Podcast Season 2 Episode 8


Title: Humble Bumble

In this episode: Mandriva is up for sale while Android phones are outselling iPhones in the USA. Judge our TuxRadar content challenge and we ask, should distros license codecs?

What's in the show

  • News:
  • You Dare Us:
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Graham: Automatically change your KDE wallpaper with the Scripted Image Wallpaper Plugin.
    • Mike: Remove the possibility of accidentally installing Mono applications with Mononono.
    • Andrew: Buying Nick Cave's 'Murder Ballads' on Amazon may reveal your true inspirational muse.
    • Paul:
      • Discovered Ubuntu 10.04, the Lucid Lynx, isn't very good.
      • Game support on Linux is still rubbish, and Paul may be able to release some new source code.
  • In the Hot Seat:
    • This episode's friend of the fiery furniture is the real Paul Hudson.
  • Open Ballot:

  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to 40%

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

Subscribe to the TuxRadar Podcast. Choose between Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments

Ubuntu 10.04 on VMWare

I've installed alphas, betas, RCs and final release on vmware (Workstation 7) and only the Grub update issue applies to my experience. Multiple installs on various other older hardware setups including laptops have been similarly painless (although I install GIMP at the first opportunity). Could there be a problem with your vmware install?

Sick and tired of the Beta and RC coverage on the web

I haven't listened to the podcast yet, and it is late so it will probably wait until morning, but I just wanted to get in a quick complaint about beta and RC releases and the coverage and reviews they get on the Internet.

I love beta and RC releases as much as the next guy, but why do they get so much attention only for the actual release to be ignored? When I search for Distro XX Release Y, all I get are page after page of reviews and in depth anayalsis of teh beta and RC candidates with things like "... but will probably be fixed in the final release", but then I can't ever find any damn information about the final release! Was it fixed or not?

These releases don't last that long, but the final releases last at least 6 months. Why aren't they given the proper respect they deserve damn it!


Im surprised that the fact Valve have confirmed that Steam and Source engine games will be coming to Linux wasn't even mentioned on the podcast.

Surely this is a major bit of news that everyone wants to hear about!

Ubuntu love

Yeah, I have a love thing going on with Ubuntu. Have had since Warty Warthog. It just works for me and I know that there have been things which have been painful with each release (different problems each time) but they are fixed or are fixable quickly with only a little googling around. New users? I guess that newbies will have some difficulties but then Windows 7 is not without its problems, even for XP/Vista experienced users moving up!
I agree with the sentiments regarding codecs - this is a nuicance and newbies won't understand, from their perspective MP3 just doesn't work. Let's have the option to pay for the codecs, perhaps with a prompt that takes you to the install and pay when you attempt to run a codec which is not available for free.
Anyway, love the podcasts, like the music, bought the album!

More Python Videos!

It had to be said.

Lucid, Grub, and the Keyboard

I noticed that if I explicitly hit enter key to select Lucid then the keyboard works, but if I let it timeout and select, the keyboard doesn't work during login. It seems the problem is related to Grub is someway.

Ubuntu 10.04 is not a step back

Can I propose that testing VMWare distros and then complaining about it is like judging a movie based on the trailer?

Also, I had Ubuntu 10.04 working just fine in VirtualBox and more importantly on my laptop. It's actually the most stable Ubuntu release I've ever used, and it's far better than both 9.04 and 9.10, and even a bit better than Fedora 12. It's just awesome.

Also, the trash says "Empty Trash" when I right click on it. It might be because I'm using a Clearlooks theme.


Despite the ranting about Ubuntu (it's what the cool kids are doing, I guess?) I enjoyed the rest of the podcast. 10.04 LTS got me back into Linux so I'm excited about new Linux talking and humor. :)

Ubuntu and the codecs

I got to thinking about the problem you mentioned of having a new distro every six months and not wanting to rebuy the codecs when you can simply carry the fluendo version around with you.

I could imagine an Ubuntu database that carries all your information about support contracts, the one music store purchases, codecs, etc, so that every time you upgrade or install a new version, you simply have to type in your account info and it will download and install what you have already paid for again, much like iTunes does for paid music from computer to computer.

In that scheme, you could buy the "premium" version the first time, setup an account, and then it would just be a matter of giving account info during install and upgrades from then on. That would actually be easier than having to take the files with you or re-downloading them each time.

I say:


print Dan_Williams_Message_Title + " +1"

@Game support on Linux is still rubbish . . .

@Game support on Linux is still rubbish

I play koules, supertuxkart, ppracer, and atanks . . . i don't need anything else personally

@Discovered Ubuntu 10.04, the Lucid Lynx, isn't very good

I discovered that at the release party, when I tried it out to see if I liked it better than Debian 5.0, and I didn't . . . I'll wait for Squeeze.

Hot topic suggestion

Andrew Cole said:

"I could imagine an Ubuntu database that carries all your information about support contracts, the one music store purchases, codecs, etc, so that every time you upgrade or install a new version, you simply have to type in your account info and it will download and install what you have already paid for again"


Fair enough Andrew, but what about if in 12 months time or whatever, you get fed up with Ubuntu and want to move to another distro... the migration could be awkward couldn't it? The absence of Ubuntu One Clients for other distros could, even if unintentional on the part of Canonical, in practice, potentially become a kind of lock in. This is why I am reluctant to become too dependent on Ubuntu One. Also, don't know if it's just me but is Ubuntu One file sync a bit unreliable? I never had any problems with Dropbox, but have had with Ubuntu One and don't feel totally confident I can trust it with my data and so have been doing an additional local backup using rsync which kind of defeats the object of Ubuntu One really. Would be interested to hear other people's experience with Ubuntu One. Actually this would make a good hot topic - is Ubuntu One a good thing? If not, what is the problem - the whole idea of cloud computing or merely Canonical's implementation of it? I have mixed feelings myself... wonder what others think?

Video Tutorials???

Hey guys liked the "Python + PyGTK + WebKit in 20 minutes" video tutorial/article but, and I'm sure some people would agreed with me, that having some video tutorials would be benefitical for your website. Liking the website/podcast and keep up the good work.

More Python Videos!

It hasn't been said often enough.

That 10.04 rant seemed like a case of mistaken identity

The original meaning of the word 'error' or 'to err' meant 'to wander,' in other words to end up on the wrong path but still THINK you're on the right path. It's like taking the wrong turn on the highway on your way to -- you're in England, let's say Wolverhampton, but you hung a right instead of a left and ended up in Manchester. But then you kept assuming Manchester was Wolverhampton, and never corrected the mistake.

That's what Paul's 10.04 rant sounded like. It really seemed from the complaints that the issues you were dealing with were hardware-specific, setup-specific issues.

You didn't say if you were using a beta on VMWare when you couldn't get your keyboard up or not, which leaves us wondering if you're problem is actually an Ubuntu problem or a VMWare problem.

"Empty trash" seems to be the only option on the trash. Not sure where you're getting your other options. I guess that's only confusing for an uber-nerd if you assume options are there that shouldn't be there when those options aren't there in the first place.

And as I plug in my external hard drive, I check my oh so many multiple options for how to remove it -- just like I'm meant to have two or three options to empty the trash, confusing the issue. As it turns out, whether I'm clicking on the Nautilus side bar, right-clicking on the device itself on the desktop, or in computer:///, the only option there is "Safely Remove Drive." This sounds a lot like the Trash issue, and it must be frustrating to assume there are a bevy of confusing options that shouldn't be there when those options don't exist in the first place. That'd confuse anyone trying to build a straw-man argument.

Paul's rant came off as ill-informed, based on a wonky VM install, and his only legitimate complaint was the buttons weren't on the correct side -- which itself didn't make a lot of sense, because his buttons rant was based on too much space being left on the right side... But what's left on the left when you move the buttons to the right? Empty space. Either way, you have the menu on the left side and the notification area/clock on the right balancing out either edge, so that complaint seems hollow as well. (and I'm one who moved them back.)

Worst ever? Here's a positive experience: Just before finals this school year, a student of mine had his laptop hard drive flatline. The university's useless tech support told him he lost everything, and they'd replace the drive, but it'd take a week.

We used a 10.04 live cd to recover all of his data -- the drive wasn't dead -- and made a little partition to install it on so he could use his machine during finals. By the end of finals, he asked me to install it over Vista so he could use all his 350 gigs. No phantom grub errors, no phantom keyboard problems, no phantom options complaints, and no "my buttons aren't on the right side" complaints. Just a new convert over to at least trying Linux over Vista due to his experience using Ubuntu 10.04.



Nor is "It didn't work for me" anything more than what it sounds like: story telling. Your experiences with Ubuntu 10.04 no more can confirm nor deny the statements uttered by anyone else on this comment thread thus far, even if you are a member of the podcast.

And I would think that a journalist such as yourself would probably not get so heated as to use pointed language when making a point to a post that fairly kindly pointed out flaws he felt were in the narrative. As established before in past episodes, TuxRadar is negative on Linux and its community sometimes, and sometimes people will disagree with you and try to break down your allegations into more logical reasons or find out more information. I can't imagine that this is in anyway new to any of you, so I'm wondering where the tantrum came from.

I know you guys are extremely hyperbolic about things on the podcast (it's either the best thing since the Linux kernel or it's the worst thing since Pulseaudio) but that's no reason to take it to the streets when some poor soul thinks that he may have found a reason why Ubuntu 10.04 didn't work that well for you. Even if he IS wrong.

@Nobody Important


<< Your experiences with Ubuntu 10.04 no more can confirm nor deny the statements uttered by anyone else on this comment thread thus far, even if you are a member of the podcast. >>

That's why I posted links in my comment. That's why Mike Saunders - who has just finished writing a book about 10.04 - agreed with me on the podcast. It's not just me; if it were, I wouldn't treat it so seriously.

Furthermore, I disagree with your statement. Mike and I said that Wastebasket and Deleted Items were mixed up in Ubuntu. My experiences absolutely do confirm that, because I've taken a screenshot of it - unless you're saying I'm doctoring screenshots just to prove a point? It doesn't matter whether I'm on the podcast or not: Ubuntu confuses the two items of text; that's an irrefutable fact.

Similarly, I linked to the Gnome bug report on Safely Remove, where it explicitly states that two options appear when unmounting drives - it's not me saying that, it's a whole lot of other people.

<< And I would think that a journalist such as yourself would probably not get so heated as to use pointed language when making a point to a post that fairly kindly pointed out flaws he felt were in the narrative. >>

"Fairly kindly"? Did you read his comment? Here are some quotes:

- "I guess that's only confusing for an uber-nerd if you assume options are there that shouldn't be there when those options aren't there in the first place."

- "it must be frustrating to assume there are a bevy of confusing options that shouldn't be there when those options don't exist in the first place. That'd confuse anyone trying to build a straw-man argument."

- "Paul's rant came off as ill-informed, based on a wonky VM install"

If he posted a comment a) based on what I said, rather than inventing me running beta versions of software, b) refrained from saying I was making stuff up for fun, and c) didn't say things like "ill-informed", "uber-nerd" and "straw man argument" then perhaps he'd have received a more polite response. This isn't a case of him trying to break down my arguments into any logical reasoning - it's him saying, "I don't see any options other than Trash, so clearly you're inventing it," and that I have no patience for.

And what exactly is the heated language that so offends you? I've responded to the points he made; I took the time to post several links to pictures and web pages that back up what I'm saying rather than just conjecturing wildly; I provided a detailed explanation of what I meant about the window decorations. That's what comments are for.


More Python Videos!

I vote for more Python video tutorials. Yay!

@Paul again

Thanks for reading my comment and responding.

I have my own blog; it's not on Linux, so I will spare you the crushing guilt of not following the link (feel free to snicker to yourself at this point). But I have first hand experience with disagreements, discussions, such and such. And as long as I've been writing my puny little blog, I've learned that getting crabby at someone because they're crabby at you simply doesn't solve anything, especially when they're making allegations of character.

But as I said, I just assumed that because you are in a field of journalism you had come to the same conclusion on comments that I had at some point, so my own reaction to the discussion above was simply puzzled at your emotion. Perhaps I didn't word my post in exactly the right way, so for that, I apologize. I still have issues conveying my tone effectively through text only.

I look forward to the next podcast, where I hope that the new open source VP8 codec is discussed.

my bit about ubuntu

I tried Ubuntu 10.4 in vmware player and faced the same issue with the keyboard not working - i could never enter my password to login - i gave up trying in vmware and braved wubi; Big Mistake!!
I had a raid 0 array setup (thinking that would be fast!) under win7 and the wubi install process gave me a blank screen on restart - hit a few enters / gave it 10 mins - rebooted to the raid saying one disk was offline or somethnig - the OS was missing - tried messing about trying to fix it - then wiped the entire lot - went back to a jbod setting and reinstalled my main win7 install / all my sw from dvd's - now dual booting using grub - havent used ubuntu much though.
Luckily I have all my data backed up to my laptop and also a different external drive !

I am going to stop using vmware / dual booting and just start using my acer aspire one netbook as a dedicated linux trial pc - and am also going to try all the "lite" distro's out there more suited to a netbook than mainstream ubuntu - so now onwards to try out #! staten / jolicloud / peppermint / slitaz (which seems only to be a live cd / not installed) / slax etc etc - much more fun!

<end rant>


Idea from my previous post/rant...

How about a challenge that you need to use one of the new "cloud" or "lite" distro's only as your main distro for a month/fortnight/week?

I know linux format magazine did a review recently and recommended Slitaz - how about each one pick one and use it? choices would be slitaz / crunchbang staten / peppermint os / archbang / slax / etc

ideally pick one NOT based on ubuntu and not using gnome/kde (ideally openbox/fluxbox etc etc) - use the alternate browsers / email clients / tools that they provide - maybe do the entire thing on a netbook for the entire time as well???



Now that Google have open sourced VP8 as "WebM", which uses Vorbis as the audio codec, Apple will AT LAST have to support Vorbis!

Re: WebM

...or Apple can just ignore WebM and carry on using H.264. Sad, but possible.

"Telcos have always done that though" (07:42)~Android Phones

Thanks as always to TuxRadar.

I worry about Google slipping into the clothes of classical 'Telco' (corporate) behavior. What's on offer, as well as real choice, slip away so easily when customers become too beholden. What you already know is that today's would be successors to 20th century giant business, are evolving with information power that monopolies of 2 decades ago could only dream of. So, viva vigilant questioning and critical thinking, which may, or may not guard against future generations of powerless 'end users'. Remembering Google coming on the scene in the late '90s, the natty search algorithm, the 2 lads at Stanford. Remembering the 'Zeitgeist', the overpriced, restrictive monopolies of that time, the feeling of choicelessness and lost humanity when trying to get the phone company to acknowledge and fix their error on the phone bill. I don't think we are destined to always accept foisted lock-ins, no matter how they are disguised, or based on what the bygone practices have been. I trust there is an inevitability to a way of doing things with a bigger picture of what success is.

"...or Apple can just ignore

"...or Apple can just ignore WebM and carry on using H.264. Sad, but possible."


Given that even IE have said they will support WebM,won't this mean that Apple will not be able to ignore it, given that Safari has only ~4.5% market share?

PS. I agree with Paul & Mike - the strictness of the 6 month Ubuntu release cycle is very ill conceived - especially for an LTS. Linux Mint put their latest release back a week or so because it wasn't ready and when Clem announced it the comments showed that users were very supportive of this decision. To be honest - I'm not flaming here - I think it is a bit irresponsible of Canonical, who are the flagship for the whole of Linux, to ship with such a serious flaw as the Grub one mentioned by Paul. If an Ubuntu release is shoddy and rushed, it gets the whole of Linux a bad name unfortunately and people trying Linux for the first time will be unnecessarily put right off and be given a false impression that Linux is inherently buggy and unreliable. Debian got a lot of flak for taking so long to put out a new release, but IMHO they got their priorities right. For the new users who we all want to attract to Linux, not to mention the business sector, stability and security are the most important features, and these should not be compromised just to meet some ridiculous arbitrary deadline. Debian's painstaking commitment to stability is something to be commended not sneered at, as some like to do. Back to Lucid - I'm not sure if this got fixed in the final ISO - but I was horrified to read on the release notes of the release candidate that there was a major bug with Compiz which would cause the computer to slow down and that it was HOPED that this would be fixed before the final release a week later. Is "hoping" to fix such a fundamental bug good enough for an LTS? I believe not.


I think Paul's criticism of Lucid is valid. I mean to say - if even Paul has had problems, what chance will the average first time Linux user have? Can't understand why they didn't put the release back until bugs were ironed out - they put Dapper Drake back 2 months, so why not this release? Most users value stability over the cutting edge - and even more so in the workplace. I work in the NHS and new computers we recently got came with XP installed, eventhough it is now about 10 years old. Also many home users downgraded from Vista to XP. Having the latest thing is not the top priority for most people and is no substitute for reliability.

64 bit

What put me off getting Fluendo codecs was that, last time I checked, it was 32 bit only. I think there should be a push to try to get complete 64 bit support in Linux. I like Mandriva but decided to move to Suse, since there there is no 64 bit Mandriva One ISO. Once html5 gains traction the Flash problems which have plagued 64 bit systems will be a thing of the past. Within a few years virtually all computers (apart from netbooks) will be 64 bit and will have more than 4 GB of RAM, so this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

re. Theora being uncompetitive

We need to get Aoyumi to optimize Theora the same way he did Vorbis with AoTuV.

Lucid Lynx

I was surprised that Paul was disappointed with Lucid because it was buggy - being a Linux journalist, he should know by now that every version of Ubuntu is buggy. Whenever there is a new release, within no time the internet gets littered with complaints about regressions and things that used to work that no longer do. Let's be honest... Ubuntu is just an alpha version of Debian with the buttons moved to the wrong side... what do you expect?

Android Tethering

I've been using my HTC Hero (still on Android 1.5) and the USB tethering has worked, without additional drivers, on Windows and linux since the first time I tried it - pretty sure it worked on ubuntu NBR 8 (definitely does with 9 and 10), XP, Vista and W7.

Breif Explanation of UK/GB ordering

The reason the (English - UK) appears to be out of order is because the actual file description, presumably according to either Web standard or possibly POSIX or some standards committee somewhere - is denoted as "en_gb" which you will see in the filenames for example for html files in alternate languages - ahah! It's probably the it8n or whatever comittee.

Anyway, it just looks like it's out of order because what is displayed is what the OS menu has as it's "alternate text" if you like, it's merely a description. But anyway, this is hardly something worth ranting about - you could find the entry in the listbox couldn't you?

But I can understand that once you get into a rant, every little thing gets caught up in the rant, whether it's fully justified or not. It seems to all be a part of the larger problem and whether it's actually related or not it just contributes more reason to your sense of emotion during the rant. Thankfully rants eventually end and then you can get on with the business of proper criticism. But again, it's your podcast, you can say what you feel, that's ok. I'm not being negative because I actually think for the most part you guys have valid criticisms to make and generally we're better off for it. All I'm saying is that sometimes there are actually good reasons for why things are the way they are, other times, the reason may simply be because of the adoption or insistence on some sort of standard as in this case. It goes with the territory. The virtualisation rant belongs to an entirely different class of problems. May I say that running any OS install inside a virtualisation environment is going to have issues but I wonder whether it's really fair to complain about the install if you have not actually done it on a machine in "reality" for want of a better description?

Finally I just want to say that although I am in Australia, I far prefer given the choice, to use the "en_gb" language options simply because I feel too many US spellings are creeping into the language.


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