This Week in Linux 108: Linux Mint 20, openSUSE 15.2, CutiePi Raspberry Pi Tablet, and more!

On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some big Distro News from Linux Mint, openSUSE and there may be a way to have a Rolling Release of Ubuntu now. We’ve also got some Linux Mobile news thats to the team at XDA Developers making it possible to put Ubuntu Touch from UBports on a lot of Android based devices. We’re going to talk about a new Kickstarter that is going on right now to develop a Raspberry Pi based Tablet called the CutiePi. In App News, were going to talk about a new Task Manager app called Planner and there’s some changes coming to the Matrix Client, Riot.im which is much needed so I am excited for that. We’ve also got some odd news from Microsoft as they have decided to release an Antivirus for Linux called Microsoft Defender ATP. Apple recently announced they are dropping Intel for their own processor platform and we’ll discuss how that will relate to people wanting to run Linux on that hardware. Then we’ll round out the show with some awesome Humble Bundles that are live right now. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

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  1. I’ve upgraded major Linux Mint versions to other major versions. There’s a command line tool they use called “mintupgrade”. A couple months back I tested this out because most people recommend doing a clean install for major versions. I went through 17.0 and it’s point releases to 19.3 without problems. Mintupgrade is just a package in the repo you download and run. Of course the package isn’t available until they have the transition working well, which takes time but there’s no huge rush, the 18.04 LTS is still supported until 2023. The Mintupgrade from 19.3 to 20 should be even simpler than previous versions because they don’t have to transition to a different display manager like with 19. It’s 3 lines in the terminal, which is NOT harder than upgrading Ubuntu.

  2. When you say that the names that Vector chooses need to converge do you think that it could lead to confusion down the line?

    Right now you can tell some one to use the internet and they realize that they can use Firefox or any other number of browsers to reach a website, using the underlying protocols. In a similar way, you can use a number of clients to use the matrix protocol. I feel like keeping the names separate would be a good thing because there are different clients (riot, fractal, ect.) and server implementations (synapse, dendryte, ruma, ect. ). I see where one could come at it from a perspective of lowering the barrier to entry though. Would it be better, as a community, to talk about particular clients then? It doesn’t really matter what home server implementation is being used or the fact that the underlying protocol is called matrix.

    If the projects were called matrix-protocol, matrix-client, matrix-server and matrix-company it seems that it kind of takes away from future projects like the fractal client where everyone else will be playing second fiddle no matter what.

  3. Thanks again, @MichaelTunnell. As you’re offering more youtube content these days, I really should check there too. Learnt a lot from the Linux Mint / snap video :+1:

    Cutie-Pi sounds interesting. Nice name, too.

    On the todos front, I’ve been thinking for some time to code an inter-operating security-focused app for this, though I don’t find writing for Android and iOS all that appealing actually. I’d rather support UBPorts if possible and work on one that runs as native on Linux and on phones, though I think the phone side for this app would be the most useful.

  4. There are so-many apps that already exist any new one designed really does have to offer something that’s both new and desired. I’ll look carefully at the technologies you mentioned for some insights into their APIs. Even if initial build could work on Linux for starters I’m hoping getting it onto UBPorts would be the easier part of it. As you know so many apps, Michael, I’m sure the niche you identify would be a useful one to address and worth considering. I can’t promise but I can certainly investigate and I’ve been speculating on my own design requirements for an age, every time I use an Android app that doesn’t integrate with other Android apps and isn’t private due to reliance on some kind of cloud that isn’t self-hosted…

  5. As promised, @MichaelTunnell, I had a look at some of the NextCloud and Deck documentation. The combination looks very attractive for self-hosting. In-terms of a todo app that could sync with Deck, it appears that Deck has a REST API. There is an open source Android client for Deck, written purely in Java (my favourite language) which could be useful for some inspiration. On the UBPorts side we’re looking at QML, which I know a little, but not a lot and I’d be doing the back-end in C++ rather than JavaScript (as I really don’t like JavaScript, for many reasons). Upshot of all of this is new-found motivation to resume with Qt, then eventually get in touch with devs on UBPorts team if I need help setting up the development environment, and take it from there, one step at a time. As I’ve been saying, I think the need for a Linux phone is dire, especially for privacy purposes, and if NextCloud and suitable apps allow the possibility of self-hosting, sounds well worth some time and effort to me! Also I’m sure UBPorts team are working very hard, they might need a hand with some documentation too. Let’s see how things go, hopefully :slight_smile:

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