LWDW 134: Pure Progress

Ubuntu needs help testing NVIDIA drivers, Chrome turns 10, Purism gets Chatty and Plasma powered Pinebooks are now a thing.

Special thanks to:
Romeo Sid Vicious (increased pledge)


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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

NVIDIA bits 

  • This is to test the installation and the default working state of the NVidia drivers.
  • If you’d like to help test, please use a fresh install and follow the instructions.
  • They say it is valid for any of the official flavours, as long as you report the issues to the correct tracker.
  • This is a test to test both the proprietary NVidia drivers and the open source drivers, which could lead to huge improvements with both.
  • The open source NVidia drivers in Ubuntu in particular have been extremely lacking in performance compared to the AMD Mesa open source drivers.
  • “if they choose to use the proprietary or open source drivers”
    • Funniest thing I read this week.
  • The program involves fresh installations of Ubuntu so you will need a spare partition.



  • Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 3, is based on Debian 9 “Stretch” with the Cinnamon desktop.
  • Hasn’t been a major update since April 2015.
  • Features Linux kernel 4.9, a more polished software center, and all software has been updated.
  • And because LMDE is Debian based, there are both 32 bit and 64 bit versions available, which is wonderful for those of us who still have 32 bit hardware.
    • Especially since other distros have abandoned 32 bit releases.
  • Cinnamon on the Linux Mint Debian Edition runs really smooth, even on older hardware.
  • This right here is a reason to use Mint if you are in the market for a Debian based OS that’s not Debian or Ubuntu.
  • They actually have a plan B in case Canonical goes full-artard.


ARM powered Pine

  • I do want a Pinebook.
  • The idea of ARM laptops has certainly grown in the community and, if nothing else, the peer pressure is getting to me.
  • Though, I wouldn’t run KDE on it.
  • Seriously! What kind of drugs do you have to be on to think that’s a good idea?
  • Since KDE Plasma is enhanced to run on the Pinebook, maybe that means this version will run as well as the mobile version?
  • Powered by a quad-core 64-bit ARM CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16GB of eMMC storage (eww)
  • 14″ TN LCD at 1366×768.
  • When Deimos and Hercules chips roll out I will look into ARM on desktop.
  • Don’t care how great the battery life is if it’s not in the business of giving the business.


10 years of Chrome

  • It’s the first browser to become an OS.
    • Although Linux Web Kiosk distros like Webconverger running Firefox where inspiration.
  • Chrome also popularised the WebKit engine, which was originally a fork of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE.
  • Omnibox was a nice improvement.
  • Incognito was a damn FSM send to anyone doing web development.
  • The speed was real, Firefox had become a sluggish bloated mess by the time chrome was released.
  • It was difficult to scroll Myspace and Facepage on our single-core processors.
  • The each-tab-is-a-process approach was ahead of its time since sites today are basically mini application.


No tracking

  • If there’s one thing I hate nowadays are the page blocking pop-ups for the GDPR evasion BS.
  • Tell you what, internet: If you didn’t have invasive cookies all over the damn place, you would need the stupid pop-up, would you?
  • Another forward thinking security feature in Firefox.  First Firefox allowed you to block ads, then added password protection, and now cross-site tracking.
  • This will make pages load more than 50% faster.
  • A lot of companies, including Google make money off ads and tracking.  Do we have them to blame for the state of toxic cookies on the internets?
  • In a study by Ghostery, 55.4% of the total time required to load an average website was spent loading third party trackers.
  • A new feature in Firefox Nightly that blocks trackers that slow down page loads.
  • If it performs well it will become default in FF63.
  • Router + hosts.deny, people.


GNOME in the 21st century

  • Mutter now supports GLX acceleration.
  • Only took them 19 years to figure it out.
  • Maybe Vulkan will be next?
  • Is there any actual information on this new release?


Tracktion 7

  • Tracktion has supported Linux since V4 in 2013 and thanks to a post on Reddit I was reminded it was still around.
  • You can get T7 for free and it’s worth checking out if Ardour / Reaper both anger and confuse you.


Pure progress

  • Chatty is a decentralized open source communication app being developed for the Librem 5 Linux phone.
  • It was originally just going to be an SMS client.
  • But the developers realized it would be convenient and achievable to combine instant messaging via XMMP and the Matrix protocol as well as SMS.
    • So, they reinvented Hangouts before Google killed the SMS functionality.
  • About that progress
    • The Librem 5 has been delayed to April because reasons.

Slice of Pi

0 mobile

  • It’s an interesting proof of concept, just hard to imagine living in 2G land nowadays.


Final Polish

  • Now we know the face of the person chasing this particular unicorn.
  • Simon Long, software engineer responsible for the RasPi desktop, says that polishing the Linux desktop is the extra 10% that proprietary desktops don’t allow you to do.
  • Being able to customize your linux desktop is the beauty of Linux.


Coming 2035


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