LWDW 183: RISC-y Statement

Xfce 4.14 is out! KDE Frameworks 5.61 fixes a nasty security vulnerability, Ubuntu 18.04 gets a new kernel, and NVIDIA finally sorts their mobile drivers.

02:42 RIP Linux Journal
07:47 KDE Frameworks Security Vulnerability
10:03 Xfce 4.14 released
14:00 Ubuntu 18.04-3 point release
17:02 System76 Adder
18:29 NVIDIA PRIME offloading
21:15 Spack for supercomputers
23:15 ADAFruit joins RISC-V
25:41 CLI discord
30:11 USB-C Pi
34:14 Emails


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 Jill Pedro

RIP Linux Journal 

  • On August 7, 2019, Linux Journal shut its doors for good.
  • All staff were laid off and the company is left with no operating funds to continue.
  • The website will continue to stay up for now.
  • This is not a repeat from 2017.
  • Linux Journal launched as a print magazine in 1994.
  • Fairchild has been publisher since the early 2000s, and the magazine’s base moved to Houston in 2006.
  • Linux Journal, being the first Linux magazine ever published, in the early 90’s, was my introduction to not only Linux news, but the community.
  • It is how I found out about the newly created Southern California Linux Expo in 2002 and the LinuxChix LA!
  • Which led me to discovering Chris Fisher’s Jupiter Broadcasting Linux podcasts and then here to LinuxGameCast.
  • Linux Journal’s articles have been frequently used here on LWDW, and was one of the first website that I would check for Linux news for the show.
  • I had interviewed Katherine Druckman at the Linux Journal booth at SCaLE 17x which was played on LWDW #166 in April.
  • And am so relieved to hear that Katherine and Linux Journal Editor-in-chief Doc Searls are still going to be doing their excellent Reality 2.0 Podcast despite Linux Journal closing shop.


KDE Frameworks 5.61 Fixes File Security Vulnerability

  • Good thing the fix was rolled out just a couple of days after the exploit was revealed.
  • No thanks to Mr. “I want a 0 day for mah defcon reputation”, that’s for sure.
  • Good luck collecting bounty money or getting anyone to trust you with responsible disclosure from now on.
  • Yeah, that kid has a couple of rough decades ahead of him.
  • Thank you to KDE developer David Faure for his quick fix!


Xfce 4.14 released

  • 1626 days in the making.
  • HiDPI support! 
  • Added an option to enable Gtk window scaling to the appearance dialog.
  • The window manager gets improved GLX support with NVIDIA proprietary/closed source drivers.
  • Panel got support for RandR’s primary monitor feature.
  • The pulseaudio panel plugin received MPRIS2 support to be able to remotely control media players and desktop-wide multimedia key support.
  • Did I mention everything is GTK3 now?
  • And the best part?
  • You wouldn’t really notice any of this unless you were looking, or it fixed an outstanding issue. 
  • Not broke, don’t fix. 
  • As we have been talking about for some time with the pre-releases, the display dialog now includes the ability to save and restore complete multi-display configurations.
  • And the much anticipated new settings dialog to manage color profiles has been included in this release, which will help with color-managed printing and scanning.
  • Xfce’s Gstreamer Media player Parole has improved support for network streams and podcasts, as well as a mini-mode.
  • And yeah, one of my announces was fixed!  Now you can finally watch uninterrupted video playback in Parole because it prevents both screensavers and power managers running during video playback, so you don’t have to move the mouse periodically when you are watching a video.
  • The Catfish file search is now included in Xfce4.14.
  • I was hoping there was a PPA for 18.04 which had this available that wasn’t the nightlies ppa.


Ubuntu 18.04-3 point release

  • Ubuntu 18.04.3 is the third of five point releases planned.
  • Remember, this one is supported until the eventual heat death of the universe. 
  • Bug fixes, security patches, performance enhancements, and key app updates oh my!
  • The big thing here is Kernel 5.0 and that could potentially sort some things.
  • If you are running an up-to-date 18.04 you should already has. 
  • The last Ubuntu box in the house (Jackbox) is running 18.04.
  • It will never be updated because it works.. 
  • Again, not broke, don’t fix.
  • This point release also includes GNOME Shell and Mutter fixes and enhancements which are being trickled down from the GNOME released in the very performant Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo.
  • Popey has talked about the Ubuntu developers working very hard to bring current GNOME 3.32 performance improvements and enhancements to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS releases.
  • Also Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS includes all the latest software and security fixes that have been published on the official repositories of the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release since February 14th, 2019, when Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS was released..
  • Would be nice to also have the new XFCE 4.14 for the next point release.


System76 Adder

  • System76 has just released my dream machine :-D  The Adder workstation!
  • Aimed at content creators, researchers and gamers, it includes an:
    • A beautiful 15″ 4K OLED display
    • RTX 2070 GPU
    • Up to the 8-Core Intel i9 CPU
    • Up to 64GB RAM
  • And our very own Mathieu’s Lutris gets a shoutout:  “The RTX 2070 GPU renders polygons at a high rate to keep up with rapidly changing environments in-game. Unleash your skills in AAA titles across Steam and Lutris libraries, and enjoy fluid gaming at its finest.”
  • So the battery should provide 3 possibly 4 minutes of uptime until that UHD screen, GTX 2070, and Core i9 suck it dry.


NVIDIA PRIME offloading

  • No more bumblebee… eventually. 
  • On X windows. 
  • It’s only been 7 years and 2 months since Linus flipped NVidia off on this very subject.
  • Good to know NVidia is taking cues from VALVe!
  • GLVND libraries are now the only ones included with the installer.
  • This is the point where we get to see which distros break and which stay BAU.


Spack for supercomputers (Rtheren)

  • Spack speeds up build processes, and manages multiple configurations and installation of software on high-performance computing platforms.
  • Fermilabs and CERN are using Spack to build high energy physics codes that support The Large Hadron Collider.
  • At Oak Ridge National Laboratory Spack drastically reduced deployment time on the Summit supercomputer from 2 weeks to 12 hours!  And now their 1300 packages can be built overnight.
  • Mandatory XKCD 927 reference!
  • That said, this almost feels like it’s baiting that very same reference.
  • It’s a package manager designed to let you have as many versions, configs, and compiler variations as you could possibly want and still be able to manage everything.
  • That python config example for building packages is easy enough to understand.


CLI discord 

  • Wow, it’s a big install!  Not even a CLI vanilla Discord app can escape the size of it’s electron wrapped original.
    • And this is why the best Discord install is called a browser tab. 
  • Hmm, I wonder if in the future it will support streaming video via aalib or cacalib so we can be all hipster for the Friday Night Fubar? :-D
  • Of course that’s a thing… that you use exactly once. 
    • Unless you’re one of those people
    • I’ve never actually met one IRL. 
  • Then you might even make an effort to use it past two weeks.


ADAFruit joins RISC-V

  • Adafruit is going to start introducing RISC-V-based chips in their Feather line of boards which consists of about 100 different mainboards, daughterboards, and accessories.
  • And to take advantage of RISC-V being open source, Adafruit is going to try to make their own processor, which is something they have never done before.
  • Clearly, that sentiment a certain ARM website expressed a while back about RISC-V is not shared among the larger community and companies supporting the emergent hobbyist computer scientists.
  • It’s very nice to see ADAFruit lending a bit more dosh to the RISC-V foundation
  • Hopefully we may even be able to buy a RISC-V processor without selling some body parts in the black market.

Slice of Pi

Works for me Pi 

  • Can’t say it’s a defect because refunds. 
  • In July, when we initially reported about this issue, Raspberry Pi Foundation admitted to the faulty USB-C design on the Pi 4 and told Ars Technica “a board revision with a spec-compliant charging port should be out sometime in the “next few months.”
  • I think it would be prudent for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to offer at least a discount on the official charger for the people who bought the first series of RasPi 4 defective units. 
    • That is tantamount to admitting it was a mistake and thus having to offer something not unlike a recall program for them.



  • Kylinux, thank you so much, and I am subscribed and have been enjoying your LInux YouTube channel content as well!
  • His video topics range from repurposing old hardware with Linux, to making Linux tutorials and Linux gaming.
  • He has nicely edited videos with great sound quality.



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