LWDW 227: A Case For Snaps

Pedro gets most of his Pinebook Pro! Dealing with SystemD in 2020, Haiku beta 2 is out, and Ubuntu wants to transform your Pi.

Special tanks to:
RTheren (tools for Pedro)



06:21 Simple Tasks
08:46 SystemD in 2020
15:26 Haiku 2
20:46 System76 Serval
26:18 Shipping elementary OS
29:53 Web based transcoding
23:58 PsychOS
40:08 Shameless self promotion
43:18 Ubuntu Appliances
48:43 Emails

Colour key: Venn Pedro Jill

Simple on & off

  • Lifehack: Get a busted DSLR, capture card, and a fan.
  • That thing is only on when I take the time to set it up. 
  • For those privacy minded people with older laptops who don’t want to go poking around in BIOS.
  • That said, it’s also far easier than going to poke around in the BIOS to find the toggles.
  • Simple Tasks lets you manage your webcam and microphone with this simple taskbar app for Gnome etc., and make it easier to turn on and off your webcam or microphone.
  • This is much less effort than unplugging the USB cable for your webcam from your computer.
  • And it isn’t easier than muting your mic in pavucontrol, but more convenient!


SystemD is still rubbish 

  • systemd is 10 years old and most people don’t really care as long as it works. 
  • But someone needed an idea for an article so let’s pretend this is still an active, heated issue. 
  • If you didn’t grow up with it you don’t like it. 
  • If you only have to tango with it on occasion you really don’t like it. 
  • Is it too big? Probably. 
  • Does it do too much? Kinda. 
  • Is it going anywhere? Nope, not a chance. 
  • SystemD holdouts are the same as Pulseaudio holdouts. 
  • I can run a system that does not make use of systemd much like I’m able to listen to music using ALSA. 
  • You know what bugs me about systemd? 
  • I tell my computer to shutdown and the process is delayed by 90 excruciating seconds because “screw you, that’s why”
  • Dear distro developers, if a process doesn’t quit gracefully in 10 seconds, on a Ryzen 7 3700X and an NVME SSD, 80 seconds more won’t make a difference.
  • Just kill it!
  • The default timeout is always the first thing I change in modern Linux installs because “ain’t nobody got time fo’ that”
  • Venn is right about if you didn’t grow up with it you don’t like it.
  • I definitely feel more pure using AntiX and Devuan.
  • And still enjoy taking Knoppix for a spin.
  • And there is a reason why free of systemd distros just run faster, especially on older machines.
  • Dave Mckay, this is a great article.  It is in-depth, articulate, and easy to read about the history and current state of systemd.


Haiku 2 

  • Our resident OS hipster put it on his laptop. 
  • I keep having flashbacks to 1995/6. 
  • It’s fast, it tears like there’s no tomorrow, and it doesn’t like the touchpad of my Lenovo B50-80.
  • USB mouse works beautifully
  • They do need some Firefox up in this business.
  • Their browser makes Midori look competent by comparison.
  • Many years ago, when I first took Haiku for a spin, I was excited by the future of this independent BeOS like OS.
  • It is so nice to see Haiku’s continued development.
  • I have enjoyed talking to the developers at SCaLE over the years.


Linux Desktop Up

  • Wow, Linux now accounts for 3.17% of all desktop operating systems in May and is up from 2.87% in April!
  • As I talked about last month, Linux desktop usage has been increasing since the pandemic.
  • People are home playing with an OS they have been curious about, and using the desktop of the OS they use at work.
  • Also, the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was released and accounts for a large part of its growth at 2.11%.
  • And isn’t it nice that NetMarkerShare doesn’t roll the Chrome OS market share into the Linux figure.
  • 0.3 is a rounding error. 
  • An earlier revision of this article said Linux marketshare was at 3.7%, rather than 3.17%.


System 76 AMD laptops

  • We’ve seen that one before!
  • I guess Tuxedo just barely beat them to the punch, on this one.
  • But yeah, this is the Tuxedo XA15 with a Serval WS System76 sticker on it.
  • They seem to have also limited the hardware configurations on theirs a bit.
  • I suppose a bit of QA and implied certification of parts and specific configurations might make the case for some people.
  • $2,018 for a system that I could configure to run Davinci resolve acceptably. 
  • Still need something for dedicated workstations in their lineup. 
  • $2,063 for a system that I could render with Blender and Maya on, not bad!


Elementary OS shipping 

  • StarLabs and “Laptop with Linux” are two retailers officially endorsing Elementary.
  • I can’t really speak to the OS itself much, it feels similar to Deepin for me.
  • It’s pretty but they seem to be set on their ways and the distro ends up making me want to install Gentoo instead, just so I feel like I do have a choice.


Browser transcoding 

  • That’s an odd idea that I want to like?
  • It’s using web assembly to do all the computation locally so there is no need to upload files. 
  • No support for AV1 or VP9 at the moment. 
  • I guess this could eventually be handy if you are using something that does not support Handbrake, or ffmpeg. 
  • And because it is using FFMPEG it should be much faster than the other online YouTube/video upload etc. convertors.


Psycho the OS

  • PsychOS Linux is a 32-bit free of systemd Devuan based distro for us retro computer collectors!
  • It includes all the software you need just in case you don’t have internet access for your old computer and a great package manager called RetroGrab for installing Linux and DOS software!
  • Their website is PsychOSdelic!
  • When testing the distro I wished I had a blank DVD-R, but only had a CD-R available, so couldn’t put it on one of my older i586 machines.
  • So looking forward to PsychOS486 for i486 which I am sure will be a lot smaller!
  • And the upcoming FreeDOS version called “PsychDOS” sounds like fun.
  • I’m gonna have to try it…
  • That’s certainly an appropriate website.
  • Not a big fan of the RGB black cursor on a dark background but hey! We’re not here for form, we’re here for function.
  • 3.8GB iso took a solid minute and a half to download.
    • Hey man, it’s retro. 
  • It’s always interesting to see what kids think the 80’s looked like. 
  • That’s what advertisers thought the 80’s looked like. 

Slice of Pi

Appliance Pi

  • And there we go, a use case for Snaps. 
  • AdGuard ad blocking
  • openHAB home automation
  • PLEX media server 
  • mosquitto MQTT server
  • Nextcloud a private cloud application. 
  • Raspberry Pi 2 upwards.




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