Episode 13 Show Notes

This is our magic 13th Episode, we made it this far. Still lots more fun to have. And we’re going to start by having fun with our friend, Leo! What’s new with you, Leo?

Leo – Honestly, just trying my hardest to stay healthy lately. All this new normal stuff takes some getting used to. I’ve been coping with copious amounts of hand sanitizer and curbside pickup. 

I’ve reignited my love for Legos, something I thought I’d lost, now that my daughter is getting interested in them. Also have a Raspberry Pi 4 coming my way one of these days. With the loss of 2-day shipping, I’ve come to terms with the waiting. It’s almost like mini-Christmases, but you don’t quite know when things will show up.

Moss – I am on board with the health stuff. Between playing pinball in traffic on April 14th and having my lower left jaw swell up two days ago, health is certainly on my mind. I hope I don’t talk funny this episode. I’ve mostly been staying home and applying for jobs. I also finished a few StackSkills courses, so I’m a lot less of a n00b than I’ve ever been. Tony?

Tony – Well when I try not to chop my fingers off I will be in a lot better position, had a little kitchen accident and have the scar on the middle finger of my Left hand to prove it. For those of you that hand wash the dishes please don’t go diving in between the washing up bowl and the sink if you have dropped a can lid between the two, the results can be very bloody. Other than that and my Back playing up I’m fine for an aging Brit, lol.


…wherein we discuss what did and didn’t work for us this month…

Leo – Spending some time outside in the Texas sun for the few days it doesn’t try to melt you, really. I’ve got a few herbs, vegetables and flowers out there I’m trying to keep alive. And of course, spending a lot of time in the kitchen and on the grill where I’m trying to nail down a few recipes. Except, my oven broke! We think it’s the heating element on the bottom side of the oven, but a $48 purchase later, we’ll find out soon enough.

Also, Fedora! Lots of Fedora. The only thing I didn’t do with Fedora was wear it. As a daily driver and as an experiment to see whether or not I could live on this distro if I had to, and well, a true attempt to be persuaded. I went into this asking: Could Fedora beat out Ubuntu in the “easy”, and “just works” factor for me. I never thought I’d actually write or talk-out a review over any of this until we all brought up the prospect of the show. 

I’ve always been a Debian derivative kind of guy. My NAS is Debian, my Nextlcoud box is a Snap on Ubuntu, and I’ve got Ubuntu all over my website, my VM Host, my Desktop in the form of Linux Mint mainly, and my Laptop in the form of, at least for now, Kubuntu. I dove into Fedora a couple of months ago because I knew how stable people kept saying it was. I figured, there’s no way a group can stay together as long as Fedora has, in the various ways Fedora has manifested, without being worth a decent amount of perspective. Mine is, well, technically, a perspective!

Moss – I got in a really bad car accident and was very lucky to walk away from it. I still don’t have full use of my right arm, the shoulder is still a bit locked up, and various other pain points. This also entailed me becoming unemployed, so I have filed and been approved for a paltry sum per week. I think Tony and I are swapping our cats for extra chances.

I have been using Kubuntu, Sabayon, and the distro I am reviewing this month, in addition to Feren OS, Linux Mint, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1, and Bodhi. Fedora was suggested but I did not get through the installer with enough confidence to pull the trigger.

I have decided that the Galago Pro 2 is just not the machine I need as my main machine, but I should be able to swap it for something more like I need. I need to see if my little box I inherited from my old friend can carry me until I can get something. I got it set up with Mint yesterday, and am looking to clone the M.2 SSD in the Galago Pro if I can; first try left me disappointed, but cryptodan gave me something to try, which I will probably do later today.  I’m looking for a 15.6 or 17” ThinkPad with an i7 and 16 Gb RAM, any old internal drive will do. But if this box works, I may just upgrade it as needed, and the Kudu is still a wonderful machine.

Tony – So when I could use my hand again, I have been baking bread, scones and cakes, I made fruit and cheese scones on the US side of the pond you may refer to the cheese variety as Biscuits, but in the UK sweet or savory they are Scones.  

As I had an aging and not very good PC chair I decided with my Back issues I needed a new Chair, and it arrived on Wednesday, so I can now podcast in a little more comfort. I’m continuing to play with my models and interact with a facebook group for those into the hobby on the ‘Diecast Rescue, Restoration, Dinky, Corgi, Matchbox Lesney, Spot-on, Toys’ pages unfortunately it’s a closed group so If you want to look at the fantastic work of the restorers you need to request to join the group. 

Linux wise I recently did an upgrade to my Desktop PC and installed the Icy Dock 4 x 2.5” HDD/SSD bay, It has meant the removal of the internal DVDRW drive as I only have 4 SATA ports on the motherboard but I have a couple of external USB drives a 5” caddy and a portable laptop DVDRW drive caddy so I can still burn discs if needed. So now I have Mint 19.3 Mate on a new 1TB SSD in the main drive slot and 2 120Gb SSDs with Q4OS and Ubuntu Mate 20.04 on for testing purposes and a spare bay which is currently unoccupied. The advantage of this is that I can run as many Distros as I want as I can just pull out a drive and insert another if they are all occupied and install to the new disc. I have a few lower capacity SSD’s available for this when needed.   

On the lock down front I’m continuing to help a few friends with shopping as they can’t get out and about at the moment. Going for my daily walk to keep in some sort of shape, so it’s not all bad. 

Tony – DISTRO NAME:     Q4OS 4.0r3 plus updates


So this months distro was mainly run on the new test laptop my Dell E7440 the specs are as follows:

CPU – Intel Core i7 (4th Gen) 4600U / 2.1 GHz

RAM – 16Gb DDR3 at 1600Mhz

SSD – 2.5” 128Gb

Just a heads up the 4.0x branch of Q4OS is currently based on Debian testing this is what they say on the web site:

“Q4OS 4.1 Gemini is based on the current Debian ‘Bullseye’ development branch, it will be in development until Debian Bullseye becomes stable.”

I installed the 4.0r3 version but as I have been updating regularly I assume that this has been upgraded to 4.1 along the way. But if you are not happy to run a testing branch OS I suggest using the stable Buster release 3.10 which is the current LTS with upto 5 years of security and other upgrades.

On the Dell and on my PC tower the installation went fine. The installer is a dream and very easy to use. you get all the usual options to install and wipe the current HDD/SSD, install alongside the current OS or custom install. I can report that on the Dell I did have the issue reported last month with LMDE of the boot flag not being properly installed but as I knew what was happening it was an easy fix to go into the live Mint 19.3 disc and flag the drive correctly and everything worked fine after this. On the tower I picked the drive I wanted to install too, and the drive to install grub and at first boot everything was recognised boot wise, so no issues there.  


The only issue I had was the issue of it not flagging the boot drive correctly on the Dell laptop, other than this which I fixed as I said earlier all was working fine. Although there is a little niggle in the key ring not popping up the password box until the WiFi has tried and failed to connect, which delays access to the internet by about 30 seconds, not a major issue just a little frustrating as the laptop boots in about 10 seconds otherwise.


Everything works fine and I have used the laptop continuously for a whole month, using it for Zoom calls and all my portable computing needs such as a media server to watch Amazon videos on our large TV in the living room. There is all the software you need from both the Repositories Flatpak and Snaps so I was able to install all my regular software without issue.  




This was one of the biggest surprises to me, I installed the Plasma DE and was expecting that it would be using between 800Mb – 1Gb of Ram at first boot. No! first boot shows a paltry 670Mb of Ram usage in Neofetch which for a Plasma based system I was well impressed with and is better than my usual prefered DE of Mate on my Mint 19.3 install of around 700-750Mb at first boot, so the Developers have done an amazing job regarding memory management with this distro.    


I didn’t need to look for any but It shouldn’t be too hard Moss you ran Q4OS back in September / October last year any problems with getting help and support from their community if needed?


No problems at all on the Desktop PC Grub was installed correctly and all the other installs recognised without an issue and the Grub screen at boot is lovely with large text which is clear and easy to read with my 60+ year old eyes.


No issues to report, updates have not created any issues on either install.


Ease of Installationnew user friendly install scores     9/10

experienced Linux users             10/10

Hardware Issues                                                             9/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                         (8)/10 (Moss)

Ease of Use                                                                     10/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                  10/10

Stability                                                                           10/10

Overall Rating                                                                 9/10




Debian Buster


Despite this distribution being based on Debian Testing this is a well rounded and stable release of a Debian based Linux OS. There is the possibility, if using this over the LTS 3.10 based on Buster, that issues could arise but no more so than with the interim Ubuntu releases in between their LTS releases. I found it a stable working environment with all the tools I needed to continue to be as productive using this OS as with my regular Mint 19.3 install. A few weeks ago the BDLL crew were asked to give their opinion on if this could be viably rolled out as an OS for government departments in Jamaica, with the backing of an IT team I would say yes this is a very good choice for such a deployment, although I would probably recommend using the LTS for the additional stability that offers, but if you need slightly newer versions of software packages and have the IT infrastructure to do testing prior to rolling out updates than I would say it should be fine for a mission critical working environment, and for home use I would have no hesitation in making this my OS of choice if Mint were ever to go away.      

Leo – DISTRO NAME: Fedora 31 & 32

Fedora 31 was a solid distro for the 10 or so weeks I was on it. I didn’t have much issue with it at all outside of a few little things. MusicBrainz Picard had an issue with handling music files I dragged and dropped into it on 31, but 32, or more likely, a flatpak update, seems to have fixed it. Since Flatpaks update automatically, it’s a little harder to track when something was done without having to drive down into the command line.

Fedora 32 is the point that Fedora really hit its stride for me. A lot of that is largely because I’m on some newer hardware. Namely, the AMD RX 5700. And honestly, it’s not that new by sheer date, but as far as the Kernel is concerned, it is. Speaking of hardware…


I’ve been running Fedora on a custom built two-ish year old desktop. A B350 motherboard paired with a Ryzen 1700 and 32GB RAM. Fedora lives on a 240GB SSD that I let it auto partition for itself and removed the distinction between root and home. Fedora wanted to separate out my home, but I prefer it all in one so I can worry less about hitting arbitrary partition limits. Ended up with 225-ish GB usable and an 8GB partition for swap.


Installation is easy as long as one of two things happens. One, that you can figure out if you select your hard drive in the partitioning window, it will select it for installation. Hit done and you’re good. Or, if you are familiar with Linux partitioning in general. A partitioner is a partitioner is a partitioner. You may not be used to it, but Anaconda can be muddled through. Fedora opts to use LVM by default and create separate partitions for root ( / ) and home as mentioned before. It also creates a swap partition rather than a swapfile as some of the distributions have started to do.


Software is where you expect it to be, and updates are dead simple. However, the update process is a little different from your typical Debian or Ubuntu install. You download them all in the GUI and are prompted to reboot to allow installation of the updates. This is a bit of a departure from the “install everything in the GUI and totally forget about it” style that Debian and Ubuntu opt for on the desktop.

There was another pretty glaring issue I ran into. Firefox is not capable of running Netflix, Plex, or just about any other streaming service using h264. For a new user, this could make or break the experience. It’s not like new users just know that RPMFusion is a thing, or even know how to express the sentiment. However, if you hear this, or stumble upon the right resources, you’ll see that the ffmpeg-libs package and its dependencies need to be installed, and you’ll be golden.

h264 Playback in Firefox

Install RPMFusion Repositories

dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

Then, a simple dnf install ffmpeg-libs sorted it out. Netflix, Hulu, Plex. It all works.


I tried to stick with Flatpak packages for my normal day-to-day software. Everything else was in the Fedora repository.

  • Mumble
  • Audacity*****
  • Discord
  • Telegram
  • Handbrake
  • Slack
  • Steam
  • OBS
  • Lutris

I ended up having to remove Audacity as a flatpak. With the flatpak from Flathub, I could record something, or import an audio file, and I’d get static on top of the source. This wouldn’t ever do. With the official flatpak hosted at Fedora, it could never see the audio devices I had on my machine outside of my GPU. When trying to open them, Audacity would crash. Installing Audacity from the repo was the only way. But the downside here was that it wasn’t a selectable option from the Software app. I had to pop open a terminal to install it with dnf. The Gnome Sound Recorder uses the same types of hardware and hooks, but worked just fine. Something about Audacity.


Once the distro is installed, things are very easy to use if you are even remotely familiar with a Gnome desktop. And most probably are since Ubuntu ships it by default as well. It’s the de-facto, like it or not. It’s what you expect. So, honestly, not much to say here.


Putting these notes together, listening to music, browsing, and opening up random softwares to check on how they’re working, I’m sitting at 3.3 Gigs used, and 2.9 Gigs in cache. This sounds like a lot, and when trying to maintain a minimal distro, it is. But, for modern systems, this is fine. 8GB of RAM is pretty much the standard now. Older hardware may struggle a bit, and swap way more. That’s to be expected. If you have a fast disk, though, this isn’t felt nearly as much. And since SSDs are cheap, and storage upgrades are, for the most part, easy on most laptops and definitely desktops, it can be overcome without much pain.

If you have low amounts of RAM, no SSD, use tons of applications, and no hardware experience, you’ll certainly run into issues. Though, this would stay true on the Ubuntu side as well. So, don’t take that as a dig on Fedora specifically.


Help was easy enough. I didn’t have many hardware issues since the Kernel supports just about everything I run. It was the figuring out of the Firefox and h264 issue that I needed real help on. It was there, and had been for years. Seems this issue is a philosophical one for Fedora and doesn’t seem like it’ll change any time soon. Long story short, it’s detailed, easy to find and easy to understand. The Fedora folk are a fine bunch.


I can’t tell you whether Fedora plays nice with others, though I suspect it might. I don’t typically install more than one OS on a disk, and tend to run legacy boot, so I can just plop a Linux distro on a disk, add the bootloader, and boot from the disk when needed. That may be the graybeard in me. 

What I can shed some light on is gaming. I’ve also got the perspective of having gamed on both Fedora 31 and 32. And man, did the upgrade make all the difference. I played a handful of games over various solutions. Lutris, Steam with Proton and, of course, native. World of Warcraft, Path of Exile, Brawlhalla, Dawn of War III, and OpenRA.

For World of Warcraft I needed Lutris, Wine and Vulkan drivers to get things usable. This probably also made Steam usable, as it requires some DXVK enablement as well.

Lutris (from Gnome Software)

  • Packages Installed for Battle.net app
       gnutls gnutls-devel openldap openldap-devel libgpg-error sqlite2.i686 sqlite2.x86_64
  • Packages Installed for Wine
  • Packages Installed for Vulkan
       vulkan-loader vulkan-loader.i686


World of Warcraft  (Lutris/DXVK) Verdict: 31, playable, 32, awesome

The game worked great, but had the performance I had expected from Mesa 19.2. A bit choppy at the beginning, but smooths out over about 5-10 minutes. The game is playable up to 5-man dungeons, but anything larger can get very choppy.

In Fedora 32, you’d still need the same things, but performance is much improved thanks to the newer Mesa 20. The choppyness is almost nonexistent in the world, but can still be felt a bit when large groups gather and cast lots of spells. The upgrade really made things feel better.

Path of Exile is a Windows-only game, so I needed to enable “Steam Play for all other titles”.

Path of Exile (Proton 5.0)Verdict: 31, unplayable. 32, slightly less unplayable.

Suffers the same types of problems World of Warcraft does with the stuttering right after launch. However, it’s pretty unbearable, even at the lowest levels and wouldn’t work anywhere mid- to end-game when things get really hectic. But honestly, not all of this is the fault of Proton. Take a peek at the forums and performance complaints are everywhere. And this is for Windows!

To be clear, the majority of the issues aren’t Fedora-specific problems. 

Fedora 32 and Mesa 20 don’t fix much of anything here. The problem lies with Proton, I think, or could even just be Path of Exile itself. While, not to this extent, there are performance issues even in Windows.

Brawlhalla (Proton 5.0) Verdict: Worked perfectly. No issues whatsoever on 31 and 32.

The Fedora upgrade didn’t have an effect here. Still works great.

Dawn of War 3 (Native) Verdict: 31, works great. 32, works perfectly.

Since this game is native, I expected it to work. And it did. The menus can be a little slow, but once a game starts everything flattens out and works great. I mostly played 2v2 matches, and even during big battles, the framerate was steady.

Fedora 32 fixed the menu issues, again I assume Mesa 20.

OpenRA (Native) Verdict: Works perfectly. No issues whatsoever. Fedora 32 didn’t change this. It works!


Rock solid. I didn’t have a single crash that I could feel. But there are kernel errors every now and then that show up in the notifications area.


The Fedora Spins! I think I might kick the tires of Fedora with the Plasma Desktop. Gnome has really grown on me, but, still isn’t for me. And the fact that I can sit here and say “I don’t like it, I’ll use something else” is nothing short of amazing. I love Linux and the projects surrounding it.

OepnMandriva Lx 4.1 (Moss)


Ease of Installationnew user                            5/10

experienced user               9/10

Hardware Issues                                                 10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)              9/10

Ease of Use                                                         9/10

Gaming Ease                                                        9/10

Stability                                                                 10/10

Overall Rating                                                      8-9/10


Fedora is fantastic. It’s well put together and works the way you’d expect it to. If it weren’t for an installer that can cause a little confusion when it comes to partitioning, it’d be ideal. It could almost be recommended as a beginner disto. But that’s fine. Fedora is great, just the way that it is.

Moss – DISTRO NAME: Ubuntu Mate 20.04


I ran this on a System76 Kudu 3, with 16 Gb RAM and a 256 Gb SSD, with a 6th generation i7 CPU and Intel graphics chipset. I also gave Ubuntu Studio 20.04 a try on my Galago Pro 2, I still don’t like the way they implement XFCE so I switched to Kubuntu 20.04 with the Studio tools added. I’m still using that, but am not going to cover that here.


Installation was as smooth as can be for Ubiquity installer, which is my choice for the second-best installer for newer users.  Nothing to report out of the ordinary.


It was like revisiting an old friend, one with nothing to offer except solidity. Nothing went wrong. For some reason, Clementine went wonky on me and I had to use another music player — the same thing happened to sneekylinux when he reviewed Xubuntu 20.04, so it’s probably one of those overlooked things on the new LTS.

Biggest peeve: The icons for “End the Current Session”, “Lock Screen”, and “Turn Off the Device” are different from those used in the past or in other distros, are not evocative of those features in any way, and are tinier than ever. This is a serious problem for visually impaired people.  One of the listeners in the Telegram group told me I could put a Shut Off widget on the taskbar; I looked at that and found it to be the same icon I didn’t understand already and it was not significantly larger.


This is going to be a boring review, I can tell already. Everything works exactly the way you’d expect, and MATE makes it easy for both new and experienced users.


After booting, Stacer reported 880 Mb RAM use. This is not nearly as light as Plasma or XFCE, but still quite a bit better than Gnome. Total disk use as installed is 10 Gb. With 4 tabs open in Firefox, RAM usage was 1.4 Gb; closing Firefox and waiting two minutes saw it return to 860 Mb; another time I closed Firefox, it dropped to 744 Mb. I moved Firefox to a separate workspace and it briefly jumped to 2.0 Gb and then settled back down to 1.8. So this is not a distro to use if you only have 2 Gb RAM, but you should be fine with at least 4 Gb of RAM — unless you are doing heavy lifting in your other uses, in which case you probably shouldn’t have a 4 Gb machine in the first place..


There is nothing easier to find than help with Ubuntu distros. There are the official forums, the AskUbuntu website, all the various Telegram and Discord groups, and just about anybody who has ever used Ubuntu. Bug reports are getting easier to do, although they are still working on making them easier. For some reason, I did not get much response from my reporting of the Clemtine problem, other than one person postulating that I probably had too large a music library (which is an issue Clementine was specifically created to deal with). sneekylinux just used Strawberry Player to deal with it, and after hearing that, so did I.


This is a strong point for *buntus. Grub Customizer has been in the repos since 18.10 and was easily installed as a PPA since 16.04 at least. Also, I have learned a neat trick with installation of distros using Ubiquity Installer, where you open a Terminal on the live disk and type a simple command, resulting in GRUB not being installed so you have nothing to fix. Just go to the distro you have controlling GRUB and run Grub Customizer to get the new installation included on the menu.


You’ve heard it here many times already: it’s Ubuntu, and nothing short of Debian itself is more stable.


Any other *buntu

Linux Mint MATE


Ease of Installationnew user                             8/10

experienced user               9/10

Hardware Issues                                                    9/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)             10/10

Ease of Use                                                          9/10

Plays Nice With Others                                         10/10

Stability                                                                10/10

Overall Rating                                                       9/10


This installation just felt familiar, like an old shirt. Nothing remarkable, but it felt like it would do anything I asked it to without error or complaint. Just stay away from Clementine music player until they’ve had time to figure out what the problem is. For information on other *buntus, check out Episode 334.5 of mintCast.


from April 8 to May 10

EndeavourOS 2020.05.08

Debian-Edu 10.4.0

Debian 10.4.0

AV Linux 2020.5.10

Zentyal Server 6.2

Elive 3.8.12

KDE neon 20200507

RebeccaBlackOS 2020-05-05

Linuxfx 10.1

DragonFly 5.8.1

Volumio 2.773

Clonezilla 2.6.6-15

Tails 4.6

TENS 3.0.1

NethServer 7.8

SparkyLinux 2020.05

OpenIndiana 2020.04

PCLinuxOS 2020.05

ArchLabs 2020.05.04

Ufficio Zero 1.1

TurnKey 16.0

KaOS 2020.05

Academix 2.5

Archman 2020-05 “MATE”

LuninuX 20.04

GhostBSD 20.04.1

Endless OS 3.8.0

elementary OS 5.1.4

Simplicity Linux 20.4

Pop!_OS 20.04

Parrot 4.9

Voyager Live 20.04

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

Fedora 32

CentOS 7.8.2003

Manjaro Linux 20.0

Ubuntu Budgie 20.04

Xubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu Kylin 20.04

Ubuntu MATE 20.04

Kubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu Studio 20.04

Ubuntu 20.04

Lubuntu 20.04

NixOS 20.03

Archman GNU/Linux 2020-04

Guix System 1.1.0

EndeavourOS 2020.04.11

ReactOS 0.4.13


Tony and I haven’t seen anything in our channels that needs discussion here, but the chat is always lively in our Telegram group and the DHD public area of the mintCast Discord, so come on in and join us! Londoner, cryptodan, Dale Miracle, Joshua Hawk, myself and others have a grand time in there, with more activity at times from our 23 members than some other groups I’m in with 1000 or more members.

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