Episode 041 – Raspberry in season

Posted by Tony on July 22, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:24:40

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/4f4JIvUUJDM

Contact Us:

show (at) smlr.us or the Contact us page


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 7:41
Distro Talk: Tony
Mary Distro Review
Tech News:
Is it Alive? – Mary
Listener Feedback
Outtro Music


Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Intro Sound bite by Mike Tanner

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 7:41
Kernel News

Release Candidate:

On Sat, 21 Jul 2012 15:16:00 PDT
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.5
Here’s what Linus had to say about it.

“Changes all over with almost 60% of the patch being drivers (mainly networking, GPU, media and sound, but it’s all over), 20+% arch updates, and 20% being “rest” (fs, core kernel code, core networking, tools, docs).

It’s been fairly calm, so there shouldn’t be any huge surprises there. As usual, you can find descriptions of the new stuff on sites like H-Online or Kernelnewbies. Stuff like filesystem tweaks, CoDel, structured logging, firewire target mode etc etc.

Go for it!”

Stable Updates:
On Fri, 13 Jul 2012 02:22:51 BST
Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.23
With 56 files changed, 439 lines inserted, and 184 lines deleted

On Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:15:53 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.38
With 18 files changed, 233 lines inserted, and 159 lines deleted

On Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:16:41 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.6
With 39 files changed, 459 lines inserted, and 155 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
Greg Kroah-Hartman had this to say about people who write closed source drivers.

“There’s a special circle in hell for closed source driver authors, isn’t there? If not, what do I need to do to get one created?”
–Greg Kroah-Hartman

Distro Talk: Tony



  • 7-15 – VectorLinux 7.0 64bit – Slackware-based distribution optimised for business and office use. Today Robert Lange announced the first 64-bit edition of VectorLinux 7.0 Standard under the name “VLocity”:
  • 7-15 – GParted LiveCD 0.13.0-1 – a live CD based on the Debian unstable release with graphical tools for disk management and data recovery.
  • 7-17 – Sophos UTM 9 – a network security solution previously known as Astaro Security Gateway and now called Sophos Unified Threat Management
  • 7-17 – Linux Deepin 12.06 – one of the most active community distributions in China
  • 7-18 – SystemRescueCd 2.8.1 – a Gentoo-based live CD with specialist utilities for data rescue and disk management tasks, has been released
  • 7-21 – FreeNAS 8.2.0 – Network-Attached Storage (NAS) operating system based on FreeBSD
  • 7-22 – Linux Mint 13 “Xfce” – the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 13, codename Maya

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. openSUSE – 1213
  2. Arch – 1317
  3. Ubuntu – 1547
  4. Mint – 2981
  5. Mageia – 3173

Mary Distro Review

Time: 17:43
Mageia Review
Or…Two Birds; One Stone—and the breakfast was tasty.

Anyone who’s listened to the last couple of months knows that Mageia has been sitting near the top of the Distrowatch list. As a son of Mandriva, it’s a popular distro. So popular that Mandriva, themselves, announced that they plan to use Mageia as a technical platform for their new Business Server product.
Plus Mageia won me breakfast.
Name: Mageia
Maintainer: French nonprofit organization of elected contributors.
Distro Latest Birthday: Mageia 2.0 was released on on 5/22/12
Derivative: Fork of Mandriva.
Kernel: 3.3.6 (via uname -a)
Review Desktop: LXDE/Gnome 3

Mageia has two download mediums-One is a live-CD with either KDE or Gnome as the desktop. The other is a 3.4GB DVD with practically everything. I also downloaded and installed the DVD version, initially installing LXDE.

I tested the live CD with Gnome on both laptops. The Nvidia drivers loaded just fine, by the way.

One thing to note regarding proprietary drivers– The live CD installed the Nvidia proprietary driver. The DVD provides links to the non-free repository

Live Environment:

The liveCD produced the standard Gnome 3 desktop. By ‘standard’ I mean a panel at the top with Activities which displays all open programs and a tab to display all installed applications. Some of the icons don’t scale well on the Gnome menu. Gnome 3: standard interface.

Desktop icons: Computer, Home, Trash, Join Mageia Community. (Running the live CD on Zareason showed a fifth icon: Install on Hard Disk)

Sidedock icons: Web, Mail, Chat (empathy), Music (Rhythmbox),

Notification Panel: at the bottom of the screen, visible when the mouse was in the vicinity.

I have complained in previous reviews involving the Gnome desktop that the system settings window is not resizeable. On my desktop/display the default size is just large enough to prevent all options from being fully displayed. A scrollbar on the right side lets you scroll to display the 34-pixel-high portion across the bottom that is not visible by default. I still find the missing Maximize and Minimize window buttons a little annoying.

The live CD comes with these mainstays:

Mail: Evolution
Office Suite: Apparently there is no office suite installed by default. I used the software management utility to install LibreOffice
Web: Web 3.4.1 (Epiphany rebranded in March of 2012) and Firefox ESR (10.0.6) Extended Support Release (Announced by Mozilla in January 2012 for use by enterprises, universities, and others put off by Mozilla’s switch to a rapid release cycle.


Note that there is NO live environment on the DVD.

The Install:
When installing from the live CD, the installer indicated that it would remove unneeded packages unless you choose otherwise. During the install I also had an opportunity to customize GRUB boot-loader—seasoned users appreciate this option.

What interesting software is automatically installed when you install from the live CD?

  1. Gimp 2.8 – (Note that, Kubuntu project!)
  2. Two DigiDoc Applications:
    Client – An Estonian card reader so you can digitally sign documents.
    Crypto – Allows you to encrypt documents. I am not sure why they’re included.
  3. Tvtime – a Gnome utility to watch digital television
  4. Orca – screen reader
  5. Cheese – came installed although I did not have a webcam. I wonder what happened to the removing of apps I don’t need task during install?
  6. Ekiga Softphone – pronounced [i k ai g a]. pronunciation [i k ai g a]
    -> stress on the diphthong

Online Accounts under Application > Tools sounded like an aggregation point for, well, online accounts. I clicked on it expecting to see a list of account links—facebook, Google+, etc. Oops! Nothing was listed in the window, but there were instructions to “select an account” It seems that an “add account” option would be helpful.

During the DVD install, I selected LXDE. It’s just the base install of the desktop and you determine specifically what software you want to install. Lean and mean. How lean and mean? Changing the mouse button in LXDE means making an adjustment to a configuration file. Not a big deal, but a bit of a surprise at first.

The DVD uses the drakx installer which allows you to select package groups for Workstation, Server, Graphical Environment, and/or individual package selection.

I noted a few package errors related to two evolution files, a firefox file, ffmpeg. None of them prevented me from booting to Mageia after the install.

Options for the Xserver portion of the install included a section where I could confirm the video display. I also deselected desktop effects since the laptop I am currently using to review distros is older and does not support it. I found that out the hard way because the FIRST time I installed Mageia—yes there was more than one install—I left desktop effects selected and the Xserver blew up after I rebooted.

Another choice I appreciated was the options to disable CTRL +ALT + Backspace. In Mageia it is enabled by default, which is the opposite of the Ubuntu family of distros. I also selected the option to automatically start Xserver upon booting.

I wanted to configure wifi. The choice is to select the card if the system recognizes it—which it appeared to do—or to use a windows driver with ndiswrapper. I selected my card but then was informed that a component was missing. The system was helpful in telling me it was available in the official “non-free” repositories or at http://intellinuxwireless.org.

Gnome – The Mageia Control Center is a focal point for system administration, including managing software, which you’ll find under software management. ThinkYaST for Mageia or should I say Mandriva because this handy control center originated with Mandriva. I really liked how all elements of system administration is collected in one location. Although KDE’s system settings tool is very robust, I’d like to see it add a section for software management and add the Muon suite of apps.

The installed version uses urpmi – This command-line package manager handles dependencies. By typing urpmi and the name of the program you want to install, all of the required libraries are identified and included in the install if they are missing from your system. Mageia uses Drakrpm as the front end to urpmi to install and remove software.

Mageia– almost 4 cups of coffee.

Tech News:

Time: 35:04
Lumia 900 Sales Hit Expected Low

Leading up to the launch of the Nokia Lumina 900 many were saying the marketing was going to be even bigger than the original iPhone launch. Some Nokia execs even brazenly announced that the Lumia line was the first “real” Windows phone. At the beginning (before sales could be verified by independent research) AT&T even claimed that sales were exceeding expectations. Now that last one may actually be true as we do not know what their expectations where, however I do not really believe that their expectations where for less than 500,000 in sales. When we say less than 500,000 we mean way less more like 330,000. That 330,000 includes all of Nokia’s Windows phone sales not just the Lumia 900. Let’s look at how we arrived at this number. Nielson and comScore have put Nokia behind Samsung and HTC’s Windows phone offerings at 0.3% of the smartphone market. So if we take that percentage and multiply it by the total number of smartphone users, that comScore recently reported as 110.000,000, we get 330,000. That is an incredibly small number and may explain why Windows phone sales lag behind even Windows Mobile. Is it too soon to start the funeral dirge.

Work Around Solutions For Restricted Boot

Microsoft’s planned use of restricted boot with the upcoming Windows 8 has lead to quite a bit of uproar in the Open Source community. These plans have left Linux distributors both commercial and non-commercial scrambling for work arounds to the problem. In an email dated June 27th, to a Linux kernel mailing list, James Bottomley, chair of the Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board, said this in the first paragraph:

“The purpose of this email is to widen the pool of people who are playing with UEFI Secure boot. The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board have been looking into this because it turns out to be rather difficult to lay your hands on real UEFI Secure Boot enabled hardware. Many thanks are due to the Intel Tianocore project which recently added the secure boot facility to their UEFI rom images.”

Is the scarcity of this hardware, with only three months until the proposed release of Windows 8, because manufacturers are having a hard time getting it to work right or is it a bigger conspiracy to keep the Linux community from using to figure out a way around it? I will leave that for the listener to speculate on.

Bottomley does go one to say that using Intel’s open source version of UEFI called Tianocore he has developed a method that will allow you to boot an unsigned kernel on hardware that has been secure boot enabled. This method uses his patched loader scripts and Jeremy Kerr’s sbsigntools for signing efi binaries.

Keep up the good work guys we need more people doing this kind of work.

Oracle Goes CentOS Bashing

Oracle is attacking CentOS trying to steal their users. This is the typical underhanded crap we expect to see from Oracle. On a web page on their site linux.oracle.com they have posted an attack against CentOS (http://linux.oracle.com/switch/centos/) where they tell you to run a command as root that will download a script and convert your CentOS server over to Oracle Linux. They are making a claim using “historical” data to say that CentOS has security issues due to its delays in getting the latest RHEL out to it’s users. The whole purpose for this is to broaden their user base as CentOS has by far more web servers in commercial use than any other RPM based distribution. Here is how W3Techs breaks out the numbers as of July 19th, 2012 for web servers running Linux. (http://w3techs.com/technologies/details/os-linux/all/all)

  • Debian 30.9%
  • CentOS 28.5%
  • Ubuntu 20.1%
  • Red Hat 11.6%
  • Fedora 4.2%

With SUSE, Gentoo, Turbolinux, Scientific Linux, and Mandriva rounding out the top ten. Oracle Linux does not even appear on the list. It is easy to see why they would go after CentOS users with this FUD campaign. Part of the campaign is to claim that their support is significantly less expensive than Red Hats support. They say on their website that this is not going to turn into some sort of bait and switch where you will then need to acquire a support contract. Well if we are looking at history I say baloney. When has Oracle ever been straight forward with information and about what they will do in the future.

To be fair CentOS did have a problem getting CentOS 6 out after Red Hat released, it took them eight months. Things however have dramatically improved since then with CentOS releasing version 6.3 within a month of the Red Hat release. If you look at the chart Oracle is using it is all data from 2011. If you look at this spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvcFIX5Z0UT5dEVpTHBnNFRjYVBveGpHekZzLVZmenc#gid=0) created by Johnny Hughes, CentOS Developer and a CentOS Architect at GoDaddy, it shows that Oracle Linux has actually lagged behind both Scientific Linux and CentOS for the seven months we have in 2012. Counting from when Red Hat released, the kernel delay days for Oracle Linux has taken 37 days, Scientific Linux has taken 30, while CentOS has taken only 25.

I will let you all be the judge of what are the real facts and what is FUD.

New Mini Computer May Give Raspberry PI A Run

Since the Raspberry PI there have been a plethora of inexpensive small form factor, arm based, computers. Well we have a new entry into the market. The Kontron KTT30 using a Mini-ITX motherboard, a NVIDIA Tegra 3 900 MHz quad-core processor, an HDMI 1.4a output, an Ethernet jack, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 SD card slots, audio jacks, and miniPCIe slots. It can also utilize up to 2GB of RAM and with its three USB ports can support all kinds of peripherals. The really cool thing about it is that it will fit into a standard Mini-ITX case so no fiddling around try to find a case for it. It will run several different distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and of Android. Check it out here. http://us.kontron.com/products/boards+and+mezzanines/embedded+motherboards/miniitx+motherboards/ktt30mitx.html

English Judge Bitch Slaps Apple

English judge orders Apple to run a national (national being the UK) ad campaign saying that Samsung did not infringe on Apple. They have to run the ads in magor magazines and newspapers including the Daily Mail, Financial Times, Guardian Mobile magazine and T3 magazine. On top of that they have to display this message on their UK website:

“Samsung didn’t copy us”

They have to display that message for six months. In Apple’s favor they do not have to run that message on all of their european websites like Samsung wanted. As a part of his ruling judge Birss did say that the Samsung Galaxy Tab designs were less cool. Apple’s Allen Hely had no comment when asked about the decision while Samsung issued the following statement:

“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”


===========KDE Korner============
Calligra 2.5 Release Candidate
The Calligra team is proud to announce the release candidate of the Calligra Suite. Compared to the beta, this new release contains many bug fixes. However, a regression was made in this release and will be fixed in the next release (see bug 303696—a control click issue that prevents the navigation of bookmarks.)

Muon Suite 1.4 RC Released
Muon-discover: Muon Discover will help you browse through the huge applications library you
 have available and help you find the applications you’re looking for.
muon-Installer: Utility for browsing, installing, and removing applications
Muon Notifier is an update notification daemon for KDE.
Muon Updater – is a graphical update manager for KDE

=========== Raspberry pi News=================
The MagPi – a magazine for Raspberry Pi users
Raspbian-based SD card image released
We are pleased to announce the release of our first SD card image based on the Raspbian distribution. This is the result of an enormous amount of hard work by Alex and Dom over the past couple of months, and replaces the existing Debian squeeze image as our recommended install. Notably, it is the first official image to take full advantage of the Raspberry Pi’s floating point hardware for, amongst other things, much faster web browsing.



Raspberry Pi production grows, $35 Linux computer now available in bulk.
The Raspberry Pi foundation has announced it will lift the purchasing restrictions on its $35 Linux computer. The organization’s manufacturing partners will soon make the board available for bulk purchase.

Improved OOXML support for LibreOffice and OpenOffice
Developers from a project hosted by the Open Source Business Alliance are working to improve the compatibility of LibreOffice and OpenOffice with Microsoft Office. The German municipalities of Munich, Jena and Freiburg, and the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, the Swiss Federal IT Steering Unit (FITSU) and the Swiss Canton of Vaud – who together use OpenOffice on around 18,000 workstations – have jointly raised €140,000 funding for the project.

The 31 Flavors of Fun Experiment
What do Bill Reynolds, Fabio Erculiani, and Clement Lefebvre have in common? They spearheaded new distributions that have become staples in Linux desktop computing. Beginning new projects is particularly difficult and not all who try succeed. So, that’s why Todd Robinson might sound a little nuts with his newest experiment. He’s going to attempt to create and release a complete Linux operating system each and every day for a whole month.

XBMC for Android set-top boxes is coming soon
The XBMC development community has announced that it has been working on an Android version of the popular open source media centre software. The Android port is said to include the full functionality of the desktop versions of the software, so, unlike the iOS version of XBMC, the Android application is not only a remote and content directory, but also a full blown media centre. The developers say that the application is mostly aimed at Android-powered set-top boxes but will also work on tablets and phones


Firefox ESR

Is it Alive?

Time: 1:04:36
Is It Alive?

During this segment of the show, Mary challenges Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? The items for the July 14 show (aka the “jumping the shark” show) are: :

Kondara Linux
Kondara Linux was a Japanese distribution based on Raw Hide. It was active around the 2002 time frame.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive
Verdict: Dead

Annvix Linux
Annvix was a free secure Linux-based operating system produced by the Annvix development team and Danen Consulting Services. Annvix has not been in development since March, 2008.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead
Verdict: Dead

Ojuba Linux- Translated from the Arabic is an operating system of the computer, an innovative and contemporary covers the most important needs of computer users and supports the Arabic language.

MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive
Verdict: Alive

Navyn OS was a GNU/Linux distribution based on Gentoo. It was available as a live CD which could be booted from a CD-ROM and installed on hard disk.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive
Verdict: Dead

Big Linux
BigLinux is a Brazilian Linux live CD with support for hard disk install and localised into Brazilian Portuguese. It is based on Kubuntu.

MAT: Alive
TONY: Dead
Verdict: Alive


MAT: 4 (Winner)

Listener Feedback show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140

Time: 1:10:06
Denning – disturbing Linux distros.

Outtro Music

Time: 1:18:19
Oleg Sirenko – Invasion by Tunguska Electronic Music Society

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