Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday – Strong ARM

Firefox kills ALSA! Flatpak receives a massive update, Netflix comes to Kodi, and Blackmagic releases DaVinci Resolve 12.5 for Linux. All this, plus your feedback.

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Colour key – Venn Pedro Mathieu Jordan


No sound

  • Only 4% ALSA usage but man, they are a vocal lot.
  • They really should have mentioned it in the release notes.
  • Why are people clinging to ALSA again?
    • Irrational hate for Lennart Poettering
  • Applications shouldn’t directly use ALSA directly, we’ve been there, we know the chaos it causes.
  • I’d be interested if someone could come up with one single good reason to stick with ALSA
  • PulseAudio is prone to buffer over-/underruns
  • ALSA “just worked” with things like Flash and other old bits of software some people refuse to get rid of.
  • Most of the hate around Pulse stemmed from Lennart Poettering himself, he criticized everyone else for “implementing it wrong”. And people, rightly so, started questioning whether it was every distro implementing wrong or if it was just PulseAudio that sucked.
    • Pulseaudio sucked for a looooooooong time.
  • Then Fedora implemented it properly and that whole discussion went away.
  • And fact of the matter is, Pulse has enough advantages over ALSA that if we were to list them all, this episode would be 2 hours long.
  • Still works in Chrome, just saying.


New Flat

  • Probably still not production ready but it’s getting there
  • This release focuses on the backend flatpak stuff.
  • It improves the build system while also allowing the replacing of hardlinked files by having the person who packaged it set up a list of manually “writeable” files, which can be replaced as need be.



  • We totes missed this story earlier this month.
  • No love on 16.04 since is missing.
  • This will sort it.  
    • sudo apt-get install libssl-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev
    • sudo ln -s /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/  /usr/lib/
    • sudo ln -s /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/  /usr/lib/
  • Had to look a demo on Youtube to get what this is all about
  • Linux is still going strong in the video post processing world
  • I like how it asks whether you’re familiar with other proprietary video editors and it’ll change it’s UI/keyboard shortcuts to match that.
    • The only way to be a real badass with this is to use the $30k control panel
  • When high-end MACS no longer exist and nobody wants to use Windows 10.



  • Maintains the DRM so Netflix might not nope it from orbit.
  • Was surprised that this is a lot more than just a webkit view opened in fullscreen, it fully integrates with Kodi
  • Just remember everything goes wrong when Netflix changes the slightest thing #CatMouse



  • Finally!
  • Only took’em what, 2 years from the Chrome implementation?
  • It’s like they realized that the ones screeching about DRM were a small, vocal minority.
  • The silent majority just used Chrome.
  • Does Netflix still limit desktop video to 720p?



  • My favorite password manager remains KeepassX but this could come in handy on servers.
  • Or, you know, just pick any of the 42 command line password managers out there.
  • They should create a plugin for Lynx.
  • Am I the only one who doesn’t use a password manager?
    • Not even
  • I have like, six variations of a 26 alphanumeric string.
    • Sounds like a world of pain, I’m not surprised.


Strong ARM

  • Porting Windows is one thing, making Windows x86 software run on ARM is an entirely different matter.
  • Meanwhile, practically every piece of software available on Linux will run on ARM.
  • Except games, but that’s for that other show.
    • That would pretty much require dropping Windows and all of the legacy cruft it has to invariably ship with.
    • Also, this is a very obvious step for Microsoft, seeing as how ARM can do computation workloads with a fraction of the power x86_64 requires.
    • “It’s time for a new generation of servers without the 30-year-old applications or the need to support hardware, drivers and access methods that haven’t been used in 30 years.”



  • Remember, Terminix was the bigger, the best, better than the rest. Now Tilix is.
  • There were some trademark issues with the name Terminix
  • Even when aware of the rename process, I was still caught by surprise when I tried opening a shell this morning.
  • Had to go back and check the WebUpd8 article to remember the new name
  • Other than that, not a whole lot to see, mostly a maintenance release.
  • There is a migration process to transfer your settings over to Tilix, it’s basically a dconf dump and load.
  • We avoided getting Mosaic as the new name. That would have been silly, everyone knows Mosaic is a web browser.

Slice of Pi


  • Great, more Apache stuff. Meanwhile, certbot still doesn’t have a dedicated method for setting up certificates on nginx (but it’s still quite simple to set up)
  • This tool seems to be needlessly tied to RaspberryPi installs.
  • I’m sure this is useful for the author or other people with similar setups



  • Nice way to avoid having to set up an audio system on Linux.



  • You can add ethernet ports through the IO pins on the zero, so this could be good if you want a DIY fully open sauce router.
  • Or literally anything in the embedded device spectrum with an even smaller footprint.
  • You also get power state management and other general NVidia GPU with the newer nouveau version it packs.
  • Which is probably a good idea given the NVidia Jetson TX2 release earlier in the month. No idea if it’ll work ootb, but this is definitely a good foundation for BSD in that particular platform.



  • Missed this one in the feedback folder but better late than never.




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