Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Google Earth 5

First, I have to reiterate that installing packages outside the PCLinuxOS repositories isn't supported by the PCLinuxOS Community Forum, and I will not be held responsible if anyone follows my example and breaks their installation. This is merely a record of a simple task that I did to install the latest release of Google Earth.

I downloaded the latest release (as of this posting is Google Earth 5.0) and saved the bin to a folder. When I first installed it, I got several errors that a required library wasn't installed so I went and used Synaptic to install the missing libraries. It still didn't work, and just crashed when I launch it.

I wanted to install GoogleEarth so I settled for an earlier version which is available on the repository, and that naturally worked. I played with it for a week but I just wanted the latest. With the package from the repository installed, all I did was install over that and I got a working GoogleEarth 5.0.

I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Global Moderator

Whew! Whatever did I do to deserve such a burden in life? Seriously, I am pleased that I will be able to give a bit more of my time and effort to the PCLinuxOS community.

Today was my first day at the job and I learned to split and merge and move posts and topics. I didn't have to do any of those things when I was administering PCLinuxOS China. Then again I had a lot of help from the users.

It'll be different this time though. I've even locked a topic today.

One thing I know though, I will have to be more civil, tolerant and smarter. And it will be a very good experience for me doing the tasks of a global moderator. YAY!

Friday, March 13, 2009

last and history

In Linux, we learn different things all the time. Today, I learned the comand "last" and how to append a timestamp into the command "history".

"history" is a common command for shell that lists all the executed commands until given the -c switch. It is very useful repeating commands that had already been executed, and investigating what commands were executed.

"last" shows a listing of last logged in users. The command searches back through the file /var/log/wtmp (or from a file designated by the -f flag) and displays a list of all users logged in (and out) since the file was created. The pseudo user reboot logs in each time the system is rebooted. Thus, the last reboot will show a log of all reboots since the log file was created. Since it would search /var/log/wtmp, a user needs to su or sudo "last".

$ sudo last
archie :0 Thu Mar 12 07:16 - 10:30 (03:14)
reboot system boot Thu Mar 12 07:15 (03:15)
archie :0 Wed Mar 11 17:27 - 04:59 (11:31)
archie :0 Wed Mar 11 10:02 - 17:27 (07:24)
reboot system boot Wed Mar 11 09:58 (19:00)
archie :0 Wed Mar 11 06:06 - 07:36 (01:29)
reboot system boot Wed Mar 11 06:04 (01:31)
archie :0 Sun Mar 1 11:46 - 13:25 (01:39)
reboot system boot Sun Mar 1 11:45 (01:40)

wtmp begins Sun Mar 1 09:26:07 2009

$ history
1 man last
2 sudo last
3 history
4 man strftime
5 history

By defalt, "history" does not append a timestamp to the list of executed command but with setting the environment variable HISTTIMEFORMAT, a user would be able to to easily configure "history" to display the date and time. HISTTIMEFORMAT uses the format string of "strftime". Check out "man strftime" to choose your preferred string.

$ export HISTTIMEFORMAT="%F %T "

The setting is equivalent to the year-month-date format in decimal number plus the time in a 24-hour-minute-second notation. Execute the command and you can immediately see the changes

$ history
1 2009-03-13 19:55:24 man last
2 2009-03-13 19:55:44 sudo last
3 2009-03-13 19:55:53 history
4 2009-03-13 19:59:46 man strftime
5 2009-03-13 20:08:21 history

Of course, when you close the shell, the changes are not saved so if you want to make the changes, add the export into your .bash_profile as well as the /root/.bash_profile. If you don't have .bash_profile, you can append the export to .bashrc.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Distrowatch.com announced PCLinuxOS 2009.1 release

Distrowatch.com finally announced the distribution release of PCLinuxOS.2009.1. The announcement states:

The long-awaited PCLinuxOS 2009 has been released: "The Ripper Gang is pleased to announce the final public ISO image release of PCLinuxOS 2009.1. This release features Linux kernel, KDE 3.5.10, OpenOffice.org 3.0, Firefox 3.0.7, Thunderbird, KTorrent, Frostwire, Amarok, Flash, Java JRE, Compiz Fusion 3D and much more. We decided to use KDE 3.5.10 as our default desktop as we could not achieve a similar functionality from KDE 4. We will however offer KDE 4 as an alternative desktop environment available from the repository once we stabilize it."

It also added,

Besides the main product, a GNOME edition of PCLinuxOS 2009 containing GNOME 2.24.3, Brasero, GNOME Power Manager, Exaile Music Player and other GTK+ applications is also avalable for download.

The actual announcement can be viewed on the PCLinuxOS.com.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PCLinuxOS 2009 Is Released

Although for some reasons, there has been no announcement so far as I know, PCLinuxOS 2009 had been released. The timestamp of the ISO was March 9th, and after downloading it and making certain that the md5sum checks out, I ran it on VirtualBox. I guess it's time for first impressions. The release features the Linux kernel, KDE 3.5.10, OpenOffice.org 3.0, Firefox 3.0.7, Thunderbird, KTorrent, Frostwire, Amarok, Flash, Java JRE, Compiz-Fusion 3D, and many more.

PCLinuxOS 2009 IS the easiest Linux distribution to use. The installable LiveCD only prompted to choose a keyboard layout and it's the login screen. Everything that a normal computer user would ever need to use is right there packed in its 696.2 Megabytes of the latest and greatest applications from the world of FOSS and GNU/Linux.

Once on the desktop, the all-familiar layout to any long-time PCLinuxOS user is without a question the most sensible arrangement. I was even instantly connected to the Internet without the need to configure the network. Sure, it was running as a guest on VirtualBox but I am betting that the simplicity of PCLinuxOS would be appealing to even a hardcore Windows user and a veteran Linux user.

However, the most obvious question to be asked is, why didn't PCLinuxOS use KDE4. For us insiders and PCLinuxOS community members, we know why and we understand and we won't mind staying with the last release of KDE 3.5. We'll get there eventually but for now, we'll enjoy the stability of KDE 3.5.10.

The following screenshots are proof of how Radically Simple PCLinuxOS 2009 truly is:

Thanks to Texstar and the Ripper Gang for their love and dedication. We can only be behind you on this. Lead on ...

BIG FLASH! PCLinuxOS 2009.1 replaced PCLinuxOS 2009 as a minor bug fix release.

Is PCLinuxOS 2009 Released?

There has been no official announcement that PCLinuxOS 2009 has been released, and I only saw a post on the PCLinuxOS forum from wamukota that prompted me to look at the download server, and indeed there is a pclinuxos-2009.iso available.

Are the Ripper Gang waiting for all the mirrors to sync before making the release announcement? Or are they going to rename it to Test Release 7? What goes? Whichever, I am already downloading it and will fire it up on VirtualBox, and possibly even install it on my VAIO.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My 1010

Today, I found a screenshot on my Temporary folder. It was a screenshot of my profile at PCLinuxOS Forum taken on March 5, 2009. The reason why I took the screenshot was the number of my posts - 1010. It may not be as much as others in the forum but it is a landmark number for me coupled with the fact that I have been with the PCLinuxOS forum for over three years now.

1010 Posts

There had been a lot of changes in the forum. I've witness its growth from a mere 3,000 plus members to over 21,000. I've been using PCLinuxOS from when it was 0.92, and still patiently waiting for the release of 2009. Friends I've never met in real life came and went, and new ones are adding up. It is the best online community that I've ever been a part of.

PCLinuxOS may never be as big as Ubuntu or Mandriva, Fedora, Suse but it is home to me. And home is where one's heart is.

More power to PCLinuxOS.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Getting a change of bootsplash to work

I am still a Linux novice so why should new users complain that it is hard to use? I knew of a command that I forgot was useful in a small project I did and have been receiving feedbacks from the PCLinuxOS community.

The command:

A reason why I probably couldn't remember the command is I am always logon as a user and I have setup sudo. The command is only available to root. And in using the Konsole, I usually just type out the first two then three letters of a command and hit the tab to complete the command. Laziness has its disadvantages.

Anyway, as pointed out by a user. Dhamaka, changing the bootsplash was as easy as:
# switch-themes <options> <themes>

The options are optional and just three little switches. The -c after the command informs you which current theme is used; the -l lists all the available themes; and -u updates the current theme installed.

Incidentally, there were several suggestions in improving the theme package, which I am taking notes of and hope to add on a changelog. I've never really done stuff like this and it is highly educational if not truly technical.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

PCLinuxOS KDE 2009

Okay, that may be a little bit extreme for a title but simply, it is what it is. It might also be seen as a repetition of my last post ... well more or less it is. It is a partial theme package that was not a request but more of my way of sharing with the PCLinuxOS community. It was something I have been working on for the last few days. Finally I was able to post the results on the PCLinuxOS forum.

Check out the rest of my commentary at this post.