Episode #94


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

00:01:25 2016 in Review
01:12:29 Thanks, and the Future
01:18:26 Prediction Scorecard

In our last show of 2016 we looked back over the events of the year, plus rummaged through the entrails to see whether the last twelve months had turned out how we’d previously predicted. And whilst one thing we didn’t see coming this time last year was the end of Linux Luddites, we talked a little more about Late Night Linux, the new show that Joe and Jesse are putting together with Ikey Doherty and Félim Whiteley. Have a peaceful Christmas, a great New Year, and thanks for sharing the journey with us.

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00:01:25 2016 in Review

In Memoriam
* Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, died (at the end of 2015) aged 42 in circumstances thought suspicious at the time, but later ruled a suicide
* Richard Sapper, designer of the iconic ThinkPad, died
* Seymour Papert, father of the use of technology in education, died

Milestones
* Linux turned 25
* Red Hat became the first $2b open-source company, and announced a no-cost RHEL developer subscription plan

Platforms
* Weak desktop sales helped push Intel into a restructuring and the killing off of some Atom chips
* Whilst tablet sales are expected to have fallen over the year, October marked a turning point as more people accessed the Internet using mobile phones and tablets than desktops for the first time ever
* Chromebooks continued to thrive, for the first time outselling Macs in the US; Google also announced that the Android Play Store would be coming to Chrome OS
* By summer, Steam Machines were declared dead in the water, and don’t look like recovering

More Endings, Some Beginnings
* Mozilla killed Firefox OS, and told devs to fork Boot to Gecko if they wanted to keep it alive
* Cyanogen entered a period of uncertainty, and CyanogenMod is being reborn as Lineage
* The Linux Voice team failed in their crowdfunding of Beep Beep Yarr!, and later folded their publication into Linux Magazine
* Solus 1.0 was released, and at FOSDEM Jonathan Riddell launched KDE Neon
* Frank Karlitschek left ownCloud and launched Nextcloud, and had his motives questioned

Legal
* Canonical’s decision to ship ZFS with Ubuntu 16.04 provoked ire from the FSF and SFC, and a more measured response from the SFLC
* The Kernel Summit mailing list became an unlikely venue for an involved discussion around GPL enforcement
* Christoph Hellwig’s case against VMware was dismissed, and an appeal announced
* Google beat Oracle with a ‘fair use’ defence over Java APIs in Android, an appeal will follow

Packaging & Versioning
* Canonical stole a march on the GNOME community by announcing snaps before Flatpak got a public airing
* On the versioning front, GNOME attempted to bring some predictability to their release cycles

Boards & IoT
* July saw the announcement that Japan’s SoftBank would buy Arm Holdings for over £24bn
* The PINE A64 crushed its Kickstarter goal, and the company is now planning a budget Linux laptop; this to compete with devices that mate a smartphone and dumb laptop shell
* In February, the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the Pi 3, and later in the year announced that 10 million Pis have been shipped in total; OS refreshes for the Pi included the introduction of SLES
* The BBC finally released the micro:bit to schools, then to the UK general public, and finally worldwide
* IoT devices started to get a lot of bad press due to companies dropping support and the ease with which they could be hacked or even herded into a botnet; fortunately, Google rode to the rescue with its wondrous new Android Things platform

Security
* Linux Mint showed us how not to run a secure website, as did FossHub
* Millions of Android users were hit with another another Stagefright exploit, but did gain some much needed privacy with WhatsApp taking end-to-end encryption mainstream
* Mozilla pitched into the audit funding business, and along with Apple led the way in killing off competition to Let’s Encrypt, which has since seen a massive uptick in use
* Ubuntu got into the kernel hotfixing business, which was clearly needed as the kernel seems as buggy as ever

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish
* Google continued to push folks towards AMP
* The Linux Foundation introduced more free courses and continued to absorb existing projects; they also stopped individual members voting in board elections, and accepted Microsoft as a Platinum member
* Microsoft bought Xamarin, rolled out a beta of SQL Server on Linux, and with Canonical’s help introduced Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

01:12:29 Thanks, and the Future

A final and heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped support the show over the last three years and ninety-four episodes. Thanks also to everybody who has contacted us with kind words since we announced that this would be our final outing. We’ve been genuinely touched.

And whilst this is an ending, it’s also a new beginning. As we announced, Joe and Jesse will be back, along with Ikey Doherty and Félim Whiteley, in a brand new show called Late Night Linux. With the first episode due to drop 10 January 2017, you won’t have long to wait to hear (most of our) voices once again, so subscribe to the MP3 or Ogg feed to keep the Linux chat coming in the New Year.

01:18:26 Prediction Scorecard

To wrap up the episode, the year, and indeed this entire podcast series, we took a look back at our predictions for 2016 to see how well our powers of prognostication had fared.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #93


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

00:01:06 News
00:40:48 Bash on Ubuntu on Windows
00:51:55 Feedback
01:05:35 Ubuntu Touch

Damn it, Canonical. In our penultimate show, your Luddites genuinely wanted to be able to look forward to a glorious Linux-powered convergent future. But the harsh truth is that even after years of development, Ubuntu Touch remains stubbornly half-baked. Whilst progress on Touch is glacial, the same cannot be said of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, which continues to power ahead. To be honest, in a few months there may be no need for the infrequently dual-booting developer to even contemplate installing a Linux distro. Which really ought to be focusing a few more minds than it seems to be.

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00:01:06 News

Some preliminary Fedora 25 stats — and future release scheduling
Taking a stand against unofficial Ubuntu images
Canonical snaps gain dependencies
Snapping KDE Applications
Announcing OSS-Fuzz: Continuous Fuzzing for Open Source Software

State of Mozilla, 2015

Sailfish OS: only mobile OS approved for use by Russian Government
Steve Kondik blames Kirt McMaster for Cyanogen Inc’s failure, CyanogenMod to reorganize and regroup
Mycroft will soon be available as a pre-built Raspberry Pi 3 image

Pebble smartwatch maker calls it quits, proving that being first doesn’t guarantee success
Moto pushes off smartwatches indefinitely
AsteroidOS – Alpha 1.0 Release

SiFive launches open source RISC-V custom chip
First open source RISC-V chips arrive in Arduino board
Open-V on Crowd Supply

00:40:48 Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

It mostly works, albeit with caveats, and it’s being actively developed. Despite not being officially supported, with a Windows X server like Xming or VcXsrv you can run GUI apps. You can even reportedly switch from Ubuntu to another distro base. Give it a burl.

00:51:55 Feedback

On the topic of Android version usage, Mark Smith pointed us towards some data on take-up.

Eduardo Nogueira wondered how we saw the differences between Korora and Chapeau.

Both John Stoume and Tom Hardy got in touch to relate their experiences of the Linux Foundation’s System Administrator Certification program and test. It sounds more challenging than you might expect.

Helam Sirrine was one of several folks who got in touch following Paddy gushing about how an SSD breathed new life into his aging laptop (you can use fio to perform your own before/after testing); and Popey picked up on the question of why certain distros manage to sustain dedicated podcasts, whilst others don’t.

We wrapped up the feedback by announcing that the next show would be our last. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everybody who has helped us out financially, or contributed to the show with ideas, comments or feedback.

Please don’t feel shy about cancelling any recurring payment to us, but be assured we’ll cut off any remaining at the end of the month. We’ll also be pulling our Flattr account early in the New Year, with our merchandise shop vanishing at the end of January.

Do keep subscribed to the RSS feed, as Joe and Jesse have something planned that you might be interested to hear about.

It’s been a blast, and a real pleasure engaging with other knowledgeable and like-minded Linux enthusiasts. Until next time, which will be the last time…

01:05:35 Ubuntu Touch

When we last visited the convergent world of Ubuntu Touch back on show #72 in February, we noted some incremental improvements but nothing to really write home about. Ten months on, and with OTA14 freshly released, is Canonical’s hope for the mobile and desktop future starting to show some signs of maturity?

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #92


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

00:05:48 News
00:40:03 More Pi Gubbins
00:54:41 Feedback
01:03:19 Chapeau 24

For those not wanting to risk life and limb by living on the bleeding edge, a new release of Fedora is always a good time to look at derivatives based on the previous version. So this show we span up Chapeau 24, which aims to provide a more feature-rich and useful desktop environment than stock Fedora.

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00:05:48 News

Fedora 25 released!
openSUSE community Linux moves ahead of Fedora

Alienware manager on Steam Machines lull: Windows 10 changed everything
Microsoft’s Linux love affair leads it to join The Linux Foundation
Microsoft & Linux & Patents & Tweets
SQL Server on Linux: Runs well in spite of internal quirks. Why?

O’Reilly Humble Unix Book Bundle

FlightAware offering bounties for Tcl improvements
curl Security Audit

Major Linux security hole gapes open
KDE Project Security Advisory

Chinese company installed secret backdoor on hundreds of thousands of phones
Google is pretty much abandoning Android 2.3 Gingerbread in 2017

Pinebook is a Linux laptop with an ARM CPU for $89 and up
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Raspberry Pi

00:40:03 More Pi Gubbins

Jesse talked about Lychee and the Energenie Pi-mote, whilst Joe chatted about how he uses WordPress and AntennaPod in a somewhat unconventional manner.

00:54:41 Feedback

A huge thank you to Wiktor Wajsberg for your PayPal donation, and to Joshua Scott, Robert Rijkhoff, Diego Reyes Quintana and Thomas Larsen Wessel for joining our band of Monthly Supporters. Thanks, guys!

Gavin Hewins got in touch to plug the upcoming HackHorsham Raspberry Jam in Horsham, due to take place on December 11th. If anyone else has community events they’d like us to mention, please do let us know.

David Carollo and Morten wondered if there shouldn’t be more Red Hat and Fedora coverage on both this show and others, and questioned the amount of advocacy those projects undertake.

Following up on Jesse’s comments last time about 3D printing, Victor and Nathan Wolf suggested some software to try for both design and slicing, and Brian got in touch with a pointer to a podcast he recorded on the subject a couple of years ago.

01:03:19 Chapeau 24

We took Chapeau 24 for a spin to see how it stood up against both Korora and stock Fedora. And whilst the team behind Chapeau have undoubtedly made some good decisions regarding application and system defaults, we were ultimately left wondering whether this should be a stand-alone distro at all?

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #91


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

00:03:09 News
00:32:49 Linux Voice/Linux Magazine
00:40:39 herbstluftwm
00:51:40 Feedback
01:08:39 Elizabeth K Joseph on OpenStack

OpenStack has the justified reputation of being a complex set of technologies. This show we talked with Elizabeth K Joseph, whose new book provides an overview of the platform and some much needed practical hand-holding through your first few simple deployments. This after the latest news and your feedback, plus a look at herbstluftwm, a relatively unknown tiling window manager.

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00:03:09 News

Mythbuntu: So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
Ubuntu Budgie
MP3 Support Now Coming to Fedora Workstation 25

Open-source pioneer Munich debates report that suggests abandoning Linux for Windows 10 (totally unrelated)

Lenovo issues fixes for laptop Linux installs
The Code To Intel’s New Linux Wireless Daemon Is Now Public

Mobile and tablet internet usage exceeds desktop for first time worldwide
One billion people now use Facebook on a mobile device — and only a mobile device — for the first time

WebAssembly: Finally something everyone agrees on — websites running C/C++ code
Browsers remove functionality due to privacy
Introducing FlyWeb
FlyWeb – Pure Web Cross-Device Interaction

00:32:49 Linux Voice/Linux Magazine

As we recently reported, the Linux Voice team have recently merged operations with Linux Magazine. How well does the new combined publication work? Jesse reported back.

00:40:39 herbstluftwm

Prompted by listener Michael Boyle, we span up the herbstluftwm tiling window manager. If you’d like to see it in action without having to follow our footsteps, check out this video.

00:51:40 Feedback

A huge thank you to Adam Cox, David Garth-Owen and Wiktor Wajsberg for your PayPal donations, and to Michael Lamb for becoming a Monthly Supporter of the show. We are immensely grateful for all of the support that we receive.

And thanks to Seenysha for pointing out that ‘Not So Fast: Thinking Twice about Technology‘, the book written by Doug Hill with whom we chatted back on show #38 is finally available on Amazon.

Several people got in touch following our conversation last time about the state of software ‘engineering’, including Campbell Barton and Florian. Thanks for the feedback, guys.

And on the question of Pi use-cases we had input from John and Lori, amongst others.

A comment from Jerry Steele of the Admin Admin podcast prompted a brief discussion around SSH key security, and whilst talking about CubicleNate’s thoughts on the micro- vs monolithic kernel debate Paddy mentioned a talk by Andy Tanenbaum that nicely teases out some of the key issues. Recommended viewing.

01:08:39 Elizabeth K Joseph on OpenStack

A familiar name to many, both for her association with the best Linux desktop and her work on diversity in tech, Elizabeth has also been heavily involved in the burgeoning OpenStack scene. We spoke with Lyz about her new book ‘Common OpenStack Deployments: Real-World Examples for Systems Administrators and Engineers‘, which will help you find your feet in this complex infrastructure project through the use of practical examples. Thanks again to Lyz for taking the time to talk with us.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #90


Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

00:01:35 News
00:41:50 Paddy’s First Taste of Pi
01:08:40 Feedback
01:18:59 Software Engineering?

After kicking off with the latest news, this show features a frank first impression of the Raspberry Pi, your feedback, and a discussion about the state of modern software engineering.

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00:01:35 News

Hotfix Your Ubuntu Kernels with the Canonical Livepatch Service!
“Most serious” Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit
Security bug lifetime
Using Rowhammer bitflips to root Android phones is now a thing
Defending against Rowhammer in the kernel

Google Pixel XL costs $285.75 to Manufacture — in line with Rival Smartphones
Remix IO — A 4K, Nougat-powered, All-in-One device
BBC micro:bit goes global (tiny, affordable, educational computing)
Germans React to UK’s micro:bit

Smartwatch shipments are down 50 percent from a year ago (IDC report)
Macs are 3 times cheaper to own than Windows PCs, says IBM’s IT guy

The Linux Foundation takes on the JavaScript community with the JS Foundation
The Linux Foundation and edX Announce New, Free DevOps Course

Linux Voice Joins the Linux New Media Family; FAQ

00:41:50 Paddy’s First Taste of Pi

After much nagging from his fellow hosts, Paddy finally plugged in his Pi and reported back on his experiences running some of the popular desktop distros. Which weren’t great, TBH. As suggested in the segment, he’s planning to look at more programming-oriented projects like Ultibo and JonesFORTH O/S for a future a show.

01:08:40 Feedback

A huge thank you to Jerry Murphy for becoming a Monthly Supporter of the show. And if you like what we do — and you wouldn’t be reading this otherwise — then think about following Jerry and throwing us a few bucks every month for the value we give you.

Thanks to CubicleNate and Rob Landley for getting in touch regarding Google’s propensity for leaving users in the lurch by frequently ditching services, and to Ian Barton for his thoughts on sudo password delays. As Paddy suggested, man pam_faildelay might be another place to start looking if this behaviour bugs you too.

James Lewis thought we may have been a little harsh in our dismissal of the current state of Unity 8, whilst Russell Dickenson sadly agreed that the lack of full Play Store access means that Phoenix OS really isn’t a viable choice on tablets right now.

01:18:59 Software Engineering?

There’s a famous fake interview with Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, that really nails down the underlying goal of most modern software tooling and development: it isn’t designed to produce a functional product for the end-user, but rather to keep those in the computing industry in long-term and lucrative employment. Your Luddites sat down to chat around the topic, braving the thousands of outraged code monkeys that will likely start flinging poo in their direction.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, on Twitter @linuxluddites, or over at our Google Plus and Facebook Community pages.

Thanks for listening.