LWDW 240: Nvidia Grows An ARM

Nvidia buys ARM, Ubuntu refocuses on community, Debian is looking for developers, and a first look at XFCE 4.16. Show notes.



05:12 Nvidia grows an ARM
08:57 State of Debian 2020
14:32 Ubuntu community counsel
17:52 First look at XFCE 4.16
22:12 KDisk Mark
24:27 Ardour 6.3
27:22 Alsa Control
30:57 KeeSeeBee
36:57 Pantahub One

Nvidia buys ARM

  • Huge news!  NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion in September 2021.
  • The inexpensive ARM chips used in our cell phones and IoT by companies like Samsung, Apple and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, our perfect for NVIDIA’s expansion into AI.
  • As long as Arm continues it’s open licensing model, this is a great merger.
  • If it becomes closed, it is a boon for RISC-V and it’s open architecture.
  • I know they’re doing this for the enterprise side of things, more so than the user side.
  • But a part of me really wants a new SHIELD tablet.
  • Nvidia has every incentive to allow ARM to continue to operate independently.
  • ARM has something called “perpetual license” and the manufacturing rights of all licenses are perpetual. 


State of Debian

  • Greater outreach at Linux conferences and hosting their own mini conferences, like Ubuntu does with UbuCon at SCaLE, would help Debian get more contributors.
  • Debian always has a great booth at the Southern California Linux Expo, but they could step it up a notch.
  • Also, this would help greatly with diversity.
  • DebConf, Miniconf, MiniDebConf, and any other IRL conferences are gone.  
  • At least in the States. 
  • So, they don’t want to spend the money but at the same time expect people to contribute the necessary time and effort to lighten the load on the already considerable number of volunteers.
  • There’s an economic recession on the horizon, people need to be able to pay their bills.
  • I was unemployed for about a year and my financial situation became dire, the last thing I wanted to do at that time was contribute to an open source project.
  • I was desperate for a job, not something that’d burn through all the time and effort I was expending on finding a means to eat that month.


Ubuntu community council 

  • Mark Shuttleworth said he dropped the ball and is bringing back the Ubuntu Community Council after it shrank to one member, himself. 
  • Wonderful!  This is great to hear, especially since the Community Council serves as the bridge between Ubuntu and the community.
  • Popey and Wimpy have also been playing the role of the Community Council in the Linux community while doing Ubuntu and Canonical outreach.
  • Alan Pope was the Ubuntu Community Manager at Canonical from 2014-2016, but now is the Developer Advocate.
  • “the GNOME Shell is not really a desktop for enterprise users with 10-20 years formed habits, the Snap subsystem is excessive resource hungry and ineffective for both desktop and server markets.”
    • I like this participant.
  • Canonical does not have a separate community edition.
  • I read this as “look, I’ve had a spot open for a while and seems we’re doing just fine”.


XFCE 4.16

  • Yeahhh!!  Rodentia now has fractional scaling!!!
  • Both predefined and customized in the Display dialog.
  • And like many modern desktop managers, there is a new night light feature, and it’s in the Power Manager.
  • Adding new icons to all core components to extend Xfce’s visual identity.
  • Don’t mess with high contrast. 
  • Revamped and improved “About Xfce” dialog.
  • Auto Hide animations. 
  • I better be able to disable that. I have a strict no wooshy nonsense policy. 
  • Copying and moving can be paused.
  • Show alt-tab dialog only on the primary monitor.
  • Switch to client-side decorations for settings dialogs.
  • I do like the flatter icons.
  • They still keep the traditional looks but don’t try to do the late 90’s thing of attempting to make them look 3D.


KDiskMark (RTheren)

  • If you’ve looked at a SSD review lately, you’ve probably seen CrystalDiskMark screenshots.
  • This is attempting to be the open sauce alternative.
  • It doesn’t see md RAIDs.
  • I usually use DD or Sysbench on the command line, but it sure is nice to have a simple GUI for disk benchmarking.


Ardour 6.3

  • The big news in this release is the built in LUF calculator. 
  • It has a conformity analysis meter for most of the major streaming services. 
  • New mappings for a couple of control surfaces and stability updates to the websockets end.
  • It spite-crashed when I opened the Ardour delay plugin.
  • I know 6.x has some cool new features but stability is not one of them. 
  • For live mixing stick with 5.x for the time being.  


ALSA Control

  • No pulse, no problem. 
  • I might play around with this because even I don’t like playing with ALSA configs. 
  • Nice!  It’s pavucontrol, but for Alsa.
  • If you’re going out of your way to keep your system clean from Lennart Poettering’s software, this may be just the thing.
  • Just remember, it’s not just Terraria and Firefox, most recent native games won’t have any sound.
  • You can probably get away with Proton, since SDL.



  • KeySeeBee is a split ergo keyboard. It is only 2 PCB (so the name) with (almost) only SMD components on it. 
  • It’s only a keyboard, no LED, no display, nothing more than keys and USB.
  • That’s right no blink, and hey, rust! 
  • Speaking of rust, that will survive exactly 1 tea mishap.  
  • Going to run you 60€ without switches. 
  • It uses Cherry MX compatible switches or Kailh choc Low profile Blue switches.

Slice of Pi

Pantahub One

  • We had talked about Pantacor last fall on LWDW #195, and they contacted me on Twitter to let us know about their latest project :-D
  • Introducing Pentahub One, the one click app store for your Raspberry Pi.
  • Now you can easily and quickly install a Nextcloud instance, VPN clients, Home Assistants, WiFi router, IoT, set-top-box projects and games.
  • Without all the configuration hassle and time needed to get these projects up and running.

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