LWDW 116: Fedora Twenty Great

Fedora 28 launches with a gang of new features! Ubuntu 18.04 tips & tricks, GIMP 2.10 is ready for public consumption and containing Google with Firefox. All this, plus your emails.

Special thanks to:
Frostclaw20 (new patreon)
Nicole (new patreon)
Jrullio (increased pledge)


Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
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A weekly dose of all thing Linux and open source with a slice of Pi for good measure.



Colour key – Venn Pedro Jill


M’lady 28

  • Improved emoji support because that was clearly holding some people back.
  • Thunderbolt is nice, I can dig that.
  • Third, party, repos.
  • Steam, Chrome, and NVIDIA out of the box?
    • Careful, people might confuse this for a Desktop OS.
  • VirtualBox Guest Additions installed by default.
  • This Fedora release has one of the most beautiful implementations of the Gnome 3.28 desktops to date.
  • The use of theme, size of icons and layout is one of the best of any distro.
  • Can we have the third party repo offer to install on something other than GNOME, as well?
  • I think most of everyone is past the point of cutting GNOME slack for dropping a massive deuce on their users.


Ubuntu 18.04 Tips

  • Things to do after installing 18.04: 1. stop using GNOME
  • Unless the first thing you do is install GNOME Tweak and then spend the next week futzing with settings and extensions.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS upgrades to Ubuntu 18.04.1 won’t be available until the end of July, according to the Ubuntu Wiki Release Notes :-(
  • I installed 18.04 on two boxens, one as an upgrade and one as a new install.
    • The new install is running beautifully and stable
    • While the upgrade has had a few hiccups:  broke a few libraries, as expected, as well as a few issues running 3 monitors in X, but overall better than the upgrade from 14.04 to 16.04.
  • But I do not run Gnome, and when doing a fresh install immediately run sudo apt-get install wmaker fluxbox xfce4 awesome . . .
  • Install the extra media codecs during installation.
  • As always after any installation check for updates.
  • Install Snaps via the Snap Store in the Ubuntu Software Center.
  • Enable Flatpaks by installing additional software, and Flathub repo.
  • I need each and every one of you to run out and blindly upgrade to 18.04.


GIMP 2.10

  • Wonderful!  We have been waiting for this for 6 years!
  • Thanks to Pat David and his small team of developers.
  • I am using the new GIMP with both a PPA install and AppImage.
  • This is a major release with so many upgrades, but here are some of the most important major changes in GIMP 2.10:
    • 4 new interface themes:  Dark (default), Gray, Light, and System.
  • Icons are available in 4 sizes and will automatically scale for HiDPI displays.
  • Color management is a core feature now, most widgets and preview areas are color-managed with image previews, color and pattern previews etc.
  • Image processing almost completely ported to GEGL (Generic Graphics Library) which major changes include:
  • High bit depth support for processing images:
    • 32 bit for PSD, TIFF, PNG, EXR, and RGBE formats.
      • You can now create 8 bit alpha channels with these files
    • 64 bit for FITS images.
  • Multi-threading for multi-core processing.
    • There is a huge speed increase when processing images. And this will make rendering animations with the GIMP GAP plugin so much faster :-D
  • GPU-side processing is still optional, but available for systems with stable OpenCL drivers.
  • Support for more images formats:  WebP (Google Web image format), OpenEXR (Used by ILM), HGT (Used by NASA) and RGBE.
    • The GIMP has always been the swiss army knife for file conversion!  And the images are converted much more efficiently and on average achieve a smaller file size than that of Adobe Photoshop.
  • There are no more excuses, this program is ready for widespread industry adoption! And when Blender 2.8 comes out these two programs will be a tour de force.
  • I like the new toolbar icons and the darkish theme.


In the box

  • Someone just went and did a good on Firefox.
  • Now you can containerize Google like what we talked about for Facebook, a couple of weeks ago.
  • Unpopular opinion?
  • Don’t want to exchange your data for Google tools?
  • Yeah, stop using them.


Drip drip drip

  • Breaking: GNOME 3 is a memory hog and not only when it’s leaking it.
  • In other shocking news, water reportedly still wet.
  • Since GNOME 3 first came out there’s been a group of people saying it’s a pile of poor decisions and worse implementations.
  • To the point where Big Hammer, a dedicated garbage wipe routine built to look at everything and make sure it gets wiped, not just what the system knows needs wiping, is the best choice they have.
  • Gnome shell GJS Javascript engine bit-rot explains one of the reasons I don’t use Gnome.  It slows down over time with memory fragmentation, garbage gets full and then eventually pops.

Linux on the Switch

  • Posted by Empty in Discord
  • And yeah, because of that hardwired Tegra bootrom bug we talked about last week, Linux can now be installed on the Nintendo Switch!
  • In February failOverflow had released the YouTube video of Linux running on the Switch, but not a detailed write up on how they did it until now.
  • Much like many dead badgers before it, the Switch inherits a penguin.
  • I am curious to see how useful it actually is as a Linux tablet.

Slice of Pi

Pokey Pi

  • Using TensorFlow and Keras in a real world application that is easy to understand.


Sinclair Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson Passed

  • Che Dean, one of our friends and Patrons sent this along:
    • “The Speccy, though basic, contributed a huge amount to “PC” gaming in the early days. We all loved the Amiga and ST but who could afford them back in the day? The Speccy is just as much part of Geek history.”
  • The ZX Spectrum is one of my favorite vintage computers in my collection because it was one of the lowest priced computers of it’s time, but still maintained a beautiful modern design.
  • It was the UK’s equivalent to the Commodore 64 in the US.
  • The Spectrum is that one retro pc that I really like the look of.
  • The keyboards on the ZX’s were all crap because they were built for cheapness, rather than pleasantness.
  • I still want to do that Spectrum recreated mod we talked about a few weeks back.
1 Comment
  1. Hi, I’m the author of the “More Memory, More Problems” blog post that you discussed in the video! I discovered your show due to a comment that got automatically posted on my blog. (Not sure why it arrived so late after the show was released.) I’m glad you gave some more visibility to the issue and how we’re trying to fix it. Thanks! I just wanted to make a few clarifications — for one, the Big Hammer isn’t a preferred solution by any means! I can understand why it sounds laughable. But it does actually help, and it’s something we could do within the GNOME 3.30 time frame, so we made the choice to include it.

    By saying the problem isn’t a memory leak, I’m definitely not trying to minimize it or say that’s how it’s supposed to work! It’s 100% not supposed to work that way :-) But a “memory leak” brings certain expectations with it, one of which is that it should be easy enough to fix by following a certain procedure which doesn’t apply here. The underlying issue, bridging C reference counting to a JS garbage collector, isn’t fixed yet, but we’re still looking for a solution.

    I expect that due to the Big Hammer plus some other memory conserving fixes that we have made, GNOME 3.30, to be released September 5, will definitely show some improvement in its memory usage. If the memory issues were the only thing holding you back, GNOME 3.30 might be worth another try. And now that GJS has an active maintainer, you should not see bitrot anymore, as we always use the latest engine from Mozilla which is released once a year.

    If you have any questions about this topic, I’d be happy to answer them. :-)

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