Episode 6 Show Notes


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

Moss, I tried Manjaro on both of my laptops; in each case, it caused one of my other installations to be hidden to Grub. No idea why. I had the same problem with GeckoLinux, including having Gecko and Manjaro do it to each other, but with Manjaro I still had boots to Linux Mint and Bodhi (on the T430) whereas I did not have those with Gecko or on a brief attempt at OpenSUSE.

And after a lot of trying, I have come to the conclusion that Manjaro is a no-go for me. When I do updates or install programs, the download gets done and freezes. When I reboot and go to do the update or installation, it finds the downloaded programs and installs them. I contacted the users in the Manjaro Forum.

I’m used to being told to go into Terminal and type this or that. The Manjaro users told me to close the GUI entirely and go to a pure CLI. That is a killer for a new user, and, for now, I’m not going to do it.

Right now, this leaves me with Pop!_OS, Q4OS and Pearl Desktop 8 for September… PopOS uses a modified Gnome that a lot of power users have been raving about. I am trying it, not deleting it, but it takes 4 clicks to do what I can do in 2 in MATE or Cinnamon or Plasma or Budgie. Pearl Desktop is a hybrid of LXDE and XFCE which very effectively achieves a MacOS-like desktop with lots of really cool effects, on top of Ubuntu 18.04…but is written by one or more truly right-wing radicals with the weather info set for a small town in Alabama. This shows especially in the fact that the code name is Qanon, Firefox opens with a link to Prophetic-News.com, and the installation of Kodi comes pre-loaded with QAnon and Infowars plugins. I have cleaned it liberally (pun intended), and am still using it. There are also only two mirrors for the Pearl bits of the distro, which reduces its accessibility considerably. I believe the forum is also very lightly attended, and given the theme of this distro, I’m not sure I’d want to talk to them (after they found out my own political leanings, at least).

The good news is that I asked the users of the Telegram and Discord groups which of the three distros I should report on this month. The voting was light, but was tilted toward Q4OS.

I also got the last few pieces of my “new” Raspberry Pi 2B+, donated by listener chbmb, so I have to get down to work using it to free up my other computers a bit. He sent everything — a new mini-keyboard, new power supply, new case, and new SD card in addition to the barely used Pi. I’m not sure whether I’m going to set up a personal cloud, a video server, or something else… lots of options.  And I put Enlightenment E22 as an optional desktop on my Linux Mint installation, T430, just last night.

Tony, So for me, I have been setting up a new (refurbished) PC for my wife, a Dell Optiplex 7010 i5 with 8Gb RAM and 2 x 250Gb drives, a primary SSD with the Mint 19.2 Mate, and the HDD with Win10 set up in dual boot mode. I have also been having fun joining the Big Daddy Linux live stream again. Despite the fact it is 1-4am my time I have a blast, they are a great group of folks and Barbara Harris one of the regular participants was the subject of the Linux Spotlight episode on the 11th September.  I’ve also been on Holiday/Vacation again so not quite as much time to test this month but my review Distribution has been well used for, the over 4 weeks including it has been installed. I also joined the Euro BDLL episode on the Saturday we arrived in Brussels, geeking doesn’t stop just because I’m on holiday.

In my spare time I’ve been making Jam, there is a local glut of wild berries and I picked some Damsons from the burial ground at my Quaker Meeting House a couple of weeks ago. I plan to make some marmalade for home-made gifts shortly, ready for later in the year. So what with the distro review and other geeky stuff I’ve managed to keep myself occupied despite my life of retired leisure.

DISTRO NAME: Tony’s Review this month was OpenSUSE Tumbleweed


So for information this months installation was done as a sole install on my Toshiba Portege Z30 the specification is as follows, this is the same machine I used for last month’s EndeavourOS review:

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

So I booted up the USB drive and went directly to the install option as I had downloaded the 4.3Gb off-line install iso, the first thing is it checks for a network and gives you the WiFi logon option if not connected by cable once connected it checks the installer for updates, obviously if not connected to the network I assume it would would skip straight to the Welcome and licence agreement. You don’t actually have to click anything to agree to the LA but I assume by clicking next you are basically saying your OK with it. It then analyzes the system I’m again assuming it’s checking for hardware it needs to configure after this you get asked what repoes you wish yo use I left the defaults checked. Once the repoes are configured you get asked what type of system and DE you want if opting for a desktop and not server installation. Of the 4 options which are generic, KDE Plasma, Gnome and XFCE I chose XFCE as I was getting to like this while running EndeacourOS last month, at the time of the review there is no option for installing MATE or Cinnamon from the offline iso but there are Live iso’s available for those DE’s.

You then move on to disk partitioning you do have some options other than the suggested one but as I was installing to the whole drive on this PC I went with the suggested option. I later did a dual boot on another laptop and used the guided and expert options to see how these worked and managed a successful dual boot install although you do need quite a bit of knowledge of partitioning to choose this as it is not the best of installers for a newcomer to Linux. I would definitely do a little practice in a virtual machine before trying a dual boot on an actual PC if your in anyway unsure.

Once you are happy with the partitions you can go ahead and install, you then get prompted to set up your location, username and password once these are set you get presented with the system configuration you have you have set and the option to abort, install or ask for help, at this point I clicked install. About 20-25 minutes later I was fully installed.


After install, all of the Laptop’s hardware seemed to be working, including WiFi, so I was good to go and find all my software that I use. After installing all my usual software I had a major issue in that by default not all the codecs needed to play video and audio are included out of the box, but thanks to the help of CubicleNate’s Techpad and before that a little bit of web research I was able to install everything needed for multimedia to work.


So another new Linux and another new package management system. While OpenSUSE uses .rpm packages these are managed by the YaST package management system and the command line access to this is Zypper. most commands in a terminal however have a familiar ring to them and I also found out that if you accidentally use an apt command it will work as they have set apt up as an alias for Zypper, although I’m not sure if this would apply across the board.

Updates and software installation can also be managed in the YaST GUI package management interface, this is more like the synaptic package manager than a GUI software installer so some knowledge of what you are installing is needed although I didn’t have any issues in the time I was using the system. There is an indicator on the bottom right of the taskbar in XFCE that indicates if updates are available and in my case I used this to prompt me to run the install updates in a terminal and never had any issues.


As Tumbleweed is a rolling release and although not quite as cutting edge as ARCH, they do a little more quality assurance before pushing out updates, you are unlikely to be very far from the latest software that is installed on your system at the time of this recording Audacity was on 2.3.2 and LibreOffice was and XFCE was the latest 4.14 which had been released about a week or so before I started the review.


On first boot the system reports about 560Mb of RAM usage in both STACER and neofetch so with the resources available to this PC that is a good 150Mb lower than I would expect of MATE and GNOME runs at about 1-1.1Gb of RAM at boot. As the minimum recommended RAM is 2Gb this may be a little lighter on a PC with less RAM as I’ve found Linux to be quite good at managing memory usage on lower specified machines.


OpenSUSE has a great Forum here although for the month I’ve been running it, apart from the issues with Media Codecs which I was helped with mainly by Cubicle Nate, I’ve not had any issues to go and seek help for, as this is a laptop without any special graphics it just works. So I can not comment on how friendly those using the Forum are. 


I did do a dual boot on another Laptop and didn’t have much of an issue getting it installed, I used the expert option as it already had a dual boot on the PC and I was able to wipe out the other Linux install and substitute OpenSUSE without any major drama. Again if your not familiar with custom partitioning then you might like to take a look at a YouTube video of this in OpenSUSE or do a couple of dry runs in a VM before committing to bare metal.


No issues the install has stayed as solid as the day it was installed despite many updates being processed and a number of major software packages installed. One thing on the software side however was that my Discord Desktop App became corrupted in the last week of the test, but Discord updates each time you open it so this might be a Discord issue no OpenSUSE. 


Ease of Installation    new user friendly install scores        6/10

experienced Linux users             8/10

Hardware Issues                                                            10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web) I didn’t really test this ?/10

Ease of Use                                                                    8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                   8/10

Stability                                                                            9/10


OpenSUSE 15.1 

EndeavourOS – ARCH based rolling release

PCLinuxOS – Rolling release with apt package management

Manjaro – Again an ARCH based distro 

Fedora Rawhide – WARNING this is the development branch and as such NOT stable 

GeckoLinux – from Moss


Considering that for the majority of my Linux using life I would not have considered the option of using a rolling distro, along with PCLinuxOS and EndeavourOS that I have tested for the show, and now OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. Yes you need to have a fair understanding of Linux before you consider Tumbleweed as a daily driver but it is a great distro for anyone who is willing to use the terminal and YaST package manager and can manage without a GUI Software installer. It was no more difficult to get my head around than PCLinuxOS and as it was more configured out of the box less needed to be installed after the initial installation than with EndeavourOS as that only gives you a base install. The acid test is could I run Tumbleweed as my daily driver and I would have to say yes to that, in fact for 80% of the time over this last month I have used Tumbleweed as just that. When I was on Big Daddy Linux Live a few weeks ago Rocco asked me if in all my Distro Hopping I had come across a bad distro and I said so far that I had not, well I can add Tumbleweed into the good category.

DISTRO NAME: Moss, review for this month is Q4OS.


I ran Q4OS on my Lenovo IdeaPad 110-15acl-80TJ with 4 Gb RAM and a 500 Gb hard drive, currently with 3 partitions. I later installed it on my Lenovo ThinkPad T430, with 8 Gb RAM, a 500 Gb hard drive, and a 32” external monitor.


For me, an installation includes the full installation and all updates. If I can manage it, I then replace LibreOffice (if provided) with SoftMaker Office, install my preferred VPN (PIA), and set up Grub Customizer (if available) or other Grub management, and then install my printer (Brother MFC-J491DW), a simple matter on .deb and .rpm distros, not so much on others. I usually try to install Stacer so that I can get good stats and a few extra controls.

I will state that, during this month, I stopped using Mullvad as my VPN and have switched to PIA. PIA should be easier to install in those less-mainstream distros I’ve been reviewing, but is not quite as simple as Mullvad to install in .deb or .rpm distros. It was an easy install here. My wife has been having some trouble with PIA, as have I, but it as been easily fixable for me by switching VPN nodes.

Back to Q4OS The installer is Calamares. It installed on the IdeaPad without running into the imaginary partition bug, and was an extremely easy and pleasant experience. You have the option of installing full, basic, or light editions, and either *just* Trinity Desktop or *both* Trinity and Plasma 5. I chose the former, but at a later time I added Plasma. It was seamless and simple. I was about to rave about Calamares and say they fixed the bug, but a couple weeks later I installed Q4OS on my T430, and ran into the imaginary partition bug yet again, so that bug is apparently hardware-specific. This is the first bug I’ve run into on Intel that was not a bug on AMD, most of my prior issues have been with the drivers on the AMD machine.


Just as with Tony’s experience with Debian 10 Buster, there have been no issues with the installation on my IdeaPad. This distro is little else than Buster with a special Desktop. On the ThinkPad T430, however, I had trouble getting Trinity to use my external monitor, apparently I hit a setting wrong but I don’t seem to be able to fix it. The T430 worked perfectly in Plasma, however. I did notice that if you set the boot for autologin, it will automatically boot to Trinity, or I did not find the switch to set “use last desktop”.


It’s as easy to use as you would expect Debian 10. The desktop itself is vanilla XP if you leave it as installed, and changing the wallpaper to something more pleasant than plain sky blue is simple; indeed they have a nice grassy plain which resembles Windows Bliss but without the hill, included in the distro, and of course you can find wallpapers everywhere.  

The reason the developers give for making this distro is to serve businesses, most of whom have never felt the need to leave XP except that it is no longer secure. Add in Debian 10 Buster and your security issues vanish. And Trinity Desktop is a fork of KDE 3.5, created when KDE 4 turned out to be such a slow, laggy memory hog. If you don’t like Trinity, Plasma 5 is just a re-login away.

Continuing with my installation, PIA works great. The printer installed flawlessly. And as Tony reported  last month, Grub Customizer has been added to the Debian repo so I didn’t even have to gripe about not being able to install PPAs.  SoftMaker, Stacer, Discord, everything went in as easy as using Gdebi or apt.

I’m finding that connecting to wifi away from home is not automatic in most cases, and PIA does not load automatically but loads right up when selected, so I keep the icon on my desktop. This is only true in Trinity, and everything is automatic in Plasma.

I have also found that my KDE games have Trinity versions which are a lot more primitive and don’t always work; again, boot to Plasma and everything works great.

What was it about KDE 3.5 that needed to be moved away from? Animations? This is a very satisfying desktop, and would be very well suited to business or home. You say it’s not modern? Are you comparing it to cave drawings, or Plasma 5? It’s a nice desktop, in appearance and functionality.


With Firefox open, the IdeaPad is using 1.8 or 1.9 Gb as I type, and only 8.9 Gb of hard drive is in use, a little heavy for a machine with only 4 Gb of memory, but that’s what swap files are for. With Firefox closed, Stacer reports about 765 Mb RAM in use. On the ThinkPad it appears to use less memory than that, which is interesting as it has twice the RAM to work with.


This is interesting. There is a lot of documentation on KDE 3.5… but apparently the Q4OS people did not get permission to use it, as many of the doc pages are blank, with appeals for people to volunteer to fill them in. 

The Q4OS forum uses FluxBB software, and has 618 registered users. That’s not really enough to expect a quick response for any question you may have, in my opinion.  I haven’t really needed support, except for screenshots (which I got from our own users) — PrtSc merely captures the current screen to your clipboard instead of opening a screenshot program, which confused me. You have to go to the Desktop and right-click to save it, and that help I got from our listeners. I’m trying to figure out how to map that key to a screenshot program.


I have had no problems running or arranging other distros on my multiboot system.


Well, first, it’s Debian, latest edition, so that’s as stable as it could be. And second, it’s 1.5 versions old of KDE, or the current Plasma 5 desktop, which are as mainstream as you can get. So this is as solid as you get, perfect for business — but it’s also perfect for just about anyone else who doesn’t care about wobbly windows or cool animations, or if you do, just use Plasma.


Debian 10 Buster – a lot harder to install, but about the same otherwise

MX Linux – I don’t know whether they have updated to Buster yet, but they will.

Nothing at all uses Triniity Desktop.


Ease of Installation    new or experienced user                  9/10

except for if you encounter the bug 7/10

Hardware Issues                                                                 7-9/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                            7/10

Ease of Use                                                                         8/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                        9/10

Stability                                                                                10/10


Nobody I know is using this distro. Does that have to do with their marketing or the sparse documentation? I know a lot of people who loved XP and left for Linux when Microsoft tried to push them to Win7 would love this; indeed, I had forgotten how much I liked XP and how simply usable it was, and you’re not stuck with the XP-like desktop but can easily switch to the latest Plasma. But businesses have either been swayed to newer Windows or already have a Linux farm, and probably have overlooked this option. I may keep it on my IdeaPad for a while.

NEW RELEASES THIS MONTH: – from our last show to present

Univention Corporate Server 4.4-2

CentOS 8.0.1905

Bluestar 5.3.1

Hyperbola 0.3

Volumio 2.618

ClonOS 19.09

Lakka 2.3.1

ReactOS 0.4.12

Parrot 4.7

KDE Neon 20190919

Endeavour OS 2019.09.15

PCLinuxOS 2019.09

CentOS 7.7.1908 – last of 7.x

Clonezilla Live 2.6.3-7

Emmabuntus DE3-1.00

Porteus Kiosk 4.9.0 

GhostBSD 19.09 

Endless OS 3.6.3

EasyOS 2.1.3 

EasyOS 1.2.3 

Omarine 6.2 

Endless 3.6.3 

Slax 9.11.0 

Voyager 10.1 

ArcoLinux 19.09.1 

Manjaro 18.1.0

Funtoo Linux 1.4

OSGeoLive 13.0

Live Raizo

KDE neon 20190912

SmartOS 20190912

KaOS 2019.09

Debian 9.11.0

LXLE 18.04.3

Debian 10.1.0

Archman GNU/Linux 2019-09

Tails 3.16

IPFire 2.23 Core 135

Kali Linux 2019.3

Condres OS 19.09

Linux From Scratch 9.0

4MLinux 30.0

Linux Lite 4.6

BlackArch Linux 2019.09.01


We have had a number of users who have wanted to submit their own reviews for Distrohoppers’ Digest, so we are now planning to produce a User-Only show, Distrohopper’s Digest User Edition. We have posted the criteria to be used in your review on the blog at https://distrohoppersdigest.blogspot.com. We did not get any submissions in September.

Please submit your review in .flac format if you can, but we can accept .mp3 if that’s the best you can do. Submitting a script of what was said will also help our listeners, but is not required. Please send your submission to [email protected].

Moss I live in a rather impoverished area for a reason, it’s the only pleasant place my wife and I can afford to live. While I don’t want to make money as a podcaster per se (or am hesitant to do so), I do need to feed the digital habit to keep doing this show and my other show.  My eyesight is not the best, so I am hoping for a 17” laptop. I would like to get a Lenovo ThinkPad G70-80, which I can get on eBay between $150-225, or a similar Dell. Some listeners have offered to send me money, and I have received a very nice, complete Raspberry Pi 2B+ with a new case, keyboard, power supply and SD card. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be thought of in this way. I’m supporting myself and my wife on Social Security and a part time job.

I have decided to set up an account at Sponsus, which is open source and is kinda like Patreon; Michael Tunnell uses this.  My Sponsus is at https://sponsus.org/zaivala . Minimum donations are $3 per month due to how the site processes payments. I have no idea what premiums to offer; you tell me what you want and I’ll see what I can do. You can also make direct donations to my PayPal if that is convenient, use the address [email protected]. Contact me for other ways to donate. All donations will go to equipment for the shows, and any overflow will be used to help establish a Linux Users Group in my area. Transparency will be provided to donors. Anything you can do to help will be very much appreciated. Please tell me if you want your name used on the show, whether you make a Sponsus, PayPal or direct donation.

Our next show will be recorded on October 30th, 2019. There will be a User Edition in about two weeks if we get any submissions. Visit our website at https://distrohoppersdigest.blogspot.com and follow us on MeWe, Discord and Telegram at our mintCast groups, and please contact us at [email protected] if you have any comments or distro suggestions. 

By Distro Hoppers Digest at September 26, 2019

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  1. CubicleNateSeptember 26, 2019 at 1:29 PMI appreciate the honest review of openSUSE. I just wanted to add some notes. The aptitude compatibility package is called, “zypper-aptitude”. It has translated all the commands I threw at it but I wouldn’t consider myself an Aptitude power user. When it comes to desktop selection, they are almost all available in openSUSE and accessible from the installer itself. Although it does not present the options as easily as some of the others, you can customize the package selection before committing and select a desktop pattern for alternative desktops or if you want a more “minimal” installation.

    There is not a graphical “AppCenter” as you might see on some distros for openSUSE. You can use Discover in Plasma but an even better option would be to use https://software.opensuse.org/explore

    Here you can search for applications and use the “Direct Install” option for whatever applications it is you would like that are available. It should also be noted that you are able to use Snaps and Flatpak as well as AppImages. Consequently, you have access to a pretty wide breadth of software. For better or worse, you didn’t get a chance to get to know the community through the forums. It is almost unfortunate (I think…) you didn’t have a problem you couldn’t take there because the Forum is chock-full of incredibly technically proficient, kind and helpful people.

    If you are up for it, I wouldn’t mind digging into the issue you are having with Discord on openSUSE. I can’t replicate the problem but problem solving is a fun activity. So… hit me up on Discord? 😉

    Thanks for the podcast.Reply
  2. Oche CheefriejelouszJanuary 13, 2020 at 12:35 AM

  3. MikeJanuary 15, 2020 at 2:37 AMhttps://www.orakser.com/Reply

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