Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday – Fedora: The Tipping

Fedora 24 is out! KDE releases Plasma 5.7 Beta, Firefox has an identity crisis, and Sony makes good on OtherOS.

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Colour key – Venn Pedro Mathieu



  • Another release without Wayland.
    • Distro maintainers should stop planning to ship with Wayland until Wayland is actually ready to ship by default before the development cycle even begins.
    • This includes NVidia and AMD driver support which mean no distro should even think about shipping Mir^w Wayland by default right now.
  • Four clicks to open a terminal.
  • No minimize/maximize buttons.
    • Oooh, someone hasn’t used Gnome for the past 5 years I see.
    • And now Venn knows why most people hate both GNOME3 and Unity.
  • Installed XFCE4 and all was well.   
  • One step further in the direction of which aims at delivering a complete and cohesive platform, not just bits and pieces put together.
  • Font rendering has improved in this release which is always a good thing. Font rendering is one of the reasons I stick with Ubuntu, very few distros get this right.
  • Support for the openH264 codec, as granted by Cisco. It needs to be downloaded from Cisco’s servers and it can only play videos encoded with the baseline profile.



  • That default GNOME business is rubbish.
  • Looks like Unity on a budget.
  • Again, Gnome Shell has always been that way. And I like it. Less than Unity but still one of the best Linux desktops out there.
  • Fedora’s GNOME 3 implementation is possibly the best across the mainstream distros, for the simple fact they’ve been using it as default since Fedora 15.
  • Everything else has always felt like a bit of an afterthought.
    • Given how involved Red Hat is in Gnome’s development, that makes sense.


Solus 1.2: Sheryl released

  • Riddle me this, why does a distro focused on providing a performant gaming experience” never have any gaming benchmarks?
  • We’re covering a distro and for once, I will not say that this is a useless effort and that the devs should just provide a script.
  • This distro is not a fork of another project and they are shipping with their own desktop environment.
  • I like how now they only mention the 1 libxml2 parse (for a 112MB xml file, whu-?) benchmark but provide 3 different JPEG Lib Decode because raisins.
  • They also bring up gaming but effe and all if we get any comparative benchmarks on those.
    • Educated Guess: That Budgie compositor probably doesn’t do gaming all that well.
    • More educated guess: compositors haven’t affected gaming performance by more than 1 or 2% since 2008 unless you have a very crappy GPU.
  • This looks like a very polished release and looks promising for the future. I actually want to try it, and it takes a lot for a distro to get me interested after being around Linux for nearly 20 years.


Oh Snaps

  • This is, to put it diplomatically, a heaping pile of steaming bullsh*t”
    • Already like this guy.
  • Nowhere in Canonical’s press release is there any mention of snaps replacing rpms and debs, this bit of false information has been created by Ars for clickbait purposes.
    • That’s what he said, Brad.
  • Nor does it say that distributions other than Ubuntu are officially endorsing Snaps.
  • Snaps: the server end (the ‘app store’ bit of the equation) is closed source, and Canonical have been refusing to tell anyone how to run their own ‘app store’
    • ^ x ∞
    • Boo hoo, the only bit that is trivial to reverse engineer is closed source.
      • Why should anyone have to reverse engineer a software distribution service again?
    • The main problem is that the URL to the Snap store is currently hardcoded.
    • I am one of the few people who have an actual reason to run a 3rd party snap store (as part of Lutris) and you don’t see me complaining, I’ve already figured out how I could do it.
      • And yet you haven’t.
  • This is basically a rant from a Fedora dev because Snaps got more press coverage than Flatpak.
    • If BS hype =’s coverage, yes.
  • He goes on and on about how Snaps are not production ready which nobody said they were (and trust me Snaps are *really far* from being production ready, I tried the damn thing). Oh and Flatpak? Even less production ready.
  • I feel it’s kind of unfair to rant about Canonical because most websites do a poor job at journalism.
  • I’ll agree with Strider’s rant on two points, Fedora devs had their ego bruised because snaps are getting more coverage and neither snaps nor flaps are ready for production.
  • In fact, the egos of Fedora devs are the reason they prefered to ship a broken Plasma 5 instead of allowing people to keep KDE 4.



  • We’re still looking for Saturday fill in hosts.


Has it stopped crashing yet?

  • New features include: a new login screen, automatic tinting of icons based on the theme, improved Jump List actions (open Steam big picture mode, open an incognito window in Chrome, compose a new Thunderbird message…), better Kiosk support (for locking and restricting the desktop on publicly accessible machines), improved system tray and task manager and progress on Wayland support.
  • Virtual keyboard looks neat… slow, but neat.
  • Plasma 5 looks better and better, I already like Plasma 5.6 on openSUSE Tumbleweed and this one looks even more promising. For those who swear by KDE4, now might be the time to give Plasma 5 another shot.
  • Has it stopped crashing yet? Has KWin stopped randomly enabling and disabling compositing with the NVidia drivers? Has the constant tearing during games/videos been fixed?
    • On my end, no issue whatsoever on SUSE but I don’t use it as my main OS.



  • Small amount of revoked certificates show that people are actually making use of it.
  • Let’s Encrypt adoption is not slowing down, I love that!
  • Now, I’m just waiting for Let’s Encrypt to become big enough and the big racketeers^w certificate authorities to throw a tantrum.
  • Or the NSA/FBI already have a backdoor and are keeping everyone quiet.
    • Being a project that is heavily backed by Mozilla and the EFF, I hope that there is no such thing.


Experimental Firefox Feature

  • Now available in the unstable Nightly Firefox release channel
  • Four default identities /w their own cookies, IndexedDB data store, local storage and caches.
  • This is basically a per tab profile manager.
  • Hope they add password protected encrypted profiles, that would be really neat.
  • Chrome has had a similar feature for a while but it only works on a per window basis (which is not a bad thing, I suspect that per tab identities could get really confusing really fast).


Virt-Manager 1.4

  • The most interesting part of this release is the support of SPICE openGL via Virgil. This virtualizes a 3D accelerator and could be the best way to get 3D support without resorting to PCI passthrough.
  • Now this is very good looking on paper but I’d like to see some performance benchmarks before saying this is the best thing ever.
  • Also, I wonder how’s the support on Windows guest systems.
  • If you’ve installed or upgraded to Fedora 24 you can try it out right now!


You may be eligible for a $55 payment from Sony

  • And the lawyers get a few million.
  • Sony removes “OtherOS” support to prevent losing money from piracy, still loses millions in court <nelson>HA-HA</nelson>
  • Limited to US residents who bought a PS3 before or during 2010.


Ten Million Cores

  • Based on the ShenWey architecture, a 64bit RISC processor similar to the Cell CPU.
  • 260 cores / cpu, that’s … impressive
  • It also consumes less power than the previous most powerful supercomputer
  • US embargo is in place because of concern about nuclear research”
    • Erm, China already has some 260 odd nuclear warheads.
    • TIL China hasn’t nuked the US yet because their computers are (or were) too slow.


VLC 2.0

  • Network streaming from samba shares works really well.
  • Still lacks the features that make VLC what it is: no streaming from the android device (whether it’s a video file, the Android screen or the camera) and no video transcoding.
  • This was my main complaint when VLC for Android 1.0 was released and it still is to this day.
  • That said, for a media player meant for consuming content only, it’s very good.



  • Two years of support for a $550 tablet.
  • Never again, Googs.
  • In a few months, Google won’t be supporting any of their tablets … unless they release a new one?
  • The current generation of Nexus phones (5X and 6P) are not going to be supported for a lot longer (September 2017).
  • The fine people from OmniROM and the crust punks from XDA do manage to provide updates for older devices so it’s clearly not a technical issue.
  • My Nexus 4, which I bought last summer, works perfectly fine and I see no reason to change it since I can barely notice a difference between this phone and a Galaxy S7
  • That’s not a whole lot different from what you get here in the EU.
  • You have 2 years of legally mandated warranty and, more often than not, that’s longer than the support you get from the phone maker or your carrier.


Dynamically Static

  • I think the problem that Trve Unix Veteran Sysadmin have with this method is the duplication of system libs on the drive. Well, guess what, games have been doing that for years and there’s a reason why Steam ships a full distro with its client. Ethan Lee recently posted a very good guide on packaging and shipping games on Linux with the whole point being how to bundle libs with your binary.



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