Fedora 18 install cheatsheet

As a fedora user, you might be very happy, bored or sometimes scared to see that every 6 months (or so… f18 should have turned gold two months ago 😀 ) your favorite GNU/Linux distrib is having a new major upgrade. Most people prefer upgrading through the package manager (using preupgrade, or since this release, fedup), but this is not my case. I personally prefer sticking with a fresh system instead of counting on the developers not forgetting any use case/upgrade scenario (what, in the case of fedora, a cutting-edge distrib, is likely impossible).

Well, as you might have guessed, this blogpost wont be a tutorial on how to upgrade from f17 to f18, neither will it explain to the newfag how to setup a working fedora, step by step through the redesigned anaconda installer. This post is all about feeling at home as a confirmed user, even after such an important upgrade.

> Steps I do before install

There is no much I do before a major upgrade:

Backup everything in your ~

(useless until you’re happy you did it)

Export my package list

$ rpm -qa|sort > ~/upgrade/pkglist.txt

does the trick quite well

Save my yum repo files

$ cp /etc/yum.repos.d/* ~/upgrade/yum.repos.d/

> Steps you might want to do once Fedora is installed

Install rpmfusion

go to http://rpmfusion.org/ , don’t forget to import gpg keys too

Update your system

Don’t wait to do a

$ yum update

Make your yum wiser

Yum plugins I use :

  • yum-plugin-fastestmirror
  • yum-plugin-rpm-warm-cache
  • yum-plugin-remove-with-leaves
  • yum-plugin-show-leaves

Those helps to keep your system free of useless (orphaned) packages and accelerates downloading of packages.

Yum settings

from /etc/yum.conf

  • keepcache=0 ; info here, saves some space
  •  installonly_limit=0 ; info here, allows keeping an infinite number of installed kernels (good for regression tests)
  • clean_requirements_on_remove=1 ; automatically suggest orphaned packages to remove when uninstalling something

Setting proper hostname

just edit /etc/hostname as your convenience, modifying /etc/sysconfig/network probably won’t survive a reboot anymore

Remove PackageKit

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need that. And if you don’t need it, removing it will prevent your yum to be randomly locked.

Remove ABRT

This automatic bug reporting tool usually makes no sense if you already report your bugs by yourself.

Specific to f18

Fedora 18 also comes with new stuff to try… or fix:

DNF, yum’s successor is here

and you can try it very easily

$ yum install dnf

After that you car run dnf just as you run yum. The dependency solver is said to be faster. It works well here, and I thought about aliasing it to yum before dnf install vim failed.

New path for your fonts settings

~/.fonts.conf moved to a standard xdg path under ~/.config/fontconfig . To avoid useless warnings, you can do:

$ mkdir ~/.config/fontconfig && cp ~/.fonts.conf ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf

Disable /tmp on tmpfs

If you run a low memory system, you might want to keep your /tmp folder where it belongs, to your hard drive. As explained here, running this command and rebooting will do the job:

$ systemctl mask tmp.mount

Prefdm doesn’t exist anymore

and as such, depending on your driver’s stability, you might or not want to read the corresponding release notes.

What about giving SNA a try ?

SNA stands for “Sandybridge New Acceleration” and describes  a new rendering algorithm used within the Intel GPU drivers. Despite its name, it doesn’t only targets Sandybridge chips and might well accelerate your old intel chip as well. To enable it, you first need to create a xorg.conf config file.

This is easy, you need to run as root, when your X server is shut down:

$ Xorg -configure

and then in the “Device” section of the generated file, add:
Option “AccelMethod” “sna”

that’s all ! This feature isn’t activated by default, even if their developers consider it as stable. The result is likely not to be horrible, but you might encounter some random glitches.

Update: SNA is better used with a recent mesa/intel stack available at https://01.org/linuxgraphics/downloads . There is an official installer making this process easy for you, just grab the “Graphics Installer” corresponding to your fedora version and install the rpm. Then you just have to run (as root) the intel-linux-graphics-installer command that will configure a new repository and install the required packages.

> My advises for your everyday workspace

I recommend using:

  • Zsh, which will save your precious time
  • Yakuake under kde or gwake under gnome, two drop down terminals, saves space, helps getting organized


That’s all !

I’m still discovering this new fedora and will update this post as soon as I encounter new things to write about.

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RIP Neil Armstrong

I won’t write a long post. This news hit me more than expected. Neil, you were a symbol, a figure of one of the most beautiful human achievement… all mankind is thankful, and me even more. RIP Neil Armstrong !

Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neil_Armstrong.jpg

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Some cool HTML5/CSS3/JS/WebGL/SVG demos to share

Quick post to share with you some cool HTML5/CSS3/JS/WebGL/SVG demos I discovered more or less recently 🙂

http://lab.hakim.se/ is gallery of mostly html/css/js experiments, just like http://chromeexperiments.com/ but with less apparent chrome-evangelism 😉

When speaking about transitions and animations, the most obvious choice seems to be CSS+JS, but I think that SVG can be somehow mind-blowing:
http://vlog.it/ is powered by RaphaëlJS: http://raphaeljs.com/ which is really good at animating stuff: http://raphaeljs.com/animation.html

Mozilla dev derbys are pushed here: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/demos/devderby and are worth a try because they mostly focus on one tech (CSS transforms, Audio API, WebGL, Camera API, …) thus giving a better state-of-the-art and overview of what can be done in each field separately.

If you have more cool demos to share, just feel free to leave a comment 🙂 !

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Prepare your centos/fedora apache server for streaming opus audio files

As you may have heard recently, the new Opus audio format is likely to be the next de facto standard for audio streaming all over the web.

Originated from the IETF Internet Wideband Audio Codec working group (including Xiph.Org, the non-profit organization behind the ogg formats, Mozilla, Microsoft, Skype, Broadcom, and others), this new codec is really interesting as it fills the gap between high quality formats (for audio restitution, like vorbis, mp3, aac,  …), and low latency codecs (mostly used in voice communications, like speex, G729, …), is fully open (free and opensource software, royalty-free), has one of the best restitution compared to other audio codecs, and is already mainstreamed by Mozilla (firefox >= 15) and Opera (>=12). The Webkit implementation should follow soon as Google decided to use opus as their default audio codec for the WebRTC communication standard. Further interesting readings can be found at Firefox Hackers blog, and project’s page.

So, what we want as webmasters or sysadmins is to make our servers compatible with opus. As of today, my up to date centos 6.3 doesn’t include the opus file format in it’s mimetype list, so the only thing you need to do is to add it to your /etc/mime.types file :
audio/ogg                                       oga ogg spx opus

Restarting apache should definitely fix it.

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