Boise Linux Users Group June 21 Meeting Report

Tonight's meeting focused on the current status of Plasma 5 as presented by member Darin S.  Darin had installed the Neon Developer Edition from neon.kde.org which represents the latest and greatest in Plasma 5.  Neon is built on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS foundation.

It was a very interesting presentation as Darin navigated about Plasma and Plasma Wayland.  Wayland is a replacement for the underlying Xwindows server which provides support for high DPI monitors, such as teh ones being found on new laptops (greater than 1920).

Along the way, we discussed using the "backports PPA" for getting the latest version of Plasma 5 as Kubuntu ships with 5.5 and current release is 5.6, something you definitely want to do if you are running Kubuntu for your desktop.  Darin also showed us the IRC logs from the developer team (irclogs.ubuntu.com/2016/06/21) as well as the Kubuntu Package Archives @ lauchpad.net/~kubuntu.  As part of the demo, we also looked at video playback and video tearing that can occur.

Wayland runs under kwin which is selected at login.  Default is kwin_x11 and Wayland is kwin_wayland.  kwin_wayland must be installed in order to use Plasma 5 on Wayland.  (Clint note:  To get Wayland working on my copy of Kubuntu 16.04, I had to install the following packages. kwin-wayland  plasma-workspace-wayland and wayland-protocols.)

There are a number of issues in the latest releases of Plasma 5 and even the underlying Ubuntu 16.04 and video driver availability.  Darin is not recommending Plasma 5 for production desktops and does recommend staying on Kubuntu 14.04 LTS for continued support.  Clint uses Kubuntu 15.10 which he is very happy with it but support ends next month (July 2016) so he has to make a decision to either upgrade to something that is not working well or downgrade back to 14.04.4...

Darin also mentioned using IRC chat and Konversation for #kubuntu and #kubuntu-devel, both for monitoring what is going on in those chatrooms as well as getting help.

Python language was discussed briefly using the jupyter notebook at localhost:8888/tree/Programming/py/ on Plasma 5.

Rebooting can be an issue sometimes in Plasma(Wayland) and one way to escape out is the Alt-PrtScreen REISUB keyboard sequence.

Other topics of discussion included 16.04 issues and the use of apt for installing versus apt-get.  Darin maintains a "blog" type website at https://sites.google.com/site/bcelinux/ where you can click on classroom topics and get to his postings.

Member Brian H also contributed these notes on the meeting:

Here are some Steps for disabling a kernel module under linux (for example practice disabling the noveau driver):

1. Create a blank file:
#sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf (can be named anything but use .conf) for the file extension.

2. Add text to the blank file:
"blacklist <modulename>" (in the blank file use "blacklist" then the "module name" you want to blacklist. For example "blacklist noveau" (prevents the noveau driver from even loading).

3. Reload Kernel Dependencies:
#sudo depmod -a (this maps the new file into the kernel)

4. Regenerate the Kernel biased on the new map links.
#sudo update-initramfs -u


If you have successfully disabled a module it will not load at all. For example if you disable Pulse Audio it will not load and therefore no sound will be present. Keep in mind if you change the .conf or remove the file re-run steps 3 and 4 to build the new kernel. Just because you edit it does not mean it loads at runtime :D.

Debian Directions: (https://wiki.debian.org/KernelModuleBlacklisting)


B. Here is some information on using Thunderbolt of what is supported overall (https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Apple/MacBookPro/11-1). Mine seems to work with Kernel 3.16.0-4 on Debian just fine. They injected the Intel Thunderbolt connection as a patch it looks like :D.

C. Backports for Debian - Different from Ubuntu.
(https://backports.debian.org/)

A very good meeting and we went right up to the 9 o'clock hour.  Thanks to Taos for the Pizza, Cookies and Soda.

Next month, Clint will do a presentation on the basics of using SELinux, a security "firewall" for Linux services.