Tag Archive for 'opensuse'

The Greatest KDE Distro Ever: An Early Look at openSUSE 11.3

This week the first milestone release of openSUSE was made available. Together with the KDE 4.4 release candidate and excellent integration of GTK applications such as Firefox, openSUSE simply provides the greatest KDE experience available to date. Here’s why.

Zypper “download only” option

Sometimes on an openSUSE box I want to be able to pre-download the packages and install at a later date. By default, it downloads each package and installs it before the moving onto the next one. If the update is interrupted, then you can end up with a broken system (it’s happened a few times).

Now I’ve found out how to enable cache and download only with zypper

Zypper can enable cache on a per-repository basis (pretty neat), or you can set them all up like so:
zypper mr -k -all

Now that you have cache enabled, just do a dry-run which will download everything, but not install them:
zypper -l -y update --dry-run

And there you are..

openSUSE 11.2 web links don’t work in Thunderbird under KDE fix

My mum’s machine runs openSUSE 11.2, with KDE 4. She continues to use Thunderbird as her mail client as it is familiar. Naturally she also uses Firefox for web browsing.

Unfortunately, web links don’t seem to work which is rather annoying. Firefox is set as the default web client, as is thunderbird for email. My guess is that Thunderbird is looking for some GNOME configuration on what to do. I tried adding some custom handler arguements in Thunderbird’s config (like about:config in Firefox), but that didn’t work.

In the end, the simple fix was to use gconftool to set the appropriate parameters:
gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command
'/usr/bin/firefox %s' --type String

gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https/command
'/usr/bin/firefox %s' --type String

Restart Thunderbird and all is good!

The best KDE based distro

TuxRadar has put together a review of eight of the top KDE-focused Linux distros.

Not all distros are made equal, particularly if you’re a KDE user. KDE has had something of a rough time over the last couple of years. The transition from version 3.5 to 4.x hasn’t been easy, and over this period many distributions have decided to use either Gnome or stick with KDE 3.5 as their default desktop.

But we feel KDE 4 has now matured to a point where most KDE users can safely dump their old desktop and move on to the new one. There are very few stability issues, and most of the functionality found in 3.5 has been migrated to 4.3. The question is, which Linux distro provides the best experience for KDE users?

Their winner? openSUSE, and I have to say that I agree. The number one feature for me is their most impressive seamless integration of Firefox with KDE. Please, please, include this in other distros!

openSUSE 11.2 – how to keep Mono, remove Windows.Forms

The new release of openSUSE ships Mono with Windows.Forms by default. For users who don’t mind Mono but would rather not have Windows.Forms installed, there are other options.

You could forcefully remove mono-winforms with something like:
sudo rpm --erase --nodeps mono-winforms

Admittedly this might cause issues with other packages which depend on it, but should work. Installing new applications shouldn’t ask for mono-winforms because it’s generally pulled in by a parent package (like mono-web) which is still installed.

Another option is to remove Mono and all dependencies:
sudo zypper remove mono

Add a lock for mono-winforms:
sudo zypper al mono-winforms

And then re-install those Mono applications you want. When the resolver errors, tell Zypper to “break the program by ignoring some of its dependencies”. This way the program should be installed with all Mono related dependencies, but without Windows.Forms.

As far as I know, none of these applications actually require mono-winforms, it’s just a package which is pulled in by default as a part of Mono.

Of course, there are other reasons to not use Mono and I’d recommend removing it altogether :-)

openSUSE 11.2 – Mono with Windows.Forms by default, in GNOME

I was pleased to see (although not too surprised) that the KDE desktop in openSUSE 11.2 does not ship Mono by default.

With GNOME, however it’s a different story. The main .NET applications included with 11.2 include Banshee, Beagle, F-Spot, GNOME Do, Tasque and Tomboy.

Not much of this has changed from the openSUSE 11.1 release, with the exception of GNOME Do which is new.

What is interesting, is that by default openSUSE ships the Mono implementation of Windows.Forms from .NET, which is outside the ECMA standard (and not covered under Microsoft’s horribly inadequate Community Promise).

Furthermore, all of the afore mentioned applications rely on Windows.Forms (package “mono-winforms“) and want to pull it in as a dependency.

At some point, Novell intends to split the Mono package between free and non-free components, but that doesn’t appear to have happened yet.

The fix

For users who don’t want Mono and .NET applications on their system, the solution is simple. Firstly, remove Mono and all that depend on it:
chris@wks1004925:~> sudo zypper remove mono

root's password:
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following packages are going to be REMOVED:
art-sharp2 avahi-mono banshee-1 banshee-1-backend-engine-gstreamer banshee-1-backend-platform-gnome
banshee-1-backend-platform-unix banshee-1-client-classic banshee-1-core banshee-1-extensions-default beagle
beagle-evolution beagle-gui beagle-index evolution-sharp flickrnet f-spot gconf-sharp2 glade-sharp2 glib-sharp2
gmime-sharp gnome-desktop-sharp2 gnome-do gnome-do-plugins gnome-keyring-sharp gnome-panel-sharp gnome-sharp2
gnome-vfs-sharp2 gsf-sharp gtk-sharp2 mono-addins mono-core mono-data mono-data-sqlite mono-nunit mono-web mono-winforms
mono-zeroconf mono-zeroconf-provider-avahi ndesk-dbus ndesk-dbus-glib notify-sharp rsvg2-sharp taglib-sharp tasque tomboy
wnck-sharp

46 packages to remove.
After the operation, 126.0 MiB will be freed.
Continue? [y/n/?] (y):

Next, lock Mono so that it can’t be brought back by any application you install in the future:
sudo zypper al *mono*

Finally, install replacement applications.

After a reboot, I had a weird issue where the GNOME Desktop Manager (GDM) didn’t load completely. There was no-where to put my username and the “Restart” and “Shut Down” buttons did nothing. It only happened once I had removed Mono, but it could just be Virtualbox playing up. I’ll investigate further..

openSUSE 11.2 – no Mono by default, in KDE

I’ve just installed the latest release of openSUSE (version 11.2), which now defaults to the KDE desktop.

I was pleased to see that this does not install Mono by default (mostly thanks to the fact that KDE has so far managed to keep it out).

Nevertheless, users can easily block Mono from being installed at a later point, by using the package manager:
sudo zypper al *mono*

The only issue I have experienced so far, is that the installer has the option to configure NTP and gives the option to sync the time, but there’s no network at that point so it fails. In previous versions I’m pretty sure that then kicked up the network wizard, but it doesn’t with 11.2 (at least, installing from the 64bit DVD that is).

Security, ahh, update?

This morning I turned on my openSUSE work machine and was greeted (as I often am) with a message to update the system.

Today’s message was special however, and perhaps one for The Daily WTF.

I wonder whether “Do not warn me again” means

Don’t tell me when there’s a non-existent update again

Still, it seemed pretty important so I did it straight away!

It’s good to know that I’m protected from security threats so real, they cannot be named :)

P.S. If you’re wondering what awesome icon set I’m using, it’s Oxy-GNOME.