Episode 067 – Fan-Fedora-tastic

Posted by Tony on January 20, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time:1:22:14

Un-edited Live session –

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 16:20
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 20:25
Mary Distro Review
Time: 28:37
Tech News:
Time: 44:32
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 1:03:45
Listener Feedback
Outtro Music


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 16:20

Release Candidate:
On Thu, 17 Jan 2013 19:51:50 PST
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.8-rc4
I am going to quote his G+ announcement instead of his LKML announcement because it’s funnier.
Here you go:
“Ho! Apparently I missed talking about 3.8-rc3 here on G+, but by now that’s old news, and there’s a 3.8-rc4 out already.

I’m pretty sure Greg has done a few stable release kernels too that he just forgot to announce, but stable kernels are for wussies anyway, so who cares? Real men and women use the rc kernels, because what’s life without a bit of spice and that feeling that you are actually helping test things out?

And -rc4 is where you can feel like a manly man (or a womanly woman – of any combination of the two, really, I’m not judgmental) without really having to worry all that much. Because you know that the big stuff has been found, and you can just help make sure we’ve gotten all the niggling details too.

–Linus Torvalds


Stable Updates:
On Wed, 16 Jan 2013 13:58:06 GMT
Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.37
With 56 files changed, 489 lines inserted, and 152 lines deleted

On Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:11:50 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.7.3
With 235 files changed, 2062 lines inserted, and 1364 lines deleted

On Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:12:34 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.26
152 files changed, 1519 lines inserted, and 984 lines deleted

On Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:13:15 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.59
107 files changed, 730 lines inserted, and 385 lines deleted

On Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:24:02 EST
Paul Gortmaker released kernel
With 77 files changed, 764 lines inserted, and 284 lines deleted
He also had this comment:
“Please also note that there will be a limited number of further updates to the 2.6.34 line — on the order of one or two more releases. So you may want to start thinking about your upgrade plan.”

Kernel Developer Quote:
“At lunch, overheard a conversation with some people discussing the Sonos music system. I joined in as I finally got one as well and really like it. Turns out they worked at Microsoft and were happy they got a corporate discount through work to buy them. I almost refrained telling them that the device they liked so much runs Linux.
The conversation didn’t last much longer after that…”
–Greg Kroah-Hartman

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 20:25


  • 1-13 – Slackel 1.0 “Openbox” – lightweight desktop Linux distribution based on Slackware’s “Current” branch
  • 1-13 – Pear Linux 6.1 – Ubuntu remix with a simple but beautiful user interface (a customised GNOME 3) and out-of-the-box support for many popular multimedia codecs:
  • 1-14 – Manjaro Linux 0.8.3 “Openbox” – lightweight Openbox user interface and the Synapse semantic launcher
  • 1-15 – Fedora 18 – Red Hat-sponsored community distribution of Linux
  • 1-15 – Slax 7.0.4 – Slackware-based live CD with KDE
  • 1-17 – CentOS 5.9 – a Linux distribution built from the source code of the recently-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.9
  • 1-17 – CRUX 3.0 – lightweight, x86-64 optimized Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users
  • 1-17 – UberStudent 2.0 “Lightweight” – Ubuntu-based educational distribution designed for learning and teaching academic computing at the higher education and advanced secondary levels

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Ubuntu – 1837
  2. Pear – 2009
  3. Mageia – 2034
  4. Fedora – 3394
  5. Mint – 3682

Mary Distro Review – Less Linux

Time: 28:37

My distro review this week is of a Linux distribution that, according to the site, is aimed to be light, embeddable, simple, stupid. Hmmm…. Light, Embeddable, Simple, Stupid— the acronym for that is LESS. And co-incidentally that’s the name of this distro: Less Linux.
Less Linux is intended to be used as a live distribution, started from CD, USB or via PXE. Its focus, according to the tools included in the distro is search and rescue. So would this distro be less than I expected or would it follow the adage that Less is more? Let’s see what’s going on with Less Linux.

The Vitals:
Name: The official name of this distro is Less Linux Search and Rescue (http://blog.lesslinux.org/)
Maintainer: Less Linux originates in Germany and Mattias Schlenker appears to be the maintainer/project lead.
Distro Latest Birthday: 12/29/2012 (kernel was upgraded to 3.6.11)
Derivative: None—it’s an independent Linux distribution.
Kernel: 3.6.11
Review Desktop: Openbox

Live Environment:

On Old Nellie, my Dell laptop from Bemis Hosting, Less Linux CD boots to a simple Openbox desktop. A Cairo dock is centered at the bottom of the screen with the typical icons—file manager, browser, text editor, etc. In the corner to the left of the dock is a desktop pager which shows four desktops. And that’s it. Wait—I forgot about the jumping penguin (or is it flying?) wallpaper. Less Linux gets on my good side early by correctly loading the kernel modules for graphics and wireless

Graphics: ( i915)
Wireless:  (iwl3945)

The Defaults
Browser: Firefox and Midori which says“private browsing” in parenthesis after the name.
Office Suite: Abiword and Gnumeric
Mail Client: None
Default File Manager: Thunar – It also was called surfer when the file manager was open.

I also ran Less Linux lived on my Zareason laptop which has an Nvidia graphics card. Less Linux took me through a graphics configuration process Xprepare the results of which were very acceptable. Then about half way through the boot process, the CD tray popped open which was a bit of a surprise Apparently it was able load the entire distro into RAM which allowed me to again use my CD tray as a cup holder.

The Install Process:

There really isn’t a “typical” install process since Less Linux is expected to be run from the CD or a USB thumb drive, if you can get it running. I decided to try and install it on a USB drive and discovered during the process, much to my dismay, that the iso layout did not match other distros. This made it difficult for me—impossible actually– to install it on a hard drive. I got grub installed Kubuntu installed but Less Linux was less than cooperative…

Installed Environment:

The installed environment—installed on RAM that is—was fast and offered a full set of tools. Let’s take a look…

Interesting Programs:

Less Linux’s focus is search and rescue so it makes sense that its panoply of programs reflect that focus—and it does. The launcher menu has six categories—most were the typical groups but there are two to which I devoted most of my attention: Rescue Tools and Other tools.

In Rescue tools I found these programs that I thought were interesting:
Restore Master boot record—as the name implies it restores the boot sector. From there you identify the hard disk, then select the type of master boot record from the list:

  • Windows 2000/XP/2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Syslinux Public Domain
  • Select automatically (not recommended)
  • Disable boot from this disk

PhotoRec (aka Photo Recovery)– Helps to restores lost or deleted files including video, documents and graphics from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if the file system has been severely damaged or reformatted. I tested PhotoRec on my physical home partition to see if it would work, and it found several thousand files. The recovered files were on the home directory of the Less Linux root user.

Password Recovery utility – Uses the SAM file to extract the password information. Since I run Windows 7 in a virtual machine I was unable to test this utility.

TestDisk – TestDisk is a non-GUI utility that finds lost partitions and also can make non-booting disks boot-able. Some file system errors are also repaired with Test Disk. I decided not to run it on my hard disk.

Disk Shredder – A nice little GUI front-end for dc3dd from the US Department of Defense. (I am from the government and I am here to help you) that helps delete content of hard disk using by filling it with random data. .

Clone Hard Drive – Will walk you through the process of cloning your hard drive. While researching this topic, trying to determine which tool was bring used here, I came across a nice little list of live CD for hard disk cloning. This site contains a list of live CDs:

GsmartControl – tool to interact with the Smart features of hard drives. The initial screen provides some basic information. Double-clicking on the hard drive icon gives you the full monty. I covered this tool in an earlier podcast.

ClamAV – The anti-virus tool Clam-AV is included.

On Other Tools we have some familiar and not-so-familiar tools:
Baobab – Show file/Disk usage
lshw – Under the “Show Hardware Information” listing we have lshw hiding behind a simple GTK+front end.
Grsync – Gui for rsync. We have discussed this on recent podcasts. In summary, great tool with a ton of options.
Partimage – is a disk backup tool. It saves partitions on a sector basis to an image file. The image file can be compressed and can be split into multiple files to be copied to CDs or DVDs.
SSHD – tool to toggle sshd on and off so you can enable secure remote connections.
Root Shell – Click it and it opens directly to a root shell. No password needed.
File Manager – Actually there are two entries in this menu: Thunar File Manager and File Manager with root privileges, which also is Thunar


As it turns out, Less Linux in your life means a more capabilities to save a hard drive, partition or file. It gives you a solid assortment of tools to handle just about any calamity that could befall your laptop or workstation. Although I found the web site a little disjointed—it’s really a blog, and English isn’t the first language of the maintainer—it’s a close second.

2.9 I couldn’t give it anything less.

Tech News:

Time: 44:32

Firefox Still Allows Silent Installs

Julian Sobrier, of ZScaler, demonstrated how Firefoxes use of an Sqlite3 database to track add-ons leaves it vulnerable even though it was supposed to keep it safe. Sobrier shows that overcoming the mechanism is trivial. Add-ons have privileged access so a malicious add-on can do anything inside the browsers environment like stealing the users history, modifying page content, and turning security features off. The add-on needs to be able to write an extension to the Firefox extensions directory, then the extension is recorded in the Sqlite3 database. When this is done it is trivial to for the field “Has this add-on been approved” to be set to true, so that is what Sobrier’s code does.

Internet 2012 in Numbers

I +ed this on Google+ but found the article so interesting that I wanted to include it here.

More Fedora 19 Feature Talk: BIND10, GCC 4.8, E17, Etc.
Well, Fedora 18 is out (finally) and so our attentin turns to the next great thing…Fedora 19. Here are a list of features expected to be included in the next release.


Installing Mate and Cinnamon on Fedora 18

Customizing your Fedora….


Upgrading to Fedora 18 – Using FedUp.

Interesting article about the Fedora Upgrade process. For me…no thanks. I will still with my Debian-based distro.


SMLR Toolbox


Cacti, which is an open-source, web-based front end for RRDtool . Cacti provides a framework and a way to poll a number of sources for data regarding your systems, which can then be graphed and presented in a clear web-based interface.

Cacti is used to graph time-series data of metrics such as network bandwidth utilization, CPU load, running processes, disk space etc.



Manage your infrastructure with Salt

Salt is an open source tool to manage your infrastructure. It’s based on Python and can be up and running in minutes and fast enough to manage tens of thousands of servers (and still get a response back in seconds). The Salt web site has a video tutorial showing how easy it is to get Salt set up and and running….both master and minions.



Transform a USB stick into a boot device packing multiple Linux distros using GRUB
If you can configure your grub.cfg file, you’re home free!


KDE Korner

KDE 4.10 will have the ability to merge window buttons into menu bar

Vertical real estate on a lap top is at a premium. This feature reclaims a little bit of the ground/land scape.


And the actual “bug” report here.

Add Grub2 Configuration to Plasma Desktop
I noticed that I did not have the Grub2 configuration in System Settings > System Administration > Start up and Shutdown. I was able to fix this very easily by installing kde-config-grub2:

apt-get install kde-config-grub2

If it’s not a part of your repository, here is a link to the deb file:

Amarok 2.7 is released



Budget mobile turns into GSM base station

Is it Alive (or is it dead…)?

Time: 1:03:45

During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? Every other week, I twist the concept and challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a Linux distribution or something else. Previous twists have include whether the distro was French, Ubuntu-based, a super hero, or my favorite twist, a bar drink. I’ll have a Liquid Lemur with my chips, please.

This week is not twist week and I challenge I challenge Mat and Tony to decide whether the named Linux distro is alive or dead. The items for this week’s show are::

BinToo Linux

BinToo GNU/Linux was a full-featured binary distribution based on Gentoo Linux.


MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead
Polippix is political statement in a bootable CD. It presents several IT-political problematics like how to stay anonymous and avoid censorship on the internet.


MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive

TOSS Linux This is a project developed at Computer Science and Engineering Department of Thiagarajar College of Engineering,Madurai. TOSS is not just another spin-off from Ubuntu.The core of Ubuntu has been retained with minimal changes to the default Ubuntu Kernel enabling users to retain its more popular and useful features while giving you a completely different look and feel.


MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive

ASLinux Desktop
Available for Intel-compatible architectures 32 and 64 bits, ASLinux Desktop provides a complete desktop, stable and intuitive for easy access to Linux and that includes all possibilities that any user may demand: office, Internet, multimedia, education, leisure, etc.

MAT: Dead
TONY: Dead

InfraLinux – wsa a Russian-based, apparently obscure Linux distribution.


MAT: Alive
TONY: Alive

OSDesktop -OSDesktop was a Brazilian Linux distribution that appears to be dead.


MAT: Dead
TONY: Alive

Mat: 3
Tony: 3

Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 1:10:36

Outtro Music

The Road Less Travelled by Tony Bardon

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