Episode 143 – Roll’n up the sleeves

Posted by Tony on February 2, 2015 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |



MP3 format (for Freedom Haters!)
OGG format (for Freedom Lovers!)
Total Running Time: 1:51:00

Un-edited Live session – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtpQmJoH8Ys

Contact Us:

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


Kernel News: Mat
Time: 17:00
Distro Talk: Tony
Time: 17:45
Mary Distro Review
Time: 48:35
Tech News:
Time: 1:04:00
Is it Alive? – Mary
Listener Feedback
Time: 1:36:10
Outtro Music
Time: 1:42:10


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

Kernel News: Mat

Time: 17:00

mainline:	3.19-rc5	2015-01-18
stable: 	3.18.3  	2015-01-16
stable: 	3.17.8 [EOL]	2015-01-08
longterm:	3.14.29 	2015-01-16
longterm:	3.12.36 	2015-01-14
longterm:	3.10.65 	2015-01-16
longterm:	3.4.105 	2014-12-01
longterm:	3.2.66  	2015-01-01
longterm:	2014-12-13
linux-next:	next-20150123	2015-01-23		

Distro Talk: Tony

Time: 17:45


  • 1-14 – Parted Magic 2015_01_13
  • 1-15 – Tails 1.2.3
  • 1-16 – UberStudent 4.1
  • 1-19 – MakuluLinux 2.0 “Cinnamon”
  • 1-19 – HandyLinux 1.8
  • 1-20 – Q4OS 0.5.24
  • 1-21 – Proxmox 4.0 “Mail Gateway”
  • 1-21 – Tiny Core Linux 6.0 “piCore”
  • 1-22 – Robolinux 7.8.1
  • 1-24 – BSD Release: pfSense 2.2
  • 1-24 – Netrunner 14.1
  • 1-24 – IPFire 2.15 Core 86
  • 1-25 – 4MLinux 11.0

Distro of the Week: Tony

  1. HandyLinux – 1298
  2. Manjaro – 1343
  3. Debian – 1503
  4. Ubuntu – 1917
  5. Mint – 2316

Mary Distro Review – Handy Linux

Time: 48:35


The Linux distribution for this week’s review comes from the land of croissants and berets. It was very convenient that this distribution appeared on Distrowatch this past week. Actually you could say it was very handy that it appeared when it did….and that’s its name: Handy Linux

So, would Handy Linux live up to its name or would I end up feeling like I had two right feet? Let’s find out. First:

The Vitals:

Name: Handy Linux


Distro Latest Birthday: Handy Linux 1.8 was released on January 18, 2015

Derivative: Debian Wheezy

Kernel: 3.2.0-4

Review Desktop: XFCE

Live Environment:

Handy Linux is a 1.2 GB DVD that booted to a grub menu. Booting options are live testing or install to hard drive in either French or English. I selected live and before Handy Linux booted, I was prompted for a keyboard selection: The default is US English. Booting completes with a “Welcome to Handy Linux” window with brief instructions regarding the location of the application menu, how to shut down the computer as well as how to access documentation. If you happen to click the Absolute beginner button at the bottom—which I did purely for research purposes—you’ll end up on a local web page with a tutorial that…dare I say it…is very handy to have! With a combination of clear text and helpful animated GIFs showing various tasks and activities, Handy Linux leaves no stone unturned for the absolute beginner.

The Handy Linux desktop was clean—no icons for installing, documentation, etc. A single panel spanned the bottom of the screen with various icons for battery, sound, calendar, etc.—the usual notifications.

Clicking the launch menu revealed an application dashboard, complete with six tabs:

  • Internet (browser, email, Skype, Facebook, YouTube, etc.),

  • Places (folders in home directory: My Pictures, My Downloads, etc),

  • Multimedia (players, viewers, DVD burner),

  • Office (Suite, Scanning text editor, calculator, etc)

  • Games (just a few, including “Brain Training” which I clicked—it’s Gbrains. There are logic puzzles, mental calculation, memory trainers, among others. I forced myself to continue my review. 🙂 ).

  • Raiders, the last tab included system tools, e.g. a terminal, applications list, configure a printer. However, the name made no sense to me. Perhaps it’s the French word for system tasks or they are fans of the L.A. Raiders American football team).

The Defaults

Browser: Iceweasel

Office Suite: LibreOffice – (individual components are only available after you open the suite’s dashboard)

Mail Client: Gmail-style icon – but it opens to Icedove where you can set up an existing account or create a new account via Icedove.

File Manager: Thunar

The Install Process:

I actually went through the install process several times, both in a virtual machine via VirtualBox and on my Dell testing laptop. During the VirtualBox install, a message appeared, saying that no common CD Rom was detected. There was a yes/no option to load the driver from removable media. I tried several times to get past this sticking point—to see if I could install without it I couldn’t…at least initially. I had assumed that because it was already reading from the DVD, the reader was mounted. It was only after I remouted the DVD reader on the host—my laptop—that I was able to get past this point. Did I mention my laptop runs PC-BSD? Install was uneventful—I selected the defaults, including using the entire virtual disk as a single partition.

As an aside, I also tried to install it on the Dell laptop that I use for testing but it got hung up with the Broadcom chip, telling me that I needed three files. I have to admit I appreciated the information about the files—most other distros don’t provide that information and just install, only to show you later that wireless networking is not working. Even after I plugged in a network cable and rebooted, Handy Linux still would not install on the Dell laptop. As a result, the installed environment is based on the virtual version.

The install process kicked off with the standard questions: language, keyboard, etc.

Installed Environment:

Rebooting was easy – and after it finished, I was presented with the screen welcoming me to Handy Linux. It’s the same as the live environment, an XFCE desktop on top of Debian. The first thing I did is check for updates. There were security updates from Debian which were applied. The repositories are Debian Wheezy with a few Handy Linux repositories.

I found the environment to be quite workable, although the dashboard menu, with its training wheels feel, became a little annoying for me. I poked around and found the panel icon in the settings are. From there I could change what opened when the icon was clicked.

Other interesting Programs:

The Applications List is where Handy Linux shines. As noted above, it appears in the Raiders tab.

Applications on the list include installed programs such as Iceweasel, LibreOffice, etc. In addition to programs that are installed, the list includes entries that will run scripts which allow you to accomplish all manner of tasks.

I was impressed with the number and variety of programs available on this 1.2GB distro. The apps span nine different categories: Accessories, Eduction, Games, Graphics, Internet, Multimedia, Office Settings, and System. (No Raiders here!)

  • Accessories: Thunar Bulk Rename, Redshift (adjusts the color temperature of your screen), Windows-like task manager to track processes. Slingscold (xfce version of slingshot for Kde desktop. Plus the typical utilities you’d find for taking a screenshot, writing a note, searching for files, opening a terminal, etc.  Handytri (automatic sorting tool – sorts files only). This application runs from a Bash script (/usr/bin/handytri)
  • Education: the list was very light here, consisting of a single entry: LibreOffice Math.
  • Graphics contains ImageMagick which impressed me, although I tend to use it from the command line.
  • Internet: This category included links to Google+, Linked-In, mpartage (a file share that will let you serve a file provided that your network is properly configured for this activity.) Installer for Teamviewer 10.
  • Multimedia: had all the tools you’d expect to have including a CD ripper (Asunder), OggConvert, VLC media player, etc.
  • Office: you have the full LibreOffice suite and a few other tools, including a PDF reader
  • Settings: has beaucoup utilities allowing you to configure the look and feel of the desktop, file management, notifications, power management, etc.
  • Lastly we have System: There is some overlap with settings, but that can be helpful when you’re not quite sure of the category in which a particular utility might be listed.


Aside from the networking situation with the Broadcom chip, Handy Linux was enjoyable to use. I rate it 3.2.


Tech News:

Time: 1:04:00

What is the Best Hard Drive?

MegaChat — Kim Dotcom launches end-to-end encrypted Video Calling Service


Penguicon 2015 Registration
Register before Jan 31 for the $45 price

Google just made it easier to run Linux on your Chromebook


Have you ever installed a full desktop Linux system on your Chromebook? It isn’t
all the hard, but it is a bit more complex than it should be. New features in
the latest version of Chrome OS will make dipping into an alternative operating
system easier. For example, you’ll be able to easily boot a full Linux system
from a USB drive and use it without any additional hassle!

Linus Torvalds to Patch the Kernel for a Witcher 2 Problem


Linus Torvalds is not known to interfere with other projects than the Linux
kernel and it must be something really special to get him involved. Well, it
looks like the Linux port of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings proved to be
interesting enough.

Do not break user space

“It looks like LDT_empty is buggy on 64-bit kernels. I suspect that the behavior
was inconsistent before the tightening change and that it’s now broken as a
result. I’ll write a patch. Serves me right for not digging all the way down the
mess of macros,” wrote Linus on GitHub.


Microsoft Can’t Sell Laptops or Phones

Why Jeff Hoogland Returned to Bodhi

KDE Korner

PeaZip 5.5.3 is released

Plasma 5.2 – The Quintessential Breakdown


Also talked about Pipecut: http://pipecut.org/index.html

Is it Alive(or is that a Beret on your head…)?

Time: 1:31:20

During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? Sometimes I twist the concept and challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a Linux distribution or something else.

I am doing that today as I challenge I challenge Mat and Tony to decide whether the named distribution is French. As is customary during twist week, extra credit will be given if after Mat and Tony correctly identify the distro, they also correctly identify whether it is alive or dead. The items for this week’s show are:



SystemRescueCd is a Gentoo-based Linux system on a bootable CD-ROM or USB drive, designed for repairing a system and data after a crash.

VERDICT: French – Alive



Zopix was a Linux distribution derived from Knoppix. It was a live CD, a ready-to-use Zope working environment consisting of open-source and free software distributed under GPL.

VERDICT:: French – Dead



SELKS, a product of Stamus Networks, is a Debian-based live distribution designed for network security management.

VERDICT: Not French – Alive



Mandows was a French live CD based on Mandrake Linux with support for hard disk installation.

VERDICT: French – Dead



Troppix was a stand-alone Linux live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux, aimed at security professionals, penetration testers and auditor

VERDICT: French – Dead



FreeNAS is a tiny FreeBSD-based operating system which provides free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services (CIFS, FTP and NFS).

VERDICT: French – Alive



Listener Feedback:

show (at) smlr.us or 734-258-7009
Time: 1:36:10

Outtro Music

Time: 1:42:10

Ghosts I- track 2 – Nine Inch Nails

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