mintCast 310 – Mint (mp3)



  • Welcome to mintCast Episode 310.
  • This is Leo and with me this week are Bo, Joe, Moss, Josh and Tony Hughes, and we’re recording live on Sunday 2nd June 2019.
  • First up, in our Wanderings, I get familiar with Batocera, Bo talks Doom 2016 and automatic Arch, Josh upgrades our live streaming setup and gives a keynote in France, Tony Hughes repairs Firefox and a laptop, Moss fixes a slow bootup thanks to Discord and takes on Bodh, and Joe wades through broken projects but enjoys Texas Linux Fest.
  • In the news, we talk life and death for Linux, some new apps, and what’s going on with Linux Mint
  • In the Innards, we dive into why we use Mint.
  • Finally, we rummage through feedback.



  • Leo
    • Playing with Batocera. The install was super easy. Just a quick Etcher image copy.
      • Boot up is very quick on a 11” HP Stream using a fast-ish flash drive. 80MB/s read. Had to set Legacy boot, but UEFI options were available. Maybe It was just my laptop. More testing required!
      • I realized after booting that a second partition called SHARED showed up. It used up the rest of the empty space on the flash drive. Gave me about 28GB. This is where you’re supposed to store ROMS, or you can easily use a second drive for this.
      • The wife and I tried, Atari 2600, NES, SNES, Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), Gameboy Advance, Playstation 1 and N64.
      • All this using a PS3 controller over USB. Had absolutely no issue setting it up.



  • Josh
    • Went to Lyon, France to give a keynote about Open Source.
    • Also did a Raspberry Jam event to give developers an insight as to what kids are doing with coding in school
    • A more complicated Live streaming setup (MacroDeck, Kauna, Youtube Chat, VoiceMeeter, UniversalSoundboard, OBS & Youtube’s new streaming dashboard, Using Chatv2 ( to change the CSS on the OBS browser overlay)
    • New PCBs arrived after a mess up on the last ones, these ones fit but the LEDs are a nightmare to solder!


  • Tony H
    • Recording and editing the intro and outgoing segments of Distrohoppers Digest to include the music and save a little time editing the final show each month.
    • Repairing my Firefox install which after the update to ff67 broke and would not start, after a suggestion in one of the many community forums we are in I deleted the .mozilla folder from home, restarted Firefox then reinstalled my backup .mozilla folder and all is well again. (wipes brow)
    • Myself and Moss recorded the second episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest last Wednesday and it is now out in the wild for your listening pleasure. We review Fedora 29/30 and Linux Lite 4.4.  The feed is at :
    • Installing Windows 10 to a Sony Vaio i5 laptop after upgrading it to a 128Gb SSD and 8Gb RAM, this was for a friend as the laptop was dog slow with a load of manufacturer bloatware. The slow spinning HDD didn’t help. After reinstalling and updating to the May 2019 update, the Laptop boots in just over 25s  
    • Buying a Dell E7440 with a 256Gb SSD and 16Gb RAM on eBay and getting what I thought was a good deal at $210 (including delivery)


  • Moss
    • Tony and I had a lovely meeting for the next Distrohoppers’ Digest. As Tony said, recording happened on Wednesday, May 29, and we’re working on our next episode now. The first episode had 135 downloads (6/1). I am still debating what to use for the June show, and am considering cheating and just reviewing Bodhi 5.0.0, since I saved most of the things I had to do to get it installed and I love using it so much. I did check out the latest version of Feren OS, but had problems from installation on and have decided not to go there at this time. I will probably wait until June 6 or so when OpenMandriva Lx 4 gets released and put that on the 4th partition.
    • I had a chat with listener Kat in our Discord group regarding my slow boot times on Bodhi, as I’ve discussed. She helped me fix it, and now my boot time is 1:16 instead of 3:05. Apparently, the swap sector was reformatted and renamed by one of my other installations, and Bodhi was waiting for that sector. We managed to tell the machine the current name of the swap sector. Bodhi has decided that if we’re going to call it by that name, it doesn’t need to load it, so it just marks it “Failed” and continues. As I have 8 Gb RAM, I really don’t need a swap, so no harm. Kat is amazing.
    • I did sign up for the free parts of Librem One, which got me Librem Chat and Librem Social… in other words, Riot and Mastodon. I have one contact in Mastodon, thanks to this show, so it’s not totally useless and it WAS totally free.
    • I will not be going to SELF in June. Only $130 of the $750 goal was reached. I will make efforts to save towards going next year, and I have already sent a $55 donation to Linux Mint (although I had to contact them via email to tell them it was to be credited as being from our team, not me personally.) I will send another $55 to soon, and the remaining $20, by designation of the donor, will be kept to help my wife and I with immigration issues.
    • I have a new job. I got a position as an auto parts driver for O’Reilly Auto Parts. using their car or truck, which is a big change from Uber. Not much per hour, and it’s part time; the manager said he could get me hours at other stores, but that will likely take a week or three.  I got a positive response from one of the computer jobs I applied for, but they said their business lags during the summer and they promised they would call me when Autumn approaches.
    • The rehabilitation facility has sent my mother home — not because she’s significantly better, but because her insurance has run out. She will now have to spend her own money to get 24/7 care until she is stronger. The alternative not taken was to consign her healthcare and enter a nursing home, no longer living independently. We all love the US healthcare system.
  • Joe
    • Attempted to install batocera on one of the really old windows tablets that I spoke about a few weeks ago
      • Would not read the USB at boot for some reason.  May have to do with PAE
      • Then I tried to install retroarch but there was a problem with the graphics drivers thank you -vvv
      • So i tried to install a genesis emulator and got the same issue.  
    • I am thinking that my garage computer might have some overheating issues in the dallas weather so i am looking at a way to keep this gigabit brix computer cool enough to run.  
    • Took my t100ta apart again to see if i could re-seat the usb port and the answer is no.  I got out the soldering iron and heated the feet to reflow the solder and it still will not charge.  
    • Seems like a week for broken projects.
    • Woo, I have been watching tronicsfix on youtube and decided to bust out the old xbox one that my former roommate left me when he moved to Arizona.
      • Originally thought it had a bad hard drive because it was having issues when he was using it.
      • It still might have hard drive issues but it turned on and updated and has run several games with no issues
      • Its weird but even though i am not signed into his account i am still able to access all the games he has used on it.  Even the ones that are currently not installed. I uninstalled all the games but i still have access to reinstall them.
      • I assume that he also had files on there that only his user has access to because of how full the HDD still is.  
      • May do a full wipe and sell because I have little use for it
      • May also give it to my daughters and put the 360 they have on a shelf as a backup for the one my wife has because they seem to die quick these days and the xbox one does not play a lot of the games that she likes
    • TLF
      • Loved getting to talk to the Jupiter Broadcasting team
        • Ell and myself had a good conversation about audiobooks and the titles that we enjoy
        • Got to meet 5150
        • Talked to a couple of listeners really enjoyed that
        • Shout out to Mordency, Ed and Danny
      • Got to go to a containerization talk and a couple of ansible talks.



  1. Antergos discontinued, community may pick it up under a different name if enough interest is shown
    1. Endeavour, Antergos community’s next step
  2. Zettler Markdown Editor
  3. Slimbook Battery Optimizer for laptop users running Ubuntu-based distros
  4. Scientific Linux and Antergos are shutting down: It’s time for Linux Mint to go
  5. Linux Mint Monthly News
    1. Wine 4 stable will be backported for easy installation and use.
      1. This work will relieve issues like, obsolete Wine packages, no Vulkan, being forced to launch Windows binaries from the CLI, and non-working controllers.
      2. This will soon be available with the metapackage wine-installer and wine-desktop-files and replaces Wine 3.0 in the Ubuntu repo.
    2. A new look on the old community website. Inactive users and info were purged.
      1. With the removal of features like “friends” and “user scores” the site became much more responsive.
      2. Hint at a new logo
    3. Xed, the default text editor, will soon support toggling comments and comment blocks. This allows you to press Ctrl+/ to comment entire sections of code out!
    4. The settings widget has been rewritten in python-xapp. This reduces 2200 lines of code down to less than 700. This resulted in better performance, a more consistent look, and makes the code much more portable so other projects can take advantage.



Why Choose Linux? Why Mint?


  • Leo
    • Linux Mint is one of the few distros that keeps the basic desktop paradigm.
    • Timeshift and a version of Ukuu make it one of the easiest distros to get going for new users. It’s no wonder it’s recommended as much as it is.
    • People aren’t gonna work on what you want them to work on if they’re doing it for free. They’ll work on what they want.
    • Ubuntu and Mint’s trajectories are different. One of the biggest examples of this is that Mint ships with Flatpak, not Snap. However, Mint doesn’t prevent you from adding the snapd package yourself. You get the best of both!
    • No matter what fear, uncertainty and doubt gets said, Mint’s not going anywhere.


  • Josh
    • Ubuntu was buggy
    • Tony H recommended it (he’s the UK’s mint promoter!)
    • Nice UI
    • Friendly community
    • Don’t want to get kicked off mintCast 🙂 (near-zero chance of that – Moss)


  • Tony Hughes

For me the main issue first is why do I choose Linux over those other popular proprietary operating systems. The first issue is the cost of the hardware associated with the Apple ecosystem as far as I am aware MacOS is a very secure and less intrusive OS than Windows and because of its popularity with the creative community it is well served with some of the most popular software not available in Linux, but I feel that the hardware is vastly overpriced for what you get, compared with similar hardware from other manufacturers.


Windows on the other hand is very intrusive, and although it has become more stable as the years have passed, I personally would not use it for my daily driver despite Microsoft now virtually giving Windows 10 away if you have a Windows 7/8 licence for personal use. Also I refurbish a lot of older PC hardware and the cost of a new licence if you do not have an active one is prohibitive, and often more than the value of the hardware you are reinstalling. Also the process of doing a fresh install of Windows is quite long, and while I can install Linux and have it fully updated within an hour on most hardware from the last 8-9 years and have a fully productive PC with all the most common software needed all ready installed, in Windows (and Mac, as far as I know) I would have to take further time, and if not installing open source software, spend more money to get the productivity software installed before I can use the PC.


When I first started to use Linux in 2006/7 I started with the then fairly new kid on the block Ubuntu, depending on the hardware this was Gnome or the lighter Xubuntu with the xfce DE which would be usable on a Pentium 2 with 196Mb of RAM. In 2009 Ubuntu with the Gnome 2 DE became my daily driver after I ditched my dual boot setup with Windows XP, having hardly used the Windows partition in almost a year. But it was the Unity DE that lead me to move over to Mint as the workflow of Unity just didn’t work for me on a Desktop PC for what I use it for.


Over the last 10 years I have tried many Linux distros, mainly of the Debian family. I have delved into the world of RPM as well, but I haven’t found a distribution which has offered me anything that Mint doesn’t and is as easy to use. However I recognise that modern Linux is increasingly becoming more refined, and despite the different DE’s available many of the most popular Linux Distros out there could, once I became familiar with their little differences, do just as good a job of meeting my computing needs as Linux Mint (Mate) does for me. I say this while typing on a PCLinuxOS setup on test for the next DH podcast.  


  • Bo
    • The first time I saw linux – Playing MTG with a guy who had it on his laptop. “Oh, it’s like windows but you can make it how you want it”
    • My first distro – Some version of Ubuntu, I have no idea. My friends and I had a the classic installation party.
    • I quit when Counter Strike wouldn’t work.
    • My second installation – Fedora, dude at GS brought in a Fedora laptop.
    • I sorta became the Free as in Beer, Free as in Speech guy amongst my friends.
    • Decided to start podcasting on Linux. Still gaming on Windows.
    • Though I’ve used many distros and am constantly changing, I switched to Linux Mint when Ubuntu switched to Unity. (although I learned to love Unity eventually)
    • I’ve only just now started ditching Windows all together because of the progress of Proton and DXVK.
    • For the past year I’ve had a job working as a CentOS/RHEL sysadmin.
    • With little more experience than most hobbyists I was and am obnoxiously enthusiastic about Linux


  • Moss – I’ve been playing with Linux since about 2002, not being a programmer or anything, just curious. I had a dislike of Microsoft for lack of diversity and an inability to control viruses and fragmentation and bloatware and updates, things which still persist to this day.  At that time, I had disks and books for Slackware and Red Hat, and they required more brain cells to install than I had available. Then I got a Mandrake disk, loaded it, and it worked. Still didn’t provide all the experience I needed, but it was fun to play with. After a couple years, the new version of Mandrake would not load to my computer, and I’m not one to keep old software unless it works. I tried SuSE (just before it went to OpenSuSE), and that, too, worked but did not give me a full online experience. So I went dormant for a while, and upgraded from my 486DX to a P-II. Every now and then I would poke my head back into Linux, but I couldn’t seem to get any of my friends to develop a similar interest so it mostly stayed in the background.

  • In 2011, after I stopped being Senior Editor at a tiny publishing company, I once again felt comfortable playing on my computer and installed Ubuntu 10.04 (I had played with 8.04 briefly). Then 12.04 came out with Unity (first used in 10.10, but I only do LTS for the most part), and would not install to my system. Rather than try to figure out how to make it work with another desktop or try another distro, I just went back to XP. I had a couple computers during a bad relationship which ran 8 or 8.1, and hated those. When I moved out, I went back to 7. Then Windows tried to force me to version 10. I resisted for a while, learning about all the security issues, and then went ahead and did the “upgrade”. I looked for the security holes, found them, found I could not close all of them no matter what I did and that much of the “wonderful new” software REQUIRED them, and downgraded back to Windows 7 … only to discover it left the holes open. That was enough for me. For some reason, I had resisted trying Linux Mint previously, seeing it as an example of Sturgeon’s Law (95% of everything is crap), but for some reason, I decided to try it. I went from Windows 7 directly to Linux Mint, and have not gone back since. Linux Mint was everything I had hoped for 5 or 10 years earlier. My office package (Ashampoo Office, made by SoftMaker) had a Linux version, so I didn’t even have to change that.I also noticed that it hardly took up any space on my hard drive, and I had a couple external hard drives, so I moved my personal files to an external hard drive, partitioned my computer drive, and started trying other distros while keeping Linux Mint installed. This gives me the best of both worlds — a stable operating system which does everything I need, and room to play with other distros. My Dell PC died, don’t know why but it was on the motherboard, and I got a Lenovo X130e, room for easily 2 partitions. I have since upgraded to a Lenovo T430, about 3 years ago now. But I keep using Linux Mint as my main driver. Because it does everything, every time, predictably. Might be seen as being a bit boring, but that’s why I play with other distros. My current favorite fun distro is Bodhi 5.0.0, and it’s just not as stable.

    • Joe
      • Not going to have much to add here, basically everything everyone else said.
      • I started using mint when it was the one that provided the non-free codecs
      • But what drew me to it is the way the interface is so much like xp or 95 while still looking new. I can use it without making changes or I can customize it how I want.
      • I have to do less installs out of the box which is always a plus.



    Brad Alexander

    ixSystems has a couple of articles on beating ransomware:


    • Joe
      • TronicsFix
        • Youtube channel about fixing electronics

    Next show is live on June 16, 2019 at 2 pm CT.


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