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Fedora, Linux and Stuff

Various Linux and Fedora News

February 13th, 2009 ~ 10:55am by Mauriat Miranda

A great deal of the following is all old news.

Adobe has has Flash Plugin for x86_64 Linux architecture in Beta since Oct 2008. The only thing, is that since it is provided in a tarball (.tar.gz), you are better off builing an RPM (spec file). Note that the 32bit i386 version still works perfectly with nspluginwrapper.

Similarily Sun has released the Java JRE web plugin for x86_64 archictecture. Installation is the very identical to 32bit. Just make sure you are using Version 6 Update 12 or newer. It only took 5 yrs? Keep in mind openjdk works well for most scenarios in 64bit linux.

A few weeks ago, KDE 4.2 was released. I’m sure its better than the problematic 4.0 and marginally improved 4.1. For some information for KDE 4.2 on Fedora follow Rex.

I was pleased to see Knoppix 6.0 released. Once upon a time Knoppix was THE Live CD everyone used. Now with Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE and many other distro’s releasing Live CD’s anyone can really take their pick on what suits them best. Even so, I will download 6.0 and finally replace the Knoppix 5.0 CD that has been travelling with me for the past few years.

Unrelated to any software release, apparently many people have been having issues with the System Bell. For a quick tip on disabling the Fedora 10 system bell. Yeah, that beep is annoying.

Livna troubles: Most Fedora tutorials depend on the Livna repository for software installation. However due to DNS problems Livna has been unavailable. People should wait a few days. Of course it should be noted that Livna was only critical for libdvdcss rpm which is needed to watch DVD’s in Fedora.

Meanwhile on the Fedora mailing list, another whacky thread has errupted. This time: WHY I WANT TO STOP USING FEDORA!!! (yes, it is all in CAPS!). That obviously spawned a bunch of new related threads. While I do read a lot there, that mailing list is getting less useful each day (especially for newbies).

As for me, I’m still quite behind in my email (I apologize if you contacted me). I have not fixed my computer hardware. I know I need to get some updates on some of my Fedora Guides. (Thanks to all the people mailing me hints and tips - I really appreciate it).

Hardware Changes and Failures

January 28th, 2009 ~ 10:59pm by Mauriat Miranda

I am currently in the process of installing a new hard drive on my laptop. The 100GB was not enough. I have not had time to install Fedora on it.

I found out I have some hardware failure on my desktop. This is where I did majority of my testing.

I have not had time to find a new UPS since my main one failed a few weeks ago. This is probably a priority since I run my server on it.

Other than the CentOS running on my server, I have not touched Linux or done any work on my Fedora setups for weeks now.

Xine Crashing in Fedora 10

November 25th, 2008 ~ 11:13pm by Mauriat Miranda

If you are using Xine from RPMFusion and experiencing crashing immediately after loading in Fedora 10, it is probably due to this bug.

Quick work-around is to use Alsa instead of PulseAudio. Open a shell and launch Xine as follows:

[mirandam@phoebe ~]$ xine -A alsa

To make this setting stick, do the following:

Right-Click in the Xine window > Settings > Setup….

In the gui tab, change the Configuration experience level to Advanced, then hit Apply at the bottom of the window.

Next go to the audio tab, change the audio driver to use to alsa, hit Apply, then close the window.

Restart Xine and the problem should no longer occur.

Fedora 10 Released

November 25th, 2008 ~ 11:09am by Mauriat Miranda

Cambridge has been launched.

After another round of hacking and coding the Fedora project just announced the release of Fedora 10. The Fedora team has been working overtime to make sure this release arrived in spite of the security issues they had earlier this year.

The highlights from the Release Summary:

Desktop

  • GNOME 2.24 - Instant messaging, video, time tracking, and file management improvements
  • KDE 4.1.2 - many needed updates to KDE4
  • LXDE - Windows like lightweight desktop environment
  • Sugar Desktop (XO) - Desktop provided on the OLPC project
  • New ‘Plymouth’ graphical boot system
  • Language support improvements

Administration/Hardware/System

  • Printing improvements
  • PulseAudio sound improvements now “glitch-free”
  • Improved Webcam support
  • Improved wireless network sharing
  • Added/improved remote control (infrared) support
  • Faster startup
  • Bluetooth Improvements
  • Support for EXT4 and XFS in installer

SoftwareUpdates

  • New Empathy Instant Messenger
  • Eclipse 3.4
  • OpenOffice 3.0
  • Kernel 2.6.27

You can download Fedora 10 using the standard mirrors or using the Torrent (recommended).

Please user the Fedora-List mailing list or any of the forums for help. I have published my Personal Fedora 10 Installation Guide which is currently only a draft. Lots more to do!

Fedora 10 seems less like a radical update as some past versions have been. A great deal of “under the hood” improvements have been made to improve the distribution for the desktop and its many uses. Hopefully people will find it useful! A more thorough examination to follow.

Update to RPMFusion

November 13th, 2008 ~ 9:00pm by Mauriat Miranda

The availability of RPMFusion for Fedora was previously announced a few days ago. However I never got a chance to actually perform the update.

For those who are not familiar with Fedora’s third-party software repositories (repo’s), the two most popular repo’s: Freshrpm and Livna were typically the place to find software not permitted in Fedora. While I used Freshrpms in FC3 and earlier, I did eventually write most of my newer guides using Livna. It was announced well over a year ago that these repo’s would be merging. Finally the wait is over.

Much like Fedora’s repo migration earlier this year, the entire process is entirely transparent to Livna and Freshrpms users who regularly use yum to update their systems. No instructions are necessary, basically, just run:

# yum -y update
# yum -y update

The first will pull the rpmfusion-free and rpmfusion-nonfree release repo setup files. The second will update all software from Livna (or Freshrpms) to pull updates from RPMFusion.

This is a huge improvement for anyone who has had to deal with explaining differences in repo’s and potential conflicts. As I have received emails already, I will be rewriting my Fedora 9 Installation Guide to reflect these changes soon.

Update: Nov 19: I updated my F9 Install Guide

Wikipedia Migrates from Fedora to Ubuntu

October 10th, 2008 ~ 10:23pm by Mauriat Miranda

The admins running Wikipedia are almost complete in migrating their servers from a mix of RedHat and Fedora to Ubuntu. The primary reasons behind the switch, according to Brion Vibber (Wikimedia CTO), were personal preference, Ubuntu availability on the desktop and better support/stability compared to Fedora. As a server, one might think that an enterprise option like RHEL or CentOS might make for a better choice, however both of these lack the appeal of Ubuntu and the flexibility in support.

Regardless of the reasons for the switch, this is another opportunity for people to question Fedora’s fast moving development pace (i.e. “bleeding edge”). Fedora user know that Fedora requires constant updating/upgrading and Fedora developers are obviously quite accustomed this and welcome it. An interesting thread on the Fedora development mailing list raised this topic and spawned a great deal of discussion. Some users/developers think that if Fedora provided a LTS stable release then perhaps situations like Wikipedia’s could have been avoided. Jesse Keating, Fedora Release Engineer, chimed in with a very well worded point:

Given the amount of churn we allow maintainers to introduce into our
“stable” releases, I highly doubt Fedora would be suitable for any
situation where a “LTS” was desired. There is just too much major
version upgrading
, behavioral changes, massive amounts of updates,
rapidly invalid documentation, and high chance of regression in the
“stable” updates. We should address *that* problem before ever thinking
about extending the life.

Even if Fedora could address that problem, big organizations most likely won’t change their opinions. However if those issues could be addressed, many users probably wouldn’t be migrating away, and more importantly they would just have a much better operating system!

(As a personal point, I no longer use Fedora as a server. I recommend CentOS.)

Network Connections and Applications

October 8th, 2008 ~ 10:47pm by Mauriat Miranda

A fairly common question is: How do I determine which applications are making network connections?

While there are different ways to do this, a quick solution is with netstat. To see which applications are connecting to which network addresses, run the following as root (if you are not root certain output is limited):

# netstat -tuap

This will produce several columns of output the last column is PID/Program name. If you do not recognize the application name, use the PID number and use the ps command to find more information. For example (replace PID with the actual number):

# ps -p PID -F

For more information on the many other functions of either of these commands use the man utility:

# man netstat
# man ps

Copy with a Progress Bar

September 26th, 2008 ~ 8:29am by Mauriat Miranda

This is something I’ve always thought about looking up myself. Great tip for using pv command for seeing copy progress.

Example:

$ cat source/file.img | pv -s 100g -p -e -r > destination/file.img
[ 25MB/s] [==========> ] 13% ETA 0:54:35

Only problem: what package in CentOS includes pv?