mintCast 349 – NAT Ain’t A Firewall


1:44 Wanderings
42:27 News
50:35 Security
59:43 Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, Leo has another helping of Pi, Moss gets spooked, Josh changes up the desktop, and Joe strips.

Then in the news, OpenSUSE’s going public?, Pine64 feels the Plasma, and Linux gets Ray tracing.

In security, kill switches and a reminder that NAT ain’t a firewall.



  • Been playing with more Pi!
    • Dug up my old Pi 2, have some download automation running on it now. Made a VM of mine redundant. Considering converting it to a Gitea server to manage my notes.
    • Will relieve my i7 2630qm from Nextcloud duty. The Pi 4 is working beautifully. Now, what to do with it? Docker time?
    • Have some ideas for my old rickety Pi one. Use TMUX to ssh into multiple servers and run bpytop or some monitoring tool on a screen, 24/7. Basically, blinking lights. Raspbian Lite will likely do the job nicely.


  • I thought I had a problem with the FuzZ400…and before I determined what the problem was, I grabbed my now-repaired mini box and hooked it up. Just as I was tightening the screws on the case, I saw that my tablet, which had been plugged in for charging, was sitting on the keyboard. Problem solved, but too late to go back.
  • I had to reinstall everything on the Mini’s SSD except Mint and Manjaro, probably having to do with having been installed on a completely different computer (Xeon and Nvidia instead of i3 and Intel). 
  • I’ve added more partitions to my Kudu’s 1 Tb SSD. I now have 10 distro partitions, one of them unused. I installed Enso OS, and am probably going to review that for the next Distrohoppers’ Digest. I’m also trying 4M Linux on a USB stick, as it seems to be a Puppy-like version of Arch.
  • I had a lot of other issues, but I’ll save those for the next DHD, which should be out right about the time of the next mintCast.
  • Distrohoppers’ Digest now has 4 episodes with over 500 downloads – 1 of those over 600 –  and only 4 under 400. We’re averaging 463 downloads per episode. Episode 018 featured Dale Miracle live in studio for the first time. Dale covers distros NOT made for beginners, a welcome addition. The next episode is currently scheduled to be recorded on December 9.
  • I’ve been getting a few days’ work as a substitute teacher, but they keep closing the schools. Last week it was that they didn’t have enough healthy bus drivers, next week it’s that they don’t have enough teachers and subs. I got paychecks from Grainger Schools, All Women Housed, and finally from Census2020! I’m still way behind on lots of things, since it has been so long since I last had a paycheck.
  • I’m reading the Kevin Mitnick book. It did not convince me why I need that much security, and completely convinced me that I won’t be secure no matter how much time, effort, and money I spend. So why bother? I’m about to give up and give Google all my money.
  • We are working our way through Proven Guilty, in the Dresden Files series. Almost halfway through.


  • I have been trying out Plasma and really trying to give it a good shot. I tried openSUSE Tumbleweed first because it has a great plasma representation. It uses the newest plasma available because it’s a rolling release. I personally don’t like anything about default plasma, it just rubs me wrong. I quickly discovered that it just won’t work for me due to look & feel and settings issues. 
  • Next I tried Manjaro Plasma and that felt much better out of the gate. I could live with it as default but some small quarks just keep me at bay. Right clicking on both openSUSE and Manjaro resulted in a menu that I was unfamiliar with. You had to not only right click but then open a menu inside of the dialogue to get the open in terminal option. Also there is no open as root by default but as stated to me by Dale Miracle there is an add-on. The dolphin file browser also does not feel right to me for either of these first two distros I tried. Things get really out of hand when trying to compensate for HiDpi monitors. It’s so hard to get every aspect of the desktop to look right that I just gave up entirely and I tried for hours with both tweaking and resetting but nothing looked good. 
  • Finally I tried FerenOS and, by George, I think he’s done it. Next to Solus (which I will mention later) FerenOS has the best customized plasma desktop hands down. Everything looks proportionate, nothing seems out of place or not scaled right and he fixes the Dolphin issue by ripping it out and replacing it with good old Nemo! Theming is great and you can change everything, the dark or light theme, the accent color, and even the layout of plasma right from the welcome screen. Now that all being said the HiDpi issue of scaling still persists with FerenOS unfortunately. I think that’s just a plasma issue. 
  • So I did try Solus Plasma a while back and I feel that it is the best Plasma Distro but I don’t recommend it anymore because they have fallen behind on the kernel (last I saw it was 5.6). I understand they have an LTS kernel as well but it’s not default and there have been many vulnerability patches applied to the kernel since 5.6. 
  • Even with how good FerenOS is I still went back to Linux Mint with the cinnamon desktop. Cinnamon just looks better to me and is the perfect balance between customizability and functionality. Also when I scale the desktop to anything between 100% and 200% it does not look wrong it scales everything appropriately. An example being when I set it to 125% on my HiDpi dell laptop it scales all aspects of the desktop exactly the same. In plasma unless you know how to edit the panel (which is not obvious) it remains the same size. Only downside to this on Cinnamon is when you set it to 125% 150% or 175% it has screen tearing and I am submitting a bug report for that asap.
  • One last thing I want to mention. I am trying out Manjaro Cinnamon as we speak. It is what I am recording my segment on Mintcast with and it’s given me some options that I would not have known about if I didn’t give it a go. More on this next time.


  • I have mostly stopped talking about books on here but I read 2 recently that I wanted to mention.  Ready Player 2 and Rhythm of War.  Both really good book and you should check them out as soon as you can
  • Well I decided to put one of the more messed up PSPs in a new cover.  Things did not go in my favor.
    • Was able to get it removed easy enough despite the stripped screws and wrong size screws from the last guy that took it apart.
    • Got it most of the way put back together when the power switch broke (it was loose before I swear)
    • I was able to desolder that power switch and one from a known bad board and move it over but had some trouble with the positioning so had to do it over again a couple of times until I ended up putting it at the far end of where it should sit
    • Also started having problems keeping the ribbon cable for it seated but was finally able to get that into place as well. 
    • Had to take it apart and put it back together in the new case several times due to small errors and needing to get the front of the case seated properly which never really happened
    • Because the one side of the mobo is higher than it should be, the joystick does not work and the volume down is stuck the way it was last time I tried to fix this device with a new front. Was really hoping that it was just the casing that was bent but this turned out to not be the case
    • Being disappointed in how that turned out I decided to pick up another broken psp for 20 dollars. The device supposedly had a broken screen and charging issues and I had an extra screen from this build. Well I got very lucky and the only thing wrong with the device was a bad battery and a broken casing.  One of the previous psps that I had purchased for 20 dollars had come with 2 extra sets of buttons as well as the full housing that I had just tried to use and a brand new piano black faceplate.  I put the faceplate on and put one of the batteries into it and it looks immaculate. I almost want to take it apart and verify that it is the original screen and not an upgraded one because of how good it looks.
    • Now I have a broken battery to work with as well which I will be able to use for a battery mod on a device with a umd drive in the future.  Or if I feel the need to do it for the sake of doing it. 
  • Tried to print some small thin items with PETG and it has not worked very well.  Evidently PETG does not do well in the 1mm range.  Granted it took me several tries with various settings to go and look at what other people had to say on the subject before I came to this conclusion.  So I may try the print in ABS and see how it turns out.  PLA works but is too soft for long term. I however think that ABS will be too brittle.   Maybe I should use carbon fiber or something similar but that would require a lot of refitting of my 3d printer
  • My laptop was overheating while gaming.  It was not doing this before so I don’t know if it was a change from the new update for Borderlands 3 or the laptop itself so I decided to take it apart and clean the fans and replace the thermal paste.  
    • This is not normally an overly difficult fix for my particular laptop, the MSI GE72-6QD 
    • But one of the screws that connect the heatsink to the CPU stripped at the top in a very inconvenient location down next to another heatsink and the arm that holds it all down is very thin.  The  only thing I could do was get out the dremel and the cutting bit and cut a new groove for a straight tip instead of a phillips head screwdriver
    • It worked and I didn’t mess it up.  It was very nerve wracking though cause it would not have taken much of a slip to ruin my laptop
    • Still happy with the results so far




Our next episode will be Sunday, November 29, 2020, at 2 pm Central Time, check for your local time!


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

  • Owen Peery for our audio editing, Josh Lowe for all his work on the website, Hobstar for our logo, and Londoner for our time sync
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • HPR for our backup Mumble room
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem!>

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