mintCast 189 – Useful Utilities

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  • MATE Desktop Environment Will Be Available in Ubuntu 14.04– Ubuntu 14.04 will, for the first time, allow users to install the MATE desktop environment straight from the Ubuntu Software Centre. (
  • Red Hat Officially Joins Forces with the CentOS Project – …now CentOS project leaders and Red Hat have announced they are joining forces to build a new CentOS, “capable of driving forward development and adoption of next-generation open source technologies.” The news is good for fans of the CentOS platform. (
  • Fedora 21 to be nameless – What follows in the footsteps of Heisenbug, Spherical Cow and Beefy Miracle? Apparently the answer is ‘null’ as is nothing. Fedora Linux 21 could well have no funky new name as its past predecessors have all had, thanks to a recent vote by the Fedora board to move away from the existing naming practices. (
  • Roku gets sucked into TVs – It was inevitable: Roku, which shipped its 5 millionth streaming media player last year, is now having its Linux-based STB technology embedded directly within Smart TVs. (
  • Jolla Review: Some rough edges, but this Linux SmartPhone shows promise – Extended review of the recently release Jolla Smartphone with SailfishOSh (
  • Dropbox outage sparked by buggy server upgrade – A planned server maintenance job went awry because of a “subtle bug” in an upgrade script – but users’ files were never at risk, the company says. (

Main Topic: Useful Utilities

Pre-show music this week was:

  • Yesterday’s Conversation by Angus Wallace (

Podcast Announcements:

  • Linux in the Ham Shack at Hamvention 2014 Indiegogo campaign. (

More Information:

Hosts: Rob, Scott, Joe
Live Stream (Mondays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern):
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More Linux Mint info: website, blog, forums, community

Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco ( The podcast bumpers were provided by Oscar.

4 Replies to “mintCast 189 – Useful Utilities”

  1. Bill in Michigan

    Thanks, guys, for my favorite type of topic. Thought I’d help a little bit on window size in iperf…

    Since TCP is a reliable connection, the data must get acknowledged. But if every packet sent had to wait for an ACK before it sent the next one it wouldn’t be very efficient and would get downright ridiculous if the round trip time (latency) is large. That’s where the TCP window size comes in. It’s literally the outstanding data size before an ACK must be received. If an ACK isn’t sent in time, the sending side stops and waits for it to catch up. The idea is to have a big enough window to make sure data flow never gets interrupted.

    So the size of this “window” buffer needed to maintain an uninterrupted flow of data must grow with both 1) speed and 2) latency. Scott, it’s not unexpected a large window size didn’t help in a very low-latency condition like on your LAN. The ACKs get to you so quickly, a large buffer simply isn’t needed so doesn’t help. But try to keep a flow of data going to The Moon and it’s a totally different story when latency is a few seconds before you even receive the first ACK.

    Talking to The Moon may be an extreme for latency but I wonder what TCP window size that Google Fiber connection uses which is the speed-side of ridiculous. 🙂

    Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work guys!

  2. Jouni Kvist

    I think your misunderstanding the inclusion of MATE desktop environment in Ubuntu repositories.

    As you must certainly be aware of, there are several flavors of Ubuntu ( maintained by the community members (not canonical) with different DE’s (xfce, kde, gnome, lxde).

    Now someone in the community wants to make a new Ubuntu flavor based on MATE. In order to do this you need to include MATE in the Ubuntu repos. This was discussed on the ubuntu mailing list ( which predictably prompted someone to ask: “What’s the difference between this and Linux Mint MATE?”. Which then lead to the whole Mint being insecure discussion. Which was taken out of context by omgubuntu and others and blown all over the internet.

    The bottom line is, you can install what ever desktop environment you want on Ubuntu, you don’t have to use Unity. This is easier if the required packages are in the Ubuntu repos. There are plenty of DE’s in Ubuntu repos in addition to the ones used in the flavors (cinnamon, razorqt, openbox, matchbox, rox, qimo, gosa, xmonad, etc.).

    Most of the Ubuntu flavors have decided to stick to xorg for the foreseeable future. And the potential MATE spin of Ubuntu would probably do the same. Also Ubuntu moving to mir has no impact on the xorg dependencies on the other desktop environments. They will still continue to use xorg unless someone (other than canonical) ports then over to mir.

  3. Aubrey Marshall

    Its Friday morning and I just started listening to your podcast and I heard the word BACKUPS. If you decide to look at desktop backup tools for Linux here are a few tool to try. I like all of these
    1. DejaDup – Ubuntu Default
    2. Back-in-time – – support Encrypted backup, Diffs, inversion. Similar to Apples Time Machine
    3. Duplicati – – AES-256 encryption, Remote Service =, Skydrive, Google Drive and Amazon S3 are just a few.

    There are more but I think these three will get you started.

  4. l33thackersysadmin

    Is it too late to respond? Probably. But I wish to respond to the guy who wrote in talking about wayland. I think he mis understands what it is. Wayland is just a display server protocol. It sits on your computer as a library and by it’s self is pretty useless. It’s the compositor that does all the cool stuff. Theirs a good chance that what he was seeing was the weston compositor which is a reference compositor for wayland. There are other compositors such as KWin and Mutter and I think both toolkits have wayland ports so they would probably look the same under wayland as they do now under X.

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