mintCast 295 – Linux on Mobile



Bi-Weekly Wanderings:



  • Tony H
  • I’ve been playing with Audacity, and putting some of the tutorial that Rob did after the last recording on editing the show audio, into practice.
  • I’ve installed and had a little play with LMDE in a VirtualBox machine. Despite the fact that most of the packages are several versions behind, (LibreOffice is still on the 5.2 branch) it looks like a very solid distribution.
  • I’ve been pulling a couple of very old laptops apart for the spares before whatever can not be reused goes off to the recycle centre, and I mean old, one of them was on DDR RAM modules
  • Tinkering with Lenovo X200 tablet with Mint 19 Mate.


  • Moss
    • I installed Ubuntu Studio 18.10, got tired of how XFCE works and put MATE on it. Happy now.
    • My wife had a problem with her Ubuntu MATE 16.04 installation. Easiest way to fix it was with LM19, so I did. Only hiccup was we found it she had never logged in to Firefox so she had to remember or recover her logins. I could have spent hours researching and correcting the issue, but felt she had been in 16.04 too long already, and it only took 3 hours to install LM19 and get it to look and work like she wanted. Had to teach her how to use Terminal to attach to Mullvad using Wireguard, but she’s seen me do it a lot already.
    • I downloaded the latest versions of OpenMandrivaLx 3.03 and Mageia 6. Mageia 6 refused to install, with a very clunky installation process.
    • Looking at OpenMandriva installation disk, the first few screens act like my laptop and tv are halves of the same monitor, and splits the selection boxes across them. This is wonky as they think the monitors are on opposite sides from where they actually are. After those early selection screens it goes to the laptop screen. Nothing in this world beats the Calamares Installer.| OpenMandriva can write to my printer without a driver download and with only a few mouse clicks. (Always a headache, solved by downloading a driver installer from Brother in Debian distros.) | But in the end, OpenMandriva refuses to install, because it says the partition I’m installing it to is already mounted and so is unwritable.  | I found that if I do a Manual Partition, I can mark the partition to be formatted, and this solves the problem. So I installed it. Then went to do updates. Over 1300 of them. Totally froze the KDE Discover installer. I tried it via terminal, and found that Terminal is affected by system timeouts (which I thought I’d shut off) and it messed up the whole disk. I did a complete reinstall and babysat the entire process, with much success and many good things, but do not recommend for new users due to these issues.


  • Leo
    • Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2. Bootloader seems like it’s locked or is just really good at ignoring me
    • Moving Plex from OpenMediaVault to its own VM. Trying out the snap.
    • Playing with my Yeti to get better audio quality.


  • Tony Watts
    • Lots of tinkering with Linux mobile OS, the Nexus 5 and LG Urbane smartwatch
    • Met somebody moderately famous playing acoustic “gig” at Mexican restaurant
  • Joe
    • Playing with Libresonic and Plex to change how i see my podcasts
    • Youtube-dl used for some that are only on youtube


The News:


  1. Leo – Linux Mint 19.1 released in time for Christmas


  1. Tony H –  Linus is Back in Charge of Linux


  1. Tony H – IBM is acquiring software company Red Hat for $34 billion
    1. Mark’s take on Ubuntu Blog

Moss has a pile of stuff on this, are we going to run on this for a bit or just leave it alone? (I’m cool with it either way – Moss)  Never got a decision on this

[Said Ton of Stuff:


It strikes me that a purchase of Red Hat by IBM makes perfect sense. It has long been said that no manager ever got fired for buying IBM; it can certainly also be said that no IT manager ever got fired for buying Red Hat.  I also note that Red Hat just recently bought Gluster, a cloud storage company.


Everyone keeps saying that Linux isn’t taking over the desktop because there’s no huge corporation pushing it. Is that about to change? And if so, will it still be FOSS?


Also, Bad Voltage hosts surmised that the end result is for Jim Whitehurst to take over as CEO of IBM and turn that struggling behemoth around. Apparently IBM has lost money 14 of the last 15 quarters, while Red Hat is growing apace, so they want to use this to turn IBM’s culture around.]


  1. Moss – Pine64 is (working on) making a smartphone running KDE plasma starting at $100 PinePhone


Linux Innards


Dell Venue Pro 8


5 thoughts on “mintCast 295 – Linux on Mobile

  1. While I hope to hear from old friends Rob and Isaac again, I’m enjoying the new energy and interaction among the larger crew.

    I’d prefer the show not take ads, which inevitably come across as endorsements. Leo Laporte used to extol ESET A/V that advertised on his network. Now he recommends against any A/V except (possibly) Microsoft’s built into Win for Win systems. Seemed all the Jupiter shows ran Digital Ocean ads, always from first person as though an endorsement, but now that Jupiter’s shows are ad free, there’s some “leaking” how expensive it can be to have a large number of “droplets . . . ”

    If you check out the travails of Solus when Ikey went MIA with all the keys to the kingdom, you’ll get some idea of the issues involved with taking money, and being sure it only goes where it should. If “Mintcast” needs a piece of gear, let listeners know, perhaps they’ll donate? If the idea is to raise money for the Mint project, just keep reminding listeners to do that. Building and distributing Mint isn’t free –

    I consider myself more advanced than noob but hardly expert. A positive aspect of the large crew is thus far one or more of you ask for further explanation when cryptic terms and acronyms fly by. The new segments you seem to have invented are neat. I’d liked to suggest “noob corner.” Mint is often the first stop for newcomers, and those newcomers may be likely to find your podcast.

    Maybe begin with that mysterious GRUB the MBR partition and how to repair when something goes wrong, then work on in.

    • Any tips on how to slowly start learning how to improve some linux apps? Example: In Pix, press M and jump to a random picture in the folder.
      So far I only know JavaScript and I never did any coding for applications but would like to start somewhere.
      ps: The only app I really miss from windows is IrfanView and I would love to help Pix improve a bit. Btw I think the concept of Xapps is a great idea.

  2. Nice show! I’m enjoying seeing how the show evolves with the new hosts each time. One bit of constructive criticism is that the bumper music seemed a bit off. It cut off the end of what a host was saying a couple times and the audio quality was a bit poor (sounded muffled). Personally, I use LineageOS with F-Droid and no Google apps, so it was interesting to hear the mobile discussion. I hope we see some good new open source friendly options soon. Regarding Highlander’s question, the way Android drivers are produced links them strongly to the Android kernel. Since they are mostly binary blobs, this makes it difficult to run non-Android derived operating systems on them (even Plasma Mobile, Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish use Android components under the hood to work on phones made for Android).

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