Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday 125: Semi Curious

Linux apps come to 18 additional Chromebooks, Brave introduces Tor enabled tabs, Ubuntu releases a handy guide for audio production and Pi powered Archimedes gaming.


Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
LinuxGameCast LLP

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



Colour key – Venn Pedro Jill


Hamburger Correction (pointed out by Leo)

  • Not killing the hamburger menu, they are moving app menus back into it.
  • Sorry everyone, I got that wrong.
  • So what they’re doing is getting rid of the panel menu integration, a la MacOS.



  • I was so happy to hear that SUSE being bought by the Swedish Private Equity Group (EQT) is still going to allow them to do business as usual, and that SUSE is extremely pleased and positive about its new acquisition.
  • Also that SUSE is committed to supporting the openSUSE community, who play a key role in SUSE’s success.
    • The relationship of SUSE and openSUSE is unique in the community, with SUSE LInux Enterprise drawing innovation and changes to its software and infrastructure from the openSUSE project.
  • This news comes at the heels of the new release of SLES 15, which is much more modular, uses one code base, and only has one installer, so users can install what they require for their workload without having to install different versions of SLES.
  • Like MikeG said, anything that’s not Microsoft!


Platinum Chrome

  • IBM, Intel, Oracle, Qualcomm, Microsoft and VMWare are already Platinum Members.
  • Google knows that open containers are growing exponentially and are the future for almost every business.
  • GitLab is moving to Google Kubernetes, and GitHub has been bought by Microsoft.  I am sure this is an impetus for Google to double down on its commitment to open source.
  • And putting someone on the Board of Directors at The Linux Foundation is just the ticket.
  • You can buy a lot of good will for $270,000 a year.
    • I thought platinum was $500K a year. Guess that’s changed.
  • Is this guilt money for what they’re about to do with Fuschia?


Linux & Chrome

  • I am looking forward to natively installing .deb files on my Chromebook.
  • I’m still on team “keep ChromeOS a glorified web browser”
  • How ‘bout some Braswell love?
  • What I want to know is if there is an ability to switch this feature off.
  • Because the people I have gifted Chromebooks are the ones who think they need a compute when what they really need is a browser.


Super Linux

  • Since November 2017, Linux now runs on ALL of the world’s fastest supercomputers!
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on Summit is powered by boards running with two 22-core IBM Power9 CPUs and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs.
  • According to NVIDIA, 95 percent of the Summit’s peak performance (187.7 petaflops) is derived from the system’s 27,686 GPUs.
    • This marks the first time GPU performance overcame the CPU in supercomputer performance.
  • Using a combo of POWER9 and Tesla V100.
  • I’m having difficulty finding one that’s not running Linux.
  • Let’s be honest, Linux has been honed for supercomputers and servers for the past two and a half decades.
  • It’d be stupid not to use it.


Brave Onions

  • As we have talked about in the past, Brave is an open source Chromium based web browser focused on ad-blocking and user privacy with a catch:  it is a pay-to-surf browser.
  • Brave is a very fast and sleek browser, and I appreciate that out of the box it automatically blocks ads from almost every website I visit, including YouTube and even from this article ads on cnet.
    • It was nice to have the ad-blocking features without having to install plugins.
  • The new version of Brave includes the ability to easily surf anonymously with the Tor network by using the “New Private Tab with Tor” option.
  • Having used the Firefox based Tor Browser for many years, which requires higher than average computer skills to install and use, the Tor option in Brave is a much easier way for the average consumer to use and install Tor.
  • Step 1: install curl.
  • Step 2: o_0 428 MB install.
  • It works, at the speed of smell… but it works.
  • They bring up a good point, with people using TOR more and more and with certain agencies looking to shut down TOR nodes, the network is getting a bit clogged.


Google NAS Render Farms

  • Good luck /w that?
  • I mean, it’s hard to invest in something that might not be around in three years because Google.
    • Except when it’s regarding prosumer Kubernetes cloud services and there is lots of money at stake for Google.
  • Google Cloud Filestore is a wonderful option for movie and animation studios to render computer graphics and be able to store and move those large files efficiently and quickly.
  • With a classic online render farm you send your files and animations to be rendered via the internet and you get charged for the processing time per GHz used.
  • What is unique about Cloud Filestore, is that it is both an in house Network Attached Storage server and an online render farm, called a Google Cloud Transfer Appliance.
  • And you are charged per GB per month, either 30 cents per GB per month or 20 cents per GB a month depending on the tier you bought.
  • You can sign up for the beta program for Google Cloud Filestore here:  Animation houses and businesses that need to move large amounts of data using low-latency apply!
  • $300 for 100TB doesn’t seem too much until you add the shipping cost.
  • $500 US to get this at a reasonable time.
  • It is still much cheaper than a dedicated, consumer grade, hard drive.
  • But a significant price up front.



  • Ubuntu Studio comes with a nice JACK Audio configuration tool and the author Peter Reppert goes into extreme detail on how to set it up and use it with many of the music programs available for linux.
  • He recommends the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC22 a babby version of what we use.
  • And yes, for audio recording you absolutely can get away with a decade old laptop.
  • Audacity and Ardour recommend for recording.
  • As someone who took the Jack challenge I will offer a little bit of advice.
    • If you’re doing a podcast don’t bother with it unless you have a PC dedicated to recording.
    • It’s finicky and temperamental.
    • Stick with PulseAudio.


SiFive Cooler than Arm

  • Mfoxdogg in chat brought this to our attention.
    • Foxy did a wonderful YouTube video explaining how the RISC-V CPU architecture works on a SiFive HiFive 1 arduino compatible board with a RISC-V based Freedom E300 processor.
  • Also, recently, there was an upset in the Coreboot community that the code for initializing the DDR controller on the SiFive HiFive Unleashed development board was not open source and SiFive believed they could not open source it. The good news is that SiFive has discovered they will be able to open source it and will soon be releasing the necessary code.
  • RISC-V may be more efficient but it comes at a bit of a premium
  • Maybe not so for the processor itself, but for the rest of the SoC holding it aloft.
  • A 320MHz RiscV board goes for $60, while a quad core ARM 64 RasPi 3B+ goes for $40 at 1.4GHz.
  • How many years of electric bills do you have to pay to make up the difference?

Slice of Pi


  • It has a battery slot, does ARM need CMOS now?


Obscure Pi

  • Woooo, runs RiscOS Open.
  • Cambridge represent!
  • The ARM processor, or Acorn RISC Machine processor, was initially launched on the Acorn Archimedes computers.
  • Why not use your RasPi’s ARM processor to run the operating system, games and apps originally intended for the computer that invented it? :-D  No emulation needed!
  • And the games and apps are free to download.
  • I don’t have an Acorn Archimedes computer in my collection and always wanted one.  The Acorn BBC Master Compact is in my Ebay watch list.


The future

  • Referring from our Feedback question from Joe H last week:  Is there a single thing [things] that would both advance linux as a whole while spreading adoption overnight?
  • Very true Cameron, but in unifying Linux in this way means that the whole concept of open source and innovation is dev/null and we lose our freedom of choice.
  • Ubuntu is the most widely known and used distro, and Canonical has done a great job in “unifying” and marketing its ecosystem.
  • If an individual company, like for say Google, actually uses the word “Linux” in its ChromeOS and Android operating systems, would go a long way to educating the general public about Linux.
  • Having Vulkan standardized among all the operating systems is a win-win, because you still have the freedom to choose what distro it runs on.




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