Episode 046 – Happy 21 to Linux

Posted by Tony on August 26, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:26:46

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/i9NVPU7gLus

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 12:30
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 14:09
Mary Distro Review
Time: 21:11
Tech News:
Time: 36:48
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 1:06:47
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:12:37
Outtro Music
Time: 1:19:11


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 12:30

Release Candidate:
On Wed, 22 Aug 2012 13:55:28 PDT
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.6-rc3
He had this to say about it:

“It’s a bit over half drivers, with a quarter being arch updates, and the rest being “random” – mostly networking and filesystems.”
–Linus Torvalds


Stable Updates:
On Mon, 20 Aug 2012 14:04:22 BST
Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.28
With 46 files changed, 193 lines inserted, and 198 lines deleted

On Mon, 20 Aug 2012 20:34:12 EDT
Paul Gortmaker released kernel
With 169 files changed, 2265 lines inserted, and 1112 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
In stead of a kernel developer quote this week we have an intriguing little story. Imagine if you’re old enterprise kernel supported all of the latest hardware automatically. Well that is what they are talking about making happen. Here are some links to check it out:

Luis Rodriguez blog post

The Linux Foundation Driver Backport Workgroup

And the Driver Backport Wiki

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 14:19


  • 8-19 – Snowlinux 3 “Xfce” – “Xfce” edition, a desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux 6.0
  • 8-20 – Frugalware Linux 1.7 – designed for intermediate Linux users
  • 8-21 – Manjaro Linux 0.8.0 – a user-friendly desktop distribution based on Arch Linux and featuring the latest Xfce desktop
  • 8-22 – PCLinuxOS 2012.08 – easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for x86 desktops or laptops
  • 8-23 – Ubuntu 12.04.1 – the first of the regular updates planned throughout the product’s life cycle
  • 8-24 – Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08 – a major new release incorporating the KDE 4.9.0 desktop

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. OS4 – 1455
  2. Ubuntu – 2026
  3. PCLinux – 2230
  4. Mageia – 2548
  5. Mint – 2791

Mary Distro Review

Time: 21:11
Saluki Linux Review
and so I say now: Hang on Saluki; Saluki hang on (with apologies to the McCoys and any human who just heard me sing…)

I found Saluki on Distrowatch’s New distributions added to database section. The fact it’s based on Puppy, a distro that I was aware of but not completely familiar with was the catalyst for this week’s What’s on sda6. Unlike Puppy which is designed to run on less robust hardware, Saluki is designed for newer hardware, including netbooks and other similar devices. According to information from the site:You can build your own custom  lightweight OS by remastering Saluki with custom applications, custom kernels, and custom artwork

The Vitals:
Name: Saluki Linux
Maintainer: Jemimah
Distro Latest Birthday: Saluki 023 was released on July 6, 2012.
Derivative: Puppy Linux
Kernel: 3.2.8 (uname -a)
Review Desktop: XFCE
Downloaded: 130MB (Wow, that is small!)

Live Environment:

The first thing Saluki does when booting to the live environment is copy the entire OS in RAM, allowing me to remove the CD from the cup holder and away I went. The Personalize Settings dashboard is first thing Saluki presents. Typical settings like keyboard, country, time, xerver resolution handled, along with a video resolution wizard if needed. I liked the fact it makes an attempt to deal with video resolution—and handles it rather nicely.

Graphics: (intel_agp, i915)

After I finished, I was at an XFCE desktop. Its panel was at the bottom of the screen, and the desktop had several system icons, including two for the partitions Saluki had found. This turned out to be convenient, allowing me to easily save my live environment screen-shots. I can’t quite say I felt the love for the desktop wallpaper—you could literally call a splash screen. The liquid was shades of blue and green. It was not particularly appealing although I guess you could appreciate the photographer’s timing.

Saluki uses a networking manager called Frisbee, developed Saluki’s maintainer, by Jemimah. Since I was not at all familiar with Frisbee, I researched it and learned Frisbee is a flat flying disk chased by dogs the world over. And Frisbee also is a front end for WPA Roaming and dhcpcd and was inspired by WPA Gui. Frisbee is a nice, simple approach to manage your connections to wireless networks. I liked the layout and the not-dumbed-down look.

Wireless:  (iwl3945)

The Big Three
Default Browser: Midori (When I opened Midori a notice warned me: Midori can be a little unstable. It is recommended that I install a second browser…etc. So I installed the well-known QupZilla)
Office Suite: Abiword and Gnumeric
Mail Client: Claws
Default File Manager: Thunar

Saluki includes the standard fare of software you expect to find on a distro but it also has a few that I have not seen. One such example is PDFCube. PDFCube turns a PDF into a slide-show with rotating 3d cube transitions—or it just makes the PDF more difficult for you to read by turning it into a slide-show with rotating 3d cube transitions.

Although Saluki uses the XFCE desktop environment, it also includes tools from another lightweight environment—LXDE. For example, LXTask, the lightweight task manager for LXDE, I like that approach—use the tool that works best for you.

Well, time to install…

The Install Process:

Saluki/Puppy give you four options for install:
USB flash drive
USB hard drive
Internal flash drive (SSD card)
Internal hard drive

After you determine where it’s going to be installed, you then determine how it’s going to be installed: a full install or a frugal install. The name implies the difference:

Full: A full installation uses the entire partition and installs the typical Linux directories /bin, /dev, /etc /lib, /mnt, /proc, /root etc on the partition.

Frugal: The files vmlinuz, initrd.gz and pup_xxx.sfs (and maybe z*.sfs, the “zdrv”) are copied to a partition, and it does not have to be an empty partition, either. The partition can have something already installed on it and it will not be disturbed. The files are booted by the bootloader. A frugal install is like booting from the CD, except you don’t need the CD.

Apparently the preferred way is the frugal install. I went full.

What I discovered after I rebooted after install is that I could not run a few of Saluki’s programs—the Saluki Custom Builder for one—the notice said: it’s not supported on a full install. Apparently there were consequences for choosing the full install. Even though I didn’t get time to use it the custom builder remasters Saluki, allowing you to replace any or all applications with your choices to create a new Saluki iso.

Installed Environment:

A shocker! The installed environment is looks just like the live environment. You already can tell what sets this distro—and its parent—apart. The install options. Saluki’s system menu contains most of the distro specific tools:

But there are a few other interesting Programs:

Somewhat surprisingly Saluki’s multimedia menu is fully stocked:

Asunder – CD ripper
Gnac-Audio converter
mhWaveEdit – audio recorder/editor
Ogle – DVD movie player
Thoggen – DVD ripper
a webcam capture program
xfburn cd/dvd burner
xNoise media player

Package Management
Researching the available options took a bit of time and research.

Official software packages are available via the Puppy Package Manager:
from the start menu: Start > System > Puppy Package Manager. A second option is available using the command-line interface but I could not find any information on that option. Most roads seemed to lead to the Puppy Package Manager.

Puppy Package Manager is a succinct GUI with the major aspects of package management conveniently visible. No clicks are needed to view and change repositories (there were four for Saluki) although they looked to be hard-wired and I wasn’t sure if additional repositories could be added.

Saluki, like Puppy, uses two primary package types, identified by the file extension:

.pet – “Puppy’s Extra Treats” are applications that are intended for all full and frugal Puppy installations. These files are installed via the Puppy Package Manager.

.sfs (intended for frugal or LiveDVD installations) are self-contained packages that are downloaded and saved to a specific location. The sfs extension should be a hint that these packages or modules are SquashFS files, self-contained entities that containing all required files. An example of one such module on the puppy web site is mySQL-PHP-Apache.sfs. All you have to do is download it, select it in the Boot Manager, reboot, and its installed and ready to go. If you don’t want it any more, just de-select it in the Boot Manager or delete it.

If you’re looking to try something a little different, Saluki Linux is a good distro for you, especially that frugal install!!


Four cups of expresso in a demitasse cup.

Tech News:

Time: 36:48
Disney Attacks Open Source On Kids Sitcom

The Walt Disney Corporation aired a ridiculous bit of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) on a children’s sitcom recently. The show “Shake It Up”, season two, episode eight, entitled “Made In Japan” aired on 8/17/2012. You can see the offending clip here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiVnMazRIII) link in the show notes. The dialogue involved is so outrageous that even remotely anyone involved with open source would recognize it for what it was, a bold faced lie. The scene involves two teenagers asking for help from the stereotypical geek. This is where it gets wierd. The geeky kid asks them them:

“Did you use open source code to save time and the virus was hidden in it?”

This is completely inexcusable behavior from a corporation that relies heavily on open source software in the creation of its animated movies. The only possible reason for this slander against open source is to plant suspicion of open source software into children’s minds. When in reality the question should have been have you downloaded any music or games recently as that is where the vast majority of infections on teenagers computers come from. Another good question would have been “Are you running closed source binaries from Microsoft that contain God knows how many holes allowing a virus in.”

This kind of thing is so ridiculous that you have to wonder exactly how much “advertising money” Microsoft threw at them to put this in the show.

Deadlock On Copyright Portion In Oracle vs Google

The copyright part of Oracle’s lawsuit against Google over possible infringement of the Java intellectual property in Android is moving into its final phase and there are indications that, for the copyright part of the lawsuit, the jury might be deadlocked. A jury member asked the judge yesterday how the jury should proceed if an unanimous decision cannot be reached. Judge Alsup pointed out that the question did not come from the foreperson of the jury but hinted to the Oracle and Google attorneys that the copyright part of the lawsuit might take longer than expected.

South Korean Court Rules Samsung Did Not Infringe On Apple

Even though the new Samsung Galaxy S III looks similar to the iPhone court rules there was no design infringement. This ruling ends just one skirmish in the ongoing Samsung, Apple world war for supremecy in the mobile phone market. This ruling comes in just before a more important ruling in the U.S. In that case the jury started deliberations on 8/22. This is what the judge had to say in his ruling:

“There are lots of external design similarities between the iPhone and Galaxy S, such as rounded corners and large screens … but these similarities had been documented in previous products… Given that it’s very limited to make big design changes in touch-screen based mobile products in general … and the defendant (Samsung) differentiated its products with three buttons in the front and adopted different designs in camera and (on the) side, the two products have a different look,”

There were also other issues involved as the judge ordered Samsung to immediately stop selling 10 products, including the Galaxy S II, and also banned sales of four Apple products, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Microsoft’s security software modifies HOSTS file
Windows 8, set for release on 26 October, automatically deletes entries in the HOSTS file for specific domains. Try, for example, to prevent attempts to access Facebook.com, Twitter.com or ad servers such as ad.doubleclick.net by rerouting them to by adding entries to the HOSTS file and the relevant entries will soon disappear from the HOSTS file as if by magic, leaving nothing but an empty line. The effect does not occur for other domains, such as The H’s sister site heise.de, however.


From the “bloated bovine Department”:
Fedora 18 “Spherical Cow” Has Been Delayed

Pushing back the Fedora 18 schedule was agreed upon due to a number of outstanding blocker blugs and insufficient test results for the current base, installation, and desktop tests. At the moment there’s just shy of two dozen Fedora 18 blocker bugs as shown by Fedora QA.


LanyardFS: A New Linux File-System
A new Linux kernel file-system has been presented, LanyFS, a.k.a. the Lanyard File-System.
From the patch announcement by Dan Luedtke, “This patch introduces the Lanyard Filesystem (LanyFS), a filesystem for highly mobile and removable storage devices.” The kernel patch then goes on to describe Lanyard FS as “The lanyard file system (LanyFS) is designed for removable storage devices, particularly those small gadgets one would carry around using a lanyard.”

UK Linux security challenge

The government has been running a Cyber Security Challenge (CSC) scheme since 2010, in an attempt to draw more young people into the computer security business.

The first Linux-focused challenge took place last year, and registrations for the next one, beginning on 27 August, close at noon on Wednesday.

White House Offers ‘We The People’ Petition App Under Open Source License

“Now anybody, from other countries to the smallest organizations to civic hackers can take this code and put to their own use,” wrote Macon Philips, director of digital strategy in a post on the White House blog. It is the first big code release by his team, he added.

Raise a glass to Linux
Linux is 21. Time to break out the good stuff.

Much pomp and circumstance surrounded last year’s observance of Linux’s 20th birthday, so this year there won’t be a lot of big parties planned. But for those of us here in the U.S., the 21st birthday is a significant milestone.

Unlimited Online Backup and Cloud Storage

Using OwnCloud and there are linux sync clients available. http://owncloud.org/sync-clients/

Is it Alive?

Time: 1:06:47

During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? We twisted the concept for last week’s show when I challenged Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a son of Mandriva. This week is NOT twist week. I am afraid if I made two consecutive twist weeks, Mat would kill me. The items for the August 25 show:

Descent Linux
Descent|OS is an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution featuring a traditional desktop environment (GNOME 2 in the 2.x series, MATE in later versions). The project’s mission is to provide an intuitive and modern desktop environment anybody can use.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive

Debris Linux

Debris Linux is a minimalist, desktop-oriented distribution and live CD based on Ubuntu. It includes the GNOME desktop and a small set of popular desktop applications,


MAT: Alive
TONY: Dead
VERDICT: Alive (but on life support)

Zopix Linux
Zopix was a Linux distribution derived from Knoppix. It is a live CD, a ready-to-use Zope working environment consisting of open-source and free software distributed under GPL.

http://www.zopix.org/ (domain for sale)

MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive

UberStudent (“uber” meaning “productive” in Latin) is an Ubuntu-based distribution on a DVD designed for learning and teaching academic computing at the higher education and advanced secondary levels. UberStudent is supported by a free Moodle virtual learning environment.


MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead

Santa Fe Linux

Santa Fe Linux is a commercial desktop distribution with advanced hardware auto-detection and some of the best desktop applications open source has to offer. There was only one development release on Distrowatch


MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive

Xebian was a full Debian-based Linux distribution, with over 8000 precompiled application packages for you to download. It used to be actively maintained and usually contains the latest Xbox Linux patches.

Project Home Page :- http://xbox-hq.com/html/downloads-cat31.html

MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive

Mat: 2
Tony: 1

Winner: MAT

Listener Feedback:

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

Time: 1:12:11

Frank – About the message being at the end of the recording…
George from Tulsa – The music at the end made it worth re-downloading the show.

Outtro Music

Time: 1:19:11

Balkan Beats by artist The Freak Fandango Orchestra

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