Episode 414 Show Notes

Welcome to mintCast

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

This is Episode 414!

This is Episode 414.5!

Recorded on Sunday, June 11, 2023

Feeling tickety boo, I’m Bill; in Frazzle City, I’m Moss; getting in the miles, its Majid

— Play Standard Intro —

  • First up in the news, Mint Monthly News, All-Snap Ubuntu Desktop Will Be Available Next Year, Red Hat Stop Packaging LibreOffice as RPM for RHEL & Fedora, Mozilla Thunderbird’s Next Big Update Is Now in Beta, Windows XP activation algorithm cracked – keygen now works on Linux;
  • In security and privacy, we meet Blacksuit;
  • Then in our Wanderings, Bill chases burning trucks, Moss is feeling the pressure, and Majid needs to stop spending money
  • In our Innards section, we discuss laptop battery life;
  • And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions

— Play News Transition Bumper —

The News

20 minutes

  • Mint Monthly News – May 2023
    • Posted by Clem on the Mint blog June 2
    • Quote “The development cycle for Linux Mint 21.2 was closed a few days ago. Most of the projects have been tagged, built and added to the repositories for the upcoming release.
    • Xfce was updated to version 4.18.
    • CJS was rebased on GJS 1.74 / Mozjs 102.
    • XDG Desktop Portal support was added to all supported desktops (Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce). Among other things this brings a global dark mode setting. This dark mode setting affects applications which support it and lets you choose between three options:
      • Prefer light
      • Prefer dark
      • Let the applications decide
    • Among the many apps which support it, some are light by default (Firefox, Xed, Thingy, Xreader) and some are dark by default (Xviewer, Pix). The setting is also supported by many Flatpaks and GNOME/LibAdwaita applications.
    • Cinnamon 5.8 is getting gestures support for window management, workspace management, tiling and media controls. Gestures will be supported on touchpads, touchscreens and tablets.
    • The Software Manager was given a UI refresh, better scoring/sorting algorithms and a tuned package list.” End of quote
    • Update: As of Friday, June 9, testing has commenced of the Mint 21.2 beta version.
  • All-Snap Ubuntu Desktop Will Be Available Next Year
    • fromomgubuntu (via londoner)
    • An all-snap Ubuntu desktop is coming — and sooner than you might think!
      According to Canonical’s Oliver Grawert, the next long-term support release of Ubuntu will be available to download in 2 versions: a classic, deb-based version (default) and, for the first time, an immutable, snap-based build for enthusiasts to experiment with.
    • You can’t see me right now but I assure you I’m pulling my best faux-shocked face.
    • Why the snark? Well, let’s face it: an all-snap Ubuntu desktop is something of an inevitability. If I’m surprised by anything it’s not that it’s happening, more that it has taken this long to happen at all!
    • Of course, the new snap-based desktop build won’t be the default, i.e. the version most people will choose to use. It’ll be an alternative download that those more willing to put up with “pain points” can kick the tyres on.
    • Even so, it’s arrival is a huge step forward.
    • Ubuntu Core launched in 2015 as a snap-based, immutable version of Ubuntu tailored to IoT, embedded devices, and other (non-desktop) purposes. It’s been fairly successful. As you read this it’s out there, humming away in digital signage, robots, drones, and so on.
    • But Ubuntu Core isn’t a desktop product. You can install Core on a Raspberry Pi 4 (among other devices) and (try to) install a desktop on top of it, but it’s not explicitly geared for that purpose. This will be.
    • Immutable desktop distros are the trend du jour right now, with the likes of Fedora Silverblue and EndlessOS blazing a trail. They offer benefits over traditional OSes, including better security and reliability from a read-only file system, transactional updates, and easy rollback of changes.
    • Now, with CUPS (i.e. the Linux printing stack) getting snap’d in Ubuntu 23.10, and most of Ubuntu’s other vital desktop components either snap’d up or snap-compatible (yes, even graphics drivers) it seems the stars — or the packages — have aligned to make Ubuntu’s spin on things a reality.
    • You don’t have to venture far in the Linux community to find criticism of snap — not all of it unearned, granted. But could the emergence of all-Snap desktop provide the packaging format with an opportunity to showcase what it can do?
      I think it could.
  • Red Hat Stop Packaging LibreOffice as RPM for RHEL, Fedora
    • from omglinux (via londoner)
    • Red Hat will stop shipping LibreOffice as part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in future releases.
    • At face value the change, confirmed by Red Hat (and GNOME developer) Matthias Clasen on the Fedora project mailing list, sounds bad. LibreOffice is a tentpole in the free-software landscape, and arguably the exact sort of productivity suite workstations benefit from.
    • Worse still, limiting Red Hat’s involvement in packaging LibreOffice for RHEL as RPM will have a direct knock-on effect for Fedora, its downstream “consumer” OS offering, something Clasen notes.
    • The current status is that LibreOffice RPMs are “orphaned” (a term meaning they no longer have an active maintainer), with Red Hat (the hitherto existing maintainer) stepping away from the role almost entirely.
    • Why is Red Hat Doing This?
    • Clasen says the Red Hat Display Systems team (who do much of the work required) is “adjusting” its engineering priorities to focus on other key areas, like better Wayland support and adding HDR capabilities – things Workstation users (and Linux as a whole) will benefit from.
    • “The tradeoff is that we are pivoting away from work we had been doing on desktop applications and will cease shipping LibreOffice as part of RHEL starting in a future RHEL version,” Clasen adds.
    • LibreOffice will remain maintained and supported in all supported versions of RHEL (and Fedora) with security updates as and when needed.
    • The “good news” is that this doesn’t technically matter. There’s an official LibreOffice Flatpak build. This is available to Fedora and RHEL (and other Linux) users. The LibreOffice Flatpak can “fill the void” so to speak.
    • Clasen adds, “engineers doing that work will contribute some fixes upstream to ensure LibreOffice works better as a Flatpak, which we expect to be the way that most people consume LibreOffice in the long term.”
    • Could someone step up to take over maintenance, both for the LibreOffice RPMS in Fedora? Absolutely, but the scale of the task shouldn’t be underestimated, so anyone committing to handling the packaging and upkeep will need to be fully aware of the job.
    • You can get more details in this Fedora developer mailing list thread.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird’s Next Big Update Is Now in Beta
    • from HowToGeek.com (via londoner)
    • Mozilla has ramped up development on the Thunderbird email client over the past two years. The Thunderbird 102 update arrived last year with many improvements, and now the next major release is available for beta testing.
      Mozilla just released Thunderbird 115 beta 1, which is the first testing release for this year’s significant Thunderbird update. The development team has already discussed how version 115 is another phase in rebuilding Thunderbird “from the ground up,” with significant code rewrites and some functional changes. Mozilla did promise that the email app will still be customizable to some extent, so if you don’t like all the changes, some of them can be easily reverted.
      The first beta release doesn’t have all of the promised changes, but there is a lot to talk about. User-defined OpenPGP passphrases are now supported, the Folder Pane and context menus have been updated, and many icons have been replaced. There’s also a laundry list of bug fixes and minor interface changes.
      If you want to give it a shot, you can download Thunderbird 115 beta from the official site. However, installing the beta version will replace any current installation of Thunderbird, and Mozilla recommends backing up your data profile beforehand. The beta version requires Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.12 or later, or a Linux distribution with GTK+ 3.14 or higher.
  • Windows XP activation algorithm cracked – keygen now works on Linux
    • from The Register (via londoner)
    • The unkillable OS rises from the grave… Again
    • Over 21 years after it first came out, the Microsoft operating system that will not die is receiving another lease of life. It’s now possible to activate new Windows XP installations, safely and securely, without a crack, offline.
    • A blog post on tinyapps has revealed the hot news that nobody sane has been waiting for: the algorithm and methods Microsoft uses to validate Windows XP product keys have not only been defeated, it can be done so using Linux.
    • In all, it’s possible to generate valid activation codes for Windows XP without an internet connection. This is useful because the OS shouldn’t really be connected to the ‘net, and as-is can no longer talk to Microsoft’s servers to activate anyway.
      From what we can tell, the product activation algorithm was cracked some time ago, and in 2019 an open-source key generator was released that could output “endless Windows XP keys.” That program required external activation services to complete the validation and installation of the OS, though, which is tricky if those services are no longer usable or reachable.
    • Crucially, last year, someone shared a Windows executable that can generate the confirmation ID codes needed to complete the activation process entirely offline. So you take the product key generator and the ID-outputting .exe, use them together, and you get to activate Windows XP without the internet nor Microsoft’s help and without having to use a crack.
    • This month, that aforementioned open-source key generator was forked, and fixed up to work on Linux. It still appears to need the ID-generating .exe, but hey, at least it’s working. The mystery executable is also being reverse engineered to find out how it ticks, we’re told.
    • And bear in mind, we’re focusing today on the activation algorithm being defeated; Windows XP was cracked with tweaks, workarounds, and unofficial patches that thwarted its piracy protection as soon as it was launched at the turn of the millennium. Here we’re talking about generating valid codes without having to alter the system.
    • This is not a recommendation!
    • A word of caution and restraint. Please don’t take this article as a recommendation to run Windows XP. It wasn’t the most secure of operating systems back in 2001, and you really should not be running it in 2023 — especially not on anything that is connected to the internet.
    • However, saying that, the problem is that sometimes people need to. There is, for example, hardware out there that only works with Windows XP and won’t work with anything newer… and some of it might be very expensive hardware, which is still perfectly functional — but which requires a long-obsolete version of Windows to operate it.
    • If you are lumbered with such a device, or you have got some single specific and very particular piece of software that you need to run and which doesn’t work properly on any newer version of Windows, then you may be forced to use XP. If so, one of the problems is that Microsoft has turned off the activation servers, so even if you install clean fresh copy, you can no longer activate it over the internet.
    • As an FYI, we’re told the telephone activation service for Win XP still works, so that may be an option for you. Some folks also provide alternative ways to perform online activation of Windows XP that continues to work.
    • We’ve tested the XP keygen tools in question on a fresh XP Mode VM in VirtualBox – the very handy add-in for Windows 7 which we wrote about nearly a decade back. (Obviously, that was quite a while ago now, and Microsoft has removed the downloads from its website — but there is a copy on the Internet Archive, as of course there is of the installation CD itself.)
    • If you are absolutely determined to go online with XP in the 2020s, then you aren’t going to get far with Internet Explorer 6.0. Even installing IE 8, the last version for XP, won’t help very much – it can no longer open Microsoft.com, for example. Seamonkey version 2.49.5 is about the latest open source browser that we are aware of that still works on XP, but you could also try Opera version 36, which you will find low down on the company’s downloads page.
    • Avast also offers a version of its free antivirus program which will still work on XP. We hope that we don’t need to point this out, but we’d advise against going to random download sites that you find on Google to get hold of older versions. If it’s legitimate, you can probably still get it directly from the vendor – unless that vendor is Microsoft, in which case you’re on your own. For once, we can’t entirely blame it.
    • The same tinyapps.org site itself is a treasure trove of minimalist applications for this long obsolete OS. We are told that there is an active community of XP fans on the internet helping each other out with advice on keeping this geriatric code running today, but really, seriously, please don’t unless you have absolutely no alternative. If it’s an option, run it in a VM, and keep it isolated from the internet.

— Play Security Transition Bumper —

Security and Privacy

10 minutes

  • New Linux Ransomware “Blacksuit” looks like “Royal”
    • An analysis of the Linux variant of a new ransomware strain called BlackSuit has covered significant similarities with another ransomware family called Royal.
    • Trend Micro, which examined an x64 VMware ESXi version targeting Linux machines, said it identified an “extremely high degree of similarity” between Royal and BlackSuit.
    • “In fact, they’re nearly identical, with 98% similarities in functions, 99.5% similarities in blocks, and 98.9% similarities in jumps based on BinDiff, a comparison tool for binary files,” Trend Micro researchers noted.
    • A comparison of the Windows artifacts has identified 93.2% similarity in functions, 99.3% in basic blocks, and 98.4% in jumps based on BinDiff.
    • BlackSuit first came to light in early May 2023 when Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 drew attention to its ability to target both Windows and Linux hosts.
    • In line with other ransomware groups, it runs a double extortion scheme that steals and encrypts sensitive data in a compromised network in return for monetary compensation. Data associated with a single victim has been listed on its dark web leak site.
    • The latest findings from Trend Micro show that, both BlackSuit and Royal use OpenSSL’s AES for encryption and utilize similar intermittent encryption techniques to speed up the encryption process.
    • The overlaps aside, BlackSuit incorporates additional command-line arguments and avoids a different list of files with specific extensions during enumeration and encryption.
    • “The emergence of BlackSuit ransomware (with its similarities to Royal) indicates that it is either a new variant developed by the same authors, a copycat using similar code, or an affiliate of the Royal ransomware gang that has implemented modifications to the original family,” Trend Micro said.
    • Given that Royal is an offshoot of the erstwhile Conti team, it’s also possible that “BlackSuit emerged from a splinter group within the original Royal ransomware gang,” the cybersecurity company theorized.
    • The development once again underscores the constant state of flux in the ransomware ecosystem, even as new threat actors emerge to tweak existing tools and generate illicit profits.
    • This includes a new ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) initiative codenamed NoEscape that Cyble said allows its operators and affiliates to take advantage of triple extortion methods to maximize the impact of a successful attack.
    • Triple extortion refers to a three-pronged approach wherein data exfiltration and encryption is coupled with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the targets in an attempt to disrupt their business and coerce them into paying the ransom.
    • The DDoS service, per Cyble, is available for an added $500,000 fee, with the operators imposing conditions that forbid affiliates from striking entities located in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

— Play Wanderings Transition Bumper —

Bi-Weekly Wanderings

30 minutes (~5-8 mins each)

  • Bill
    • This week has been somewhat chill at work compared to las week – that is except for an incident on tuesday when while dumping a rolloff box full of wastewater treatment facility sledge the cable which was baring the full weight of the box snapped, bringing the box tumbling to the ground while simultaniously pushing my entire truck and trailer toward a group of people doing construction on the building in front of me. Luckily, the trailer brakes were engaged so as soon as the box cleared the trailer wheels, and landed squarly on the ground, the truck came to a stop. I was forced to leave the box at the facility in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and drive the 431 miles back to the shop in Fort Wayne to get the cable replaced. Which they did the night after I returned. The next day, I went to the General Motors facility where we load the boxes out of and grabbed a second box to take to Cape Girardeau. The trailer I was using has the ability to haul two empty boxes at once as long as they’re empty, as long as they’re 22 feet or under in length. I took the second box out, dumped it; dumped the box that was left behind, and brought both boxes back empty. So we really didn’t lose anything transactionally exept for the cost of the cable which we already had in stock. My boss has a rather epic inventory of replacement parts and tires. It’s not often a truck needs a part that he doesn’t have there at the yard.
    • The week prior I had to go rescue a trailer which was connected to one of our newer truck tha cought fire just south of Nashville, Tennessee. One of our older drivers was on his way to deliver in Milton, Florida when he noticed smoke in the air. He turned around to see his bed was on fire, he then pulled over. He had the wear-with-all to grab his phone, and his dog, but not much of anything else. He left behind his clothes, his wallet, and his keys. (he only had the one set of car keys) I hot-shoted down to Franklin, Tennesse to get to the towtruck company yard before they closed that day to get the trailer which I did – but only just barely. The yard closed at 5 pm central time, I arrived at 4:51. amazinly, the trailer wasn’t harmed at all from the fire that burned the truck nearly to the ground. I deliverd the load to Milton, Florida the next day. This is the second time I had to go to Tennessee to grab a trailer this particular driver was hooked to and experience a catestrophic breakdown. Five years ago I had to bobtail down to Knoxville to get a trailer he was on his way to Homerville, Georgia with. I told him the other day that perhaps he should avoid Tennessee. Someone clearly put some kind of hex on him.
    • At some point in the next couple weeks I will be performing maintenance on the docker container that runs the Nginx proxy manager which forwards traffic to all the appropriate webservers, cloud servers, and services on my LAN. This will temporarily disable mintcast.org for what I imagine will be between a half hour to an hour. I’ve got Cloudflare sitting in front of all the websites, so everyone will still be able to access cached versions of the page. The latest version of the Docker container that runs the proxy manager broke the web interface that is used to manage the proxied connections. Since none of the fixes seem to work, I’m just going to nuke the configs and start over. It’s not a big deal, it just means I have to re enter all the stuff again manually, which is a big of a pain but it’s good to keep the skills up.
  • Moss
    • We got Distrohoppers’ Digest recorded on June 4th, and had a grand time. The finished episode is almost 90 minutes, which gave Tony a lot of work to do editing it. Thank you, Tony.
    • I’ve been having a grand time playing with the Focusrite Scarlett Solo sound box Bill bought for me. I have gone online singing over it, and recorded one song and placed it as a free download on my Bandcamp page.
    • My next online concert is tonight, not long after the show, so if you’re not listening live you’ll miss it. Details were given last show. Festival of the Living Rooms #18, you can find their Facebook page if you’re into that sort of thing. If I’m firing on all cylinders, I will record the bits and engineer them into sort of a live album like I did last time.
    • And, just in time, Xfinity has decided that I don’t really need my internet access 24/7 and keeps taking it down at random times, at least once per day for from 5 to 20 minutes. That will go great if it happens in the middle of my concert (or the start, or the end…). This has been going on since we reset our router/modem several weeks ago. Is it the router’s fault? No clue.
  • Majid
    • So I finally sold that Macbook… then immediatly started looking at M1 Macbooks on ebay. The reason is that battery life. I find that whatever I do, I can never get any of linux or windows boxes to have anything resembling long battery life. More on that in the innards.
    • Have been doing a bit of travelling. Firstly went to Oxford with the mrs for a bit of R&R. Nice littel break, checked out the university and other landmarks. Then this week went to Sheffield for a Royal College of Anaesthesia event. Not really a fan of the city. Not much to do, and clearly a place hit hard by the recent economic woes. People were very friendly though, with one taxi driver giving me a free ride!Technology was a big feature of the event. These included Teaching Podcasts, useful apps and even Virtual Reality for simulation training and child sedation. There was even a talk by one of the Formula 1 doctors and I noticed whilst he was doing his presentation that he was running KDE on his laptop. Linux for the win!
    • After listening to Moss et al on Distrohoppers, I am tempted to try Feren OS. Sounds a but like a Mint KDE edition like there used to be. My next distro?

— Play Innards Transition Bumper —

Linux Innards

30 minutes (~5-8 minutes each)

  • Laptop Battery Life
    • https://wimpysworld.com/posts/why-i-chose-the-thinkpad-z13-as-my-linux-laptop/
    • https://127001.me/post/ten-years-of-thinkpadding/
    • You have to put it in perspective – historically yeah Linux battery life would struggle to keep up with Windows on the same hardware. It has slowly improved to the point where a 6th Gen Ryzen U series can get 11 hours of mixed use. Is it Apple Silicon levels? No. But it is certainly better than it used to be.
    • Go back to 3rd Gen and earlier and they weren’t the ULV models – 2-3 hours was good. 4th Gen-7th Gen ULV CPUs were stuck on 2C/4T but got iteratively better. A 7th Gen Intel CPU has pretty good battery life The switch to four physical cores on the 8th Gen meant a regression in battery life that then improved as that iterated I’m not sure 12th Gen onwards is mature on Linux yet thanks to the E and P cores and how they play with the kernel and schedulers
    • And AMD came along with 6C/12T ULV CPUs which at first weren’t great for battery life (as reflected in that ThinkPad blog above; and I can testify personally too, my wife got a ThinkPad T14 with the same Ryzen 7 4750U and we returned it specifically due to the same suspend and battery issues)
    • Also, things have improved even in two generations of Ryzen ULV CPUs “FWIW I get about 7-8 hours mixed usage on an i7 1165G7 (Latitude 7420) which is my work machine. This is better than I can remember.”
    • Auto-CPUfreq & Powertop
    • 11th gen Intel would get 10 hours on Linux using auto-cpufreq, now I’m using an and 6800u beast that gets about 8 so looks like AMD are getting there now too. You can’t really compare Apple Silicon fairly anyway:
    • A) because everyone gets all uppity about it being Apple (partly fair). But they have a vertically integrated hardware/software stack that Linux will probably never have
    • B) we need to wait for a viable non-Apple ARM device for comparison. The Snapdragon ThinkPad is the closest we have
    • Windows has power-saving utlities.
    • Last time I checked (and this is probably still true), the biggest knob you have is powertop –auto-tune and lower screen brightness. That’ll get you 90% of the way to the best battery life you can get on Linux in my experience.
    • Auto-cpufreq does a real good job too but yeah powertop does everything else that auto-cpufreq doesn’t
    • So combine the two and you’ll be laughing. Also if you’re on an AMD APU use ryzenadj to lower your TDP to as low as you can go before things go wrong
    • Slimbook Battery 4 is the new version of the application to control and increase the battery life of laptops.
    • Here are some of the most visible changes:
      • New interface
      • Draggable window
      • Skipping password asking
      • Added brightness switch
      • Added TDP sync option
      • Added splash window
      • Show warning if device has been plugged to AC more than 15 days.
    • In this version, this simple application offers a wide range of possibilities, thanks to it’s integration of other applications, services and drivers, such as TLP, Intel_pstate, AMD and NVIDIA.
    • This means that this application is not just compatible with Slimbook laptops, but also with many other different computer brands and manufacturers who work with Ubuntu and derivatives.
    • The application implements three different energy modes: «energy saving», «balanced» and «maximum performance». Each energy mode comes with default values, but the user is allowed to change the most important values, to adjust or avoid errors in their hardware.
    • The energy saving applications like TLP focus on reducing power consumption when the computer is in battery mode, by disabling extra options that are not being used.
    • How to install Slimbook Battery in our system?
      • You can download Slimbook Battery from our application download center for Linux with our repositories in Launchpad. You can also do it in a Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):
        • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:slimbook/slimbook
        • sudo apt-get update
      • By doing this we will have added the Slimbook repositories. Now we will execute the next command to install the application:
        • sudo apt-get install slimbookbattery
      • Now, you can start the application, and select a “energy profile” in the trayicon.
      • This app has been tested in desktops: Unity, GNOME, KDE Plasma, Cinnamon and Pantheon.
    • Slimbook Battery indicator:
      • indicator
        • The first three buttons are used to switch between the different energy saving modes (Energy saving, balanced and maximum performance). The following should be taken into account:
        • The indicator icon of the bar will change color to the corresponding one with its mode: green (Energy saving), blue (Balanced) and orange (Maximum performance).
        • We will know that the application is not using any mode when our bar indicator icon is gray.
        • The fourth button (Off) will allow us to deactivate the energy saving mode that is being used at that moment. Our laptop will be back to normal power consumption,
        • The fifth button (Advanced mode) will open the application preferences window of the application to be able to configure it. We can also view battery information and information about the application. We will talk more in detail about this later.
        • The last button (Exit) allows us to close the application and deactivates any energy saving mode that was active at that moment.
        • If during the use of the application you want to configure more options, or have noticed that performance is not what you want, you are able to configure each of the 3 predefined modes.
    • Advanced mode
      • When selecting the Advanced mode option in the menu, a window will open, there we will find different tabs with options offered by Slimbook Battery:
    • General configuration tab (General):
      • modes
        • Power On / Off: Enables or disables the use of the current energy saving mode to return to the normal power consumption of the laptop.
        • Autostart application: Enables or disables Slimbook Battery autostart and TLP autostart with the system.
        • Icon on the taskbar: Shows or hides the bar indicator icon.
        • Working mode in case of battery failure: In case the power supply that is being used is not detected, it defines with what configuration it works (AC or Battery)
        • Remember to disconnect charger: If you stay 15 days connected, this option will notify you to disconnect charger.
        • Synchronize battery mode with TDP Controller mode
        • Actual energy mode: You can choose the energy mode that you want to use, in case you decide to turn on Slimbook Battery.
    • Battery Cycles configuration tab (Cycles):
      • cycles
        • Enable / Disable cycle alerts: Enable or disable screen alerts for battery cycles. You are notified when your laptop reaches the maximum or minimum battery charge defined, depends on your battery state (charging/discharging).
        • Max battery value: It establishes the maximum charge level that we want in our laptop while is charging. The system will alert when you arrive to the maximum charge capacity.
        • Min battery value: It establishes the minimum charge level that we want in our laptop while is discharging. The system will alert when you arrive to the minimum charge capacity.
        • Number of times: Set the number of alerts that we want the system to show us when minimum or maximum value is reached. Time between warnings: It establishes the waiting time (seconds) between the alerts displayed by the system
    • Tabs configuration of the three energy saving modes (Energy saving, balanced y maximum performance)
      • modes
      • Here the configuration is divided into:
        • Battery mode parameters: Changes that apply only when the laptop’s battery is being discharged.
        • Persistent changes: Changes that apply regardless of whether the laptop is being charged or not.
    • Battery mode parameters:
      • Limit CPU profile: A mode is selected to choose the limitation level of the CPU. This option will affect the performance of the computer to reduce energy consumption.
      • CPU scaling governor saving profile: A mode CPU scaling governor is selected.
      • Graphic card saving profile: Energy saving is activated for graphic cards. In case of the Intel and AMD cards it simply reduces the resources you use, in case the Nvidia card will use the integrated card instead of the dedicated one that was being used.
      • Sound power saving profile: Enables the energy saving mode for audio. This can cause small tics to be heard.
      • Wi-Fi power saving profile: Enables energy saving for Wi-Fi. Enabling this option may cause instability if you are away from the Wi-Fi network access point.
      • Bluetooth disabled when not in use: When it takes a while without using Bluetooth, it will be automatically deactivated to save energy.
      • Wi-Fi disabled when not in use: When it takes a while without using Wi-Fi, it will be automatically deactivated to save energy.
    • Persistent changes:
      • Set screen brightness: Sets the default brightness for that energy saving mode.
      • Disable animations: Disable all the animations from system graphic interface in that energy saving mode.
      • Bluetooth don’t boot on start: Bluetooth won’t be enabled at system startup.
      • Wi-Fi don’t boot on start: Wi-fi won’t be enabled at system startup.
      • Disable Wi-Fi when LAN is connected: When an Ethernet network cable is connected to our laptop, the Wi-Fi will automatically turn off (Then it will turn on when LAN is disconnected).
      • Autosuspend USB ports: Autosuspends the USB ports of our laptop. USB-connected devices such as the mouse, keyboard or scanner are excluded by default from autosuspension.
      • Excluded USB IDs from USB autosuspend: the IDs of the USB devices will be added to the blacklist to be excluded.
      • You can see the IDs of the USB ports by hovering the mouse over the blue icon with an interrogation symbol. The IDs will have to be entered manually and the IDs will be separated by a space.
      • Exclude bluetooth devices from USB autosuspend: Excludes from USB autosuspension the bluetooth devices that are connected by USB.
      • Exclude printer devices from USB autosuspend: Excludes from USB autosuspension the printer devices that are connected by USB.
      • Exclude Ethernet devices from USB autosuspend: Excludes from USB autosuspension the Ethernet cables that are connected by USB.
      • Disable USB autosuspend mode upon system shutdown: Disables the USB autosuspend when the system is turned off.
  • This is an alternative solution in case suspended USB devices interrupt the system shutdown process.
    • Laptop’s battery information tab
      • state
        • Here you will see the different information obtained about the battery that the laptop has connected. If any of the parameters aren’t identified, “Unknown” will be shown.
    • Parameters:
      • Battery device: Name given by the system to identify the battery.
      • Manufacturer: Brand of the battery that has installed our laptop.
      • Battery model: Model of the battery that has installed our laptop.
      • Technology: Technology used by the battery.
      • Remaining battery: Current percentage of laptop battery.
      • Maximum capacity: The maximum battery percentage that the laptop can contain.
      • Status: Battery status, charging or discharging.
      • Time to full/empty: Remaining time for full charge or full discharge, depending on the state of the battery.
      • Rechargeable: Indicates whether the battery is rechargeable or not.
      • Power supply: Indicates if the charger is connected.
      • Energy full: Indicates the capacity (watts) of the battery when it is charged.
      • Energy full design: It indicates the maximum capacity (watts) that should reach to extend the life of the battery.
      • Energy rate: Indicates the rate (watts) of the battery capacity.
      • Voltage: Indicates the battery voltage.
      • Last update of the battery information: Indicates the last update date of the battery information.
    • Information tab
      • Here you can view a description of the application we have developed along with a notice about the use of the application some links to our social media, this tutorial and GitHub. In addition, acknowledgments have been included to the entities that have been able to make this possible.
      • We ave also added a button to improve failure reporting in the application which generates a report that indicates some features, specifications and important system configuration files, aside from laptop information.
      • In case of needing to report a bug, we would be grateful if you attach this report to the bug-report-mail you send. This might make bugs easier to fix.
    • Language and contributions
      • Translations:
      • Currently, Slimbook Battery is available in Spanish, Chinese, English, Portuguese, Italian, … Many of them have been made by users (Thanks a lot!).
      • If you want Slimbook Battery to be available in your language, and you want to make the translation yourself; visit our repository where you will find instructions and files to create the translations in any language.
      • You can also modify existent translations if you find any errror.
      • Code:
      • You can also contribute to our code visiting our repository on GitHub
    • Tips and frequent questions
    • What should I do after install?
      • First of all, start the main launcher of Slimbook Battery, so that the application will perform the initial configuration that applies the first time it is opened. Now you can start using any of the 3 energy saving modes and access the configuration.
    • What energy level is recommended by you?
      • The level of energy we recommend depends on the use you give to your laptop. If you are going to give it an office use, performing basic tasks such as surfing the Internet to visit a page, answering emails or writing a document, we recommend using the Energy Saving mode. On the other hand, if you want to give it another type of use that requires more resources for certain applications, it is recommended to use the Balanced or Maximum performance mode.
    • Why isn’t it displayed in my language?
      • In case the language of the system you use is not any of the added translations, the application will be shown by default in English.
      • If you want Slimbook Battery also to be available in your language you can make the translation yourself, visit our repository where we have uploaded the files to make the translations in any language.
    • I do not see the Slimbook Battery indicator in the taskbar
      • This may be because you have the option “Icon on the taskbar” disabled. If this is the case, you simply have to open Slimbook Battery Preferences, enable this option and press accept to apply changes.
      • If you are using Elementary OS, then you might need to install wingpanel-indicator-ayatana
      • In case it still does not appear, check that you have installed gnome-shell-extension-appindicator.
      • If you do not have it installed, it would be recommended to do it:
        • sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-appindicator
      • Then, to apply the extension you will have to reload the desktop with Alt + F2, enter r in the window that appears and finally press the Enter key.
      • Finally, to activate the extension in your system, you will have to go to Tweaks and in the ‘Extensions’ tab you should enable ‘Ubuntu appindicators’. Then, the indicator should appear.
    • How to uninstall Slimbook Battery
      • To uninstall Slimbook Battery:
        • sudo apt purge slimbookbattery
      • To uninstall TLP:
        • sudo apt purge tlp tlp-drw
    • I have another problem or doubt about Slimbook Battery, who can I contact to solve it?
      • You can contact us for anything you need regarding Slimbook Battery by sending an email to: [email protected]
      • We would appreciate that you attach the file that is generated by clicking on the Generate report button of the Information tab in Slimbook Battery Preferences, as it helps us in a great measure to continue improving Slimbook Battery.

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Vibrations from the Ether

20 minutes (~5 minutes each)

  • Henrik Hemrin June 10, 2023 on the website about 413

For me, an e-mail client is one of the most important desktop applications. Most/all of my e-mail accounts can be reached with a browser. But I see many advantages with a dedicated client, like:

– Same interface and settings, customizations for all accounts/at one place

– Overview of all e-mails

– I can shuffle around e-mails between accounts

– One address book for all accounts, as well as calendar, to-do etc (if I want to)

Furthermore, interesting to learn you (Bill) use Docker in stead of traditional LAMP stack. I use LAMP for localhost for development sites (I use Joomla in stead of WordPress). Docker may be an alternative for both localhost and live site, thanks for your knowledge sharing!

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Check This Out

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