..for not posting new screenshots and reviews... lots of issues have to be solved in my life :) but in a two or three weeks, I'll be here, with lots of news like Mandriva review, Ubuntu rev, PUD, Gentoo rev... etc etc... thanks for the understanding and don't forget this blog!

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NEWS: Mandriva 2008.1 RC2 Released  

So, this is the final release candidate, and pretty much this will be almost the same as the final release.. To read this review, read first NEWS: Mandriva 2008.1 RC1 Released because I don't want to write half the same stuff again, and I'll only note some stuff I didn't said in the RC 1 review, and point some new stuff found in RC 2.

First of all, here is the release announcement:

The sixth pre-release of Mandriva Linux 2008.1 is here. This pre-release includes support for easy synchronization of Windows Mobile 5+, Blackberry and Nokia devices, the Codeina multimedia codec installation system, support for Radeon HD 3xxx series graphics cards, more improvements to the Mandriva software installation tools, the finalized 2008 Spring theme, a new metapackage for easily installing a complete LAMP setup, and KDE 4.0.2.

Here the Live CD (with KDE) is being tested and written about. Here are some screenshots:

The screens show that most of the artwork is the same as in RC1, which is great. As in 2008.0 and in 2008.1 RC 1, an in almost every release before, you are asked to choose language, keyboard layout, time zone etc. Also it did recognized my display size, my graphics card (nVidia) and loaded the drivers. It also asked whether to use compiz-fusion, metisse or none of them. Now, i chose to use compiz, and it went with no glitches. OK, so let's what's different.

The first change (an eye-candy one) is the new colors in the wallaper.. It's not blue on both sides (left and right) but on the right an orange blend can be seen.
This is what was all about, it uses an XML file with several wallapers/color schemes (the orange one, a greenish one, and a blueish one), instead one wallaper. Something in the style of Fedora Infinity (Fedora 8 Wallpaper).

When it comes to multimedia, I saw a new item in the KDE menu, and that was Codeina. Codeina is meant for buying codecs (as I understood) that are missing from your OS, if you want them (legally at least). But, when the application was launched, I got this screen:

Now (the time of writing of this article) is March the 26th. So, Codeina/The Fluendo (Web) Shop has 5 days to launch ;).

Now I'm going to mention some nice things that are included in Mandriva.. One of them is KRandR.

It's used for changing monitor resolution and refresh rate with no fuss. Another thing, which I really, and I would like to see similar implementations in other distros is the 'Network and Internet Configuration'.

Which is the easiest way to set up your connection, with minimum knowledge. When all the steps are finished, you will get a notification.

Hoping to see a nice PowerPack DVD in the Final relase, and I also hope that some of my local magazines will give it with their issues :) :)

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NEWS: openSUSE 11.0 Alpha 3 Released  

First of all, for all people interested in downloading it, the download link. The single-CD installation media can be found also here: openSUSE-11.0-Alpha3-KDE-i386.iso, openSUSE-11.0-Alpha3-GNOME-i386.iso, openSUSE-11.0-Alpha3-KDE-x86_64.iso, openSUSE-11.0-Alpha3-GNOME-x86_64.iso. DVD torrents and live CD images are also available. The release announcement goes like this:

We are very happy to announce openSUSE 11.0 Alpha 3. The highlight is the re-worked Zypp framework, which gives you a much faster package management experience. This release also contains a new and professional installer theme. Many packages were also updated to newer versions: Linux kernel 2.6.25-rc5, GCC 4.3 final, GNOME 2.22 final, Compiz 0.7.2, KDE 4.0.2 and 3.5.9, Zypper 0.10.2. Due to the huge amount of changes, there are also quite a few bugs that slipped in.

Also there were 1855 checkins since Alpha 2.

So, lets take a look at the new artwork of the installer (artwork for the GNOME and KDE desktops is being made but it's not integrated in this Alpha):

GNOME, KDE, and XFCE are the three desktops that will be openSUSE-polished, and they are available for installation from the DVD media. Fluxbox and others are found in openSUSE repository and can be installed online, but they are not recommended always.

KDE 4.0.2 is included, and in the final release, a descent release with KDE 4.1.X should be included. Which we all hope to. As a Alpha release, it has many bugs, which all releases which are in development do. So, an up-to-date bug list can be found here: Most_Annoying_Bugs_11.0_dev.

Note: All images/screens taken from Screenshots/openSUSE_11.0_Alpha3 wiki page.

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NEWS: Clonezilla Live 1.0.9-19 Released  

If you are in search of a tool like Norton Ghost, Clonezilla is the one you need. This is a Debian based distro, made in Taiwan, which works as a live CD only. In case you want to download the 90MB iso, here is the link. And also, here is the release announcement:

Clonezilla Live 1.0.9-19 (stable) released. This release is a bug-fixed one with some minor updates: fixed - Memtest86, FreeDOS and Etherboot were not listed in syslinux boot; fixed - CCISS RAID device restoration was broken; fixed - when 'ocs-iso -s' or 'ocs-live-dev -c -s' was run, Etherboot and FreeDOS images were not copied; syslinux related files are now in /syslinux; added sdparm, zip and unzip; makeboot.exe is replaced by so that USB flash drive will boot successfully with kernel under /casper; Partclone 0.0.6 is used now so clone.fat is available; more descriptions were added to the boot menu; an option for VGA mode 640x480 was added.

When the CD was booted, I didn't knew what to expect, this was the first time I had tried Clonezilla. So, here is the first screen:

Because of the file size of the disk, I expected to see XFCE and a GUI tool for cloning.. But, I was wrong, the whole process is text mode. The developers have indeed made a real Norton Ghost replacement ;)

Although the whole process in text mode, it is very easy and intuitive. You enter the keyboard layout, language, select whether to make image of partition, or to make a partition out of an image, or to clone one partition to another. Very easy. I made an image of my root partition with no fuss.

For everything else about Clonezilla, here is their page at Sourceforge. There are docs, wikis, mailinglists, etc...

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NEWS: Foresight Linux 2.0 Released  

So, after all the Alpha and Beta releases, here is the final one. For download go here. There are a lot of new features in this release, as well as the newest in the GNOME desktop and applications. Before commenting and posting screenshots, here is the official release announcement:

Foresight Linux 2.0 has been released. New in version 2.0: a new tar-based installer that should install in less than 10 minutes, including formatting a 200 GB hard drive; PackageKit to help users update their system and add and remove software; Syslinux, a new bootloader to replace GRUB; GNOME-Do to quickly search for many items present in a GNOME desktop environment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies, etc.) and perform commonly used actions on those items. Users should also find it much easier to use binary video card drivers from NVIDIA and ATI than in Foresight 1.x. Transmission is also included as the default Bittorrent application.

It comes in two choices, x86, and 64bit one. The DVDs are install only, there is no Live Session available. When the media is booted, the following screen appears:

Yeah, the boot loader is not GRUB, nor LILO. It's SysLinux, and as the creators state, it's supposed to replace GRUB.

The installer is Anaconda (made by Red Hat, and used in Fedora also), the installation is really about 10 mins, as stated in the release announcement. Thanks to the new tar-based installer. Now, after the installation, the greenish theme will welcome you.

The theme is little different than in Foresight 1.4, the previous one was green-to-yellow somehow. A large selection of wallpapers is offered also.

Now, when it comes to applications, PackageKit is here to manage adding and removing packages, as well as updating the whole system. Also, GNOME 2.22 was included with all of its packages. When it comes to GNOME 2.22 here is their release announcement:

Addition of Cheese, a tool for taking photos from webcams and Remote Desktop Viewer; basic window compositing support in Metacity; introduction of GVFS; improved playback support for DVDs and Youtube, MythTV support in Totem; internationalised clock applet; Google Calendar support and message tagging in Evolution; improvements in Evince, Tomboy, Sound Juicer and Calculator.

Cheese is a nice funny application, and it can take and save photos or clips from your webcam.

Only one package was missing, and that was GIMP. But, the developer/s of Foresight said that GIMP was removed due to they wanted to shrink the whole media from a DVD to a single CD. Besides GIMP, everything else was here, all the Office needed packages, all the games that are included in GNOME project, even Transmission was included, as the default torrent client. Firefox was also here, as the default web browser. And if you want to search for an item in the GNOME desktop enviroment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies... ) GNOME-Do in there for you. Brasero is the CD/DVD burning solution, and Banshee was also included, which is a nice audio media player. Popular media codecs were lacking, and proprietary video drivers, which is understandable why.

There was one thing that i really liked, and that is the Foresight Linux User Guide. Just click System, and click on the icon which launches the guide.

For everything lacking, here is explained how to get to it. Meaning popular media codecs, video card drivers, getting compiz, Conary and PackageKit are explained, and so on... A great introduction for newbies, which will solve a lot of their problems :)

Only one weird thing happened to me. When i started the OS, and the first time it booted, there was no sound. The icon showed that it was muted. I launched the sound mixer, and all the channels were OK. Then i figured, PulseAudio. I started the PulseAudio volume control, and there, the mute button was ticked. So I unticked it, and Banshee was playing with no fuss.

Nevertheless PulseAudio is well integrated and the sound is great, with no glitches. One great thing about it is that you can control the volume of separate applications, or even mute a separate application/stream.

Overall, the installation went great, the user experience was great, PackageKit is easy to use, the User Guide is a great plus, all GNOMEish apps (except GIMP) are included... So, if there is someone who wants a different and fresh GNOME based desktop, Foresight is one of the best choices.

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HOWTO: install Oracle-XE in Mint 4.0 KDE CE  

Although this is a very specific HowTo, except the installation of the package, the other steps are identical in all Linux distributions.

Step 1: go to the official oracle-xe site, and download the package. Because we want to install it on Mint, we download the deb package, oracle-xe-universal_10.2.0.1-1.0_i386.deb. In order to download the package, you'll have to register, but fear not, it's free :). Then, before installing this package, in the package manager install libaio, because in order to install oracle-xe this package must be preinstalled. Libaio can be installed using Adept, only run this package manager, type in the search bar libaio, click request install, click apply, and it's done.

Step 2: Now we are going to install oracle-xe-universal_10.2.0.1-1.0_i386.deb. This cannot be done using Adept, because this package cannot be found in Ubuntu or Mint's repositories because is proprietary software.

So, double click on oracle-xe-universal_10.2.0.1-1.0_i386.deb, and KPackage will appear. You will get a screen like this one:

Click on Install, and wait for a moment for the installation process to finish.

Step 3: Open Konsole, type su, and enter the root password. Next, type /etc/init.d/oracle-xe configure and press enter. The next text will appear:

This will configure on-boot properties of Oracle Database 10g Express
Edition. The following questions will determine whether the database should
be starting upon system boot, the ports it will use, and the passwords that
will be used for database accounts. Press to accept the defaults.
Ctrl-C will abort.

Next, it will ask for a port number, which will be used to access oracle-xe, so change the default one (which is 8080) with the desired one, e.g. 5050:

Specify the HTTP port that will be used for Oracle Application Express [8080]:5050

The next port number can be left the same, which is used for the database listener. So instead inserting a new number, just press enter, and leave the default one (which is 1521).

Specify a port that will be used for the database listener [1521]:
Specify a password to be used for database accounts. Note that the same
password will be used for SYS and SYSTEM. Oracle recommends the use of
different passwords for each database account. This can be done after
initial configuration:

So, enter the password, and after that it will ask You again for confirmation, so enter it again. The last input is whether to start or not the database service at startup.

Do you want Oracle Database 10g Express Edition to be started on boot (y/n) [y]:y
Starting Oracle Net Listener...Done
Configuring Database...Done
Starting Oracle Database 10g Express Edition Instance...Done
Installation Completed Successfully.
To access the Database Home Page go to ""

And it's done. New icons should appear in the menu, meaning something like this:

Step 4: Click on 'Go To Database Homepage' login with the account SYS, and with your entered password. When you login, you can create more accounts, with different passwords, and different restrictions. For more tricks and tips on working with Oracle XE here is a nice official tutorial.

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Life Saviour: Root Actions Servicemenu  

In case you use Kubuntu, Mint KDE edition, Mandriva, or another KDE based desktop, 'Root Actions Servicemenu' allows admin users to perform several root only actions from Konqueror (the KDE file/web browser). That is a very good thing, not everybody likes to use Konsole/Terminal.

Lets take a look at it now:

Infact, this works with all distros that have sudo/kdesu installed and that the user is authorized to use sudo/kdesu. The installation is pretty simple, there are three *.desktop files in the archive that need to be placed in ~/.kde/share/apps/konqueror/servicemenus and one script which needs to be pasted in /usr/local/bin or /usr/bin. I prefer in /usr/bin. Note, if you want all of the users to have the menu, copy the three *.desktop files in /usr/share/apps/konqueror/servicemenus instead.

When a folder is selected, the service menu gives the following options:

Open With - opens the selected item/items with a program of our choice;
Copy/Move/Rename/Delete - basic file operations, but in ROOT mode, so be carfeul;
Ownership to Root - changes ownership of the selected items to root:root;
Ownership to Active User - changes ownership of
the selected items to current user e.g. martin:martin;
Ownership to ... - changes ownership of
the selected items to a UserID:GroupID which we want;
Change Permissions - changes permissions of the selected items;
Open Terminal Here - opens a terminal session in the folder we are located in ROOT mode;
Open in File Manager - opens Konqueror but in ROOT mode, meaning there are no restrictions;

When a file is selected,
the service menu gives the following options:

Open as Text - opens the selected item/items in Kate (the default text editor)
Open With - opens the selected item/items with a program of our choice;
Copy/Move/Rename/Delete - basic file operations, but in ROOT mode, so be carfeul;
Ownership to Root - changes ownership of the selected items to root:root;
Ownership to Active User - changes ownership of
the selected items to current user e.g. martin:martin;
Ownership to ... - changes ownership of
the selected items to a UserID:GroupID which we want;
Change Permissions - changes permissions of the selected items;

To download this great menu, go to There you can also post comments, suggestions, submit a translation (although there are a lot of translations already) and get help if needed.

For Mandriva users, there is a similar RPM package, so you don't need to copy all those files... Just install the package 'openasroot-kmenu'.

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NEWS: Linux MINT 4.0 KDE CE Released  

The latest edition of Mint, in KDE flavor, in it's Community Edition... The download links are available, as well as the release notes. Here is the announcement:

Linux Mint 4.0 KDE released. Daryna KDE is nearly as 'minty' as the main edition now. The packages are (safely) up to date and the kernel is the Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon kernel 2.6.22. Mint applications: mintInstall, mintwifi, mintUpdate, mintAssistant, mintUpload. Minted versions of Firefox, Sunbird. Changes since the beta release: fixed the HAL USB NTFS problem; changed some Compiz default settings to make it more KDEish and fix a known bug; added a Linux Mint user agent to Konqueror and pre-added some sites to use the Mint user agent. This helps people know Linux Mint is out and about.

When the DVD (yes this one comes on a DVD, and is 1GB) is booted, the following screens appears:

In the Main edition everything was greenish, but here everything is blueish, which gives a better feel. When booting, tree options are given, to boot the DVD in 'normal' and safe mode, and to boot the HDD (meaning to skip the DVD). The bootsplash is simple, infact, all of the artwork is simple, but it's nicer. The default window decoration is 'Domino' and the default window border is 'Crystal'. That is a very nice combination indeed. So, lets install the Mint.

A lots of languages are available in which the installer is localized:

Now find yourself in the world ;)

Is asks for keyboard layout, and if manual partition setup is selected, this nice screen will appear. One thing I don't know, is this installer the same as in Ubuntu, or is it ported in QT? Nevertheless it does it job as it should.

When the installation finishes, you can remain in the Live Session, or restart and take a look at the newly installed Linux distro.

MINT features KDE 3.5.8, and Linux kernel 2.6.22. These are not the newest packages, but are pretty stable, which is more important. Homebrew Mint packages are: mintInstall, mintWiFi, mintUpdate, mintAssistant, and mintUpload. Ohter highlights in the default applications are: Internet: Firefox, KFTPGrabber, KGet, Kopete, Krdc, Krfb, KTorrent, Thunderbird, and so on... Graphics: digiKam, GIMP, Gwenview, Hugin panorama creator, Inkscape, KPdf, Scribus... Multimedia: AmaroK, K3b, k9copy, Kaffeine, KAudioCreator, KMix, KsCD and MPlayer.

MPlayer and Kaffeine are here for video playback, and AmaroK is for all of the audio filetypes. Almost all multimedia formats are playable. So, next, in Office: HPLIP Fax Utility and Fax address book, KArm, KMyMoney, KNotes, the whole suite, and an Online Dictionary. in the latest stable version, 2.3. And, now, lets continue, in Settings: Compiz, Enable KWin, Emerald Theme Manager, mintInstall, Ndiswrapper, and so on... in System: Adept, Envy, HPLIP Toolbox, kbluetooth, KCron, Keep, KInfoCenter, Konsole, Kpackage, kpowersafe and so on... in Utilities: Ark, Filelight, KArm, Katapult, Kate, KJobViewer, Skim and lots more.... I also liked that Java was preinstalled here, and I'm glad to see that Envy is still here, to take care of installing nVidia drivers without fuss.

Mint Offers a healthy package selection, and for the average desktop user, everything is given. The packages are not the newest/beta/rc but are the latest stable ones, which is also a big plus. Another thing that I liked is that the Filelight was associated in the file browser.

So, on whichever folder you like, right-click it, and open it in Filelight, to have it analyzed. To sum up, this is a really nice Community Edition, and if you are in search of a new desktop replacement for your Linux PC, give this one a try, it wont dissapint you. But if you want commercial support, try the Main edition. Imagine Kubuntu, with everything it misses included, well, Mint 4.0 KDE CE it the answer.

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NEWS: SLAX 6.0.2 Released  

So, here is the new release announcement:

What is the point of a new release every week? Well, I guess there is none. If you don’t need it, don’t download it :) The version 6.0.2 fixes several bad bugs introduced by the previous release, and it also adds patched Gtk+2, to fix the konqueror+flash hangups. So now you can watch this youtube’s video in Slax as well, just to celebrate with me that I’ve just lost $17000 on forex thanks to InterbankFX’s idiotic rules.

As stated, this release compared with the previous one (6.0.1) features several bugfixes. The downloaded iso image is 192.2MB, and when it's booted the following screen appears:

Several options can be seen, Graphics Mode which loads KDE 3.5.9 as the default desktop, the second options copies the whole SLAX to RAM, Vesa mode, Text mode, and Memtest, which tests your system RAM.

If Graphics Mode is selected, the following screens will appear soon:

As seen, except the wallpaper, almost everything seems the same as in Slax 5 at first sight. The same applications are here, Juk, Kopete, K3B etc... The KDE theme remains unchanged (why?), it seems that the developers don't want or don't have time for wasting on eye candy. But that's not a problem, is always here ;)

Modules are easily added, although there aren't many, the key ones are here. The Slax Module Manager is the package management system, and installing modules is very easy, just download a module from HERE, click Add a new Module, find it, and it's done. NOTE, currently the modules page is in development and only four modules are available, Firefox, Thunderbird, Krusader and Wine. We all hope that this page will have more healthy selection soon.

And, in the end, some stats. Linux Kernel 2.6.24 is used, KDE 3.5.9 is featured, and (almost) all of the default desktop applications are KDE based. They are: the most important first, Internet: Konqueror, KMail, Kopete, Akregator, Krdc, Krfb, KNetAttach; then in Games: KBattleship, KBounce, Patience; Graphics: Kuickshow, KolourPaint, KSnapshot, KColorChooser; Office: Word, KPresenter, KSpread, KPDF, Kontact; in Utilities are found: KCalc, Kjots, KWrite, Ark, KNotes, Klipper; and finally in System: KInfoCenter, KSysGuard, KDE Printer and the Slax Module Manager. It's a nice set of applications for a 192MB.

Although a lot of improvement is done since SLAX 5, and a lot of bugs are fixed, I think that a lot of improvement is still needed. Multimedia features are still lacking although it played all my video files, hardware support is OK, but (as some people say) some specific dirvers aren't found by default. I tried it in VirtualBox and on a standard Office P4 PC, and everything worked fine (when it comes to hardware recognition).

It's a nice distro, and it's easy customizable, but when it comes about customization, there will be another post/howto about that ;) I recommend SLAX to everyone who wants a light KDE based Live CD.

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