Episode 427 Show Notes

Welcome to mintCast

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

This is Episode 427!

This is Episode 427.5!

Recorded on Sunday, December 10th 2023

Joe, … Moss, Christmas shopping is kinda like Mondays – it never seems to end, I’m Bill,Shape1

— Play Standard Intro —

  • First up in the news: Linux Mint 21.3 “Virginia” – BETAs released, Mint Monthly News – November 2023, Gnome shell updates on Ubuntu 23.10; Zorin has a new desktop; Calibre offers new formats; KDE fixes bugs ahead of Plasma 6; Intel does some driver code clean up; Canonical ports Multipass to Qt6; Linux 6.8 is Dropping Support For Very Old Graphics Drivers.
  • In security and privacy: Stealthy Linux rootkit found in the wild after going undetected for 2 years
  • Then in our Wanderings: Bill is mumbling for a week straight; Joe is droning on;
  • In our Innards section: we talk about audio editing on Linux
  • And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions. No, really – we’ve got feedback this time!

— Play News Transition Bumper —

The News

20 minutes

  1. This BETA release might contain critical bugs, please only use it for testing purposes and to help the Linux Mint team fix issues prior to the stable release.
  2. Upgrade instructions will be published after the stable release of Linux Mint 21.3.
  3. It will be possible to upgrade from this BETA to the stable release.
  4. It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 21 and Linux Mint 21.1.
  • One of our previous guests, Switched to Linux, already has a video on the BETA on YouTube.
  • Mint Monthly News – November 2023 From the Linux Mint Blog (via londoner)
    • Nemo Actions: Starting with Cinnamon 6.0, you’ll be able to download, enable and rate actions the same way as applets, desklets, extensions and Cinnamon themes. This will include actions such as Verify” and “Make bootable USB stick” in the context menu when right-clicking on ISO files. Wayland Support:There is now a dedicated Github repository for issues related to Wayland, whether they need fixing in Cinnamon, in an XApp project, a Mint tool or any other software project maintained by the Mint team. Hypnotix recently received the ability to set favorite channels. It will also feature the ability to create custom channels. In Slick Greeter, the login screen, the alignment of the login box is now configurable. Bulky, the batch file renaming tool, received support for thumbnails and drag and drop. In Pix, video playback now takes the video orientation into account and automatically rotates it.
  • GNOME Shell 45.2 Update Rolling out to Ubuntu 23.10 From OMG Ubuntu
    • The first point release to GNOME Shell 45 only hit Ubuntu 23.10 at the end of last month, and now a second one is already on its way! GNOME Shell 45.2 was released upstream at the start of December, now Ubuntu’s developers have packaged it up and pushed it out to users of Ubuntu 23.10. It hit the mantic-proposed repo today so assuming no unexpected issues are found in the coming days the update will be pushed out to all users through the regular update channel in the coming week or two. Think of it as an early Christmas treat As with GNOME Shell 45.1, the latest point release is a bug fix bonanza. All manner of errant issues have addressed, including several that pertain to performance:
      • Fix performance degradation due to repeated signal leak
      • Optimise application search
      • Fix on-screen keyboard backspace getting stuck
      • Fix arrow navigation in search results
      • Support async code in Eval() D-Bus method
      • Fix sliders not requesting any size
      • Only show prefs dialog after the extension has been loaded
      • Improve high-contrast styling
      • Fix mapping of tablet rings/strips
      • Add support for “version-name” field in extension metainfo
  • Zorin OS 17 Beta Includes New ‘Spatial Desktop’ Features
    • From OMG Ubuntu
    • A beta build of the upcoming Zorin OS 17 release is available to download. Zorin OS 17 sees the Ubuntu-based distro rebase on top of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS but, interestingly, it includes GNOME 43 rather than GNOME 42, which is the version included in Ubuntu 22.04. Given the substantial leap from GNOME 3.38 used in previous Zorin OS releases, this version offers much improved performance and several major user experience changes, such as a horizontal workspace switcher, interactive screenshot tool, and button-based Quick Settings menu. Zorin OS 17 builds out from those solid foundations with a slew of GNOME Shell extensions. Amongst them is an enhanced Zorin Menu extension. Aside from launching apps, this now lets you search for files, calendar appointments, contacts, world clocks… Anything the standard GNOME Shell overview is able to do or show, the Zorin menu can now do or show too. And, as in upstream GNOME Shell, you can turn search providers/helpers on or off from the Settings app. You can download the Zorin OS 17 beta from the project website.
  • Calibre eBook App Now Supports Audio ePubs & Custom NotesFrom: Joey Sneddon at OMG Ubuntu
    • If Calibre, the popular open-source ebook manager, was a book itself it’d surely be a perennial bestseller, thanks to an exhaustive, multi-faceted feature set. And in the latest Calibre 7 release, the feature set expands yet further. The latest version introduces a clutch of new capabilities to the manager’s existing roster of ebook conversion, syncing, reading, and editing options.
    • New Features in Calibre 7.x To me, the standout addition in Calibre 7.0 is the ability to store notes linked to various book attributes within your Calibre library. You can stash notes related to authors, publishers, book series, and more so you can keep track of information relevant to you. Using this in Calibre 7.x and up is super easy: just right-click on an author or tag name in the Tag browser or Book details panel, click Edit notes, and away you go. To browse and search all notes you’ve added to your library just press Ctrl + Shift + N, or you can edit the toolbar to add a Browse notes option to it. Another great sounding enhancement is support for “Audio ePubs”, i.e. ePub 3.0 spec. These allow video and audio to be embedded in a file, alongside text. So if you prefer to listen to eBooks rather than read them, this will be welcome. Alas, patent restrictions can mean playing Audio ePubs in Calibre 7.0 and above may not work as it should on Linux, though your mileage will, as they say, vary — so try it out, and let me know! Calibre 7 also lets you attach “data” files relevant to a book with that book, and manage and access said data within the app. What kind of data? Well that’s up to you, but it might be PDFs, web links, office documents/essays, images, etc. Finally, Calibre 7 has its own private ‘Recycle Bin’, which Calibre says makes it easier to undo book deletion with a click and “restoring all its files and metadata automatically”. Similar to other apps, when you delete a book within Calibre a temporary “undo” dialog is shown. As always, users are encouraged to update to the latest version of Calibre to take advantage of the latest new features, but also benefit from bug fixes, performance tweaks, and interoperability buffs. In all, Calibre remains a versatile and user-friendly eBook management solution, and this latest update underlines ✍️ the project’s commitment to providing practical features that cater to every aspect of the ebook experience.
    • To Download Calibre 7.x: Head to the Calibre website’s download page where you’ll find a command to download Calibre for Linux as a binary build. The developers advise using this over “distribution provided calibre package, as those are often buggy/outdated”. You can also install Calibre from Flathub if you want a less obtuse way of getting it, though as far as I can tell that package is not “official”, so keep that in mind if you’re likely to be filing bug reports from using it.
  • KDE Developers Continue On Bug Fixing Spree Ahead Of Plasma 6.0From: phoronix.com
    • It’s a Christmas season of bug fixing in the KDE world as following the late November Plasma 6.0 Beta 1 they’ve shifted from feature work to fixes and with the new test release has received an influx of bug reports. KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his weekly development summary, which for this week mostly amounts to a lot of bug fixing and then just a couple of new features were squeezed in. First up, when using KDE automatic bug reporting, the system notification telling you about the crash can now allow the user to optionally provide a message for developers to help better explain the crash. Secondly, and as already covered on Phoronix, there is now KWin DMA-Fence deadline support for helping improve the performance and responsiveness on systems when using integrated graphics with the Plasma Wayland session. The rest of the KDE development work this week was focused on fixing mass amounts of bugs. More details on these Plasma 6.0 bug fixes for the week can be found via Nate’s blog. Plasma 6.0 remains on track for releasing at the end of February.
  • Intel Striving To Overhaul Their Multiple Ethernet Linux Drivers: “The Great Code De-dup”From: phoronix.com
    • Intel engineers maintain multiple Ethernet drivers in the Linux kernel for their wide-range of networking hardware from consumer to high-end data center wares. There’s been an ongoing effort to overhaul their Ethernet driver management to reduce code duplication between the different drivers for better code sharing and with an end goal of more unification. Sent out on Thursday was the sixth iteration of this ongoing work that is dubbed “The Great Code Dedup” for de-duplicating all of the redundant code between Intel’s several Ethernet Linux drivers.
    • Intel networking driver engineer Alexander Lobakin explained in that latest patch series:
      • “Not a secret there’s a ton of code duplication between two and more Intel ethernet modules. Before introducing new changes, which would need to be copied over again, start decoupling the already existing duplicate functionality into a new module, which will be shared between several Intel Ethernet drivers. The first name that came to my mind was “libie” — “Intel Ethernet common library”. Also this sounds like “lovelie” (-> one word, no “lib I E” pls) and can be expanded as “lib Internet Explorer” 😛 The series is only the beginning. From now on, adding every new feature or doing any good driver refactoring will remove much more lines than add for quite some time. There’s a basic roadmap with some deduplications planned already, not speaking of that touching every line now asks: “can I share this?”. The final destination is very ambitious: have only one unified driver for at least i40e, ice, iavf, and idpf with a struct ops for each generation. That’s never gonna happen, right? But you still can at least try. PP conversion for iavf lands within the same series as these two are tied closely. libie will support Page Pool model only, so that a driver can’t use much of the lib until it’s converted. iavf is only the example, the rest will eventually be converted soon on a per-driver basis. That is when it gets really interesting. Stay tech.”
    • At the moment the patches lead to over 2k lines of code being dropped while adding just 1k lines of new code for the proposed “libie” commonized code. In the end this should lead to better drive maintenance and code sharing for the Intel Ethernet drivers. It will be interesting to see what next features they have in mind for their Ethernet drivers once this “Great Code Dedup” is complete.
  • Canonical Releases Multipass 1.13 RC With Snapshots Support, Migrated To Qt6From: phoronix.com
    • Canonical’s Multipass software that is advertised as “cloud-style VMs at your fingertips” and making it easy to spin-up “Ubuntu VMs on demand for any workstation”, is out with a new test release adding snapshots support and other new features. Thursday’s release of Multipass 1.13 RC is significant in that it finally adds support for snapshots. Similar to VM snapshots, Multipass snapshots allow taking a “snapshot” of an instance that can be easily restored at a later date. So should you mess-up an instance, you can easily rollback if a snapshot was made previously. Multipass 1.13 also migrates from Qt5 to Qt6, which in turn fixes a number of bugs in the process. Multipass 1.13 has also seen some parts of its cross-platform SFTP server rewritten, fetching of remote image information is now faster, and various other updates. Multipass 1.13 RC can be easily fetched via “beta” updates on Snap or the source fetched from GitHub. Those unfamiliar with this Canonical open-source software project geared for Ubuntu Linux can learn more about the project at multipass.run.
  • Linux 6.8 Dropping Support For Very Old Graphics DriversFrom: phoronix.com
    • A new drm-misc-next pull request was sent today to DRM-Next bringing a few notable changes for the upcoming Linux 6.8 merge window. First up, today’s pull removes the user-space mode-setting ioctls from the kernel. Kernel mode-setting (KMS) has long been preferred for many years now by the Linux desktop while the user-space mode-setting (UMS) interfaces have remained. Earlier this year in Linux 6.3 a number of old and unmaintained drivers were removed for obsolete graphics hardware. For Linux 6.8, the old UMS infrastructure is being removed to finally say good-bye to the old UMS world. When it comes to new code in this week’s drm-misc-next pull, the V3D driver adds support for CPU jobs. This Broadcom V3D driver work is focused on the Raspberry Pi single board computers to better handle Vulkan and being able to handle more work on the CPU side for where the Broadcom VideoCore graphics hardware isn’t accommodating enough for Vulkan API needs. New to Linux 6.8 in the DRM world is the Imagination PowerVR DRM driver. This week’s pull has added a number of fixes to this newly-queued driver code. More details on the other drm-misc-next feature changes for the week can be found via this pull request.

— Play Security Transition Bumper —

Security and Privacy

10 minutes

  • Stealthy Linux rootkit found in the wild after going undetected for 2 yearsFrom: ars TECHNICA
    • Krasue infects telecom firms in Thailand using techniques for staying under the radar. Stealthy and multifunctional Linux malware that has been infecting telecommunications companies went largely unnoticed for two years until being documented for the first time by researchers on Thursday. Researchers from security firm Group-IB have named the remote access trojan “Krasue,” after a nocturnal spirit depicted in Southeast Asian folklore “floating in mid-air, with no torso, just her intestines hanging from below her chin.” The researchers chose the name because evidence to date shows it almost exclusively targets victims in Thailand and “poses a severe risk to critical systems and sensitive data given that it is able to grant attackers remote access to the targeted network.
    • According to the researchers:
      • Krasue is a Linux Remote Access Trojan that has been active since 20 and predominantly targets organizations in Thailand.
      • Group-IB can confirm that telecommunications companies were targeted by Krasue.
      • The malware contains several embedded rootkits to support different Linux kernel versions.
      • Krasue’s rootkit is drawn from public sources (3 open-source Linux Kernel Module rootkits), as is the case with many Linux rootkits.
      • The rootkit can hook the `kill()` syscall, network-related functions, and file listing operations in order to hide its activities and evade detection.
      • Notably, Krasue uses RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) messages to serve as a disguised “alive ping,” a tactic rarely seen in the wild.
      • This Linux malware, Group-IB researchers presume, is deployed during the later stages of an attack chain in order to maintain access to a victim host.
      • Krasue is likely to either be deployed as part of a botnet or sold by initial access brokers to other cybercriminals.
      • Group-IB researchers believe that Krasue was created by the same author as the XorDdos Linux Trojan, documented by Microsoft in a March 2022 blog post, or someone who had access to the latter’s source code.
      During the initialization phase, the rootkit conceals its own presence. It then proceeds to hook the `kill()` syscall, network-related functions, and file listing operations, thereby obscuring its activities and evading detection. The researchers have so far been unable to determine precisely how Krasue gets installed. Possible infection vectors include through vulnerability exploitation, credential-stealing or -guessing attacks, or by unwittingly being installed as trojan stashed in an installation file or update masquerading as legitimate software.
    • The three open source rootkit packages incorporated into Krasue are:Rootkits are a type of malware that hides directories, files, processes, and other evidence of its presence to the operating system it’s installed on. By hooking legitimate Linux processes, the malware is able to suspend them at select points and interject functions that conceal its presence. Specifically, it hides files and directories beginning with the names “auwd” and “vmware_helper” from directory listings and hides ports 52695 and 52699, where communications to attacker-controlled servers occur. Intercepting the kill() syscall also allows the trojan to survive Linux commands attempting to abort the program and shut it down.
  • Feds Warn Health Sector to Watch for Open-Source ThreatsFrom: LinuxSecurity.com
    • The government’s warning to the health sector to watch for open-source threats has long been on the radar of the IT industry. Open-source software, which is free to use, can be a great tool for organizations that need to scale quickly or don’t have the budget for proprietary software. However, using it has inherent risks, and no one knows that better than the government. The government says that open-source security vulnerabilities can allow hackers access to systems and networks and cause damage that could cost millions of dollars in damages and lost data or productivity. They also say that hackers could use these vulnerabilities as entry points into other parts of an organization’s network or infrastructure.  The government is trying to help by offering guidance on how to mitigate these risks and what steps should be taken if you suspect an open-source vulnerability may have compromised your system. Healthcare organizations should be aware of these issues when choosing software solutions and ensure they have proper security measures before implementing them into their systems. If this advice is followed, choosing open-source software solutions over proprietary alternatives can have significant security benefits. Check out the article linked below for more details on the government’s warning and advice for mitigating risk.
    • Read this full article at Gov Info Security

— Play Wanderings Transition Bumper —

Bi-Weekly Wanderings

30 minutes (~5-8 mins each)

  • Bill
    • This week I decided to focus on two things: Setting up a Mumble server for minCast, and getting better at LibreOffice Writer. The second of those things is important to me because as many are aware, about a year or so ago, we moved our cloud stuff to Nextcloud effectively ending our dependence on Google Drive and Docs. While everyone has been resolved to this decision, it hasn’t been the easiest of rides. Nextcloud has a couple of options for document creation and management, with one of which being the best supported. An opensource group named “Collabora” in partnership with The Document Foundation offer a solution Called “Nextcloud Office” this solution involves both the Nextcloud client plugin which is basically a web version of Libreoffice, and the server component which is called “Collabora” which has to be installed separately from the Nextcloud installation. It’s essentially a document management server. It doesn’t do any actually storage of the individual documents, rather it is simply the engine of the document management solution we use. While Libreoffice is one of those “darling” opensource software projects that we are lucky exists, it’s functionality is somewhat different from MS Office, and bares even less resemblance to Google Docs. Anyone expecting it to behave like either of those projects is in for a bit of a bumpy ride. The biggest challenge was learning how to properly manage the way Libreoffice manages the paragraph styles. This feature is actually powerful because it allows you to create profiles which control everything from font style, and color to paragraph indention, and bullet list style. Our show notes doc utilizes lots of indention and bulleting, and the way it’s handled on Libreoffice has turned out to be a bit maddening for people not used to the way it is done. I set out, though several tutorials and videos to learn how to do it correctly so that I am not rail roaded by the nuances of the software and I’m glad I did.
    • The other challenge I took on was to learn how to set up and manage a “Mumble” server as a possible solution to the on-going problems we have with the video streaming to YouTube. For over a year now, we’ve been using a solution called VDO Ninja, which is a project I love dearly. My other two shows get on with the software flawlessly, but the whole thing has been less than successful for the mintCast crew, so I took it upon myself to find another solution. My thought was that if video is the bottle neck then perhaps we should just drop video altogether and simply focus on the audio version of the show. Mumble would mean bandwidth would be necessary for the hosts to stream and less software resources being used. I got the server up and running and is currently public facing for testing purposes, and seems to work well. Yesterday, during our meeting it was decided that video was actually a valuable tool for interacting with each other so another solution was needed. This was when Jitsi-meet was suggested. I was aware of the software and I like the service. When I first started 3 Fat Truckers, it was the solution I went with. In time I moved away from it in favor of VDO Ninja which is a project made more for content creation and ties in neatly with OBS Studio. This was because I could have sworn at the time there was a time limit if you use their server, which would be a non-starter for mintCast because we tend to go on for 3 hours or better at times. Whether that was true or not at the time, there’s absolutely no indication that limitation exists now. The software seems solid, and a great possible solution for the show. We will do some testing of these solutions before we decide to make any changes. For now we’ll muddle on with VDO ninja. Roundtable will always be done with Discord to allow community members to participate in the conversation. We encourage all of our listeners to jump on our Discord channel and join us for Roundtable every Saturday, opposite of the mintCast livestream at 3 PM US Eastern time.
  • Joe
    • I would like to say that I have done a lot but I took some relaxing time. But I did do some again.
    • I found a parrot mini drone at the good will for eight dollars. It was not a great drone to begin with but for the price I could not complain.
    • There was some issues with it staying connected to bluetooth but that seems to be a common problem with this model of drone. This disconnect caused the drone to fly up and hit my ceiling in the garage which caused one of the propellers to fly off into the 9th dimension
    • This led me to 3d print another one to try out. I actually printed a couple of different ones to try out but I did not find one that worked very well so I will probably end up purchasing some soon.
    • The controls for the drone are actually pretty good when the thing is working as it should. It hovers very well and moves around pretty good but will always be limited by how far you can control it using bluetooth
    • I also 3d printed some cat ears for my children’s headphones. During this process I found out that my bed on my 3d printer had a lot of wobble. It was a pretty easy fix though once I watched the youtube videos that showed me how to fix it.
    • My kids like the cat ears. I did have to print a couple of different iterations of the ears to get a proper fit on their headphones and I did have to redesign the mounting portion. I may still get some issues with durability and may have to add some material in strategic locations to get them to hold together better but only time will tell
    • I was also trying to use up some of my older rolls of PLA to get rid of them after running them through my filament dryer. I guess I used too high of a setting on my dryer because as a couple of the rolls got closer to the center the filament started slightly sticking together. This caused it to not stay on the rollers that I have for it. Mostly the prints still came out ok but the roll would be all over the place.
    • I am hoping that the tightened bed will mean that I don’t have to level the bed as often. Although I am getting a bit of level shifting it is not that bad yet. I am looking into what could be causing it. It may be the filament roll pulling against the extruder
    • I am pretty far along in the process of designing and printing my own headband for headphones. Still some bugs for me to work out on the length and folding and whether or not I want the length to be adjustable as I will be the only one using them
    • This will allow me to extend the life of over the ear headphones when the bands break by simply redesigning the forks that hold them into position. Right now I am designing around the hesh 3 as I have a lot of them floating around.
    • I also have some ideas that will make the printing process easier as right now there is a lot of support material that has to be removed and the end product is not as smooth as I would like it to be.
    • Also changing the design and adding some jst connectors could make the device more modular so that I only have to remove the forks and replace it with other ones as needed depending on the headphones that I want to use
    • I have also started the process of backing up my home drive on my server/ garage computer in order to do the migration to an m.2 ssd from my 2.5 ssd. I am not too worried about the backup because I will be able to switch back to the old drive if I need to.
    • I have a lot of years into getting this OS setup the way that I want so I am a little reluctant to pull the final trigger on a nuke and pave. But it probably needs to be done to clear some of the cruft that has built up over time of testing various applications and settings. Plus the added space could be useful.
    • I tend to try and not put personal files onto the main disk of any system that I use but it tends to happen anyway as time goes on. I will let you know how the process goes
    • I am trying out a couple of different backup and restore techniques. Using the ones that are built into mint as well as manually copying from the home directory to another drive and will also be keeping the old drive handy until I am happy with the new setup.

— Play Innards Transition Bumper —

Linux Innards

30 minutes (~5-8 minutes each)

  • Just some Random discussion

— Play Vibrations Transition Bumper —

Vibrations from the Ether

20 minutes (~5 minutes each)



I just finished listening to 426.5 – Cry “Havoc!” and Bring Forth The Tablets of War and I’d like to respectfully disagree with something. I bought and old HP 2-in-1 and a Lenovo stylus that supports MPP 2.0 this semester. The total cost ended up being about $110 overall. I put Arch Linux with Gnome on it and I’ve been using both Xournal++ and Rnote for taking notes in class and do homework. I’ve got to say I haven’t been disappointed. I sit inbetween two iPad users in one class and I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen them do anything on their iPads that has made them worth the money to me (plus Xournal++ and Rnote are free, Goodnotes isn’t). While stylus support isn’t perfect, the iPad is better, I’d say the interface of Gnome and the stylus support of Linux makes a Linux tablet make a lot more sense than a Windows tablet.


— Play Check This Transition Bumper —

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

Chat with us on Telegram and Discord,

Or post directly at https://mintcast.org


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

  • Someone 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 and various other contributions
  • Bill Houser for hosting the server 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.

mintCast on the Web

This work is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This Website Is Hosted On:

Thank You for Visiting