Introducing the Korora Project

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that Kororaa Linux is changing to the Korora Project. We haven’t just been super busy working on the new 18 release, but also setting up this new project and everything that goes with that!

The motivation for this was not only the dropping of an excess letter ‘a’, but it’s also a reflection of the community which is starting to grow nicely and I wanted something people could better associate with and belong to.

The new website has been set up at and feedback is welcome (although be gentle, we’re still ironing out any kinks). All future news will be posted to that site, however the current domain will stay live for the foreseeable future also.

The forum has been migrated to the site and existing users will need to change their passwords.

Finally, I must send out a massive thank you to Ian (firnsy) Firns, who has done an amazing job not only with the new site and content but also helping to build the 18 release, including our new build system which makes life so much easier. Without him, this simply would not have been possible and as such he has become the first official Korora co-developer. Thanks firnsy!

P.S. The new Korora 18 images really are just around the corner, we’ve delayed to add some exciting new features such as out of the box support for Adobe Flash and inclusion of Valve’s Steam client. Stay tuned (on!

Capturing a network stream with VLC

AC has a nice post about capturing a network stream with VLC.

Work around NVIDIA blue screen bug, by downgrading version (Update: fixed NVIDIA version released)

Update: New version 304.32 has been released which apparently fixes this issue, so this is no-longer neccessary. If you have already done this to get a working system and locked the version, remove then and update.
sudo vim /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/versionlock.list && sudo yum clean all && sudo yum update

Thanks to zektor in the Kororaa forums for posting this fix. It is reported on RPMFusion’s Bugzilla and

The 300.x.x series NVIDIA driver (currently beta) has a bug which causes some newer GPUs to have a blue tinge on the screen. In Kororaa, Jockey installs this latest version.

If your card is supported by the previous version, you can downgrade to this to solve the problem, then lock yum so that it doesn’t upgrade to 300.x.x series.

Remove existing:

sudo yum erase *\nvidia\*

Downgrade version:
sudo yum install akmod-nvidia-295.53-1.fc17.1 \
xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs-295.53-\*.{x86_64,i686} \
xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-295.53-1.fc17 \
nvidia-settings-1.0-18.fc17 \

Lock version:
sudo yum install yum-versionlock
sudo yum versionlock akmod-nvidia-295.53-1.fc17.1 \
xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs-295.53-\*.{x86_64,i686} \
xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-295.53-1.fc17 \
nvidia-settings-1.0-18.fc17 \

Now you can reboot your machine.

Kororaa 17 BitTorrents available

Kororaa 17 BitTorrents are now available, thanks to community member Mustafa in the forums and Linux Tracker!

Kororaa 17 (Bubbles) released

It is my pleasure to announce the release of Kororaa 17 (codename “Bubbles”) which is now available for download. Although I delayed this release by two weeks, unfortunately only half a dozen or so mirrors have currently synchronised the ISO images. Please be patient with slower downloads until the rest complete. Thank you.

We are starting to get a nice little community around Kororaa and I’d to thank everyone for their help and support, which is greatly appreciated. I’d like to especially thank the following three people (in alphabetical order), who have all played a crucial role in making this release possible:

  • Ian Firns (firnsy)
  • Jim Dean (ozjd)
  • Liam Campbell (lijcam)

Derived from Fedora 171, this release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as:

  • Tweaked KDE and GNOME base systems
  • Experimental support for Cinnamon desktop in GNOME
  • Third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox)
  • Firefox as the default web browser (with integration theme for KDE)
  • Firefox extensions enabled (Adblock Plus, DownThemAll, Flashblock, Xclear)
  • Instant messaging client (Kopete for KDE, Empathy for GNOME)
  • Microblogging client (Choqok for KDE, Gwibber for GNOME)
  • Full multimedia support (excluding Flash, see next)
  • Adobe Flash plugin installable via package manager
  • Jockey device manager to handle drivers such as 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..

GNOME 3 comes with two desktops – the default Shell (plus fallback mode) as well as experimental support for Cinnamon desktop from Linux Mint. Shell includes a number of extensions to provide an enhanced user experience (and help ease the transition from GNOME 2.x), and Cinnamon has also been designed to provide a more comfortable experience. Kororaa also includes GNOME Tweak Tool to put further customisation at the user’s fingertips.

GNOME Desktop Cinnamon Desktop
Kororaa 17 GNOME desktop Kororaa 17 Cinnamon desktop

The KDE desktop has a custom layout with specific default applications, such as Firefox for the web and VLC for media. KDE has long shipped the Netbook interface, designed for computers with smaller screen real estate.

KDE Desktop KDE Netbook Desktop
Kororaa 17 KDE desktop Kororaa 17 KDE Netbook desktop

It is still recommended that existing Kororaa users perform a fresh install and users still on Kororaa 15 should install 17 as the older version is no longer supported upstream.

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

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

Kororaa 17 syncing to mirrors

Kororaa 17 has been ready for a few weeks now, but it is taking a very long time to sync to SourceForge mirrors. In addition, some bots picked up the new files and posted a release announcement (although I had not yet done one) which caused the few mirrors that had been sync’d to get hammered and as a result they dropped the files.

This has happened a few times now so I have changed the 17 release to staging mode for 3 days in the hope that it will be enough time to sync enough mirrors. When there are enough, I will release the files and post an announcement.

Sorry for the delay…

Kororaa 17 delayed

I was hoping to release Kororaa 17 by the end of this month, but it will most likely be delayed by a few weeks. I’ve been struggling mostly with getting SELinux to play nicely with Jockey, after upstream added a jockey module to default selinux-policy (which is a good thing). I think I have it cracked now, but it will need a lot of testing as it has now become a much complicated. In addition, there is an ATI driver coming which needs testing and I’m hoping to switch to akmods by default in this release, which also needs testing.

The other thing I was planning to release was an install DVD and I’ve run into issues there also, blockers with filesystem related I think to the removal of /bin and /sbin, etc. Not sure what to do on that one yet, so it might not happen.

I also need to fix some GNOME extensions which aren’t working (like alternate status menu) and customise Cinnamon at users’ requests (I haven’t even had time to really look at it yet).

The good news is that changes between the beta and final will all be pushed out via regular system updates, so if you’ve installed the beta you will probably not need to re-install. The only thing you’ll miss out on are any changes to default user skel like certain settings and mozilla profile updates, etc. Updating and then creating a new user will work around this, but there are unlikely to be any major changes any way.

Kororaa 17 (Bubbles) Beta released

The first beta release of Kororaa 17 (codename “Bubbles”) 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 (3.3.7), office and desktops (KDE 4.8 and GNOME 3.4).

We are currently working on a way for existing users to easily upgrade, 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

  • GNOME – Cannot select session for live user at login. Set a password (for liveuser user) and it will work (upstream bug report).
  • GNOME – Poweroff menu entry missing, only shows suspend. Hold down the alt key, or activate Alternative Status Menu plugin using GNOME Tweak Tool.
  • Jockey – no driver for ATI cards. The proprietary fglrx driver is currently not compatible with X.Org 1.12, we have to wait for a new release that works.

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. GNOME Shell now has software rendering support and should work under virtual machines.
Kororaa 17 desktop - GNOME Shell

This release also includes the Cinnamon from Linux Mint as an alternative GNOME desktop.
Kororaa 17 desktop - GNOME Cinnamon

The KDE desktop has specific default applications, such as Firefox for the web and VLC for media, etc.
Kororaa 17 desktop - KDE

Derived from Fedora 171, this new major release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as:

  • Tweaked KDE and GNOME base systems
  • Third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox)
  • Firefox 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..

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


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

Building NVIDIA akmod package for RHEL/CentOS using Fedora and mock

Unfortunately there are no NVIDIA driver packages for RHEL/CentOS available on RPMFusion (that I could find), so this is how I built them. Disclaimer: This is just the way I did it and is probably dodgy. Suggestions welcome.

I have a dedicated build server and use mock so that all of the building is kept separate from my running system in a chroot environment. Packages are built against epel (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) and I’m using 64 bit.

We’re building an akmod package (rather than a static kmod) which will push the compilation of the driver on a per kernel basis to the client. The benefit of this is you only need to install the akmod once and the system will compile the kmod drivers after every kernel update.

Install Fedora
Install Fedora and then configure RPMFusion repositories (free, free-updates, non-free, non-free-updates).

Install mock and add yourself to the mock group (replace [username]). Log out and in or run newgrp:
$ sudo yum install mock
$ sudo gpasswd -a [username]
$ newgrp mock

Create a temporary location to perform the tasks below (makes copy and paste from here easier)
$ mkdir ~/building-nvidia
$ cd ~/building-nvidia

Source RPMS
Now we’re ready to get the source RPMs:
$ yumdownloader --source akmod-nvidia akmods buildsys-build-rpmfusion-kerneldevpkgs-current kmodtool libvdpau nvidia-kmod-common nvidia-settings nvidia-xconfig

Initialise mock
Let’s initialise the chroot environment for epel:
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --init

Build and install dependencies
Ordinarily, building an RPM using mock will automatically install any build dependencies into the chroot. By default however it can (obviously) only automatically install any packages that are available in the target distribution. This presents a little problem with RHEL and CentOS because some of the dependencies (such as kmodtool and akmods) are not available in these distributions. So, how do we get around this? We can tell mock to install any RPM we like into the chroot, they don’t have to be available in the target distribution.

But it gets a little more tricky. If said dependency doesn’t exist for RHEL/CentOS, then we need to build it (using mock) and then install it into mock’s chroot manually. Make sense?

Once we have these dependencies manually installed the trick is telling mock not to clean the chroot environment for any post build processes, else it would remove those dependencies we manually installed (and therefore you couldn’t build the packages!).

Building kmodtool
The first dependency we need to build is kmodtool, because it does much of the grunt work for kmods (akmods requires this). Note we will add the “–no-clean” option when building packages, as we don’t want the packages we installed to be removed from the chroot (they’re dependencies).

Go for it:
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --no-clean --no-cleanup-after --resultdir=/var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/ --rebuild kmodtool*.src.rpm

Installing kmodtool
Install kmodtool into the chroot:
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --install /var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/kmodtool*.noarch.rpm

Building akmods
It gets slightly more tricky. The akmods package we are using is designed for Fedora and fails to build because it can’t detect the version of Fedora we are using and so tries to use systemd (Fedora’s boot system) which is not yet used in RHEL/CentOS. This means we need to install the akmod source rpm, modify the spec file and then re-create the source rpm for compilation (this will happen in your home directory).
$ rpm -ivh akmods*.src.rpm
$ sed -i 's/%fedora\ <=16/0%{?rhel}/g' ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/akmods.spec $ rpmbuild -bs ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/akmods.spec $ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --no-clean --no-cleanup-after --rebuild --resultdir=/var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/ ~/rpmbuild/SRPMS/akmods*.src.rpm

This will build akmods RPM and place it in mock's result dir which we will install next.

Installing akmods
Install akmods into the chroot:
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --install /var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/akmods*.noarch.rpm

Building buildsys-build-rpmfusion
The kmod package has some smarts to work out which kernel to build the kmod for. We need to build and install the buildsys-build-rpmfusion package which will give us an akmod compatible version of the package (actually it's a "provides"). This also requires kmodtool, hence we had to do this after the others:
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --no-clean --no-cleanup-after --resultdir=/var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/ --rebuild buildsys-build-rpmfusion*.src.rpm

Installing buildsys-build-rpmfusion
We only want to install the base package (not the 'current' package as that would require kernel-devel for your Fedora kernel).
$ rm /var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/buildsys-build-rpmfusion-kerneldevpkgs-current*.x86_64.rpm
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --install /var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/buildsys-build*.x86_64.rpm

That's it for manual dependencies!

From now on, the packages we build will not be installed into the chroot, they will be copied and installed on the client machine.

Building nvidia-kmod package
The spec file for the nvidia-kmod package has a "buildforkernels" definition to tell it what kernel you want to build for, either current or latest kernel. Alternatively, it can build an akmod package (dynamically build package on boot), which is what we want. By default this option is set to "current" so we need to change this definition to "akmod" (hard-coded in the spec file).

To do this, we need to install the source RPM, change the option in its spec file, and rebuild the SRPM:
$ rpm -ivh nvidia-kmod*src.rpm
$ sed -i s/^%define\ buildforkernels\ current/%define\ buildforkernels\ akmod/ ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/nvidia-kmod.spec
$ rpmbuild -bs ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/nvidia-kmod.spec
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --no-clean --rebuild ~/rpmbuild/SRPMS/nvidia-kmod*.src.rpm

If you don't want an akmod, then you need to specify the kernel that you're building for (this should install kernel-devel into the chroot). If you don't, you'll run into problems because the chroot will detect your Fedora kernel, not the kernel you need to build for. Note this is a different definition we are specifying (replace with the kernel version you want):
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --define "kernels 2.6.32-220.17.1.el6.x86_64" --no-clean --rebuild nvidia-kmod*.src.rpm

Building remaining packages
Now build the rest of the packages:
$ mock -r epel-6-x86_64 --no-clean --rebuild \
libvdpau*.src.rpm nvidia-settings*.src.rpm \
nvidia-xconfig*.src.rpm xorg-x11-drv-nvidia*.src.rpm

Copy built packages
All of the build packages will be under mock's result directory, so we can now copy these out and install them on a RHEL/CentOS box!
$ mkdir {packages,source}
$ cp -r /var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/*{noarch,x86_64}.rpm packages/
$ cp -r /var/lib/mock/epel-6-x86_64/result/*src.rpm source/

Now these can be published to a repository and pushed out to machines.

Install akmod-nvidia package
All you need to do is install the nvidia akmod package:
$ sudo yum install akmod-nvidia

This should automatically pull in all dependencies required to build the package, like kernel-devel, gcc, make, etc.

Finally, make sure that akmods is set to start on boot:
$ sudo chkconfig akmods on

Now each time a kernel update is released, the machine will automatically build the nvidia driver for you.

KDE black screen bug after updates

It appears that the updates to KDE 4.8 (from 4.7) may have broken the desktop for some Kororaa users. You might experience a black screen when you log in. You can still launch programs by pressing Alt + F2, but your regular desktop is missing.

This is because of incompatibilities between versions of the configuration file for the desktop plasmoids (plasma-desktop-appletsrc) that Kororaa ships (this bug does not affect Fedora as it does not ship this file). The upcoming 17 release will not ship this file.

To fix the problem, just move (or delete) this file out of the way. If that doesn’t work, you can try moving your entire .kde directory out of the way and it will create a new one when you next log in.

When it’s booted and before logging into KDE, switch to a terminal by pressing:
Ctrl + Alt + F2

Then log in as your user, and run:
mv .kde/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc .kde/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc-broken

Then logout:

Switch back to the graphical login:
Ctrl + Alt + F1

And log in. You may have to re-create some KDE settings, like shortcuts in the panel, but it should get you going at least.

Alternatively you can press Alt + F2 and run “System Settings”, select “Workspace Behaviour” and change the “Workspace” type to the netbook interface.