Episode 077 – The M&M Show

Posted by Tony on March 31, 2013 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/guMlTeghw3g

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Distro Talk: Tony
Mary Distro Review
Tech News:
Listener Feedback
Outtro Music


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

Kernel News: Mat


Release Candidate:


Stable Updates:
On Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:55:47 GMT
Ben Hutchings released kernel 3.2.42
With 112 files changed, 844 lines inserted, and 445 lines deleted

On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 12:22:57 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.71
With 59 files changed, 353 inserted, and 268 lines deleted

On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 12:23:35 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.38
With 78 files changed, 580 lines inserted, and 411 lines deleted

On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 12:24:16 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.8.5
With 109 files changed, 778 lines inserted, and 683 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
Comes from Theodore Ts’o
“So I had always thought that Theodore Ts’o was a reasonably unique name.

Aparently not….”
–Theodore Ts’o

This is referring to the front page of the Phoenix Comicon website where they have the comic book artist Teddy Tso listed as appearing, but with Theodore Ts’o picture. I sent them an email probably as did hundreds of others and the error has been corrected.

Distro Talk: Tony



Mary Distro Review – LXLE Linux


This week’s review is of Lubuntu Extra Life Extension Linux, or LXLE Linux for short. Before you groan…not another Ubuntu derivative review, let me add that this is a remastered

LXLE is based on Lubuntu 12.04 and has been remastered for compatibility with older equipment without sacrificing the environment of programs, features and aesthetics. I wanted to review this distro because it wasn’t Lubuntu with a different brand slapped on it. They’ve assembled some tools and some functionality to LXLE –e.g. QuickStart App Launcher, Random Wallpaper, Fast Forecast, and a snap-like feature which they say makes managing multiple windows easier.

The Vitals:
Name: LXLE Linux (Lubuntu Extra Life Extension Linux)
Maintainer: Unknown
Distro Latest Birthday: LXLE Linux 1204 was released on March 24, 2013
Derivative: Lubuntu (Debian)
Kernel: 3.2.0-40
Review Desktop: LXDE

Live Environment:
Since it’s a *buntu-based distro, it corectly handled my graphics and wireless.

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

The Defaults
Browser: Chromium and Firefox
Office Suite: LibreOffice 4.0.2
Mail Client: Claws Mail
File Manager: PCManFM 0.9.10

What is immediately obvious about this distro is the attractive desktop wallpaper. These wallpapers are beautiful, interesting to look at, etc. The distro maintainer included 50 different wallpaper images in LXLE Linux. Each time you reboot the system, a different wallpaper is selected. Older computers will not feel short-changed at all as far as an attractive desktop display goes.

A single LXDE panel at the bottom holds the typical utilities. Icons for the standard tasks and activities are on the left. And what desktop would be complete without a Conky display on the right. It’s there on the right, displaying various snippets of system information: uptime and various monitoring functions. The typical things you’d expect to see on Conky.

The Install Process:
I went quickly to the install phase of my testing. Nothing much to report during this process; remember, it’s simply Ubuntu. During partitioning, one of the available file system is btrfs. A couple of things about btrfs, it supports partitions up to 16 exbibytes – ad files up to that size, too. Contrast that with EXT4 which only supported partitions up to 1 exbibyte. My movie and music collection now has room to grow. I decided to format the partitions using btrfs which was one of the available options.


I rebooted smoothly. One small item of note, however, if you’re going to reband a member of the Ubuntu family of distros, it’s always better to completely replace the logos of the other distro.

Installed Environment:

The first update appeared to successfully complete but at the end of the process a “package operation failed” appeared. It looked like a newer version of libgcc was installed than what LibreOffice-core required. And the package system was reported as broken. Not off to a good start…. I later discovered that LXLE comes with the ppa for LibreOffice, which apparently offered a different version of LibreOffice (4.0) and the conflict appeared to be that version of libgcc and the one in Lubuntu—not completely sure, but I do know Lubuntu is not shipping with LibreOffice 4.0 by default. The second round of updates was successful and it required me to reboot.

Another addition to LXLE is the YPPA Manager. This tool manages the robust set of PPA repositories and PPA repositories you have added to your package manager. LXLE comes with 11 PPAs already in place, including a PPA for LibreOffice so that it runs 4.0. As I just noted the difference betweeen the two libraries may have caused my problem.

I opened the control center and “Lubuntu Control Center” greeted me. It contains all the tools you see when using Lubuntu, including swapping my mouse buttons. Worked perfectly for me.

LXLE uses the standard Lubuntu update manager for updates that are pushed out by the distro. It also has a software update center which is accessed by clicking the Add Software icon on the desktop. It’s the “Deepin Software Center,” which comes from the Chinese distro of the same name. It opened to present me with a variety of options for software installation. It’s similar to Ubuntu’s in sophistication and appearance. Everything was neatly organized with install recommendations on the right side. Across the top icons provided the option to: a) review installed packages, b) upgrades, c) repositories, and d) download, which I think shows what you’re downloading. I had 11 upgrades and commenced applying them. Returning to the laptop later, I still showed them listed in what appeared to be partial stages of downloading. Closing and reopening DSC cleared the display and everything seemed OK.

LXLE includes a quick start launcher, according to the configuration instructions. You access it by these steps:

1. Hold “Alt” key and then tap “z” key
2. Start typing the name of the program you want to launch.
3. Hit enter to launch, or use arrows to find what you want, then hit enter.

LXLE’s web site includes configuration information for the distro, including Conky. I decided to change the network interface that Conky monitored. Following the instructions, I replaced eth0 with wlan0 and saved my changes. For some reason, most of Conky was no longer visible on my desktop. I am sure that the issue was mine—maybe the way I edited the file, but I still had the system up-time.

Other interesting Programs:

Osmo – A personal organizer, which includes a calendar address book, task manager, and notes pad. (http://clayo.org/osmo)

HomeBank – Free, easy, personal accounting for everyone. The welcome screen includes the option to open an example file, which sounded like a good idea. However, there’s no help file to be had! Instead you’re prompted to set up an account. It will track bank accounts, credit cards, and other sources of cash…and send the data directly overseas (joking of course!)

Fast Forecast – It uses ZCTA then pulls the National Weather Service forecast for your area. I appreciated seeing the weather for York, PA when I was using the live environment. There was no obvious place to enter my ZIP code to change it. I later found that LXLE has a readme page on its site with various configuration instructions for tools, including FastForecast.

Skype – It comes pre-installed on LXLE.

G Alternatives – A tool to assist the administrator select which programs provide specific services for the user by default.

OpenShot – I was impressed that LXLE included OpenShot. Maybe it was just a carryover from Lubuntu. OpenShot is a capable video editor, almost as nice as KDEnlive.

Lifrea – Linux Feed Reader, a news aggregator for news feeds, and capable Google reader replacement.

Parcellite – a clipboard manager. This is a stripped down, basic-features-only clipboard manager with a small memory footprint for those who like simplicity. Keeps a clipboard history. Daemon mode; guard your clipboard contents when you close applications. Global hotkeys to display your items quickly.

Guayadeque – A very capable Linux music player developed and maintained by Juan Rios Olivares.(Guayadeque is a ravine on the Canary Island). What I like about this music player is its effective mix of simplicity and capability. And it has cool VU meters. It comes with Shoutcast.com already set up—over 5K radio stations (http://guayadeque.org/)

Rating: 3.5 cups of a blond coffee served hot.


Tech News:


Wind River Introduce First Carrier Grade Linux That Is Also Yocto Compatible

On March 27th Wind River announced it had registered the Wind River Carrier Grade Linux with the Linux Foundation’s Carrier Grade Linux v5.0 requirements, for compliance. Several years ago Wind River began bringing their development into with Yocto standards. They reached Yocto compatibility in 2012. The Yocto project is also managed by the Linux Foundation. Their goal for the Yocto project is to bring some uniformity to embedded Linux development. Typical requirements for Carrier Grade Linux are 5 to 6, 9’s of uptime, greater security, and the ability to handle massive network traffic.

You can find more information about Wind River Carrier Grade Linux here.

You can find more information about Carrier Grade Linux registration requirements here.

You can find more information about Yocto here.

Red Hat Puts Beat Down On Patent Troll

Red Hat was not the direct defendant in this case Rackspace was. However if you remember all of that SCO nastiness back in 2003 Red Hat started the Open Source Assurance program in 2004. The purpose of the program was to indemnify it users from litigation for using it’s products. Well when Uniloc USA sued Rackspace over U.S. Patent 5,892,697 covering the processing of floating point numbers. To make a long story short Judge Davis dis-allowed the patent because mathematical algorithms are not patentable under US Patent law.

This what Alan Schoenbaum, Rackspace General Counsel, had to say about it:

“We salute Red Hat for its outstanding defense and for standing firm with its customers in defeating this patent troll. We hope that many more of these spurious software patent lawsuits will be dismissed on similar grounds.”

Also Rob Tiller, Red Hat’s Assistant General Counsel for IP, had this to say:

“NPE (non-practicing entity) patent lawsuits are a chronic and serious problem for the technology industry. Such lawsuits, which are frequently based on patents that should never have been granted, typically cost millions of dollars to defend. These suits are a plague on innovation, economic growth, and job creation. Courts can help address this problem by determining the validity of patents early and with appropriate care. In this case, Judge Davis did just that, and set a great example for future cases.”

This is the very meaning of indemnification. Nine years ago Red Hat said they would defend their customers from patent troll lawsuits, and they have stood bye their word.

Patrick Volkerding Announces Switch To MariaDB

On March 23rd the announcement appeared on the front page of the Slackware site. They had a poll on Linux Questions that showed an overwhelming majority of Slackware users were in favor of the switch. He goes on to say that they are not making the switch due to any licensing issues. He does however cite significant user confusion over the matter as a concern.

Here is what Patrick had to say about it:
“In the vast majority of situations, MariaDB is entirely compatible with existing MySQL databases and will drop right in with no changes required.”

There is an excellent article here on the exact differences.
LibreOffice adoption soaring, but OpenOffice still open source king


ZFS on Linux is “ready for wide scale deployment”
Developer Brian Behlendorf has announced the release of version 0.6.1 of the native ZFS on Linux port. After over two years in experimental status, the developers now say the file system “is ready for wide scale deployment on everything from desktops to super computers.” The native ZFS on Linux is based on the Solaris Porting Layer (SPL) which emulates underlying features of Solaris in the Linux kernel.


Many Amazon S3 buckets leak corporate data

Some specific examples of the data found are listed below:
Personal photos from a medium-sized social media service
Sales records and account information for a large car dealership
Affiliate tracking data, click-through rates, and account information for an ad company’s clients
Employee personal information and member lists across various spreadsheets
Unprotected database backups containing site data and encrypted passwords
Video game source code and development tools for a mobile gaming firm
PHP source code including configuration files, which contain usernames and passwords
Sales “battlecards” for a large software vendor


KDE Korner

KDE Tea Time Episode14 was released

This episode was a Q&A session, answering listener questions.


KDE narrowly avoids disaster


Linux Convention Scene – April 2013.

LinuxFest Northwest 2013
Bellingham WA April 27 and 28th

LinuxFest Northwest is an annual event produced by the Bellingham Linux Users Group, and volunteers from other northwest U.S. open source users groups. It is held on the campus of Bellingham Technical College (directions at the BTC website under ABOUT BTC). The Fest features Linux and open source experts and aficionados sharing their experience and enthusiasm with a wide variety of free and open source technologies.

Penguicon 2013
April 26-April 28
Pontiac, Michigan
Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac at Centerpoint.

Think of a weekend long Linux Users Group meeting with hundreds of other geeks, which also just happens to have nationally acclaimed guests, its own wireless network, hotel room parties, lots of folks talking about Science Fiction and Fantasy, a place to buy cool t-shirts and buttons and such, amateur singing, anime, a costume contest, and free caffeine and snacks always available in the Consuite.

The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2013
April 15-17, 2013 ·
Parc 55 Hotel · San
Francisco, CA
The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is an exclusive, invitation-only summit gathering core kernel developers, distribution maintainers, ISVs, end users, system vendors and other community organizations for plenary sessions and workgroup meetings to meet face-to-face to tackle and solve the most pressing issues facing Linux today. In 2011, the Collaboration Summit gathered 418 corporate members and invited guests from 26 countries.



The Toolbox

Iime: 01:04:01

This week’s tool is for system administrators…and aren’t well all systemadministrators? It’s PHPSYSINFO, a customizable PHP script that displays status information about your system in an easy-to-read web page.
System information is organized into sections –

System Vital: Canonical Hostname, Listening IP, Kernel Version, Distro Name, Uptime, Last boot, Current Users, Load Averages, System Language, Code Page

Hardware Information: Processors: Breaks them out individually, Separate sections for PCI Devices, IDE Devices, SCSI Devices
Memory Usage:Physical Memory, Kernel + applications, Buffer, Cached, Disk Swap
Mounted File Systems: Combines the content of fstab with space status for each mounted file system.
Network Usage: Monitors network devices and reports sent, received, and Err/Drop.

It has support for multiple languages and themes.


Tutorial for installation and incorporating other tools into PHPSYSINFO.


Tony’s Screen shot!
Screenshot from 2013-03-30 07:56:06

Listener Feedback:

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

Outtro Music


Fountains by Sinkhole

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