mintCast 323 – Ok, Beta (mp3)


First up, in our Wanderings, Leo Goes Upstream, Moss fights frustration by installing Sabayon again, Tony Hughes grapples with Gnome3, Joe fixes some keyboards, and Tony Watts plays on Proton

Then, in our news, Linux Mint has a new update, System76 builds its own laptops, Kali goes undercover, the new 5.4 Kernel, and more!

In security, we talk D-Link remote access.


  • Leo
    • Working on the stream
      • With Josh schedule packed, I gave streaming a try. Back to youtube it is since the barrier to entry was so low.
      • OBS is quite the software. Currently, we’re doing a streaming simple with an image. Nothing fancy, but as I got looking into the details, you can do so much more.
      • I didn’t want to rock the boat too much, but a Telegram, Discord and IRC chat monitor would be nifty, and something I want to look into for the future if we stick with youtube.
      • I know there are people out there that want an audio-only stream. For you all, I have a fix.
    • UBPorts on a Nexus 7 2013 (Wifi)
      • This was an interesting journey. I dusted off my Nexus 7 from a few years ago, plugged it in to charge, and about 30 minutes later, was installing UBPorts using their snap installer.
      • The bootloader was unlocked years ago, so I can’t recall exactly how I did my ADB magic, but I’ve had a few OSes on it over the years.
      • I’m just getting familiar with Ubuntu Touch, but it seems promising.
    • Installed a 1080p panel on my T450s
      • Fun times. For a little under $50, I bought a 1080p replacement panel for my T450s. I had been on the 900p panel since I bought it about two years ago, and finally got fed up with it. The discoloration that comes with TN panels finally wore me down.
      • This 1080p was supposed to be an IPS Field Replacement Unit, so, same same as the OEM screen, but turned out to be a 1080p TN, or low quality VA panel, at best.
      • Still 1080p, still more room, still a huge improvement, and for the price, I’m still happy.
  • Tony H 
    • This week I’ve put Mint onto an HP G62 Laptop with a 2.1 GHz AMD Phenom II Triple-Core Processor N830. This processor came out in December 2010 so the PC is nearly 9 years old. I used it at the LUG last week and the battery life despite being at full capacity (I suspect it is a replacement of the original) is a paltory 1.5-2 Hrs or less if playing video, and it runs quite walm. The top power on the CPU is 35w, compared to modern mobile processors which can be less than half of this processor. It’s probably destined to be passed onto my local homeless charity to give someone a new start in tech.
    • Continuing to get to grips with Ubuntu 19.10, thanks to Peter Jones I now have a half usable system with the Dash to Panel installed and on the bottom of the screen and the side dock hidden from view. Feels a little more like home, but it would be great if this was a one button in a menu somewhere to set it up without having to install all these additional functions to get it to work. Apart from this, it’s a great Linux OS as you would expect from Ubuntu, I can’t say I’ve had any issues with it at all in day to day use. 
    • Also continuing to Invest (code for spending all my money) on my new hobby of restoring Matchbox models. I bought a large consignment on Ebay and got a bargain with many 50’s and 60’s models and only a few of the later 1970’s (which are still nearly 50 years old). I’ve been buying tools and preparing to buy a small modelers spray booth, as well as buying materials for paint stripping and preparing the models for repainting. Starting to appreciate the time these YouTubers put in to the hobby and all the videoing and post production it takes. 
    • As of yesterday I actually completed my first restoration a Matchbox No28 Mk10 Jaguar if any one is interested.     


  • Moss 
    • I sold an ASUS MeMOPad to a listener; I hadn’t even put it up for sale, but he asked what I had that was cheap and I told him. It was a turkey of a tablet; I had such high hopes for it when I bought it. I got about $12 for it and bought some groceries.
    • Zorin OS 15 has just released their Lite version, with XFCE Desktop, and they did quite a lovely job on the desktop. I put it on my Kudu 3, and I kinda like it. Yes, I am now triple-booting the Kudu – Core, Ultimate, and Lite – but it’s all Zorin.
    • During a period of digital frustration, I remembered I had a free partition on my Galago Pro 2. I eased my nerves by taking a few hours and successfully installing Sabayon. Yes, it took a while. Yes, it’s Gentoo. But it’s so sweet…
    • I made an attempt to boot my inherited Linux box. Sadly, the password was not what I expected, so I couldn’t log into what was probably an old version of Fedora, so I attempted to install Linux Mint on it. I ran into another instance of the GRUB not being written properly, and I also could not get the CD drive to boot (I could have used my Super Grub 2 disk). I had some discussion with the Telegram group of people, mostly cryptodan and Peter Jones, and got frustrated so I put the box away for a while. I promise to get back to it. The box is pretty nice, a mini ATX with 16 Gb of RAM and a 120 Gb SSD on a Gigabyte motherboard.
    • I have added some tiers and a Donation link to my Sponsus page. Now to get some sponsors and donations. 
    • I found I had opened 2 accounts at ReverbNation sometime in 2014 and promptly forgotten about both; I’ve written RN to see if they can combine the two and then see if I can put the site to some use promoting my music. I did find a recording I didn’t think I had posted anywhere on one of the accounts.
    • I just celebrated my 3rd Anniversary…and Wednesday will be my mmphthy-mmph birthday. Distrohoppers’ Digest is set to be recorded on Wednesday, and Tony should have it out by Friday.


  • Joe
    • Listened to an Audio Drama/podcast.  2 Seasons of Wolverine.  
    • Also listened to Piers Anthony’s Bio Of a Space Tyrant
      • Most assuredly not a book for younger readers.  Based on the topics
        • Murder 
        • Piracy
        • Incest
        • Sex with people that I would consider underage
      • I did listen to all 6 books in the series and Anthony is one of my more liked authors.
      • He also writes all his books on linux machines since about 2000
      • Well read series
      • But in the end I am not sure I would recommend to readers.
      • I didn’t dislike it but I find it hard to suggest it for others
    •  Listening to the Dresden Files again, hoping that the next one comes out soon
    •  Replaced the keyboard on that convertible laptop
      • Also removed Linux and reinstalled Windows for my daughter
      • Had to install woeusb in order to get a functioning bootable Windows 10 usb stick
      • Then gave it to my eldest daughter and she gave her laptop to her sister
      • Who ruined another charging port on another tablet, the ASUS Transformer T102HA which I will be taking apart to see if it is an easy fix because it is an awesome device
      • That is 2 T100’s and a T102 that currently have that problem.  Looks like I need to learn how to fix it and get a hot air gun.
    • Also had a problem with one of my Dell Venue 11 keyboards where not all the keys were working
      • I had a spare keyboard with a bad battery so I did a swap between the two but for some reason the touchpad would not work(at least not with the battery connected)
      • So I pulled the touchpad off and swapped that from the one with bad keys
      • Still didn’t work
      • So I swapped the cables for the touchpad.
      • Still didn’t work
      • So I swapped the connector bracket that goes from the keyboard to the tablet, thinking it would be the last time I had to take it apart
      • It wasn’t, still didn’t work
      • Finally I swapped the mainboard hoping that wasn’t what was bad on the other keyboard and it works great(most of the time)
      • Still some issues sometimes on restart but that seems to be a problem with all keyboards for this device.  Just disconnect a reconnect a couple of times and everything works
      • About 7 hours worth of work total with testing and reseating between each step to make sure I had done things correctly.  Also I could have had it done much quicker if I had realized it was the mainboard first.
      • But hey I have 2 fully functioning keyboards again and I know a lot more about how that keyboard is put together.
      • Really need the extra battery power to make it through the day.
      • But I am still thinking about getting one of the soft keyboards without batteries.
    • Picked up a travel router
      • GL.iNet GL-AR300M-EXT 
      • Works good so far.  
      • Easytether install worked like a charm.  But t-mo seems to be detecting and throttling.  May be detecting the router. More testing required. More details in the innards.
  • Tony W
    • RAM upgrade on main/living room PC (why did I not do this before?)
    • Gaming fun: Native Linux and Proton games on Steam, PCSX2 Emulator
      • Native on Linux 
        • Team Fortress 2 (my kid plays this, I watched)
        • CS GO, No Room in Hell are MPO games I still plan to try
        • Was interested in Shadow of Mordr and Tomb Raider but too expensive
      • PCSX2 Emulator
        • Fun, works well
        • Had to change a couple of the defaults for Spiderman 2 
          • Changed graphics to Software vs hardware
      • Reversed axes for controllerProton: 
        • Underpowered machine: PC is an old Lenovo with i3 4th Gen, low profile 1GB Nvidia card, 8GB of Ram
        • Batman Arkham Origins – Unplayable due to lag in Steam/Proton.  I am sure it would have been fine on a more powerful PC. It did run OK in Windows
        • GTA San Andreas – Ran great in Proton, occasional crashing when loading a saved game.  Easy enough to kill with TOP and restart. Not a bi issue for me but I see how minor glitches like this might be annoying enough to make somebody dive back to Windows to play a game
        • Consensus on Proton, definitely awesome if you have a machine that can spare the overhead


  • Linux Mint Monthly News ALL
    • “All 3 editions of Linux Mint 19.3 passed QA and we’ll be announcing the BETA release on Tuesday!”
    • Assuming that’s December 3rd.
    • New, unannounced changes to the software section, and three new apps are making their arrival.
    • System Reports will now give messages from the tray. This will give users access to workarounds, solutions  and information. This feature will also be used to announce the full release of 19.3 from within the BETA, and it’s being backported, so you’ll hear about it on 19.2 and previous as well (if you run updates on older releases)!
  • System76 will start designing and building their computers from the ground up in DenverMOSS
  • Kali Linux 2019.4 Released LEO
    • XFCE the new default desktop
    • kali-undercover changes your DE to look like Windows. Icons and all.
    • Our markdown overlords are winning. Kali’s docs are now in markdown!
    • BTRFS 
  • Kape Technologies buys PIA’s parent company (also owns ZenMate and CyberGhost VPNs – total over 2 million paying subscribers)MOSS
  • Kernel 5.4 is released Tony W LTS – last LTS was 4.19
    • Primary feature is a new kernel lockdown mode that aims to improve the separation of UID 0 (aka root) and the kernel.
    • Lots of AMD support added – 
      • Navi 12 and 14 GPUs
      • MD Arcturus graphics cards,
      • AMD Dali APU
      • AMD 2020 APU
    • Lots of added ARM support Snapdragon 855, a bunch of ARM based laptops (ASUS NovaGo, HP Envy X2 and the Lenovo Miix 630)
  • Is full Linux kernel support coming to Android? Google outlines its plans Joe
  • Librem 5 is shipping, First Impressions TONY W
    • Early adopter/developer stage
    • Some flaws that are expected to be fixed in future software updates
      • No audio in calls
      • Camera issues
      • Battery life “meh”
      • Gets really warm
      • Software generally alpha status
    • Former employees have expressed the company releases “disingenuous” updates
    • My opinions:
      • I am glad to hear the progress that some backers have the device in hand, and the early flaws don’t dampen my optimism
      • you REALLY have to believe in the Purism/Librem cause to justify $699 for this device, especially when Pinephone is coming soon at $149!!!  (300 Euros for Volla phone, *Check This Out)
  • Glimpse Released LEO
    • The 0.1.0 release is based on 2.10.12, instead of the current 2.10.14.
    • The Glimpse guys prefer Flatpak as the preferred way to install (it’s on top!)
    • Snap and AUR are in a separate community section.
    • Windows and Mac are also supported (same as GIMP)
  • US Student was building a Gentoo-based distro for ISIS MOSS


      • D-Link ‘Won’t Fix’ even more routers
        • The flaw (CVE-2019-16920) that D-Link won’t fix allows an attacker to bypass authentication entirely to get admin access to your router. This is very, very not good. 
        • You can mitigate the issue by turning off remote management, but that doesn’t stop the attack from happening from within your network. Please do yourself a favor and move to something else.
        • Models: DIR-866, DIR-655, DHP-1565, DIR-652, DAP-1533, DGL-5500, DIR-130, DIR-330, DIR-615, DIR-825, DIR-835, DIR-855L and DIR-862.
      • Mozilla Increasing Bug Bounty Payouts
        • Doubling, for critical, core and other Mozilla sites. 
        • And, tripling for Remote Code Execution on critical sites.
        • Firefox Monitor and Private Network are added to the list of Core Sites
      • Webmin Attacked by Mr. Roboto Botnet
        • A follow-up to Episode 316.
        • The vulnerability we were talking in that episode has been weaponized
        • Mr. Roboto, the botnet, is utilizing the flaw to be able to create a reverse shell, run commands, run files within URLs, DDoS, and self-uninstall.


  • Next Show: Dec 15, 2019 – 2PM US Central Time


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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