Episode 409 Show Notes

Welcome to mintCast

the Podcast by the Linux Mint Community for All Users of Linux

This is Episode 409!

Recorded on Sunday the 2nd April 2023

feeling sanguine im Joe, all shiny here, I’m Moss

— Play Standard Intro —

  • First up in the news, Chrome does fractions with Wayland, new Framework laptops, Docker changes their mind, ARM needs more money, Midnight BSD released, GnuCash is updated, Cinnamon Remix goes official, and PineStar64 is announced;
  • In security and privacy, Mélofée happens, and Linux Tech Tips gets hacked;
  • Then in our Wanderings, Joe has been sick, and Moss replaces a hard drive.
  • In our Innards section, we beg for new hosts and talk about our experiences with mintCast;
  • And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions.

— Play News Transition Bumper —

The News

20 minutes

  • Chrome arrives with fractional scaling in Wayland
    • from Phoronix
    • On top of today seeing the KDE XWaylandVideoBridge announcement, the debut of GNOME 44 with its many Wayland improvements, and XWayland 23.1 being released with multiple new features/improvements, there is more good news for Wayland fans. Google has merged to the Chrome/Chromium Ozone code support for Wayland fractional scaling via the fractional-scale-v1 protocol
    • The fractional-scale-v1 protocol was added to Wayland Protocols late last year and provides for nice fractional scaling support.
    • The protocol allows communicating a scale with more precision compared to the existing integer-based scaling. It took a long time for this to land but since then the Wayland compositors and other software embracing Wayland have been relatively quick in embracing it.
    • This fractional scaling support has been picked up by KDE Plasma/KWin and GNOME along with smaller compositors like Sway and other wlroots-based compositors.
  • Framework produces a 16” Laptop with both AMD and Intel chips available
    • from Framework blog
    • Some highlights from article:
    • We gave you a developer preview of the Framework Laptop 16
    • Our biggest announcement is also our biggest product, the new, high-performance 16” Framework Laptop 16. With the new Expansion Bay system, we’re delivering on the holy grail for gamers, creators, and others who need power, with modular upgradable graphics! We’re also enabling fully reconfigurable input using the Input Module systems. Pre-orders open Spring 2023, shipping late 2023.
    • Framework Laptop 16 developer documentation available on GitHub today!
    • Each of the new module systems is open source, unlocking the creativity of the community. We’ve released mechanical drawings, 3D CAD, and electrical reference designs for Input Modules and Expansion Bay Modules, along with QMK-based firmware for our Raspberry Pi RP2040-powered Input Modules.
    • Framework will expand into Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Taiwan, with pre-orders this Summer
    • Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we are available in these and other countries.
    • Re-use your Mainboard with the Cooler Master Mainboard Case
    • We’ve partnered with Cooler Master to create an awesome new way to re-use your Framework Laptop Mainboards: a transparent, small form factor case. This will be available this Spring for $39 USD.
    • LTT had a good video about it as well
  • Docker decides to not sunset the “free-team” plan after all
    • from Docker blog
    • “After listening to feedback and consulting our community, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision in sunsetting our Free Team plan. Last week we felt our communications were terrible but our policy was sound. It’s now clear that both the communications and the policy were wrong, so we’re reversing course and no longer sunsetting the Free Team plan:
      • If you’re currently on the Free Team plan, you no longer have to migrate to another plan by April 14.
      • Customers who upgraded from a Free Team subscription to a paid subscription between the sunsetting announcement on March 14 and today’s announcement will automatically receive a full refund for the transaction in the next 30 days, allowing them to use their new paid subscription for free for the duration of the term they purchased.
      • Customers who requested a migration to a Personal or Pro plan will be kept on their current Free Team plan. (Or they can choose to open a new Personal or Pro account via our website.)
      • In the past 10 days we received & accepted more applications for our Docker-Sponsored Open Source program (DSOS) than we did in the previous year. We encourage eligible open source projects to continue to apply and are currently processing applications within a couple of business days.
    • For more details, you can visit our FAQ. We apologize for both the communications and the policy, and vow to be an ever-more trustworthy community member in the future.”
  • ARM wants to dramatically change their licensing structure
    • from ArsTechnica
    • What’s in store for the future of chip maker Arm? The company’s owner, Softbank, has been in financial trouble lately, and that has caused Arm to bounce from one dramatic possibility to another. Initially, Arm was put up for sale, and Nvidia was the front-runner to buy the company. That plan was shut down by regulators, and now “Plan B” is an IPO, which is supposed to happen on the New York Stock Exchange sometime this year. If you want to succeed on the stock market, you’ve got to show revenue, and while Arm enables the sale of billions of dollars of devices around the world, the company’s chip licensing scheme only brings in a comparatively small amount of money—around $500 million a quarter.
    • The Financial Times has a report on Arm’s “radical shake-up” of its business model. The new plan is to raise prices across the board and charge “several times more” than it currently does for chip licenses. According to the report, Arm wants to stop charging chip vendors to make Arm chips, and instead wants to charge device makers—especially smartphone manufacturers—a fee based on the overall price of the final product.
    • Let’s say Motorola makes a phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Arm chip. Previously, Qualcomm would have signed a deal with Arm for an Arm license, and that license would extend to anyone that buys a Qualcomm Arm chip, like Motorola. Qualcomm contributes a lot to its own chip designs, but when it comes to the Arm license it is basically an Arm reseller. Arm would now want a licensing fee from Motorola (and not Qualcomm?), and it would ask Qualcomm to not sell chips to anyone that doesn’t have a licensing agreement with Arm.
    • Our example isn’t picking on obvious companies like Apple or Samsung because they have much more complicated deals with Arm. Those two are both chip vendors and device creators, and Apple doesn’t even use Arm’s designs, just an architecture license. Apple and Samsung will have their own licensing agreements in place, but it’s hard to imagine Arm’s new “Gotta impress Wall Street” strategy won’t eventually affect them somehow.
    • Right now, Arm is talking this over with partners and the plan is to roll out the pricing changes in 2024, but we presume in-place contracts will keep some companies on the old model for a few more years. The report says, “MediaTek, Unisoc and Qualcomm, and multiple Chinese smartphone makers including Xiaomi and Oppo, are among the companies that have been made aware of the proposed change to pricing policy,” later adding that Arm has been “frustrated by customers’ reluctance to accept the new arrangement.”
    • The report quotes a former senior employee as saying, “Arm is going to customers and saying, ‘We would like to get paid more money for broadly the same thing.’ What SoftBank is doing at the moment is testing the market value of the monopoly that Arm has.”
    • If customers decide they don’t like Arm’s new pricing structure, the competition is getting closer than it ever has before. While Arm is basically a mobile monopoly in everything smaller than a laptop, RISC-V is an upstart project that promises power-efficient chips under a royalty-free open source license. While Arm has an incredible amount of ecosystem support with device designs, a large user base, and a million developer tools, Arm’s continual drama is making a switch to RISC-V look more worth the effort with each passing day.
    • With Arm being for sale and revamping its business model, the company has become an unstable partner for other businesses trying to plan their product lines years into the future. The US government’s influence over Arm is also a concern for China, as is Arm’s potential use as a weapon in the US-China trade war, which has led Chinese companies to rally around RISC-V as an alternative. Arm also decided to sue one of its biggest partners recently over a license dispute, another move that signals Arm is increasingly being difficult to work with. The company has also been unable to produce chip designs that are on the same level as Apple, so any Android manufacturers buying an Arm chip are relegating themselves to second place, right off the bat.
    • There isn’t much reason to stay with Arm other than all the (significant) entrenchment factors. If Arm didn’t have all this drama going on, RISC-V’s need for ecosystem investment would probably keep partners away, but the continual bad Arm news could be the push companies need to switch. Google has heard the calls for RISC-V support and recently announced plans to elevate the upstart architecture to a tier-1 platform” in the Android codebase. If you’re RISC-V, you really couldn’t ask for a better situation than the past few years of Arm drama.
  • Midnight BSD 3.0 Released
    • from Phoronix
    • MidnightBSD as the desktop-focused OS forked from FreeBSD and relying on the Xfce desktop environment by default is out with its big MidnightBSD 3.0 update.
    • MidnightBSD 3.0 has been in development for months as another step forward for the desktop BSD world. MidnightBSD 3.0 pulls in some enhancements from upstream FreeBSD 12, a variety of fixes, ACPI Platform Error Interface (APEI) support, the getrandom() system call and getentropy() library have been added with compatibility to Linux and OpenBSD implementations, pthread library updates, various bootloader improvements, and a variety of hardware support additions.
    • On the hardware side there is now AMD temperature monitoring support for various AMD Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors, Microtik 10G/25G network device support, bug fixes to the NVMe device driver, RTL8188EE chipset support, AMD NTB driver support, and various ACPI updates.
    • Downloads and more details on MidnightBSD 3.0 via MidnightBSD.org.
  • GnuCash 5.0 Released
    • from 9to5Linux
    • The GnuCash 5.0 free, open-source, and cross-platform accounting software has been released today as a major update that brings several exciting new features for those of you who want to manage your finances on your GNU/Linux distributions.
    • Highlights of the GnuCash 5.0 release include a new Stock Transaction Assistant that can be accessed from the Actions menu. This feature will guide you through entering most investment transactions for bonds, mutual funds, and stocks.
    • This release also introduces an Investment Lots report that displays a graph of capital gains and losses in a period by investment lot. This feature works only when you use the View Lots dialog to manage capital gains and losses and can be accessed from the Reports > Assets & Liabilities menu.
    • Moreover, GnuCash 5.0 brings a “More Properties” tab on the New/Edit Account dialog, which makes it easier for you to set low and high limits on an account, as well as a new “Balance Limit” column on the Accounts Page, which will display an indicator when the account balance falls above or below the set limit.
    • Also new is a single “Import from AQBanking” menu item to replace the import menu items for the DTAUS, MT940, and MT942 formats, which supports importing of file formats supported by the AQBanking free online-banking library, a new drop-down list in the register’s description field quickfill to list possible completions, and a new Finance::Quote interface that has been re-written in C++.
    • Furthermore, GnuCash 5.0 adds support for the new GMenu/GMenuModel system for its GTK menu structure, new commands for the gnucash-cli command-line version of GnuCash, and changes Unicode normalization for string matches from NFKC to NFC, which will affect fonts and positional variants.
    • You can download GnuCash 5.0 right now from the project’s GitHub page where you can read more about the new features and improvements implemented in this major update. You can also install GnuCash 5.0 as a Flatpak app from Flathub.
  • Cinnamon Remix becomes official as Ubuntu Cinnamon
    • from 9to5Linux
    • The Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix distribution has officially become an official Ubuntu flavor and will join the rest of the flavors starting with the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) release.
    • Created and maintained by members of the Linux community, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is an Ubuntu derivative that features the modern Cinnamon desktop environment developed by the Linux Mint team. Cinnamon Remix aims to offer a traditional approach to the modern Linux desktop.
    • The Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix maintainers have applied for official Ubuntu flavor status several times in the past, but only now Canonical has decided to welcome it to the family of Ubuntu flavors starting with the upcoming Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) release, due out on April 20th, 2023.
    • Until now, the maintainers of Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix did a very good job keeping up with all upstream Ubuntu releases, even offering a custom version of the official wallpaper of each new Ubuntu release to match the Cinnamon desktop environment’s style.
    • Ubuntu Cinnamon will not be the only new official Ubuntu flavor this Spring when Ubuntu 23.04 will be released as the maintainers of Ubuntu Unity have also managed to obtain official Ubuntu flavor status last year in September.
    • As with Ubuntu Unity, the next step now for the Ubuntu Cinnamon maintainers is to bake daily ISO images in preparation for the upcoming Lunar Lobster release and maybe even take part in the Ubuntu 23.04 beta release later this week on March 30th.
    • “The user experience will continue to be the same, if not better. There will be more quality assurance, as the tracker is being setup, images are built daily and a lot of infrastructure is provided by Canonical. For new developments in Ubuntu software (such as the new Flutter-based installer), Ubuntu Cinnamon will follow the Ubuntu Desktop’s footsteps too,” said Joshua Peisach, Ubuntu Cinnamon Lead.
    • While we’re waiting for the Lunar Lobster to hit the streets, you can download the latest Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix release and learn more about the distribution from its official website.
  • Pine64 releases Star64 RISC-V SBC with GPU
    • from CNX-software.com
    • Pine64 Star64 is a single board computer (SBC) powered by StarFive JH7110 quad-core 64-bit RISC-V processor equipped with an Imagination BXE-4-32 GPU, and in a form factor similar to the earlier Pine64 model A boards such as the Quartz64 Model A.
    • The Star64 SBC ships with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, an HDMI 2.0 video output connector, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 module, USB 3.0 ports, a PCIe slot, and a GPIO header for expansion.
    • Based on the information from the wiki, software support for the Star64 is still considered to be at the Alpha stage with the Linux 5.15 kernel maintained by Icenowy, and I can’t find any images for download. But Debian or Ubuntu should be available soon as I tested the JH7110-powered VisionFive 2 SBC with Debian 12 last February. Note there’s still a lot of work to do for better support for the StarFive JH7110 SoC, and some packages will be missing and need to be built from source, I found NVMe storage and Ethernet worked fine, but I was unable to test video output and any graphics since my none of my displays would play nice with the board, even after applying some known workarounds.
    • The Star64 and VisionFive 2 SBCs offer many of the same features, but the Pine64 board provides access to the PCIe interface via a PCIe x4 (PCIe 2.0 x1) slot instead of an M.2 socket and is equipped with a wireless module for WiFi and Bluetooth that the VisionFive 2 board completely does without. Both should be considered software development platforms and are not suitable for integration into products and projects for most applications.
    • The VisionFive2 has been shipping to backers since last December who got one for as low as $46 during a crowdfunding campaign, but now the 4GB RAM version cost around $90 without WiFi on Amazon or Aliexpress, and the 8GB model goes for $116 while WiFi 6 adds an extra $13 to $14. The Star64 SBC should offer a cheaper alternative as it will be available for $69.99 and $89.99 plus shipping with respectively 4GB and 8GB LPDDR4 memory starting on April 4.
    • Specifications:
      • SoC – StarFive JH7110 with
        • CPU – Quad-core 64-bit RISC-V (SiFive U74 – RV64GC) processor @ up to 1.5 GHz
        • GPU – Imagination BXE-4-32 GPU @ up to 600 MHz supporting OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 1.2, Vulkan 1.2
        • VPU
          • 4Kp60 H.265/H.264 video decoder
          • 1080p30 H.265 video encoder
        • System Memory – 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4
        • Storage – MicroSD card slot, eMMC flash module socket up to 128GB, 128Mbit QSPI flash
        • Video Output
          • HDMI 2.0 port up to 4Kp30 (as per the Wiki)
          • 4-lane MIPI DSI connector + touch panel connector
        • Camera I/F – 4-lane MIPI CSI camera connector
        • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack
        • Networking
          • 2x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports
          • On-board Fn-Link RTL8852BU WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 module and 2x u.FL antenna connectors
        • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 3x USB 2.0 Type-A ports, 2x USB 2.0 interfaces via headers
        • Expansion
          • 40-pin color-coded GPIO “Pi2” header
          • PCIe x4 slot with PCIe 2.0 x1 interface
        • Misc – Power button, fan header, 3-pin UART/debug header, DIP switch for boot configuration (flash, SD, eMMC, UART)
        • Power Supply – 12V DC @ 3 A via power barrel jack or 4-pin header; on-board PMIC
        • Dimensions – 133 x 80 mm

— Play Security Transition Bumper —

Security and Privacy

10 minutes

  • Mélofée: Researchers Uncover New Linux Malware Linked to Chinese APT Groups
    • from TheHackerNews
    • An unknown Chinese state-sponsored hacking group has been linked to a novel piece of malware aimed at Linux servers.
    • French cybersecurity firm ExaTrack, which found three samples of the previously documented malicious software that date back to early 2022, dubbed it Mélofée.
    • One of the artifacts is designed to drop a kernel-mode rootkit that’s based on an open source project referred to as Reptile.
    • “According to the vermagic metadata, it is compiled for a kernel version 5.10.112-108.499.amzn2.x86_64,” the company said in a report. “The rootkit has a limited set of features, mainly installing a hook designed for hiding itself.”
    • Both the implant and the rootkit are said to be deployed using shell commands that download an installer and a custom binary package from a remote server.
    • The installer takes the binary package as an argument and then extracts the rootkit as well as a server implant module that’s currently under active development.
    • Mélofée’s features are no different from other backdoors of its kind, enabling it to contact a remote server and receive instructions that allow it to carry out file operations, create sockets, launch a shell, and execute arbitrary commands.
    • The malware’s ties to China come from infrastructure overlaps with groups such as APT41 (aka Winnti) and Earth Berberoka (aka GamblingPuppet).
    • Earth Berberoka is the name given to a state-sponsored actor chiefly targeting gambling websites in China since at least 2020 using multi-platform malware like HelloBot and Pupy RAT.
    • According to Trend Micro, some samples of the Python-based Pupy RAT have been concealed using the Reptile rootkit.
    • Also discovered by ExaTrack is another implant codenamed AlienReverse, which shares code similarities with Mélofée and makes use of publicly-available tools like EarthWorm and socks_proxy.
    • “The Mélofée implant family is another tool in the arsenal of Chinese state sponsored attackers, which show constant innovation and development,” the company said.
    • “The capabilities offered by Mélofée are relatively simple, but may enable adversaries to conduct their attacks under the radar. These implants were not widely seen, showing that the attackers are likely limiting its usage to high value targets.”
  • How Linux Tech Tips’ YouTube Page Got Hacked
    • from The Verge
    • YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips and two other Linus Media Group YouTube channels have been restored after a major hack allowed a bad actor to do things like livestream crypto scam videos, change channel names, and even delete videos. In a new video, owner Linus Sebastian explains that the breach bypassed things like password and two-factor protections because the bad actor targeted the session tokens that keep you logged in to websites.
    • According to Sebastian, someone on the Linus Media Group’s team downloaded “what appeared to be a sponsorship offer from a potential partner” and launched the included PDF with the terms of that offer. But Sebastian says this offer actually included malware that accessed “all user data from both their installed browsers” — including session tokens — which effectively gave the bad actor “an exact copy” of the browsers that they could export and use to wreak havoc without needing to enter security credentials.
    • Linus Tech Tips, TechLinked, and Techquickie are all back, but Sebastian has some suggestions for YouTube to prevent future breaches of a similar nature. For example, he’d like to see greater security options for certain channel attributes (according to Sebastian, you can change the name of a channel without having to enter a password or use two-factor authentication) and some kind of confirmation or verification request if somebody tries to mass delete videos.
    • “After being alerted by the Linus Tech Tips team that their account was compromised due to unauthorized access, our team investigated the issue and worked with them to secure and restore their account,” YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez said in a statement to The Verge. We’ve asked if the company will be making any changes to help fight breaches like this in the future.
    • These sorts of YouTube channel takeovers have become increasingly common as of late, and changes like Sebastian’s recommendations would hopefully prevent them from happening in the future. I do recommend watching Sebastian’s full video explanation, which includes more details about what went down. But be warned: the video includes some security footage of a naked (though blurred) Sebastian in his house as he works to figure out what’s going on.

— Play Wanderings Transition Bumper —

Bi-Weekly Wanderings

30 minutes (~5-8 mins each)

  • Joe
    • I spent a week too sick to move. Most of my household was very sick. Fever, chills, hot flashes the works. No it was not COVID but I spent most of my time sleeping so that I could function for a couple of hours a day. It was miserable and I hope that it never happens again.
    • So not a whole lot got done. Also with the taxes coming due money was a little tight and I was not able to afford any new projects. I was able to make it to a friends wedding but that is really the only thing I did that was even remotely interesting. It was a fantasy themed wedding with a lot of Tolkien references
    • The base station that I built for the OneGX needs to be completely redone and I need to order some parts for it and map it out a little bit better than I did before.. I may still put it all together in separate pieces in order to prevent printing a lot of support materials that would then need to be removed
      • I have started on this, the problem is it is hard to find reliable low cost parts that will work over a long period of time or are easy to replace.
      • The USB hub on the left hand side seems pretty stable since no power really goes through it and I was able to reduce the tolerances such that the hub will fit into the holder without needing to be glued which means that it stays in place but can be replaced if it does go bad. I also moved it farther back so that there is more stability on the device overall.
      • I am also making sure that the adapters that I am making for it are all the same height so that the device will not lean to one side. This does make some of them a little bit thick but it balances out.
      • I have replaced the right hand side with different style of adapter. This adapter is one that I have ordered before and used for a couple of years without issue. It will also provide a couple of USB ports on the the inside where I can keep a couple of longterm devices like USB sticks or WiFi adapters.
        • Sadly it worked once again and then after I had everything set up on the lower assemble it stopped working.
      • The center hub I have created the mounting adapter for and glued it into place and created a better channel for the USB cable but I think that I want to replace the right angle cable with a U shaped adapter in order to save some space
      • I do have a lot of room to work with but part of the challenge is to make sure that there is enough airflow to prevent over heating. No closing off the vents which means that I have not yet found a good spot to put the m.2 enclosure. I may build an entirely separate base that can be swapped out for this one with different attachments and see how I like it.
      • But since the powered side was giving me so many problems I am going to hook up to the other two ports and just use the one for power. That seems to work well. The front assembly is moved to the right had side and a different adapter is placed in the middle towards the back. So there is a lot of devices that are unpowered and hooked through one USB C port. Lets see how long that works for.
    • The other week I also ordered a filament dryer and that did arrive. I dried some PETG but I have not used it yet to let you guys know how that worked out. It came with a dispenser but I don’t think that the bearings are good enough for that to be used on a regular basis.
    • So not much has been printed in the last two weeks.
    • I have been asked to put together a presentation for recent graduates on the things that I think that they should know in regards to digital hygiene and security. Probably means that I will put it together and then also post it on YouTube and probably bring it to the show here. I know the things that I want it to cover. I just need to put it all together. I could probably also use some help on the things other people would consider important.
    • If it goes well I am thinking I could put together a series of similar posts on YouTube. Maybe finally get some content on my own channel.
  • Moss
    • The Lenovo ThinkCentre M700 Tiny i3 computer I’m using to watch TV on seems to be having the hard drive die. Yes, I said hard drive. It’s apparently a 6 Gb Toshiba made in February 2015. I ordered a Samsung Evo 870 SSD to replace it with. Instead of waiting for the old drive to die, I went ahead and put Mint 21.1 MATE on an old, cheap SSD. I tried to clone the old drive but the cloner wouldn’t work, I think the drive was too small, only 6 Gb. When the new SSD came in, I cloned it “successfully”, but when it booted I got an initramfs> prompts, so I just went ahead and reinstalled Mint 21.1 MATE. As of last night, it works as well as it did, just with a new Samsung drive.
    • I looked at the drive on my other Lenovo ThinkCentre M700 Tiny, and found it was an SSD of the appropriate size. But I got a wild hair to look it up, and lo and behold, the reviews on it stated that, yes, it was fast, but had about a 5 year life… and my Tiny is 8 years old. I was going to order another Samsung EVO drive for that, but Dale Miracle pointed out that there are some odd bits about Samsung drives and the Linux kernel, so I have a Kingston A400 in the basket for mid-month. I feel a bit odd about this, it’s like putting a brand new hybrid engine in a 12-year-old car and hoping the rest of the mechanicals stay alive…
    • I’m sure most of our listeners remember when I had dozens of distros on my few machines. I must have mellowed. I have Mint 21.1 Mate on both my T580 and my Thinkcentre M700 Tiny i7 studio machine, along with Bodhi 7 (alpha 4 with updates on my T580, alpha 5 on my desktop). I have Mint 21.1 on both my TV machine (Mate) and my wife’s machine (Cinnamon). And the T540p is being used to test whatever I’m working on for Distrohoppers’ – a single distro at a time. So a total of 5 machines with a total of 7 distros, 4 of which are Mint and 2 of which are Bodhi.
    • We have a new co-host for Distrohoppers’ Digest, and will break him in for Episode 042. I’m doing a review of Elementary 7, not my best distro but I’ll try to be fair, and the other guys are still distrohunting. I have also done my duty and made our new host aware of the need for co-hosts on this show.

— Play Innards Transition Bumper —

Linux Innards

30 minutes (~5-8 minutes each)

  • We Need More Hosts
  • Moss: I joined mintCast for fun, with a purpose. I had been bugging Chris Fisher at Jupiter to start a show with me on Desktop Linux. He pointed out that they had tried to do that, him and Noah. My response was that neither of them had any clue what new people moving to Linux wanted in a desktop, and that I was nearer to the use case. He did not respond. Then I heard that mintCast was searching for new hosts, that this venerable show had burned out its current 2-man team, and I applied. About 9 of us did, including Joe, and by the time we had worked out the details, there were 8 of us. Rob predicted it would be down to 3 in just a few shows, but for nearly a year we had 6 hosts, causing us to split the show into two weekly installments. That went on for a while. I had a personal crisis which required me to take a sabbatical, but that only lasted about 6 or 7 months. In the interest of complete transparency, I had never listened to mintCast prior to joining the show.
    • mintCast does require time. We have meetings lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours every Saturday, and every other Sunday we record a show, which takes 2-3 hours. That’s a lot of weekend time. Plus all the time it takes to fill in your part of the Show Notes and keep them current in the time between shows. But it’s a lot of fun, and this is my 85th show (Joe has done over 110).
    • We have just taken on a new co-host at Distrohoppers’ Digest, and it’s possible I can talk him into joining us (and have begun to do so already).
  • Joe:
    • My first podcast that I joined was actually the linux link tech show. I had moved to the Dallas area and was staying with an old army buddy who wasn’t very tech inclined. I needed people to talk about tech with since I was far away from all my El Paso friends. It was a lot of fun and I just kept coming back. Granted at the time I was using a headset and a usb audio dongle which was a big improvement over stock 3.5mm. I was even using netbooks. The acer aspire one.
    • I also joined the linux lug cast on the same server after a while. I had joined because 50 had put up some information on ssd drives that I found useful in response to some information that I had asked about on tllts.
    • Then I heard that mintcast was looking for more hosts and I decided to give it a try. I feel like all of us that joined in really were able to bring something new to the show and helped it grow. One thing that I have realized after a few years of podcasting is that there will always be a drop off in listeners any time you make a change and that there will always be someone that is upset by that change. But you can usually get more new listeners eventually.
    • We love having new hosts and new ideas on the show. We love interview shows and we love project shows (or I love project shows) I also love shows that delve into the command line. I know that a lot of people dislike that but I love it and I don’t do it very often
    • MintCast is also the reason that I bought my first decent microphones. I think I still have that one. The Snowball. Picks up everything in a room so it does well in a very controlled environment but thats not my house.
    • My next microphone was the samson meteor which was a really good buy and I loved how well it worked until it died. After that I was able to get a Hyperx quadcast which is not perfect but I think is pretty darn good. So long as my fan is not on anyway.
    • Yes we do spend a lot of time on this podcast. A lot of time gets put into the research, the writing, trying to make sure that we do something we find interesting every two weeks. We also now maintain the servers and storage locations, change our workflows as needed and we also spend time editing the audio to try and produce the shows of the highest quality we can. We change our environments we get better gear when we can afford it.
    • That is one of the reasons that we try to find people that are willing to help out with the backend stuff as well as the podcasting stuff. We gotta also give time to the family and work and the dogs and everything else. Those weights are not gonna lift themselves.
    • We love having new hosts, we love having too many hosts. Yeah it does make for more work but it also brings more ideas, more topics more viewpoints and more interesting ways to think about things.
    • We love new podcasters and we love having people with experience on the podcast. Everyone brings a new dynamic to the show. Granted it does require a bit of time but most of that is time either podcasting or writing and researching a topic that interests you

— Play Vibrations Transition Bumper —

Vibrations from the Ether

20 minutes (~5 minutes each)

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Check This Out

10 minutes

Housekeeping & Announcements

  • Thank you for listening to this episode of mintCast!
  • If you see something that you’d like to hear about, tell us!

Send us email at [email protected]

Join us live on Youtube

Post at the mintCast subreddit

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Or post directly at


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

  • Bill Houser for our audio editing
  • Archive.org for hosting our audio files
  • Hobstar for our logo, initrd for the animated Discord logo
  • Londoner for our time syncs
  • Bill Houser for hosting the Pi400 which runs our website, website maintenance, and the NextCloud server on which we host our show notes and raw audio
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem and co!>

— Play Closing Music and Standard Outro —

Linux Mint

The distribution that spawned a podcast. Support us by supporting them. Donate here.


We currently host our podcast at archive.org. Support us by supporting them. Donate here.


They’ve made post-production of our podcast possible. Support us by supporting them. Contribute here.

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