Episode #13

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


Ubuntu To Make Amazon Product Results ‘Opt-In’

Shutting down Ubuntu One file services

Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd

Market Research Shows Chromebooks Doing Very Well Indeed

London borough to roll out Google Chromebooks to escape Microsoft’s licensing costs

Google adds more Android features to Chrome OS

Indian state dumps Microsoft for Bharat Operating System Solutions Linux

apt 1.0

The Heartbleed Bug (Paddy mentioned that PHK’s presentation at FOSDEM has suddenly become very popular viewing…)

First Impressions

Last podcast, Paddy asked Joe to report back on the promising Q4OS beta. Joe was not impressed; which just goes to show that your two hosts don’t always agree! Next time, Paddy will be looking at NuTyX.


Thanks to Rob Landley, our new Twitter followers, and to Tony for mentioning the show on the Full Circle Podcast.

Also, a huge thank you to Jason Connerley and Kirk Holz for their PayPal donations, and to our usual anonymous Flattrers.

Steven Rosenberg corrected an error Paddy made last show – thanks, Steven. He also wondered if there are any decent cloud-focused sysadmin books out there. Listeners?

Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér commented on the increasing size of Slax, something the developer also appears to be thinking about. Morten also thanked us for dusting off ‘The Unix-Haters Handbook‘.

Hugh Fisher told us that he has long owned a printed copy of the UHH (but not whether he still has the included UNIX barf bag), and that much of it – sadly – still holds true. He also pointed us towards a post he wrote on the desirability of a Linux UI monoculture back in 2003, which also seems very relevant today.

SonOfNed told us that revisiting the UHH was giving him some laughs. It is a humorous read, so why not download a copy, put your feet up, and then let us have your thoughts on how well it has stood the test of time? We’ll be devoting part of a show towards the end of next month to looking at the book, and would love to include your feedback in that piece.

Julian Overall sang the praises of AntiX, although he did point out a few gotchas. He also told us about the recently launched MX-14, which we talked about later in the show.

Along with Julian, Jason offered some thoughts about XP-replacement distros. During our comments around this, Paddy mentioned the Microsoft game that labels XP a “pestilence”. Interesting company marketing technique, guys!

Danyl Strype suggested Trisquel as another possible XP replacement, and also offered up some thoughts on the licensing debate. Ian Barton and Joe exchanged mails about Nexus 5 audio issues, Andy Jesse and Paddy did likewise about having to use sudo to run shutdown, and Jezra dropped us a line about Chromebooks.

Larry Bain noted our intention to look at GoboLinux in a future show, and remarked that the usual rationalisations for the development of the *nix filesystem hierarchy are not necessarily accurate.

We had a fair bit of feedback on Joe’s question about our audio encoding and quality. Thanks to Stephen Martinez, Charles Griffey, Andy Jesse, Richard, and Rob Mackenzie for their thoughts. And a special thank you to Nigel Verity, who took the time to do a whole bunch of encoding and listening experiments on our behalf.

A couple of you offered thoughts on Linux Mint’s move to an LTS base. Paddy (no relation) suggested Mint’s motivation was to avoid the inevitable breakages that Ubuntu’s move to Mir will bring, whilst Jason thought that it is the inherent stability of an LTS that’s most attractive, and may well help lure XP refugees over to Mint.

Jason also asked for Linux magazine recommendations. Whilst Joe and Paddy know the UK market, we’re not too up on what is available in the USA, which is where Jason lives. Any suggestions from stateside listeners?

Jason Lewis, from completely the other side of the world, wrote to ask why we don’t run vanilla Debian if we like it so much. One of us does ;)

Finally, Richard pointed out that du -h | sort -h wouldn’t have run on the old, 2004 vintage, distros we talked about last show. No it wouldn’t, and why that is the case caused Paddy to air one of his pet peeves.

AntiX MX-14 “Symbiosis”

Prompted by both dogbert0360 and Julian Overall, we took a look at the recently released MX-14. Whilst we didn’t find anything particularly wrong with it, nor did anything really leap out at us to make this a compelling distro.

It’s unlikely such ambivalence will be on display next show, when we hope to be taking a thorough look at the Ubuntu Unity 14.04 LTS, providing that it is released on schedule.

Over a Pint

An article posted by Bruce Byfield on Datamation entitled ‘What Happened to the Vision in Open Source?‘ about a month ago elicited little response on that site. We thought it worthwhile to pick over the post, as it raised some interesting questions.

Linux LudditesAs ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites.

Thanks for listening.

Episode #12

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


Shuttleworth: ACPI, firmware and your security …but… Can we have an open phone please? The case of the Ubuntu Phone

Ubuntu GNOME and Lubuntu get LTS status (probably will negatively impact Linux Lite, which is a shame as it’s a nice little OS Correction: Linux Lite runs XFCE, not LXDE)

Sharing what’s up our sleeve: Android coming to wearables

Better integration for open web apps on Android

Free eBook Download: Android on x86 An Introduction to Optimizing for Intel Architecture

GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

European Union in talks to move to the Open Document Format

Linux and botnets: It’s not Linux’s fault! (apparently it’s all your fault, dear Linux administrators and users…)

Linux Mint might use the same LTS base for Mint 17, 18, 19 AND 20

GNOME 3.12 released

Red Hat reveals CentOS plans

KDE community refutes Canonical developer’s claim “the display server doesn’t matter”

First Impressions

A couple of shows back, DistroWatch’s random distribution button gave Paddy Bridge Linux. We dropped the segment last show to make time for our interview with Rob Landley; was the wait worth it? And, breaking with tradition, Paddy ignored DistroWatch and chose Q4OS for Joe to look at on the next show.


Thanks to Mikael Inscius, Johan Vervloet, and our usual anonymous Flattrers for their help in supporting the show. And a special thank you to Martin Greenfield and Lawrence Bain for their PayPal donations.

Also, thanks as usual to Rob Mackenzie, and to Julian (@julian_overall), for their Twitter comments.

A lot of positive feedback on our interview last time with Rob Landley. Even when folks didn’t agree with everything Rob said, they were all pleased that we had aired the segment.

Ian Barton and Rob Walker both said that they don’t usually hear pieces like this on other podcasts, with Rob contrasting our interview with “the regular fluff that Linux podcasts cover”. Fin and Stilvoid seconded and thirded Rob Walker’s comment, and Greg said that whilst he wouldn’t want this sort of segment every show, he’d found it “a great insight into the OSS/Linux back rooms”.

Richard offered some thoughts about the incompatibilities between GPLv2 and GPLv3, and also speculated that Google may eventually move Android over to a BSD licensed kernel to totally remove GPL code from that ecosystem. Rob Landley responded, suggesting that the development methodology that Linux brought to the party (as discussed in Eric S. Raymond’s ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar‘) is probably a larger factor in the success of the Linux environment than any licensing choices.

HankB, Oskar and SonOfNed also said some positive things about the interview, again with Rob Landley chiming in with helpful links for further reading.

Finally, Ken Fallon from Hacker Public Radio heard the show, and asked if he could replay it on HPR. The episode is currently scheduled to air as HPR1486, on 14 April 2014. Thanks for that, Ken!

In general show feedback, Steve Engledow asked if we’d come across GoboLinux. We have, but only in passing, so will think about featuring it on a future show; and probably contrasting it with NixOS, which goes in totally the opposite direction.

Jack Dennahower gave us an update on his tablet experiences, and Dave is still sitting in an empty IRC channel; sorry, Dave, but it doesn’t seem as if any other listeners are interested in us picking that up.

Ray Woods is having issues rolling back to a prior GVFS on his laptop, as the current version isn’t working for him. Any offers, or are we talking DLL library hell?

Richard Kline asked us for suggestions of a good Debian-based distro with a Steam client, as he was struggling to get it running under CrunchBang. Paddy proposed SolydXK, an increasingly popular semi-rolling distro which comes with Steam pre-installed.

Gimp questioned Joe’s continuing use of proprietary audio software, whilst Hank Barta wondered if we could do a segment on WMs/DEs. Stephen Martinez said some nice things about us, Hank B wondered how much pre-installs are responsible for the ongoing dominance of Windows, and Robert Horn pointed out that, yes, installing Linux on a Chromebook is actually very straightforward.

We asked on Chris Leffelman’s behalf last show if any listeners has suggestions for good, generalist, trainee sysadmin texts. Jed Reynolds suggested the “UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook“, whilst philnc recommended Æleen Frisch’s “Essential System Administration“. Both are a few years old now, but good reviews abound elsewhere.

Reto from Zurich asked why we encode our shows at 128kb/s. Joe tossed this back to the audience – what do you guys think? Is this too high? Would you prefer a smaller download?

SonOfNed offered some thoughts on the shakeups currently going on in the Linux world, in particular in the mobile space and regarding the Wayland/Mir issue.

Ian Barton gave us a link to his look at some online Markdown editors, and wondered if Paddy isn’t sometimes a little hard on developers. This thought was also picked up by Campbell Barton from Blender, who let us have his feedback born of working on a complex, cross-platform, and million line project. Campbell also linked to an interesting interview with Hans-Joachim Popp, CIO at the German Aerospace Centre, on the amount of effort put into software quality for space missions.

A Wasted Decade?

Our show’s strapline is “Not all change is progress”. But is that necessarily true? We decided to see how the thesis stood up regarding the Linux desktop by taking a look at two distros released 10 years ago – the very first Ubuntu (Warty Warthog) and Mandrake 10. Were they really usable? How much better are modern distros?

Over a Pint

May 2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of “The UNIX-Haters Handbook“. Following on from our theme this show of looking at how much things have changed over the years, Paddy read out a provocative quote from the book, and explained that we’d be taking a look at some of the criticism that it contains in a show during May. We’d very much welcome your thoughts on this; although polemical in tone, the book is actually quite amusing, so why not give it a read and tell us how well you think it describes the Linux we all love and use today?

Off the Beaten Path

Again thinking about the aspiring sysadmin, we briefly talked about a shell script checking utility called ShellCheck (source on GitHub), and vnstat, a very lightweight network traffic monitor.

As ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites. Thanks for listening.

Episode #11

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

A slightly different format this episode, due to our in-depth interview later in the show. For anybody waiting to hear Paddy’s First Impressions of Bridge Linux, tune in next time when normal service will be resumed.


Critical crypto bug leaves Linux, hundreds of apps open to eavesdropping; some specific detail

Valve Asks Users to Disable SELinux to Play Portal 2, Linux Community Reacts (apparently now fixed, after we recorded our audio but before we released the show)

Red Hat Intros Kpatch For Dynamic Kernel Patching

Gartner Says Worldwide Tablet Sales Grew 68 Percent in 2013, With Android Capturing 62 Percent of the Market

Why Firefox — yes, Firefox — will become the mobile OS to beat

A closer look at Facebook’s motives in acquiring its fleet of Titan drones

Are there enough users for Linux Mint Debian Edition to survive?

Debian Developers Are Preparing an LTS Version for “Wheezy” (a little speculative…)

X.Org Foundation Loses Its 501(c)(3) Status

Linux Foundation to Build Massive Open Online Course Program with edX, Increase Access to Linux Training for All

Google Replacing GTK2 With Aura In Chrome 35

Mark Shuttleworth: Mir By Default In Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (and about that beard of his…)


Thanks to Dale Visser for the mention on Linux Outlaws, and to Andrew Gregory for the one on the Linux Voice podcast.

Here on the website, dogbert0360 asked if we’d have a look at antiX. Yes, happy to add to our list of future reviews. Also here, Brian36 expressed some doubts about Android-x86 as a replacement desktop, and outed himself as being of a similar vintage as Paddy ;)

Via email, Glen Skiner picked up on Paddy talking about Markdown editors, and recommended ReText. Glen also pointed us towards the LinuxBBQ website, which has a frightening number of Debian sid based variants to download.

Dave thanked us for previously looking at Semplice, which he is thoroughly enjoying using. He also asked about our non-existent IRC channel; would anybody else be interested in us setting one up?

Jack Dennahower gave us his initial impressions of his new Galaxy Note 10 – thanks, Jack.

Jezra had a few unflattering words to say about Firefox OS, which doesn’t bode well for Joe’s in-depth look at that platform in an upcoming show. Ray Woods experienced some unrelated Firefox woes, but managed to resolve matters.

Chris Leffelman asked if we could recommend a good general guide to Linux server set-up and management. If any listener has a book that they’ve found particularly helpful in this regard, please feel free to plug it in the comments below. Let’s see if we can’t come up with some distro-agnostic as well as distro-specific suggestions. Chris also became the first person to donate to the show via our new PayPal button – many thanks, Chris.

Brendan Perrine queried why we have recently had so much coverage of mobile devices, whilst Jonathan Groll told us about installing Sven-Ola’s Debian Kit on his phone, and running a Tomcat server on it! As we mentioned on the show, we appreciate different folks have different interests, and we’ll continue to attempt to provide reasonably balanced coverage of all the platforms where Linux is found – from the data centre, across the desktop, and down into your pocket.

Interview with Rob Landley

Kicking most of our regular programming off-air this show was an interview that we recently recorded with Rob Landley.

Rob is a former maintainer of BusyBox, and we wanted to speak with him about his Toybox project, which he hopes will move Android towards becoming the self-hosting environment it needs to be in order to displace traditional desktops. Along the way we talked about the origins of open source software and the Free Software Foundation, Rob’s experiences of GPL enforcement, the rise of public domain software, the evolution from mainframes to minis to PCs and beyond, why the fabled ‘Year of the Linux Desktop’ will never happen, why GUI projects benefit from being run by a dictator, and how he sees Android as the 900lb gorilla in a mobile marketplace that looks set to disrupt how we all interact with computers.

Thanks again to Rob for spending so much time with us, and for giving us an interview that proved to be informative, thought provoking, and – no doubt to some – controversial. If you have any comments on what Rob had to say, please add your thoughts below the line.

As ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites. Thanks for listening.

Episode #10

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


Introducing Locally Integrated Menus to Unity 7

Ubuntu phones to ship this year from two manufacturers

Samsung unveils Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches (powered by Tizen)

Where Are All The Chromebooks?

E-Z-2-Use attack code exploits critical bug in majority of Android phones

Sailfish OS Launcher coming to Android phones (along with entire Sailfish OS)

LXC 1.0 released

Mozilla promise $25 smartphones, announces PhoneGap support for Firefox OS, and wants to cut out carriers from upgrade process

Nokia launches Android range; XDA devs have ported Nokia’s store over for the rest of us, and already rooted and installed GApps onto the new Nokia devices

2013 Global Server Market Continues to Decline (but not Linux)

Linux Voice magazine launched

First Impressions

Joe talked about Madbox Linux, and DistroWatch’s Random Distribution button was fairly kind to Paddy, giving him Bridge Linux to report back on next show.


Thanks again to our anonymous Flattrers!

We received comments on Twitter from Rob Mackenzie (@Rob_Hyperborean), Peter Paterson (@SpiderSpinotti), and Fab from the Linux Outlaws. Fab would have had no problem with jan’s (@herr_monk) tweeted mention of our show, but his German had me reaching for Google Translate! Thanks, jan.

Ian Barton mailed us to talk about an obvious market for Chromeboxes that the manufacturers seem intent on ignoring, and wondered if we might look at one of the BSDs. Whilst I continue to twist Joe’s arm on this, here’s a talk about why Linux users should care about OpenBSD.

Zach L posed a number of interesting questions on our website, which I had a bash at answering there.

Morten told us about Turbulence, another reason to look at the already excellent Manjaro, and that Sonar GNU/Linux will be releasing a version based on this distro. He also flagged up that Manjaro are looking for additional translators; if this is something that’s of interest, you can find more information here. Rainy was another listener who wrote to tell us that they’d found Manjaro to be to their liking.

Tzafrir Cohen and Paddy exchanged emails as they do most shows, and Daniel MC also chimed in on the topic of licensing and philosophy. We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the ethical dimensions of technology in a future show.

Thanks to Brian36 from the UK and Joe from Tennessee for you nice comments.

Brad Alexander and Paddy exchanged several mails relating to software freedom that wandered off into slightly wider territory, and it was good to hear from Félim Whiteley again.

New listener John Lee has been catching up on past episodes, and pointed us at the OOo4kids project having heard Paddy’s earlier piece about Doudou Linux.


We love Android on our phones, but is it a viable replacement desktop OS? Paddy took one for the Luddite team and tried living with it for seven long, long days…

Over a Pint

We chewed over Joe’s question of “Does anyone need desktop Linux any more?” As usual, we only scratched the surface of the topic and would love to hear your thoughts below.

As ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites. Thanks for listening.

Episode #9

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg


Debian and Ubuntu to move to systemd

Who’s Writing Linux?

A bevy of Chrome boxes

GCC and LLVM collaboration / The Open Source Compiler Initiative

Android-x86 4.4-RC1 (KitKat-86) released

Plan 9 source now also licensed under GPLv2

The Linux Outlaws are back

First Impressions

Paddy had a look at PLD Linux Distribution, whilst Joe will be taking a gander at Madbox Linux for our next show.


Again, a huge thank you to our anonymous Flattrers.

Also, thanks to Jenny (‏@avengemydeath) and Bacon Zombie (‏@BaconZombie) for their kind words on Twitter.

Ian Barton and Paddy exchanged emails about systemd, and how it will affect the Linux eco-system longer term. What is there left to say on that topic? I’ll leave it up to Henry Spencer: “Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.”

Joe and Richard Marsh had a to-and-fro over the ‘what is a distro’ question.

Steven Rosenberg left a couple of comments on our website about Debian, and pointed us towards a blog post of his talking about the firmware he installed to get his laptop running well under Jessie.

Zach L gave us some thoughts about the FSF and the ‘GNU/Linux’ naming issue.

Tzafrir Cohen wrote a very detailed and enumerated set of comments on the website. We had a bash at addressing the issues he raised, albeit with some disagreement. Paddy probably didn’t do justice to the ideas expressed by Isaiah Berlin, but he does believe that Berlin’s perspective on the conflicting visions of liberty (freedom) that we as humans subscribe to provides a good framework to explain our differences on many topics, including licensing.

Charlie Ogier wrote to tell us that he’s written a GPLv3 licensed GUI file finding utility – using the Gambas3 BASIC language – and would welcome user feedback.

A Couple of Arch Derivatives

From the ridiculous to the sublime: we took a look at the XFCE versions of Antergos and Manjaro.

Over a Pint

Does user space needs a benevolent dictator like Linus?

[In hindsight, we really ought to have also considered whether Linus actually is a benevolent dictator]

As ever, we’d welcome your feedback about the show either here on our website, via a mail to show@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites. Thanks for listening.