mintCast 320 – Sudos and Sudon’ts (mp3)


This is the new group’s official 1 year anniversary (apart from Josh :D).

First up, in our Wanderings, Leo plays with audio, Moss tries out two new System76 laptops, Josh has been oggcamping, Joe’s been headphoning, And Tony has been updating a laptop for a friend.

Then, in our news we talk about Ubuntu, Google’s most disappointing pixel yet (the Pixel 4), Linux Mint’s gaming ability, and the releases of Freespire, Tails and Trident.

Finally, in security, we talk sudo.


  • Leo
    • Spilled water on my laptop right before the show…
    • Playing with my audio setup again.
      • Got a new boom stand. A standalone type like you’d see on stage.
      • Haven’t gotten a chance to set it up yet, but an isolation box for the  mic as well.
        • This is mostly because I can’t afford to dish out the cash needed to fully sound deaden a room, so a box with sound deadening is the next best thing!
      • Linux fixes another flash drive.
        • Have had a 32GB flash drive for about 5 years now (AData S102) and thought it died at work recently.
        • During a write operation, a few hundred files, about 200MB, the drive unmounts and then starts to mount and unmount over and over until unplugged. Thought it died.
        • Came home, plugged it into my Mint desktop and used Disks. Removed partitions, reformatted in exFAT, and poof. Fixed.
  • Moss
    • On Tuesday  on the 8th, one of our listeners, Jackie Moore (who has been quite helpful in that past, as you may remember), informed me to expect a package at work. When it arrived, it was a wonderful, though slightly beaten up, System76 Galago Pro 2. It arrived with Pop!_OS on the SSD, and a forgotten installation of Ubuntu on the 1 Terabyte hard drive. I installed Linux Mint 19.2 on the SSD and just installed Ubuntu MATE 19.10 over the old Ubuntu, plus added a couple more distros. This little beast has a 1 Tb hard drive plus a 256 GB SSD, and while it is short on ports, those include a USB-C/Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.1 ports. 
    • As this computer was not the form factor I was looking for, Jackie offered me a deal on a Kudu3, and we came up with a swap; he got my Sans Digital AccuNAS box I had listed on eBay, I got his Kudu3. I hope he is as ecstatic about the trade as I am! I have always dreamed of owning a System76 but thought they would always be beyond my reach — new ones cost more than I have, and used ones are rare — and now I have two of them. I cannot possibly thank Jackie enough, and need to mention he is a fellow Tennessean.
    • I sold 2 tablets on eBay, one of our Kindle Fires and the LG GTab F. This got me about $26 for household. I still have two network switches for sale, one an 8-port and the other a 24-port.
    • I took the extra 4 Gb RAM out of my T430 and placed it in my wife’s T430, and swapped my 9-cell battery with her 6-cell. I can now sell my T430 and get my IdeaPad 110-15acl ready for sale after next episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest.
    • I continue reading Her Majesty’s Dragon to my wife, and also picked up a copy of Animal Farm, which she had never read, and have gotten through a few chapters of that.
    • My mother was in the hospital for a few days and is now back in the rehab facility. She sounds good, but is 90 years old…
  • Josh
    • Visited Oggcamp and joined the podcast panel
      • Lots of things to see
      • Podcast panel with Joe Ressington
      • It was great fun. We covered young people getting into linux, schools, Microsoft adopting linux and generally had a good laugh.
    • Built EduBlocks offline edition. I removed it when I did the overhaul and people want it back. Decided against using Electron as it’s quite heavy on Raspberry Pi.
    • I’m still sorting out my Pixel3 after 4 weeks without a phone now. They offered a refund but tried talking me into store credit even though they said cash. I should have it resolved this week.
    • I’ve 99% decided on the iPhone 11 (non pro) after going to try both that and the Pixel 4 in store tomorrow but I’ll save my thoughts for the news section.
    • All magazines have now shipped, after having a few issues we’ve learnt lots. We still have about 7 damaged copies (which we got replaced with new ones) of which we’re going to donate to local schools. New issue in a few weeks!
  • Joe
    • Ordered 5 HBS 820’s
      • When it arrived it came with 6 which is cool.  
      • 3 of them were working with no issues, which is kind of weird
        • Not that I am complaining
        • The 3 that don’t work, 2 of them have broken neck bands but work otherwise
        • The last one has one side that doesn’t work
        • I also have one from a previous lot that only has one side working
        • Once again just like with the 810s you can only replace same sides with same sides 
        • That means because of the 3 working and the extra parts from the ones with broken bands along with the 2 ones with one side out i will get 5 working total.
        • One of the ones with one side out i also had to glue the connecter to the band back on.  Seems to be holding together well 
        • The interesting part of these is that the soldering is very easy but you have to replace the whole lower plastic section.  You don’t have to desolder the board but you do have to remove everything else around it because of how the earpiece cable goes through the lower assembly
    • Read  book 2 in the last reaper novels and Alex Verus book 10 as well as 6 of the Harley Merlin novels. All shorter books but very enjoyable. I went through the first 6 of the Harley Merlin books in about 2 days. I wouldn’t say that it is great writing but it was engaging enough to keep me listening. No complaints about audio quality
    • Mostly caught up on podcasts but that might be because I don’t know what book to listen to yet.  Maybe some of the Doctor Who audio dramas?
    • Also read Monster Hunter Guardian and Saga of the forgotten warrior book 2 both by larry correia.  Very good author and well done audios.
    • Also Daniel Faust books 1-8
    • Kevin Mitnick   The art of invisibility
      • “You may have nothing to hide but you have everything to protect”
      • Even if you aren’t paranoid about security you should read this book just so you know how privacy doesn’t work.
    • Started up my python classes with a few friends again.
    • I think i have found my next headphone soldering adventures.
      • MMCX connectors.  I have experimented with them before but only with the whole cables.  Now i am going to use the female connectors on cans to go along with the male cables and i am going to try to use the male connectors on the ends of the retractable LGs that usually break near the earpiece.  You can get a couple of sets of the MMCX earpieces for cheap and then rotate through them on the different headsets.
    • Started playing around with MPSYT, aka mps-youtube
      • It is a command line interface to search and play youtube videos
      • I started looking into it to possibly use in conjunction with a pi zero headless
      • I don’t think it would be something I could automate so it doesn’t match my current use case.
      • I have gotten it to load and play playlists, shuffled but i would need to find a way for it to do that automatically.
    • Wrote an article about travel networking.  It is a broad overview at this point
      • covers networking while visiting family
      • Or while at a hotel
      • Or while traveling down the road
  • Tony W
    • Saw Mudhoney live a couple weeks ago, reluctantly didn’t go to Melvins show
      • Good month for grunge concerts in ATL
    • Upgraded a friend’s Toshiba Satellite A505 laptop
      • 5400 HDD to SSD
      • 4G RAM to 8GB
      • Started with fresh Win10 vs OEM preloaded Windows
      • Not a good fit for recommending Linux unfortunately, he is really stuck on itunes 
    • I hate buying printer ink
      • $60 for ink for a printer that’s on its last legs, hard to justify.  At that cost need to contemplate a new printer every time you run out of ink [Moss: I get some really nice printers for under $60, with cheap ink refills.]
    • Played with Bunsenlabs
      • Continuation of the old Crunchbang
      • Really enjoyed crunchbang ‘back in the day’.  It was the only OS I could get to perform well on really old machines
      • System requirements 256 MB of RAM, recommended 1GB
      • Still have 32 bit iso


  • Ubuntu 19.10 Released
    • Mint will get the 5.3 kernel “soon.” 5.0 was available about a month after 18.10 was released.
    • Comes with LZ4 compression for faster boot! (coming from Gzip)
    • ZFS on root (experimental)
    • Gnome 3.34
    • Ubuntu Mate, Budgie, Studio, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu also released
    • Ubuntu Cinnamon may be a brand new flavor in 20.04.
  • Ubuntu 20.04 Named
    • Focal Fossa. At least I can pronounce that one (Leo)
    • As the version number implies, it’ll be released in April 2020
  • Happy 15th Birthday, Ubuntu
    • Linux Mint’s 13th birthday was August 27th 2006.
  • Google Pixel 4, Pixelbook Go & Pixel Buds released
    • Josh is highly disappointed
    • The camera sucks (I’ve tried it). If you want a good camera, buy an iPhone
    • The soli radar thing is, weird
    • It’s nice to have a 90Hz display
    • However, they made the battery smaller than the 3!!!! (which was already bad)
  • The Linux Mint 19.2 Gaming Report
    • Gaming Report essentially assesses how easy it is for a new user to get up and running with Steam and Proton and play games on a given distro
    • Assessment was “Promising but room for improvement”
    • Probably biggest knock was lack of inclusion of Vulcan 32-bit libraries, which are required for running proton on machines with AMD graphics
    • Suggested inclusion of Lutris in software center
    • In the Podcast, Jason did say he found Cinnamon “beautiful” and everything was right where he expected it to be
  • Freespire 5.0 Released
    • I remember when this was Lindows. Then Linspire. Now Freespire. (Freespire is the free edition, Linspire is the professional edition.) Freespire got a new start last year: Wikipedia reports, “Freespire 2.0.8, released on 30 November 2007, and based on Ubuntu 7.04, was the final release until the distribution was revived with 3.0 in January 2018.” Some parts of the community are quite critical of the company, as Linspire and Freespire license several proprietary bits of software and codecs intentionally, in order to get more interoperability with Windows features. They do produce a Freespire OSS edition, with only open-source options.
  • Tails 4.0 Released
  • Project Trident dumps BSD, moves to Void Linux
  • Samsung Kills Linux on Dex


  • Bug in sudo allows privilege escalation!
  • Resolution: Upgrade to sudo version 1.8.28.
  • This seems to only be an issue on boxes that have custom sudo privileges (essentially not ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL)
  • Basically, just run updates.


Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible …

  • Josh Lowe for all his work on the website and the livestream (We’ve had over 60 listeners today on the backup mixer platform and brought on some new listeners who’ve never heard of the podcast)
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem!>

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