mintCast 345 – Hawking Chromium


1:42 Wanderings
44:23 News
1:07:43 Security
1:17:24 Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, Leo’s chromium based pixels do a dance, Tony Hughes plays with chaos, Moss has a Fuzzyputer, Joe has an idea… pad, and Josh butters his machine.

Then, our news Linux Mint gets some love, the Gorilla’s in beta and so is Fedora

In Security, we chat with Josh


    • Leo
      • Chromium graphical glitches
      • Playing with Batocera again
    • Tony H
      • Since the last show I have been playing with the waterslide decal paper again, this time to make decals for coffee mugs, I have done a couple of mintCast Mugs and a Distrohoppers Digest Mug. While after they have been cured in the oven for a little while they are hand washable it is suggested if you want to make them dishwasher proof then you use a special lamination sheet during the process, as I don’t have a dishwasher I’ve not done this and they have stood up to hand washing in warm soapy water so I’m happy. 
      • I have again travelled to Woodbrooke so I am in studio Z on the 15” Dell laptop that stands in as my podcast PC when on the road.
      • I’ve written another couple of articles in my Full Circle series on podcast production.
      • So I was wondering what to review on Distrohoppers for the next show and looking on Distrowatch came across KaOS which is a rolling distribution built on Qt and KDE, and uses the Pacman package system, but is totally independent of any other OS. I’ve had a few issues with Dual Booting but it is on one of my Toshiba Z30’s as a solo install.
      • I made a video tutorial of using Drive to store and share files, for a friend using the OBS screen capture facility. So as well as showing her in person she has the tutorial as an aid memoir if not sure what to do.
    • Moss
      • I received a computer from our team’s audio editor, Fuzzy P. This is an HP Z400 workstation, with a quad-core Xeon processor running at 3.20 GHz, 16 Gb RAM, and my first-ever Nvidia graphics card, an FX-1500. I got some help from Dale Miracle and others in our Telegram group on some issues I ran into. I removed the unnecessary RAID card.  It also has only USB 2 ports but lots of them. I will be purchasing a USB 3 card this week, to be installed in the slot vacated by the RAID card. I briefly ran this machine with my old 2 Tb spinning metal drive, then replaced that with my 512 Gb SSD. It still does not boot all the way through, I need to hit F1 when prompted, but it boots fine after that. I’m using the FuzZ400 for this broadcast and will presumably use it for future podcasts.
      • The FuzZ400 would not see the SSD at first, so I threw GPartEd at it and it got recognized. There are 6 distro partitions on this drive, with one of them unused. It wouldn’t boot to Mint, so I installed a fresh Mint 20 MATE on it, which worked fine, and the Nvidia driver was added during updates. I checked the Ubuntu Unity partition and did not have to reinstall, plus it added the Nvidia driver with ease. Bodhi required a reinstall, but it installed the driver during initial installation. On the other hand, Gecko STATIC found the driver and made it available, but did not give me any hints on how to install it, and ditto for OpenMandriva.
      • The other computer I was given is DOA, but might have some good parts. And I haven’t yet installed the new power supply on my old desktop mini.
      • After Episode 16 of Distrohoppers’ Digest, I removed 3 of the 8 distros on my laptop, and have installed Pop!_OS in one of the freed spaces. I’m still looking for what to add to the other two partitions. Does this mean I’ll be reviewing Pop!_OS for October? Wait and see…
      • Episode 15 of Distrohoppers’ Digest has exceeded 600 downloads, a new peak for us. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback on various groups.
      • I got new tires on my car today. Quite a saga here but no need to go into it. 
      • My mother is back in the rehabilitation facility after breaking the pin in her hip.
      • My wife and I are racing through Dead Beat (Book 7) in Dresden Files. He’s on the clock trying to find out how to invoke the Erlking. So I’ll just invoke Joe right now and let him talk about his two weeks.
    • Joe
      • Catching up on podcasts for a little while
      • Also going to listen to a classic from Raymond Feist 
        • Magician Apprentice and Magician Master
      • Battle Grounds from Jim Butcher the most recent Dresden Files book
        • Did enjoy although I am seeing some continuity issues
      • Alastair Stone novels
        • More urban fiction.  Not terrible.
      • Rebuilding a few parts on my 3D printer, lets see how well it works
        • Had to pull apart the hot end because of a clog between the ptfe tubing and the throat, ordered a new block and throat but got the wrong size so I had to clean up the old one and use it again
        • That seemed to work just fine
        • While I had it out and apart I noticed that the teeth on the extruder gear were a little worn but I decided to try it anyway
        • Also while I had it apart I replaced the hot bed with one that wasn’t warped.  This helped but the Y carriage is also warped so it is not perfect.
        • It seemed like the gear was not providing enough force so I decided to change it and the y carriage at the same time
        • This turned out fine and the calibration worked but it turned out the issue was moisture in the filament which was making it difficult to extrude.
        • So after a couple more teardowns and rebuilds I was still having trouble with extrusion even with a fresh roll so I redid the ptfe tubing again but then the thermistor broke and the one I replaced it with was broke but the third one worked fine.
        • Got a good print in
        • Was not able to get CURA to connect to my 3D printer for whatever reason
        • But I was able to get repetier to connect and send commands.  More testing is required
          • It was able to send commands and read the internal sd card
          • I can still use CURA to slice on my other machines and then send the gcode over to the laptop that I have set up and use either X2Go or Octoprint to handle everything
          • Gives me a reason to setup octopi and see what I can do with it
      • Researching building a full keyboard on my own, not because I think it is a good idea but because I think it would be fun
        • Seems like it would be an expensive hobby to get into.
        • Probably couldn’t turn around and sell them to make my money back and I don’t know if I will be able to do a good job at it
        • I prefer my hobbies pay for themselves
        • Currently looking at building a Sick-68 keyboard which seems to be where most people start the process.
        • I did purchase a 60 percent kit and put in the rest of the blues that I have and a set of keycaps.  I already know that the keyboard will not meet spouse approval as it is very loud.
        • Plus the use of the function key for many things is going to take some getting used to
        • But still it is fun and I like it. But I do think that a full keyboard might do better for me
        • Also the battery on the board seems to not hold a charge for very long and take a lot of time to charge.  I am going to look and see what I have that might make a better replacement
        • But the keys are super smooth and I know that Leo will hate it
      • Picked up an ideapad flex 4 for a decent price. 
        • Not the greatest laptop in the world but I am liking the folding screen and after I switched the hard drive to an SSD and installed LM, it is going pretty smooth.  Although I think I should also upgrade the ram to 8Gb from 4 and that would help a lot 
        • The spinning disk that was in it before I am pretty sure had some issues.  It was running windows but after it ran updates it would have problems rebooting and coming back from suspend.  Although the issue with suspend would be solved by a power cycle.
        • I plan on playing around with this device for now but I think I will reinstall Windows on it and pass it on to one of the kids.  Either my middle child or my youngest depending on need.  
    • Josh Hawk
      • Issues and solutions with btrfs! I set up a 3 way raid 1 on three 2tb disks. I decided to use one of those disks to install lmde4 on and I thought since it’s a 3 way raid 1 it would just have the data on the other 2 disks. I did this, and then the other 2 disks would not mount. I spent hours trying to fix this to no avail. Finally I came across a forum post that mentioned needing to remove a disk from the btrfs raid before using it. At that point I felt so stupid cause the solution was so simple. All I have to do is add the drive back to the raid, do a scrub and balance to get the data correctly on the disk, then delete it from the raid and I can use it as I would any other drive.
  • New hardware!  I just purchased a 1Tb NVME M.2 SSD. It has 3400mb read and 3000mb write (not that I will ever need that speed but I have it!).


Clicking the burger menu, “Preferences” -> “Miscellaneous”, and add the following line in “Extra MPV Options”:

    • Driver Manager having issues with pulling in recommended packages for Nvidia. To fix this:
      • APT recommends will become enabled in Linux Mint 19.x (they already are in Mint 20)
      • The Driver Manager will switch to packagekit.
      • We’ll soon backport new versions of mintsystem and mintdrivers to all 19.x releases and to Linux Mint 20.
    • A bug, noted here and here, affected people with USB printers when they upgraded from Linux Mint 19.3 to 20.
      • Fix it by removing the ippusbxd package.
      • In the future, the package may be replaced with ipp-usb
    • The clickable area on the close, maximize and minimize buttons will be bigger with no change to the looks.
    • Tray icons (fcitx, KDE connect, Redshift, etc.) got a few tweaks.
    • Acknowledgement of the Cinnamon Spices downtime in early September. Migrated to a new server and framework. Report issues!
  • Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla Beta Is Out
  • Fedora 33 in Beta


  • To Josh: Where do you stand on Security/Privacy vs Convenience > aka tinfoil hat?


Our next show will be on October 18, 2020 at 2 pm Central US time, 7 pm UTC. Check  to convert to your local 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
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • HPR for our Mumble backup
  • Hobstar for our logo
  • Londoner for our time zone link
  • Owen Peery for our audio editing
  • 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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