LWDW 234: Kernel 5.Great

Kernel 5.8 is full of AMD goodness! System76 wants to reinvent the keyboard, 1Password releases a development preview for Linux, and hacking a $2,000 exercise bike with a Raspberry Pi.



06:12 Kernel 5.8
09:32 Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS
11:37 Snap issues
18:02 System76 Keyboard
22:42 1Password on Linux
25:17 Mac OS Electron
28:32 GIP dev report
32:37 MS funds Blender
35:12 Shameless self promotion
41:12 Harmonize Project
46:04 Bikie Pi
50:39 Emails

Kernel 5.8

  • Added support for RME FireFace 802, RME Fireface UFX, and MOTU UltraLite-mk3.
  • That’s right, 3 new firewire interfaces added to the kernels ALSA stack. 
  • Does not compile with Desktop Video so RIP Blackmagic. 
  • No, I’m not making new patches. 
  • New AMD energy driver for Zen/Zen2 energy sensors
  • AMD Renoir CPU temperature monitoring
  • AMD Renoir ACP audio support
  • Support for POWER10 
  • Support for Mediatek MT8173, used in some ARM based Chromebooks.
  • Support for ODroid-C4.
  • Intel Atom camera driver.
  • And the ability to swap fn and ctrl keys on Apple keyboards.
  • I would like more sensors on my X570 motherboard than just the k10 temps.


20.04.1 LTS Release Candidate

  • Go and test the ISOs.
  • Wimpy has already made how to test and file bug reports for 20.04 videos, so check them out!
  • Good! If 20.04.1 is coming, it means KDE Neon might finally update from 18.04.
  • Though, I suspect I will be doing a fresh install of that version on a PCIe Gen4 SSD when that happens.


Oh, Snap!

  • Before we get started I would like to point out most of these problems come from the user not understanding how Snaps work. 
  • In his defense, neither did I. 
  • Hahahahahah! People are actively blocking the snap domains in their hosts file.
  • Kudos, Canonical! You’ve achieved in months what took online advertising years to achieve.
  • Also, breaking people’s work environment is exactly one of the things containers are supposed to avoid.
  • The auto-updates issue is still being discussed by the snap developers.
  • The previous 2 versions of the app are stored locally and can be reverted to.
  • You can set this using refresh.retain=X
  • If you are using Snaps or Flatpaks you are testing in production. 
  • Please keep that in mind. 
  • Plug-ins of any app usually get borked with updates, or rolling releases, which Snaps are.
  • And, no, the updates to Snaps are not worse than updates on Windows 10.
  • For Snaps can be easily removed.


System 70 Keys

  • System76 has a great track record for innovation.
  • They will get feedback from the community and iterate on it.
  • And could popularise an open firmware modular keyboard.
  • I enjoy unique keyboards, especially clicky ones!
  • I hope they nail a custom keyboard design that’s useful for those of us who got screwed over by biology.
  • What are my options for wood paneling? 


1Password for Linux development preview

  • This is for testing and validation purposes only and is not suitable for business critical environments.
  • It’s been the most requested feature by far and responsible for the longest forum post in our history.
  • Hear that, GOG?
  • It’s done in Rust, not he who shall not be named  


Electron Mac OS 8

  • We’ve talked about the electron wrapped Windows 95, now here is Mac OS 8 in electron goodness.
  • The virtual machine is emulating a 1991 Macintosh Quadra 900 with a Motorola CPU.


The GIMP Dev

  • Hotplugging drawing tablets, I know someone who has complained about just that.
  • All the Transform tools are now multilayer aware.
  • Lots of Wayland bug fixes.
  • The GIMP Flatpak can now use plug-ins!
  • And the most popular, like G’MIC, have already been created.
  • Please consider donating to the work of ZeMarmot, using Patreon or in the above link.  I do :-)


Microsoft Blender

  • Like Ton Roosendaal, Chairman of the Blender Foundation states:
    • “it’s another important signal that the industry migrates to open source and finds ways to contribute to it”
  • Also, I think this helps prove to the world that Blender is not only one of the top apps used in the film/tv industry, but in science projects and AI modelling.
  • And Microsoft wants Blender to continue to innovate and run well on Windows.
  • Blender is absolutely deserving of the monies!
  • And at this point, as far as Linux goes anyway, Microsoft is doing alright.

Slice of Pi

Blinky Pi 

  • Pi powered mood lighting. 
  • Much cheaper than the Razer Chroma lighting system that works with Philips Hue lights.
  • And it’s open source and not just for games!


Bikie Pi 

  • That really is the greatest effe you of “smart” appliances, isn’t it?
  • You spend thousands of dollars on a smart exercise bike and then the servers shut down and the “smart” functionality is just money down the drain.
  • Thankfully, ptx2 found a way to connect a smart bike with dead servers to a different service.
  • That’s actually really awesome!





  • Ran out of things to defend AMD with?
  • I’m also pretty sure I mentioned the biglittle x86 architectural changes last week as part of why I see the phone/computer paradigm working.
  • Also, saying Intel has a competitive CPU in an age where Ryzen Mobile is trouncing them on performance, thermals, and energy efficiency… It reeks of desperation.


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