Episode #20

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

StartOS – Google Glass hands-on – IceWM, JWM, EDE – Sanel Zukan interview

Toggle full show notes

New Plasma brings a cleaner interface on top of a new graphics stack
Release for CentOS-7 on x86_64
Mailnag Email Notifier Sees New Major Release, Is No Longer Just For Gnome Shell
New Product Launch! Introducing Raspberry Pi Model B+

Odds ‘n’ Sods
​Android’s phone wiping fails to delete personal data
Spotify migrate 5000 servers from Debian to Ubuntu
First Tizen phone postponed indefinitely
Microsoft’s Bing follows Google in offering Europeans the ‘right to be forgotten’

For UK Listeners
Commons passes emergency data laws despite criticism
Amazon Prime video coming for Android

Chromebooks etc.
Dell’s Chromebook sales go crazy, so company halts sales
Microsoft launches a price assault on Chromebooks
Lenovo stops selling small-screen Windows tablets in the US (since denied by Lenovo)
Google launches Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux (beta)
Handwriting recognition coming to ChromeOS

The Fortnight’s Big News
Apple Teams Up With IBM For Huge, Expansive Enterprise Push

Seen Elsewhere

eBay’s Q2 earnings beat estimates despite analyst fears over security breach …what huge data breach?

Speeding up data storage by a thousand times with ‘spin current’

Desktop Containers – The Way Forward

Xubuntu: How To Put Maximized Windows Buttons And Title On The Panel
Xfdashboard: Gnome Shell Like Dashboard For Xfce

First Impressions

Joe gave us his First Impressions of StartOS, and next show Jesse will be looking at RISC OS on the Raspberry Pi.

Google Glass Hands-on

Joe and Jesse recently attended a Google Glass sales/evangelist event in London, and recorded their thoughts whilst they were still fresh in their minds.


A huge thank you to Maxim Kovgan and Nicholas Betson for their PayPal donations, to three anonymous Flattrers, and to Jeroen van Rijn, Brendan MacWade and Isaac Carter for becoming Monthly Supporters.

SonOfNed dropped us a line regarding the scope of systemd, pointing towards a talk Lennart gave at FUDCon Beijing earlier this year. In the absence of video, it’s well worth checking out Lennart’s slides (~200KB PDF) to get a feel for where we stand (and to see how not to make a PDF from slides). In the ensuing comments about systemd, Paddy mentioned a blog post by Rob Landley, and Lennart’s attitude to the increasing difficulty in compiling udev separately from systemd.

Campbell Barton and Rob Landley both left comments BTL at show #19 about why they think that the Go programming language might struggle to gain traction, and those are well worth reading.

Mark, Rob Mackenzie, Nigel Verity, and Dave Allan all got in touch following Joe’s comments about Google last time. Nigel cautioned that there might come a point at which our technology corporate behemoths start to operate outside of national governmental control [start? ed.], whilst Dave Allan took Joe to task for his “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” attitude. Paddy promised to link to a short Techdirt piece that makes the case against that argument more eloquently than we managed on the show.

Thanks to Martin Wimpress for clarifying that MATE will continue to support GTK2 as well as GTK3, to Jeroen van Rijn for some suggestions of topics that we might want to take a look at on future shows, and to Kristian for pointing us towards a kernel patch from Ted Ts’o prompted by work by the OpenBSD guys.

Will asked us about how we go about customising Xfce to our liking, and Joe has added writing a personal blog post on this topic to his to-do list.

Richard Marsh and Muldwych both pointed out that the show can be difficult to find, and Paddy explained what the position was regarding iTunes. And if you are an iTunes user and enjoy the show, why not rate and review it there to make it easier for others to find?

Steven Rosenberg thought that it would be a good idea for us to discuss the pros and cons of the commonly used scripting languages, but your hosts demurred on the grounds of lack of specific domain expertise. It would be a good idea for an expert listener round-table, though, so if any folks out there would be willing to participate in such a group discussion, drop us a line to show@ and we’ll organise the conversation.

Finally, both Rob Landley and SonOfNed pointed us towards Patreon as another potential means for the audience to give the show a little support. We’d be happy to go down that road if it appeals to other listeners, so let us know your thoughts.

Familiar, But Lighter Than LXDE

Prompted by a question from the audience for recommendations on what might provide a suitably light and familiar desktop environment for a typical WinXP refugee and their older hardware, we took a look at IceWM, Joe’s Window Manager (JWM) and the Equinox Desktop Environment (EDE). Though to pitch either IceWM or JWM in those terms really doesn’t do them justice, and nor does how either typically looks and behaves out of the box. To get the most out of either, you’ll need to do some reading and put a bit of work into configuring them, but the results can be be very pleasing indeed.

Sanel Zukan Interview

We spoke to Sanel Zukan, lead developer of the Equinox Desktop Environment, to find out a little more about the history and direction of that project, and the FLTK toolkit which it is based upon. Thanks to Sanel 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@, or on Twitter @linuxluddites.

Thanks for listening.


  1. SonOfNed

    Welcome aboard Jesse! You fit in so well on your inagural episdoe that one could have easily assumed you’ve been part of the broadcast team from the start.

    • jesse

      Hi SonOfNed, thanks for your kind words, I was wary of what long term listeners such as yourself would think so its good to hear I did alright!

  2. Michael Albertson

    I don’t know. This new guy Jesse invoked the “chicken or the egg.” That makes me a bit uncertain of him… XD Just kidding this time around. But in all seriousness, that bit did have me laughing.

  3. Jonathon

    Hi Guys, that maximise in only one direction at a time is available using most of the main wm, eg xfce4 with middle click on the usual maximise for top to bottom and right click for left to right.. I love the show, I live in South Australia used linux only last few years and have helped a father and son off a dying Xp to a vibrant Xubuntu. Neither could afford new pcs and although they didn’t know they were running Xp in the first place, they are happy now that ‘it just works’ I run an old Core Duo and have not looked back after adopting.. well, everything.. I’ve still not stopped hopping! Yes, welcome Jesse and Cheers Paddy and Joe

  4. Russell Dickenson

    Perhaps this is not the *best* venue for my question but here goes…

    Paddy and Joe, what tweaks do you apply to Xubuntu/Xfce to have it looking a behaving the way you like?

  5. Jason

    Hi guys,
    Jesse seems like a wonderful fit, welcome aboard! I do use Apple devices (an iPhone and iPad) so you’ll gain at least one subscriber on iTunes! I’ll get a review written straight away. You mentioned a possible future discussion on how you like to customize Xfce, I think that is a great topic. As a new Linux user (I switched when support ended for Windows XP) I’d also love to hear what security measures you take. I’m currently using Lubuntu and have enabled the firewall and check for updates daily. What else should I be doing? Are there standard things you do on a regular basis or programs you install? On a different note I have enrolled in the Linux Foundation’s LFS101x Introduction to Linux course starting August 1, I’ll let you know how that goes. Of course my employer has seen fit to send me to several certifications courses in August but with the self paced nature of LFS101x I don’t think it will be an issue. Thanks again for the great show!
    Jason in Virginia

    • Danny

      Security-wise, it sounds like you’re in good shape against remote attacks, Jason. Just be sure to use a good password, and don’t run your machine in root unless you need to.

      Beyond that, I’d recommend installing “HTTPS Everywhere” from the EFF (https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere) to keep your packets safe while you’re browsing. Anything more would be following me into tinfoil hat territory.

      • Jason

        Thanks for the tips! I just installed HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox on my Lubuntu desktop. I need to read up on the warnings and issues regarding using it with the Chrome browser before I consider installing it on my Windows laptop and Chromebook. I did have a question about running in root. I’m assuming I’ll learn a bit more after my Intro to Linux course but as long as I run Lubuntu as installed (using sudo only when needed) I should be OK in that regard, correct? Thanks again for the help!
        Jason in Virginia

        • Ian Barton

          I dual boot my Samsung Chromebook with Arch Linux. However, I find that I rarely need to use native Linux. The only thing I really need is Emacs (I run my life using org-mode), which I can use on my VPS via the Chrome ssh terminal.

          I am in New York for a few days, so thought I would have a look around and see what Chromebooks are available here. So far I have only looked in Best Buy. I was surprised to see only a very small selection (three) all with only 2GByte RAM None of the newer higher specification ones on show.

          Given that they are supposed to be outselling Windows laptops, I have yet to see anybody using a Chromebook. People are either using some sort of corporate Windows Dell, or an Apple. The hotel has three iMacs for public use.

          Despite Samsung Galaxy phones being available in all the shops, I have yet to see anyone using anything other than an iPhone. The Nexus 5, or other Android phones, don’t exist at all as far as NY is concerned.

  6. Jason

    I forgot to comment on the Chromebook stories. As you may remember I picked up a C710 Chromebook a while back with the intent of installing Linux. I ended up “bricking it” and have since decided to just use Chrome OS on it. Perhaps one of these newly announced inexpensive, low end Windows net books will provide the platform I was looking for. I have to take a bit of exception with Jesse’s comment that the Surface 3 isn’t what people want. I think the concept still has a way to go but the Surface concept (or an iPad with OS X) is very appealing. Right now I use my iPad for checking email, watching Netflix or Amazon Prime, general web-surfing and the occasional game. I mainly use my Windows 7 laptop for Microsoft Office. If I had a tablet that ran Office and had a decent detachable keyboard (I carry my iPad in a Jack Bauer style man purse) I could probably give up the laptop. My perfect scenario has a phone that acts as my CPU. I could plug into a dock (with a monitor, keyboard and mouse) at home and into a net book style dock/shell on the go. I suppose I should do something to shore up my Luddite status after that comment so I will go on record saying I personally have no need of handwriting recognition on my devices.
    Jason in Virginia

  7. Danny

    Welcome, Jesse! I’m glad to see a dedicated Mint user added to the mix.

    I really appreciated the look at IceWM, JWM, and EDE. I like hearing about the less-explored corners of Linux, and I’d love to hear more such features. And the interview with Sanel Zukan really showed a dedication to going the extra mile. It was a nice touch.

  8. Joel

    I just want to quickly comment about smartwatches. I have a Pebble, and there is one specific thing that makes it very useful: Notifications while on the motorcycle. If my phone rings or dings while I am on the motorcycle, I don’t know if it is a text, email, who it is from, how urgent it is, etc. The smartwatch lets me judge if I should pull over. It was the perfect use case to compel me to buy one, and since having it I grew very much accustomed to checking notifications without pulling out my phone. Same thing goes for controlling music.

    I can certainly understand that they may seem unnecessary, but I’ll bet you would like it if you tried it out.

    • jesse

      Hi Joel, pronunciation noted, will make sure I get it right in future. That said, listening to the full episode I heard it coming from my lips a few too many times for my liking so will be trying to curb that habit entirely! Will see how successful I am in due course…

  9. Mark from Pompey

    Hi guys, I love your show as you know.
    Now, here is an interesting question I believe ya’ll would like to put forward onto one of your future shows….
    Now, why is it, that every time there is as upgrade to any operating system, whether it’s windows, Linux, android, ios or whatever, it slows the whole system down?….
    Why is it? Sometimes they just add a security update (which surely isn’t that cpu consuming) or one or two minor extra features to single app. But the end result is every time they do that, it slows the whole system down noticeably.
    Almost every other app and feature on the same os is noticeably slowed down. This then requires one over time to eventuality upgrade ones hardware, purely and simply through a failure that they had overlooked in the first place, it seems. And if they had got it right in the first place they would have got bad reviews on it’s initial performance and would have not sold as many in the first place….. OR is it that, every time they do an upgrade (for what ever reason), are they just building in a slowdown to build in built-in obsolescence? To get you to upgrade your hardware!

  10. Emil

    Thanks for a very nice show.

    On the subject of CPU monitors I find them useful, even running without any desktop environment on a rather recent machine. The purpose is to make it easier to catch misbehaving programs/webpages, not because you are generally interested in knowing what load an idle x server generates. An example is catching that a specific interpreter doesn’t kill background threads when it is supposed to, which I certainly wouldn’t have realised just by listening to the fans.

  11. Rob Mackenzie

    Great show as normal.

    Can I ask for some help with removing blot wear from my Samsung galaxy tab3 (10.1) Be going round and round with Himdall if someone could narrow down a simple how to that would be great. Or just the easiest way to root access so I can remove apps one by one.

    Very surprised to find a lack of Linux based flashing options, as a non-windoze user I find my hands tied.

    Since swapping my ipad forthe galaxy I’ve been impressed with how much I can do I can download and transfer podcast when out and about I do all my admin/time sheets via the tab now.

    But Finding I couldn’t watch Amazon instant was a shocker!

    • Jesse

      Hi Rob, I took some notes when I rooted my S3 a couple of years ago which may or may not prove useful. I should caveat them by saying they were only intended for my eyes so may not be 100% obvious and they are old so there may be something better now. Hope they help;

      cyanogenmodding S3

      vital info

      download ClockworkMod Recovery and Heimdall from the places shown in the above link

      install the heimdall .deb file, extract the clockworkmod to that folder;

      tar -xvf recovery-clockwork-
      sudo cp recovery.img /usr/share/doc/heimdall/

      turn phone off, hold the down volume button, home button and power on so you get to the android icon and “downloading” then plug it into computer, then cd to the heimdall folder and make sure you sudo the heimdall flash command

      cd /usr/share/doc/heimdall/
      sudo heimdall flash –recovery recovery.img

      that’ll restart the phone. After that get the copy of cyanogenmod and google apps you want from

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