LWDW 166: openSUSE Rodentia

Xfce is back in openSUSE! MPEG returns to Fedora, installing LXDE on your kindle, and a chat with Katherine Druckman from Linux Journal. 

04:04 systemd 242
MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 on Fedora
Xfce is back in openSUSE
Visual Studio Code Without Trackers
Pinephone development kit
LXDE on Kindle
Python WiFi
Future of Linux
300 Motherboards for Ryzen 3000
Linux Journal interview
Shameless self promotion
Raspbian updated
Waking up with Pi


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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

systemd 242 released

  • systemd-analyze cat-config is a new feature to display configuration spread over multiple files, such as system and user presets and udev rules.
    • It is similar to systemctl cat, but works on config files.
  • Using a supported boot loader like SD boot, systemctl can be used to request a reboot into the boot loader menu or a specific boot loader entry with the new –boot-load-menu= and –boot-loader-entry= options to a reboot command.
  • A system may now be booted with systemd.volatile=overlay on the kernel command line.
  • This could be used for a boot and nuke setup since the underlying root device is not modified, and any changes are lost at reboot.
  • Think classroom PC… or someone who can’t computer PC.
  • More ways to customize your GNU+SystemD distro.


MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 no longer under patent constraints (RTheren)

  • MPEG-4 expires 2027.
  • RH has been the only holdout?
  • It’s about time, especially given how most people don’t even see .mpg’s nowadays.
  • How about you open the sauce to .wma/.wmv codecs, Microsoft?
  • And no one today would really care if the H.263 format patent was released, unless you want to recreate the low quality RealVideo codec.
  • Wonderful, in the early 90’s in the days of Video CDs with the advent of MPEG-1, and later as Super Video CDs and DVDs were becoming a thing with MPEG-2, I authored and produced animations for musicians for concerts as a college student.
  • MPEG-1 and 2 were the bread and butter of the broadcast industry and helped launch my career in professional animation.


openSUSE rodentia

  • As we talked about last week in our feedback, xfce is now a default desktop manager available once again in the openSUSE Tumbleweed DVD and net installer.
  • Also there are live xfce images for openSUSE Tumbleweed as well, and now the Open Build Service to customize your own openSUSE distro has xfce as an option.
    • There is a new project in the Open Build Service (OBS), which builds Xfce software from Xfce Git Master branch.
    • That’s actually rather neat since building XFCE can be a special little nightmare.
  • openSUSE has always had beautiful integration with the OS and desktops.  Their KDE implementation has always been one of my favorites, stable and smooth.
  • Their xfce variant is no exception, and is fast and beautiful.
  • XFCE German translation, ordentlich!
  • Better than leaving people stuck with GNOME!


Visual Studio Code Without Trackers

  • All of the horror that is Visual Studio code with none of the tracking.
  • Using a questionable roundabout way to do it.
  • It has a decent debugger.
  • I guess there is an entire industry of people who like visual studio and getting the shortbus edition without the tracking bits is appealing to them.
  • Use geany, or ATOM if you have an irrational hatred for your DDR sticks.
  • There are many complaints of Visual Studio Code running slow on the proprietary OSs, such as macOS, so maybe this de-tracked alternative will do just the trick and run faster.


Pinephone development kit

  • This is shaping up to be a nice entry level Linux smartphone that could sell for as little as $149.
  • Is this the low-end model with proprietary compromises to Librem’s “high-end”?
  • $150 is certainly within the range of a “Neat” purchase.


LXDE on Kindle

  • I installed Mplayer on my Kindle Touch back in 2011, so I could play internet radio, videos and music :-D
  • Yeah, YouTube videos played back at an even slower frame rate than a more modern Kindle, but it was nice having the incredible battery life while doing so!
  • I do remember installing Debian on one of my Kindles as well.
  • Falls squarely into the neat but of questionable use category but don’t let that stop you from having a go.
  • And this kids, is why refresh rates matter.


Locate the best wifi

  • Oh Python, is there anything you can’t do, poorly.
  • Network_switcher.py will jump to the strongest signal in your house.
  • This can be especially useful when you have multiple wifi networks running at different frequencies as well, 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz.
  • Whatever you do, don’t stop at the halfway point between two access points.


Future of Linux

  • It was great to hear that two of the kids got started using Linux on RasPis.  And what a better testament to the spread of open source can you get then the Raspberry Pi project!
  • So… the future of Linux is dual booting?


300 Motherboard for Ryzen 3000

  • Not Linux related but something a know a lot of people are curious about.
  • Microcode version 0.0.7.x are said to be compatible with 3rd generation Ryzen processors.
  • Here is a list.


Linux Journal interview

  • SCaLE 17x interview with Katherine Druckman Director of Digital Experience at Linux Journal and Co-host of the Reality 2.0 Podcast at Linux Journal: https://www.linuxjournal.com/podcast

Slice of Pi


  • For the first time this year Raspbian has been updated, and offers Linux kernel 4.14.98, Chromium 72, VLC 3.0.6, and performance improvements to the SDL library, to name but a few.


Waking up with Pi

  • That bell and the ceiling around it would meet an untimely end with me!
    • After you wet the bed.






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