LWDW 298: iNotch for GNOME & Linux in Rust

StarLite releases a slick little netbook, GNOME gets the Apple iNotch, rewriting the kernel in Rust, a trash bin for terminals, and a $1000 sound card gets some Linux love. 



00:00 Intro
03:25 Apple iNotch GNOME extension
07:00 Gitlab security exploit
08:35 Starlite 11 Linux netbook
15:40 Rewriting Linux in Rust
20:35 Trash bin for the terminal
22:50 Scarlett Solo 3 review
29:35 RME AIO Pro Linux drivers
32:25 Another Snap causality
43:20 PiBOX
47:10 Vulkan 1.1 for Pi

Notch extension


  • This is something fun, this is the gnome-shell-extension-inotch, so you can add a useless notch to your screen like Apple laptops!
  • From the developer Alynx Zhou FAQ on the readme:
    • Question:  “Why you create such an ugly extension?”
    • Answer:  “Please ask Apple why they create such an ugly notch on their laptop.”
    • Question:  “My cursor disappears when it enters the notch!”
    • Answer:  “This is the same behavior as hardware notch.”
  • The developer said that this was his most popular project.
  • That’s a fun way to stick it to Apple. 
  • Although I do find it ironic that this is for the Gnome desktop, the DM you have to customize with extensions. 
  • With Apple products, the notch is just built in ;-) 
  • And people say there are no good Gnome extensions. 
  • If Apple can “adopt” GNOME 3’s poor UI design, I suppose a little quid pro quo was in order?


RCE Lab (RTheren)


  • There was a massive privilege escalation and remote code exploit discovered in Gitlab.
  • If you are running your own gitlab, update yesterday!
  • This was a bad one.
  • Like: create an account with all default settings and upload an attachment to get full admin access, bad!


StarLite 11


  • Power button between backspace and delete.
    • Ah, yes. More questionable design choices ripped from Apple.
  • Gallium Nitrate? You mean Nitride?
  • $400 netbook. 
  • The StarLite, a small laptop from Star Labs with an 11″ 1080p matte IPS display has been released:
    • It has an Intel Pentium Silver Processor, up to 3.1GHz quad-core processing 
    • 8GB RAM
    • Aluminium chassis
    • A 2MP webcam
  • It is fanless, has a backlit keyboard and a glass touchpad.
  • And an estimated 8 hours of battery life.
  • And at £400, it is a great price point for an ultra portable, and a great alternative for a Chromebook.
  • Also StarLabs has an ‘open warranty’ that lets you disassemble the device without voiding the warranty.
  •  £400 for a Pentium N5030 and 8GB of Memory.
  • At least it comes with an M.2 SATA SSD and a 1080p iPS 11” screen.
  • That’s a little too much though.
  • Especially being fanless, that’s going to throttle worse than my Chromebook.
  • Don’t buy that, it’s not going to be a good experience.


A simple hobby project


  • Seiya Nuta needs developers to help him write this Rusty Kernel! 
  • This would look great on anyone’s resume, and Linus would be impressed ;-) 
  • You know what else started as a hobby project? 
  • TempleOS. 


Terminal bin


  • So you never have to worry about typing rm -rf ever again in the terminal ;-)
  • If you accidentally rm -rf /* you might still have a chance at recovering.


Interfacing Linux: Focusrite Scarlett Solo (Gen3)


  • The Scarlett Solo is a budget interface from Focusrite sporting USB connectivity and two preamps capable of delivering 56 dB of gain. 
  • Moral of the story is this. 
  • Most modern USB interfaces are class compliant and will work out of the box with Linux. 
  • The Scarlett line, like the Motu M2/4, Behringer 2/4X, and Audient idX are budget interfaces. 
  • The good news is that you get a lot for a little in 2021. 
  • If you want an extra lot for your little look into firewire interfaces. 




  • Good guy RME being good guy RME.
  • Keeping up a 20 year tradition. 
  • This is a new driver for all HDSPe RME cards minus MADI-FX. 
  • It comes with an updated hdpsconfig as well. 
  • Now I need to come up with a scheme to get RME to send me one for testing because they are 1 *pinkyfinger* thousand dollars!  


Going to Snap


    • That’s the second person to publicly say Snaps were why they left Canonical.
    • Lots of Snaps installed=slow boot times. 
    • That would be one of the reasons why it is recommended to use Snaps for cloud or server when the workstation remains on. 
    • I have been shouting that snaps are bad since I had the displeasure of actually trying to use them.
    • If even the people directly involved with snaps don’t want to deal with it anymore, why insist?
    • Flatpacks have clearly won the full containerized and sandboxed package wars, and AppImages provide a much easier and welcome alternative without the sandboxing.
    • I think it’s okay now, Canonical. You can let them go.
    • With normal debian packaging when a library gets fixed there is zero work required. With snaps one has to refresh the snap. 
  • “So apart from the early random sketchy documentation, the unintelligible snapcraft error messages, the loop mount bloat, the slower boot times, the security update pain, the ad-hoc workarounds with scriptlets and multipass breakage it was OK I guess.”

Slice of Pi


Boxy Pi (Rtheren)


  • We have talked about Raspberry Pi NASs before, but this one lets you use a standard operating system that you’re used to, like Ubuntu, Manjaro or Raspberry Pi OS.
  • Just add a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, a few hard drives and the Linux OS of your choosing!
  • You can pre order the PiBox:  A Modular Raspberry Pi Storage Server from Kickstarter for $250 that includes the case, circuit boards, LCD display, fan… and the RasPi CM4 already configured.
  • Or the hacker bundle for $100 that comes with just the circuit boards, and you provide everything else. 
  • The PiBox comes with its own app store, where you can install templates for a PLEX, Minecraft, Nginx or NextCloud server. 
  • Thank you RTheren for finding this!
  • That’s a very small PiNAS.
  • If it’s just $100 for the base board and daughter board, that’s not the worst.


Pi Vulkan 1.1


  • Iago Toral is back with further goodies for Vulkan on the Pi.
  • Vulkan 1.1 conformance is here and we still haven’t seen much in the way of software making use of Vulkan on the Pi.
  • Having Unreal Engine 4 games on Raspberry Pi 4 is awesome, but don’t expect great gameplay.
  • That will be for future more powerful RasPis.

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