Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Change Mirror for PCLinuxOS LO manager from default to a faster one

PCLinuxOS uses LO manager script for downloading libreoffice directly from and then installs it for you . Somehow the default mirror for libreoffice has a snail walk like speed and it becomes painful to install libreoffice from it .

I followed these steps to change the mirror to a faster one for me .

1 ) Open the script file called lomanager located in /usr/bin as a superuser mode in a text editor

2 ) Located line 93 and change it from default to this one as shown here

Default line 93

httpsource=""$sysarchdir"/"  # http-source

Change it to

httpsource=""$sysarchdir"/"  # http-source

Save , exit and reload LO manager.

You can choose mirror that works faster for you as in my case always works perfect for me . 

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" .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ALT Linux Latest Kernel ( 3.0 ) and Webcam Modules

I was running kernel-image-pure-emerald#2.6.39-alt6 on my ALT Linux (Sisyphus) and all my three webcams mentioned below were working fine without any problem

[root@home-pc ~]# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0ac8:305b Z-Star Microelectronics Corp. ZC0305
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0ac8:303b Z-Star Microelectronics Corp. ZC0303 Webcam
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0c45:6310 Microdia Sonix USB 2.0 Camera

Somehow ALT Linux Team did not update the kernel-image-pure-emerald while on the other hand the default kernel for ALT Linux was recently updated to kernel-image-std-def#1:3.0.3-alt1 ( Linux 3.0 ) . So I decided to install the default kernel . The installation went smooth and system was up and running flawlessly . When I ran Kopete and clicked on webcam it was blank for all the cams and I did not know what was missing in the kernel making webcams totally blank .

Upon enquiry at I was told by one of the  ALT Linux developer Alex Karpov (karpov) to get installed

          kernel-modules-v4l for kernel-image-std-def#1:3.0.3-alt1 

although  marked as obsolete, but probably it will do the job for me . It actually solved my issue and now my webcams are working on this latest kernel , Much relief .

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ALT Linux | Fame & Publicity Not their target

back in 2007 showing a desire for little needed publicity for ALT Linux because whenever I talk about this distribution anywhere I am told they have never heard about it . Michael Shigorin replied in these words 

" Some feel that's no problem with us: focusing on "the globe" would be very fuzzy and anyway demanding for English language resources which we're not very interested in -- that means that focusing on "ex-USSR" or Russian-speaking audience is much more sharp right now as a matter of fact. BTW that might help folks to get motivated to learn Russian in their preparation of flight to Syberia from globalism hounds. ;-) "

I have heard same kind of statements from the other ALT Linux development team members many times at #altlinux . I am told most of the times that ALT Linux is targeted towards Russians / Russian speaking people and though ALT Linux is supported in English and few other languages but their target audience are Russian speaking people mainly .

Since ALT Linux supports English along with Russian language they do offer an English mailing list at Community-en Info Page but it is not as active as compared to the Russian counterpart . There is an ALT Linux Bugzilla page with English language support at Bugzilla Main Page .

Though Russian is the main language at #altlinux but if an English speaking person drops there asking for help they do provide help depending upon the nature of the help requested and upon the mood of the people present in the channel .

In summary in all these years living with ALT Linux I have learned a clear lesson that ALT Linux is Russians only distro and they are not bothered if non Russian speaking people use it but they don`t worry if non-Russian speaking are not getting attracted towards this distro, they are all content with their native users completely .

Monday, July 4, 2011

Agilia Linux Commands You Must know .

If you are a fan of this Slackware based Russian Linux distribution the following mpkg commands which I collected from their forum requesting for them frequently will save your time and keep you safe from accidents with their package manager GUI which is quite tricky to use . Following commands are quite straightforward .

Summary of mpkg Commands:

mpkg-install PKGNAME - Installs a package

mpkg-remove PKGNAME - Removes a package

mpkg-show PKGNAME - Shows info about a package. By default, it shows currently the installed version .

mpkg-getrepositorylist - Receives repository list from central Server

mpkg-update - Updates packages from repository info

mpkg-upgradeall - To upgrade the whole system , use mpkg-upgradeall

mpkg-install PKGNAME - To upgrade only a specific package

I hope this is going to be helpful for Non-Russian AgiliaLinux Users to have these commands handy.

Here are some additional command posted by Valdos the Fat Troll in comments section, I will paste them here for quick access .

mpkg --help now in English
mpkg-add_rep [URI of repository] — adding repository. URI may be http://, ftp:// and file//.
mpkg-altlist — [don't know, where it's useful] shows all provides pairs.
mpkg-altshow [PKGNAME] — shows avaliable replacements for PKGNAME in argument.
mpkg-build — deprecated package build command
mpkg-check — (full?) dependency and consistency check?
mpkg-checkdeps [URI of repository] — checking consistency of repo.
mpkg-checklibdeps — checks broken library dependencies (also includes revdep-rebuild analog (mpkg-checklibdeps -Rd)).
mpkg-clean — wipe package cache.
mpkg-commit — ?
mpkg-conflicts [PKGNAME] — checks, does PKGNAME have some conflicts, that cannot be installed in system.
mpkg-convert_dir — (maybe) some part of deprecated build system.
mpkg-delete_rep [NUMBER OF REPO] — deletes repo from system. For list repo numbers use mpkg-list_rep.
mpkg-deleteprofile — ?
mpkg-depgraph [PKGNAME] — prints dependency tree of PKGNAME.
mpkg-deporder — ?
mpkg-disable_rep [NUMBER OF REPO] — disables repo without deleting.
mpkg-enable_rep [NUMBER OF REPO] — enables repo without deleting.
mpkg-export — ?
mpkg-exportinstalled — export installed packages to installable text file (setup list).
mpkg-filesearch [FILENAME] — search file in all avaliable packages.
mpkg-fixdeps — ?
mpkg-gendeps — deprecated dependency generator.
mpkg-gendeps2 — new dependency generator.
mpkg-getrepositorylist — gets repo list from main server.
mpkg-index — generates index for directory with packages, which needed for using directory as repo.
mpkg-install [PKGNAME] — installing PKGNAME.
mpkg-installfromlist [SETUP LIST NAME] — installing all packages from setup list.
mpkg-list — lists all avaliable packages.
mpkg-list_rep — lists repositories which present in system.
mpkg-listgroup [GROUPNAME] — shows packages with selected GROUPNAME.
mpkg-listgroups — shows avaliable grous (GROUPNAME from previous command).
mpkg-listprofiles — ?
mpkg-listupdates — shows avaliable updates.
mpkg-maintainer — tool for setting maintainer name and email in mkpkg.
mpkg-menu — buggy TUI for mpkg.
mpkg-purge [PKGNAME] — removes PKGNAME with all config files.
mpkg-quicklist — ?
mpkg-reinstall [PKGNAME] — suddenly, reinstalls PKGNAME.
mpkg-remove [PKGNAME] — removes package without configuration files.
mpkg-removegroup [GROUPNAME] — removes all packages from selected GROUPNAME.
mpkg-reset — initialize mpkg's sqlite database. DON'T USE IT!
mpkg-rollback [DATE/TRANSACTION] — rollback last update (without parameter), or all updates after DATE or TRANSACTION.
mpkg-saveprofile — ?
mpkg-search [KEYWORD] — search packages.
mpkg-searchdescription [KEYWORD] — search package by description.
mpkg-setmeta — change package metainformation.
mpkg-setprofile — ?
mpkg-show [PKGNAME] — shows full information about package.
mpkg-show_queue — shows planned things.
mpkg-spkg2abuild — converts old package build binary script to new text script.
mpkg-transactions [NUMBER OF TRANSACTION] — shows history of updates, installs, purges and other related things. Without parameter shows full log from zero-install to last.
mpkg-update — updates repo metadata.
mpkg-upgrade [PKGNAME] — updates PKGNAME.
mpkg-upgradeall — upgradeall all packages to latest avaliable versions.
mpkg-validate — ?
mpkg-version — shows version, lol.
mpkg-which [FILENAME] — shows, what package contains selected FILENAME.
mpkg-whodepend — shows reversdeps.

And he says there are some more which he doesn`t know himself and the list is growing :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How to MULTI-BOOT with GRUB Legacy

I still use GRUB Legacy but I have no animosity with GRUB2 either . They both work perfectly for me when required . I prefer booting multi-distros with GRUB Legacy no matter if they use GRUB Legacy, GRUB2 or Lilo. 

I will post the "simple" trick I always adopt to "load/boot" my multi-distros
with GRUB Legacy here.

First I will paste my PCLinuxOS`s menu.lst here with some boot lines entries.

title PCLinuxOS 
kernel (hd0,5)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda6 ro splash=silent vga=788
initrd (hd0,5)/boot/initrd.img

title antiX
root (hd0,8)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-5.dmz.1-liquorix-686 root=/dev/sda9 ro nomodeset nouveau.modeset=0 quiet nomodeset nouveau.modeset=0
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-5.dmz.1-liquorix-686

title ALT Linux
root (hd0,10)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-std-def root=/dev/sda11 ro  quiet=1 panic=30 splash
initrd /boot/initrd-std-def.img

The above entries show GRUB Legacy lines from PCLinuxOS in red color text and GRUB 2 lines from antiX and ALT Linux in blue .

Instead of allowing GRUB Legacy to mess with my different installations on various partitions I simply copy the GRUB/GRUB2 lines from menu.lst and grub.conf files respectively and paste them into the master GRUB`s menu.lst file as shown above and all the distros boot without any trouble .

I am sure this "trick" will benefit many people . 

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to Install GRUB Legacy

All major distributions are switching over or have already switched over to GRUB2 , but there are few which are still using GRUB Legacy. Below is a simple method of installing GRUB Legacy on debian which can be used on other distros also using their own package managers .

  •  Install grub package    
       # apt-get install grub

  • Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst (Use can use for sample /usr/share/doc/grub-0.97/menu.lst) 
# Sample boot menu configuration file
   # Boot automatically after 5 secs.
    timeout 5
# By default, boot the first entry.
     default 0

      title Linux
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda5
  initrd /boot/initrd.img
(replace /dev/sda5 with your root partition name)
  • Install loader to MBR
# grub-install /dev/sda
  • Reboot system to check that bootloader works properly
    or not 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

ALT Linux | Few useful commands

ALT Linux documentation are rare and difficult to find . I have collected few commands which I use in routine managing my ALT Linux KDE4 Sisyphus installation .
  •  For kernel update
# apt-get install update-kernel

Then as root ( su - ) run this command

# update-kernel -t std-def
After kernel update reboot with new kernel .It is wise to keep older kernel in case the new kernel does not work you can boot back to older working kernel .

After kernel update you may update/resetup (especially for NVIDIA videocards)  video driver by running this command as root 
# x11setupdrv
  • Video drivers 

    For Installing Nvidia driver run this command as root

# apt-get install kernel-modules-nvidia-$flavour 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

LDR | Not just yet another Arch Linux Fork ?

Release of  new linux distributions based upon existing major and well known distributions is a common day happening in the linux world today . Ubuntu is known for having countless forks . Recently Arch Linux has gathered lot of spotlight and some distributions based upon Arch Linux have come forwards . LDR  is one  of those Arch Linux based distributions which was added to the "Distributions on the Waiting List" of on 2011-04-11.

As described by its developer Tom Medhurst
" LDR stands for Linux Done Right. It is an Arch Linux derrived GNU/Linux distro which has many software components pre-configured so you can just install and get on with it! "

Here is the LDR`s official website with the initial details about this distribution . 

LDR has its own repository with custom made packages not available in Arch`s repositories. I had a chance to test two of the released isos of LDR i.e ldr-1.0 and ldr-1.06 both as live cd and in vmware . Although I had no good luck with the live cd due to issue with Nvidia driver but on vmware LDR was quite impressive.

As LDR is in the early stages of development I am not expecting lot from it . I will closely follow this distribution with hope that it will improve with time and will stand on its own feet rather than disappearing into obscurity like many other forks .

Best of luck to LDR .