Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Multi-mixed repositories on Fuduntu

Running multiple repositories on a distribution is sometimes problematic and ends up in conflicts regarding different packages . But for those packages which are missing from Fuduntu`s native repositories due to legal matters you can enable third party repositories at your own risk and expertise level of how to handle problems that might arise at some stage due to the third part packages.

ATrpms is one such repository that I enabled to get packages I needed and missing from Fuduntu`s native repositories.

This is what I did :

1 ) Opened /etc/yum.conf file as super-user in a text editor ( leafpad : my favourite ! ) and copied these lines into it

  • [atrpms]
    name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms
So it looks like as below


#  This is the default, if you make this bigger yum won't see if the metadata
# is newer on the remote and so you'll "gain" the bandwidth of not having to
# download the new metadata and "pay" for it by yum not having correct
# information.
#  It is esp. important, to have correct metadata, for distributions like
# Fedora which don't keep old packages around. If you don't like this checking
# interupting your command line usage, it's much better to have something
# manually check the metadata once an hour (yum-updatesd will do this).
# metadata_expire=90m

# PUT YOUR REPOS HERE OR IN separate files named file.repo
# in /etc/yum.repos.d

name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms

Save and exit

2 )

Executed this command to refresh packages list

saleem@home-pc ~ $ sudo yum check-update

3 ) Installed the packages I needed as

saleem@home-pc ~ $ sudo yum install rar libdvdcss libdvdcss2

4 ) Disabled  ATrpms from Yumex which is very easy by unchecking it from the list .

It is important to keep in mind that if you have rpmfusion repository enabled also then the packages from it and ATrpms will conflict with each other and you will  have to manually diable rpmfusion repository for time being . It is also important not to keep ATrpms repository enabled all the times but only when a package is needed from this repository . 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All Gstreamer Plugins on Fuduntu

I like Totem Movie Player using GStreamer for playing all kind of media files . It is a bit hectic to install all totem`s plugins one by one so I prefer installing them with one single command .

Fuduntu does not offer rpm fusion repositories added by default so I enabled both free and non-free repositories from rpmfusion and installed all gstreamer plugins with one single command as below

1) To enable rpmfusion I followed these links

2 ) For Installing all gstreamer plugins I ran this command

saleem@home-pc ~ $ su -c "yum install @sound-and-video gst\*{bad,ras}"

This installed all plugins I needed . Totem plays almost all media formats without any problems.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fuduntu is seeking freedom?

I never liked Ubuntu and Fedora . Not because they are bad distributions but due to a personal reason that both of them normally force you to reinstall after every new release unless you try their upgrade option which failed for me on both distributions on many occasions . I like to install and configure a distribution according to my needs and then keep upgrading the packages on routine basis and never worry about reinstallation unless some major disaster strikes my system and kills everything .

My choice of installation is commonly known as "rolling-release" and Arch Linux is the best example of a such a concept .

Fuduntu has recently joined the rolling-release distributions list and I was tempted to install it .

Things are smooth on Fuduntu except for the nvidia free driver which did not work for my GT240 Nvidia card as usual so I had to use vesa .

For Nvidia non-free driver I followed these steps

1 : su --- > root

2 : yum update & yum install akmod-nvidia

3 : open file manager as super-user and go to /etc/X11

there you will find 2 files

a )  xorg.conf

b ) nvidia.xorg.conf

Open the nvidia.xorg.conf file with a text editor and copy all its contents into file xorg.conf replacing the contents of file xorg.conf

Add following lines into the  xorg.conf and now it should look as below

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Videocard0"
    Driver      "nvidia"

Section "Files"
    ModulePath   "/usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/nvidia"
    ModulePath   "/usr/lib/xorg/modules"

Delete the file nvidia.xorg.conf and reboot , and nvidia non-free driver will work fine for you as it it for me . I think I am going to use Fuduntu for a while and see how better it gets as a rolling-release distribution with time as the Fuduntu development team promises. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

nVIDIA Driver issue on ALT Linux Sisyphus latest upgrades

With the release of ALT Linux 6.0 lot of updates are pouring into the Sisyphus and this is the time when X issues arise most commonly .

I did usual upgrade and upon reboot I noticed an error and X crashed .

================ WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING ================
This server has a video driver ABI version of 7.0 that this
driver does not officially support.  Please check for driver updates or downgrade to an X
server with a supported driver ABI.
(EE) NVIDIA: Use the -ignoreABI option to override this check.
(II) UnloadModule: "nvidia"
(II) Unloading /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/
(EE) Failed to load module "nvidia" (module requirement mismatch, 0)
(EE) No drivers available.

Upon google search I found a simple fix by adding the following section to     /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option         "IgnoreABI" "True"

Upon reboot things were back to normal, X worked fine and I could login back to KDE desktop through KDM without any issues .

Unity Linux | You did not die !

I wrote a post about Unity Linux " Why Should I use Unity Linux ? " back in April 2010 when this distribution was in its prime trying to stand upon its feet . I will not go into the history of the inception of this project because everybody knows about it . 

Things were exciting and promising and the Unity team was in high spirits willing to contribute as much as they could to this new distribution .This project was backed up by good team members pouring in from various former PCLinuxOS derived sister distributions .  Many good projects came to surface with remasters based upon Unity Linux core . Two well known were HUMANity (e17) and Synergy (KDE4).

I am a big fan of remastering my installed system and "mklivecd" on Unity is a perfect tool for doing that . I made numerous successful remasters based on Unity Linux with KDE4 . Smart package manager is one of my favourite package manager after Arch`s Linux pacman and Unity Linux was my favourite distribution for offering Smart package manager.

As a home user I was quite happy with Unity Linux not caring or worrying lot about behind the scene events going on with this project because it was doing well for my daily home and office computing life . But then there are some unfortunate days for every linux project and something started going terribly wrong with Unity Linux.There were frequent system breakages , missing dependencies and rare updates to various packages . I was still clinging to this distribution in hope that things will get smooth but by the end of 2010 I was totally disappointed with Unity Linux and I gave it up and my attention got drifted towards Arch Linux . But I used to visit their website and off and on to see what is going on .Things were mostly quiet and kind of dormant.

Last month I was at their IRC room out of usual curiosity when I was told that things were getting better . Since I was constantly in touch with Unity Linux team I knew many of the developers left the project due to reasons I am not aware of and things were closer to that Unity Linux might have died before reaching any peak . So the news that things were getting better and then a newsletter from one of the developer "devnet" that they are restructuring Unity Linux and going to use Mandriva repositories ware very encouraging . 

It was time that I wanted to give another try to this distribution and instead of trying "cli" ISO I grabbed one of the  HUMANity ( e17 ) full release ISO and installed it . HUMANity ( e17 ) is one of the sole surviving and one of the faithful sister project based on Unity Linux maintained by OnlyHuman . He is a big fan of Unity Linux and e17 and eversince the inception of Unity Linux I always saw him present at and on Unity Linux users mailing list . I tested few of the HUMANity ( e17 ) releases in past and they were professionally crafted with everything working out of the box . But since I am a KDE user I did not use HUMANity ( e17 ) on my computer on regular basis .

Installation went smooth this time without any problems . I reloaded smart and first installed all the available updates and later installed KDE 4 and completely removed e17 . Everything worked perfectly  and I was greeted by a nice though an older version ( Platform Version 4.6.4 (4.6.4) ) of KDE4 but without any issues as I once faced on Unity Linux almost 9 months back . So gladly the news about the change were correct and evident from a stable and responsive system I have from my currently Unity Linux installed . 

I was planning to write this post earlier today when I read a news about Unity Linux on " Development Release: Unity Linux 2011 Alpha 2 " this evening . So things are actually happening at Unity Linux once again and in a positive direction .

I do not know what unfortunate events happened to Unity Linux in the background and why it was deserted by those who were once so enthusiastic about it . Neither will I probe into that because its none of my business as an end user. I also do not know who are the people who have taken the responsibility on their shoulders not to allow this project drown like many other good projects into obscurity . Sure I would love to know about these saviors of Unity Linux. 

There are many good projects out there and one of my favourite is Arch Linux. It was a sweet surprise for me to know that Unity Linux development team have decided to adopt " Arch-Linux-Like approach to things with future releases ". This is a great step ahead towards greater achievements in future in my humble opinion with the fact that Unity Linux will use Mandriva repositories in future. This will allow the development team to spend more time on making a stable core than spending time on packaging and releasing a weak core as I saw in past releases . This step is also important because I was told that since the number of current developers are literally not enough to maintain the packaging so it was a compulsion to adopt this strategy .

I really did not want a " Youth Demise " to be Unity Linux`s fate and I was sad seeing Unity Linux dying and decaying slowly . But with current steps taken by the Unity Linux team once again reassure me that this project will survive longer and will grow with every passing day. I wish best of luck to Unity Team and request others to contribute to this project in whatever way they can . 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

ALT Linux Sisyphus

ALT Linux has been my favourite distribution since 2007 when I was strictly using its "stable" "branch" only . But just like Debian stable things were quite tasteless with the aged stable packages coming with the "branch" repository release of ALT Linux .

I like and seek a rolling release distribution with the latest and greatest bleeding edge packages but I try to avoid the risks associated with "cooker" "rawhide" and "sid " . In my linux based computing life two distributions have fulfilled both of these requirements . These two distributions are Arch Linux and ALT Linux. Both these distributions provide latest packages with reliable stability but ALT Linx differ than Arch Linux in one point that you have to enable "Sisyphus" to enjoy the luxury of staying latest with the affordable reliability which is lacking with cooker , rawhide and sid .

 " Sisyphus is the unstable repository from ALT Linux Team - updated daily with free software packages . Packages updates are released on daily basis if or when there are packages updates available from their source. "

But Sisyphus is not intended for beginners because its usage may result in unpredictable behaviour with system breakage at times just like any unstable branch of any distribution . But this unexpected system-destructive behaviour is not very frequent and fortunately it is easily fixable in seasoned hands . This negative edge of sisyphus weighs lesser than the exciting upto date status of packages from kernels to any ordinary package with a bonus of lesser amount of efforts consumed to run a sisyphus based system than any other unstable branch based distribution e.g sid where lots of constant efforts are needed to keep a system in a functional state.

You might want to use ALT Linux sisyphus and worry less than use sids ,rawhaides and cooker and always stand on your toes on a very thin edge.

I hope ALT Linux team will add more packages to sisyphus because at times I find some packages lacking in it and I am sure that ALT Linux will live longer life under shadows as compared to its shinning in bright days lights counterpart distributions from west with a powerful arsenal like "Sisyphus" .