Episode 056 – Live from Detroit!

Posted by Tony on November 4, 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/LOsv9snH3RM

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 14:19
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 18:02
Mary Distro Review
Time: 28:02
Convention Scene:

Tech News:
Time: 49:53
Is it Alive? – Mary
Listener Feedback
Outtro Music
Time: 1:32:04


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 14:19

Release Candidate:
On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:59:49 PDT
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.7-rc3
He had this to say about it:

“Nothing particularly stands out here. Lots of small fixes, exemplified by the series of memory leak fixes in usb serial drivers. Just a lot of random stuff..

Most of it is drivers (all over: drm, wireless, staging, usb, sound), but there’s a few filesystem updates (nfs, btrfs, ext4), arch updates (arm, x86 and m68k) and just random stuff.”
–Linus Torvalds


Stable Updates:
On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 11:01:41 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.49
With 32 files changed, 545 lines inserted, and 120 lines deleted

On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 11:02:45 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.16
With 50 files changed, 380 lines inserted, and 219 lines deleted

On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 11:03:56 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.6.4
With 103 files changed, 1060 lines inserted, and 1006 lines deleted

On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:34:59 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.50
With 28 files changed, 180 lines inserted, and 152 lines deleted

On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:35:48 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.17
With 56 files changed, 468 lines inserted, and 285 lines deleted

On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:38:11 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.6.5
With 98 files changed, 1254 lines inserted, and 960 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:

“But ah, the ability to configure things. And I have wobbly windows again.

I do understand why some gnome people think that KDE may have gone a bit overboard on the configuration ability, though. Because some of the “you can configure everything” things are just odd.

Like being able to rotate those desktop widgets any which way you want. “I wonder what that odd rotation thing on the widget control bar does? Whee – trippy”.”
–Linus Torvalds

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 18:02


  • 10-28 – Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.10 – KDE-centric desktop Linux distribution
  • 10-29 – Finnix 106 – a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian’s testing branch
  • 10-29 – Parabola GNU/Linux 2012.10.17 – Arch-based distribution containing strictly free software only
  • 10-30 – Slackel KDE-4.9.2 – a live Slackware-based distribution with the very latest KDE desktop environment
  • 11-1 – OpenBSD 5.2 – multi-platform BSD-based UNIX-like operating system
  • 11-2 – Tiny Core Linux 4.7 – minimalist but extensible graphical Linux distribution for desktop computers
  • 11-2 – Arch Linux 2012.11.01 – a popular rolling-release Linux distribution
  • 11-3 – DragonFly BSD 3.2.1 – BSD operating system originally forked from FreeBSD 4

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Arch – 1571
  2. Fedora – 1689
  3. Ubuntu – 2020
  4. Mageia – 2883
  5. Mint – 3773

Mary Distro Review – Tiny Core Linux

Time: 28:24

There is an old adage that can be applied to this distro: “Packs small and plays big. But I would add one more part– provided that you can unlock the suitcase. I have to say that TinyCore was an interesting yet, at times, frustrating distro to review. Tiny Core describes itself as the Linux kernel and a set of command-line (text interface) tools. The version I downloaded for the review was the Tiny Core Plus version because I want a graphical interface, darn it!

The Vitals:
Name: Tiny Core Linux
Maintainer: The Founder is Robert Shingledecker
Distro Latest Birthday: 11/2/2012
Derivative: None—but was originally forked from Damn Small Linux
Kernel: 3.0.21-tinycore
Review Desktop: FLWM ( Because I had downloaded the kitchen sink option, TinyCore offered a half-dozen flavors of desktop

Live Environment:

Yes, TinyCore has a live environment and it’s fast. That’s because it weighs in at 60Mb, soaking wet. The time it took to get from the Grub to the live desktop was 12 seconds. That’s because TC Linux is designed to run in RAM. The desktop shows a blue gradient background with the Tiny Core logo in the middle. At the bottom, a small dock (wbar) contains the basic task icons: terminal, editor, control panel (which is the key to configuring TC’s environment), App, mntTool, etc.

Graphics: ( a generic video driver)
Wireless:  (iwl4965)

Normally I tell you what the default browser, office suite, mail client and file manager. With Tiny Core—it’s a big fat Not Applicable. Each is installable from the repositories but none are installed by default.

The Big Three
Default Browser: None
Office Suite: None
Mail Client: None
Default File Manager: None

The Install Process:

The TC install icon is on wbar, second from the right. The install process starts with a choice…red pill or blue pill—wait…wrong distro! Your choices at this point are: –Frugal
Both USB options are for USB thumb drives. I chose Frugal. According to the web site, Frugal, the typical installation method for Tiny Core, is not a traditional hard drive installation, which they call “scatter mode”, for obvious reasons. With Frugal, you basically have the system in two files, e.g., bzImage and tinycore.gz, the location of which is specified by the boot loader. This approach reminded me of Puppy Linux and its spawn, Saluki Linux. Any user files and extensions are stored outside the base OS.

The second decision is whether to install Whole Disk or Existing Partition. I chose existing partition which activated a window allowing me to identify the partition for install. No surprise here—I chose SDA6. I then had the option of installing a boot loader. I unchecked the box. I planned to update Grub in Kubuntu, and let it add the TC option to the menu.

Off I went…I selected Ext 3 for the file system. The next screen clearly showed why new users would be put off by TinyCore. A long list of boot options presented itself. I decided not to select any of them. Would this choice create problems for me later? We shall see…

The install asked me about the type of install I wanted: install to command line or to a X/GUI desktop. I chose the X/GUI desktop. Two other options for me: Wireless – I selected WiFi Support because wireless worked fine in the live environment. The last option was Other. Not too descriptive but I could choose:
–Installer Application,
–Remaster Tool, and /or
–Non-US Keyboard layout support.

I did not select any of these options. We’ll see if this was a bad decision on my part.

The next screen displayed my decisions and the Proceed button awaited my action…but wait, there was a next arrow, too. Note to the Tiny Core Team: it would be better to replace the right arrow button with the Proceed button so there’s no confusion.

I clicked Proceed to begin the install.  Normally installs take a little while. TC’s install, however, took less than 15 seconds. Since only two files are being copied in addition to partition formatting Wow, that was FAST!

The install window showed four step:
–Formatted sda6.
–UUID= *******…
–Applying extlinux.
–Setting up core image on /mnt/sda6.
–Installation has completed.

I updated Grub in Kubuntu, then rebooted, but no listing for TinyCore… Anyone who has checked the boot folder on your distro has probably seen the symlink to the kernel. On my TC Linux partition, the boot directory was embedded one more level. I decided to install across the entire drive and had absolutely no issue installing TC Linux. I plan to check further.

Installed Environment:

By design, TC Linux is very austere. No surprise that the installed environment looks exactly like the live. TC Linux uses the term extensions to refer to the applications and programs. Those were available in in a a couple of utilities as you will see below.

I noted earlier that TC Linux doesn’t come with a lot of programs installed. You have two ways to install programs:
1. App Browser
2. SCMApps

App Browser – Extensions in this browser carry the extension tcz. The app and its dependencies install as separate files. A dropdown on the AppBrowser window allows you to select when the program starts: OnBoot, OnDemand, Download + Load, Download Only. This is done to prevent RAM from being diverted from the core OS to the extensions.

Installing Chromium via the AppBrowser

I test installed a regular app– these apps have a tcz extension. All libraries and other supporting files are downloaded as individual files—a more “traditional” approach to adding applications to your system. I selected Cheese, the web cam app. My first attempt failed for some reason, so I tried Chromium. After nearly 10 minutes of downloading the requirements, I had the Chromium browser installed and ready for use.

Self-contained Applications (SCM) – These are apps that are, well, self-contained (.scm files). All the necessary dependencies are taken care of.

After install you’ll find these apps in the Apps directory. You install these apps via the ScmApps utility. Scrolling down the left-side pane, I selected Audacity as my test app. During install, I have a progress window showing the mirror, install status, and the elapsed time showed. After a few minutes Audacity was installed and appeared on the wbar as an icon.

It worked just fine. I installed Opera and it also installed and functioned just fine.

Graphic of the SCM architecture:


Other interesting Programs:
There are not very many programs installed by default…mostly scripted tools. The TC Control Center provides access to most of the installed tools. It’s no nonsense interface doesn’t distract with a lot of pretty icons.

s a matter of fact, there are no icons to distract.

Other “applications” available by default include:


During install you can configure TC Linux to include a remastering utility (ezremaster) to create an iso.

Rating: I found TC Linux to be an interesting experiment for me. Will I run this as my everyday system? No. But people who are looking for a lightening fast desktop will find TC Linux a worthy contender.

2.8 light roast with tiny beans.

Linux Convention Scene – Nov 2012

meetBSD California 2012
3 – 4 November, 2012
Yahoo! Inc.
Sunnyvale, California

MeetBSD California 2012 promises to be an experience unlike any other. MeetBSD California is no normal conference – it’s a meeting of the minds from all over the BSD community. MeetBSD California 2012 will feature community-scheduled break-out sessions, discussions groups, and 5-10 minute “lightning talks,” as well as longer talks from seasoned BSD experts.

LinuxCon Europe 2012
November 5 – 7, 2012
Hotel Fira Palace
Barcelona, Spain

LinuxCon Europe will bring together the best and brightest that the Linux community has to offer, including community developers, system administrators, business executives and operations experts. Co-held with the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Barcelona, Nov 5 to 7

Kiwicon 666
17-18 November
Various venues
Wellington NZ

It is the end of days; the sky has torn asunder, for it is Kiwicon six hundred sixty six. Organiszd by and for the NZ hacker community, Kiwicon brings together hackers, their whitehat chums, and curious bystanders who are interested in the very very thin veneer of robustness spackled over our technological world.

9, – 11 November,
IT University
Göteborg Sweden

We’re the largest gathering for free culture, free software and a free society in the Nordic countries.

Tech News:

Time: 49:53
It’s Halloween Time So That Means Happy Birthday Red Hat

Happy 18th birthday Red Hat. It all started back on October 31st 1994 when Marc Ewing made the first publicly available release of Red Hat. It would forever be known as the Halloween release. Back then Linux was a scary OS for it’s users. Now it has turned into a scary OS for it’s proprietary competition. Today that release has grown into a billion dollar business. So you may say to yourself was it a trick or a treat? I think for it was both for some a trick and others a treat. What it certainly was, was the beginning of a wonderful story of success.

The Minty Goodness Making Making Moola With Merchandise

Clement Lefebvre has done very well monitizing Linux Mint. He has been able to aquire some hefty business sponsors that want to see Mint continue. The monthly donations to the project are also quite impressive. Well now Clem has made another significant partnership with Think Penguin along with the grand opening of the Minty fresh store. Lefebvre says the Mint project will receive 10% of each sale with Mint installed. The store not actually a real store though. Although it does feature products promoting or containing Linux Mint, but it sends you on the partner to actually complete the sale.

Phoronix At It Again With Bad Journalism

Someone over on Ubuntu’s bugs.launchpad.net reported this bug “Ext4 corruption associated with shutdown of Ubuntu 12.10.”

Well according this Phoronix article “There Might Be Another EXT4 Corruption Bug,” I am not going to link to the actual article as they don’t deserve the page hits for this crap. It is basically just a reprint of the bug report (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1073433) filed by Ernest Boyd over at Ubuntu. Basically the bug report says that an fsck fails if you follow these steps:

1. Format and label a target Ext4 partion using Ubuntu 12.04
2. Install 64bit 12.10 OS using that target without reformatting it
3. Shut down
4. Boot an alternate copy of Ubuntu
5. Restart selecting the newly installed OS
6. Login then shutdown
6. Boot an alternate copy of Ubuntu
7.Fsck the newly installed OS allowing corrections to be made

Well it seems that this is caused by a some new behavior in the ext4 filesystem, and Ubuntu’s inability to shutdown cleanly. Even when the shutdown is requested by the user. Here is what happens according to Theodore Ts’o:

“ext4 no longer updates the superblock after every block and inode allocation; that causes a wasteful write cycle to the superblock at every single journal commit…” It also creates an “SMP scalability bottleneck for larger servers (i.e., with 32 or 64 CPU’s).” To fix this problem “we only update these values when we unmount the file system, mainly for cosmetic purposes so that dumpe2fs shoes the correct number of free inodes and blocks…” So what happens is “ext4 does not depend on the correctness of the values in the superblock, but it does try to update them on a clean unmount.”

No else complained about this behavior or even noticed, because other distributions can shut down cleanly. If the shutdown is performed cleanly the user never sees this. This task seems to be beyond Ubuntu’s ability. This is why Ubuntu users are seeing this behavior causing some of them to panic.

Here is how Ts’o sums up the Phoronix report:

“I will say that it is extremely irresponsible of Phoronix to make a big deal about this this before giving anyone knowledgeable (which unfortunately does not include any Ubuntu kernel engineers, since as far as I know they don’t have any file system specialists on staff) to comment on the bug. No one from Phoronix even bothered to contact me to tell me they were posting this story, or to ask me for a comment. I had to find out about it when someone asked me to comment on Google+”

Once again we have to say shame on you Phoronix.

EAL4+ Certification Awarded to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

In accordance with the Common Criteria standard (ISO-IEC 15408), the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution has been awarded Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+) certification. They received certification for the Operating System Protection Profile (OSPP) including the Advanced Management, Advanced Audit, Labeled Security and Virtualization extended modules. On various x86 64-bit Intel and AMD64-based hardware from Dell, HP, IBM and SGI. This includes virtualization using the KVM hypervisor. They have also garnered certification without virtualization on those same systems along with IBM’s mainframes with Power7 and System Z processors where KVM does not run. This is the highest level of assurance that a standard commercial operating system can achieve without special modifications. Gaining this certification is very important to governments and financial institutions. The examination process is quite extensive and this is why they are just now getting this certification. RHEL5 and RHEL4 were also awarded this certification.

Ubuntu PC Sales Skyrocket in 2011

Almost Half Of Users Have Already Upgraded to Ubuntu 12.10

Is it Alive? (or is it a maintainer?)

Time: 1:08:49
During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? We twist the concept this week when I challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity is a Linux distribution maintainer or not. The items for the Nov 4 show:

Clement Lefebvre


MAT: 2
VERDICT: Yes – Mint
Barry Kauler


MAT: 1
VERDICT: Mainainter – Puppy Linux

Michael Zanetta


MAT: 0
VERDICT: Maintainer – Pentoo

Warren Woolford

MAT: 0
VERDICT: No (It’s Warren Woodford at Mepis)

Anne Nicolas


MAT: 0
VERDICT: Yes – Mageia

Antonio Silva

MAT: 1

(Tony and I played a prank on Mat this episode: Tony knew all of the answers in advance!)

Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 1:15:29

Outtro Music

Time: 1:32:04

Found from CCHits http://www.cchits.net

snow & ocean by LEAD ROAD

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