We’ve chased Chris out of the studio and invented some new segments: First up Wes, in true TechSNAP style, highlights a few complicated ideas explained well, then it’s on to updates from a few of our favorite projects, including some exciting news for WireGuard & a great collection of new stuff from around the internet.

Plus special guest host Rikai & Wes geek out about gaming, we celebrate Slackware & pose the question: Just what is Mageia & why does it exist?

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Show Notes:


  • Wes meets a linux user in the wild.

Complicated things explained well

A real world guide to WebRTC

What do we need to get started? Two things: a reasonably recent browser (WebRTC is supported in current versions of Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera but not in Safari or many mobile browsers) and drumroll – a server.

An Introduction to the ss Command

The ss command is a tool used to dump socket statistics and displays information in similar fashion (although simpler and faster) to netstat. The ss command can also display even more TCP and state information than most other tools. Because ss is the new netstat, we’re going to take a look at how to make use of this tool so that you can more easily gain information about your Linux machine and what’s going on with network connections.

Systemd for (Impatient) Sysadmins

…and although I’m at philosophical odds with it at some levels, I see no reason why everybody shouldn’t understand it a bit better – especially now that most people will need to deal with it on their favorite distros.

Encrypting drives with LUKS

Linux tracing systems & how they fit together

The thing I learned last week that helped me really understand was – you can split linux tracing systems into data sources (where the tracing data comes from), mechanisms for collecting data for those sources (like “ftrace”) and tracing frontends (the tool you actually interact with to collect/analyse data). The overall picture is still kind of fragmented and confusing, but it’s at least a more approachable fragmented/confusing system.

Linux Academy

Follow Up / Catch Up

How Microsoft brought SQL Server to Linux

“Talking to enterprises, it became clear that doing this was necessary,” Kumar said. “We were forcing customers to use Windows as their platform of choice.” In another incarnation of Microsoft, that probably would’ve been seen as something positive, but the company’s strategy today is quite different.

Formal Verification of WireGuard Protocal

The WireGuard protocol, described in the technical paper, and based on Noise, has been formally verified in the symbolic model using Tamarin. This means that there is a security proof of the WireGuard protocol.

ZFS Is the Best Filesystem (For Now…)

ZFS should have been great, but I kind of hate it: ZFS seems to be trapped in the past, before it was sidelined it as the cool storage project of choice; it’s inflexible; it lacks modern flash integration; and it’s not directly supported by most operating systems. But I put all my valuable data on ZFS because it simply offers the best level of data protection in a small office/home office (SOHO) environment.

Status update about bcachefs


New stuff from the internet

You can root your Google Wifi router, but you’ll need a screwdriver

What’s nice about this hack is that GaleForce will keep working even after Google applies automatic updates to the router. It’s a best-of-both-worlds situation: your home router becomes a Linux box with endless possibilities, but it still has the mesh networking and app-based interface that Google provides.

Smach Z – The Handheld gaming PC

“Hi Smachers,
AMD has kindly agreed to let us inform backers about the new SoC upgrade. We can officially confirm that we are moving to the latest generation AMD technology which will be based on Ryzen and Vega technology.
We’re working together with AMD to bring the best performance to SMACH Z, so it will be the most powerful handheld console in the market. The new generation looks amazing, and we want to thank AMD for all the support and efforts contributed to our project.
At this point we cannot say any more information, but I hope that this announcement works to alleviate the long waiting and to confirm that SMACH Z will feature the best hardware when it will become available.
This decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of the situation. Being forced to move away from Romb.io technology and having to redo the SoC integration has moved our schedule opening the opportunity to bring the latest technology to our design. For the moment this announcements is private only for backers.
Thanks for your support!”

Beginner-Friendly Vulkan Tutorials

For those who don’t know, Vulkan is a new graphics API– in other words, a fresh new way to talk to your GPU and make it do things. It’s managed by the Khronos Group, which means no one corporation controls it. It’s pretty cool, and anyone who wants to do work on GPUs (not restricted to graphics programmers!) should at least have a high level knowledge of what it is.

vkmark: more than a Vulkan benchmark

Ever since Vulkan was announced a few years ago, the idea of creating a Vulkan benchmarking tool in the spirit of glmark2 had been floating in my mind. Recently, thanks to my employer, Collabora, this idea has materialized! The result is the vkmark Vulkan benchmark


Distro Corner

Slackware turns 24

Today marks 24 years since the original release of Slackware, which continues to be led by Patrick Volkerding. …development on Slackware does continue and its rolling-release code is currently on the Linux 4.9 LTS kernel and has many new packages compared to the v14.2 release.

Announcing Mageia 6, finally ready to shine!

The whole Mageia community is extremely happy to announce the release of Mageia 6, the shiny result of our longest release cycle so far!

Though Mageia 6’s development was much longer than anticipated, we took the time to polish it and ensure that it will be our greatest release so far.

Highlights of Mageia 6
  • KDE Plasma 5 replaces the previous KDE SC 4 desktop environment
  • Support for AppStream and thus GNOME Software and Plasma Discover
  • Support for Fedora COPR and openSUSE Build Service
  • Successful integration of the ARM port (ARMv5 and ARMv7) in the buildsystem
  • While not a new feature, Mageia 6 supports over 25 desktop environments and window managers

  • Forking Mandriva Linux: The birth of Mageia

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