Fun with Bash | LAS | s22e10

Fun with Bash | LAS | s22e10

We’ve got a Bash script that’ll make your Podcast catching a snap, plus a whole batch of audience favorites.

Then: Is Gnome on life support after betting on the wrong future? We discuss!

Plus: How to get crystal clear HD game video captures on Linux.

All this week on, The Linux Action Show!

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57 Responses to “Fun with Bash | LAS | s22e10”

  1. thelex Says:


    I was glad to hear that Matt is in the show since I was expecting a good and analytic discussion about the state of GNOME. Unfortunately the whole discussion was based on one blog post and one Phoronix news. The whole rant gave very narrow viewed picture about the state of GNOME.

    Where were the opinions from other GNOME and GTK+ hackers?
    Why didn’t you told what is discussed in IRC and mailing lists about Otte’s blog post and the state of GNOME?
    Where was the discussion about GUADEC?
    Where was the discussion about the problems of Unity+CLA [1] ?
    Where was the discussion about of having GNOME OS?


    Unfortunately you spend much time talking about Windows 8 instead.

    Calling GNOME as “turd” was totally childish from Matt and left wondering if it is worth of wait any mature, deep and useful discussion in future.

  2. MHazell Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Bryan quitting for now. Hopefully he can explain further, because right now there is a lot of questions be answered. Good thing we have Matt, because I heard Allan saying that he can’t do two shows.

    Still, good wishes to Bryan for whatever he is going through;hope to see him back time time. I’ll his his “This week, on the Linux Action Show….” intros.

  3. ChrisLAS Says:

    The discussion was rather organic as we were drawn from talking about Microsoft’s big up coming bet on touch with Windows 8, and how that’s impacted the Gnome project.

    I did state GTK3 tech is great.

    The issue is they built their Gnome Shell UI paradigm around a use case that does not exist.

    That’s the bottom line, and I think our discussion managed to root that out, without spending an entire episode devoted to Gnome. You might have liked that, but there were other topics we wanted to cover.


  4. Matt Hartley Says:

    “Calling GNOME as “turd” was totally childish from Matt and left
    wondering if it is worth of wait any mature, deep and useful discussion
    in future.”

    To be fair, I called Gnome 3 a turd, not the Gnome project. As I stated during the show, I am a big Gnome 2 fan. But in my humble opinion, I found that Gnome 3 is in every sense of the word, to be an unfortunate release aka a ‘turd.’ And with that, the furthering of the Gnome 3 approach, hitting on the same problem. We also discussed the merits of Gnome and even went so far as to mention that there is indeed, a real opportunity for Gnome to rebound from what I would call a mishap in Gnome releases. Hopefully this helps to clarify that a bit better. Using the word turd was in my opinion, perfectly acceptable given the context of the point I was giving.

    I appreciate the feedback and hope this sheds some light on my mindset, at the time.

  5. Matt Hartley Says:

    Thanks for the kind words. :)

  6. MHazell Says:

    You’re welcome Matt. Glad to have you on the show. Don’t know what would Chris do without you.

  7. MHazell Says:

    You’re welcome Matt. Not sure what Chris would do without you.

    Edit: Duplicate Post by accident. Please delete this.

  8. gumb Says:

    The discussion of GUADEC and GNOME OS was around the 33-minute mark. Maybe what you mean is discussion other than that stemming from the Phoronix post. Bear in mind that with GUADEC running 26th July to 1st August, there won’t have been much coming out directly already for Chris to digest by Sunday morning and incorporate in this episode, other than one or two posts like the one he picked up on.

    More generally, this is just the Linux Action Show podcast, run as an independent entertainment show and not some official authority on the week’s Linux news, so they’re not obliged to cover every angle or give equal consideration to all views. If Chris and co-hosts want to merely express their opinions on something that’s their prerogative.

  9. ChrisLAS Says:

    I link to the slide show from GUADEC, you can see all the source info from the Phoronix post in that slide show.

  10. Daniel Sandman Says:

    Your review of Gnome was a total fu**up. It hurt me to listen to it. I am big fan of your show.. but that talk you did was not good. One of the worsed i’ve heard you do. It feels like you have not tried it… maybe little 3.0 (which was beta in my mind) but not after that. The 3.4 is rocking on really good. Would like you to give it a honest try for 2-3 weeks and learn how to use it. Then i am pretty sure you would change your minds. I know others who left Gnome when 3.0 hit but are now coming back because of 3.4.. The extensions are becoming a really great feature.

  11. ChrisLAS Says:

    Our review? I think you watched the wrong show.

    We were discussing how Gnome Shell is the result of betting the farm on the wrong ideas.

    All of the discussion online, the leaking of developers, and the drop in marketshare all support this.

    At no single point did I give a “review” of Gnome. You are clearly hearing what you want to hear. In fact, if you re-watch you’ll hear me say how I understand different desktops work for different folks, and that Gnome 3 is a clean, stays out of your way desktop.

    Would you disagree with that?

    As far as using Gnome 3, I’d rather not. Tried it many times, it’s not for me.

  12. iteratee Says:

    Viewers should be warned that these are not good examples of Bash code. Every script shown contains multiple critical errors including security vulnerabilities that will allow trivial execution of arbitrary code. All of these scripts contain almost not a single error-free line. User-submitted code should be reviewed by someone competent in scripting before being recommended.

    Also The “advanced bash scripting guide” is a very poor guide. We’ve tried to get them to correct their errors. They’ve been doing so very slowly over the years, but it is still not something I would recommend to someone without the experience to sort out the good from the bad.

  13. JimmyMarbles Says:

    Yes, good work Matt! Being an opinionated host make a show interesting.

  14. JimmyMarbles Says:

    What was the critical errors you discovered for the podget? I am interested in using that one.

  15. ChrisLAS Says:

    To be fair, the only one I really said people should use as reference was Podget. We’ll soon have voting on all the scripts, and those will be vetted for syntax.

    These are people’s personal Bash scripts, they are not going to be perfect.

  16. Rob Williams Says:

    Great episode! I found it to be refreshing compared to some of the recent ones for some reason. I think Matt should stick around as the co-host; he’s a good pairing to Chris. I appreciated Bryan as a host, but I admit his cutting Chris off at every sentence gets old super-quick, while Matt is more down to earth and obviously enjoys doing the show, in turn making it a lot more enjoyable to watch.

    I agree for the most part with GNOME 3, though I haven’t touched it in a while. I wasn’t a fan of GNOME 2 either, finding a bit too “simplistic”. I’ve been a KDE fan since the 2.x days, but I’m not really in love with it either as I once was. It seems like, much like Web browsers, a “perfect” one just doesn’t exist (perhaps just for me).

    The upside is that none of these are as bad as Metro.

  17. iteratee Says:

    Podget is a funny one because its so big… I wouldn’t have time to go over the entire thing carefully. At first glance, it’s horrendous. Here’s a quick once-over of the main script file:

    – Lots of assumption that variables containing only digits actually do – and always expanded unquoted. `[‘ style tests should never be used in Bash to begin with, and especially not for numeric comparisons. If any of these [ $foo -gt n ] lines is mistakenly allowed to be assigned a string containing a glob character (*,?,[,],etc) the result could be injection of any string causing many side-effects. Given the complexity of the script that’s probably not a safe bet. Most of these appear to be set by config files, with no input validation, so any mistake there could be unpredictable.

    – echo -e: Very non-portable and varies by platform and the way in which Bash was compiled, as “xdg-echo” doesn’t have a reliable default value. Escape characters may or may not be interpreted. (may or may not have security implications).

    – Widespread sed abuse. Lots of unnecessary redundant seds piped into one another with variables expanded into them (almost always a bad idea). The incorrectly quoted redirection is another potential code injection point. e.g. lines 401-406.

    – line 414: iteration over ls with unquoted command substitution. This is an easy target and wrong in many, many ways. It will cause unpredictable results if any filenames are malformed. You should never see this pattern in a script. See: and

    – line 419: read without -r. Each line of input subject to read’s strange escaping rules. Not using -r is really for legacy use only and can’t possibly be intentional. The input files are probably not formatted in a way that anticipates being mangled by read. Never use read without -r.

    – line 420: expr. If you see this in a script written in the last 25 years, run the other way. This is using an obscure feature of expr that I’ve actually never seen anybody attempt using (regex matching). s doesn’t have any special function in BRE so I don’t know what they are trying to do here. Nobody uses expr… this is a very questionable line.

    – line 421: Silly antique use of [ “x$foo” == x ]. Not a security issue, but yet another thing that should have been gone for the last few decades.

    – lines 422 and 424: Useless use of “echo”. Unquoted expansion of $line which can contain options to echo for unpredictable results. Line is subject to globbing yet again. Given the number of wrong glob passes we’ve been through so far it would be miraculous if you get this far without error. Easy target for code injection yet again. Again, more incomprehensible sed jibberish.

    – line 428: wrong redirect. No idea what they intended but they’re passing an extra argument (2) to “kill” and redirecting both stdout and err to /dev/null. This (maybe) tests whether a signal is deliverable to the PID they actually intended, and/or PID2, whatever -0 means in combination with multiple PIDs.

    – line 435: unquoted expansion to “rm -f”. The wrong value to $file and you’ve just deleted every file on your system accessible to the user running this script.

    – line 439: Quote fail again. Unpredictable side-effects possible again.

    Ok I’ve made it through one of the first blocks of code in one file. Hopefully that gives you some idea about the rest of the program.

  18. McKeznak Says:

    Listened to the live show on this morning in my truck, so glad to have that as an option now THANKS!

    Sad to see the B-man go but I’m sure he won’t be able to stay away forever. Also having Matt co-host would be awesome, every episode he has done so far has just been getting better and better.

  19. Craconia Says:

    Great show. I hope Matt stays in the show. He belongs.

  20. Alex Moore Says:

    You can kill the LAS now chris, do a second tech snap or something with allen.

  21. Vardos Says:

    Very, very sad to see Bryan go. I’ll check in now and again to see how the show is progressing, and nothing against Matt or Allen but the chemistry between Chis and Bryan WAS the show.

    Best of luck to LAS.

  22. Tak Says:

    So sad about Bryan leaving… I so loved his contribution that I’m in a state of shock! No offense to Matt or Christ, but my LAS life that lasted for 4~5 years now has ended. It was the chemistry between Christ and Bryan that made this show stand out in the Internet world. Just sad… God bless you, Bryan. I hope you’ll change your mind.

  23. Georgezilla Says:

    Alan is great on Techsnap. But on LAS? He doesn’t even use Linux.

    And Matt. Well let’s just say ….

    Well never mind, because my next statement will say what needs to be said.

    Bryan is a character. A personality. Without Bryan there is none of either on the show. And the show has lost what made it so good. As for replacement, let me suggest Anglia or Dillon. Either would be, in my opinion, a better choice the Matt.

    So ….

    There’s nothing here of interest to me any more. Nothing.

    Good bye.

    Wish you good luck? Why of course. But some simple advice. Get a day job. You may very well need it. And soon.

  24. Matt Hartley Says:

    I am not going anywhere. ;) I will be co-hosting for the foreseeable future.

  25. Martin de Boer Says:

    Chris, you nailed it how you connected all news stories. Keep up the good work!

  26. Martin de Boer Says:

    Cut down on the bash! It’s too technical for me. If you do it, use Matt’s “How to” segment for small appliances.

  27. profeff Says:

    See what your friend has done for you Chris after 6 years and the other half of the show he says fuck you and lets you annouce he has left and is not coming back. After 6 years its not you its the fans who should say fuck you Bryan would it have killed him to announce it himself and have a good bye episode no it would not but Bryan doing the same old Bryan just left i feel for you cris and i feel for angela because even though i like matt i am not sure the show will keep its viewer base for long

    For the record Bryan leaving to make a living is a decent thing which i think we all would do but shitting on the community that gives you the money for your living is wrong.

  28. mankou Says:

    Hey Jimmy, what book would you recommend reading for advanced bash scripting?

  29. mankou Says:

    Oops, my mistake. My question was to iteratee, not JimmyMarbles.

  30. thelex Says:

    “I appreciate the feedback and hope this sheds some light on my mindset, at the time.”

    Yes it did, thanks for the answer.

    I agree that GNOME is not ready [1] and all technologies are not ready for having GNOME OS yet. There’s still lots of work to do. GNOME 3.6 is yet another step forward [2].

    GNOME OS could help the GNOME project in many ways. At the moment GNOME is more or less stuck with the distributions and they are not able to use all technologies they would like to. For example systemd or GStreamer 1.0. There are distributions who are not going to use GStreamer 1.0 anytime soon and systemd probably never.

    People get upset when they remove some functionality temporarily to get base ready, but I think it’s necessary to get things done. Having a steady and robust base is a good starting point for upcoming development work.

    I liked GNOME 2 but not as much as GNOME 3. In GNOME 2 UX was different to application to application and it felt like everything was just hacked together. I really hope GNOME community is able to fix this in GNOME 3 as they have planned [1]. Unfortunately they have to work under sh*t storm from Linux community.

    We have MATE [3] for users and developers who likes to keep GNOME 2 up-and-running. I guess Benjamin Otte among other disappointed GNOME developers are going to be active developers in MATE community. Sounds good to me.
    It would quite interesting to know how many developers has actually left because of GNOME 3 [4] and how many new developers GNOME has.


  31. thelex Says:

    “The discussion of GUADEC and GNOME OS was around the 33-minute mark. Maybe what you mean is discussion other than that stemming from the Phoronix post.”

    I think it would have been useful to discuss what was achieved in GUADEC and how it will affect to GNOME in future. Lots of blog posts, twitter-messages, IRC conversations, etc. has been posted but unfortunately we didn’t heard anything about those.

    It would be quite useful to inform listeners about upcoming conferences beforehand and give simple information about them; IRC-channels, blogs (planets), web-sites, etc. Even if LAS hosts wouldn’t have time/interest to follow what is going on, at least the listeners could do that.

    “Bear in mind that with GUADEC running 26th July to 1st August, there won’t have been much coming out directly already for Chris to digest by Sunday morning and incorporate in this episode, other than one or two posts like the one he picked up on.”

    There has been things going on every day to report about. I know Chris is really busy with the family and the other shows he’s doing, so there’s no time to follow everything.

  32. thelex Says:

    “That’s the bottom line, and I think our discussion managed to root that out, without spending an entire episode devoted to Gnome. You might have liked that, but there were other topics we wanted to cover.”

    Used time was just fine but I think the time could have been used better in the ways I explained in other posts. Well, that’s just my opinion of course :)

    Giving an impression that GNOME 3 is designed just for touch screen is a bit harsh and misleading. If you read the design documentation and discussion from 2008/2009 it’s clear that touch screen is not the reason GNOME 3 exists.

    Sure, there’s still lot of work to do – GNOME 3.6 is the next step.

  33. gumb Says:

    I wouldn’t normally pick up on a typo but since it’s occurred twice… My guess is that, given your reverential sentiments towards the hosts, your spell check thinks it knows you best. Nonetheless, I dare say Chris would be flattered.

  34. gumb Says:

    “Wish you good luck? Why of course. But some simple advice. Get a day job. You may very well need it. And soon.”

    Not content with trolling the subReddit, you wish to post your immature witterings here too? If you’d left out that last line you might at least have avoided looking like an eleven-year-old. Let’s just hope it really is Good bye.

  35. gumb Says:

    To be fair, although it will look this way to many, unless you have some inside knowledge I don’t think any of us know exactly what’s gone on in Bryan’s personal life or with relations between him and JB. The guy’s come under attack from many quarters of late and for all we know he might genuinely be very down about it all. Nonetheless, he’s still busy publicly with his other projects, so I think he should have perhaps posted a statement on the JB forum, subReddit or his own blog, if he wasn’t up to making another appearance on the show. Maybe he still will. But without any such insight, whilst fair criticism is one thing, I don’t think he should be persecuted.

  36. Travish DeGroot Says:

    I too am sad to see Bryan go. For me it kinda marks the end of “LAS”. That said, I’m looking forward anyway to what Matt and Chris will do with the “new” format, which is what I hope the LAS audience sees it. Matt is not Bryan (well, duh) and I give him props for Co-Hosting after Bryan left.

    I hope he gets more involved to the show, right now Chris is makes the Show and Matt comments, but i guess this is due to the short notices. As you are both Ubuntu-Users: please don’t turn this into the Ubuntu action show and if Matt continues his Tips, make Distro-Agnostic ones.

    So, thanks Bryan for all what you have done, thanks to Matt for filling in and as I feel it’s said too rarley: Thanks Chris, you rock.

  37. gumb Says:

    I see he has posted on his blog:

  38. Kyle T. Says:

    Nice show, some insightful comments about the big news this week, and Matt seemed more on top of things than the previous times he had to co-host in a pinch. I’m definitely looking forward to the next season and considering a subscription. Keep it up!

  39. Mirza Dervišević Says:

    Radio Tray integrates pretty nicely with KDE4

  40. thelex Says:

    “People get upset when they remove some functionality temporarily to get base ready, but I think it’s necessary to get things done.”

    Oh my, then we have this kind of biased “news” spreading misinformation in purpose [1]

    Really sad to see this kind of things happening.


  41. BSD-Guy Says:

    It’s sad to see Bryan leave the show. He injected personality into the show and gave it a lively pulse.

    Maybe if you changed the time and/or day for the shooting of LAS. Who wants to get up very early on a Sunday morning to shoot a show? That’s a God awful time.

    But anyway …. Bryan will be missed and the freedom dimension will not be the same.

  42. Rafael Rojas Says:

    Hey, don’t such a f*ck ups with Chris, Matt or Allan, they are doing an excellent job keeping up with the show and its contents.

    If Bryan was your only reason to watch this show, and now Bryan leaving off is enough reason to stop watching the show, it’s OK, just keep it to yourself, no need to insult or be rude to the other hosts work and dedication.

    Also you can still follow Bryan on his Blog, what’s the big deal?

    Now for the show.

    I like Allan’s participation on the show, yes he is not a Linux user but he haves a really good technical point of view that is needed to understand some desitions on the “distro crazy management world”

    Please, please, please! Chris, try to post more news about the other distros, sometimes it feels like is the “Ubuntu/Fedora/mint action show”, there is a lot happening in the other distros too, i.e. ArchLinux changed their installer and system configuration, making some user really angry about it ;)

    I know it’s hard to keep track about all the distros and the news, but please try to care about the underdogs :D

    Also, (and speaking of Arch) i’m gonna leave this here: an archlinux forum thread with useful user-made scripts:

  43. Matt Hartley Says:

    Well, the software and the shell tips are, very much Distro-Agnostic. As for the news, we just go where the news is. ;)

  44. General Jack Ripper Says:

    I know why Bryan is leaving! I have the secret code in my wallet!

    The reason is simple. I can explain it to you in 1 word. Are you ready?

    Sit down folks, the world isn’t ready for what you’re about to hear, but I’m an edgy dude and I don’t give a crap! Truth is more important and we have a window of opportunity! Here it comes!

    Fluoride. Fluoride is the reason Bryan has left. It’s a poison that saps and impurifies our precious bodily fluids! He drank too much water in a heat wave in Utah and now he has to rest every day after tending his goats because now he’s boring. Thanks to communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion and the international communist conspiracy, the new Bryan wouldn’t be able to make it through the intro.

  45. profeff Says:

    wow you still dont get it 6 years and then nothing the cast of eureka did a small video which they said thanks too the fans on you tube how hard would it have been bryan does have a camera in his house stop defending the fact he works hard we all do there is no excuse for being an arse hole to your fans

  46. mollusk Says:

    give matt a chance….onces he gets more comfortable with the show he will open up more. ever see the first episode of las? bryan wasnt a ball of energy like he has been.

  47. Byebryam Says:

    Allllllll this week Bryan is no longer on the Linux action shoooooooowwww

  48. ProjectMorris Says:

    Welcome aboard Matt..

  49. MHazell Says:

    Good to know that you’ll be around. We can also depend on you every week to show up, right? ;-)

  50. MHazell Says:

    I think it was a good idea to ask people to send in their favorite bash scripts, because it shows how the community uses Linux.

  51. MHazell Says:

    Are you allowed to install other Linux distros on your System76 Wild Dog? I like the idea of doing tutorials for other distros, but I can completely see why you would focus on Ubuntu — it is the most popular distro.

    And Matt, can I submit a tutorial? Ok, I installed XFCE (apt-get install xfce4) on Ubuntu 12.04 32 bit, and then I realized it replaced notify-osd in Unity with XFCE’s one. Can you please do a tutorial on how to restore Unity’s notification system please? I also think XFCE changed my GRUB2 background image without my consent to a Debian like outer space image. I wrote about that my site, but no one has seemed to have any suggestions (no comments). If you can help there, please do.

  52. MHazell Says:

    Lots of people still love to watch LAS even if Bryan is gone; canceling the show is not that much of a good idea.

  53. Myles Fister Says:

    Matt, did you drink a redbull before the show? Way to step it up! Love it! Keep up the good work!

  54. kamilprusko Says:

    Such vague and offending words just shouldn’t be used on the show. Saying “GNOME Shell does not work for me” is enough, in any case please be more specific in future. It’s not just for GNOME but for other open-source projects also, be more respectful.

  55. Melroy van den Berg Says:

    Thanks for showing my bash script :D I forgot after editing closing line 27 sorry ><

  56. PeterG Says:

    I’ve listened to the show religiously for the past 12 seasons, and while I’ve always enjoyed it, I was starting to feel that shaking it up a little would be healthy and Bryan’s departure is a perfect opportunity for some reformatting. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Chris/Matt/Allan/etc come up with. The idea of getting more members of the open source community on the show sounds fantastic.

    Regards from Denmark

  57. joey the mad scientist Says:

    just a heads up with waze…you mentioned it does not have gps nav. it totally has gps nav. i use it all the time. at any rate it’s a great app and very addictive.

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