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Mandriva 2009 Beta 1 & KDE 4.1 - A Brief Report

Mandriva is slated to release Beta 2 on August 19. As I have been updating Beta 1 frequently from the Cooker repository, I have kept up to date on Mandriva's development progress.

I have installed over 900 updates to the Beta 1 release over the last two weeks. It's shaping up well, and with the updates, it's getting pretty stable.

Most of the issues for me have been related to learning to use and deal with KDE 4.1. I'm one of those cluttered users who places lots of handy icons on both the desktop and the panel. Yes, you can place icons on the desktop (easy now), and on the panel(not so easy), but that's not as easy as it is in KDE 3.5.x.

I've got konqueror icon on my desktop for running konqueror in filemanager mode with root privileges for when I want to do some graphical file management that requires temporary privileges beyond that of an ordinary user.

I tried to do this with KDE's new file manager, dolphin, but couldn't get it to run properly with root privileges.

Here's how to do it with konqueror: fire up dolphin, go to
/usr/share/applications/kde4 folder, and drag the konquerorsu.desktop icon onto the desktop.

I downloaded the flash-player-plugin rpm from the plf (Penguin Liberation Front) mirror repository,
http://ftp.free.fr/mirrors/plf.zarb.org/mandriva/cooker/non-free/binary/i586/ and installed it, as well as other multimedia codecs and support libraries and files. The flash player plugin works in both Konqueror and Mozilla 3.

Mandriva's sound system with pulseaudio seems to work well, except, oddly enough, I can't get the KDE 4.1 Kolf game to play sound.

A lot of KDE 3.5.9 features/functionality aren't in KDE 4.1 yet, so the 4.1 GUI environment isn't fully mature yet. So, yes, KDE 4.1 in Mandriva 2009 is usable, but I would not recommend it to those who aren't KDE3 savvy--inexperienced users should probably wait until KDE4.2. The KDE folks recognize this, and will even be issuing a bug-fix update to KDE 3.5.9 in September (to be called, KDE 3.5.10, of course).

One particular issue. If you set the KDE digital clock on the panel to display seconds, Running any Openoffice.org app causes the panel to flicker and changes colors wildly. Setting the panel clock to display the time without seconds is a (hopefully temporary) workaround for this issue.

More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Someone is putting lots of work into hacking Github developers [Ed: Dan Goodin doesn't know that everything is under attack and cracking attempts just about all the time?]
    Open-source developers who use Github are in the cross-hairs of advanced malware that has steal passwords, download sensitive files, take screenshots, and self-destruct when necessary.
  • Security Orchestration and Incident Response
    Technology continues to advance, and this is all a changing target. Eventually, computers will become intelligent enough to replace people at real-time incident response. My guess, though, is that computers are not going to get there by collecting enough data to be certain. More likely, they'll develop the ability to exhibit understanding and operate in a world of uncertainty. That's a much harder goal. Yes, today, this is all science fiction. But it's not stupid science fiction, and it might become reality during the lifetimes of our children. Until then, we need people in the loop. Orchestration is a way to achieve that.

Leftover: Development (Linux)

  • Swan: Better Linux on Windows
    If you are a Linux user that has to use Windows — or even a Windows user that needs some Linux support — Cygwin has long been a great tool for getting things done. It provides a nearly complete Linux toolset. It also provides almost the entire Linux API, so that anything it doesn’t supply can probably be built from source. You can even write code on Windows, compile and test it and (usually) port it over to Linux painlessly.
  • Lint for Shell Scripters
    It used to be one of the joys of writing embedded software was never having to deploy shell scripts. But now with platforms like the Raspberry Pi becoming very common, Linux shell scripts can be a big part of a system–even the whole system, in some cases. How do you know your shell script is error-free before you deploy it? Of course, nothing can catch all errors, but you might try ShellCheck.
  • Android: Enabling mainline graphics
    Android uses the HWC API to communicate with graphics hardware. This API is not supported on the mainline Linux graphics stack, but by using drm_hwcomposer as a shim it now is. The HWC (Hardware Composer) API is used by SurfaceFlinger for compositing layers to the screen. The HWC abstracts objects such as overlays and 2D blitters and helps offload some work that would normally be done with OpenGL. SurfaceFlinger on the other hand accepts buffers from multiple sources, composites them, and sends them to the display.
  • Collabora's Devs Make Android's HWC API Work in Mainline Linux Graphics Stack
    Collabora's Mark Filion informs Softpedia today about the latest work done by various Collabora developers in collaboration with Google's ChromeOS team to enable mainline graphics on Android. The latest blog post published by Collabora's Robert Foss reveals the fact that both team managed to develop a shim called drm_hwcomposer, which should enable Android's HWC (Hardware Composer) API to communicate with the graphics hardware, including Android 7.0's version 2 HWC API.

today's howtos

Reports From and About Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)