Podcast Season 2 Episode 3

Podcast

Title: SUSE SUSE Studio

In this episode: Version 2.6.33 of the Linux kernel is here and it includes a new 3D accelerated Nvidia graphics driver. Canonical's online music store will only provide MP3 files, and Apple sues Android partner, HTC. We report back on our experiences with SUSE Studio and answer our critics in the Closed Ballot.

What's in the show

  • News: Version 2.6.33 of the Linux kernel has been released and includes the Nouveau Nvidia graphics card driver and support for Nintendo's Wii and Gamecube consoles. Canonical's upcoming online music store will only provide MP3 files and Apple sues HTC.
  • You Dare Us:
    • We report back on our experiences of building our own distributions with SUSE Studio and pick a new challenge for the next episode. Torrents for our creations can be found here:
      • Mike's Mikix 2010 (Choose Xfce at the login screen for the intended desktop experience).
      • Graham's kompile (Choose KDE at the login screen for the unintended desktop experience).
      • Paul's Flamix (shared source).
      • and Andrew's Gnome Desktop.
  • Discovery of the week:
  • In the Hot Seat
    • This episode's unwilling volunteer is Graham Morrison. And we forget to mention that it's Paul's turn next time.
  • Closed Ballot: Why are we so negative?

  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to to 55% - that's just $7.62 an issue!

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders

Subscribe to the TuxRadar Podcast. Choose between Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments

Warning for Flamix users

I used SUSE Studio Testdrive to customise Flamix a little. The end result was that it ignored the customisations I made, and instead now brings up an error when you boot it. Still, I don't expect you'll be disappointed - what did you expect from a distro called Flamix? :)

amazing work!

I keep waiting for ur podcasts every fortnight..its a great job that you guys are doing... Besides..the humor is one of a kind ;)

foreign..

by the way...I'm from overseas...(India)...and listening to your podcasts is one way I keep up with the Linux world..

KDE Objectivity

Not to beat the dead KDE horse discussion here (damn, pun not indented).
By all means it is your podcast and you can be as negative as you want, just don't call it objectivity.
BTW, Gnome 3 Shell look great, will definitely try it out (Gnome is really staring to show its age).
BTW, BTW this is by far the best cast I could find for Linux news. I tried "The Linux Link Tech Show", "Going Linux" and the dreadful "Linux Outlaws", sorry for MY bit of negativity, but Fabian acts like a 5 year-old making farting jokes, Dan is OK.

podcast notes?

Where are these so called 'podcast notes' I keep hearing about?

blissed out

when a piece of software can go find the cover to
Monarchy Mayhem And Fi$hpaste - Jackdaw With Crowbar
It has to be pretty good. Nice find

Srsly?

You dont need to try the latest KDE to bash it? You have better things to do?
So thats a real journalists attitude, isnt it?
A lot has changed between the first KDE SC 4.x and 4.4.
If you refuse to try latest software but instead rant about stupid old prejudices noone will take you serious.
I know a lot of people that felt the exact same way about the first 4.x releases and that now love 4.4.
If you want to know in which direction KDE is heading with 4.x, just take a look at e.g Dolphin or Okular and then tell me, the settings are too confusing.

WIndows 7/ Visa ?

If you want to try KDE 4.4, just try Windows 7 and pretend there are more features.

When I first booted up Windows for a serious look at it, because it came on my new laptop, I realized how much it has ripped off from KDE 4.

I am waiting for the new nvidia drivers for my GT 330m graphics card, so I am writing this in a full screen ubuntu virtual machine. :(

Make tea & Have some lunch before beginning to read this one . .

Firstly I must second that comment from Jake about the Podcast Notes, where, when how?

Secondly, Damn you guys are taking a kicking in the comments! I for one agree with a poster in a previous thread that podcasts singing the praise of this and that are a dime a dozen. FLOSS (Gnu/Linux in particular) have many followers who treat it like a sacred entity, you dare not speak ill of it lest you go down in a ball of flaming comments!

Lets face it, nothings perfect, and it will never be unless we highlight the areas that need attention, or deity forbid, complete scrapping.

We have a very diverse community, and thats good. However when we don't see eye to eye, we bitch more than room full of school kids crying over who gets the last sweetie! Which is not so good.

Constructive criticism is an art, by it's very nature it can't be accepted by everyone (one mans Picasso is another mans "What the fuck is that?"). To dump the podcast from your subscription list because points are made that you dont agree with is silly and childish, if you disagree, simply voice your opinion on the comments. Leaving the classroom just means your guaranteed not to get that last sweetie ;-p

To get to the point, I enjoy the podcast, I like the criticisms, sometimes I agree and sometimes I just disagree but I'm always informed and its nice to get a picture of what other users feel (I come from a Windows world, surrounded by people who suckle at the teat of Ballmer and co.). Keep up the good work, but above all . . .

puts some proper fecking show notes up! ;-)

P.S. my captcha code was 'belts weak', if thats not a sign, what is!

bliss - Thanks guys

Thanks to Graham and the guys for featuring bliss in the podcast - I'm the programmer for bliss.

I'm glad you found it useful.

Interesting to hear you, Graham, talk about installing it on a NAS. This is where I want to take the product - a fully automated daemon style music organiser. Which NAS was this... an off the shelf one or a roll-your own? I presume the former given you couldn't get Java installed on it. It would be useful to know what brand it is.

I also hear your concerns about what the memory implications may be. I've been doing a lot of optimisation over the past couple of weeks on memory footprint and throughput of music file processing. Given my target of having this working on NASs, home servers and the like I think this is important. Currently a music library of 5000 albums fits into about 135MB memory (these figures are approximate of course). I want to improve that further.

Thanks again, and love the podcast... I'm a xubuntu user myself btw.

@Cage nobody said anything

@Cage
nobody said anything against constructive criticism.
Bashing something without even trying it is pure bullshit and doesnt help anyone.

RE: Journalism

<< You dont need to try the latest KDE to bash it? You have better things to do? So thats a real journalists attitude, isnt it? >>

This is idiotic. It's a PODCAST. It's some guys sitting around a table chatting. It's not journalism, and doesn't even try to be. If you want journalism, read their magazine, or read a newspaper. Any fool can notice the difference in tone between the podcast and the rest of the website.

<< A lot has changed between the first KDE SC 4.x and 4.4. >>

Bullshit. I'm sure a lot of MS fanboys would say that a lot changed between Vista and Vista SP1, but I tried Vista and it was a disaster area - nothing, nothing, NOTHING would have made me think, "Ooo, maybe Vista SP1 is much better now... I should really give Vista another try." I have better things to do than try new releases of software unless they fix the problems I had in the first place.

KDE 4.4 is still the same beast as KDE 4.0. Sure, bugs have been fixed. Many, many bugs have been fixed. And there are many new features. But it still has the same fundamental "WHAT THE FUCK?!" problems with it, and until they die a horrible death I for one won't try it again.

@SaveFerris

<< This is idiotic. It's a PODCAST. It's some guys sitting around a table chatting. It's not journalism, and doesn't even try to be. If you want journalism, read their magazine, or read a newspaper. Any fool can notice the difference in tone between the podcast and the rest of the website. >>

Well, no, reading their magazine won't give you any more journalism as most of the articles on tuxradar are just recycled from their older issues of LFX. They only ones that aren't are directly related to the podcasts, such as open ballet.

I don't have a problem with that, I'm just pointing out that the difference between what you get in the magazine, tuxradar, and the podcast is almost nothing.

I buy the magazine every month, listen to the podcast every fortnight, and check in on tuxradar every day or so it isn't like I'm bashing them, but I do think other people should be allowed to criticize what they freely encourage people to listen to on the Internet.

Btw LFX guys. I will NEVER subscribe until you offer U.S readers a coffee mug, or beer mug.

One of the best episodes yet!

The whole argument about ye guys being too negative actually resulted in something more positive. I dunno about others but it brought out a bit more of each personality on the show.

The show is great but sometimes we want to know a bit more about the people behind the show!

google

curious to know what the tuxradar team think of google buzz, google wave and google's acquisition of docverse. perhaps touch on some of this in future episode. thanks.

flamix

is there any truth to the rumour that Google is going to buy flamix and use it as the basis of chrome os?

chestnuts roasting on an open flamix

Flamix warms the cockles of the heart.

I've customised it so that when you login it automatically starts playing "Great Balls of Fire".

backdraft

I've got a burning desire to see Flamix reduce Microsoft's dominance to ashes. Steve Ballmer won't be able to stand the heat; he'll have to get himself a brand new kitchen whilst suing Tuxradar for intellectual property arson.

The Towering Inferno

@flamix development team

In the spirit of open source, you should borrow kubuntu's "get it while it's hot" slogan - I reckon you could even make it your own.

gnome ore negativity

Of course it is important that we have the right to dissent and we shouldn't be fawning in our praise towards a project just because it's open source. However, you've got to be consistent - it is so stark the contrast - you can never find a good word to say about kde whereas gnome can seemingly do no wrong.

For instance,

"KDE is floundering in every possible direction to try to introduce what they call innovation but it doesn't actually make anything more usable or effective."

Couldn't you say the same about gnome shell?

No, your praise of gnome shell is gushing eventhough it is arguably a solution in search of a problem and, at the moment, is basically a combination of desktop activities and a widget layer of launchers, things which you are so scathing about in KDE.

I don't have a problem with you preferring gnome (I am predominantly a gnome user myself) but if it is so far superior to KDE then why do so many millions of users continue to prefer KDE. Are all of these people irrational KDE fanboys? I believe, if you're fair, you will recognise that both desktops have merit and gnome's superiority is not as black and white as your podcast would suggest. You make it sound like KDE is so far behind Gnome they might as well give up.

Also in that episode where you tested KDE for a fortnight if I am correct you used Kubuntu. Canonical channel most of their resources into Ubuntu (I have heard that there is only one fulltime Kubuntu developer at Canonical) and so Kubuntu is obviously likely to lack the polish of Ubuntu. This is illustrated by the way that Ubuntu one integration in Kubuntu lags far behind that of the main Ubuntu gnome version. Perhaps a fairer test would have been to use a more predominately KDE based distro such as Mandriva or Suse or better yet vanilla KDE with Arch or Slackware. Also Graham complained that installing 4.4 broke his system, but surely that is a package management problem with his distribution not with KDE.

Also surely there are some good things KDE has got which gnome lacks. For instance the Youtube video applet in Amarok which offers useful functionality absent in Banshee and Rhythmbox, the way that Digikam allows you to manage videos as well as photos, unlike f-spot, and it's versatile bulk rename and editing features, as well as 3D geolocation with Marble embedded - all without parallel in f-spot. I also find the terminal emulator in konqueror handy and the kparts and kioslaves and believe KDE is the best DE in aesthetic terms, which although a bit shallow is important for many, and eyecandy helps encourage new users to try linux.

Also as regards configurability, ok - options can be buried, but at least they are there. To configure gnome beyond a basic level requires basically a hack to get it the way you want. If you recall this is what Linus Torvalds found so exasperating in his "Gnome treat users like idiots" rant. Mike and Paul complained that they couldn't find stuff, but they are used to gnome. Perhaps if they used kde for years and then tried gnome for 2 weeks, they would find the experience similarly disorientating. We are creatures of habit and have a general tendency [often subconcious] to dislike things that we are not so familiar with.

Also KDE 4.4 is a vastly different beast to 4.0 or even 4.2. Condemning the whole KDE 4 series just because early versions were hit and miss is like denouncing a distro on the basis of an early alpha iso - not really fair.

Also there is a saying "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". Is it fair to criticise something that you admit you "haven't got the time to try"?

So if you're going to be critical OK, but you should have a dig at gnome from time to time and say where you think gnome is lacking and don't always pick on KDE.

Re: gnome ore negativity

johnny ace...

"why do so many millions of users continue to prefer KDE"

why do so many millions of people continue to eat at mcdonalds? why do so many millions of people use windows? your argument makes no sense. just because a lot of people use something, doesnt make it good, does it??

and one of the podcast guys uses xfce anyway i think so its not all gnome

Akonadi & Nepomuk

Graham excuse my ignorance but any chance in explaining akonadi and nepomuk please. Since the KDE 4.0 release I have heard so much about how marvellous they both are, but only in an overly technical way which goes on about changes under the hood, but doesn't explain benefits to end user. What can I now do using these 2 core innovations of KDE 4 that I could not do under KDE 3? Also on a more subjective level would be keen to hear your personal opinion about the 2 and whether they will perhaps provide greater benefits down the road when they are more mature. Thanks.

I fell into a burning Ring Of Fire

I've heard RMS and Flamix are getting on like a house on fire.

50 million KDE fans can't be wrong

"why do so many millions of people continue to eat at mcdonalds? why do so many millions of people use windows? your argument makes no sense. just because a lot of people use something, doesnt make it good, does it??"

****************

Your analogies are not really good ones.

People know that the quality of food at McDonalds is not on par with that at The Savoy, but cost and convenience are factors here.

Convenience is also a big factor with Windows popularity. When people buy a new computer Windows is preinstalled. Also there is the convenience of not having to learn something new and being able to "stick with what you know", which is nearly always Windows.

Also for big empires like Microsoft and McDonalds marketing is a key factor which gives them a huge advantage.

With Linux however it is a fairly level playing field.

Both Gnome and KDE are more or less equally well known and well supported.
Both have similar (negligible) levels of marketing resources.
Both are free.
Neither have consumer lock in and switching between the two is facilitated rather than blocked.
Neither tend to come preinstalled and so require a conscious choice on the part of the consumer.
Nearly all Linux users try both at some point and so can generally make a more informed choice than a typical Windows user who doesn't even know what an OS or a desktop environment is and simply uses what came preinstalled.

As a result, the relative popularity of the two desktop environments is more a reflection of their merit than of financial, marketing or convenience factors and thus the roughly 50-50 market share of the two is reasonable circumstantial evidence that they will probably both be fairly close in terms of quality.

Therefore the point, although not conclusive by any means, does, I believe, when taken in conjunction with the rest of what I said, have some validity.

I think one of the good things about Open Source is that quality and popularity tend to be more closely correlated than they would be in a purely commercial environment, where financial muscle has such considerable sway.

PS. I know Mike uses Xfce - I meant to say Andrew. Sorry.

KDE users

johnny ace said 'Neither tend to come preinstalled'

uhm, johnny, dont know where you've been but..... the three biggest distros on distro watch are

* ubuntu
* fedora
* linux mint

gnome is the default desktop with those. gnome comes pre-installed with the three biggest distros in the world!

@anon pen

Just to clarify: when I said "they don't tend to come preinstalled" I meant that when you buy a new computer from any major retailer it does not usually have KDE or Gnome on it. I realise that Ubuntu, Fedora and Mint have Gnome as part of the default install, but you still have to install Ubuntu, Fedora or Mint yourself 99 times out of 100 and KDE-based distros require no more effort or knowledge to install than Gnome-based ones. Neither Gnome nor KDE has the advantage that Windows has of being nearly always preinstalled by the retailer and ready to use straight away so between Gnome and KDE it is a fairly level playing field in this respect.

Flaming Star

Flamix is set to set the world alight!

KDE Sucks, Gecko too

I seriously agree with you that KDE really sucks. I was a huge KDE fan when they were at KDE 3.x. But they really created a blunder when they released the 4.0 release.

Regarding Gecko, it has become bloated, the javascript engine sucks, its launch time sucks (on Windows, works fine on my Fedora 12 64-bit). And the other day I was going through Ars Technica and found out that they'll be using Webkit's javascript engine in the next Mozilla's release!!

So we should assume that Gecko is fighting a loosing battle here. Opera 10.50 is already blowing every browser that comes in front of it. It seriously rocks, I used it on Win 7. Though there is no release for GNU/Linux yet.

Canonical's decision to use MP3 may be due to the fact that except Cowon's players and few others, no player supports Ogg Theora and FLAC right of the box. Still, I think that they should've give the users a choice of codecs.

BTW, thanks to you, I've switched to Fedora 12 64-bit from 32-bit on my AMD Phenom II 720 BE processor, is nice!!

U. S. Constitution vs. Gnu /

When you (one the four?) said that it was a brilliant piece of clear and concise(?) writing at 8k+ words, did you mean the Constitution, or the FAQ on Gnu /?

Great podcast btw, and I agree with the majority who like Gnome over KDE (was there one XFCE holdout?) Were they trying for a Vista-like appearance? So instead of chasing MS, Gnome has the new Gnome-shell. I'd like to hear a podcast on that and how to get it in a current distro? Lucid perhaps?

Good luck with the Warthog

Enjoyed the podcast.

It's natural if you're British to be negative, and I'd much rather honesty than fake enthusiasm. On the other hand, there's no harm in being a bit positive every now and then!

D

Future of KDE

Graham said that KDE 4.4 is a "crap update". Just curious as to what kinds of features he was hoping to see that would have constituted a good update in his opinion. I'm not saying this to be awkward but would genuinely like to know where he would like to see KDE go from here.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away there was an evil Empire. The Emperor received a report of an anomaly in the space/time continuum. He sent his most evil Commander Ignominous Erroneous VI to the reported Coordinates.

Ignominous Erroneous VI was a vicious bastard, not well liked by his troops, never listening to his officers advice and prone to mistakes - however even though he was flawed, and not too efficient, he always got the job done.

Through the anomaly he discovered another 'Mirror' Universe and a way to get through to it. He found it to be a remarkably free place, no one ruler and certainly no evil Empire. He saw his chance.

He set off with his army on a brutal 50 year campaign, overtaking galaxy after galaxy, making a hash of some so that their resources were spoilt and useless, but those that bowed down to his iron fist and accommodated his *flaws* were left relatively unspoilt.

Ignominous Erroneous VI had two sons, and in his arrogant manner named them after himself (Ignominous Erroneous VII and VIII). His sons joined the military and rose quickly through the ranks and were widely rumoured to be better leaders and strategists than their father - but their father, arrogant, bloated bastard that he was refused to allow his sons to lead the campaign, keeping them in 'development' longer than he should - Ignominous Erroneous VI grew old and tired.

At this point, a rebellion formed in one of the outer lying galaxies in the Mirror Universe. The Freedom Foundation, as they named themselves (though named in Fear throughout the Empire as the Red Dinosaur), grew rapidly in support - and in numbers and started to attack the armies of Ignominous Erroneous VI.

Each battle they fought they won until they had set free a quarter of the Mirror Universe. By this time, their growing strength and their numbers had caused them to lose effectiveness, their lightning fast assaults and their ability to respond to attack had slowed. Though still more effective than their enemy, and with the potential to turn the tide, the people of the Mirror Universe turned their backs on them.

Time went on - Ignominous Erroneous VI bluntly refusing to die could see the danger and released his two sons VII and VIII upon the Mirror Universe who continued the war - other contenders arose briefly, Operus of the Red Sphere Nebula (not known for being Open) and Epiphanus the Brave led gallant campaigns but were eventually crushed until no planet was free.

Eventually all the resources of the Mirror Universe were drained and pulled through the anomaly to feed the Empire in our Universe. The Mirror Universe became unstable, those loyal to the Empire were allowed through the anomaly to live under the Iron Fist of the Emperor and his three favourite commanders VI, VII and VIII.

Those that were not, were crushed as the Mirror Universe collapsed upon itself.

There is a moral to this tale, Paul, Mike, Andrew, Graham, I implore you - please give Mozilla a chance..?

Enloghtened comments

Does anybody remember how cool enlightenment was? I really loved the eye candy, it just looked really cool. My pentium II 200MHz PC still has a couple of Red Hat 7 systems - I used a swap tray to boot up one or the other. Gnome 1.2, KDE 1.x, or FVWM (!!). It actually still runs and I intended to post you some desktop grabs.

To Graham (I think) you mentioned that apt-get has TAB completion - I think that arises from the shell, since at the command line, your apt command hasn't been parsed, so the shell must be doing the TAB completion. (just to be pedantic).

I think you guys are great, though. It's one of the things I feel is important to be critical of various things be they desktops or archiving packages (cpio has some advantages over the older tar, btw: because backups originally went to TAPE, if an archive was both compressed and stored in a contiguous method, if it was corrupted, it was lost, whereas with cpio a different approach was used allowing you to at least retrieve parts of an archive. These days those sorts of things aren't so crucial because of the changes in filesystems and data transfer and backup medium. But also the latest tar is a different beast and probably can do neat things like recognize a gzip or bzip - that wasn't always the case!)

I started listeneing to the podcasts from the LXF DVD 124, so I've had to catch up a lot, but I find them all very funny but also informative. It sounds like you all have a good rapport. Keep up the good work.

I first got started with the linux powerpack: 6CDs of linux goodness from Red Hat - linux OS 5.0 and archives of ftp.gnu.org and sunsite.unc.edu. It had Afterstep, LessTif, Lyx, XEmacs 20.3, kernel "up to 2.0.32 and experimental kernels up to 2.1.70" !!! I think I first installed it on a 286 with a math co-processor, but it is longer ago than I care to remember - 1998 - so you guys needn't feel so o-l-d ;)

Oh yeah, and I'm tossing up whether to install linux on my XDA II pocketPC, partly because I want a better looking OS on it, partly because it's no longer being supported anyway and partly because I am a complete masochist. :)

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