Episode 112: LinuxFest Northwest Lookahead


  • There is now a PPA for Cinnamon themes, extensions and applets. (webupd8.org)
  • Big things coming next week for the Linux desktop. (phoronix.com)

The Main Topic: LinuxFest Northwest 2012

  • LinuxFest Northwest is a free annual event produced by the Bellingham Linux Users Group and volunteers from other open source user groups. It is held on the campus of Bellingham Technical College.
  • The Fest features Linux and open source experts and aficionados sharing their experience and enthusiasm with a wide variety of free and open source technologies. This generally means that there will be a lot of smart people who come with something to share and a desire to learn. This is a free+cheap event that’s held on a weekend, so there are also folks who don’t usually go to commercial conferences. All in all, it’s a lot of fun with fresh faces on eager people.

Featured Website: LinuxFest Northwest


  • This podcast’s tip comes to us from Brad Alexander who wrote in with some advice about the problems Rob has had with doing upgrades and specifically dist-upgrades. Brad says,

I have a bunch of machines and VMs at home, and what I do is to preserve the package list on each one, using the command:

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall > $HOSTNAME-pkglist

This gives me a usable list of packages that I can then use to build a machine (more on this later). Since I do this on all of my machines, I have a nice pool of package lists that I can call on to get something fairly close to what I need to build.

So when I (re)build a box, I do a Debian base install, which only installs the base system, only the minimal packages (less than 1GB?) …I go through the drive layout and get everything set up the way I want. However, when it wants to install extra packages (e.g. desktop, dns server, web server, etc), I either uncheck everything, or in squeeze and beyond, I *only* check ssh server. This gives me the base install + ssh. Once grub is installed, I finish the install and reboot. Log in and copy the appropriate package list to /root or /tmp or wherever, then do:

dpkg --set-selections < $HOSTNAME-pkglist
apt-get dselect-upgrade

This will (intelligently) install the packages from the list on the system. When this is complete, you have a working near-clone of the system from the package list.

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Credits: Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco (podcastthemes.com). The podcast’s bumpers were provided by Oscar.

4 Replies to “Episode 112: LinuxFest Northwest Lookahead”

  1. smilepiper

    I have a list of Software Center pakcages, that I just go through and start clicking, but to think of all those packages I get from dotdeb.com I can just easily reinstall now.

  2. Bill_MI

    Snuck one in on us, eh? 🙂

    Rob and Scott, you convinced me to try Cinnamon again, on LMDE-UP4. I had broken it getting Compiz going in Mate so used a fresh install. Cinnamon and Compiz, apparently, don’t get along at all.

    This time I’m paying more attention and found a few of my pet-peeves had been addressed, or, were always there but well hidden.

    An example is “Always Use Location Entry” for nautilus. I found it by accident in ‘Themes -> Other Settings’ which is a strange place to put what was always a Nautilus setting.

    But it’s the thought that counts. I was sure I’d be using Thunar or PCManFM. 🙂

    My main distro is still Ubuntu 10.04 so I have a year to watch Cinnamon get better and better. It’s definitely back on my list. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

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