Preview of Fedora 15

I’m closely watching the Fedora Project for the next release of Fedora Linux. Fedora 14 has been great, but what does the upcoming Fedora 15 have to offer? I downloaded the Fedora 15 Beta to find out.
As usual for testing a new Linux release, I installed this on a USB flash drive. While it’s a little slow in running updates (that’s due to the nature of flash) this is a great way to experiment with the Beta version without installing over my existing system. The install took about 20 minutes, from start to finish, using the Live CD. For those who are curious about the technical details, I manually partitioned the flash drive with a very plain layout, and let the installer encrypt my filesystem automatically.

The biggest difference is that Fedora 15 has upgraded to Gnome 3, which uses the new Gnome Shell interface. It’s a change, for sure. But I quickly got over it, and after a few minutes it felt quite natural.

To compare: Gnome 2 (basically, what you see in Fedora 14 and earlier releases) used a menu “panel” at top with a “Start” menu and other shortcuts, and a different Gnome “panel” at bottom that shows your running applications and available virtual desktops. I usually describe this as “things you can do” (top panel) and “things you are doing” (bottom panel). This isn’t too different from the interface used by Windows – which was probably intentional – but at the cost of having two panels taking up “screen real estate” – not a problem on typical desktops, but can get cramped on small netbook displays.

Gnome 3 takes a different view on the desktop, based on user experience and feedback. The default Gnome Shell has a single menu bar, which lets you launch programs and quickly access settings. Here’s my default desktop on Fedora 15 Beta, using the Gnome Shell:

(That screenshot is extra wide because I have a second monitor attached to my laptop – the desktop at right – and I wanted the screenshot to show everything.)

The “Activities” menu helps organize everything. To start an application, click “Activities” and you can select from a “Favorites” list, or a full list of installed programs. Applications are sorted by category, or you can scroll through “All”:

Instead of a separate panel to show your available applications, you click “Activities” to see what’s going on, even if you have programs running on a virtual desktop. I suppose Mac users will find this “Activities” view similar to that of Exposé.

And a view of the file manager:

Other differences:

Firefox is now version 4. This is an obvious update. I also installed Google Chromeseparately.

LibreOffice replaces OpenOffice. You may remember that some of the OpenOffice folks split off when Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems (the “sponsor” of OpenOffice.) Since OpenOffice is open source, the developers “forked” the project and created a new office suite based on OpenOffice, plus some updates. LibreOffice is the result of that new community. While I haven’t used it yet (I prefer Google Docs) I understand LibreOffice has folded in some new features that make it easier to use.

And of course, Rhythmbox (music player) and Shotwell (photo manager) are still there. I love these applications.

And while I can’t find mention of it in the Release Notes, I’m positive Fedora 15 updated the font rendering. Everything looks so smooth and easy to read. Even Google Chrome, which uses an outdated font method, now looks great!

I haven’t had time to poke around with all the new features yet. I’ve only been running the Beta for a few hours. I don’t have any complaints so far.

Fedora 15 is due out at the end of May.


How To Install Oxygen-Transparent Style In Ubuntu [KDE]

KDE 4.6 was supposed to ship with a transparent Oxygen style but in the end it didn’t make it “due to serious issues (notably with embedded widgets, such as videos) which cannot be fixed at the style level”. But that doesn’t mean you can’t install Oxygen-Transparent. Read on!

Do not confuse Oxygen Transparent with the window opacity – the window opacity (which you can tweak by right clicking the titlebar) makes everything transparent but using Oxygen Transparent, the widgets will still be visible while making everything else transparent!
Before proceeding, please note that even though this is an official branch, it is experimental so use it at your own risk! This will replace your current Oxygen with Oxygen Transparent. Further more, it will likely be erased by any future update of Oxygen by your distribution packages.

Install Oxygen Transparent in Ubuntu

The instructions below should work with KDE4.4 and above, however I’ve only tested it with KDE4.6 (in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat).

Oxygen transparent kde screenshots

1. Install the required dependencies:

sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake kdelibs5-dev 
kdebase-workspace-dev libxrender-dev libx11-dev subversion

2. Download the setup script from KDE Look and save it a folder called “oxygen-transparent” (save the file as “”) in your home directory.

3. Run the following commands to start building Oxygen Transparent:

cd && cd oxygen-transparent
chmod +x
4. Once the script finishes downloading and compiling Oxygen Transparent, run the following command to install it:
cd build
sudo make install
5. Log out and log back it. Now to tweak the transparency, either use Krunner or a terminal and enter: “oxygen-settings” and set the “Background opacity” for both the Widget Style and Widget Decorations to the desired value:
Oxygen transparent
It would be a good idea to check the “Use widget style opacity settings” in the “Widget decorations” so the opacity will always match.
Also in Oxygen Settings, go to Window Decoration > Fine tuning and make sure “Follow hint style” is selected for “Background style”.

Revert the changes

Basically you could just set the opacity to 100% and everything should look like before using the script in this post.
But if you want to completely revert all the changes, open a terminal and copy/paste the following command:
sudo apt-get install --reinstall kdelibs-bin kdelibs5-dev kdelibs5 
kdelibs5-data kdelibs5-plugins kdebase-bin kdebase-data 
kdebase-runtime-data kdebase-workspace kdebase-workspace-bin 
kdebase-workspace-data kdebase-workspace-dev
Do it and feel fun ;)

Install latest kernel 2.6.37 & 2.6.38 in Ubuntu 10.04 from PPA


Ubuntu 11.04 Natty will use Linux Kernel 2.6.38 as its default kernel. And if you want to try this kernel & the latest 2.6.37 in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, you can install it from this PPA.

Open up a terminal window first and type following commands:

To install kernel 2.6.38:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kernel-ppa/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.38-1-generic linux-image-2.6.38-1-generic

To install kernel 2.6.37

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kernel-ppa/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic-lts-backport-natty linux-image-generic-lts-backport-natty

In addition, for those who want to install 2.6.37 in Ubuntu 10.10(the latest Linux kernel downloaded there’s also a compile and install way (following steps tried in Ubuntu 10.04)

1. Download the latest kernel from (so far it is kernel 2.6.37) and save it in the master directory (/home/user/ or ~/).

2. Extract the package:

tar xvf linux-2.6.37.tar.bz2

3. use default .config file:

sudo cp  /boot/config-2.6.32-21-generic ~/linux-2.6.37

4. make and install:

cd ~/linux-2.6.37

make menuconfig


make modules_install

make install

5. Create initrd:

sudo update-initramfs -k -c 2.6.37

6. Update grub:

sudo update-grub

7. Update Nvidia driver after reboot:

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb lucid main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list"
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb-src lucid main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list"

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-current-modaliases nvidia-settings

Do it and fell fun ;)

Pardus 2011: KDE SC 4.5.5 with a Pinch of Gnome

Pardus is a Linux distribution funded by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey.Even though it uses KDE, Pardus tries to make every user – including those who come from a GNOME Linux distribution – feel like home and in which the user is in control of how his desktop looks like right from the start.
Pardus 2011 comes with its own original tools: YALI (installer), Kaptan – an first boot configuration tool, PiSi (package manager) as well as many tweaks to some already existing tools. Read on to find out more!

First impressions

Pardus 2011 screenshots
(Pardus login screen)
When you first boot the Pardus 2011 Live CD, YALI installer (which now has LVM/RAID and UUID support) will guide you through the installation process. Everything is intuitive and easy to use for both novice and advanced users (the following screenshot is just one of the YALI installation steps):
Pardus 2011 screenshots
While most major Linux distributions impose their own style (theme, icons and so on), in Pardus you’re in complete control of how everything looks from the beginning: when you first boot Pardus you’ll meet Kaptan, an original Pardus tool that runs when you boot Pardus for the first time and lets you customize the user interface and other settings (you can choose the theme, menu, wallpaper and so on):
Pardus 2011 screenshots
Pardus 2011 screenshots
If you’ve never tried Pardus before, I’m sure the first impression will be “wow” for most of you like it was for me!

Default applications


Pardus 2011 screenshots
Pardus 2011 screenshots
(Firefox 4.0 beta 9)
Pardus 2011 is not your regular KDE Linux distribution – you won’t find KOffice (now Calligra Suite) by default butLibreOffice. Further more, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 beta 9 is the default web browser. Other default applications: SMplayer as the default video player, Clementine as the default music player, KsCD is now the default player for Audio CDs and of course most of the popular KDE applications like digiKam, Kdenlive, Kopete, Dolphin, Ktorrent, Kget, Choqok, Konqueror and so on.

Even though Pardus is a KDE Linux distribution (Pardus 2011 comes with KDE SC 4.5.5), it features some of the best GNOME applications too such as GIMP or GNOME NetworkManager 0.8.2:

The reason for using GNOME Network Manager as the default network manager application is to make it easy for its users to set up CDMA, HSPA and VPN networks.

But you don’t have to worry about integrating GNOME applications with the KDE look – Pardus has this covered and the latest Pardus 2011 uses KDE’s Oxygen style for all the GTK apps. This is great for those who use GNOME and want to try a KDE Linux distro as they can keep using some of the applications they’ve got used to while trying out some of the best KDE applications too.
For a package manager, Pardus comes with its own “PiSi”:

Pardus 2011 screenshots
But of course, there’s also a graphical package manager too:
Pardus 2011 screenshots
Panda (Pardus alternative driver administration) is a new System Settings module which allows users to change the driver between Open Source and proprietary one for NVIDIA and ATI display adapters.
Pardus 2011 comes with KDE SC 4.5.5, Linux Kernel 2.6.37, Python 2.7.1, xorg-server 1.9.4 RC1 with improvements to the automatic driver configuration mechanism done by the Pardus developers.

Download Pardus 2011

There’s much more to Pardus 2011 then I could ever cover in a post so you really need to try it out for yourself to see why Pardus is considered one of the best KDE-based Linux distributions of the moment.
Pardus 2011 is available for both 32bit and 64bit and you can download it from HEREPardus 2011 release notes
source : WebUpd8

Five “lightweight” music players

Everyone loves lightweight music players. Well, maybe they don’t but here are 5 less well-known and/or up-and-coming entries well worth checking out anyway.


YouAmp is a self-described “simple and fast music player for gnome …coming from the Maemo Tablet platform with a focus on integration with the Gnome desktop.

YouAmp doesn’t boast any fancy features but it does have solid music playback support with replaygain, cover art display and lyrics support.

Main feature list : –

  • Album Art display
  • scrobbling
  • Replaygain Support
  • Gapless playback
  • Indicator applet

How light (RAM usage)?

  • Playback: 27 MiB

It’s light and featured enough for most. The browsing style is ‘breadcrumb style’ and is surprisingly easy to adapt to.



No that’s not DeJa Vu – we have covered PoGo a few times recently. ‘Minimalist music player’ is how we like to describe the elementary-inspired app and looking at it you can see why: clean, simplistic and focused solely on playing music.

Features present in the app include: –

  • Search box
  • Ubuntu notification support
  • Equalizer
  • Cover Art
  • Easy ability to add folders

How light (RAM usage)?

  • Playback: 15.6MiB

Pogo 0.3 can be downloaded @


Forgoing the usual feature-schmaltz that bigger apps are famed for DeaDBeeF keeps it simple.  If the main feature you seek from an audio player is that it plays audio then DeaDBeeF is worth checking out.

Plug-ins are available for scrobbling, equalizer and notify-osd alerts.

How light (RAM usage)?

  • Playback: 5.8 MiB

Download @


Another ‘in development’ choice but one that really does differentiate itself from peers.

Rhythmcat has a relatively unique interface, supports theming via custom ‘gtkrc’ theme files and, for the frivilious amongst us, comes with a pretty cool ‘kareoke’ feature that lets you record your voice alongside a playing track then ‘mix’ them down in to one file.

Features include:

  • Karaoke mode lets you record and mix your voice with a track
  • Equalizer
  • Audio converter
  • import/export playlists as m3u
  • Lyrics display
  • Ability to use custom gtkrc theme

How light (RAM usage)?

  • Playback: 7.4 MiB

Download @


Ever heard of Foobnix? I hadn’t until researching contenders for this list but what a find it was.

This very powerful music player comes with Last.FM scrobble support, 3000+ radios, play-list creation, customizable hot-keys and tray icons, an equalizer and more.

Foobnix also supports the searching and playing of music and videos on the web. Just enter a term, Foobnix will pull some results then select a track from the resulting list.

How light (RAM usage)?

  • Playback: 26 MiB


Other considerations

All but one of the players, when tested on my system, had minimal CPU usage and/or CPU usage no higher than normal. That said DeaDBeeF certainly was distinctive in that playback barely caused as blip in CPU usage, something to bear in mind if you’re looking for a simple audio player for a netbook.

To put the RAM usage into perspective Banshee typically uses (again, on my system so your usage may vary) 35 MiB to 40 Mib in playback whilst Rhythmbox quaffs 40 MiB.

source : OMG UBUNTU

Alien Arena 2011

Alien Arena 7.50 (a.k.a. Alien Arena 2011) was released few days ago and it comes with several new notable features regarding the physics engine, as well as two new maps, updated player and skins models, new music for various maps, revamped in-game IRC client, as well as several bug fixes and improvements.

To compile the Alien Arena source in Debian/Ubuntu, type in a terminal:

sudo apt-get build-dep alien-arena
sudo apt-get install libode-dev
sudo make install

Important notices
The executable is called crx, and it is located in the /usr/local/bin/ directory (if no other path was specified at the command-line to the configure script). To run it type crx in a terminal or press Alt+F2 and type crx followed by Enter in the run box that appears.

The configuration directory for Alien Arena is located in ~/.codered/, where ~ is your home directory (e.g. /home/USER/.codered).

Do it and feel fun 😉

source : TuxArena

Read ext3/ext4 Partition from Windows 7

The newest version of Ext2Read open source software can read normal Ext4 filesystems from Windows, even with ‘extents’ feature bit enabled! Please share your experience with this software in the comments.

If you use Windows 7 and want to dual-boot Ubuntu (or another Linux-based operating system), you’ll want to be able to read Ubuntu files from Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

From Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 ext4 filesystem uses by default, and previous versions use ext3 and ext2 filesystems. There are several good options to read and write ext2 filesystems from Windows systems, but ext3 or ext4 support is an entirely different scenario.

I tried three different software to read my ext4 partition: Ext2fsdExt2IFS, andDiskInternal Linux Reader. Ext2IFS fails to mount my ext4 partition due to unknown feature bit AND because my partition has inode size of 256 (Ext2IFS only supports inode size 128). DiskInternal Linux Reader apparently tries to scan my harddisk forever.

With Ext2fsd, I’ve successfully accessed my ext4 filesystem from Windows 7. Here I’ll show you the steps to make it happen:

  1. When creating/formatting the ext4 filesystem, make sure to add “-O ^extent” which means disabling the “extent” feature bit. The following steps will not work if your ext4 filesystem still has “extent” feature enabled. ext2 and ext3 partitions should be fine.
  2. Download ext2fsd here.
  3. Right-click the downloaded file and click Properties. Set the compatibility mode to “Windows Vista Service Pack 2″ and check “Run as administrator”.
  4. Run the ext2fsd installer. During install, I recommend you uncheck the “enable write access” feature to safeguard against losing data in your Linux partitions.
  5. Restart Windows 7.
  6. Run the Ext2 Volume Manager from Start Menu.

Now you should be able to mount your Linux ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions from Windows 7 and read the files without any trouble.

These steps should also work on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP, only that you will not need to enable compatibility mode (step 3).

note : You should run this program as an administrator. Use it and enjoy 😉