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Archive for February, 2011

Flisol 2011

February 24th, 2011 by

The Flisol (Festival Latinoamericano de Instalación de Software Libre or  Free Software Installation Latin American Festival ) is the biggest Free Software diffusion event that is celebrated on 18 countries all over Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina simultaneously in more than 200 Cities.

The Idea of this Festival is spread the knowledge about Open Source in general and Linux in particular by installing it on the participants machines. I has been participating for the las 4 years by helping with talks, openSUSE DVDs, etc.

The FLISOL 2011 will be celebrated the next April 9. If you live in Latin America of will be in some of the countries that celebrates FLISOL, you can check where and at what time will be celebrated in the city that you will be.   Always is good to hangout with other people that wants to get to know about openSUSE and the Open Source  in General.

This Time I will be participating in Mexico City in about 3 different places with talks and giving away openSUSE DVDs and T-shirts.  Sorry but all the links are in Spanish, Google translate is your friend ;)

10 good reasons for upgrading to openSUSE 11.4

February 22nd, 2011 by

#10 – Artwork – openSUSE 11.4 ships with ‘Stripes’ artwork. I love specially the console terminal which offers very good contrast. The boot splash images are visually attractive and provide a pleasant boot experience.

#9 – Wine – openSUSE 11.4 ships with Wine 1.3.10 which works very good for me. I’ve tried Lord of the Rings Online (flawlessly out of the box) and World of Warcraft. From the tested products, I feel that openSUSE promotion needs a bit more of effort on highlighting Wine. Marcus must be proud, and I’m for sure thankful for his great work!

#8 – Repository Management – One of the main reason why I love openSUSE is because it works like “Lego”. You can keep adding/removing software repositories and have a hell of a kick ass experience. Success on this tasks require some brains, but an expert tinker can perform great things with openSUSE repositories!

#7 – “Out of the Box” Factor – It just works… even with my problematic ATI. This is one important point for me. I don’t really like to install a Linux distribution and spend hours tinkering it for my needs. With openSUSE it’s done fast and clean.

#6 – Default Software Patterns – The default software patterns on openSUSE are awesome and they fulfill all the needs for my daily computing tasks.

#5 – Security and Stability – Without doubt the calling card from openSUSE. There’s isn’t really much to say, except it inspires trust!

#4 – YaST Installer – Not being a technical person, I have to remove my hat before openSUSE installer. It ‘speaks’ normal user language, it provides outstanding features for advanced and starters. It inspires total supremacy of man over machine!

#3 – Featured upstream Projects – The most known upstream projects are present! GNOME, KDE, LXDE and friends, even IceWM made his way into 11.4. Banshee, VLC, you name it… Everything can run on openSUSE, even community repos such as GNOME:Ayatana! Whatever software you are looking for, it’s for sure in a openSUSE repository!

#2 GNOME – Does it need an introduction? NO! It’s mature, stable, rock solid and will provide a powerful Desktop experience for any user! OpenSUSE 11.4 is a must for people who want to hang around with GNOME2 for a bit more, and for all the GNOME3 fans through an additional repository. GNOME3 is something you can’t miss! openSUSE 11.4 will enable you that feature later on!

#1 Community – A strong and helpful community in which our users can rely. Swift on bug fixing, helpful when one is in trouble and commited to bring our users the best Linux experience possible. It’s all about faces and human interaction, it’s all about being human in charge of the machine! And most of us will  speak your language!

DISCLAIMER: Based on personal preferences, and deeply personal. Other people might have different views, this is mine.

Default Wallpaper for GNOME:Ayatana

February 21st, 2011 by

Not that I know a lot about Artwork or Wallpapers… For those, I am mainly a ‘customer’ most of the times, and things get easy for… either I like it, or I don’t. There’s a lot of stuff available out there, and initially I loved the snake (I still do), but since I couldn’t distribute it due to licensing, I’ve spent a couple of hours looking for Artwork with a compatible license and contacted a few artists about licensing and the possibility of using/distributing their work.

To distribute for GNOME:Ayatana on the 11.4 cycle, I’m going to use ‘Spaceman Goldrush Edition’ from ‘mydarktime’, a German artist. I’m happy that mydarktime has been so kind in allowing openSUSE to distribute this package under CC-BY-SA. I will also take the opportunity to quote him:

“(…)  I would be very pleased to see mine in it” (wallpaper pack on GNOME:Ayatana).

I find this wallpaper very attractive and it doesn’t really tire me up from looking at it, which is really, really nice! I hope everyone else likes it also!

Spaceman Goldrush Edition @ Deviant ART

GNOME:Ayatana project page in English and Portuguese…

February 20th, 2011 by

Dear all,

While I’ve worked on the GNOME:Ayatana project page in English, Raul, a dedicated contributor from Brazil has provided the Portuguese version of this page. I would like to express my gratitude to Raul for a well done job, and I’m happy that someone from Brazil stepped up for this task, as I assume that this project will have far more visibility in Brazil than in Portugal itself.

If anyone wants to translate the page and keep it update for any other languages, that would be awesome! Please let me know, so that I can add your name into the contributors for this Project, or eventually you can do it yourself, this is a community project, so, you don’t actually need my permission to improve contents, I encourage such behavior!

Thanks Raul.

GNOME:Ayatana on openSUSE [English]
GNOME:Ayatana on openSUSE [Portuguese]

ATI/AMD fglrx 8.821 Catalyst 11.2 available for openSUSE 11.2, 11.3, 11.4

February 19th, 2011 by

Updated : April 4th 2011

Preambule : free software


I would notice everybody which will install these software : you will install proprietary softwares on your computer. Nobody will be able to debug them, nor help you to resolve what can be happen. That must be said !

The free future

The real future is already in place : it’s called radeon (or free-radeon), it’s fully integrated in kernel & xorg. Actually ( for openSUSE 11.4, or openSUSE 11.3 with kernel-stable + X11 obs repo ). Support for many chipset is in real progress even for the 6xxx series.
Give it a try before using the proprietary software, report any bugs you find with it. Only your contributions can help and will make a real differences. Thanks for doing that !

Unofficial but working repository

I offer for those of you that for any reasons can’t use successfully the free-radeon drivers a repository where you will find the latest fglrx/catalyst drivers following the packaging policy made avalaible by AMD.
Thanks to Sebastian Siebert ( check his blog ) to work in coordination with ati/amd and follow the catalyst packaging. His work allow us to have that driver available for openSUSE.

The quick how-to

Adding the repository

For openSUSE Factory
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_Factory/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"
For openSUSE 11.4
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.4/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"
For openSUSE 11.3
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.3/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"
For openSUSE 11.2
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.2/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"

Installing the driver

Nota previous version

Due to change in ati/amd way of life, it’s recommanded to completely remove any version of fglrx previously installed with a zypper rm

I can only recommand to also (as root)

# Remove old conf & stuff
rm -fr /etc/ati
# Remove any old fglrx inside kernel modules
find /lib/modules -type f -iname "fglrx.ko" -exec rm -fv {} \;
New installation

Once the repo has been added, you will certainly have to reboot to get ride off free radeon module. At boot on the grub line add
nomodeset blacklist=radeon 3
Don’t panic you will be land to a console, open it with root account to install fglrx.
Search the software you want for example under openSUSE 11.4

zypper se -s fglrx
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...

S | Name                  | Type    | Version | Arch   | Repository
i | fglrx64_xpic_SUSE114  | package | 8.831-1 | x86_64 | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official  
  | fglrx64_xpic_SUSE114  | package | 8.821-1 | x86_64 | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official  
  | fglrx_xpic_SUSE114    | package | 8.831-1 | i586   | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official
  | fglrx_xpic_SUSE114    | package | 8.821-1 | i586   | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official

Starting with 8.821 (Catalyst 11.2) ATI use now xpic (full explanation)
So use that one. I’ve removed all non xpic drivers the 2 April 2011.

For a 64bits version
zypper in fglrx64_xpic_SUSE114
For a 32bits version
zypper in fglrx_xpic_SUSE114

During the installation process, all the dependencies will be added, which mostly are needed to build the kernel modules. Expect around 200MB to dowload.

Then the installer will build the module for your installed kernel.
And if there’s a kernel update, the script will automagically detect that, and will rebuild the module for the new kernel installed. (So if you find that your workstation is slow on reboot just press the esc key to see the details … )

Preparing xorg to use fglrx

Once the module is build and installed, you should have a file fglrx.conf or 50-fglrx.conf in /etc/modprobe.d

cat /etc/modprobe.d/50-fglrx.conf
blacklist radeon

Next ati recommend to use ati –initial-config but that break the auto-detect stack of xorg. So I recommend changing one line in file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf
just change driver line to driver “fglrx”
All the rest of the setup (double screen etc) will be made lately with the ati catalyst control center (command is amdcccle).
For those of you which want to have an xorg.conf file just have a look at aticonfig –help command.

Start X

If you are inside the console we start to use before just run “init 5″ to start xorg, and normally you will find your normal xorg login screen (kdm, gdm, ldm, xdm).
Hit ctrl+alt+f1 to return to the console and type exit or logout or ctrl+d to close it.
then ctrl+alt+f7 to return to the xorg session.


ati/amd catalyst are release on a month basis, but this vary from 3 weeks to 8 weeks.

  • Catalyst 11.2 – fglx 8.821 : 14 February 2011


Sebastian Siebert blog ( German ) with nice howto and problem resolution.
My previous post on the subject

Indicators for GNOME2 – Update

February 19th, 2011 by

Canonical has been very active and released quite an impressive amount of bug fixes and features for their Ayatana Project software. I’ve been doing the updates, sent a couple of tiny patches upstream (mainly packaging issues) and with the RC1, I am very happy with the results accomplished.

Regarding this project, I’ve seen news, blog posts and lots of feedback from several distribution users. I’ve found contents in German, Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese), English, Russian and Spanish. For the most I believe everyone is happy this is happening.

During the next week, I’m going to conduct an open-beta for the GNOME2 indicators from which I hope to get some feedback and improve things so that once openSUSE 11.4 is release, those users willing to use this software can do it safely, and off course in an openSUSE way, a rock solid and featured GNOME experience.

I’ve created a pattern which will duplicated in the GNOME:Ayatana repository named ‘gnome2-indicators’ which will install the 5 base indicators on Ubuntu Natty. About this indicators and some previous comments that I’ve seen online, I would like to clarify a couple of things:

* All the software is built on top of ‘openSUSE stack’, so we’re not really converting Ubuntu to RPM’s.
* The patch level applied from Ubuntu is minimum, only the mandatory feature patches were applied on pure openSUSE stack. Some of this features weren’t upstreamed, while others were turned down, so GNOME:Ayatana will also provide the modified software required, this is the case of GTK+ (2.0) which is properly tested and no issues were found against the regular GTK+ stack on 11.4.
* I’ve patched and built applications like Metacity, Empathy and gnome-session to enable functionality with the Indicators. I’m also serving this patched versions through GNOME:Ayatana, without them, there wouldn’t really be a pleasant indicator experience for openSUSE users. I would love to see community contributions to GNOME:Ayatana for all of those that aren’t available yet. Don’t be shy, we don’t bite! (A big plus is that you can actually learn a lot, and the openSUSE GNOME Team is very friendly and helpful. If you really want to help and improve yourself, step forward!.

Now for real… what does the GNOME2 Indicator pattern offers?

1. A 99% working Session Indicator, from where users can perform several session related tasks (ex: logout, restart, switch users, hibernate, etc). The only feature I know it’s not present is the “restart/relog” option after software updates. If anyone want to work this indicator to work with PackageKit / YaST or zypper, would be probably a big plus and significative contribution to openSUSE and upstream.

2. The ME Menu, which appears to be fully functional.

3. A simple clock indicator. This indicator is under very active development, and displays a simple calendar/clock with options to manage appointments (through Evolution). The ‘date/time’ configurations are disabled because on openSUSE we use YaST for it. Except for this, everything seems to be working.

4. Sound Menu indicator… the (in)famous Sound indicator from Ubuntu, which displays an horizontal slide bar for sound volume management and fully integrates with Banshee. Since I’m recent convert to Banshee from Totem because of the development of this project, I’ve also packaged and made available from GNOME:Ayatana two extensions:
* banshee-extension-soundmenu – Enables integration with soundmenu, really a plus/must if Banshee is your preferred multimedia player;
* banshee-extension-indicator – A Banshee indicator. I’ve only really packaged this because it offers integration with Notify OSD, the indicator itself is less featured than the traditional gnome extension.

5. The Messaging Menu – Another controversial indicator… Currently it’s working with Empathy (patched with libindicate on GNOME:Ayatana), xchat, evolution and gwibber. Other applications like pidgin are known to work up to a certain point. This indicator grabs any incoming messaging and alerts the user for it. It’s not really that bad once you get used to it (takes a couple of hours).

Additionally to  this, Notify OSD is also available for openSUSE 11.4, and doesn’t require any extra repository. openSUSE 11.4 ships with a version of Notify OSD that allows the user to skin/theme it in several ways. This behavior isn’t enabled on Ubuntu and relies on a patched refused by upstream by Roman Sokuchev. The development project for this package is GNOME:Apps, and my thanks to Vincent Untz and Dominique L. for helping with the process.

During next week, GNOME:Ayatana will be populated and a free open BETA will be start to gather feedback amongst our users.

A side note… Yesterday an update for Sound Menu was issued by Canonical and it deeply relies on libnotify >= 0.7.0. openSUSE 11.4 will ship with libnotify 0.6.0 and therefore I’m not committing more changes to Sound Menu and will only fix critical issues if found for this package.

After openSUSE 11.4 is released, I’ll start working on implementing this for GNOME3, and hopefully now I will have enough time to try to push them to Factory for openSUSE 12 (or whatever it will be called).

Contributions are accepted in any area not covered by me, or fixing  stuff, and also very important, in the KDE field. About Unity… here’s a riddle: “How can you tell if a ghost is about to faint?”.


Abandoning Unity for the time being…

February 15th, 2011 by

Packaging Unity wasn’t much of a problem, but implementing is being translated into frustration… this cases and the lack of satisfactory results eventually lead to pre-burnout situations, and I’m not walking that road.

My apologies for those who had expectations on this, but I sense this task requires much more than what I can offer at the current time. The packages are still available from my home repo if someone wants to pick it up. All the components build so far, the dependencies are all in that repository as well, as I see only integration is required. I’ve runned across some problems, mainly Compiz behavior on several different git snapshots, I’ve run against problems with the default gconf settings required by Unity and the backup/restore operations from openSUSE defaults amongst other things. It’s maybe wiser to wait for a bit more of development from upstream before looking into this. openSUSE is supposed to be stable and reliable, and I don’t see this branch of Compiz match those two qualities yet.

If anyone wants to scavenge those packages, feel free to do it. If no one takes this up, I will look into it later once there’s an official Compiz release from the branch that is required for Unity, meanwhile I’ll keep openSUSE time available for learning a bit more on cmake and maintain the stuff that really works, the indicators, which involve already over 30 packages between dependencies and indicators.


Virtual launch party for openSUSE 11.4 : RC1 is done

February 14th, 2011 by

Successfull RC1 launch!

Dear followers, after the official announcement, we test yesterday the place, and check how fun and cool it can be with several attendees.

The danse party Pop/Rock music themed was animated by DJ Yazz (Brittany Haefeli). Starting at 8:30 CEST the party was crowded during it’s 2 hours and a half. More than 50 people came and visit us during that time. Great that was twice what we expected !

ATI Amd flgrx 8.812 catalyst 11.1 available also for 11.4/factory

February 13th, 2011 by

A quick note for the week-end, I’ve build and uploaded the new fglrx drivers.
The good news, they are also available for 11.4/factory,

Unofficial-but-working repository

For openSUSE 11.4 (factory) NEW !

zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.4/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"

I would like to have feedback about how that works for you, please comment !

Factory specifics troubles

on a fresh auto-configuration factory install : libomp43

Problem: fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114-8.812-1.x86_64 requires gcc, but this requirement cannot be provided
  uninstallable providers: gcc-4.5-16.1.i586[openSUSE-11.4-11.4-1.35]
 Solution 1: deinstallation of libgomp43-4.3.4_20091019-5.23.x86_64
 Solution 2: do not install fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114-8.812-1.x86_64
 Solution 3: break fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114 by ignoring some of its dependencies

Choose from above solutions by number or cancel [1/2/3/c] (c): 1
Resolving dependencies...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW packages are going to be installed:
  binutils-gold fglrx64_7_6_0_SUSE114 gcc gcc45 glibc-devel 
  kernel-default-devel kernel-desktop-devel kernel-devel kernel-source 
  kernel-syms kernel-xen-devel libgomp45 linux-glibc-devel make patch 

The following package is going to be REMOVED:

15 new packages to install, 1 to remove.
Overall download size: 127.9 MiB. After the operation, additional 600.9 MiB 
will be used.

Normally this bug (in M5/M6) should has been resolved in RC1.

See full details on my previous dedicated post

Open Hardware Definition Goes 1.0!

February 11th, 2011 by

The Open Source Hardware Definition has reached a major milestone, hitting version 1.0 with this morning’s announcement by the Open Hardware Summit team.  This is remarkable news for all involved in the development of Open Source Hardware (OSHW), as this really exciting community had been growing by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, but had no single, unified symbol that different development shops could rally under.

Now, with the Definition having reached 1.0, and a logo soon to be announced to stamp hardware and project websites, the hardware crowd will be able to rally under flags similar to Tux the penguin and Beastie the daemon — not to mention the Open Source Definition and the GPL.  As a Free/Open Source Software dude regularly cheerleading the Open Hardware crowd, I am impressed at how fast this young community came this far, as the 0.3 draft was circulated at the Open Hardware Summit last September in New York.

The Definition is not meant as a license, it rather mirrors the Open Source Definition that we are so familiar with — and indeed, a very energetic Bruce Perens was one of the opening speakers of the Summit last year, and has been actively commenting on the forums on the different drafts.  Similarly to the Open Source Definition, the Open hardware definition is an umbrella meant to cover a number of differing licenses, all requiring the “source” (in this case, unobfuscated designs) of the board to be made available with the hardware as a minimum precondition.

Community members are invited to spread the word by blogging, tweeting (#OSHW), endorsing the definition, contributing designs to the logo contest, and, of course, labeling their work as OSHW 1.0.

This is a very exciting moment for the open culture movement in general, as yet another field of knowledge comes organized in the copyleft / CC / Some Rights Reserved approach.

The Audience
F2 keeping an eye on Bruce Perens, who is keeping an eye on the keynote before his, at the New York Open Hardware Summit.