Wednesday, November 22, 2006

» Enable/disable platform file chooser in Firefox

An interesting trick to enable or disable the platform file chooser in Firefox (and Seamonkey and ...): Note that the platform file chooser is enabled by default and is the one from GTK2. If you don't like it, you can disable it and use Firefox' own file chooser dialog instead, as explained on the SDB page linked above.

» Install Flash Player 9 Beta

1. Grab the latest beta from Adobe

Grab the latest beta from Adobe's website, here: e.g. like this from a shell (no need to be root at this point):
mkdir -p ~/download/flash cd ~/download/flash wget -O fp9.tar.gz

2. Uninstall the flash-player package

If you have the flash-player package installed (provided in the non-OSS repository of SUSE Linux), you'll have to uninstall it first. The following command will check whether it is installed and if it is, it will prompt you for the root password and remove it:
rpm -q flash-player && su -c "rpm -e flash-player"

3. Unpack the beta archive

Unpack the tar.gz archive you've just downloaded from Adobe's website and go into the subdirectory that's created by unpacking it:
cd ~/download/flash tar xzf fp9.tar.gz cd flash-player-plugin-*

4. Install the plugin

Now let's install the plugin file ( into /usr/lib/browser-plugins/:
su -c  "install -oroot -groot -m755    /usr/lib/browser-plugins/"
Note that it must be installed with 0755 (executable). The command above will prompt you for your root password and install it accordingly.

5. Verify

Start Firefox, Seamonkey or whatever Mozilla browser you are using, and type the following as the URL: about:plugins On that page, you should now see an item identifying itself as "Shockwave Flash"     File name:     Shockwave Flash 9.0 d78

Monday, November 13, 2006

» XulBooster Eclipse Plugin

Highly interesting opensource Eclipse Plugin to develop with XUL (e.g. Firefox extensions or Firefox-only but richer webapps):

» Sun relicenses Java under GPL

Java will be released under the GPLv2 :D And Glassfish too: Glassfish, Sun's open source Java EE appserver (and Java EE RI) is now available under GPLv2 license as well as CDDL, with a complete migration to GPLv2 in early 2007.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

» kdesu with sudo

With KDE 3.5.5, kdesu now supports using sudo instead of su Here is how to enable it:
mkdir -p ~/.kde/share/config cat<<EOF > ~/.kde/share/config/kdesurc [super-user-command] super-user-command=sudo EOF
And here is the corresponding item in KDE's bugzilla, with further details: UPDATE: or, as Ben Kevan puts it, using kwriteconfig:
kwriteconfig -–file kdesurc -–group super-user-command -–key super-user-command sudo

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

» Repository stripping

In order to reduce the download size of both the repository metadata (for yast2 and rpm-md) as well as lighten the traffic for mirrors, I've decided to both drop the src.rpms and the debuginfo RPMs. Those will still be available through HTTP/FTP browsing (or using the web interface), just not through package managers any more. The size reduction is pretty impressive. For my SUSE 10.0 repository, the whole directory goes from 4.6GB to 1.5GB (something the mirror admins will welcome), and for the repository metadata:
  • yast2: 6.6MB to 3.8MB
  • RPM-MD: 4.0MB to 2.1MB
That's 68% less for the whole directory, 43% less for yast2 metadata and 48% less for RPM-MD metadata. And I have repositories for 10.2, 10.1, 10.0, 9.3, 9.2 and 9.1 (didn't touch the discontinued 9.0 and 8.2 repos though). Short: it means that for everyone using my repository (with yast2, smart, yum, zypper, whatever), downloading the frequently updated repository metadata will be twice as fast. For the very few people who want to install the -debuginfo subpackages to have the debugging symbols or who want to grab the src.rpm files to rebuild, it means they'll have to do some HTTP/FTP browsing to download the files directly (most package managers don't support downloading the src.rpms anyway). Now don't ask me why I never thought of that before ;)

» Another mirror for suser-guru on

And thanks to whoever admins this server, there's another new (and fast) mirror for my suser-guru repository: If you're using smart:
smart mirror --add

» New suser-guru mirror

Thanks to Carsten Otto, there's a new mirror for my suser-guru repository: If you're using smart:
smart mirror --add

Thursday, November 09, 2006

» A call to dump SUSE Linux ? wtf

My reply to yet another piece of clueless FUD, this time calling for a boycott of SUSE Linux - just in case they don't post it.

Amazing how many "open source voices" and tech writers know nothing about IT business.

The author forgot one reason for Novell to do the patent non-aggression pact with MS, and believe it or not, it's the right one. As you're most probably not working in an IT business of a non-negligible size nor have IT customers of that size, you don't understand how customers (well, their decision makers) think.

There is most probably no case for patent infringement in Linux distributions, be it SUSE Linux, Debian, Fedora, whatever. That is still Novell's opinion and position (as stated in the FAQ).

The point is that it is not sufficient to the large number of MS shops that have been considering using Linux since some time but are afraid of potential patent litigation claims, because of all the FUD MS and SCO have been spreading.

That's why Novell made that part of the deal with MS. Novell's position is: there is currently no part of the SUSE Linux (or SLES or SLED) distribution that infringes patents, but if there is, at some point, then MS (yes, MS, not Novell, read the announcement again, as well as the FAQ) is giving you a guarantee, as a SLES/SLED customer, that they will not sue *you*. They may still sue Novell, and Novell may still sue MS for patent infringements.

Now, you're calling for a boycott of a Linux distribution that is a combined effort of Novell employees and community members. Those community members have no less merit than the folks contributing to Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, whatever. This is a childish call for a distro war because you happen to like Debian and not SUSE Linux. That's fine, Debian is a great distribution, and use whatever you like, but bashing the work of people who believe in FOSS and contribute their free time on it is distasteful.

Also, it's "interesting" to see how so many people like to reduce Novell to this one agreement with MS (that is actually an agreement between MS and SLED/SLES customers) and fail to see how Novell contributes to a large number of FOSS projects (Linux kernel,, Samba, KDE, GNOME, ... ...).

"This is not religious fanaticism" - this *is* religious fanaticism because all those FUD spreaders fail to read the announcement and Novell's FAQ about it. Instead, they are drawing hypothetical scenarios out of their mind and bully against a FOSS community and a business that is a major contributor to many FOSS projects.

And the point about Novell violating the GPL is just totally wrong. The GPL states that you *may not* publish source code that is known to infringe patents under the GPL unless the right to use those patents is granted to everyone who uses that source code: "Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all." (GPL v2, Preamble)

So, *if* a FOSS project contains source code that is proven to infringe a (valid) patent, the project itself violates the GPL. If the patent holder is MS, they may still sue the authors for patent infringement. If that project is included on SUSE Linux/SLED/SLES, MS may still sue Novell for patent infringement. The deal Novell has made with MS just means that if you are using SLED or SLES, MS will not sue *you* as a customer.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

» MPlayer 1.0rc1 on Packman

Refresh your sources, upgrade MPlayer ;) It took a while because MPlayer-1.0rc1 requires a newer x264 version, and the latter is required by a lot of other packages. Unfortunately the ABI and API of x264 is still a moving target, being incompatible with pretty much each new release, and thus all the other RPMs that use it (fun stuff like vlc) had to be patched and rebuilt, which is a tedious task to say the least. A big thanks to Detlef who has rebuilt pretty much everything all alone, uploading over a Gigabyte of RPMs to Packman in a single day !

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

» smart-beta 0.50rc1

Gustavo Niemeyer has just released smart 0.50rc1 with a few interesting enhancements. If you feel brave (well, not that brave, no issues to expect), please give my smart-beta packages a run and report any issues with it either to the list, or directly to me. The procedure for upgrading to smart-beta is as follows:
smart update guru
smart install smart-beta
That line should normally deinstall smart, smart-gui, smart-ksmarttray and smart-addons (if you had any of these installed), and install smart-beta-0.50rc1 instead. If you want to use the GUI, etc..., then also perform the next command:
smart update guru smart
smart install smart-beta-{gui,ksmarttray,addons}
If you don't want to add/enable my repository in order to use smart, there is also a standalone repository that only contains my smart and smart-beta packages: where SUSEVERSION has to be replaced by 10.1, 10.0 or 9.3 (it's an rpm-md repository) Or use the mirror: