1x38: Easy Being Green

Jeremy Garcia, Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we decide to talk about Linux almost completely for the whole show. Featuring following the dare in the last show a great deal of OpenSuSE (or openSUSE or opensuse or possibly Open SUSE), green-coloured things, and:

  • If you want a thing fixed in an open source project, and you're prepared to pay market rate for a developer to get it fixed... how do you find someone to pay to fix it? It seems harder than you might think (1.49)
  • We speak as part of this openSUSE-based show to Andrew Wafaa, long-time contributor and member of the openSUSE community board, about why he's involved and where openSUSE stands with the rest of the free software community (19.30)
  • In the last show Bryan threw down a challenge to the other three to spend time using openSUSE and report back on their findings. We tried Gnome, KDE, and Enlightenment: now we talk about how that went and what we think about openSUSE as a whole (40.42)
  • We review the newly-released Dell M3800 laptop powerhouse (73.12)

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in the Dell review, I missed a few things:
a) you mentioned how some DE don’t work to well with high dpi screens, but how about the (preinstalled) applications?
b) it has a thunderbolt port that reportedly doesn’t work on the system as it ships, but only with newer kernels (installing newer kernels, btw, is one of the many things were Ubuntu, and not just the Unity version, is not great).
c) did you check whether the battery life gets significantly better with running powertop, and how much of the annoyance with XFCE goes away with alt+F8?

Also, iota is pronounced more like yoghurt, not i-ota.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/iota: Pronunciation: /ʌɪˈəʊtə/ (and there’s an audible sound file on the page too). Might be different outside England, of course.

I’m surprised that Dell ship a machine with Thunderbolt which doesn’t work! @bryanlunduke is this the case? I will be rather disappointed if, in direct contravention of something I always say, a major manufacturer is actually OK with shipping a laptop which doesn’t all work!

@sil First of all, thank-you for the discussion over open-source-financial-incentives, phew.

I was have a really shitty day and your podcast gave me the warm fuzzies.

I shall get back to this, al_though my first initial response is that this subject is worthy of studying at degree level ; perhaps I shall daddio, perhaps I shall.
Someone should.

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oh, you are right about iota. Sorry.

This is were I read about the Thunderbolt issue: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/03/review-dell-m3800-developer-edition-is-a-great-linux-pc-with-a-few-rough-edges/
They say that in using it to hook up an external Apple monitor it only half works, and better support only comes in with linux 3.16 or .17.

Edit: I just took a look at the product page, and there seems to be an option for a more powerful battery (91Whr instead of 61), but it is apparently incompatible with all drives but one, an Intel SSD. Can someone explain to me what is up with that?

Could be just that the other SSDs are larger and so won’t fit in the case with a larger battery?

@bryanlunduke do you have the capability to test Thunderbolt?

Also what about shoeleather costs of depositing the money. Do you really want to spend money making sure you get your 5 bucks and deposit it.

When I remember Jono at scale saying treating open source as a religion is not helpful I think he means more of like an inquistion than a monestary where people fix bugs.

I do not. Because I do not have any “Thunderbolt” devices or cables. Because I am human. And not a single human on the planet (outside of Ars Technical writers) have any such devices.

I have a 17 inch with a massive 12 cell battery. missing backspace key. only a core 2 duo and gma 4500 might weigh more the dell but is quite old but I stuck a 256 GB ssd in there. I don’t like the display at 1366x768.


This costs less than half of the M3800 laptop. And is quite amazing for what I use it for.

OK I’ll admit my answer to the question of “Why did I get involved in openSUSE?” sucked, as @sil said, moose wang! My response should have been “The same reason you go for a B&W, Mercedes, Audio or VW; solid German engineering, good looks and reliability”

I kind of had a brain fart when the most obvious question came up, the fact I failed to answer properly annoys me so much it makes my $#!t itch. Sorry for that folks.


It’s cool. I forgive you.

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I fear that this is not the case.

No distro review is correct unless it finished with “but nothing beats Arch.”

Ah, once again the truth is proved of the statement “how can you tell if someone uses Arch? Don’t worry; they’ll tell you.”

Perhaps you’d explain why nothing beats Arch? Maybe we should try it and review in a future episode, if we’re given good reason?


I had not heard that before, but I love it! I wonder if they have t-shirts, like the xkcd regex t-shirt but instead of I know regex it says I use Arch!

I admit Arch is not a user-friendly distro in the traditional sense like Ubuntu is. But google any linux related question and the Arch’s wiki and forums will show-up at least as often as Ubuntu’s do. I guess the primary reason why nothing beats Arch is because we have a great community that supports it’s users. And since Arch relies on un-modified upstream our community inherently supports the entire Linux user base.

Not to say Arch is the only distro that fits this description. I used Slackware previously so I know there’s a good community there too and it’s packages are vanilla so the support has wider application. But I find Arch more inclusive of other Linux users than Slackware.

At the end of the day though, once I’m in my DE and browsing the web in Chrome there’s no difference between LFS or Ubuntu or anything in between!

I use Arch because it’s fun to slice open the belly of the beast and get your hands dirty. I always have the latest versions of software and it allows to me look oh so smug when my Ubuntu using friends complain about something and I respond just edit the config file with vi!

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How many Thunderbolt devices do you have? :smile:

Wow, that’s some crazy ass robocop dildo you have there :stuck_out_tongue:

So why not use Antegros or Manjaro?
I can speak from the perspective of Manjaro user…
It tends to be more stable than Arch, it has access to AUR… You can even use Arch wiki or read Arch forum browse through their solutions and apply the ones you need.
Also you have very friendly Manjaro forum…
Basically, using Manjaro is somewhat like having a “godmode” while using Arch :wink:

Long live emacs :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

Awesome show!
I’ve really enjoyed “two week in openSUSE” part of the show :slight_smile:

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