Episode 051 – Ohio Linux Fest!!!

Posted by Tony on September 30, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



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

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/qnrNA0uXYmY

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 4:00
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 5:15
Mary Distro Review
Time: 8:10
Linux (etc) Convention Scene for October 2012
Time: 18:00
Tech News:
Time: 22:30
Listener Feedback
Time: 33:18
Ohio Linux Fest 2012 Recap
Time: 37:45


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 4:00

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 5:15


  • 9:23 – ArtistX 1.3 – Ubuntu-based live DVD packed with free software for creating audio, video and graphics media files
  • 9-23 – Slackware Linux 14.0

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Fedora – 1815
  2. LuninuX – 1834
  3. Ubuntu – 2534
  4. Mageia – 3194
  5. Mint – 5157

Mary Distro Review

Time: 8:10

The Distro Drive-by edition of What’s on sda6.
A special edition for the 2012 Ohio Linux Fest

Each week, I select a distro to review. This week I am doing something a little different—Distro Drive-by. No, it’s not a segment where I shoot a couple of Distros and drive away at a high rate of speed. It’s a series of quick summaries of recent distros, designed to inform and hopefully entertain.

Our first drive by is Cr OS Linux (spelled C-r-O-S) – formerly known as Chrome OS Linux. This distro claim to fame is that it’s built around the revolutionary Chromium browser then the site goes on to say it:

…provides a lightweight Linux distribution similar to Google Chrome OS for the best web browsing experience on any x86 PC, netbook or notebook.

To reduce confusion, it posts a disclaimer that “Chrome Linux is not related to Google,” despite the fact Google Chrome’s logo is prominently displayed on the project link I clicked from Distrowatch . Wow, I thought. Is this a browser-based OS, ala netbook style? Perceptions don’t meet reality here. It seems that “being built around the revolutionary Chrome browser” means that you boot into a traditional desktop with an open Chrome browser. The Chrome instance does contain a robust set of Google tools, but there didn’t seem to be anything revolutionary to see here. Aside from that disappointment, there are a few interesting things about this distro that I’d be remiss for omitting.

1. CroOS Linux was built via the OpenSuse builder service, so OpenSuSe branding is prevelant.
2. It uses Cinnamon for its desktop (1.6)
3. It uses the 3.4.6 Linux kernel.
4. It sports a dashboard and social toolbar, but it’s only available when the Chrome browser is open. This dashboard allows you to connect to Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter, Myspace, and LinkedIn. The dashboard also contains a chat client, news summary video (BBC), Youtube video channel, and games. There was nothing here that made me think wow—I gotta get this.
5. The most interesting feature of this distro is the InSync beta 5 client for Google drive. I have a couple of Google accounts and supplied a set of credentials for one of them. Insync automatically added my Google documents that I had on-line to the Insync home folder. Very slick.I wa impressed.
6. Lastly, my wireless did not work with CrOS Linux.



The next drive-by is Zest Linux.

With a name like Zest you know it has to be refreshing. It is if you’re into keyboard window managers.

As the distro’s philosophy section of their web site notes:

Zest was built mainly for the Linux enthusiast. In fact it is more of a console based system and many commands have to be actually typed. The GUI features a wallpaper, and the dwm window manager including a simple status bar and a mouse pointer. (And let me tell you they’re doing you a favor by including desktop wallpaper)

We are no GUI enthusiasts because we believe that, although using a GUI is much simpler and convenient, one has to actually type commands and analyse the output and logs in order to learn how to use a system. (In other words, there is no gain without pain.)
The Zest download weighs in at a relatively slim 448MB. As the site noted, Zest uses DWM (Dynamic Window Manager)
Zest conveniently comes with a live CD and after I booted I can safely say the Spartans of ancient Greece had a lavish lifestyle compared to the desktop on display before me. Remember, it’s wallpaper and a tiny command line panel at the top.
A quick description of DWM—if you’re a keyboarder, you’ll likely be in 7th heaven. And I know a few guys who swear by these minimalist window manager. Various key combination allow you to open programs, tile them (although Zest displays tiling mode by default), shift window focus, etc.
The left side of the top panel displays a series of digits from 1 to 9. These digits represent tags or workspaces. I was able to click my mouse to shift between these workspaces, to show open windows or the desktop. To the right of of the tag numbers is the symbol set to indicate the window mode:
[ ] = tile mode (a number in the bracket represents monocle mode—the number stands for the window of the stack being displayed) You also can set up tiling schemes in the config.h file.
><> = float mode

ALT P = open programs (you can start typing for auto-complete)
ALT T= Tiles open programs
SHIFT ALT C = Kills a window

Information about this nascent Linux distro is sparse. It’s also not clear to me how to install Zest Linux and I suspect that’s because I have to build it from scratch. Remember, Zest’s maintainers want you to actually type commands.


The next drive-by is of Whonix

Whatnix?…Whonix! I download what must be the smallest distro ever… Huh? You mean that zipped tarball I downloaded doesn’t contain the distro? Oh, those are the instructions for building it!
Unlike CrOS Linux where I actually installed and checked it out, I’ll confess to not actually building Whonix. Time limitations this week.

Whonix touts itself as an anonymous, general purpose operating system based on Virtual Box, Debian GNU/Linux and Tor. Before it encountered trademark issues with the Tor project, Whonix was known as TorBox.

Whonix consists of two (virtual) machines. One machine solely runs Tor and acts as a gateway to the interwebs.

The second machine, is the Whonix-Workstation. It’s on a completely isolated network. Its only connection to the outside are through Tor.

The project homepage has a full project description, but when I went there to download Whonix,a rather confusing situation greeted me. The name of the latest version was “old-development-only”

Seems to me if the latest version has the word “old” in it, it needs clarification.


Linux (etc) Convention Scene for October 2012

Time: 18:00
Open World Forum (OWF) 2012
The leading global forum bringing together decisions-makers, developers and users from all over the world to cross-fertilize Open technological, business and societal initiatives to shape the digital future.
When: 11-13 October, 2012
Where: Paris, France


Blender Conference (BlenderCon) 2012
BlenderCon is a great mix of technical talks, scientific presentations, case studies from studios and workshops by artists and developers. The Blender Conference is really for everyone who’s interested in Blender in general.
When: 12-14 October, 2012
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands


EclipseCon Europe 2012. ECE 2012
EclipseCon is about sharing best practices, insights, case studies, and innovations in the Eclipse community and in the wider world of software development. We want attendees to be educated and inspired after each talk.
When: October 23 – 25
Where: Forum am Schlosspark in Ludwigsburg, Germany.


T-DOSE 2012 (Technical Dutch Open Source Event)
T-DOSE is a free and yearly event held in The Netherlands to promote use and development of Open Source Software. This year they will have 3D printing, and an LPI Exames
When: 27-28 October, 2012
Where: Fontys University of Applied Science in Eindhoven, The Netherlands


Free Software and Open Source Symposium
The annual Free Software and Open Source Symposium provides a venue to share the latest trends in open source. It is an event aimed at bringing together industry, developers, educators and the community and any other interested parties to discuss open source, open web, and academic/industry partnerships.
When: October 25-26, 2012
Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Seneca@York Campus


ARM Technical Conference (ARM TechCon) 2012
ARM TechCon is the premier event to connect, instruct, advise and enable the world of electronic and computer design. This year, the technical conference will be divided into two distinct elements: Chip Design Day and Software & System Design Day
Dates: 30 October – 1 November 2012
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

Tech News:

Time: 22:30
Vandals break into congressman’s office, install Linux on PCs
A US congressmen has been left incensed after miscreants installed Linux on computers at his campaign office, possibly thrashing some data in the process.
Michael Grimm, a Republican who represents a district in New York covering Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has slammed the weekend break-in to his offices on as a “politically motivated” crime against the democratic process.

INSYNC: Google Drive Client For Linux (BETA 2 Released, Deb And Rpm Packages Available For Download)
Insync is a Google Drive client for Mac, Windows and mobile devices that recently got support for Linux (beta).
Besides full sync support for Google’s cloud storage service, Google Drive, which includes Google documents (unlike Grive) that it downloads as .doc, .xls, .ppt, etc., Insync for Linux also comes with Nautilus integration, tray / Ubuntu AppIndicator support that displays recent changes, errors and the sync status and support for multiple accounts.

Microsoft dismisses Google’s open-source browser benchmark
Redmond is unimpressed by Google’s ambitious RoboHornet project, calling it a ‘micro-benchmark’ that lacks real-world relevance
RoboHornet, which is actually a modular suite of performance tests, uses the Benchmark.js framework to run and measure tests

Cryptoparty goes viral
Security professionals, geeks and hackers around the world are hosting a series of cryptography training sessions for the general public. Information security experts and privacy advocates of all political stripes have organised the casual gatherings to teach users how to use cryptography and anonymity tools including Tor and PGP.
The ‘crytoparty’ sessions were born in Australia and kicked off last week in Sydney and Canberra along with two in the US and Germany. 
Cryptocat is an open source web chat client allowing , encrypted chatting. Cryptocat encrypts chats on the client side, before sending through the server. Cryptocat is available via a browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

Torvalds calls Romney ‘a f***ing moron’
“He really seems to be a f***ing moron,” Linux creator Linus Torvalds wrote of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney late last night on Google+, using two fewer asterisks than you see here.

The assessment was in response to Romney’s much-ridiculed suggestion – some say it was a joke — that air passengers should be able to open aircraft windows in an emergency such as the one recently experienced by his wife. It also comes about three weeks after Torvalds used his Google+ soapbox to call Romney’s religion, Mormonism, “bats**t crazy.”


Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 33:18

Ohio Linux Fest 2012 Recap

Time: 37:45

Ohio Linux Fest 2012 Pictures

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