Episode 080 – 1 week to Penguicon

Posted by Tony on April 21, 2013 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:33:15

Un-edited Live session – http://youtu.be/DklbU5eRNm8

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 17:40
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 22:30
Mary Distro Review
Time: 35:40
Tech News:
Time: 1:00:50
Is it Alive? – Mary
Time: 1:19:30
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:25:25
Outtro Music
Time: 1:27:42


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 17:40

Release Candidate:
On Sun, 14 Apr 2013 18:30:17 PDT
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.9-rc7
“Another week, another -rc.

This is mostly random one-liners, with a few slightly larger driver fixes. The most interesting (to me, probably to nobody else) fix is a fix for a rather subtle TLB invalidate bug that only hits 32-bit PAE due to the weird way that works. Even then it only hits you if you have some particularly insane mapping patterns, but we *suspect* that this one might be the cause behind google chrome having triggered bugs

chrome: Corrupted page table at address 34a03000
*pdpt = 0000000000000000 *pde = 0000000000000000
Bad pagetable: 000f [#1] PREEMPT SMP

however, the problem is so rare that we haven’t been able to verify that this really fixes it.

That said, this bug is much more common (and by “much more common” I mean “still basically impossible to hit unless you were really unlucky”) on newer machines that have bigger TLB’s and that could happily have run in 64-bit mode without the disgusting abortion that is x86 PAE, and a small part of me feels that anybody who hit this problem on such a machine probably got whatever they deserved.

But if you’ve seen messages like this, and you still run PAE, give the new -rc a try.

The rest of the fixes are probably more relevant to most people, but hey, the PAE oen tickles my fancy. Anyway, go out and test regardless of the PAE issue,”
–Linus Torvalds


Stable Updates:
On Tue, 16 Apr 2013 23:46:30 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.74
With 17 files changed, lines 136 inserted, and 194 lines deleted

On Tue, 16 Apr 2013 23:49:45 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.41
With 23 files changed, lines 195 inserted, and 38 lines deleted

On Tue, 16 Apr 2013 23:50:23 PDT
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.8.8
With 37 files changed, lines 335 inserted, and 344 lines deleted

Kernel Developer Quote:
Comes from Greg Kroah-Hartman
“Dear lazyweb,

Does anyone know of any good tools to manage and sync ssh keys to different machines other than just using a git repo? I use git for gpg keys, as +Junio C Hamano showed a great way to do that a few months ago, but ssh keys don’t seem to be able to work the same way, and surely someone has come up with something better by now?”
–Greg Kroah-Hartman

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 22:30


Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. Debian – 1661
  2. Mageia – 1843
  3. Manjaro – 2078
  4. Ubuntu – 2290
  5. Mint – 3391

Mary Distro Review – Rebellin Linux

Time: 35:40

This week’s review is of a newcomer to the distro list. I had been aware of it for a few months and considered reviewing it this $5 distro for several months when I saw it on Distro watch’s waiting list. Rather than extort a free version from the maintainer, I went the route of a regular user and paid $5, so I could pass along my real-world experiences. Rebellin Linux thoughtfully includes the top 10 reasons why you should choose them over any other out there!  My Favorites:

3) This is business. Not some hobby project;

6) Character and Integrity: (And honesty. And transparency. And patience. We have it all. We’re brutally honest to you about everything, even if that means trouble for us.)

8) Our website is sexy!

10) Distro-hopping? You’ll enjoy it even more.

So, would this investment end up being money well spent or would I wish I had my money back so I could buy a good beer with it…

The Vitals:
Name: Rebellin Linux
Maintainer: Utkarsh Sevekar.
Distro Latest Birthday: Rebellin Linux is a rolling release but 1.5 ‘Adrenaline’ was released on April 15, 2013)
Derivative: Debian (Sid)
Kernel: 3.2.0-0.bpo
Review Desktop: Gnome 3.4

Live Environment:

Rebellin Linux’s desktop looks good—it sports the standard Gnome 3.4 desktop. The top panel was there, holding familiar icons for sound, assistive technology, battery, desktop switcher (for only one desktop), user tools, etc. etc. I do want to mention one icon I saw– it looked like the Mac command key. Clicking it put the Gnome desktop into Activities overview mode, where a semi-transparent overlay shows all your currently running programs and other favorites. The side bar on the left and the column of desktops on the right complete the look. On the Gnome desktop, the Windows key is mapped to display the activities overview when clicked. All of the icons but one (jackctl) are scaled properly, i.e. no blurry icons because the file does not scale well. Rebellin’s default icon set is Faenza, which I will say is very crisp, clean. The set is available at Gnome-looks.org if you’re interested.

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

The Defaults
Browser: Firefox, Ice Weasel 10.0.2 (which opened to a thank you for installing adblock plus—a task which I had not done. The homepage is set to a Rebellin Linux assistance link), and “Web” which after a little digging turned out to be Epiphany.
Office Suite: LibreOffice
Mail Client: Evolution
File Manager: Nautilus

The Install Process:

Installing Rebellin Linux was easy, although there is not an option to do it from the live environment. Instead, you reboot to the boot menu and select GUI Install. After selecting my location and keymap, the installer stopped on a screen regarding my network hardware, telling me that some of my hardware needs non-free firmware files to operate (iwlwifi-3945-2.ucode iwlwifi-3945-1.ucode) and if I had the files on media. I didn’t know whether to be worried that my network adapter might not work or happy that Rebellin Linux was being so specific. I clicked NO and continued. I had the opportunity to choose my primary network interface. I chose wlan0. The installer then proceeded to search for wireless access points and I could enter the essid and “wep” key. I thought it was going to connect to my home network and proceed with the install but alas, the next screen showed “network auto configuration failed.” the next step – manual network configuration. That, too, failed to successfully complete and I decided to configure the network later. It almost reminded me of earlier SuSE installs when it would attempt to set up your network during the install.

Partitioning was next and the tool that is used gets the job done but it’s not as polished as other partition managers I have used. If you’re familiar with the process, you should be able to successfully complete the needed steps. Half the problem was understanding how to navigate the screen.

After noting that was the only operating system on my laptop, Rebellin Linux asked me about installing Grub. Plus one for Rebellin!

Installed Environment:

The Rebellin web site contains a list of steps you must take after your install. Most of these steps configure the Gnome shell but step 6 instructs you regarding configuring the repository and update. You’re instructed to open sources.list and replace the existing repository list placed there during install with a single line. Mine already had the line there. Next was accessing Synaptic to upgrade…but wait…I had to lock desktop-base so that it did not update and ruin Rebellin Linux’s artwork. If you don’t lock desktop-base, and it updates, the only thing that’s affected is the artwork.

Rebellin Linux includes the Axe Menu Extension. The best way I can describe it is Cinnamon on steriods. It was activated during the configuration steps I followed after install. On the testing laptop I used, it consumed a lot of screen real estate but the upside is most of what you’re looking for is there without having to click further. It provides for the toggling of favorites or all applications. This feature is in addition to the Gnome overview, so there are several ways to get to your applications. If you don’t like it, you can change to the Application Menu Extension also available in Advanced Settings, Shell Extensions. It’s part of the ‘after-install steps’ you should complete. Right-clicking on the Axe Menu’s icon opens a robust set of configuration options.

Places > Network – I was able to connect to additional disk resources of mine on the same network. This feature is something that Gnome has always done well. I streamed video without an issue, although watching DVDs on the provided player was out of the question without the necessary codecs. I decided to contact the maintainer because, after all, I do have free life-time email support. His response to my question about playing DVDs was:

“Regular DVDs play just fine using Totem player or even VLC. But if you wish to play the encrypted DVDs, you’ll have to install libdvdcss2 package from the Debian Multimedia repository. There were no requests to add debian multimedia from customers so far, so it was not added as standard.”

No requests to add Debian? My question was how many customers do you have? I responded by asking if the instructions were on the web site or if I needed to search for it. I thought this was a fair question for someone who might try this distro. When he responds, I’ll make my formal request for Debian multimedia to be added to this project. It just makes sense.

The Rebellin library contains a tutorial blog (tuts as blog postings) and a forum which was mostly empty.

Also tested the printer configuration tool to see if it would detect my wireless printer. It did and correctly configured my HP wireless Laser Jet. I opened LibreOffice and successfully printed my test document.

Other interesting Programs:

Arista Transcoder – A video converter for Gnome
RawTherapee – The experimental raw photo editor. Free RAW converter and digital photo processing software. It was open sourced in 2010.
Avant Window Navigator – I was puzzled why this was included in Adrenaline. The distro seems to have other well-situated tools for navigation. It looked out of place when I activated it.

Skype – It’s version 4.1 for Linux. You can sign in the regular way or use one of your Microsoft accounts (Hotmail, Outlook.com, Messenger) to sign in.
OpenShot – Video editor
RecordMyDesktop – Screencasting software. I tested it and both audio and video were well-done—and the software worked, too.
Qjackctl – Jack Audio Connection Kit – I am not sure why this is included. It’s something more typically seen on multimedia-centric distros, like Ubuntu Studio, etc.
Exaile – A music manager and player for GTK+. It looked comprehensive and reminded me of Foobar…I mean Foobnix 😉

Video4Linux Control Panel – Unable to open file /dev/video0. No such library or directory.


Rebellin Linux overall Is it worth $5? There are plenty of competing distros that are free. So the value in Rebellin isn’t there. However, if email support is important to you, then $5 is a mere pittance. Besides, we should all be good open source citizens and throw a few bucks to projects that we use.. The challenge for Rebellin:

a) team = one person

b) you have to pay up front which will prevent people from using this distro, and that’s a shame.

3.5 cups of coffee. If they add the Debian Multimedia repository, even better.


Tech News:

Time: 1:00:50

ACLU Asks Government to Investigate Phone Carriers Over Android Security Threat

The American Civil Liberties Union asked the FTC on Wednesday to investigate AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile for unfair and deceptive business practices stemming from their failure to provide available security patches for the Android operating system running on phones and for failing to inform consumers that their systems are unpatched and vulnerable to attack.
“A significant number of consumers are using smartphones running a version of the Android operating system with known, exploitable security vulnerabilities for which fixes have been published by Google, but have not been distributed to consumers’ smartphones by the wireless carriers and their handset manufacturer partners,” the ACLU writes in its 16-page complaint (.pdf). “There are millions of vulnerable Android phones in the hands of consumers today because wireless phone carriers and phone hardware makers refuse to transmit existing software security fixes to phones in a timely manner, according to a security researcher.”


2014: The year of the Linux car?

When you think about Linux, you probably think about servers, desktops, and Android smartphones and tablets. What you almost certainly don’t think about is cars, but Linux is already running under the hood of many cars, and it may play a much larger role soon, too. auto-linuxSay hello to Linux running under the hood of your car.
That was the message Matt Jones brought to the Linux Foundation’s Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, California. Jones is a senior technical specialist for Jaguar Land Rover infotainment systems and VP of a non-profit automotive industry group driving adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform, GenIVI Alliance.


NSA Building a Secure Version of OpenStack

PORTLAND. The NSA (America’s super secret intelligence agency) is no stranger to open source software and apparently they aren’t strangers to OpenStack either.
NSA developer Nathaniel Burton was speaking at the OpenStack summit today, though he joked that he couldn’t reveal how many servers they had running OpenStack or what they are running on those OpenStack servers.
He did note that the NSA is using a mix of commercial, open source and in-house software. From a cloud perspective, it’s all about leveraging Big Data and achieving scale and agility for workloads.


From the I-continue-to-be-annoyed department: Foxconn and Microsoft ink license deal over Android


Jolicloud Desktop Comes to Ubuntu – And Here’s How to Install It


Apple Finally Reveals How Long Siri Keeps Your Data



kde korner

Report from the freedesktop summit

During the week of 8 April 2013, developers from the KDE, GNOME, Unity and Razor-qt projects met at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg to improve collaboration between the projects by discussing specifications. A wide range of topics was covered.


A couple of things from jonathan Riddell’s blog:

Some slick new artwork has arrived in Kubuntu 13.04. 13.04 is due for release a week today so all hands on deck for testing, join us in #kubuntu-devel to help out.


A posting asking users to name “100 things that are great about Kubuntu? “ He invited people to post what they thought were great about Kubuntu.  As of this writing, they are at #33.


5 Marijuana apps for Android that any reefer addict should check out [Happy 4/20!]

Fuduntu Linux is closing its doors

Is it Alive?

Time: 1:25:30

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 for our game show and challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a Linux distribution or something else. This week is not twist week, so the task is very simple. Is it alive or dead…

Remix_OS (Realtime environment for multimedia freenix Operating System) is a free of charge Linux distribution based on Debian, Ubuntu and Puredyne, specialised for real-time audio.


Fluxbuntu Linux – was a Linux Distribution made for computers that have less powerful hardware. It is based or made from Ubuntu and uses Fluxbox for its Window Manager.

VERDICT: Dead (Dormant)

Kongoni Linux

Kongoni is the Shona word for a Gnu (also known as a Wildebeest) the animal which inspired the name of the GNU operating system. The name represents the spirit and history of Kongoni, a GNU/Linux operating system of African origin.


OpenNA Linux was a GPL-licensed Linux operating system with rock-solid stability and industrial-strength networking.


Media Lab Linux

Linux Media Lab Distribution was a Japanese Linux distribution based on Red Hat. (one hit wonder on Distro watch)



Cinux is the only specialized and independently developed OS originated from Greece.



Mat and Tony tied for first place!!

Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 313-626-9140
Time: 1:25:25

Outtro Music

Time: 1:27:42


We are Men! by DATA?FAIL!

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