I took a break from the computer and, after enjoying a terrific meal with my wife’s mom and dad and extended family, my daughter and I got the canoe out and fetched a few pictures out on Lake Dexter.
Monthly Archives: December 2008
I’m “settling in” with Fedora 10 as my main distro, and learning how to operate in this “non-Debian” environment. As I mentioned previously, Yumex has been a big help. Another application I wish I had found sooner is “Autoten,” which will automatically install things like Google Earth, multimedia codecs, Nvidia drivers, etc. That would have saved me a bunch of time and frustration.
I do appreciate having a distro that includes KDE 4.1 in the repositories, which is my only dissatisfaction with Mepis 8. It seems to me that the bulk of development effort in KDE apps these days is in the KDE 4 direction, and I am glad to have made the switch.
Probably my next desktop project will be to see about porting my email back into the KDE 4 version of Kmail (from Thunderbird). KDE PIM is a well integrated mail/calendar/newsreader suite. Now I find myself wondering why I left Kmail in the first place? Hmmm… I’ll have to read back a ways in this blog… oh yeah, it was just “wanderlust.”
… on the same machine!
I was enjoying my newly discovered Yumex Thursday night, and chose to let it do a bunch of upgrades. Additionally, I thought I’d try downloading the newest Nvidia driver for my GeForce 6150 SE onboard video. Unfortunately, that little mistake “borked” my Fedora 10 installation. I tried copying my xorg.conf file over from Mepis 8 to Fedora, but no joy. I tried doing another yum update by booting up Fedora into runlevel 3 (command-line mode), but that didn’t do it either. Then I tried removing all nvidia related packages from the command line, but that didn’t help either. (Somewhere I saw an error message saying “nvidia.ko for kernel 220.127.116.11-117.fc10.x86_64 was not found.”)
The bottom line is, since I’m not much of a command line hacker, I reinstalled Fedora 10, updated 140 packages with yum from runlevel 3 (KDE was going to be updated from 4.1.2 to 4.1.3), and now I’m back in business with yumex, etc.
I think I’ll read up on the nvidia issue before trying that again. I really seem to need the proprietary drivers, as the desktop seems a little slow to respond to mouse clicks, etc.
… now that I have discovered Yumex!
I was searching all over for how to make Synaptic work. Knowing that Synaptic needed some direction as to where to go to fetch software packages, normally supplied via /etc/apt/sources.list, I found that Fedora 10’s sources.list is empty, likely due to their preference for Kpackagekit or Yum. Kpackagekit, as I have described previously, simply wasn’t working for me. I like to be able to browse, and it either doesn’t provide that option, or I was missing it somehow. Yum didn’t cut it for me for the same reason, being that it is a command-line program.
Enter: Yumex! (Yum Extender). This looks to me as though it will do the job. Actually, it IS currently doing the job… downloading 135 packages, that is… everything from Blender to GIMP to VLC… you know… the stuff I like to play with. Yumex gives a pretty nice interface somewhat similar to Synaptic in that it gives you several ways to sort and browse available packages, gives a description of each, and gives continuous visual feedback to what is happening in the download/installation process.
I attempted to enable desktop effects, but that made my screen go black, then white. I had to “CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE” to shut down KDE and log in again as root, navigate to /home/les/.kde/share/config/kwinrc.
There I changed
and rebooted. That got me up and running again without compositing. (Who needs wobbly windows anyway?)
I suspect I haven’t got the non-free nvidia drivers installed. I’ll have to look into that, iffen I can ever get Synaptic to run. Synaptic just won’t start. It will get as far as asking for my root password, then nothing happens. Maybe I’ll try Kpackage, if there is one for KDE 4.
When I tried to boot Fedora 10 this evening, I got this nasty-note when the KDE desktop should have been appearing:
“/home/les/.kde/share/config/knotifyrc is not writable”
Underneath that message was another error telling me that /home/les/ was not accessible or writable, or something like that. I decided to reboot and try logging in as root, which worked fine. While there, I opened up a terminal and fixed my writablility problems with these commands:
cd /home/ (navigates to the directory that contains my home directory)
chmod -R ugo+rwx les (giving rwx [read, write, execute] privileges to ugo [users, group, owner]) to the “les” directory. The “-R” stands for “recursive”, meaning it will also give those permissions to all files and directories within the “les” directory.
Now I am able to log into Fedora 10 as a normal user. I don’t know if it is related to this fix, or if the 36 updates I did while logged in as root did it, but I can now use Kpackagekit, and am currently attempting to download OpenOffice.org 3.0 (although it seems to be stuck at 40%… time will tell).
Synaptic still will not start. I will try to reinstall it or something.
I’m not liking KPackagekit very much yet. KPackagekit seems to expect you to know a package name before it shows you any software choices. I really like having the ability to look through all the available packages and discover new things. I guess I depend on Synaptic’s different methods of browsing the software more than I realized.
In a moment of weakness, I decided to see what distributions were out there that came with KDE 4.1.x. I’d prefer KDE 4.2, but the only distro I saw that had 4.2 was OpenSuse, and I’m not comfortable going there. After hunting around a bit, I decided to give Fedora a home on my hard drive.
My hard drive is laid out like so:
sda1: Windows Vista (NTFS)
sda2: Mepis 8 rc2 (fully updated) (ext3)
sda3: /home (ext3)
sda5: Fedora 10 (ext3)
Once Fedora was installed, I could not boot in as a normal user until I disabled selinux.
Then there were no packages shown in KPackagekit, so to add Firefox or synaptic I had to “yum install firefox” in a terminal (after su command and password). Then I did “yum install synaptic.” Synaptic, however fails to start. Fishing around a bit told me that there were no repositories listed in /etc/apt.conf. Where am I going to find out what repositories to use? Going to have to look into that.
My next issue was that Fedora made Mepis unbootable, and I had to restore grub with Mepis 8. Once grub was restored, I could not write to Mepis 8’s /home/les, making it unusable. Then, restoring write permissions to /home/les/ in Mepis 8 with the chown and chmod commands made Fedora 10 unbootable, due to “no write access to knotifyrc” or something like that.
I think I need to install Fedora on a partition that is big enough to contain its own /home. I’d really like to give it a chance… it looks great, but without the ability to add and remove software with either Kpackagekit or Synaptic, what good is it? I can’t get to OpenOffice (yum reports no such package: openoffice, openoffice.org, etc.)
Well, I have to work two twelve hour shifts between now and 6am Thursday. I probably won’t be playing with Fedora 10 before Thursday night.
Thanks for stopping by!
I spend very little time and effort in keeping up with cinema, but I happened across a film recently that has really captured my attention. I am speaking of “The Fall” by director Tarsem Singh. This film is a real treat for those who are students of visual art. I must warn that there are some gruesome bloody images, particularly toward the end, which are likely the cause for the “R” rating. However, in the context of the story, and the movie as a whole, they are less disturbing than many things seen on prime time TV nightly.
There are two things I see that make this a remarkable film. First is the fantastic cinematography. Nearly every scene is a visual treat. The locations made me keep asking “are there really places in the world that look like that?” The director has a great eye for beautiful, striking landscapes and architecture, and skilfully uses them to tell his story.
The other great thing about this film is the child actress Catinca Untaru, and the director’s skilful handling of this little gem. She doesn’t appear to be acting at all, but living.
One other feature that I have appreciated is being introduced to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, opus 92/II. Allegretto. This piece is featured in the opening train bridge/rescue scene, and also during the final credits. (It may have been used in other portions of the film, but I apparently was distracted by the visuals, the dialog and the story).
This is one film I would like to own. I expect I will be seeing it again. You can see the trailer on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_fViqt0h0A
Now, just for those who were expecting something Linux related, this DVD plays very nicely on Mepis 8. I used the ALT-F2 command and typed in “gmplayer.” It looks great in full screen on my 20″ wide screen LCD.