. If you have a desktop Linux PC and want to wipe the entire thing, you can always just boot DBAN up and wipe it. But you can do the same with various commands, including the dd, shred, and wipe commands.
If you’re really worried about your data being recovered, you can inspect the drive with a deleted-file-recovery utility afterward and confirm it can’t find any data. Of course, this won’t be as effective as dedicated forensic utilities. But, if you’re that paranoid, you should probably just destroy the drive so no one can use it in the future. That’s how the military disposes of hard drives containing very sensitive data, for example.

How to Change Passwords on Any Device (Windows, Mac, Smartphone)

It may seem like a simple thing, but changing your password is a fact of life, and knowing how to do it is something we here at How-To Geek generally take for granted, but the question is: do you know how to change your password?
Changing your password regularly may not be the best course of action, but changing it to something strong and hard to crack or guess is.
RELATED ARTICLEShould You Change Your Passwords Regularly?
It’s a fairly routine process once you know what you’re doing, but assuming that everyone knows exactly how it’s done doesn’t make it so. Today, we want to show you how to change your password on Windows (7, 8.1 & 10), OS X, Android, and iOS (iPhone and iPad).
We hope then, armed with this new knowledge, that you’ll take a moment to change your password on your devices because while it isn’t the most secure method of locking out snoops and hackers, it is still often the first and only line of defense against them.


Changing Your Password on Windows

To change your password on Windows, you will need to go through the following steps.

Windows 7

Wndows 7 is still the choice of a vast majority of Windows users and as such, needs to be addressed first. To change you password, you’ll first need to open the Control Panel and click “User Accounts”.

In your user account screen, click “Change your password”.

You will first need to enter your current password and then you can change it to the new one.

Let’s move on next to Windows 8.1, which has an entirely different way of going about things.

Windows 8.1

With the introduction of the Windows 8.x Start screen and the “Metro” style interface, the method of changing your password was moved entirely to PC settings.
In the PC settings, click on “Accounts”.

On the Accounts screen, click the “Change” button under the Password heading.

You will first need to enter your current password.

Once you enter your current password, you can then change it to something new.

Up next is Windows 10, which isn’t entirely different from Windows 8.1.

Windows 10

In Windows 10, the PC settings are now simply called Settings, and the way to change your password is still located in the Accounts section.
In the Accounts section, click on “Sign-in options” and then click “Change” under the “Password” heading.

Assuming you’re using a Microsoft account, you’ll immediately be prompted to enter your current password before you can proceed.

Once you enter your Microsoft account password, you’ll again be prompted to enter your old password and then you can change it to your new password.

If you use a local account on either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, the procedure will be almost entirely identical. Simply go to the Accounts section in the PC settings or Settings, respectively, click “Change” in the Password section, and follow the prompts.

Changing Your Password on OS X

Changing your password on OS X is cinch and should only take a few seconds. First open the System Preferences and then click on “Users & Groups”.

Now, you should see your account Password screen where you can click the “Change Password…” button.

If you want to use your iCloud password to log into and unlock your Mac, you can do so at the next dialog, however, for our purposes we’re just going to change the local password on our machine’s user account so we’ll click “Change Password…” when prompted.

Simply now fill in the blanks. Enter your old password and then the new one. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a new password, then click the key icon next to the “New password” box for a handy password generator.

It’s as simple as that to change your password on your computer(s). Let’s move on now to smartphone and tablets.

Changing Your Password on Android

Android doesn’t really press you to add security to your device, which we think is a bad thing. You should always have some kind of screen lock just in case you lose your phone or it gets stolen.
To add or change your device’s screen lock, first open the Settings and tap open the “Security” option.

On the next screen, you will see the “Screen lock” option. Tap that open to add or change your device’s accessibility.

You’ll have three options to choose from (we don’t recommend None or Swipe). Out of all three, the Pattern is probably our preferred method but you can also choose a PIN or a traditional Password to unlock your device.

Finally, let us move on to iOS, which takes device security far more seriously than Android, in our opinion.

Changing Your Passcode on iPhone or iPad

If you’re using a recent iPhone 5 or later, then you’ll have the wonderful option of Touch ID to unlock your device, but you will still need to enter your passcode from time to time such as when you restart.
To change your passcode, first open the Settings and then tap open “Touch ID & Passcode”.

You will immediately need to enter your passcode before you can proceed.

Scroll down until you see the passcode options. You can either turn the passcode off (not recommended) or you can change it.

When you change your passcode, you will again be prompted to enter your old one.

Once you do that, you will need to enter a new one.

Note, there are also options to use a different type of passcode such as an alphanumeric code, which is a traditional password, a custom numeric code, or if you’re using iOS 9, you can resort the older and less secure 4-digit passcode (not recommended).

Knowing how to change or even add passwords to your devices is smart and often necessary. Unfortunately, device makers typically don’t make this obvious and as such, users often use the same method of accessing their devices for as long as they own them.
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To that end, it’s up to you to make your device’s security your personal goal. The chances or your devices being “hacked” or broken into depends entirely on how careful you are with it, and the complexity of the security you’ve put into place.
Don’t be complacent about this, much of your life is contained within a very small item that can easily be lost or stolen.
We hope this article was useful to you and you now feel confident changing your passwords on your computer, phone, or tablet. If you have any questions or comments you would like to contribute, please leave your feedback in our discussion forum.

The Best Alternative File Managers for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Most people use their operating system’s included file manager, but many geeks prefer third-party file managers. After all, Windows Explorer doesn’t offer tabs, a dual-pane interface, batch file-renaming tools, and more advanced features.
If you’re happy with your default file manager, that’s fine. These alternatives are really only useful if you’re craving a particular feature not found in your current file manager.



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For as long as Windows Explorer has existed, Windows geeks have yearned for more features. There are many, many Windows Explorer alternatives out there. When installing them, be sure ot watch out for the junkware packed into their installers. The Windows software ecosystem is sick, and  — in general — we hate recommending Windows software downloads for just this reason.
FreeCommander is a good option if you’re looking for tabs, a dual-pane interface, and all the other powerful features a Windows Explorer replacement can offer. Unlike many of the other available applications, it’s available entirely for free — although it isn’t open-source. You’re free to use it all you like, even for commercial purposes. No features are restricted to some sort of professional edition you have to pay for. Multi Commander is similar and also free.

Explorer++ is free and open-source, so it also won’t try to nag you for money or install junk onto your system. It includes tabs, a customizable user interface, file-filtering features, and can even run as a portable app without any installation. It offers a cleaner interview than Free Commander, but without the dual-pane view and some other powerful features. If all you want is a tabbed interface and a few other things, this is a great option

Other file manager replacements include Xplorer2, XYplorer, Directory Opus, and Total Commander. All of these programs offer paid editions they want you to purchase. There are free versions available for most of them — Xplorer2 Lite, XYplorer Free, and Directory Opus Light. They often lack many of the more powerful features found in the paid versions, but they’ll provide you with many of the features found in the paid versions.

Mac OS X

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The Finder app included with Mac OS X does the basics, but it can certainly leave you wanting. As usual on Mac OS X, many of the alternative file-manager options available to you are generally paid software. You’ll have to shell out a few bucks to use them. On the bright side, this means that they see more development than many alternative Windows file managers, and their business model is selling software instead of trying to load your computer with crapware in their installers.
Cocoatech’s Path Finder is probably the most popular Finder replacement for Mac OS X, and we covered it as one of the best options if you want to merge folders on your Mac. It also includes a dual-pane interface and other powerful features. Developers in particular can get a lot of use out of its intergrated Git and Subeersion support, as well as easy access to a terminal.
Path Finder costs $40, but you can use the free 30-day trial to determine if you actually need all those fancy features.

If you want some of these advanced features — like a dual-pane interface — but don’t want to spend money on this type of program, try XtraFinder. It’a free application that adds features to the Finder, including a dual-pane interface, a copy queue, global hotkeys, and many new menu options. It doesn’t include nearly as many advanced features as Path Finder does, but most people don’t need all those bonus features. This could hit a good sweet spot for many people.


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It’s hard to talk about alternative file managers for Linux, as every desktop environment tends to include its own unique file manager. These file managers also tend to see more development and often include advanced features you’d only find in alternative file managers on other operating systems. But, thanks to the modularity of the Linux desktop, you could actually run a different desktop environment’s file manager on your current desktop.
For example, GNOME and Ubuntu’s Unity desktop include the Nautilus file manager. KDE includes the Dolphin file manager, Xfce includes the Thunar file manager, and LXDE includes PCManFM. Each file manager has its own unique features — for example, Xfce’s Thunar file manager includes an integrated Bulk Rename tool for quickly batch-renaming files.

Every file manager tends to match its desktop environment in philosophy. For example, GNOME’s Nautilus file manager is shedding features with every release, chasing GNOME’s goal of simplicity and minimalism. Dolphin is more feature-heavy and uses the Qt toolkit instead of GNOME and Xfce’s GTK toolkit. Thunar, like Xfce itself, is a more minimal, barebones file manager that still has everything you need and gets the job done. Like LXDE itself, the PCManFM file manager offers a fairly minimal, lightweight interface.
Perform a search for “file manager” or something similar in your Linux distribution’s package management interface and you’ll find a lot of options.

So, do we think everyone needs to hunt down an alternative file manager? Not at all. We’ve usually been happy with the integrated file managers, which are there and get the job done if you don’t need anything special.
But lots of geeks do love their alternative file managers, and for good reason. They offer powerful features that can save you a lot of time if you need them.

How to Find Your Firefox Profile Folder on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Your Firefox profile stores your settings and personal information, such as your home page, bookmarks, extensions (add-ons), toolbars, and saved passwords. All this information is stored in a profile folder that keeps your data separate from the Firefox program, so if anything goes wrong with Firefox, your information is preserved.
If you ever run into any problems with Firefox, trying a new profile can help you troubleshoot. Or, if you have a customization that requires you to find your profile folder, you’ll need to go hunting.
The default location for Firefox’s profile folder differs depending on your platform. The default locations are:

  • Windows 7, 8.1, and 10: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default
  • Mac OS X El Capitan: Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default
  • Linux: /home/<username>/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default

Just replace <username> with the name of your user folder. The default profile folder is named using eight random letters and numbers with .default on the end (hence our placeholders above, xxxxxxxx.default ). For example, one of ours was called  hfoo2h79.default .
To back up your profile(s), copy the folder(s) in the Profiles folder to an external hard drive or a cloud service. You can also delete your profile folder if you want to start Firefox from a fresh state.
If you really want to get your hands dirty, you can set up multiple profiles with different settings, bookmarks, extensions, and toolbars in each. This is useful if you want to test things like extensions, or troubleshoot problems in Firefox without messing up your main profile. You could even have different profiles for different users, or different situations like “Work” and “Personal”.
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How to Share Files Between Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs on a Network

Home file sharing used to be a nightmare, even between different versions of Windows — never mind Mac and Linux! These operating systems can now talk to each other and share files without any special software.
We’ll be using the SMB protocol for this. Windows uses SMB for file sharing, while both Macs and popular Linux distributions have built-in support for SMB. Microsoft even submitted patches to the open-source Samba project to improve it!

Share a Folder on Windows

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You’ll need to enable old-fashioned file sharing on Windows, as other operating systems can’t access homegroups. To do this, open the Control Panel and navigate to Network and Sharing > Change advanced sharing settings. Enable “network discovery” and “file and print sharing.”
Tweak the other options here if you’d like to share public folders over the network without requiring a password.

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Locate the folder you want to share in Windows Explorer or File Explorer, right-click it, and select Properties. Click the Sharing tab and use the options here to share a folder and configure its permissions.

Access a Shared Folder from Windows

Visit the Network pane in Windows Explorer or File Explorer to view other computers sharing files with you. You’ll see properly configured Mac and Linux computers appear in this list along with nearby Windows PCs. Double-click a computer to view its shared files.

You can also connect directly to a computer if you know its name or IP address. Just type //COMPUTERNAME into Windows Explorer or File Explorer’s location bar and press Enter. Replace COMPUTERNAME with the computer’s local IP address if you want to connect directly to an IP address instead.

Share a Folder on Mac OS X

You’ll need to enable network file sharing to share folders on your Mac. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple logo and selecting System Preferences. Click the Sharing icon and enable File Sharing. Click the Options button here and ensure “Share files and folders using SMB” is enabled.
Use the Shared Folders column to choose additional folders to share. Use the Users column to choose which users and groups can access and write to them.

Access a Shared Folder from Mac OS X

Open the Finder, click Go on the menu at the top of the screen, and select Connect to Server. Enter the following address, replacing COMPUTERNAME with the Windows computer’s name: smb://COMPUTERNAME. You can also enter the other computer’s local IP address instead of its name.

You’ll be prompted to authenticate with the appropriate credentials or log in as a guest. After you’ve connected, the computer will appear under the Shared column in the Finder’s sidebar.
To automatically connect to the shared folder each time you log in, open the System Preferences window and navigate to Users and Groups > Login Items. Drag and drop the network share from under the Shared column in Finder to the list of Login Items.

Share a Folder on Linux

Use your desktop’s file manager to share a folder on Linux. We used the Nautilus file manager on Ubuntu 14.04 here, but the process should be similar with other file managers.
Open the file manager, right-click a folder you want to share, and select Properties. Click the Local Network Share tab and enable sharing for that folder. If this is the first time you’ve enabled sharing, you’ll be prompted to download and install the Samba software — this happens automatically when you provide your password.
Configure your sharing settings after installing the Samba software — be sure to click the Create Share button to start sharing the folder.

Access a Shared Folder from Linux

Your Linux deksotp’s file manager probably includes a network browser you can use to locate and access shared folders on the local network.
Click the Browse Network option in the file manager’s sidebar. You can then double-click the Windows Network option, double-click your workgroup (WORKGROUP by default), and double-click a nearby computer to view its shared files.

To connect directly to a computer, select the Connect to Server option in Nautilus instead and enter the path to the remote computer like so: smb://COMPUTERNAME

However you connect, you may need to authenticate with a user account name and password that has access to the files on the remote machine. This depends on whether you enabled guest access and how you set up your folder sharing permissions.
Image Credit: Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr

How to Mount ISOs and Other Disc Images on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Disc images have become more useful than ever on modern PCs that often lack CD and DVD drives. Create ISO files and other types of disc images and you can “mount” them, accessing the virtual discs as if they were physical discs inserted into your computer.
You can also use these image files to burn copies of the original discs later, creating duplicate copies. Disc image files contain a complete representation of a disc.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Create ISO Files From Discs on Windows, Mac, and Linux
Windows 10 allows you to mount both .ISO and .IMG disc image files without any third-party software. Just double-click a .ISO or .IMG disc image you want to make available. If this doesn’t work, you should be able to click the “Disk Image Tools” tab on the ribbon and click “Mount.” It will appear under Computer as if it were inserted into a physical disc drive.
This feature was added back in Windows 8, so it will also work on Windows 8 and 8.1.
To unmount the disc later, right-click the virtual disc drive and select “Eject.” The disc will be unmounted and the virtual disc drive will disappear from the Computer window until you mount a disc in it again.

To mount ISO or IMG images on Windows 7 — or to mount images in other formats, such as BIN/CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, or CCD — we recommend the free, open-source, and simple WinCDEmu utility.
Just right-click an image file after installing it, click “Select drive letter & mount,” and you can mount other types of images Windows doesn’t support.
Some other third-party utilities have additional support for emulating various copy-protection technologies, allowing copy-protected discs to function normally. However, such techniques are being phased out and aren’t even supported by modern versions of Windows.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Install Applications On a Mac: Everything You Need to Know
On a Mac, double-clicking common disc image formats will mount them. This is why you can simply double-click a downloaded .DMG file to access its contents and install Mac applications, for example.
The DiskImageMounter application that handles this can also mount .ISO, .IMG, .CDR, and other types of image files. Just double-click the file to mount it. If this doesn’t work, Option-click or right-click a file, point to “Open With,” and select “DiskImageMounter.”
When you’re done, just click the “Eject” button next to the mounted image in the Finder’s sidebar to eject it and unmount it — just like you’d unmount a .DMG image when you’re done with it.

You can also try mounting the disc image file by opening the Disk Utility application. Press Command+Space, type Disk Utility, and press Enter to open it. Click the “File” menu, select “Open Image,” and select the disc image you want to mount.


Ubuntu’s Unity desktop and GNOME include an “Archive Mounter” application that can mount ISO files and similar image files graphically. To use it, right-click an .ISO file or another type of disc image, point to Open With, and select “Disk Image Mounter.”
You can later unmount the image by clicking the eject icon next to the mounted image in the sidebar.

You can also mount an .ISO file or another disc image with a Linux terminal command. This is particularly useful if you’re just using the command line, or if you’re using a Linux desktop that doesn’t provide a tool to make this easy. (Of course, graphical tools for mounting ISO files and similar images may be available in your Linux distribution’s software repositories.)
To mount an ISO or IMG file on Linux, first open a Terminal window from your Linux desktop’s applications menu. First, type the following command to create the /mnt/image folder. You can create practically any folder you like — you just have to create a directory where you’ll mount the image. The contents of the disc image will be accessible at this location later.

sudo mkdir /mnt/image

Next, mount the image with the following command. Replace “/home/NAME/Downloads/image.iso” with the path to the ISO, IMG, or other type of disc image you want to mount.

sudo mount -o loop /home/NAME/Downloads/image.iso /mnt/image

To unmount the disc image later, just use the umount command:

sudo umount /mnt/image

Some guides recommend you add “-t iso9660” to the command. However, this isn’t actually helpful — it’s best to let the mount command automatically detect the required file system.
If you’re trying to mount a more obscure type of disc image format that the mount command can’t automatically detect and mount in this way, you may need commands or tools designed specifically for working with that type of image file format.

This should “just work” on most modern operating systems, allowing you to mount and use ISO images and other common types of image files in a few clicks. Windows 7 users will have the toughest time, as it isn’t integrated into that older version of Windows, but WinCDEmu is a lightweight and easy way to accomplish this.

How to Record Your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS Screen

Screenshots are great, but sometimes you need to create a video recording to really get your point across. You can record your computer’s desktop, your smartphone’s screen, or your tablet’s display.
This process gives you a video file, which you can do whatever you like with. Upload it to YouTube or email it to a friend. Put together a video tutorial or just capture a problem you’re having so you an demonstrate it later.

Record Your Mac, iPhone, or iPad Screen the Easy Way

Whether you want to create a screen recording, a video of something on your iPhone or iPad, or you need to create a full tutorial with high-quality editing, Capto is the best tool for the job.
You can record your screen along with audio to create instructional videos, you can capture video directly from an iPhone or iPad, or you can capture video from the webcam on your Mac. And once you’re done, you can use the high-quality video and image editing tools to make it perfect.
And they have a  free trial. So you don’t have to pay for anything unless it does what you need it to.
Download the Free Trial of Capto Today


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Desktop to a File or Stream It Over the Internet with VLC
Windows doesn’t include a built-in tool for creating desktop recordings. There are many tools for doing this, but make sure you avoid the junkware bundled into their installers if you go hunting for them. You can actually use VLC to record your desktop, and that’s a convenient option. There’s a good chance you already have VLC installed, and it’s a Swiss army knife that will allow you to quickly record your desktop without installing anything else.

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Desktop and Create a Screencast on Windows
For more advanced screencasts, we recommend OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It’s very powerful, free, open-source tool that allows you to do more. Insert watermarks, embed a video of your webcam while capturing your desktop, choose specific desktop windows, and so on. OBS is widely used for video-game-streaming on Twitch.tv because it’s so powerful, but it works just as well for creating a professional-looking video of your desktop.
If you want something even more powerful that also comes with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, the best software on the market — but be warned, it’s not cheap. Luckily they do have a free trial, so you can test it before you buy.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLEUse Your Mac’s QuickTime App to Edit Video and Audio Files
Mac OS X offers a convenient, built-in screen-recording tool. It’s one of the many useful functions hidden in QuickTime, which is more than just the simple media player it looks like on the surface.
To record your Mac’s screen, open the QuickTime application — press Command + Space to open Spotlight search, type QuickTime, and press Enter to do so. Click the File menu on the menu bar, select New Screen Recording. You can then click the little menu to the right of the Record button and choose whether you want to capture audio from your microphone in the video, too. This will allow you to narrate along with your actions. Click the Record button to start when you’re ready.

QuickTime will minimize itself to a small icon on the right side of your menu bar and start recording. Click Stop when you’re done, and you’ll be able to preview and save your video. QuickTime can also edit the video, trimming out any unnecessary bits.

For something more powerful, you may want to try Open Broadcaster Siftware (OBS). It’s not just for Windows — it works on Mac, too. If you want something even more powerful that also comes with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, the best software on the market for both Macs and PCs, but like we mentioned earlier, it’s not cheap.


There are quite a few open-source screen-recording applications for Linux, and you’ll probably find many of them if you pull up your Linux distribution’s package manager and do a quick search. There’s even a way to do this with ffmpeg and other commands from the terminal, if you’re into that sort of thing.
One of the most popular and longest-standing open-source tools for this is recordMyDesktop, which you can install from the Ubuntu Software Center or your Linux distribution’s package management interface of choice.
Launch recordMyDesktop and use its options to choose video and audio quality levels. This tool can record your entire desktop or just a small portion of it. recordMyDesktop works well, provides a simple interface, and offers the most important desktop-recording options.

If you want something more powerful, try Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). It’s available for Linux as well as Windows and Mac OS X.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Android Device’s Screen With Android 4.4 KitKat
Android allows you to capture a video of your device’s display and save it as an mp4 file. This feature was added in Android 4.4, and it still works on Android 5. To do this, you’ll need to connect your Android device to a PC and use the adb command. Apps on your phone can’t start recording your display on their own — this prevents apps from initiating a recording to capture you entering sensitive data.
Connect your Android device to a Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux PC with a USB cable and use the “adb shell screenrecord” command to start recording its display. If you have a rooted device, you can also initiate a screen recording with an app on your device — but that app needs root permissions.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record a Video of Your iPhone or iPad’s Screen From Your Mac
Apple now offers a convenient, official way to record an iOS device’s screen. This requires a Mac running OS X Yosemite and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 8 or newer. Unfortunately, this feature is only available for Mac users. It’s intended for developers to capture their apps in action, and iOS developers will need to have Macs anyway.
If you have a Mac and an iPhone or iPad, you can connect your iPhone or iPad to it and use the QuickTime application to capture its screen. Just select “New Movie Recording” instead of New Screen Recording, click the menu button, and select the connected iOS device instead of your Mac’s built-in webcam.

You can live-stream your desktop instead of recording it, too. On a desktop PC or laptop, OBS works very well for live-streaming. You can even live-stream your desktop straight from VLC!