Episode 17 Show Notes


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

Moss – I had all my teeth pulled and was given a temporary denture, which is why I’m talking funny.  But first off, let’s check in with Dale, who is making his first LIVE appearance on our show.

Dale –  Since episode 16 was posted.   I was on vacation during the last two weeks of September.  As far as computer related activities go.  I finished trying out Manjaro Plasma on my Lenovo t430.  It was installed for a couple months.  I am very pleased with it.  Then I installed GhostBSD and have been trying it out.

I finally decided to cancel my cable tv service.  I installed an outdoor tv antenna and reused the coax that Spectrum was using for my tv service.  The only other additional item I needed was a 4 port powered splitter.  I now have around 56 channels mostly in HD.  So between the over the air tv, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and my Plex Media Server.  I have plenty to watch at quite a bit of a savings per month.

Moss – I was given a workstation from one of our listeners, which I refer to as FuzZ400. This machine features a quad-core Xeon processor at 3.20 GHz, an Nvidia FX1500 video card, and 16 Gb of RAM, and has been outfitted with my half-terabyte SSD with 6 working partitions. Many thanks to Owen Peery, aka Fuzzy P., for the donation.

Episode 015 exceeded 600 downloads but now stands at 584; we have no idea what happened at Archive.org, but if you want to donate to them, and we would love you to if you can, ask them about it.. When we started this show, we were sort of expecting around 100 listeners, and the 300-plus we’ve been getting has been quite heart-warming. Now that our per-show average is around 440, we are getting quite giddy.

Tony – Well since the last show my health has not been the best and this has effected my preparation for this month’s show although I did manage to pick a distro and do some testing and I am writing my show notes on the machine which the OS is installed on. 

England where I live in the UK is just about to go into a further month of a sevier lockdown due to the re-escalating Covid crisis and although at the moment this is for a month it could be extended further if things do not improve. So it’s back to only being allowed to leave the house for limited reasons that are essential and for outdoor exercise.

Nothing particularly new in the way of technology this month although I did install Win10 onto my Dell Latitude E6540 so a friend could borrow it while getting a new laptop.

UPDATES (Where we discuss what we have learned about distros we’ve already reviewed)

Moss – All flavours, official and unofficial, of Ubuntu have had updates as part of the 20.10 cycle. This will affect many other Ubuntu-based distros along the way, except for those entirely based on LTS. Bodhi 6.0 is in pre-release alpha, and has some nice features, although they really could use more help; if anyone is interested, contact YLee at the Bodhi Forum

Dale, has anything caught your attention about the distros you’ve reviewed for us?

Dale – No updates in Slackel. There is a lot of chatter in Solus forums about it trailing in kernel updates, we’re not sure what is going on yet. It’s still on 5.6, which isn’t good for my new machine, even though they have updated to Plasma 5.20.1.

Tony – As most of you will be aware in Mint 20 they blocked the ability to install snapd which with a little bit of changes to a block file can be overcome. This was due to Canonical only making Chromium available as a snap package. Well the Mint team have now packaged Chromium as a deb package and put this in the Mint repositories so if you do not wish to use Snaps but want Chromium this is now available again in Mint 20.

Fedora 33 has now been released and is available for download in its various flavors, so if you are still on Fedora 31 its time to update to 32 or 33 as support for Fedora 31 is about to stop receiving any updates, if it has not already stopped by the time you read this.  




So for information this months installation was done as a sole install on my Toshiba Portege Z30 the specification is as follows:

Intel® Core™ i5-4210U CPU 2cores and 4 threads @ 1.70GHz to 2.7GHz 128Gb M2 SSD and 8Gb DDR3 Ram.


On first boot into the install medium I connected to the local WiFi (I was away at the time) and this went without a hitch. I opened the installer which is the calamares installer so this was a good start. I navigated through the menu setting location and keyboard until I got to the partition section, which is where things started to go wrong. I decided to try a dual boot machine, and selected the partition size etc. after completing the remainder of the setup process I clicked install and after a few minutes it failed saying there was no installation media. Nothing I did would allow the install to continue. I booted back into a live disc to check if the disk had been partitioned and it had although no file system had been created on the space allocated for the install. After several more failed attempts I just opted to do a whole disc install and was finally successful in getting a working KaOS. Later I realised that KaOS uses the xfs file system and this may be the reason behind the issues of it being unable to install a dual boot system and the other OS was an EXT4 file system, and I probably needed to do a custom install to get a dual boot to work.


No issues found as far as the hardware was concerned so I had no problems here


On first boot the task bar is placed vertically on the right of the screen and it took me a little while to figure out how to move it by right clicking the panel choose edit and go to screen edge and grab this to move the panel to your preferred location. In my case the bottom of the screen. You can also set it to hide the panel when you have an application open, useful on smaller screens and if you bring the cursor towards the bottom of the screen the panel reappears.

As for ease of use goes my benchmark is how easy it is to install software and access your programs. The second one is no issue as the menu is very clear and easy to navigate and also has a search function. 

However this is an independent distribution and they chose to use pacman as the package management system, and here is where things start to fall down. I was not able to install snapd which I use to install one of the applications I use regularly and the only other way to install this application on KaOS would be to compile it myself which is not something I do even as a seasoned Linux user. 


Given the above I was able to install all the regular software I use for podcast production and other photo and graphic software I use regularly and even managed to find an appimage of Zoom which is not available in the repository for installation. 


Plasma over that year or 2 has become very good at memory management and at boot this system was using around 650Mb of RAM and with Firefox open with 3 tabs it is around the 1.6Gb mark.

After installing all my regular software the system was using just under 14Gb of HDD space leaving over a 100Gb for data use post installation. 


As I said at the top of the show, I have not been very well so I have not done a lot of research on the web regarding some of my issues, but there is very good documentation on the KaOS website and you also have the Arch wiki to help with the package management system so apart from the community aspect, which I can’t comment on as to their response and friendliness I would say finding answers to issues should not be too hard a task.


It didn’t I was unable to get a dual boot setup installed and if it was a file system issue this might be beyond a lot of regular users of Linux.


The system has been rock solid and even after an update after over 2 weeks of the system not being used it all went very smoothly without a hitch. 


Ease of Installationnew user friendly install scores         5/10

experienced Linux users          7/10

Hardware Issues                                                                    10/10

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

Ease of Use                                                                            8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                           0/10

Stability                                                                                  10/10

Overall Rating                                                                         7/10


I would go for one of the friendly Arch spins with the Plasma DE such as:

Endeavor OS





In the time that I used this OS after the initial issues of trying to dual boot I was pleasantly surprised at how slick an OS it was. I think if I were to spend a little more time getting to understand some of the differences this has as an independent OS, I think that I could get to like it. I definitely think I should look at this again in the future and give it a more thorough test to give it the respect it deserves. It would be interesting to see if I could install another OS as a dual boot now it is installed and see if it would work that way around.  

Now let’s hear from Dale on GhostBSD.



INTRO:  Today I will be reviewing GhostBSD.   It is based on FreeBSD 12.2 Stable.  I will give you a very brief overview since its history dates back over 50 years..  FreeBSD is a descendant of BSD. BSD is a descendant of the original UNIX operating system AT&T’s Bell Labs created.  BSD stands for Berkeley Software Distribution.  The name comes from the Berkeley campus of the University of California.  FreeBSD’s initial release was November 1st 1993.  The BSD’s are similar to Linux but they do have their differences.  The directory structure, terminal and graphical interface are comparable.  The main difference is that the BSD’s maintain every aspect of the project.  They provide the kernel, device drivers, userland utilities and documentation.  In contrast.  Linux is a kernel with included drivers.  The software and documentation is maintained by third party developers.

My Hardware:

My testing laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad T430.  It has an Intel i5-3320M and 4GB of ram with a 240GB SSD.


Mate 1.24 is their chosen desktop environment.  They also have a community supported XFCE variety.  The installation is very similar to Linux.  You download the ISO and write it to a USB stick.  Upon bootup you will be in a live environment.  You double click on the installer icon on the desktop.  From there you have the typical options of language, keyboard and timezone.  You are given the option of using either the UFS or ZFS file systems.  ZFS is the default as it allows you to roll back changes to your installation. They are referred to as Boot Environments.  In the next screen you select which drive you want to install to.  I chose the default options that were presented. Which were the GPT partition type, swap file size and pool name for ZFS.  Then the root and user accounts are created.  After that.  The installation will copy the files and ask if you want to reboot once it has completed.  I didn’t have any issues during installation.


I didn’t have any hardware issues.  The screen was at its native resolution and the mouse was working.  I clicked on the wifi icon in the top panel and filled in my wifi information.  It connected to my wifi with no problem.  I connected to my Samba server and was able to read some PDF’s and other office documents.

I had two issues.  I couldn’t play any videos off of the Samba share.  Both VLC and MPV complained about the FUSE mount not responding.  Which is odd because as I previously mentioned.  I could access other files with no problem.

The second issue was corrected during a software update.  Apparently a previous update broke some features in Mate.  They would appear upon login and you had to click many times to get the error to go away.


If you have used Mate on Linux then you will be right at home.  It looks just like it does on Linux.  The software center is called Software Station.  It is available in the Administration menu.  Below that is the Update Station.  That is where you will install updates.  Your printer settings are also in the Administration menu.  GhostBSD uses the CUPS printing service which is what Linux uses.  I had no trouble connecting my printer.  My Color Laserjet 100 MFP wasn’t listed so I selected Color LaserJet CM353.  I have found with HP printers that if you select a similar model it will most likely work.  Mostly due to them using the same postscript driver.  Along with other functionality for checking toner or ink levels.  I only needed two setting changes.  I needed to select the fit to page option and paper size to letter.  As the test print pages were not centered and my printer complained it didn’t have A4 size paper.

The applications were pretty current compared to Linux.  Firefox was at version 82, VLC was at 3.0.11 and LibreOffice was at


Upon bootup memory usage was about 726MB.  This was observed by the top command.  BSD’s don’t have a free command like there is in Linux.  Normal usage was around 1.5 to 2GB.  The install size was about 10.5GB on disk.


I didn’t seek out any help.  Their website does have a wiki.  They also have a forum and a Telegram group.


I didn’t try to dual boot this.  I did read that it takes some effort to do that.


I would say it is every bit as stable as Ubuntu or Debian Linux.


The only other BSD that I have tried as a desktop OS is FreeBSD.  It is similar to Arch Linux as you need to configure everything upon a fresh install.  Once you sign in, all you are presented with is a terminal session.


Ease of Installation                new user                       7/10

experienced user         9/10

Hardware Issues                                                         9/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                     na

Ease of Use                                                                8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                na

Stability                                                                       10/10

Overall Rating                                                              7/10


Compared to my experience trying FreeBSD.  GhostBSD was just like installing a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or Mint.  I would say if you can install Ubuntu or Mint, you will be able to install GhostBSD.  As long as you stick to the default settings.  It is all point and click.  Once booted into Mate you will not notice any difference.  Where there could be some paper cuts is in the software availability.  Another one would be the directory structure and commands.  There are some in common with Linux and many that are very different.


DISTRO NAME: Pop!_OS 20.04 and 20.10

INTRO: This is an Ubuntu spin with their own extensions of Gnome. Some call it the perfect Linux for gamers, but you know I won’t be able to verify this. It is, however, native to my System76 Kudu 3 machine.  It has some interesting extras and may be what you’re looking for if Gnome is your idea of a good desktop.


My laptop is a 2014 model System76 Kudu 3, with a 17.3” screen, an i7 processor and Intel graphics, 16 Gb RAM and a 1 Tb SSD.  


Pop! Installed just like any other Ubuntu and uses the Ubiquity installer. There are some interesting differences in the boot, but my machine ignored them, perhaps because it is a System76. It was also an unexpected boon to be prompted that there was new firmware for my laptop, and that installed easily as well.


I hate the default wallpaper. So I changed it. I did not understand many of the new icons, but discovered what they were later. It appears to have many of its own hotkeys, again to be discovered.


I have said before that I greatly dislike Gnome 3. I had a hard time figuring out what the workflow actually was, because taking the desktop as is from using other desktops it appears to take 3-4 clicks to do what 1 click does elsewhere. Then I found the hotkeys, almost by accident. And then I chose to look into the Pop Shell, an i3-like Gnome extension included with this OS. So now I have a very usable desktop, if I totally forget everything I even liked in a desktop and try to learn this one. But everything works, and it’s all aptitude and deb packages. Even so, unless you are really used to Gnome and also want to learn new things, there is clearly a learning curve to using this distro.


Pop! uses a custom Gnome, so I was quite surprised when Stacer reported using only 812 Mb RAM. I will admit to not having checked other memory issues.


There is little in life easier than finding help from System76. This company employs a Director of Happiness, and that permeates the entire company. It’s why they make so many great machines, and why they can sell them at premium prices. Beyond that, it’s still Ubuntu at heart, and help is always a Google search away or a dive into an Ubuntu forum.


Being as it has Ubiquity installer, I could even forego it stealing my GRUB at installation. I have had no experiences of conflict. I actually expected to have issues, with the different bootloader, but did not.


You’re tired of hearing us say this. It’s as stable as Ubuntu, and very few things are more stable.





Ease of Installation            new user                           8/10

experienced user         10/10

Hardware Issues                                                         10+/10

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

Ease of Use                                                                  8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                10/10

Stability                                                                       10/10

Overall Rating                                                              9/10


I’m intrigued by what I’ve had to learn to use this distro, and that I probably still haven’t gotten near to plumbing all its depths. I also am appreciative of the easy firmware updates for my laptop, available other places but instantly so from this distro. I’m keeping this around, but it could be a while before I start looking forward to using it.


from September 14-Nov 04

Bluestar 5.9.3

Pardus 19.4

Emmabuntüs DE3-1.03

Absolute 20201103

LibreELEC 9.2.6

Arch 2020.11.01

ArchBang 0111

Voyager Live 20.10

OpenIndiana 2020.10

Nitrux 2020.11.01

Linux Lite 5.2

Swift 19.2.2

KDE neon 20201029

Snal 1.0

FreeBSD 12.2

NixOS 20.09

Fedora 33

GParted Live 1.1.0-6

IPFire 2.25-core151

FuguIta 6.8

BEE free 2020-10-25


Redo 3.0.2

RISC OS 5.28

Pop!_OS 20.10

All Official Ubuntu flavors 20.10 plus Ubuntu Unity

Septor 2020.5

Alpine 3.12.1

OSMC 2020.10-1

ExTiX 20.10

SystemRescue 7.00

OSMC 2020.10-1

Scientific 7.9

Tails 4.12

NetBSD 9.1

Trisquel 9.0

CAELinux 2020 “Lite”

OpenBSD 6.8

Kodachi 7.3

Archman 2020-10

Ultimate 6.7 “Developer KDE”

Redo Rescue 3.0.0

Rescuezilla 2.0

Parted Magic 2020_10_12

Porteus Kiosk 5.1.0

Garuda Linux 201007

Oracle Linux 7.9

Runtu 20.04.1 “Lite”

SparkyLinux 4.13

4MLinux 35.0

EnsoOS 0.4

KaOS 2020.09

EndeavourOS 2020.09.20


We’ve had quite a few nice comments on the Telegram groups — our own, mintCast, and Linux Mint Users for the most part.

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