Reviews - Linux Podcasts

Review: The Linux Podcast Scene – all the movers and shakers

Last Updated on December 10, 2018

Podcasts are shows, similar to radio or TV shows, that are produced by professionals or amateurs and made available on the internet to stream and/or download. They have entered into a more mature phase.

Linux blogs and web sites carry a huge library of information to tap into about the Linux scene. Podcasts have some advantages (and disadvantages) over these resources. Portability is a key advantage of podcasts. You can be driving across states, or walking down the street, and keep up to date with the latest Linux scene.

It’s been a long time since we covered Linux podcasts. Sadly, some great shows have podfaded, but there’s new ones entering the scene. We’ve therefore compiled a fairly comprehensive roundup of active Linux-related podcasts. We don’t feature in this article podcasts that have stopped releasing new shows.

What makes a great Linux podcast? There’s 3 qualities that are highly desirable:

  • Content – this attribute is fairly obvious. Great shows will be heavy on original, actionable content combined with well-informed and honest opinions.
  • Conversational – a great podcast creates a perfect environment for conversations. Do we find ourselves talking to the hosts during a show, forgetting they can’t hear us? Shows that prompt us to sit up and scream “I agree”, or “that’s just absurd”, followed by a lively discussion among ourselves will rate highly.
  • Engaging – a podcast ticks this box if the hosts make the show about the listener. Does the podcast engage us on a one-to-one basis? Does the show feel unscripted even if it is? Are the hosts good storytellers? Does the show interact with the community? Do we listen to every show right to the end? If all are yes, the podcast is going to score highly. We don’t warm to podcasts that end up like a stream of unconscious thought, or sound like the hosts are in a different room to their microphone.

For each podcast below, we share information about the show’s content together with background information about the hosts themselves. They deserve credit whatever our opinion of their shows. We rate each podcast on the 3 qualities.

RankLinux Podcasts
1.Ubuntu PodcastUpbeat and family-friendly Linux show
2.FLOSS WeeklyAll about Free Libre Open Source Software
3.Late Night LinuxWhat’s happening with Linux and the tech industry
4.Podcast.__init__In-depth interviews with Python developers
5.The Ask Noah ShowCall-in show for everything tech
6.This Week in LinuxSuccinct coverage of Linux related news
7.Going LinuxWeekly lifestyle show about Linux
8.The Binary Times PodcastFortnightly show for beginners and intermediate Linux users
9.LINUX UnpluggedCommentary about everything Linux
10.Open Source Security PodcastSecurity with an open source slant
11.Linux Action NewsWeekly take on the free and open source world.
12Bad VoltageA smorgasbord of podcasting
13.LinuxGameCast WeeklyCovers the latest gaming developments
14.Destination LinuxThe latest Linux news along with interviews
15.TuxJamLinux intermixed with creative commons music
16.Gnu World OrderJoin Klaatu in his world of Slackware
17.Linux in the Ham ShackLinux, open source, and ham radio
18.The Linux Link Tech ShowA very long running show
19.Linux Weekly Daily WednesdayCovering the latest news from the world of Linux
20.The Jak Attack! Jon and Kelly's tech commentary
21.mintCastFor all Linux users
22.Hacker Public RadioCommunity produced shows
23.Sunday Morning Linux Review Talk about Linux and open source news
24.LinuxLugCastAn open Podcast/Lug
25.Full Circle Weekly NewsNo chit-chat news about Ubuntu and free software
26.Knightwise.comTalk about technology with tips & tricks

Click the above links to learn about each podcast.

Our medal winners are Ubuntu Podcast, FLOSS Weekly, and Late Night Linux, but the vast majority of the podcasts get our recommendation. We appreciate all the hosts generously give their time freely for the benefit of the Linux community, but we’ve tried not to sit on the fence when giving our opinion and ratings.

Show notes are the unsung hero of many podcasters’ workflow. They are so important when you’re hosting a podcast because they are genuinely useful to listeners and help promote the podcast. Many podcasters have difficulty with crafting excellent show notes – lack of time, or even what to include in the show notes themselves can often stop a podcaster from increasing their listener base. A few of the Linux podcasts produce really helpful show notes, but many can improve in this area.

UPDATE – Since publishing the reviews, I’ve added a review of The Binary Times Podcast. A few other podcasts will be added in due course.

You’re very welcome to offer your opinion on Linux podcasts in the comments section below, but let’s keep it clear of toxicity.

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Martha Martensen
Martha Martensen
5 years ago

So, I have listened to episodes of the top three podcasts… I am very disappointed. The audio quality rages from mediocre to horrible. Bad mixing, mad microphones, Pop filters, anyone? Even worse, Late Night Linux has no mp3 feed for podcatchers. If that is the state of the FOSS podcast scene, this is very sad.

5 years ago

Late Night Linux has an mp3 feed here:

Nichlas H. (@nichumm)
Nichlas H. (@nichumm)
5 years ago

Now that you have included Podcast.__init__, which isn’t as general Linux as the other podcasts, I feel like i need to mention Talk Python To Me, which in my opinion is a much better Python podcast.