LWDW 164: Speedy Snaps

Snaps get a boost, Edge hints at Linux support, tiling window managers for Wayland, and we chat with Luis Falcon MD President of GNU Health.

Edge on Linux
07:39 The new SUSE
11:19 LVFS Joins the The Linux Foundation
14:21 Speeding up Snaps
18:40 PPA starter pack
22:01 Sway window manager
29:52 Android on Wayland
33:13 GNU Health interview
42:21 Mate Bionic Beta
42:26 Raspberry Pi Wordclock
49:50 Listener feedback


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 Jill Pedro

Edge on Linux

  • Happy April fools!
  • I said it would happen before the end of 2019.
  • The page looks exactly like chrome://flags so make of that what you will.
  • Venn is right, this is going to happen, especially now that Edge is switching to a Chromium base so that Microsoft can have a browser on all the things, VMs, IoT, mobile and native.  
  • In 2019 I really can’t fathom why Redmond is wasting time and resources on a browser.
  • That effort could be better spent porting Calculator.
  • It’ll be an interesting announcement, if it’s an official port.
  • Microsoft has only officially confirmed a Mac version, since they already had IE over there.


The new SUSE

  • First acquired by Novell in 2004.
  • Then, Attachmate, with some Microsoft funding, bought Novell and SUSE.
  • Followed in 2014, when Micro Focus purchased Attachmate
  • Then EQT bought it from Micro Focus for $2.5 billion.
  • ETQ has since set them free.
  • So yes, independent, for now.
  • IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat hasn’t hurt SUSE’s IBM business, yet.
  • Yeah, SUSE’s history is spotty at best for them to be making claims of independence.
  • It screams more like “Why isn’t anyone looking to buy us? We like money too, you guys!”
  • In 2018 SUSE’s revenue grew by 15% and is about to surpass the $400 million revenue mark for the first time.
  • Almost 40% of SUSE’s revenues are in North America, this is huge growth considering a few years ago most of that revenue was from


LVFS Joins  the The Linux Foundation

  • Richard Hughes “Now the LVFS supports firmware updates on 72 different devices, from about 30 vendors, and has supplied over 5 million firmware updates to Linux clients.”
  • This is amazing how quickly LVFS adoption has grown.
  • Having the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) as a project of The Linux Foundation will accelerate its adoption in the industry even faster.
  • Companies and government agencies are now writing in “must support LVFS” as part of any purchasing policy? Neat!
  • Official stamp from the Linux Foundation probably stings a little when it comes to System76.


Speeding up Snaps

  • Apparently fonts were causing load times?
  • So now we’re caching fonts.
  • Inclusion of fc-cache binaries in snapd 2.36.2 onwards introduces significant (2-6x) improvements in GUI application startup times.
  • In 2019 my idea of acceptable startup time =’s before my finger lifts from the left clicky button mouse thing.
  • Hmm, I always wondered why my 16.04 box that has slower hardware was faster at loading snaps then my 18.04 rig.
  • This has always been my complaint of snaps, slower startup times and heavier on system resources.
  • I am so looking forward to the continued performance improvements with snaps, so I won’t have to always look for the AppImage or Flatpak alternatives.
  • What about that stupid lowercase folder in the root of your user folder?
  • The biggest thing slowing down snaps on my end are the fact I’ve uninstalled snapd because of that stupid folder.


PPA starter pack

  • Yes, your list (that you’ve never bothered to share) is better.
  • The Proprietary GPU Drivers for NVIDIA is shockley missing.
  • Along with the Chrome PPA.
  • Yes, I know you are saying BUT MAH OPEN SOURCE while you waiting on Steam to finish a game download.
  • I would also change the oibaf ppa to the Padoka Stable PPA.
  • Feral Interactive put their stamp of approval on that latter one, so there’s probably a reason for it.


Window Manager Specially Crafted for Wayland

  • Wonderful, another window manager comes to Wayland, but this is the first tiling window manager for Wayland.
    • Way Cooler would argue that claim.
  • I love using the i3 window manager, and Sway uses the same settings and keyboard bindings.
  • Future third-party screen capture and video capture tools will be supported in Sway with Wayland via a real time screen capture protocol that has been developed and implemented.
  • It looks neat but tiling window managers are allergic to my workflow.
  • Until PipeWire matures and applications take advantage of it 90% of what I do can only be done on X.
  • Tiling window managers make me feel like the users I help at work who have close to 0 computer experience.
  • They mess with my brain so much I end up forgetting the most basic of concepts.
    • That or maybe it’s because each and everyone of them has different shortcuts for everything.
  • I’m sure Wayland will need tiling window managers at some point, but the kind of people who use them, will make damn sure their favorite is available and working in Wayland.


Android + Wayland

  • This is a demo of a RDU2 unit running Android on top of Wayland, inside of a container, with full graphics acceleration.
  • The experimental containerized Android environment is called SPURV.
  • Similar in name to SPIR-V, the Vulkan memory spec.
  • There’s a git lab with the sauce and instructions to get things rolling.
  • I started to clone the git and then I read the instructions and thought: “Yeah! Maybe later.”


GNU Health interview

Slice of Pi

Bionic Beta

  • Accelerated hardware video decoding in VLC and accelerated hardware video decoding and encoding in ffmpeg.
  • The Steam Link app is available for install.
  • Thank you Martin Wimpress and crew of the Ubuntu MATE project.  
  • It is so nice to have another distro for the Pi that runs as well as Raspbian.
  • Having the steam link app at an apt install reach is certainly a good thing.
  • Though it was already available in Raspbian, so it’s not going to stop most people from just going with what is basically the default Pi OS.


Raspberry Pi Wordclock

  • I would absolutely make this as a gift and it would tell time… mostly.
  • It needs to, at random times, drop some insults.
  • But make it spotty enough and show them for only such a short time, that people are never really sure if it really just said that.


Servers Desktops

  • If you can live with the old you could get by.
  • Make sure to install nux-dextop repo, you can thank me later.

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