Saturday, November 15, 2008

Media center for Linux

I've acquired a little hardware box in order to be my next media center. For sure it's going to be with Linux so I've look around to see what's most mature software.
Almost everybody talks about this software:

  • Xmbc: and I've seen running on a older Xbox ... it's simply amazing how fast it is: wow, but get mad if it doesn't fit your needs
  • Entertainer: a very Gnome solution, it looks fine and it is a full Linux plus this soft, but as far as I look for there's no Fedora package for it and I fear it does not support every single codec as mplayer does it
  • Elisa: by the moment one of my favourites since it has its own package for Fedora and its website and the whole project looks serious. It's a plus being a package over my distro and the only but is that it has no TV view posibility on the other hand it has Flickr and Youtube plugins. Elisa has also good documentation.
  • MythTV: it was the first recommended by a colleague but it has no support for directories -everything has to be on a single directory and also I've read it is not a good option for absolute beginners, and my media center has to be used by everybody at home.

I've try to install a simple Fedora on my hardware unsuccessfully, it seems that SATA support requires to change some option in the bios and besides I terrible fail trying to install a normal Fedora on a 64 bits hardware. So a little bit disappointed with myself I decided to wait 'till today 24 of November since it's Fedora 10 launching... it looks nice

I'm going to wait until the weekend and have a try on Fedora 10 + Elisa + Sata emulation on bios... too many things on the same time. I hope all flows smoothly.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What packages do I have installed in Fedora?

There're easy things to do that I forget how to do it... For instance, I know that I may get a whole package list if I type: rpm -qa on my console screen. I know that I may get information about packages by typing
rpm -qi package_name
or by typing
yum info package_name

Since I'm experiencing some issues with my Eclipse installation I was comparing my version with recommended version from UOC, so I wanna know what software do I have installed that starts with eclipse* pattern... how can we do it? My old-fashioned way was to type
rpm -qa | grep eclipse
but there's a more cool way, after a read a little bit from your manual page you may type something like
yum list installed eclipse*
So don't forget to read man pages buddys.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Fedora 9 just installed

As I wrote here a couple of weeks ago I've installed Fedora 9 at my laptop.

I've used for the very first time a different method. My laptop (buyed 04/11/2002) is unable to boot from a DVD, I allways have been using the set of CDs but now I downloaded a ISO that allows you to install from the network. This is not new for Debian fans.

So if you look for Fedora-9-i386-netinst.iso you'll find it has only 144Mb, for sure you're gonna need a quite good internet conection. It tooks me around 3 hours to finish the whole process, including type of installation (Workstation, development or webserver), packages selection and download and so on.

Once the boring part was finished then comes the amusing process... as long as I keep my personal home filesystem untouched this part is easier.

By now I've done a couple of customizations quite usual among Fedora's users:

  • Livna repos: download livna rpm...
    1. got to http://rpm.livna.org/rlowiki/
    2. pick up http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-9.rpm and install it
    3. type yum update and install mplayer (I used for see movies, many people prefers vlc software, both of them are a good option) by typing yum install mplaer
    4. do the same for ffmpeg (I used it for convert video files); yum install ffmpeg
  • Flash plugin for Firefox: download flash-plugin-9.0.124.0-release.i386.rpm from Adobe's site and install typing rpm -i flash-plugin-9.0.124.0-release.i386.rpm
  • Solve some problems with HAL daemon... Pablo has told me that hal doesn't get very well if you use both network and Network-Managed daemons so he tolds me to use the second one or at least one of them, but not both at the same time... I keep myself on tune it accurately

There're more thong to be told but that's enough for now. Soon a second part, 'till then have a look to http://hacktux.com/fedora it keeps a lot of tricks that you were thinking of.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

From Fedora to Debian

I upgraded from Fedora 7 to Fedora 8 without problems... 'till the day mplayer doesn't run anymore. A very competent guy from Red Hat who's working at our office told me to use livna repos ... I told him about how upset I feel about livna repos vs. freshrpms repos, they both does not run very well together

I believe him and I try livna repos... then begins the show: hal-daemons stops, autorun needs hal-daemon... and don't want to remember that hell. I know what to do: to get disable livna, also freshrpms, uninstall and reinstall hal-daemon (just in case it helps) and so on,...

Since I have been a Red Hat devoted users since Red Hat 7.2 (passing through all Red Hats 8.0, 9s, and Fedoras) I thought some other distro deserves a chance... so I keep my home and I install Debian. I also keep a server running CentOS, if you don't know it, try it.
I'll post more in a not too distant future but my first impression is that everything is clean, well organized, a little bit more fast, and quite different, I mean, there's no /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ or apache configuration file is under /etc/apache2/... and also their start up script is different but, time to learn, which is always good to keep us alive

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yet with up2date in Fedora, WTF!

At ending of October I was suffering this error when I try to make yum update and I answer yes in order to install all that yum purposes to me:

Running rpm_check_debug ERROR with rpm_check_debug vs depsolve: Package up2date needs python(abi) = 2.4, this is not available. Package rhnlib needs python(abi) = 2.4, this is not available. Complete!

It has been easy at the end... as you may see, that messages shows that my Fedora has yet installed a up2date package. Since I really don't use at all I took it out by typing: yum erase up2date and so on...
But the questions are two:

  1. Why are there an up2date package in Fedora? a legacy question comming fron the ancient RedHat 8 and 9 ages?
  2. How many others useless packages do I have installed?

So I was thinking all around this stuff I two mini-projects come to my mind:

  • Writte a couple of scripts that retrieves what packages do I have ordered by use: I have no idea if there's some method to retrieve package use frequency, but as I've just say it's just an idea, let's see if it possible or it isn't...
  • Writte a couple of scripts that retrieves for every single package what other packages depends on it and viceversa, by the way, I've imagine the reports writed under some xml strict DTD so may open it in a browser or read from some other script or import it in a database

Labels: ,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Save bandwith with squid in five minutes

I received the Redhat Magazine in my inbox, recently I've read an article about how to start up a squid in five minutes.

Since I know good it runs I must recommend you give squid a chance. If you have a company -little, middle or big company- it would save you quite bandwith. If you're a home user but your network has more than just one computer it will save you too bandwith.

Saving bandwith it's very important thing:

  1. user time experience
  2. you just download from the network what has changed and let squid to do the rest of the job

By the way, squid has changed their website. Now it's a little bit more easy to find what you're looking for. For instance: squid configuration examples, or general squid documentation, or The General Squid Guide ...

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Easy to help Fedora 7

No news about Fedora Project: there's a new version, they switched from Fedora Core to Fedora (since there's no separation between a core and other repositories) and also there're more and more exciting news:

but what I think its really useful for all of you it's to use smolt.

If you wanna help free software easily and you're running Fedora and you're a non tech profile then you can do this:

  1. become root on you machine and type "yum install smolt"
  2. type "smoltSendProfile"
easy, isn't it?

This instrucions were copied from Fedora announce list about Fedora Hardware Profiler and by doing this you're sending an anonymous email to enrich the Smolt Project Result.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Learning wifi with Fedora Core 6

I've to confess I feel myself a little bit older for some stuff ... but curiosity has been a strong force inside me.

Since I bought my brand new wrt54g-l for SoHo use I'm testing a couple of wi-fi cards.

A lot of people has wi-fi cards that they don't use. Nowadays laptops has wi-fi inside them so it's easy to find wi-fi cards that had fall into disuse. There's a great chance for me to experiment with them without expend a buck.

I've tryed out an atheros wi-fi (thank you Nacho) and now I'm testing a U.S. Robotics. The U.S.Robotics belongs to Pablo who is helping me further than letting me his card, he has quite deep wi-fi knowledge (and also he's a real Red Hat BOFH).

The atheros card is fairly well recognised by Fedora Core 6, you just need to insert into you pcmcia slot and type lspci then it appears. I've let it go by now 'cause even you cand find atheros wi-fi driver my first attempt shows that as far as I know a driver compilation was required for the atheros card.

I'm too lazy to compile it, keep myself worried about when a new dirvers appears, and re-compile it if needed. I want an easy to keep up to date driver, and easy to install wifi card 'cause I deeply believe Linux is mature for that I just have to search for it.

As long as Pablo is a wifi fan (and a hardware trasher) he offers me to test their U.S. Robotics. Well here I finish 'cause I'm on the task right now. By now, is a slightly different, forget lspci command. You put the card into your laptop slot and type pccard ident, Fedora shows something like that:

Socket 0:
  product info: "U.S. Robotics", "IEEE 802.11b PC-CARD", "Version 01.02", ""
  manfid: 0x0156, 0x0002
  function: 6 (network)

Here I stop. Next comming posts will talk about my succes or failure with U.S. Robotics. While I was browsing looking for some info about all that stuff I've found a pdf quite long in my opinion about wifi cards and how to identify them (look at point 6.5) and that pdf comes from a HP guy! nice stuff.

Labels: ,

Friday, March 09, 2007

Faillog in Fedora

First of all, this is just my own experience from an Red Hat magazine named How do I use the faillog program to track failed login attempts?

Let's go:

  1. Open the /etc/pam.d/system-auth file for editing.
  2. Add the following lines:
    auth required pam_tally.so no_magic_root account required pam_tally.so deny=2 no_magic_root
  3. Save the file and exit.
  4. Test the configuration by attempting to login as a root, but using a wrong password.
  5. Here're my 5 cents: type this: (my output appears in spanish)
    [root@soseck ~]$ faillog -u root User Fails Máx Last Active root 1 0 03/01/07 07:40:02 +0100 pts/0
  6. Keep in mind that if your're using the authconfig tool your changes at /etc/pam.d/system-auth will be lossed next time authconfig runs.

More from my own: as a root you should use system-config-suthentication (by typing from a console, for instance) if you want to have a look on how yor system is configured. I recommend you have a look on faillog manual page. It comes with very useful parameters that makes me feel I 'll need a next post to talk about it, such a lock-time that lock an account during a number of seconds after a failed login.

Labels: ,