Episode 057 – The Lounge

Posted by Tony on November 11, 2012 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:06:04

Un-edited Live session – No Live Session This Time

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 16:05
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 19:08
Mary Distro Review
Whonix Linux
Time: 27:30
Tech News:
Time: 41:09
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 53:00
Listener Feedback
Time: 56:45
Outtro Music
Time: 59:45


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 16:05

Kernel News Release Candidate: On Sun, 4 Nov 2012 11:43:33 PDT Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.7-rc4 Here is what he said about it:

"It's been a pretty calm week, so here's a nice small -rc for you guys. Rafael worried me for a while with what looked like a hard-to-debug regression report, but it turned out to be user-space breakage instead, so things are looking pretty stable... Perhaps notable just because of the noise it caused in certain circles, there's the ext4 bitmap journaling fix for the issue that caused such a ruckus. It's a tiny patch and despite all the noise about it you couldn't actually trigger the problem unless you were doing crazy things with special mount options. ... Go forth and test," --Linus Torvalds
Mainline: 3.6 Stable Updates: On Mon, 5 Nov 2012 11:08:38 CET (Central European Time) Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.51 With 9 files changed, 27 lines inserted, and 90 lines deleted On Mon, 5 Nov 2012 11:09:29 CET (Central European Time) Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.18 With 21 files changed, 59 lines inserted, and 92 lines deleted On Mon, 5 Nov 2012 11:09:29 CET (Central European Time) Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.6.6 With 29 files changed, 309 lines inserted, and 222 lines deleted Kernel Developer Quote:
"Vueling airlines: hell on wings. Avoid avoid, run away..." --Linus Torvalds

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 19:08 Distrowatch.com

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Arch - 1803
  2. Ubuntu - 1861
  3. openSUSE - 1902
  4. Mageia - 2657
  5. Mint - 4048

Mary Distro Review - Whonix Linux

Time: 27:30 At Ohio Linux Fest, I did a Distro Drive-by where I mini-reviewed several distros. One of those distros was Whonix. My problem with Whonix at the time was that the files didn't seem to be available, and I was reduced to describing it. The maintainer contacted us and indicated the site was being reorganized at the time I had accessed it. So I am happy to report I was able to download and install Whonix. The Whonix site calls it is an anonymous general purpose operating system based on Virtual Box, Debian GNU/Linux and Tor. By Whonix design, IP and DNS leaks are impossible. Not even malware with root rights can find out the user's real IP/location. The Vitals: Name: Whonix-- at one time it was known as TorBox. Maintainer: Adrelanos Distro Latest Birthday: Whonix 0.4.5 on October 8, 2012 Derivative: Debian Wheezy (repos showed this) Kernel: 3.2.0-3 Review Desktop: KDE (The desktop is somewhat superfluous to this distro) Live Environment: Whonix only runs in VirtualBox—a quasi-live environment. Whonix consists of two virtual machines that are downloaded from the distro's site which is hosted on Sourceforge (http://sourceforge.net/projects/whonix/). These machines, The Whonix Gateway and the Whonix Workstation, are individually imported into VirtualBox. During my review, I typically share the programs the distro includes for several default activities. Due to its nature, Whonix's list is somewhat sparse. Default Browser: Tor Browser (Firefox ESR) Office Suite: None installed Mail Client: None installed Default File Manager: Dolphin (KDE Desktop) The Install Process: Download the two virtual machines : Whonix – Gateway and Whonix Workstation. Install process minimal. There are video and screen-shot tutorials that help you through the process but if you can follow the virtual box wizard, you should be all set. After both have been imported to Virtual Box, you're ready to go. You're cautioned not change any settings on the machine configuration screen during the import. I left everything alone. Installed Environment: I started the gateway first. There's the familiar Grub menu and I let the system boot from the first option, the default. The gateway boots to a CLI login prompt. A very helpful note above the prompt lists the loginID and password. Now I could make a little joke about security at this point, but I won't. I logged in as a regular user and ended up at command prompt. My next step was to start the gateway. It booted to a KDE login screen. After I supplied the credentials the Whonix workstation completed the boot-up process, including checking time sync, Tor connection, OS updates, Whonix version, etc. After all checking is complete (roughly 60 seconds or so), you're left with a window indicating your status: The first couple of times I booted into Whonix, I did not take any action to upgrade the system or the browser. I just wanted to test the system. I opened TorBrowser. The home page takes you to the TorProject site where it confirmed (in my case) that I was ready to use Tor. My IP address was out of Arizona. During the course of my initial test, I left Whonix workstation running for several hours. Later, my IP address indicated I was in the Miami area. This time of year, it's cold in Detroit, so I appreciated the warm weather anonymity! I also used whatismyip.com to check both the Whonix IP address as well as the laptop's. Both were distinctly different—a split personality! Browsing the web in this fashion is not without its issues-- for example, Whonix is slow, but I guess it's to be expected when you consider you're encrypting and Tor-ifying your session plus the resources required when you have two machines running in Virtual Box. The Whonix workstation is completely sandboxed as far as Internet connections go. All roads to the outside go through the Whonix-gateway. Whonix also has implemented protection from a condition they call identity correlation, which can occur when one or more applications share a circuit/exit node. When this occurs, it's possible for someone to correlate your activities to the same pseudonym even without knowing your IP address. . Whonix configures most applications, that come pre-installed with it, to use different SocksPorts, making such identity correlation difficult. Anyone not familiar with SOCKS, here is the definition: a network protocol designed to allow clients to communicate with Internet servers through firewalls. SOCKS is typically implemented on proxy servers. It is supported as a proxy configuration option in popular Web browsers and instant messaging programs. SOCKS can also be found in some VPN implementations. I noted its implementation on my instance of Whonix with Tor's Transport and Socksport both showing different IP addresses. During the course of my testing, I decided to upgrade the 166 packages that Whonix advised me needed upgrading. I decided to upgrade both the gateway and workstation—at the same time.. This proved to be problematic because the upgrade process stopped during the download withn Whonix could not connect to a repository. I tried a few different things and ended up getting a notice of a Whonix ScriptBug. I forwarded that information to the project maintainer. I rebooted and did not appear to be impacted by the upgrade issue, except for the fact that the system showed me that it still needed to upgrade those 166 packages. Other interesting Programs: There are very few programs installed in this distro, outside of those that support TOR and the anonymous browsing experience. I checked the repos in /etc/apt/sources.list and there were two: a) default Debian wheezy and b) a Debian security repo for wheezy. I decided to test install Amarok, just to see if I could do it. I ended up bring in quite a few libraries—not too unexpected given the specialized nature of this distro. stuff was just not installed by default. Office Menu - Only had Okular Multi-media - VLC Rating: It's a secret. Actually a 2.8 (but in the grinder no one knows which bean you are...)  

Tech News:

Time: 41:09 AMD Gets Out Of The Linux Kernel Business AMD is trying to reduce it's staff by 15%. Part of that effort appears to closing the Operating System Research Center (OSRC) in Dresden, Germany. The first hint that this was coming was last week when several kernel developers who worked at the OSRC said they would no longer be available at their work email addresses. Their entire mission at OSRC was developing kernel support for AMD server processors. They also were responsible for the code to support CPU frequency scaling for the PowerNow and Turbo Core technologies. This closure will cause AMD to lose practically every developer that recently submitted major changes to for AMD processors and chip sets in Linux. They also aided in the integration of new AMD platforms into the two major commercial Linux distributions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise. AMD's developers who work on the open source graphics drivers are not affected by this closing as they work in a different department. Linuxcon Gets A New Sponsor Microsoft was a Gold sponsor of Linuxcon this year. There was some confusion about what this meant. It was originally reported on some outlets that it was $20,000.00 and a guaranteed speaking spot at the con. Those however are next years gold sponsor requirements. They gave $15,000.00 with no speaking. It makes me wonder if MS is up to their old tricks of embrace and extend. First the Apache foundation last year for a whole lot more money and now Linuxcon. I guess when Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said:
"So if Microsoft woke up one day and said we really want to support Linux, I guess I'd consider it, but I'm just not seeing it."
He was just kidding. As a community we just have to stop taking MS money. QT Gets Android Port Merged Turunen Tuukka, Director of Qt Commercial R&D at Digia, announced that the Necessitas port of Qt for Android had been merged back into the project. This port was started back in 2010 then it was introduced in February 2011 by lead developer Bogdan Vatra. The Necessitas project at KDE will remain in control. There are already 800,000 active users and 2.7 million downloads of Qt-based apps on Android devices. Vatra says he is interested in becoming the Qt Project maintainer for the Android port. Tuukka supports him in becoming the maintainer. Tuukka has also made the statement that Digia will keep the Android port open and available to all. Demos of the Necessitas port will be on shown at Qt Developer Days, which will take place in Berlin from 12 to 14 November. FreeBSD Moves Closer To A GPL Free Base One of FreeBSD's tentative goals for their upcoming 10.0 release (as stated on their wiki http://wiki.freebsd.org/GPLinBase) is a base system completely free of GPL'd code. The moved much closer to that goal this last week with announcement that Clang is now the default compiler for X86 FreeBSD. This will replace GCC which is licensed under the GPLv3. This is what Brooks Davis, a FreeBSD core team member, had to say about it:
“There will probably be a few bumps as we work out the last kinks, including a ABI issue for i386 system libraries, but the transition is expected to be fairly smooth for most users,”
Because the FreeBSD team is so philosophically opposed to the GPLv3 they have been shipping an old outdated version of GCC anyway.  
Fedora 19 release name voting period opens Fedora 19 candidate names include the following candidates:
  • Cubical Calf
  • Higgs Boson
  • Loch Ness Monster
  • Martian Blueberries
  • Newtonian Dynamics
  • Parabolic Potassium
  • Schrödinger's Cat
  • Tiddalik
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Fedora-19-release-name-voting-period-opens-1747738.html Study: Google Play Apps Go Beyond Need-to-Know More than a quarter of the apps on Google Play ask for permission to access information that isn't critical to their performance. For example, why would a wallpaper app need your GPS position? "The model for many of these applications is get as many permissions as you can get and then figure out what you're doing later," said Bit9 CTO Harry Sverdlove. http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/76545.html

KDE Korner

Tip for Dolphin default view. Sometimes tips are born out of desperation! As you probably know, KDE is extremely customizable. This flexibility is mostly a help, but sometimes a hindrance (so many settings, so little time). However, I do want to share a Dolphin setting that is indispensable to the way I like to view folders and files. That way is the detailed list view, with names, dates, size, View > Adjust view properties... Under Additional Information, you can check the box to make it the default for all folders.  You're welcome! KDE SC 4.9.3 was released on November 6, 2012 KDE SC 4.9.3 is the third of four point releases for the KDE 4.9 desktop environment, and it brings fixes for 86 submitted bugs. Among the improved apps in KDE 4.9.3, we can the Kontact email and groupware client and the Kate editor. The link to the release notice is below. My favorite sentence from it: As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. http://kde.org/announcements/announce-4.9.3.php Kate and KDC SC 4.10 Of course we all know that 10 follows 9. With Kde SC 4.10 release, the fabulous editor Kate will have a way to show you that a file is still being downloaded. In KDE 4.10, Kate Part will show a passive message after 1 second that tells you the file is still being loaded, and, if wanted, the user can abort the loading process http://kate-editor.org/2012/11/05/loading-remote-files/ Preparing for the new Kdenlive release
  • Clip analysis feature
  • Improved clip markers
  • Rewritten DVD Wizard

Is it Alive?

Time: 53:00 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 Linux distro maintainer or not (and we pranked Mat by giving Tony all the right answers!) This week, it's straight up alive or dead. The items for the November 10 show: ==================================== Legacy OS Legacy OS (formerly TEENpup Linux) is a distribution based on Puppy Linux. Although the original concept was to create a flavour of Puppy Linux with more applications and a more appealing desktop aimed at teenage users, Legacy OS has now grown to become a general purpose distribution. http://puppylinux.org/wikka/legacyos MAT: Alive TONY: Alive VERDICT: Alive ==================================== Bedrock Linux Bedrock Linux is a Linux distribution created with the aim of making most of the (often seemingly mutually-exclusive) benefits of various other Linux distributions available simultaneously and transparently http://bedrocklinux.org/ MAT: Alive TONY: Alive VERDICT: Alive =================================== WifiSlax Wifislax is a live CD, based on the Linux operating system can be run without installation directly from the CDROM or also from the hard drive as LiveHD, plus they can be installed on USB sticks or hard disk. Wifislax is a Linux Live CD designed by www.seguridadwireless.net and is adapted to the wireless. http://www.wifislax.com/ MAT: Drive TONY: Drive VERDICT: Alive =================================== LinkAT Linux The Pact is the educational distribution of GNU / Linux has started offering the Education Department to the educational community. It is a free software project that allows schools, but also to the whole society, to have access legally, free and professional support to a broad set of applications: educational, office, Internet, multimedia http://linkat.xtec.cat/portal/index.php MAT: Drive TONY: Drive VERDICT: Alive =================================== Pelican HPC Linux PelicanHPC is an iso-hybrid (CD or USB) image that let's you set up a high performance computing cluster in a few minutes. http://idea.uab.es/mcreel/ParallelKnoppix/ MAT: Dead TONY: Alive VERDICT: Alive =================================== Arc Live Linux Arco-debian Arc-Live Arcosvn is a Brazilian distribution live dvd and pendrive.. http://arcosvn.sourceforge.net/template/arcosvn_project.html MAT: Dead TONY: Alive VERDICT: Alive =================================== Mat: Tony: Winner!! (finally)

Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140 Time: 56:45 Al - "Here's my issue, Matt's laugh is so annoying "

Outtro Music

Time: 59:45 I've Got The Next Round by Lorenzo's Music

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


  • John Miller says:

    Study: Google Play Apps Go Beyond Need-to-Know

    Just wanted to drop a note regarding the app permissions. While more and more apps seem to be following the policy of ask for the sky, I noticed the article gave no advice on managing it. I use LBE Privacy guard to better control any apps access. After that if it won’t function because I’ve turned off say Internet access for a wallpaper app, I remove it as it isn’t needed.

  • Mary says:

    Thanks for the tip, John.

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