LWDW 313: Slackware 15 & GitHub Sponsors

Slackware 15 is ready for public consumption! Github enables sponsor-only repositories, KDE Plasma receives a visual overhaul, Firefox Reality browser is back, and installing Raspberry Pi images over the network.



00:00 Intro
05:06 Slackware 15
10:21 Github Sponsors
16:08 KDE Plasma 5.24
22:14 Wolvic: Firefox Reality browser
24:14 System76 Kudu
30:09 Steamdeck hardware
44:34 RasPi network install beta

Slackware goes 15!


  • The oldest Linux distro still actively maintained, Slackware Linux, much anticipated release, Slackware Linux 15 is out!
  • It’s been 6 years since the last Slackware release, Slackware Linux 14.2, and this 15 release has lots of updates and changes.
  • The creator of Slackware, Patrick Volkerding, updated it to include the Linux 5.15 LTS Kernel, and support for PipeWire and Wayland.
  • This release also brings KDE Plasma 5.23.5 as well as KDE Applications 5.81.0.
  • And the option of the latest Xfce desktop, Xfce 4.16.
  • I had installed the Slackware Linux 15 beta for a second time on a machine in early January, and it has run flawlessly.
  • This is one of my favorite Linux distros of all time, and the one that started my Linux journey back in 1993.
  • Slackware 15 includes a “make_world.sh” script to help rebuild the OS from source.
  • RIP QT4. 




  • I take partial responsibility for this. 
  • The day before this news broke I proposed the idea of OnlyGit, a service for guaranteed bug report replies. 
  • What we git is the option for sponsor-only repos. 
  • Sponsor only discussions and something like early access. 
  • Minimum customs amounts / tax info etc will be available. 
  • I’m really curious to see how this will be used. 
  • Ardour has a model where they charge for official binaries and only provide support for official bonaries. 
  • Having the option for sponsor-only discussions is something I can see projects using. 
  • A cover charge is not about making money. 


Plasma 5.24 (RTheren)


  • And speaking of the Steam Deck and Linux software, KDE Plasma 5.24 has been released with lots of performance improvements, user interface enhancements and some new features.
  • Some of my favorite visual enhancements:
    • The stock Breeze theme has been enhanced:  the focus effect is now easier on the eyes, you can now set a custom accent color and the folder icons respect whatever accent color you’ve selected.
    • The window effect for opening and closing apps in Plasma 5.24 now use a ‘scale’ effect by default rather than the ‘fade’ effect as before.
    • KDE Plasma 5.24 also includes a new Overview effect (press super + w) to access virtual desktops, see KRunner results, and manage open windows, all atop a newly blurred background.
    • The app launcher has a much cleaner look.
    • And desktop icons can now be made twice as large as before, which is nice on my eyes.
  • KDE Plasma’s Discover Software Manager includes an easy way to manage Flatpak repositories, open and install downloaded Flatpaks, and auto-adding Flatpak repositories to the system during install.
  • Also, I just recently talked to Aleix (Al’ish) Pol i Gonzàlez the President of the KDE board of Directors over at the other podcast I do, Destination Linux:
    • And he said they have been working directly with Valve with performance enhancements for Plasma on the Steam Deck, and that those enhancements are in the Plasma 5.24 release.
  • Revamped speaker test sheet in Audio settings page. 
  • Fingerprint support in the lock screen. 
  • And the kicker, Kate replaced with KWrite. 


3D browser lives 


  • Mozilla is pulling the plug on its Firefox Reality browser.
  • It was an open source web browser designed for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices that debuted in 2018 for Oculus, Google Daydream, and HTC Vive devices.
  • Igalia will use the Firefox Reality technologies in a browser called Wolvic.
  • They plan to release on the Oculus app stop “soon”. 
  • Like VR or not it’s a thing and having a workable browser is important. 


System76 new lappy


  • System76 has just released a new high end AMD powered laptop, the Kudo.
  • The Kudo workstation laptop is aimed at content creators, streamers and gamers.
  • Kudo laptop specs:
    • 15″ thin bezel HD matte display at 144Hz
    • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor
    • NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics
    • Up to 64GB Dual Channel DDR4 RAM
    • Up to three external displays.
  • I configured one with 64GB of RAM and a 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD at the cost of $2,387.00.
  • The base model with 8GB of RAM and a 240GB M.2 NVMe SSD costs $1,799.00.
  • Under $2k is actually quite good, for a workstation laptop of this caliber.
  • Jpeg artifacts on the pasted in monitor screenshot and I’m 100% sure the entire table is pasted in because of the magic power cord.  
  • Also, no open top drinks in the warehouse. 


Steam Deck’s Hardware Preview 





  • So the highest viewed technology YouTubers got the hardware preview of Valve’s Steam Deck, including Linus Sabastian from LinusTechTips and Steve over at Gamers Nexus.
  • And they have been putting it through its paces, both in performance with several curated games, and doing tear downs and testing the hardware thermals etc . . .
  • And they are very impressed with its gaming ability, thermals, sound quality and build.
  • Yes Linus, the squeaky one, says in his Steam Deck video review:
    • “The community said “This thing is not going to take off” and he retorted “You are wrong!” and look at the performance numbers.
    • “The most innovative gaming PC in 20 years.”
    • “What a time to be alive!”
    • “None of the other handhelds compete with the Steam Deck” and it is half the price of the competition.
  • These positive reviews from the most viewed tech YouTubers are not only important for the Steam Deck, but to Linux Gaming and the growth of Linux on the desktop.
  • The next test will be the software, proton compatibility… and yes, several curated games have already been tested and work beautifully.
  • And did anyone else notice, the Portal Companion Cube logo on the power adapter box? :-D
  • Yes, Valve we can use it “On the toilet” ;-)
  • Or “On a ferris wheel.”
  • Speaking of which, Venn did suggest I can use the Steam Deck to play Trackmania Stadium 2 on the LGC stream while at Disneyland. LOL
    • Maybe I should have Steve Husband take a picture of me playing Trackmania on the Steam Deck while we are on the big ferris wheel at Disney California Adventure Park!
  • Easy to swap SSD. 
  • Valve said it was hard. 

Slice of Pi

Network install of Pi (RTheren)

  • Alright, this is neat. 
  • One of the pains of setting up a new Pi is finding the SD card reader. 
  • There is now a beta version of the Raspberry Pi bootloader that implements network installation.
  • Works with the Pi 4/400. 
  • Pop in an ethernoodle and load Pi imager in memory and you’re off to the the races. 
  • All you need to do is install the beta bootloader. 
  • Automating this could save time. 
  • Sweet!  Now you can image a Raspberry Pi over a network like you can do with servers.

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