This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we are going to list out the best gifts to give the Linux geek in your life or just the best gifts to get yourself. If you want to drop some hints to your significant other about what to get your for the holidays…make sure they listen to this episode. Then we’re going to discuss some troubling reports regarding Debian. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

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  1. Thanks for bringing attention to Debian, although I wouldn’t classify it as troubling per se, what you are seeing here is the normal Debian processes at work. Let me preface this with that I have been using Debian exclusively for more than ten years.

    Debian is a community based distro, it doesn’t have any major corporation backing it and controlling the direction that it goes, it is a mostly a group of unpaid volunteers that do all of the work.

    The typical Debian user doesn’t crave new software just for the sake of it being new, someone who does would be better served by using a different distro.

    The entire reason that you are not seeing any chatter on Debian, is because for them this is the normal state of affairs, which is roughly this for both Firefox-esr and Thunderbird.

    1. A new version drops from Mozilla.
    2. They update all of underlying dependencies that needs to be updated first (rust compiler, etc).
    3. They compile the new version for stable’s security repo.
    4. Once that is released then they they back-port to all of the other releases that are still active, old stable, old old stable, etc.
    5. By the way, they are doing this for all of the architectures, ten if I counted correctly.

    All of those steps take time to implement, is it perfect, no, but I am quite surprised at how well it works overall.

    So once the above steps have been completed, plus thanks to Firefox’s constant stream of security issues, Debian will have the latest Firefox-esr and Thunderbird in the security repo’s for all of the active releases, which is pretty decent in my book.

  2. As a Debian user and advocate myself I found it a little bit concerning to be honest.
    I agree with most of the above comments about how Debian works but a browser is essential and it is a security hole in the operating system to use an outdated version of Firefox! I would even say it is unacceptable.

    The state of browsers in Debian is very poor in general. Look at the Chromium package. The project itself discourages its use but still packages it. I will not mention all the other browsers. But you should not use them.
    In the last release they needed months and months to offer a recent and patched version of Chromium.

    In my opinion there is no excuse for that regardless how the packaging works. I am not sure if there is not enough manpower or the project just fails with the whole amount of packages they offer, one of the largest repos in the Linux ecosystem if not the largest of any.

    So it is good to be aware of that.

  3. I wonder what the underlying reason is that the Debian project couldn’t move the browser portion more quickly? Do you think it is due to dependencies? If I were running Debian, I would probably use Flatpak or Snaps as a stop-gap, especially since this does become a security concern.

  4. So I totally did not know about the extensions available for standard notes and now am really happy to find them. I was using simple notes but found out they were not encrypted in any way, so I was looking for something a little more private as well as open source, so my two options seemed to be simple note and Joplin. I first tried standard notes and was really not that impressed because I couldn’t do the simple thing of adding check boxes for grocery list and stuff. So then I tried Joplin next, it has a really awesome desktop app, and you can use your own cloud services to sync it between devices(like Nextcloud and some others) but the mobile app stinks, so I wasn’t happy with it either but stuck with it because of how awesome the desktop app is. Now while watching this show I started playing with the standard note extensions, and I am now much, much happier with it and am now switching back to it.

  5. Avatar for Ulfnic Ulfnic says:

    flatpak and snaps add a messy layer of abstraction and it just kicks the security can down the road to whomever’s maintaining it. At least with traditional packaging maintainers are forced to keep up with new libraries (that often improve security) but with containers you can just party like it’s 1999 forever. It feels like replacing one problem with another.

    Something Debian (or any Debian user) can implement right now is packaging the sid or testing versions of their favorite browser as an AppImage and installing it in /usr/local/bin. It keeps maintainership/packages within the Debian family and it’s pretty seamless compared to flatsnaps.

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