Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gnome 3.2 extensions

I have always been a fan of the clean desktop layout of Gnome 3.2
However, a lot of people complained that there were not enough settings to customize the gnome-shell (Remember the fuss about the missing "power-off" button...)
Some issues were resolved by the "advanced settings" app but the Gnome developers promised that there was a lot more to come in the form of extensions.

Today I stumbled across the dedicated site: Gnome Extensions

After a quick browse I added a CPU temperature extension and a network traffic one.
I also removed the accessibility icon and installed an extension to show the extensions in the overview (see screenshot below)  

All very nice features that work very well.

HowToGeek made a nice Top Ten

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

openSUSE 12.2 booting from an external USB disk

I wanted to run OSS12.2 on a Windows 7 laptop without changing anything on the machine itself.
Normally I use a bootable USB stick with SystemRescueCD on it but I wanted to do some more OSS testing.

Here's the procedure I followed:
- Download OSS12.2 Gnome Live CD
- Start the installation wizard and choose "custom partitioning"
- do not change anything on disk /dev/sda because that will be your internal laptop disk
- create a boot partition (100mb and ext2) - in my case /dev/sdb1
- create a root partition (ext3 for best performance) and others as you normally would (swap, home,...)
- modify the GRUB2 configuration so that it is installed to the BOOT partition (deselect all the other options)
- complete the install.
- Important, before reboot make sure that the boot partition is correctly flagged as bootable. (use fdisk to do this)


As always, everything worked straight out of the box, except for the wireless.
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Product Name: Inspiron 1545  
 I just had to run /usr/sbin/install_bcm43xx_firmware and reboot to make it work!

The GRUB2 graphical menu worked after running all the updates.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Full text search for wordpress sites

I'm hosting my own wordpress site for personal use.
I add a lot of attachments to the posts but withing wordpress you can only search for the filenames and not for the content.

Sure you can use the Google Desktop or other GUI based indexing tools but if you want a good web interface you should install xapian-omega.

It's small, fully featured, fast and can index most attachments that are allowed for wordpress usage.
Give it a try.

More info here!

Installing OpenSuSE 12.2 XFCE on IBM ThinkCentre M51 8144

I downloaded the DVD for 32-bit machines and used it to install version 12.2 next to my existing 12.1 installation (installed on disk1).
My machine also had a 11.4 installation (on disk2) so I decided to use that partition scheme and replace it with 12.2

This blog is getting less and less posts simply because everything is working better and better with every release. The installation process itself is very polished and under-the-hood some advanced detection and configuration is taking place because after the reboot everything just works.

I had the new grub2 menu (which was installed to the root of disk2) and still had the option to start the old 12.1 installation on disk1 without any problem.

The only hick-up during the installation wizard was the detection of the existing linux partitions. Because I have an encrypted partition the detection took a while (20 minutes or so) but I guess that is by design...

Afterwards I was able to configure the encypted partition using the GUI YaST partition tool, and now when rebooting I get the password prompt and the drive is mounted correctly...

I added the timeout=3 parameter to the /etc/crypttab file and everything worked as with version 12.1 (again, replace the second "none" keyword with this timeout parameter.)

The plymouth option is working well when switching from splash-boot to X. But during Grub2 and early-splash you still get some flickering.

Compositing is enabled by default with XFCE but can be disabled in the system settings (Advanced Window Manager tweaks)

So the basic Desktop works, now the migration of all other applications and data from 12.1 to 12.2 can begin...