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Archive for the ‘Fedora’ Category

LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have part 1 and 2 of Steven Rosenberg’s farewell to Fedora. why Glyn Moody is rooting for Microsoft, a long overdue look at XFCE, Dr. Tony Young’s final (or is it?) installment in his switching to KDE 4.4 adventures and the Linux foundation releases their annual list of who writes Linux. Enjoy!

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 1: I really did like Fedora 13. I liked it enough to solve more than a handful of problems. I liked it enough to use a proprietary graphics driver for the first time (didn’t like that; not only was it outside the package-management system and hard to update, it didn’t perform so well either). I love the Fedora community, the openness that’s everywhere, the lack of pretense. But just as everything was roses, furry kittens and such when I first ran Fedora 13 with the 2.6.33 Linux kernel, it started to go dark with the change — in mid-cycle, mind you — to the 2.6.34 kernel.

Open Source Does Not Need Monetising: It’s common to hear commentators and business leaders justifying practices that wouldn’t be recognised as “open source” by many of us on the grounds that they have to make money somehow. Actions that deny the software freedoms of end users – and even developers – appear like a fungus, spuriously justified by the need for profit. Phrases like “we can’t give everything away” garnish the thought, and it’s easy to be drawn into sympathising with them. But they are wrong. Open source itself is not about making money – that’s the job of its participants. Open source is the pragmatic product and projection of software freedom.

How a “Welded-to KDE 3.5 User” Began a Move to KDE 4.4 – Part 2: In this second part of a two part guest editorial and tutorial Dr. Tony Young (an Australian Mycologist by trade) shares his trials, tribulations, successes and disappointments in working with the new version of KDE. In this installment he configures media players, K3b, Crossover Office, Lucid and Post Script and his final thoughts on his adventures.

Why I’m Rooting for Microsoft: It will not have escaped your notice that the patent system has been the subject of several posts on this blog, or that the general tenor is pretty simple: it’s broken, and nowhere more evidently so than for software. Anyone can see that, but what is much harder is seeing how to fix it given the huge vested interests at work here.

The bad guys are worried – did we win?: Recently two pieces of first class anti-free software diatribe hit the headlines. The first is Microsoft’s “please don’t use OpenOffice.org” video and the second is Steve Jobs’ anti-Android rant. Both are pretty shallow attempts at deflection and have been rightly called out as actually endorsing the subject of the attack as a valid opponent. In both cases it does seem to say that Microsoft and Jobs are concerned enough about OpenOffice.org and Android respectively that they need to tell the rest of us how bad they are.

6 Best Linux Terminal Applications for Linux: A Quake-style terminal is a drop-down terminal which can be shown/hidden just like the console in Quake (and most of the first-person shooter games out there), using the press of a key (~ in Quake). Guake is a terminal application written in GTK which uses the F12 keyboard shortcut by default to show or hide it.

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 2: Review of Debian Squeeze: I’ve been keeping my eye on Debian Squeeze (and Sid) for the past few months via live images, and in the course of the release’s life there have been changes in the application lineup. Notable inclusions in the now-frozen Squeeze are the Ubuntu Software Center as an alternative way of managing applications. Yep, you read right: Debian is using the Ubuntu Software Center. It looks like Debian’s developers are in a more cooperative mood than they get credit for. I for one am glad to see such cross-pollination between Ubuntu and Debian.

A Long Overdue Look at XFCE: Here at MakeTechEasier, we’ve covered Linux desktop issues of all kinds, and we’ve examined desktop environments both well known (Gnome and KDE) as well as somewhat obscure (Window Maker, LXDE). For some reasons, we’ve never taken a close look at the very popular XFCE desktop environment. It’s nearly as feature-rich as Gnome, but with a smaller footprint. As it’s been a big name in the Linux desktop world for quite a few years now, it seems we’re long overdue to check out this polished and useful collection of software.

World Wildlife Fund WWF format cracked!: I heard about the new .WWF format this morning. It is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund to prevent people printing .PDF files. As a matter of fact, it is a .PDF format, but slightly modified and with the “no printing” flag enabled. But I don’t like it when people are forbidding me something. It is sending the wrong message. So I set out to crack it.

Who Writes Linux?: This is an annual report published by The Linux Foundation that measures the the rate of Linux kernel development, who is doing it (developer names) and who is sponsoring it (company names). It has become an annual check on the state of the world’s largest open source project and collaborative development effort.

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LXer Article

The big stories this past week included an update on how far away Chrome OS is, a Ubuntu vs.Fedora comparison, 5 unusual games for Linux and a 200 line kernel patch that makes your desktop snappy. Enjoy!

Ubuntu vs Fedora: which is best?: Linux is always in a state of flux. On any given day, millions of lines of new code are being written, tested, double-checked, merged, packaged and downloaded from software repositories delivering another dose of opensource goodness. Unlike most desktop operating systems, release schedules are based on months rather than years (well, for most flavours of Linux) and so the experience of using Linux is one of trickled iterative change.

Schmidt: Google Chrome OS ‘a few months away’: Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available “in the next few months” — which may be an indication that the company’s browser-based operating system has been delayed. Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the “a few months away” line at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was “a few weeks away.”

Tensions Between Ubuntu, Fedora Mount Over New Website: In an ideal world, free-software developers would happily get along and cooperate towards the same ends. But the world’s far from perfect, as rising tensions between the Ubuntu and Fedora camps have made clear recently in the wake of the founding a new website intended, ironically, to promote “respect” within the open-source ecosystems.

The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders: In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small — just over 200 lines of code — but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster: Linux is fast. That’s why 90%+ of the Top 500 fastest supercomputers run it. What some people don’t realize is that Linux is much better at delivering speed for servers and supercomputers than it is on the desktop. That was by design. But over the last few years, there’s been more interest in delivering fast desktop performance. Now there’s a Linux kernel patch that may give you a faster, much faster, desktop experience.

Alternative To The “200 Lines Kernel Patch That Does Wonders” Which You Can Use Right Away: Phoronix recently published an article regarding a ~200 lines Linux Kernel patch that improves responsiveness under system strain. Well, Lennart Poettering, a RedHat developer replied to Linus Torvalds on a maling list with an alternative to this patch that does the same thing yet all you have to do is run 2 commands and paste 4 lines in your ~/.bashrc file.

The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 10 (Julia): This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 10 (Julia) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 10 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 10.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

Fixing Akonadi’s warning of the non-existing leap second table: Ever since I installed Kontact 4.5, it has been showing an MySQL warning when starting. The exact error in the logs is:

Can’t open and lock time zone table: Table ‘mysql.time_zone_leap_second’ doesn’t exist trying to live without them

While it’s only a warning, I don’t like to have my logs filled with warnings. Hence, I went on a hunt to prevent this warning. Lots of posts said this issue is fixed in newer versions (certainly not for me!), or it doesn’t matter. But that wasn’t good enough for me..

5 unusal games for Linux: We often hear that there are no games on Linux, or that are much worse than their counterparts for windows, so today I want to show some unusual games that run perfectly on our favorite operating system. Caph Caph is a sandbox game, based on physics. The game target is to make contact red object with green object. You can use various objects, solid, wire (rope), and bendable objects. Gravitation will help you.

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LXer Article

Fedora vs Ubuntu: Ubuntu is the Linux head-of-state but Fedora offers an exciting alternative. There was a time when Ubuntu was the upstart: a new Linux distribution that was more promise than substance. When it was launched in late 2004 it was up against a number of distributions that had been in development for years: Red Hat, Fedora, Suse Linux and Mandriva (then still called Mandrake). These were well-developed distributions with their own fans and unique features. Ubuntu, based on Debian, had a solid base but had a long way to go to be as user-friendly as it planned.

50 Open Source Replacements for Popular Financial Software: Whether you just want to balance your checkbook or you need to track the finances of a large global corporation, you can find open source software to do the job. For our list of open source financial tools, we cast a wide net and included applications related to enterprise resource management, point-of-sale and even employee time tracking. Not to mention traditional accounting and financial management tools.

London Stock Exchange CTO leaves during move to Linux: he London Stock Exchange, which is currently in the process of moving its trading platforms to Linux, has lost its chief technology officer, Robin Paine. Anyone trying to contact Paine via email receives the following message, “Robin Paine no longer works for the London Stock Exchange”.

Blackboard – No Linux for Online Education: Earlier this week however I was curious as to just want browsers were “supported” by the Blackboard (online education) system. It was then that I discovered what they really meant by “supported browsers” was “supported operating systems and browsers”.

Three Apps for Monitoring Performance in Linux: Most Linux users are familiar with the top command. Top shows you a list of processes on your system and provides a ton of useful information such as their CPU usage and owner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough data and many people don’t know where to turn next. This article covers three performance monitoring applications that show information top doesn’t tell you, and can greatly help in troubleshooting bottlenecks or just finding out more about your system. These utilities are iftop, iotop, and pv.

Five deadly sins of Android development: Committing these sins will cause you to burn in Android hell and you will have no place in the Market. Kunal Deo reveals all and he really means business…

Woah, It Looks Like Oracle Will Stand Behind OpenSolaris: Since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems last year, the future of the Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems have been called into question especially as the OpenSolaris 2010.1H release was missing and has been that way for months now with no official communication from Oracle. A new OpenSolaris release hasn’t come in more than a year and we still are left wondering if or when it will arrive. Even the OpenSolaris Governing Board is out of the loop and they may abandon the cause in August if Oracle doesn’t make their OpenSolaris intentions clear and appoint a liaison. This evening though is one of the first signs that Oracle may let the OpenSolaris operating system live on with their support.

Linux Desktop: Command Line vs. User Interface: In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today. The reason for the desktop’s success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.

India’s $35 PC is the Future of Computing: The government of India has unveiled a prototype of a touchscreen, tablet computer which it expects to sell for $35 initially… The Indian prototype is impressive–especially at a $35 price point. The device runs on a variation of Linux.

Resizing images with correct gamma using PHP and GD: A short while ago “Ty W” posted an interesting question on StackOverflow. Apparently, most graphics software cannot scale images the right way. Usually it’s hard to notice the flaw but the linked article does a great job of explaining the problem. PHP’s GD library suffers from the same issue, but Ty discovered that the sample PHP program provided with the article did not work on partially transparent images. After a couple of hours of fiddling I managed to get a working solution. Apparently, the imagegammacorrect() function in PHP deals badly with images that have an alpha channel. I suspect that it tries to apply the same calculation to the alpha channel that it applies to the red, green and blue channels. To work around this, my solution splits the aplha channel from the original image. The alpha channel is resampled regularly while the red, green and blue channels are resampled using gamma correction.

Free open source books: Want to learn more about open source? Download some books for free. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to open source or a long-time user, there is always more to learn about. We scoured the Web for the best open source books. All of these are free books that can be downloaded and shared.

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LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have a Mac devotee moving to Linux, you want Linux to run what?, Marcel Gagne talks about when Linux was fun, Phoronix does a five-way Linux distro comparison and Steven Rosenberg says goodbye to Ubuntu..sort of. Enjoy!

This Mac devotee is moving to Linux: “Seeking real freedom of choice in a technology ecosystem where vendors are exerting more and more control” … “I’m not religious about technology. My strategy is to use what works best, period. This is why, for more than a decade, I’ve been using a Mac as my primary computer (and had been using Macs for some of my work long before that). Apple’s personal computers continue to be the best combination of hardware and software on the market today.”

50 Great Open Source Apps for Education: The educational community has discovered open source tools in a big way. Analysts predict that schools will spend up to $489.9 million on support and services for open source software by 2012, and that only includes charges related to operating systems and learning management systems. Teachers, professors and home schoolers are using open source applications as part of their educational curriculum for a wide variety of subjects.

You Want Linux to Run What?: Someone left a comment on one of my posts similar to, “Linux won’t be popular on the Desktop until it runs Windows applications.” To which I silently responded, “Huh? and, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” We have WINE for running Windows applications and it works reasonably well for those who care to spend the time to work through any problems with it. I don’t think the Linux Community needs to spend time on such an undertaking. Is anyone asking Apple to run Windows applications so that it will gain popularity? No? Then, why should Linux? If you want to run Windows applications, run them on Windows.

More “Paul Murphy” Anti-Linux FUD: SCO or Son of SCO Can Still Win: Were you imagining that “Paul Murphy” was going to apologize for his attacks on Groklaw or for being so wrong in his support of SCO? Or that he’d keep his promise to stop blogging if SCO lost? Or that he’d finally admit SCO has no case Au contraire. He continues to insult, and he predicts SCO, or a new owner of Novell, will surely succeed yet in fulfilling SCO’s plot, in what he believes, if I’ve understood him, will be a legal Hail Mary pass to go down in history. The new FUD is his article, Suicide by Victory: More on SCO, in which he predicts gloom and doom for Linux because Novell won at the jury trial in Utah. I know. He’s so funny. It makes no sense. But I’ll answer him seriously anyway.

Back When Linux Was Fun: Somehow, somewhere along the way, I’m supposed to have matured and become serious about things. And so it is with Linux. It all started out in fun. I know. I’ve got Linus Torvalds’ “Just for Fun” here on my bookshelf. Says so right there on the front cover. Fun. And it was fun. But as with anyone approaching adulthood, Linux was apparently not taking itself seriously enough. If Linux was to conquer the server room, the desktop, the mobile market, the real time processing world, etc, etc, then it had better clean up its act. Add a little polish. Get serious about business. And it did.

A Five-Way Linux Distribution Comparison In 2010: With many Linux distributions receiving major updates in recent weeks and months we have carried out a five-way Linux distribution comparison of openSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, and Arch Linux. We have quite a number of tests comparing the 32-bit performance of these popular Linux distributions on older PC hardware.

Red Hat CEO Predicts VMware Will Suffer Sun’s Fate: Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has a cautionary message for VMware partners and customers. Indeed, Whitehurst claims VMware over the next few years will suffer the same fate as Sun Microsystems. Here’s what Whitehurst had to say.

Linux, the Numbers: A little over a month ago we released the Linux port of Osmos, promising statistics on our sales and downloads. We wanted to find out – from a financial perspective, for our studio – “is it worth porting games to Linux?” The short, simple answer… is “yes.” Did we get rich off it? No. But the time we invested was repaid, with room for margin of error, and possibly with a little extra at the end. Allow me to break it down..

Goodbye Ubuntu, it’s been fun — as part of my withdrawal, I’m running Xubuntu … for now anyway: Ubuntu, it’s been a nice ride, and I fully support what your doing in terms of spreading the full-custom gospel sounds of the free desktop (apologies to the Rev. Horton Heat). I’m OK with the desktop innovation — the “social from the start” initiative, the Ubuntu One integration. It’s just not for me. It’s mostly not for my hardware, but I’ll extend that to me, the user.

Moving to Linux: Several organizations have been successful in moving to Linux. I’d like to discuss this topic again. How do you move an organization to Linux? What’s the process? It’s not as simple as coming in over the weekend, re-installing everyone’s desktops with the latest Linux distro, and hoping things go for the best. You need a real transition plan, a strategy to move the organization.

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LXer Article

I was going to just cover the 2nd and 3rd days of SCALE 8x but after getting back home and sitting myself down in front of my favorite compy and started thinking about it, I figured I might as well go all out and give you a full recap of my road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles for SCALE 8x and back.

So there I am on a beautiful Thursday late afternoon on my way up ‘the hill’ between Palm Springs and Indio on the I-10 west and what to my displeasure do I find? A tire, with the rim still on it, and air still in it lying in the middle of the lane in front of me..and my car at 75 miles an hour heading straight for it. BAM! I hit it and instantly it split my drivers side front tire from the center of the tread to the rim like a lemon.

Needless to say it wasn’t only my mouth that was puckered in the moments I hit the tire and made my way to the side of the freeway before dying a grizzly metal encrusted death. There is something to be said for having checked the air in the spare “doughnut” in the days before my trip and so after getting the car jacked up and the spare on I made my way into Los Angeles. In case you missed it, here is a link to my article of Day 1 – Friday at SCALE 8x.

Day 2 – Saturday

Coming from Phoenix any weather is a lot of weather and all weekend it was rainy and windy which of course made me want to stand outside the Westin in it..its a Phoenix thing.

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So after the opening keynote speech by Red Hat’s Karsten Wade everyone started to hit the expo floor in waves. I sat in the corner and for once in my four times coming to SCALE, just took in the start of the Expo as the room filled with the sounds of people.

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SCALE 8x

Along the walk in there was an OLPC booth amongst others and just inside the door I came across the Komputer 4 R Kids and Qimo booths. K4RK takes recycled computer parts and gets them to kids in the L.A. area who would otherwise not have one. I wish there was something like them in Phoenix. Qimo is a really cool version of Linux for kids of all ages. A good friend of mine’s daughter has been using it on her computer for a year now and she loves it.

One of my goals at this years conference was to get my lappy working again. I had a thoroughly botched Mandriva install that in my attempts to fix was not even letting me boot into it. It was sharing 80 gigs with XP and to make a long story short, I have a driver issue that is not easily fixed it seems and my now fairly old HP laptop will not read CD ISO disks, DVD ones are iffy too and I hoped to find a cool new version of Linux to install on it cleanly so I wouldn’t feel ‘dirty’ any more by having to boot into XP if I wanted to use my lappy.

After perusing the expo floor a while I came across Larry Cafiero, and his two young booth-mates Clint and Scott at the Fedora booth who happened to have new Fedora 12 disks and I figured why not give it a try and I grabbed a disk. Later in the afternoon in the e-mail garden I sat down and installed it..

Let me tell you a story about a Scottish guy named Neil Wallace (Not related) that I met last year at 7x. He is a Dentist who also happens to be a Linux geek. As the story goes, he was listening to a podcast and happened to hear Orv Beach and Ilan Rabinovitch in an interview talking about how the Expo was going to start that weekend and upon hearing this what does Neil do? He intermediately books a flight to L.A. and sits on a plane for 18 hours. Just to come and check it out, just to find some community, just to not be the only Linux geek in town. That’s the kind of dedication you get from a Scottish geek, and his very entertaining talk late Saturday afternoon entitled Get Developing – it’s easy. was to a standing room only crowd as well.

Day 3 – Sunday

Later Saturday night after I left the Expo I was trying to work some of the wrinkles out of my shiny new Fedora 12 install on my now ‘clean’ lappy. After trying to get codecs installed and such I quickly ran into a update problem I had no idea how to fix so when I got to the Expo Sunday I made my way over to the Fedora booth and begged for help. Clint, a Fedora Ambassador and organizer of the Utah Open Source Conference and Scott (guys named Scott have to be cool don’t they?) were happy to help and after getting them logged in as root I left them to their devices and disappeared onto the Expo floor.

I got a chance to talk to Mike Dexter of the Linux Fund and he told me about their expansion into the U.K., Patrice Albaret of Revolution Linux talked about their specialized large scale projects. I sat and talked about all things geek with some cool cats at the PostgreSQL booth for a while. Have I told you how much I love coming here? I went by the Arin booth and had my mind blown by how many IP addresses will be available once the change to IPv6 comes.

Upon my return to the Fedora booth Clint and Scott presented me with my now fully functioning and updated lappy and I will again say a hearty “Thank You” to both of them because in the days since I have used my laptop more than in the last 6-8 months. Last but not least I want to give a big shout out to Alex Colcernian and Erick Tyack of Diskless Workstations who sponsored the SCALE 8x E-mail Garden where I spent an inordinate amount of time and got to know them both. They put up with my banter and were still nice and talked to me even. 😉 It was a lot of fun hanging out with you guys and watching the Expo go by. I hope to see you two again next year.

Afterword

Was SCALE 8x a success? Yes it was. Confirmed registrations at SCALE 8x were just over 1,500, that said the numbers for both 6x and 7x are flat at right around 1,300 registrations apiece. This statistic alone tells me everything I need to know about the health of Open Source. If for all intents and purposes the economy the last two years has tanked and SCALE has seen its numbers stay steady and now in 2010 actually grow then I know for a fact that things are on the up and up.

So I mentioned that all weekend it was rainy and windy and as I made my way home Monday afternoon I took a couple of pics out the window of my car of the snow the storm dumped on the San Jacinto Mountains outside of Palm Springs, right about where I blew my tire out too..

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