LWDW 316: Ten Year Old Pi

Intel buys Linutronix, NsCDE provides a modern take on CDE, blinky QR codes, and ten year old Pi.



00:00 Intro
08:37 Ubuntu Snap vulnerabilities
11:12 Ubuntu Touch OTA-22
06:07 Nala for apt
20:27 XFCE vs KDE
27:22 Multitrack audio with OBS
33:27 Sarcastic Pi

Intel buys Linutronix


  • Intel continues to be a great ally to open source and Linux.
  • They just acquired Linutronix, a German developer house that provides services for Linux-powered industrial systems.
  • And Linutronix is the company responsible for the Real Time Linux Kernel.
  • The Real Time Linux Kernel, or PREEMPT_RT, was started close to two decades ago, but was lacking funding and contributors.
  • The PREEMPT_RT patch set makes the Linux kernel as preemptible as possible, and lowers latency.
  • And with all the demands for the Internet of Things, robotics, industrial systems, embedded systems, edge computing and AI, this can help prepare Linux for the future.
  • Linutronix CTO Thomas Gleixner, is also the principal maintainer of x86 architecture in the Linux kernel.
  • The plan is to continue to run Linutronix as an independent company.
  • Linutronix is the architect of PREEMPT_RT (Real Time) and the leading technology provider for industrial Linux.
  • It’s typically used in real-time industrial applications like communication between controllers, sensors, robots and tooling, and other equipment.
  • There has always been a “everyone uses it but nobody funds” it problem with RT development. 
  • A chunk of PREEMPT_RT patches have made it into kernel 5.16. 
  • In fact, I’m running 5.16 with Voluntary Kernel Preemption right now with a USB audio interface. 
  • I noted this when applying rt19 to 5.16.11. 


Liquorix alternative 


  • And speaking of the Real-time Linux kernel and Intel’s acquisition of Linutronix, there is a PREEMPT_RT build available for XanMod Kernel.
  • Like Liquorix, xanmod aims to provide people with a kernel sporting RGB and racing stripes. 
  • The latest production ready version came out last week for 5.10/16/15.
  • According to XanMod the kernel is recommended for Linux gaming server / client for eSports, streaming, live productions and ultra-low latency enthusiasts.
  • It might be worth looking into if you need fixes for AMD’s P-state driver for Zen2 and Zen3 processors. 
  • Outside of that, shrug emoji. 
  • For RT multimedia production and live streaming under Linux the stock Debian kernel works a treat. 
  • Generic packages for compatibility with most Debian & Ubuntu based distributions.




  • OK, I think this one gives me and Venn both nerd chills…
  • This is an X window manager based on the Common Desktop Environment, known as CDE from the Sun Solaris and Unix days of yore.
  • It is called NsCDE, or the Not so Common Desktop Environment.
  • NsCDE’s main goal is to revive the look and feel of the Common Desktop Environment.
  • And is based on the FVWM X window manager with lots of theming, configuration and custom FVWM applications.
  • NsCDE is enriched with Python and Shell background drivers.
  • Even today it looks functional. Not good, but functional. 
  • Has a theme generator for Xt, Xaw, Motif, GTK2, GTK3, Qt4 and Qt5 so most X apps get the retro treatment. 
  • NsCDE is largely a wrapper around FVWM — sort of like a heavyweight theme.




  • This is especially cool if you only have one monitor or are using a laptop.
  • There are a small number of scrollable tiling window managers, or STWM, but this one looks awesome.
  • Do you have a problem staying focused?
  • Cardboard automatically arranges all windows side-by-side on a continuous scrolling horizontal plane. 
  • It’s like a dating app, for your desktop minus the swiping.
  • Switch between apps, either by keyboard shortcuts or by scrolling.
  • No drag-and-drop, default shortcuts, toolbar, clock, or power control. 
  • And it’s a bit crashy but hey, a neat idea is neat. 


Bliky QR


  • Wow, having a colored and animated QR Code is a great way for advertising and to get attention!
  • Animated QR codes made easy. 
  • B&W + colour. 
  • I don’t know how useful this is but hey, neat. 
  • Pip install. 


Slice of Pi

Ten yr old Pi 


  • The Raspberry Pi has revolutionised computing, and is old enough now to make it in a museum!
  • The National Museum of Computing in England is launching an exhibition this weekend in celebration of the Raspberry Pi’s 10th anniversary.
  • The Pi is halfway to becoming retro / vintage. 
  • The Pi launched on February 29th, 2012 and a few weeks later I was spending an afternoon getting X up and running. 
  • The Pi has a dedicated spot in my home studio.

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