Podcast Season 1 Episode 17


Title: Escape from Targ

In this episode: The first Linux botnet has been detected, version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel has been released and the Haiku project announces the availability of Alpha 1 of its BeOS-like operating system. We discuss Novell's expensive foray into iPhone development, with its MonoTouch SDK, and we ask whether we should focus on other Unixes alongside Linux.

What's in the show

  • News: Denis Sinegubko has detected a Linux webserver botnet. Version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel has been released and includes support for USB 3.0 and faster filesystems. And the Haiku project finally releases an alpha version of its BeOS clone that we can all use.
  • Hot Topic: Novell's MonoTouch brings Mono to the iPhone.
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Mike: Relives the golden age of immersive gaming with MDDClone-SDL
    • Graham: Finds the colour value B7D0E6 looks good as a window background on KDE
    • Paul: Removes the crud from his Ubuntu desktop with 'apt-get autoremove'
    • Andrew: Page 480 of Neal Stevenson's Cryptonomicon contains some cool Perl code
  • Open Ballot: Should we focus on other Unixes alongside Linux?
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to to 55% - that's just $7.62 an issue!

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

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Your comments

The botnet's probably

The botnet's probably nothing to worry about - "Sinegubko speculates they belong to careless administrators who allowed their root passwords to be sniffed. Indeed, the part of the multi-staged attack that plants malicious iframes into legitimate webpages uses FTP passwords that have been stolen using password sniffers. It's likely the zombie servers were compromised in the same fashion, he explained."

Doesn't sound like Linux's fault to me.

The solution - use SSH/SFTP!

Oh, you never should have

Oh, you never should have used mono. I've always hated the general idea...

good episode

I tried out Haiku, and have been using it off an on in the Virtualbox for years now. This alpha 1 is awesome, and I looking forward to the beta and the final release.

Thanks Paul!

Wow, I only emailed you on Tuesday and I get an answer in the podcast! How's that for service? Thanks muchly. :)

Fantastic podcast as usual, guys.


I actually think it looks terrible by itself, but setting it as the light color on a blue gradient looks nice. I am using xfce4 though, so maybe I'm not getting the KDE magic ;)

Open Source branding.

Hi guys

Another great podcast, and your discussion on whether other unixes got me thinking about another possible hot topic - are open source projects branded effectively, and does poor branding reduce their appeal?

Personally, I'm not a fan of a lot of the product branding in the open source world. Examples of what I'd consider to be weak brand names or brand marks are Ubuntu, Suse (both the name, and the gecko character), and Linux itself (again, I dislike the name, and believe the Tux mascot, although fun, is too immature for such an important product). And let's not even mention Gimp, nor indeed any KDE application whose name starts with a 'K'!

It's not all bad though - I believe Fedora / Red Hat, Solaris, and OpenOffice are strong brands, and much more suitable for high-quality, professional markets. Even the excellent Linux Format magazine, in my opinion, suffers this branding issue. I consider myself to be a tech savvy, street wise professional, but couldn't help feel a little embarrassed passing my copy of this months, rather oddly named magazine, complete with rocket-packed penguin on the front cover, over the counter at WH Smiths!

It's a highly subjective topic, so I'm expecting others to disagree with these comments. For me though a brand is very important, as it provides an intangible extra feeling of quality. That's why, rightly or wrongly, I'll always believe Solaris is more reliable than Linux, just because it 'feels' like it should be.

So what do we reckon - could the open source community benefit from some consistent branding and marketing, not to mention changing a few names and logos here or there? Or is it conceivable that our software will still be taken seriously by big business and consumers alike, despite being coloured brown or bright green, and with penguins and geckos on the desktop?

@Open Source branding

So which changes would you recommend, and how would you know they would be better than the current arrangement? The whole point about open source, and more aptly free software is that it gets it's strength from the community. To simply say that we should throw away our cultural heritage in order to win over a few more converts is ridiculous.

If you are embarrassed to read a Linux mag, then don't. I wouldn't stop you from expressing your opinion, but you are taking a problem you have and projecting it on everybody else.

Second City

Ok, escaped, now on to the Second City.
It's all red!!!


I used BeOS many many years ago, as an alternative to Windows, at the same time as I started to explore Linux (Red Hat), both of which I downloaded for free from the Internet via painfully slow dialup. It was worth it to see something different to the usual MS Windows offerings, and although they did not work properly, Linux got there in the end to become my daily OS of choice in the home (I have no choice at work). BeOS went dormant and re-emerged as Haiku, but too late to be a serious challenger to Windows as Linux got there first. Maybe one day Haiku will get it together and produce a rival to Linux, after Linux has first dominated the world!

It's one last think, not one more thing!!!!!!

Mike said I have "one more thing" but he always used to say I have "one last thing"

What's a prime minister?

Seriously though, GREAT podcasting guys!

Computer Janitor for Programmers?

Won't computer janitor remove libs that your individual programs may use but as you wrote your program the package manager isn't going to be aware of it and just remove them?

pluggable schedulers and linux alternative

schedulers are pluggable for quite a while now, you can set them per drive, see /sys/block/sd*/queue/

also see the gnu/freebsd kernel based version of debian for linux alternatives in case of the sco

How about...

Using one of the FSF recommended distros like Trisquel, Gnewsense, etc. That would be an interesting challenge.

Personally i'm doing so right now( Trisquel FTW) and i must say i'm suprised how functional it is.

Oh, and other Unixes is one of the many things i love about your magazine and website.


Thank you very much for your positive comments about my port. You didn't mention any graphical bugs although there are still a few of them. A very positive message :)
My idea of making an SDL port was exactly to make it run on Linux, with other OSes being supported when they can be. I'm glad that it was worth it :)

I've just prepared a new Linux version with game states mostly working. You can get it from the homepage.

Escape with me from Targ...
Enjo :)

Too much laughing maybe?

I've only recently caught up with these podcasts and have been working through them on a nightly basis on my cycle home from work. Generally I've been enjoying them but the main comment I would make is there's too much laughing by the contributors and too many attempts at humour. The problem with this is twofold, first it's distracting and once you've tuned in to the frequent (probably every 1-2 minute) 5 second bursts of merriment it actually becomes quite annoying. The second problem is that when listened to on headphones it hurts your ears, particularly Graham's laugh (sorry Graham). I know I sound a real misery and realise you're all mates and having a good time but I would imagine most people are tuning in not for the comic element but for the factual content. Periods when there are no one-liners are pretty good and only then does the message start to come through.

My advise would be to try and resist a bit the funny comebacks when someone tries to make a serious point and allow the conversation to flow. If that doesn't work at least edit out some of the laughing so at our ears can get a rest


Update to my last comment (above)

I've just realised that this was commented on after Episode 15. I'm only at Episode 11 in my catching up so this may no longer be an issue in Epsiode 17. If that's the case please ignore



Since novell charges $399 for the application I presume that there is code in there that is closed source which makes it certain that the application created will work on the iPhone.

Not everything can be free and there are reasons for paying for software - even software to develop applications.

I actually don't mind paying for software on Linux. My reason for moving from the other side (not the fruit-side) was to get a more stable OS. I got that with Linux.
(I haven't gotten a pretty OS, but that's not Linux fault, that's Gnome...)

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