Tag Archives: Mepis 8

Attempting to install Fedora 10 KDE 64bit version…

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,, 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!


Posted by on December 9, 2008 in Uncategorized


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A film like no other…

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

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.

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Posted by on December 7, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Minimize Thunderbird to System Tray in Mepis 8

edit: be sure to read Paul’s comment! His way is easier. Thanks Paul!

After having recently moved all my mail to Thunderbird from Kmail, I was dismayed to discover that Thunderbird will not “minimize to tray,” meaning that I would get no new mail notifications and no “Lightning” calendar reminders without TB being open on the desktop or minimized to the taskbar. A little Googling provided the following answer.

  1. In Konsole, login as root and type the following: apt-get install alltray
  2. Find Thunderbird in the KDE menu and RIGHT click on it. Select “Edit Item.”
  3. The KDE Menu Editor will open. In the “Command” field, type the following: alltray -s -l thunderbird %u
  4. Click the save button on the KDE Menu Editor and close it.
  5. Start Thunderbird and follow the instructions that Alltray provides.
  6. Enjoy!

Thanks to Techthrob for this tip!


Posted by on October 22, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Mepis 8 screenshot

Here is a screenshot of my current Mepis 8 desktop. I am using KDE 3.5 with the Xaphire theme, as mentioned in a previous post. The Kicker background image I created with Blender because I thought the Xaphire one was less than beautiful. I was trying to make something that looked somewhat similar to the Xaphire window buttons. There surely is room for improvement, but it’s a start.

I am very impressed with Mepis 8 so far. It has been rock-solid, which is a blessing. Thank you, Warren Woodford!

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Posted by on October 18, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Mepis 8: It’s a beautiful thing!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I used Mepis for quite a while, back in the Mepis 6 days. I have to say that I am very glad to see that they have gone back to using a Debian base and repositories instead of Ubuntu (which is Debian based). Why put one more layer of complexity between you and Debian?

So, in my developing desktop, I am using Mepis 8 beta, KDE 3.5.9, and the beautiful Xaphire theme mentioned in my previous post, which satisfies my need for a dark glassy classy look. Perhaps I don’t need to hurry in reinstalling KDE 4.1!

Mepis 8 also provides the tools to help me with another issue… network configuration. I really don’t have a difficult setup… Verizon dsl, Actiontec router, & ethernet card. Somehow, though, I’ve been having issues, even since the new ethernet card. I’m beginning to wonder if the router is going bad. At any rate, the Mepis Network Assistant has been helpful each time in getting the connection reestablished.

Other tools that I use a lot which are included in Mepis 8, or available in their standard repositories (accessible through Synaptic)–

  • GIMP, (Gnu Image Manipulation Program: an open-source alternative to Photoshop), Blender (3-D modeling and animation),
  • OpenOffice 3.0 (Microsoft Office alternative)
  • Firefox 3.0.1
  • Synaptic 0.62.1, my favorite package manager
  • Bibletime, a great Bible study program

A couple of other nice things:

  • automatic recognition and mounting of usb memory sticks, external hard drives, etc.
  • Flashplayer works perfectly “out of the box” at Youtube, Foxnews, etc.

Stay tuned…


Posted by on October 7, 2008 in Uncategorized


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We interrupt this program…

All-righty, then! I was all set to tell you about how I was getting along with Arch Linux… until something went wrong with my ethernet card. It took a while to narrow it down to a hardware issue… I was convinced for a day or so that I’d messed something up with my Arch network settings. I borrowed my daughter’s XP laptop to determine that it was not a router issue. I tried several different Linux live cd’s on my machine, and they all had the same problem, so that told me that it was likely a hardware issue, but I wasn’t 100% convinced until… I reinstalled Windows Vista, and even it could not get through.

Reinstalling Vista, of course, wiped out my Arch installation. (Yes, I had backed up my /home directory.) I wound up buying another ethernet card at Wal-Mart (not too many other places open 24 hours, you know!) After that card proved to be too ancient (my first clue was the floppy disk in the box! It’s been 4 years since I had a machine with a floppy drive!), and failing to find Vista drivers for the new card, I returned it and bought another card at a local computer geek shop, which Vista recognized immediately.

The end of the sad story is that I used Vista to download Mepis 8 beta-2 (64-bit), and I am in the process of re-creating my desktop. My only disappointment is that it is KDE 3.5, but I guess I can deal with that for now. I know they have KDE 4 in their repositories, but I think I’ll save that for a while.

Check back for my review of Mepis 8… so far so good!

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Posted by on October 4, 2008 in Uncategorized


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