OpenELEC’s latest release, Snaps on Fedora, plus Wes’ Picks, Pinterest’s support for Open Source & the controversial use of Slack for Open Source projects.

Then Wes, Noah & the Mumble room have a wide-ranging discussion about Ubuntu’s big desktop change, what it means for the Linux Desktop, Linux Vendors & you!

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Show Notes:


Killing Home Internet Is the Most Productive Thing I’ve Ever Done

Earlier this year I made the conscious decision to remove all Internet service from my home. It ended up being the best productivity decision I’ve ever made.

Now when I’m on the Internet, it has a purpose—it is a tool I use to enhance my life. Sure, sometimes I log on to watch some funny videos or laugh at memes, but I go to the Internet with the intention of doing these things.

Follow Up / Catch Up

Pinebook Linux laptop is ready to ship

The Pinebook is a cheap, low-power laptop with an ARM-based processor. First unveiled in November, the Pinebook comes from the makers of the Pine A64 single-board computer and it uses the same processor as that tiny desktop.

Prices start at $89 for a model with an 11.6 inch display or $99 for a 14 inch version… but shipping from Hong Kong can add as much as $37 to the price, depending on where you live.

OpenELEC 8.0 Linux OS Officially Out with Raspberry Pi Zero W Support, Kodi 17.1

Based on the latest Kodi 17.1 “Krypton” open-source and cross-platform media center software, OpenELEC 8.0 is here with a lot of updated internals, as well as support for new platforms, such as the recently launched Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer, WeTek Hub, and WeTek Play 2.

Snap support lands in Fedora 24, 25 & 26

As part as our mission to get snaps running everywhere, we are pleased to announce that support for snaps has now officially landed in Fedora, starting with Fedora 24 and up.

Why use snaps?

Among other things, snaps make packaging, distribution and updates really easy for developers and automated for users. Which means you will get the latest version of your installed apps directly from upstream, on release day, or even daily if upstream has integrated snap publication into their CI process.


Wes’ Picks

journal-triggerd: Runs trigger on systemd’s journal messages

journal-triggerd is a small daemon that runs in the background, listening to systemd’s journal, and will run “triggers” (i.e. exec a command line) when certain messages are added.

Manually Throttle the Bandwidth of a Linux Network Interface

A quick search for “how to artificially slow down a Linux networking interface” produced a number of interesting results. Folks mostly discussed 3rd party tools like Wondershaper and Dummynet. Other suggestions involved proxying all HTTP/HTTPS traffic through Apache’s mod_bw — yuck!

Fortunately, most Linux distros ship with the tc command which is used to configure Traffic Control in the Linux kernel.

HashiCorp Packer 1.0

Packer 1.0 is a significant milestone. Packer is a powerful and full-featured tool to create cloud images and application packages. Today, Packer is in use by tens of thousands of organizations worldwide to automate their image creation.

Packer was started in 2013 and was the first project started at HashiCorp. Vagrant, our earliest project, was started prior to the founding of HashiCorp. We started Packer with the goal to create one workflow to build various types of deployment images.



Banks scramble to fix old systems as IT ‘cowboys’ ride into sunset

The stakes are especially high for the financial industry, where an estimated $3 trillion in daily commerce flows through COBOL systems. The language underpins deposit accounts, check-clearing services, card networks, ATMs, mortgage servicing, loan ledgers and other services.

Of the 20 “Cowboys” that work as part-time consultants many have reached retirement age, though there are some “youngsters,” Hinshaw said. “Well, I call them youngsters, but they’re in their 40s, early 50s.”

The Companies That Support Linux and Open Source: Pinterest |

Pinterest — “the world’s catalog of ideas” — is built on open source, according to Jon Parise, technical architecture lead and open source program lead at the company. In this interview, Parise explains how adopting open source has changed the company and helped the company’s engineers design software that is more modular, reusable, and well-documented from the outset.

Pinterest is built on open source. From our first lines of Django code over six years ago to the release of Rocksplicator, our latest open source project, we’ve directly benefited from open source projects and the supportive communities surrounding them. In turn, we’ve made significant contributions to the open source technologies we use and have pushed the limits of technologies like HBase. Internally, open source is part of a product cycle. We frequently open source the technologies we build as both a way to give back to communities and because it’s the right thing to do.

Why Slack is inappropriate for open source communications

In the context of an open source project, Slack, HipChat, Gitter, etc, provide a forum for advocacy, gossip, informal discussion, and support. My complaints start when Slack and friends are promoted as the recommended way to communicate with the project.

  • Slack, et al, are paid services with closed memberships.

  • Slack, et al, are based on synchronous communication, which discriminate against those who do not or can not take part of the conversation in real time.

Instead of closed, synchronous, systems I recommend open source projects stick to asynchronous communication tools that leave a publicly linkable, searchable, url. The tools that fit this requirement best are; mailing list, issue trackers, and forums.

Linux Academy

Ubuntu Unity is dead: Desktop will switch back to GNOME next year

Six years after making Unity the default user interface on Ubuntu desktops, Canonical is giving up on the project and will switch the default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME next year. Canonical is also ending development of Ubuntu software for phones and tablets, spelling doom for the goal of creating a converged experience with phones acting as desktops when docked with the right equipment.

“Work on the phone and tablet is also ending, the whole convergence story, really,” Hall said. “The desktop will continue, but like it was in the pre-Unity days where we took what upstream [developers] designed and developed.”

By switching to GNOME, Canonical is also giving up on Mir and moving to the Wayland display server, another contender for replacing the X window system. Given the separate development paths of Mir and Wayland, “we have no real choice but to use Wayland when Ubuntu switches to GNOME by default,” Hall told Ars. “Using Mir simply isn’t an option we have.”


System76 Isn’t Giving Up On Ubuntu, Plans to Put its Own Spin on GNOME

“The Ubuntu Desktop team have always produced an incredible operating system, whether it be with GNOME or Unity. We’re excited to see their thoughtfulness, effort, and innovation added into the GNOME community,” – Carl Richell, System76 CEO

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