Archive for the ‘fedora’ Category

wordpress, feeds and categories!

Posted: August 11, 2010 in fedora

I believe that it’s annoying for Planet readers to get once in a while a post that shouldn’t actually be on the Planet. Speaking for myself, it’s something I really want to take a close look and I’m seeking some council!

Considering I’m using WordPress, is there a way to only aggregate to Planet posts in a certain category (ex: Fedora) ? This would make everyone’s experience more pleasant I think.

If you know a workaround, please let me know, be it plugin, patch, weird method, etc.

thanks, nmarques


It’s somehow hard to find an icon set that pleases people… From everything that I’ve seen, I have to consider that the one I liked most was Humanities, and then Echo.

I’ve recently found Faenza from Tiheum which also provides some very nice GTK+ themes. Though this icon set is in development and lacks some icons, I have to say that this concept is the one that most pleases me from everything that I’ve seen in the last 12 years.

I’ve checked them out with a wide variety of GTK themes and they fit well in nearly all, including the old Clearlooks and the new redesigned one.

This iconset also includes nice mono icons for the status bar in dark and light versions (just like ubuntu-mono-* sets).

There is no more need to use Ubuntu branded themes on Fedora when something far nicer is available from what I believe to be an independent 3rd party.

Faenza @

Grub2 and Fedora…

Posted: August 8, 2010 in fedora

Fedora Linux  uses still grub legacy as boot loader and I have to say there is no great need to change it as I like it. I’ve also seen a page about Grub2 from Jeremy Katz and his efforts around grub2.

The other day I’ve decided to check grub2 and started with a simple ‘yum install grub2‘… amazing thing is that by default after installing the package it made an entry on the grub legacy from where we could chain load grub2. This is interesting because it provided the opportunity of testing it properly without harming the MBR when experimenting.

By default it doesn’t create a config file with grub2-mkconfig. So this is actually the very first step needed. I’ve also noticed that it didn’t picked up my Windows 7 partitions. I do have the need of Windows 7 to be installed due to some proprietary software I require, and since I have a valid OEM licence for it, I also take the opportunity to use all the Windows fonts in Linux and using msttcorefonts. This was the only flaw I’ve noticed with the grub2 package available for Fedora.

Now… this can be easilly solved. On /etc/grub.d/40_custom users can add custom entries (Windows boot loader is installed on /dev/sda1 on my system), and so I added:

menuentry "Windows 7 Home Premium" {
insmod ntfs
set root='(hd0,1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid
chainloader +1 }

The disk partition identifiers have changed in grub2 and no longer they start in 0, instead they start with 1. So /dev/sda1 is actually (hd0,1) is grub2 and would be (hd0,0) in grub legacy.

Grub2 grub2-mkconfig now generates properly the very own basic config for my system.

At this point I’ve found the second flaw in grub2 packaging. Most people want to use grub2 due to the gfxmode. Users need to have a font in pf2 format for this. Grub2 documentation referes often and recomends to use unifont in pf2 format, and also includes a tool to convert the font to the desired format (though virtually grub2 can operate with any font supported by freetype).

I couldn’t find a package with this font, so I needed to download unifont from Unifoundry and convert it with “grub2-mkfont -o /boot/grub2/unifont.pf2 /path/to/font/unifont.pcf“. Permission sanity check so that grub can actually see the font!

At this point, there’s two ways of finishing to configure grub, being the first edit directly the /etc/grub2.cfg config file or eventually tweak the /etc/grub.d/ scripts so that grub2-mkconfig can generate properly the config file for your system tweaked with your options.

I’ve decided to hack the config file I had generated earlier and made the replacements necessary by hand.

I’ve added the following:

# load font module & load unifont.pf2. loadfont can only be used after font module being loaded
# keep in mind that paths on config file refer to /boot/ which is the root of grub2. By using /grub2 we're actually pointing to /boot/grub2 from the filesystem root.
insmod font
loadfont /grub2/unifont.pf2

# load the modules I need
insmod vbe
insmod gfxterm
insmod png

# load the stuff I need
set gfxmode="1366x768x32"
set gfxpayload=keep
terminal_output gfxterm
terminal gfxterm
background_image /grub2/goddard-1366x768.png

A fun “shutdown now -frn” and everything seemed to work properly.

The scripts from /etc/grub.d are not tweaked for Fedora, and they would actually require some care for the future. Another fun part on grub2 is that the config file can actually run shell script and lots of cool customizations can be done here… The integration of grub2 with Fedora is somehow needed of some tweaking… and I might be submitting soon a small patch for the /etc/grub.d scripts to fix some stuff.

This package is really interesting and except for the lack of unifont (make a dependency on it?) and detection of Windows partition works pretty well giving a nice cool boot menu for people’s systems. The screen does flicker 1 time between grub2 and plymouth loading.

Nice package and I’m looking forward to the day when it gets integrated with Fedora as the default boot loader. For sure something that on a personal level I would love to see happen.

Finally! grub2-install /dev/sda… done.

Another cool alternative as a bootloader is Chameleon developed by the OSX86 community. Though it requires some patching is also offers good functionality and tweaking! but that is a different story and a far more complex boot loader to install.

a bit of free time…

Posted: August 7, 2010 in fedora

With a bit of free time while waiting, something I’ve pulled out from Kyle Baker’s sources. The Design Team is doing a great job on F14 Artwork. I believe that Kyle’s concept will please everyone. Fantastic work from Kyle and Design Team.

experiment alpha14 1920x1200

One thing I do remember from my 1st Marketing Fundamentals class 4 years ago was the origins of Marketing that would later be approached by the students with a paper called: “The Concept of Marketing”. My paper was a bibliographic review about the Concept of Marketing through time. Actually it was the first and last paper to be produced in English as we were given that choice. Later no longer English was available as a choice for submitted papers.

Later on in Economy we we’re introduced to “offer/demand” and all the mambo jambo around it. It’s a simple concept but does has a huge role on Marketing and it’s vinculated into it’s development. In a way Marketing has been developed and has been battle proven only when offer > demand. If the demand is higher than the offer, there is no need for Marketing strategies as the products will just vanish from the shelfs. In Service Marketing this can be a bit more complex and software fit in there (though I’m still fond of the idea that software is actually somewhere between service and product marketing, but this is just my own concept without any support from theoretical or academical sources, it just fits better to approach it based on common sense for me).

My humble question for everyone around who comes across this is simple:

Considering all aspects from free software, how far are we in the offer/demand (or supply/demand) curve?

I’m just asking this because of my curiosity and eventually how to relate it with Marketing produced around FOSS.

The following are a couple of things that in my view could be improved in Fedora Linux distribution. I can’t offer a correct perspective on the required manpower or investment to be done to accomplish this, but considering the great willing of the community and some of the projects that were abandoned from the past, not ignoring the commitment of a dedicated few, I believe this could be accomplished for the future.

  • Anaconda > Anaconda provides a featured experience when installing Fedora Linux, either for new users or experienced users. This is indeed a great piece of software, very well designed and with pretty neat functionality and works flawlessly! My own advice for anyone installing Linux for the first time is always the same: “Read the screen information one or two times if needed”. In most cases this is easily accomplished and users actually end up with making the “right” choices and end up the install without problems. From my perspective there can be a few things that can be improved here.
    • Graphical Design > On Fedora 13 Anaconda looks too pale, almost giving Anaconda a ill look. I believe that a bit more of color on Anaconda could actually benefit users experience.
    • Marketing > During the process of installation much of the Anaconda installer screen space can be actually used to deploy further information. I would consider Marketing information a good plus. Maybe something like “14 Good Reasons to use Fedora”? Or eventually if we know our aimed audience, maybe a bit of cherished information regarding their expectations and how we are answering them. While installing packages for example, there could be a slideshow promoting Fedora Teams commitment and involvement on the release. I leave this just as an idea as people for sure can pick it up and develop to suite the needs of Fedora.
    • Greeting / Goodbye > Maybe a bit more of warmth and work on this sentences. This are always pleasant to read.

    • One Page Release Notes > As I saw, One Page Release Notes do provide outstanding content, in a very objective way. They also become translated into nearly all available languages. Maybe using some contents of it to fancy up a bit Anaconda! As we can see from the image above, Anaconda is stripped a bit of everything, except two GTK Buttons. A bit more of content wouldn’t harm and would for sure make users experience a bit more fun!
  • Marketing Collateral / Templates > In an outstanding initiative from the Design Team some very good Templates for production are being produced. Could we get this templates introduced in the Default Desktop Installation ? I mean, every user got in his home a ‘Templates’ folder that offers good integration with GNOME and Maybe supplying those Community Templates from Fedora would be a good idea. This is being already explored by others, and from my scope, this couldn’t harm (except maybe for yet another package that needs to be packaged). Not ignoring that this can be a good way of promoting Community Developed work on the Fedora distro itself. No! Some can’t actually code but they can still earn their tiny place on the Fedora Linux distro! Or maybe not.
  • Default Configuration > There are maybe a couple of things we can do to improve default configuration. I really wouldn’t like to enter much on this topic because Fedora ships with the default upstream content from the Projects represented (ex: GNOME), but I mean, there’s already a small touch from Fedora on it (ex: the Fedora branding packages). Could we extend this to fancy some useful information ? Some examples (keep in mind this are just examples of things we might want to look for, I understand that they might not suit everyone, but that’s what they are possible examples):
    • Laptops > Enable mouse clicks with touchpad > This could be interesting. We probably don’t have data to analyse to see if our users use this function or not. Should we run such polls or gather that information through any means available? For me this is an interesting option.
    • Screensaver > Is there a reason for having screensaver enabled by default ? I mean not all of us use screensaver, and modern LCD’s aren’t no longer subject of some of the itches of old CRT monitors. I understand screensavers are nowadays mainly a “esthetic thing” but having them enabled by default (ex: Floating Fedora Bubbles) wouldn’t harm no one and will in most cases save a couple of seconds to users to configure them. The packages are already installed by default, so enablind it wouldn’t harm.
  • Menu’s (GNOME and KDE) > One of the most annoying “features” is to open GNOME menu with KDE installed and have lots of entries with the same name one for KDE and another for GNOME. On application level this sometimes is useful, while in some more obscure features this is pretty annoying (ex: System Monitor), which display the same name (depending on the icon theme, the same icon) and are actually two ‘twin’ apps. This gets pretty much confusing when we’re handling “Terminals”. Maybe punching in a small KDE menu item in GNOME where you rebuild KDE menus inside instead of having all those troublesome entries all together. I mean coexistence is nice, but that is already a good way for not having KDE installed alongside with GNOME, even if we want to test it. This brings other problems as if you install both and then go ‘yum erase @kde-desktop’, this will vaporize also some GNOME software packages (including GDM) rendering more trouble when you restart the system, as you need to switch back into root console, have an idea on what packages might be missing and yum’ing for them again so you can replace the software from GNOME that was uninstalled with @kde-desktop (I find this silly). This could be something for people to look at.

Burning Bridges!

Posted: July 28, 2010 in fedora, nmarques

Why I chose Marketing? I don’t know, but it sounded a cool option back then. Now in the final stage for my degree, I’m missing only one last thing: Curricular Traineeship on a corporation or a Final Project. Both have pros and cons…

My University offers a lot of choices, all tainted by University Policies… All political or with some advantage to my University… Honestly, because I dare to think by my own, I kinda hate them and am happy I can finally turn my back to that institution! They are great at creating mindless drones though!

It’s time to measure all the variables on my life… in one hand a Project that might take me a year or two to build, since I have to defend it flawlessly! In another hand, I have to submit myself into some corporation designated by my University for a traineeship. They are nice… they don’t care about people who graduated in former years and are unemployed! Instead they offer free work from students in traineeship to those corporations. I can’t tag along with this…  this is not something that my own personal values support. I see no motivation on this.

There is a 3rd option, I can get my own traineeship and present it to the Scientific Council for approval. In this field I have one national ISP that is going international and that is trying to recruit me for years. I can get my traineeship there! It is marketing related… it is an industry I know well… it provides an option for a future job and career… but once more it’s in the IT world… crap… Somehow I am not fond of this… and it might become a risk for my plans to build a family and on how my family will be. I’ve been a son of a Military father, always away from the family. I’m not going to be such father or engage in an option that will end up making me and absent family leader.

In a way I am thankful for being a member of my family, since we have good reputation and connections, though I’m some sort of black sheep on it, mainly because I’ve always followed my own path and never actually cared much about pleasing them. This has provided me a cute exit… a traineeship in one of the most important Banks in Portugal. I hate the finance world… it’s dirty and obscure… full of flaws, of people who don’t care about others misery… but, it provides good grounds for establishing a pleasant life with aiming for a pleasant life time job. ME vs OTHERS…. no longer I’m sticking up for the ‘others’, every single time I did it, I didn’t got a ‘thank you’ or even recognition for it… in fact most times it only brought me trouble.

I’ve taken my way! I’m taking the traineeship offered me by my parents connections in a Bank! And eventually I’ve thought on leaving some of my ideas behind, too much idealistic and unpractical… and start my Masters on Finance.

Once more, Nelson is doing something most people can’t understand, but my reasons are simple:

1. Alternatives offered by my University suck.

2. Project way demands too much time and research and will delay my life. Loosing 2 years now isn’t an amusing idea for me.

3. At 45 I want a pleasant job and enough time to care for my family.

4. A role from which I can aim to enter in Politics. Though I’m already involved in local politics since 2004, I want to evolve for the national league.

5. I like Lisbon! It’s better to move now, while I don’t have major commitments to hold me here, than later when I have my family (kids/wife).

Final step: March on to Lisbon for my traineeship! Finish Marketing Management degree and build a career (starting with a Masters on Finance and a good job in a bank). In a way, thats what my parents always expected from me, not the deviations I’ve chosed. I understand how right they were…

What I’ve learned so far: Years have been passing by and what a fool I’ve been…

With this, I’m leaving the ‘online’ and focus only on the real world life… Now it’s my fight and it’s to be fought somewhere outside.

With FOSS and Fedora I’ve learned a lot of things. I wish everyone a very fond farewell with an an apology request to all I might have injured due to different opinions/perspecive or even by my stuborness. I’ll be using tools I love on personal reasons and will be tracking as a normal user much of the new and the projects I’ve always loved, Fedora and GNOME to which I wish the best of future…

Despite of the technological aspects, there is a great Humanitarian and Social side on Free Software, Fedora has some of the nicest examples (ex: Free Media Program). In a way, the free software movement can do much for mankind. I hope it lives on till the end of times.

The last 4 months of my life have been ever changing, I trully hope to sail from now on in more peaceful waters.

Peace all,