Episode 38 Show Notes

MONTHLY FOIBLES …wherein we discuss what we did this month

Moss: I’ve been spending a few days teaching, had a lot of work to do on my other podcasts, and have otherwise been quite wiped out trying to keep up with daily living. Don’t let anyone kid you, 70 years and a few broken pieces keeps you tuckered out. I have almost completely reworked my test laptop, with OpenMandriva 4.3 and Ubuntu Unity 22.10 in addition to what I’m reviewing this episode as well as Bodhi 6 and Mint – but now the Mint I’m using is Cinnamon instead of Mate, and I’m just waiting for Bodhi 7 to reach Beta so I can check it out.

I also figured out how to get the fingerprint reader to work on my T560 in Mint 20.3 and Bodhi 6.

Anything exciting going on with you, Dale?

Dale: My car was overdue for its oil change. I forgot about it due to my mind being on moving this past June. While on my way to have the service done, I found out that the theft deterrent system works. Apparently, my keyfob battery was needing to be replaced. I saw a message on the LCD screen of my dash, it was informing me that the car doesn’t recognize the keyfob and to park to prevent being immobilized. Once parked, I then saw another message that my battery was low, followed by instructions to pair the keyfob to the car. There was a designated place to put the keyfob, I am guessing it is a contact RFID reader. After a few seconds, the car was happy. Once the battery was replaced, everything was back to normal.

I finished installing the security cameras at my friend’s house on Friday and Saturday. I had quite a few trips up and down the 16 ft / 4.8-meter adjustable ladder. He wanted to be able to view the cameras while away from home. So I set up port forwarding, once we figured out how to log in to his ISP-provided modem.

I also mounted a battery-operated motion-activated light in his backyard. It was another item I gifted him, it saved him from hiring an electrician. This light has lasted about 12 to 14 months per set of batteries.

I do have an open-source win to announce. As I previously mentioned in the last episode, my friend was having software issues with his streaming box. It was a Ryzen 9 3900x with 64 GB of RAM. Aside from crashing or locking up the computer, he never could get it to stream more than 720p 30 fps with 3 webcams and up to 5 people on Zoom. The other odd thing was, it used over 20% of the CPU with many higher spikes and several gigabytes of ram. He had already renewed the $60/year for his streaming software, called Xsplit, and was waiting for tech support to sort through error logs. It had become very unreliable this past year.

Well, he finally gave up on the software he was using. He applied yet another fix provided by support. Unfortunately, it crashed 3 times in the first 10 minutes, which required a reboot each time. It was actually worse than it was before this new patch.

I had mentioned a few times in the past about OBS, or Open Broadcast Server. He called me while I was at work, though I was parked for the day. He surprised me by saying he was testing OBS and tried it in production. He said other than a crash he caused, it had been running great for 9 days. Not only is it reliable, it only uses 3 to 5% of the CPU. I can’t remember the memory usage but it was much lower as well. The thing that really impressed him was he could stream the 3 webcams and Zoom at 1080P 60FPS. He is getting pretty good at using it.

I will close with some of my Linux activities. I am now using Solus Budgie on my desktop replacing Debian Testing. The reasons behind this decision will be mentioned in Beautiful Failures.

On Friday morning I had some issues with Debian. Since I already had plans to finish the camera installation for my friend. I ran FreeFileSync to update my backup to my external drive. Then I downloaded a few distro ISOs on my Pangolin for review. In contention were OpenMandriva, PC LinuxOS, MX Linux, and Solus Budgie. I decided on Solus Budgie, however, I will say MX Linux was my initial choice. I choose Solus for a few reasons. I have Solus Plasma on my other desktop. It has been updated for over 3 years. I also forgot how good Budgie looks on Solus. The last reason is that I want to see about packaging more applications for Solus and being more active in their community.

My first install rebooted to a Grub prompt, which is funny because Solus doesn’t use Grub when UEFI is enabled. To fix this, I booted using the Solus ISO and ran wipefs -a and the path to my NVMe boot drive. The second install was successful. I will suggest anyone using the current Solus Budgie ISO, install updates immediately after signing in. There are some Gnome 43/GTK updates along with some UI changes. I am pretty happy with it. It has the 5.15 LTS Kernel and the 5.20 Nvidia Binary Driver. There was one odd theming issue with Gnome Files aka Nautilus. When I selected a dark theme, it stayed with a light theme. I selected the global dark theme and it still wouldn’t apply. The fix I found in the forums said to open the budgie-control-center from the terminal, then select the global dark theme setting and exit. Sure enough, when I opened Gnome Files, it was using the theme I selected. It apparently is a GTK4 issue since Nautilus was just upgraded to Gnome 43. I don’t know why that worked, but I am glad that it did.

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

Moss: Bodhi devs are working hard on version 7, based on Ubuntu 22.04. Alpha 3 is out at this time. Also OpenMandriva is closing in on their version 5.

Dale: Solus has updated to Kernel 6.0.10.

Xero Linux made a change to their Calamares installer. They removed the NetInstall Module which allowed packages to be installed during installation. The decision was to make the installation process much faster. Estimates are around 5 minutes now. DarkXero also started a podcast called XeroBytes. It appears to be about current FOSS topics and not centered around the distro. It is available at bytes.xerolinux.xyz. A link will be in the show notes.

One I missed from the last episode was that Void Linux released new ISOs. It is a ood thing that rolling and continually updated distros release updates to their ISOs. Makes the update process much better.

I saw that Bluestar Linux, an Arch-based distro, has finally released an update log. I haven’t mentioned them because they were not providing any updates. They created a Facebook page, which I am not a fan of. At least they made the page public and didn’t insist that I sign in. A link will be in the show notes.

BEAUTIFUL FAILURES – What we tried, and failed, to install or run this month

Moss: The closest thing I had to a failure this month was from trying to install OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 from my Ventoy stick. It got done installing and then refused to install a bootloader. I burned an individual stick and completed the task with no errors. I am seeing this happen in Ventoy, like every 5th installation attempt. Ventoy is not perfect, but it is still quite useful.

Dale: I didn’t turn on my desktop, running Debian Testing, until Wednesday, the day before recording the previous podcast. Everything was updated with no problems and we recorded the following evening. I noticed there were updates the morning of the recording, but I waited until Friday morning to apply them. I am glad I did wait but not glad I updated. There were many library updates and the update to Gnome 43. Since Gnome added more support for Wayland, there were a lot of those updates as well. After rebooting, I noticed that when I pressed enter to type in my password, my profile picture went black. Once signed into Wayland, my dash to the panel had flashes when my mouse pointer hovered over them. The flashes and glitches continued when I opened Firefox and tried to type in my password to Bitwarden. It took a couple of tries, with stray characters appearing as I typed. I rebooted the computer and when the login screen appeared. It took me a few tries to type in my password. The screen was glitching and my profile image would appear and go black, then reappear.

When I selected Xorg instead of Wayland on the login screen, everything worked like normal. So that confirmed it was some issue with Wayland or Wayland’s compositor.

I am not faulting Debian for the issue, as this is a testing branch. I would suggest only using the GUI updater or apt upgrade at the terminal. The GUI updater uses the equivalent of an apt upgrade. Running apt dist-upgrade is where you can run into problems, as it removes and/or replaces packages. I could have continued using the Xorg session, but I have been wanting to try Solus Budgie again for a while. I will wait to see if I return to Debian when Debian 12 is released next year.

Distro Reviews


INTRO: Dale turned me on to this one, after my excursion into Peppermint as a Debian-based distro was so close to successful. StormOS is an Arch distro, but they came up with StormD as a Debian-based version.

MY HARDWARE: For this review, as usual, I used my Lenovo ThinkPad T540p. This computer has a 4th-generation Intel Core i7-4710MQ, 16 Gb RAM, and a 256 Gb Samsung Evo SSD and a 512 Gb Silicon Power SSD, with both Intel HD Graphics 4600 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M graphics. I installed it on the Silicon Power disk, sdb1.

INSTALLATION EASE AND ISSUES: I had this installed and running on my system for 4 weeks, when I noticed that I had not taken notes on installation, so a reinstall was in order. I ran the live disk. When it finished booting, I had the StormD desktop with a Debian logo, and set the wifi and clicked Install StormD. The installer is Calamares. I selected language and keyboard, then selected sdb, Replace a partition, and selected sdb1 and clicked Next. I then selected my username, name, and password, and clicked Log in automatically, and selected Next again, then selected Install and the installation process began. 4 minutes later, I got to Reboot.

I attempted to regain Grub to another distro on the machine but apparently another distro had set EFI. I went and reinstalled OpenMandriva, which was the likely culprit; I had installed StormD earlier with only Ubuntoids on the machine and it had no problem giving Grub back, and then later installed OpenMandriva.

I completed the OM reinstall and rebooted. I then selected Debian on my boot menu. I discovered that StormD OS ignored my stated request to log in automatically, and had to type my password. I then discovered that it also did not install my wifi password, so I had to do that again. While I was doing that, the dock appeared. So there is a nice panel or taskbar at the top, and a dock at the bottom center. The default wallpaper is monochrome with stormclouds across the center. Not very welcoming to my eyes. I did find a nicer one on the Internet which still had the stormy motif.

Installed software includes Firefox ESR, two terminals (one of them Xfce) and the Gnome Office (Abiword, Gnumeric), some HP tools, GIMP, MPV, VLC, and a few other things. I set about logging into Firefox and installing Discord, Telegram, Audacity, MSFonts, and a few other things I normally use. neofetch is built in and displays at startup when you open the default terminal. Also, when you open Terminal, the dock goes away. Numlock is off by default.

I attempted to install Softmaker Freeoffice via the terminal, which instructions begin “su -” and enter password. Apparently the system does not accept my password. It works fine in sudo operations but not for su. So I just installed my .deb file. Except Gdebi did not run, it opened and then closed. I didn’t find what that problem was, but I did get it to work properly after another sideways attempt or two.

I finally got everything installed that I’m going to use (not including configuring them, such as logging into Discord etc.). I then searched for a less gloomy wallpaper and found one. In all this, including installation of two distros (although I didn’t update or configure the second one), it has been less than an hour. That’s pretty good time.

POST-INSTALLATION HARDWARE FACTS & ISSUES: Somehow, after I got OpenMandriva installed, OM left Grub in control of StormD, so I installed Grub Customizer and ran it. Yay. I got all my major stuff configured without even a hiccup. I could not get ttf-mscorefonts installed via terminal. Then I tried Synaptic; nope, not there. I literally had to do a browser search for the proper directory of Debian 11 to download and install it, but it got done. Bringing up an installer seems really slow, no matter whether I use Terminal or the GUI version.

EASE OF USE: Softmaker Office installation was a problem as already stated, and the facts of the installation not enabling automatic login or writing my wifi password from the installer. I also had to install a third-party version of ttf-mscorefonts. PysolFC will load but will lock up the computer if you try to play it – this appears to be common to all Debian-based distros, and I haven’t explored why. I have been told you can get the Windows version to run in WINE if you feel like going that way. Other than these things, and even including some of them, every issue I ran into had a fix which I could find without asking anyone or doing much research. Debian has come a long way in the usability department, and with the changes in the social contract, it could become even easier in the near future.


14 GB of space used on the SSD

588-600 MiB of memory used was reported by neofetch on different logins

EASE OF FINDING HELP: I didn’t need any, which says a lot. But Debian is the most supported distro out, and most help for Ubuntu also works.

PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS: Completely not an issue with other distros other than official Ubuntu; if a distro writes boot to EFI, it is harder to operate GRUB than if the distro just uses GRUB.

STABILITY: Rock solid; the problem with Debian is how current it is, not how stable.


Peppermint OS

Debian Xfce

MX if you know how to enable systemd or don’t like it anyhow



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                                     9/10

Stability                                                            10/10

Overall Rating                                                 8/10

FINAL COMMENTS: If you’re prone to depression, change the wallpaper. Otherwise, this is a fine, easy to use distro. I am probably not going to keep it, but it would work well for me if I did. For my uses, I think Peppermint 11 is better, but your mileage may vary.

Dale: DISTRO NAME: Titan Linux

INTRO: I am quoting the following from their website: “Titan Linux is an all-new distro built on the Debian Stable branch. It’s a fully functional yet minimal KDE Plasma desktop experience focusing on usability and performance with a wide range of hardware support out of the box. This distro is designed with the user in mind, eliminating the dependency on certain meta-packages making it a more stable system overall. Titan Linux is truly a unique approach to the Debian experience.” End quote.

The first stable ISO was released at the end of April of this year. According to the date on SourceForge, it was under development for about a year. The developers are Matthew Moore and CobaltRogue. He mentions Ben Fitzpatrick in his announcement video on YouTube as a contributor/consultant. Ben is the developer of Storm OS and StormD OS.

MY HARDWARE: The laptop I used is my Lenovo ThinkPad T460. It has an Intel Dual Core i5-6200U 2.8 GHz CPU, a 14″ display using Intel HD Graphics 520, 16 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD.

INSTALLATION EASE AND ISSUES: After booting up the ISO, the Grub screen was themed with a Trident, which is Titan’s logo. As with other distros, you have safe mode options along with the default selected kernel.

Calamares is used for installation. I double-clicked on the Install Debian icon on the desktop. I was required to connect to my WiFi hotspot and plug in the laptop’s ac adapter before I could continue. After I exited and opened Calamares again, it was the usual steps that other distros do when using Calamares. Once I made my selections and began the installation, it was a slow start. Apparently, the install media is compressed, and it needed to be uncompressed before continuing the installation.

My first installation attempt failed towards the end of the installation. A window popped up reporting “External command failed with errors”. It appeared to have issues fetching the grub package from the main Debian repo, a DNS error basically. I exited the installer and opened a terminal window. I used the network utility ping to see if the repo site was online and it was. So I started the installer again and everything went as expected.

I noticed if you selected to erase the disk and install Titan during the partitioning step, they are using the option to create swap space. The choices are no swap, swap with hibernate, and swap without hibernate. The difference is the one with hibernate is created equal to the size of memory installed on the computer.

Here is a good tip, if the screen lock enables while you are in the live session of the installer, the password is “live”. I was taking notes during the installation and found the screen locked. It took a few guesses before I found the correct password. I didn’t see this mentioned on their website or SourceForge page.


I was disappointed when I rebooted the laptop to find a generic blue Grub screen. I don’t understand since they had a very nicely themed one on the installation ISO.

My WiFi settings were not transferred to the installation, I was shocked about that. It was good to see that the WiFi manager in the system tray worked much better than in the past. It was rescanning for new access points while you are entering the passphrase, which would close the entry box of the access point.

They are using the double click instead of Plasma’s single click default.

The theme is a nice dark theme with greyish-white letters, very easy to read. The wallpaper is of a beach scene overlooking the ocean, with a pegasus on its hind legs.

The application menu icon follows the theming with a trident image. The only system tray icons visible are the status/notifications, sound, WiFi, date/time, trash, and a power button. Listed on the bottom panel next to the application menu is Firefox ESR version 102.5, Dolphin file manager, Discover Software Center, and the Konsole terminal.

They are using Plasma 5.20.5 on Xorg and Kernel 5.10. This is a very minimalist installation when it comes to installed applications. They have the LXimage, a Qt image viewer; Screenshot, which is a screenshot utility for LXQt; For video viewing, they have VLC version Lastly, they have qpdfview version 0.4.18 using Qt. Grub Customizer version 5.1.0 is also installed. Yakuake 20.12.1 is an alternative to KDE’s Konsole terminal. A package manager common to Lubuntu is available called Muon at version 5.8.0. It functions similarly to the Synaptic Package Manager. It can only install/remove/update Debian packages, so no Flatpak or Snap support. Speaking of container app support. Flatpak is installed but not configured and Snap is not installed.

Here are some things that set Titan apart from other Debian distros. They changed some meta-packages that installed or removed packages that could break functionality. Some meta-packages have dependency issues that can cause problems for people who want to custom-install packages.

Titan offers some utility packages called Titan Toolbox, which are listed in the Titan Toolbox menu under All applications. They are some Ncurses-based applications that will open in a terminal window. They are easy to navigate using the arrow keys only, and there is no mouse support. These applications include other scripts they created that use existing utilities.

  • Advanced tools for updating Grub, installing Backported Kernels, Kernel headers, and removing unused Kernels.
  • Installation of legacy Libappindicators. Need for older applications that don’t support the newer application indicator service.
  • APT Tools is for repairing APT and DPKG. DPKG is the Debian Package installer, it installs .deb packages.
  • Cleaning the APT cache and Dumping package manifest. The manifest is the list of all installed packages. This utility will create a text file of all the installed packages in the home directory.
  • Enabling extra repositories such as non-free, contrib, backports, and 32-bit architecture. Installing Snap and Flatpak support.
  • Browser installer for Brave, Chrome, Chromium, Firefox ESR, Librewolf, Vivaldi, and Pale Moon.
  • Installing LibreOffice, DVD playback support, Virt-manager Hypervisor, Virtualbox Hypervisor, and the AppImage Launcher. Hypervisors are software allowing you to install and run operating systems as an application on your computer.
  • Enable, disable and view the status of the UFW Firewall
  • System updater that checks for updates and performs a full upgrade.
  • A tweak tool to toggle the Neofetch output when you open a terminal window.
  • Configure aggressiveness of swap. A Kernel setting for how the system uses the swap space.
  • One labeled as Application Terminator is the Xkill application. Once opened, anything you click on, its process will be terminated, including Plasma itself. Though, if you do, it will automatically restart.
  • Clear Swap is labeled Clear Swap which uses the swapon and swapoff commands to disable and reenable your swap space.
  • Hardware Information is a script that uses Inxi which is a utility to display all the hardware information.
  • Restart Network Services is a script that uses systemctl to restart NetworkManager.
  • And lastly, there is one that will restart the Plasma Shell.

I believe these are very good additions to the distro. I know some people do not want to type in cryptic commands in the terminal. These scripts solve that issue in an easy-to-use way.


I used their utility to enable the Flathub Flatpak repository, it also installed the plug-in for Discover. That saved me a trip to the flathub website to get the command to add the repository and search for the Discover plug-in. Since my preference is to use the terminal to install and update applications, I made it a point to use Discover to perform all those tasks. As Moss and I mentioned in a previous episode, Discover has come a long way in the past few years. I still found it a bit quirky when searching for packages. Sometimes my search result was buried under 4 or so pages of other results. In other cases, Discover would continue searching when it had already displayed the results of the search. I, out of curiosity, let it run to see how long it would run. After an hour and a half, it was still searching. I can say that it was 100% more reliable than in years past. It never crashed or gave any obscure errors in the past month.

I tried to edit the .desktop file for Signal so it would minimize to the system tray. For some unknown reason, it would not. Then I attempted to copy the org.signal.Signal.desktop file to my .local/share/applications folder. That is when I saw they used a symbolic link, symlink for short, so I couldn’t copy the file. I just gave up and moved on.

During one of the times I edited the org.signal.Signal.desktop file, I logged out and tried to log back in. After entering my password, it just froze, and never logged in. I pressed ctrl alt f2 to open a terminal window. I proceeded to log in and locate the process id for SDDM (the display manager) followed by sudo kill -9 and the id number. I then pressed ctrl alt f7 to return to the display manager. I attempted to log in again but it froze a second time. So I returned to the virtual terminal and typed sudo reboot. After it rebooted, it was stuck with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner. I held down the power button for 5 seconds to force the laptop off. I powered the laptop back on and was able to log in. That was very odd and only happened once.

Otherwise, everything worked as expected.


13 GiB of space used on the SSD

518 MiB of memory used was reported by free –hm.

EASE OF FINDING HELP: I didn’t seek out any help. They do have a forum available on their website.

PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS: It, as expected, worked fine, with the added bonus of having Grub Customizer installed.

STABILITY: Other than the odd SDDM lockup, I didn’t have any other lockups or crashes.


MX Linux KDE edition

Debian using KDE



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                                                                 8/10

Overall Rating                                                     8/10


This overall was a good distro. I could see the amount of effort that was put in, especially for all the utilities and scripts they created. Their attempts to keep the user in the GUI were successful in my book. With that said, I wouldn’t say this is a new user distro. It would be more suited to the user that only wants to install only what they need. A new or newer user would spend too much time installing applications that other distros install by default.


from 10/28 to 11/30

Zorin OS 16.2

Linux Lite 6.2

Nitrux 20221101

TrueNAS 13.0-U3 “CORE”

GParted Live 1.4.0-6

Clonezilla Live 3.0.2-21

AlmaLinux 8.7

Gnoppix 22

SparkyLinux 6.5

Fedora 37

EuroLinux 8.7

BackBox 8


Salix 15.0 “Live Xfce”

Rocky 8.7

AlmaLinux 9.1

ALT 10.1

RebornOS 2022.11.13

SmartOS 20221117

KDE neon 20221117

wattOS R12

Bluestar 6.0.9

Absolute 20221120

Oracle 8.7

Tails 5.7

Proxmox 7.3

Alpine 3.17.0

BlueOnyx 5211R

PCLinuxOS 2022.11.20

Uruk 3.0

EasyOS 4.5.2

Rocky 9.1

Snal 1.24


Salix 15.0 “Live”

Bluestar 6.0.10

Proxmox 2.3 “BS”

Oracle 9.1

EuroLinux 9.1

Grml 2022.11

note that RHEL-based distros have 8.x and 9.x series, and I report updates on both.


Tony says there was no email this month. If you’d like to change that for next month, please write us. Also, if one of our interactions in one of our online groups is something you’d like to hear reported on in the episode, let us know.


Moss: For chatting with us further, you may choose to join our Telegram group or our Discord channel.

You can find Josh on @joshontech on most social networks or email him at [email protected], Also you can find him on the CrowbarKernelPanic podcast.

Dale: I’m @Dale_CDL on Telegram and Discord. My email is [email protected]

Moss: And you can hear me every week on Full Circle Weekly News and mintCast. My email is [email protected], and I’m on Mastodon as @[email protected], plus you can find me, Dale and Dylan, at It’s MOSS dot com.

Recent Comments

No comments to show.

This work is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This Website Is Hosted On

Thank You For Visiting