Archive for the 'Korora' Category

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FIX: Kororaa 16 GNOME Shell crash

This took me a while to find, but removing the nautilus-pastebin package will stop GNOME Shell from crashing when searching (as seen in Beta 16). No restart required.

sudo yum erase nautilus-pastebin

Sorry about that, it was very hard to find!

Thanks,
Chris

Kororaa 16 (Chum) Beta released

The first beta release of Kororaa 16 (codename “Chum”) has been released and is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit versions for KDE and GNOME. This new release includes major updates of most packages including the kernel, office and desktops (KDE 4.7 and GNOME 3.2).

Upgrade
We are currently working on a way for existing version 15 users to upgrade to the final release of version 16, however this is not yet available for the beta release. For those wanting to test out this release, it is recommended to perform a fresh install or use a virtual machine. It’s a Live DVD, so it can be tested without installation too :-)

Known issues

  • Some addons for GNOME have caused crashes and the gnome-shell-extension-alternative-status-menu is not included in the beta. To shutdown, hold down the Alt key while hovering over Suspend option in menu.
  • Searching (Alt + F2) in GNOME causes Shell to crash.
  • Jockey (the proprietary driver manager) was accidentally left out, but is installable (GNOME: jockey-gtk jockey-selinux KDE: jockey-kde jockey-selinux)

Desktops
The GNOME 3 desktop has several extensions to provide an enhanced user experience (and help ease the transition from GNOME 2.x). It also comes with the GNOME Tweak Tool to allow further customisation.
Kororaa 16 desktop - GNOME

The KDE desktop has a custom layout with specific default applications, such as Firefox for the web and VLC for media, etc.
Kororaa 16 desktop - KDE

Features
Derived from Fedora 161, this new major release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as:

  • Tweaked KDE 4.7 and GNOME 3.2 base systems
  • Third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox)
  • Firefox 8 as the default web browser (integrated with KDE)
  • Firefox extensions included (Adblock Plus, DownThemAll, Flashblock, Xclear)
  • Microblogging client (Choqok for KDE, Empathy for GNOME)
  • Full multimedia support (excluding Flash, see next)
  • Installer for Adobe Flash plugin
  • Jockey device manager to handle drivers such as AMD/ATI and NVIDIA
  • Video editor (Kdenlive for KDE, OpenShot for GNOME)
  • VLC as the default media player
  • SELinux enabled (particularly worthwhile for Flash)
  • English (Australian/British) support & dictionaries
  • and more..

Feedback
We’d love to hear your feedback on the forums, so download it today and let us know! :-)

Thanks!

Note: Kororaa is not provided or supported by the Fedora Project. Official, unmodified Fedora software is available through the Fedora Project website.

What’s in a name? The meaning behind Kororaa

Many users have asked me why Kororaa is called Kororaa. It’s hard to spell and it’s hard to say (it’s even a rude word in some languages, sorry about that). Well, I’d like to share the meaning behind the name.

The word Kororaa is an alternate spelling of the Māori word Kororā, which is a name given to the smallest of all penguin species, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor):

Korora Penguin
(Photo from Wikipedia licensed under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

They are also known as little blue penguins, but when I was in school I knew them as fairy penguins (I guess I could have called my distro Fairy Linux instead).

These gorgeous little penguins stand at just 30cm (12″) tall for fully grown adults. They are native to Australia (where I come from) and New Zealand, although there have also been reported sightings from Chile (where they are known as Pingüino pequeño or Pingüino azul).

Not only are they the cutest penguins around, they are also the penguins responsible for the Linux mascot, Tux. That’s right! Linus was visiting Canberra and while at the National Zoo and Aquarium was bitten on the finger by one of these little penguins. Later, when it came time to think of a mascot for Linux, Linus couldn’t get that cute little blue penguin out of his head and so Tux was born.

Story behind Tux
(Photo from Wikipedia licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

So, Kororaa might be hard to spell and it might be hard to say, but it’s a real word and it has real meaning :-)

Kororaa 15.1 (Squirt) released

The second release of Kororaa 15 (codename “Squirt”) has been released. Version 15.1 is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit with KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3.

This release includes a number of fixes and enhancements, as listed below. A special thanks to Prashanth for the review of Kororaa 15 which outlined many of these shortcomings.

Major changes:

  • Fixed KDE crash in live mode (prelink wasn’t properly disabled)
  • Fixed Kdenlive bug which stopped it from running
  • Fixed KPackagekit crash in live mode
  • Bypass the login screen and load straight to desktop
  • Disable screensaver and locked screen in live mode
  • Renamed desktop switcher to “Switch between Shell and Fallback desktops”
  • Added Google Talk Plugin repo for easy installation
  • Added a wrapper package (skype-helper) for Skype dependencies (can’t ship Skype though)
  • Added more GNOME Shell themes
  • Removed Gloobus preview (not complete in Fedora)
  • Removed GNOME Appearance Properties link (deprecated in GNOME 3)
  • Removed Synaptic package manager
  • Removed Miro (currently broken upstream)
  • Updated to Firefox 7
  • Updated to Openshot 1.4

Kororaa 15.1 comes with an RPM metapackage to install and configure Adobe Flash, now that Add/Remove Extras is gone. To get flash, install the flash-plugin-helper package. To remove flash, uninstall the flash-plugin package.

Kororaa 15.1 also comes with an RPM metapackage to install the dependencies for Skype (but not Skype itself). Simply install the skype-helper package, then download the Skype package for Fedora from their website and install using the package manager.

Upgrade
Existing Kororaa 15 users need not upgrade to 15.1 as these changes mostly affect live mode, while others have been pushed out via system updates.

Users still on Kororaa 14 may wish to upgrade to 15.1 and should do so via a new install (backup your data if necessary). Users who wish to stay with GNOME 2.x should not upgrade to 15.1, as it comes with GNOME 3. However, Kororaa 15.1 does include a desktop switcher for GNOME 3, so that users can switch between the new Shell interface and the 2.x style Fallback mode using the “Switch between Shell and Fallback desktops” link on the desktop.

Desktops
The GNOME 3 desktop has a custom theme available, as well as several extensions to provide an enhanced user experience (and help ease the transition from GNOME 2.x). It also comes with the GNOME Tweak Tool to allow further customisation.
Kororaa 15 desktop - GNOME

The KDE desktop has a custom layout with specific default applications, such as Firefox for the web and VLC for media, etc. It now also comes with Linphone for those wanting a SIP client.
Kororaa 15 desktop - KDE

Features
Derived from Fedora 151, this updated release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as:

  • Tweaked KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3 base systems
  • Third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox)
  • Firefox 7 as the default web browser (with integration tweaks for KDE)
  • Firefox extensions included (Adblock Plus, DownThemAll, Flashblock, Xclear)
  • Microblogging client (Choqok for KDE, Gwibber for GNOME)
  • Full multimedia support (excluding Flash, see next)
  • Installer for Adobe Flash plugin
  • Jockey device manager to handle drivers such as AMD/ATI and NVIDIA
  • Video editor (Kdenlive for KDE, OpenShot for GNOME)
  • VLC as the default media player
  • SELinux enabled (particularly worthwhile for Flash)
  • English (Australian/British) support & dictionaries
  • and more..

Feedback
We’d love to hear your feedback on the forums, so download it today and let us know! :-)

Thanks!

Note: Kororaa is not provided or supported by the Fedora Project. Official, unmodified Fedora software is available through the Fedora Project website.

Kororaa 15 (Squirt) released

The first stable release of Kororaa 15 (codename “Squirt”) has been released and is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit with KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3.

This release includes Ubuntu’s Jockey Device Driver manager, which has replaced the Add/Remove Extras script for configuring third party drivers (such as nvidia). While I am still working on the port of Jockey to Yum, in order to release Kororaa 15 now (already a month later than I was hoping) I am using Jockey packages created by fellow Fedora Remix, Parsidora, so thanks and kudos to them!

Kororaa 15 comes with an RPM metapackage to install and configure Adobe Flash, now that Add/Remove Extras is gone. To get flash, install the flash-plugin-helper package. To remove flash, uninstall the flash-plugin package.

Upgrade
Users still on Kororaa 14 may wish to upgrade to 15 and should do so via a new install (backup your data if necessary). Users who wish to stay with GNOME 2.x should not upgrade to 15, as it comes with GNOME 3. However, Kororaa 15 does include a desktop switcher for GNOME 3, so that users can switch between the new Shell interface and the 2.x style Fallback mode.

Desktops
The GNOME 3 desktop has a custom theme available, as well as several extensions to provide an enhanced user experience (and help ease the transition from GNOME 2.x). It also comes with the GNOME Tweak Tool to allow further customisation.
Kororaa 15 desktop - GNOME

The KDE desktop has a custom layout with specific default applications, such as Firefox for the web and VLC for media, etc. It now also comes with Linphone for those wanting a SIP client.
Kororaa 15 desktop - KDE

Features
Derived from Fedora 151, this updated release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as:

  • Tweaked KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3 base systems
  • Third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox)
  • Firefox 6 as the default web browser (with integration tweaks for KDE)
  • Firefox extensions included (Adblock Plus, DownThemAll, Flashblock, Xclear)
  • Microblogging client (Choqok for KDE, Gwibber for GNOME)
  • Full multimedia support (excluding Flash, see next)
  • Installer for Adobe Flash plugin
  • Jockey device manager to handle drivers such as AMD/ATI and NVIDIA
  • Video editor (Kdenlive for KDE, OpenShot for GNOME)
  • VLC as the default media player
  • SELinux enabled (particularly worthwhile for Flash)
  • English (Australian/British) support & dictionaries
  • and more..

Major changes:

  • Add/Remove Extras script removed by default (still in repository)
  • Jockey device driver manager added
  • New Flash plugin RPM metapackage installer
  • New DownThemAll download manager addon for Firefox
  • Linphone VoIP client for KDE added
  • GNOME 3 switcher between Shell and Fallback desktops
  • Pidgin replaced with Empathy for better GNOME integration
  • KSplice has been removed by default

Feedback
We’d love to hear your feedback on the forums, so download it today and let us know! :-)

Thanks!

Note: Kororaa is not provided or supported by the Fedora Project. Official, unmodified Fedora software is available through the Fedora Project website.

Jockey device manager port for Fedora (using Yum)

One of the things I wanted to do for Kororaa was make Ubuntu’s Jockey device manager work. This would replace my current dodgy script and provide a mechanism for extending support for other devices over time (if needed). I’ve put my code on github if you want to check it out.

It wasn’t meant to be a joke, but on the 1st April this year I contacted Martin Pitt (the Jockey project lead) to pitch the idea. He helpfully replied saying that they’d written Jockey to be pretty vendor agnostic and that he had already discussed the idea of porting it to Fedora with Jon Masters. Indeed, he had did have the test suite working on Fedora 12 already (using PackageKit).

So I started out trying to understand the code and seeing what was possible. The core of the work is in oslib.py which implements the package management side of things (the default code uses PackageKit). Ubuntu has their own apt implementation, so I wanted to make a native Yum implementation.

There is some detection code (which shouldn’t need to be touched) and then there are the handlers for each device you want to manage (nvidia, etc).

A few weekends ago, Jason Nielsen and I got together to work on the code. In a few hours we had ported oslib.py to Yum, so I think the majority of the work there is done (thanks for your help, Jason!). It’s a much cleaner implementation than running PackageKit and parsing the results, because Yum is written in Python :-)

That’s where it’s at now. Next I need to create some handlers and then begin some testing. I’m holding off on the next Kororaa release, because I want to get this working before I ship it. Longer-term this naturally won’t go into Fedora, but perhaps into RPMFusion.

Parsidora (another Fedora Remix) has also been working on Jockey, but using the PackageKit implementation (I’ve sent them a message to see if they are interested in the native Yum version). You can try their existing implementation for Fedora 15 if you’re interested.

Hopefully I’ll have everything ready for Kororaa in the next few weeks, before Fedora 16 comes out! :-)

How to install and run VirtualBox on Fedora (and Kororaa)

Kevin on the Kororaa Forums asked a question about VirtualBox and why it needs kernel modules.

Just wondering if someone could give me an idea of what Kernel Modules are and what they do in relation to Virtual Box? Every time I try to install VB it says you need “this” or “that” (mostly kernel modules) and I have no idea where to look, what they are, and what they do, so I am hoping to learn something. Also, if I get VB to work, and “they” update the kernel, do I have to add modules again or? Basically when I install VB, what do I have to install along side it?

Here’s my reply, as it might be useful for anyone running Fedora (note, this is using the latest package from Oracle, rather than the pre-compiled OSE in the Fedora repos).

Background
So your operating system is made up of three (main) components:

  • Physical hardware (computer bits)
  • Kernel (software which talks to your hardware and makes it work, think drivers)
  • Software (talks to your kernel to get to your hardware)

Your kernel is what makes your computer work (this is actually what Linux is, a kernel) and it’s actually the most important part of the operating system. When you’re talking about VirtualBox, it needs to create fake hardware on top of your real hardware, so to do that, it needs a driver. Drivers sit in the kernel layer.

The Linux kernel has thousands of drivers in it, but it does not have VirtualBox drivers in it (yet). This means you need to compile these and load them into your running kernel of you want to use VirtualBox. Once you do that, your kernel will have the fake hardware that the VirtualBox software needs to run. Drivers which you can load and unload into the kernel are called modules.

The VirtualBox host computer needs these drivers, but the VirtualBox guest also needs some drivers to make full use of the fake hardware. When you install Linux or Windows as a VirtualBox guest, the hardware is fake, so that OS needs drivers too! Some of those drivers (like audio and network) are already in the Linux kernel, so if your guest is running Linux, you just need drivers for the video, etc.

Requirements
In order to compile the drivers for VirtualBox (on both host and guest) on Linux you need some development libraries, compiler program (such as GCC), as well as the headers for the running kernel. You need the headers because you need to compile a driver to load into the kernel and it needs to know detailed information about it.

Fortunately, if you’re using Kororaa, all of the required tools and packages are already installed! :-) All you need to do is build the drivers.

If you’re running a vanilla instance of Fedora, then you need to install the build tools like so:
su -c 'yum install gcc kernel-devel'

Now you have the build tools required to compile the drivers.

Automatically building drivers after kernel update
Modules are for a specific kernel and so when you get a kernel update, you need to re-compile the drivers for VirtualBox hosts and guests. Fortunately, there’s a neat little package called DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support Framework) which will do this for you automatically – and of course Kororaa comes with this pre-installed.

If you’re running Fedora, you can easily install it like so:
su -c 'yum install dkms time'

When you install VirtualBox (see below), it will register the drivers with DKMS and on boot it will re-compile them for you, if it needs to. So, you just need to do it once and forget! Any updates to VirtualBox that are pulled in will also be automatically updated.

Building drivers on the host
Because Kororaa has all of the requirements for VirtualBox (including the package repository), all you need to do to get VirtualBox up and running is to install it using the package manager. If you prefer, you can install it manually like so (note the version is currently 4.1):
sudo yum install VirtualBox-4.1

Again, if you’re using vanilla Fedora, then you need to grab the VirtualBox repository file so that you can install VirtualBox from the Oracle repository (the packaged version from Fedora is usually a few versions behind).
su -c 'wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/rpm/fedora/virtualbox.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/virtualbox.repo'

Now you can install VirtualBox on Fedora:
su -c 'yum install VirtualBox-4.1'

You should see something like this during the install process:
No precompiled module for this kernel found -- trying to build one.
Stopping VirtualBox kernel modules [ OK ]
Uninstalling old VirtualBox DKMS kernel modules [ OK ]
Trying to register the VirtualBox kernel modules using DKMS [ OK ]
Starting VirtualBox kernel modules [ OK ]

As you can see, the modules were successfully compiled and registered with DKMS for future automatic compilation.

Group permissions
Just remember that any user who wants to run and use VirtualBox on the host needs to be in the vboxusers group. You can use the users graphical tool to do this (system-config-users), or add them to the group by running the command (substitute chris with your username):
sudo gpasswd -a chris vboxusers

Then just run VirtualBox and away you go!

Building drivers on the guest
Once you have your host up and your guest operating system installed, the way to install the required drivers is using the built in method. Once you have booted your guest operating system, simply click the Devices menu at the top, and click Install Guest Addons.

Install Guest Addons
This will load a CD in your guest and you can run the autorun.sh script from the disk, which will ask you for the root password and then detect your operating system and compile the drivers for you.

Run Guest Addons
Once again, if your guest is running Kororaa too, then you already have the required build tools and libraries. If not, you will need to install them first – how this is done depends on your distro (for Fedora, see above).

Remember, with DKMS you will automatically get updated drivers this way after a kernel update.

That’s it! Just reboot your guest and away you go.

Kororaa 15 (Squirt) Beta 2 released

The second beta release of Kororaa 15 (codename “Squirt”) has been released and is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit with KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3.

This release fixes the black screen issue that some users were reporting, as well as having the desktop theme customisations for KDE (as well as GNOME) correctly applied. The usual Kororaa goodies apply.

The GNOME 3 desktop has a custom theme applied, as well as several extensions to provide an enhanced user experience.
Kororaa 15 Beta desktop - GNOME

The KDE desktop has a custom layout with specific default applications, such as Firefox for the web and VLC for media.
Kororaa 15 Beta desktop - KDE

Derived from Fedora 151, this updated release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as:

  • Tweaked KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3 base systems
  • Third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox)
  • Firefox 5 as the default web browser (with integration tweaks for KDE)
  • Firefox extensions included (Adblock Plus, Flashblock, Xclear)
  • Microblogging client (Choqok for KDE, Gwibber for GNOME)
  • Full multimedia support (excluding Flash, see next)
  • Installer for Adobe Flash, AMD/ATI and NVIDIA video drivers
  • Video editor (Kdenlive for KDE, OpenShot for GNOME)
  • VLC as the default media player
  • KSplice, for rebootless kernel updates
  • SELinux enabled (particularly worthwhile for Flash)
  • English (Australian/British) support & dictionaries
  • and more..

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed the black screen issue
  • Applied custom desktop changes in KDE and 32bit GNOME

Known issues

  • Nothing reported yet..

We’d love to hear your feedback on the forums, so download it today and let us know! :-)

Thanks!

Note: Kororaa is not provided or supported by the Fedora Project. Official, unmodified Fedora software is available through the Fedora Project website.

Kororaa 15 beta – black screen test

After hours of testing on several machines, I was finally able to reproduce the “black screen issue” some users reported with the Kororaa 15 Beta Live image (only on one, my ThinkPad X201). I should mention, this was with a new build which will become Beta2. I almost gave up trying and it wasn’t until the very last boot (when I thought everything was good) that I stumbled across it. So, this could be a red-herring – to me it seems like a kernel issue which might just apply to my laptop.

Anyway, I seem to have narrowed it down to only occurring if I had rebooted my machine, as opposed to powering it off first. If I powered off the machine first before booting the Live image, then it worked perfectly. If I rebooted, it failed.

I would like someone else who had the problem to test this theory for me, to see whether it really is the case (it does not look X related to me). It’s a simple test, just power off your machine, then try the Live DVD/USB.

I will release a new image tomorrow to address some other issues, but I’m not convinced that this issue is completely solved. Of course it could be completely unrelated! :-)

Thanks!
-c

Kororaa 15 beta bug – X not starting

Some users have reported that X (graphical interface) doesn’t start when booting the Live DVD.

Symptoms:
The Live DVD boots to a black screen and the login manager doesn’t display.

Expected results:
The Live DVD boots to the login manager and then to the desktop.

Work around:
When the computer arrives as the black screen you can switch terminals, log in as root and start the appropriate login manager (whether GNOME or KDE).

GNOME:
Alt + F2
root
gdm

KDE:
Alt + F2
root
kdm

I have not yet been able to reproduce this error, so I’m not sure why it’s happening. If you have further information or make any discoveries, please let us know on the forums.

Sorry for the trouble!

Thanks,
Chris