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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