Linux Action Show ends after 10-year run

With Jupiter Broadcasting’s announcement that it is shutting down the Linux Action Show podcast, Bryan Lunduke, who co-created the show, looks back at its origin and its impact

Linux Action Show ends after 10-year run
Jupiter Broadcasting

What follows is all about Linux podcasts—something I’ve spent a fairly ridiculous amount of time on over the last decade or so. So, this post is basically inside baseball—for Linux podcasts. You’ve been warned.

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This past Sunday, Jupiter Broadcasting announced the Linux Action Show—one of the longest-running podcasts in the Linux world, which has aired almost continuously since June 10, 2006—is coming to an end and closing down production.

Over a decade. That is a seriously good run for any show—podcast, TV, radio or otherwise. When I and my co-host created the Linux Action Show (typically abbreviated as LAS) nearly 11 years ago, we had no idea it would last this long. Nor did we have any idea of how far it would grow. 

In 2012, about six years after creating the show, I handed over my half of the podcast to my co-host and turned to focus on different projects. I’ve been completely removed from, and uninvolved with, the show since then. Just the same, I look back on that first half decade of the Linux Action Show with great fondness. 

I have the career that I have thanks in large part to the Linux Action Show and the opportunities it created for me.

I started writing articles and doing more public speaking because of that show. It gave me the chance to hone my craft (maybe “hone” is the wrong word—perhaps “stumble around with” is a bit closer) and get to know the free and open source world from multiple angles.

Heck, some of my closest friendships are thanks (at least in part) to this quirky Linux podcast. 

After I left the show in 2012, my seat was taken over by my buddy Matt Hartley (who served as co-host for about three years or so). Upon hearing the news of the show closing down, Matt had this, rather succinct, statement, which I agree with wholeheartedly:

"Met a lot of fun people, good times were had."

Truth, Matt. Many, many good times.

Linux Action Show trivia

As a salute to the Linux Action Show, here are a few bits of trivia that fans of the show may or may not have known. I figure I should write some of this down while I actually remember.

  • The classic theme song for the show was custom made just for LAS. Chris (my co-founder) and I each pitched in some bucks and hired a musician to compose it for us. I wanted the song to have a vibe similar to Sonic The Hedgehog. That’s why it sounds the way it does.

  • The very first interview on the show was with my buddy Aaron Seigo. He came on to talk about the upcoming “KDE 4.” (Back then he was on the KDE board.)

  • As the show was growing, in 2007 we got it in our heads that we’d start a new Linux distribution project. The code-name was “Jupiter.” Chris and I are both big sci-fi nerds, and we named it after “Lost in Space.” The project, needless to say, was abandoned.

  • In 2008, we decided we needed to form a business around the show. We wanted to diversify and start doing new shows. (Chris wanted to do a show highlighting retro radio dramas, and I wanted to do an original sci-fi serial.) Luckily we already had a good name: Jupiter. Add the word “Broadcasting” to that, and we were good to go.

  • In 2009, we stopped doing the Linux Action Show for a short spell. We renamed the show Computer Action Show in an effort to be more generaly computer-focused. It didn’t work well—it was a short-lived change. We also did a one-off, April Fools’ episode called the Windows Action Show.

  • In the first few years of the show, we often alternated the location where we recorded each week. For quite some time, we recorded in my living room on my couch. I purchased a travel rack box where we stored the mixing board and most of the gear. It was still a royal pain to lug around from house to house.

  • There was only ever one “Ubuntu Live” conference. It was held in Portland, Oregon, alongside an OSCON. That year (can’t remember which at this point) Chris and I made the road trip out there. This was the first time I met Jono Bacon (at the time of Ubuntu) and Jeremy Garcia (Linux Questions). Both of whom I would go on to create and co-host the Bad Voltage podcast with after my time working on Linux Action Show ended. None of us remembers this moment, but we determined that we almost certainly went out to dinner together with a group one evening. Probably. It’s hazy.

So much fun. So much craziness. I’m bummed to see it end.

Luckily, the Linux world has a good dosage of great Linux-focused content nowadays. Here’s a quick list of a just a few that I can personally vouch for to fill the LAS-shaped hole in your heart: Bad Voltage (another show that I co-founded and co-hosted for the first three years—I left the show last December). There’s also The Linux Gamer; Level1 Linux; my own show, The Lunduke Hour; Simply Elementary; and a bunch of others. Lots of great shows to sample from. 

I recommend treating it like a buffet line. Sample a few bites of all of them, then go back and load your plate up with fried shrimp. Because this is a buffet. And, come on, all-you-can eat fried shrimp. 

To everyone who helped to make the Linux Action Show over the last 11 years—and to the fans who contributed so much to the show and to the Linux world in general (and also had a profoundly positive impact on my life)—high fives all around.

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