Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Changing the clock source for Xen HVM domU's

On the last weeks I had noticed a problem with my xen guests that I had not been able to fix until today. The problem was that the time on them was jumping forward !! and in a couple of hours after setting the correct date, the time would be around 45 minutes ahead, even with ntpd running. This obviously created a lot of problems with our applications and servers, for example with subversion, developers could not see the latest changes to projects and Hudson was checking out and building an outdated project version, also having inaccurate info on the servers logs, etc.
The culprit of this was the default clock source Xen uses for HVM domU's (at least with the default version that comes with CentOS 5.5 which is 3.1.2), and I was told on xen-users mailing list that it was highly inaccurate and I should change it. Googling around I found how to do it and it was very simple, just add the following kernel boot params to your domU's to disable the time-stamp counter:
notsc divider=10
Then reboot them, login and adjust the date with the following command:
ntpdate -u 0.centos.pool.ntp.org
You can change the ntp server if you want. Also ensure that the ntpd service is running by issuing the following command:
service ntpd status
If it isn't then start it with:
service ntpd start
And make sure it starts at boot time:
chkconfig ntpd on
Now I have to repeat that on 18 servers :S fortunately there are tools to automate this kind of tasks like puppet or cfengine, which I'm currently looking into to setup in our company.
=-=-=-=-=
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

KDE 4.5.4 available for Mandriva 2010 Spring !!

I missed this one, but mikala has done KDE 4.5.4 packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring, thank you !! this time it includes some other goodies like Qt 4.7.1, Phonon 4.4.3, NetworkManager partial support and kdepim 4.4.8. Packages are available in Mandriva Italia Backports (MIB) FTP for both i586 and x86_64 platforms. Here are the upgrade instructions:

First, if you have added the repositories for any previous version, remove them with the following command:

urpmi.removemedia kde-4.5.3

or whatever name you gave to the repository. Second, add the KDE 4.5.4 repository. For 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia --update MIB-KDE454_release http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/4.5.4/32/release
urpmi.addmedia --update MIB-KDE454_updates http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/4.5.4/32/updates
urpmi.addmedia --update MIB-KDE454_extras http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/45X-extras/32/


For 64 bits systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia --update MIB-KDE454_release http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/4.5.4/64/release
urpmi.addmedia --update MIB-KDE454_updates http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/4.5.4/64/updates
urpmi.addmedia --update MIB-KDE454_extras http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/45X-extras/64/


Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to now perform the installation (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it. If you have any problem with the upgrade, the first thing to do to try to solve it is to log out, move away your .kde4 directory and log back in.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

KDE 4.5.3 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

mikala has done KDE 4.5.3 packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring, thank you !! this time (or at least for now) the packages aren't available in KDE FTP as usual but in Mandriva Italia Backports (MIB) FTP. Packages for both i586 and x86_64 are available. Here are the upgrade instructions:

First, if you have added the repositories for any previous version, remove them with the following command:

urpmi.removemedia kde-4.5.2

or whatever name you gave to the repository. Second, add the KDE 4.5.3 repository. For 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia --update KDE453 http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/4.5.3/32/

For 64 bits systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia --update KDE453 http://mib.pianetalinux.org/MIB/2010.1/others/kde/4.5.3/64/


Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to now perform the installation (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it. If you have any problem with the upgrade, the first thing to do to try to solve it is to log out, move away your .kde4 directory and log back in.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

KDE 4.5.2 available for Mandriva 2010 Spring !!

I hadn't noticed, but there are Mandriva 2010 Spring packages for KDE 4.5.2 available since some days now on KDE FTP. I currently don't know whom to thank but thank you !! (neoclust maybe ??) Packages for both i586 and x86_64 are available. Here are the upgrade instructions:

First, if you have added the repositories for any previous version, remove them with the following command:

urpmi.removemedia kde-4.5

or whatever name you gave to the repository. Second, add the KDE 4.5.2 repository, please try to use another mirror to leverage some load from KDE's main FTP server. For 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5.2 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.5.2/Mandriva/2010.1/i586/

For 64 bits systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5.2 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.5.2/Mandriva/2010.1/x86_64/

Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to now perform the installation (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it. If you have any problem with the upgrade, the first thing to do to tryo to solve it is to log out, move away your .kde4 directory and log back in.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Migrating a Virtual Box Windows XP guest to Xen on CentOS 5.5

At work we are in the process of migrating most of our physical infrastructure to virtualization using Xen on CentOS servers. Most of our servers are CentOS Linux, running a mix of open source and proprietary applications. On one of our servers, we run a Windows XP VirtualBox guest where some financial applications that are only available for windows are run, and it also needed to be migrated to our new virtualization platform. There's not much info about how to perform this on the net, so after some trial and error and some pointers given out on xen's mailing list, I was able to successfully migrate our Windows XP VirtualBox guest to Xen. The migration is fairly trivial, but you need to do some preparation to your Windows guest to be able to successfully migrate it to Xen. Here's the procedure you need to follow:

1. Uninstall VirtualBox guest additions

Boot up your Windows guest. The first thing you need to do is to uninstall VirtualBox guest additions because they add some kind of virtual drivers for stuff like video cards, which they aren't supported on Xen. You can accomplish that by going into Windows Control Panel->Add or remove Programs, remove the guest additions and reboot your guest.

2. Fix IDE controllers

According to the aforementioned guide in VirtualBox wiki, Windows memorizes which IDE/ATA controller it was installed on and fails to boot in case the controller changes (which is something that happens when booting up on Xen), an you will get the "safe mode" screen instead of Windows successfully booting. To fix this problem, some modifications need to be done to the Windows registry to relax IDE disks checks. There's a tool for this called MergeIDE from German ct' magazine, which is available for downloadfrom VirtualBox's wiki. Uncompress the zip file and run the MergeIDE.bat file, this will update the registry with the needed modifications.

3. Convert VDI disk to raw format

Ok, the preparations to the Windows guest are done so we can proceed to converting the VirtualBox disk image from VDI format to raw format. There are several ways of doing this but we will use the following command to do it:

VBoxManage internalcommands converttoraw Windows.vdi Windows.img

Windows.vdi is the original disk in VDI format and Windows.img is the new converted disk in raw format.

4. Configure Xen guest

After having ready the Windows disk we now need to create a Xen configuration file for it. One important note is that PAE, ACPI and APIC needs to be enaled on the config file, if not you will get a nice Blue Screen of Death when booting your Windows guest on Xen. Here's my config:
name = "WindowsXP"
uuid = "071a3gca-e016-456e-8a5e-ea23033sdcb4"
maxmem = 256
memory = 512
vcpus = 1
builder = "hvm"
kernel = "/usr/lib/xen/boot/hvmloader"
boot = "c"
pae = 1
acpi = 1
apic = 1
localtime = 0
on_poweroff = "destroy"
on_reboot = "restart"
on_crash = "restart"
device_model = "/usr/lib64/xen/bin/qemu-dm"
usb = 1
usbdevice = "tablet"
sdl = 0
vnc = 1
vncunused = 1
keymap = "en-us"
disk = [ "
file:/var/lib/xen/images/Windows.img,hda,w",
"
file:/distros/windows/xp_sp3/winxp_sp3.iso,hdc:cdrom,r" ]
vif = [ "mac=00:16:36:75:32:52,bridge=xenbr0,script=vif-bridge" ]
parallel = "none"
serial = "pty"
After the config file is finished, place it on Xen's configuration directory, /etc/xen, and you are ready to run it.

5. Boot Windows Xen guest

Ok, now the new Windows guest is ready to be started. Fire up virt-manager and start your new Windows guest from there. Look at the VNC window and see if it boots ok. You could use xm command on a terminal too, but it's easier to test with virt-manager as you can easily access to the VNC console.

Troubleshooting

If you still get the "safe mode" screen you can try to repair your Windows installation as you would do with a physical installation. Boot the Windows guest with the Windows installation CD and perform a repair. Start the installation and continue up to the select a partition step and select the existing partition, and choose “repair”. This will replace some dll files placed by VirtualBox with the native files from the CD.
=-=-=-=-=
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

KDE 4.5 final available for Mandriva 2010 Spring !!

The stable release of KDE 4.5 was released yesterday and again thanks to neoclust, we have packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring since the same day !! Packages for both i586 and x86_64 are available. Here are the upgrade instructions:

First, if you have added the repositories for any previous version, remove them with the following command:

urpme.removemedia kde-4.5rc3

or whatever name you gave to the repository. Second, add the KDE 4.5 repository, please try to use another mirror to leverage some load from KDE's main FTP server. For 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.5.0/Mandriva/2010.1/i586/

For 64 bits systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.5.0/Mandriva/2010.1/x86_64/

Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to now perform the installation (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it. If you have any problem with the upgrade, the first thing to do to tryo to solve it is to log out, move away your .kde4 directory and log back in.

Monday, August 2, 2010

KDE 4.5 RC3 available for Mandriva 2010 Spring !!

NOTE 08/02/2010: RC3 source and packages have been removed from KDE ftp server because final version is going to be released soon, so this this instructions are useless now.

The third release candidate release of KDE 4.5 was released last week and again thanks to neoclust and mikala who did all the rebuild work this time, we have packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring since a couple of days now. Packages for both i586 and x86_64 are available. Here are the upgrade instructions:

First, if you have added the repositories for RC 2 or any previous version, remove them with the following command:

urpme.removemedia kde-4.5rc2

or whatever name you gave to the repository. Second, add the KDE 4.5 RC3 repository, for 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5rc3 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/4.4.95/Mandriva/2010.1/i586/

You can use another mirror if you want. For 64 bits systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5rc3 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/4.4.95/Mandriva/2010.1/x86_64/

Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to perform the installation (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it. If you have some problems with the upgrade, the first thing to do to solve them is to log out, move away your .kde4 directory and log back in.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Results of Campus Party Colombia 2010

As I said in another post, I was invited to Campus Party Colombia to give a talk about KDE SC 4 and to do a workshop about OpenAM. The event went really well and I had lots of fun the whole week. The talk about KDE, althought I had a LOT of problems to getting it going, it ended very well and attendants liked it a lot. The available chairs were all taken (around 30 - 35) and there were at least four or five more persons standing up watching the presentation. The name of the talk was "KDE SC 4: Breaking Paradigms". I made a little short intro video to start the talk, with the objective of showing attendants what they could spect to see during my presentation.

Here is the video:


During the talk, I did a broad definition of what the KDE Software compilation is and which are their components and applications. Then I started to show each of the Plasma Workspaces, some of kwin's 3D effects, the desktop activities, doing demos of all of that. I also showed some videos of stuff that I didn't had how to demo there, like Plasma mobile running on a Nokia N900 cellphone, Qt multi-touch support and prototype stuff like Plasma Media Center.

After that I did a quick recap of the KDE platform, talking about the main components of it: Solid, Phonon, Akonadi and Nepomuk, explaining their function and how they make a developer's life easier. Here I did some other demos of Nepomuk, like tagging files and then searching for them on dolphin or krunner, saving searches as folders or looking for a recent accessed file on dolphin's time-line.

Next I demo'ed some applications, like Amarok, rekonq, kopete, gwenview, aKular, ksnapshot and yakuake, although I mentioned some others that I coiuldn't show because of time constraints. I also talked about KDE on Windows, for which I had a demo prepared, but as I said before, I had some problems at the beginning of the talk and I had to switch computers at the last moment, leaving my Windows VM on other machine.

And leaving the best for last, I talked about the KDE community: who we are what we have achieved and how someone can contribute in different aspects different from coding (translating, bug reporting testing and promoting), which many times is seen as the only way of contributing to an open source project.

On this link you can find the talk (in spanish).

I want to thank to some users at the KDE forums and kde-promo list, whom gave me some really neat ideas of what to show or how to organize the talk, it was a really useful help :)

The OpenAM workshop went really well too, it was also full and was marked as one of the most attractive talks on Campus Party and because of that, it was broadcasted live over the Internet :) here are the recordings Campus Party uploaded to youtube if anyone wants to watch them (in spanish):

First part:


Second part:


I gave some introduction to what Single Sign On (SSO) is, the problematic it solves in an enterprise, which are the advantages of using a SSO solution, related security concepts like authentication, authorization, auditing and identity federation. Then I presented OpenAM and talked about how it can address all of the problematic that was exposed before, it's installation requirements and demo'ed some of it's features. At the end, the attendants did a workshop that walked them through all the process of installing OpenAM and configuring it to protect a Java web application and doing SSO with another one.

Also on this link you can find the talk (in spanish too).

There were also some really nice talks that I enjoyed watching, like the one from Steve Wozniak (one of Apple's founders) and another about client-side pentesting. You can find all of the talks on Campus TV website.

In conclusion, it was a really fun event and I hope to be invited again next year :D

KDE 4.5 RC2 available for Mandriva 2010 Spring !!

The second release candidate release of KDE 4.5 was released last week and again thanks to neoclust we have packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring since the beginning of this week. Packages for both i586 and x86_64 are available now. Here are the upgrade instructions:

First, Add the KDE 4.5 RC2 repository, for 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5rc2 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/4.4.92/Mandriva/2010.1/i586/

You can use another mirror if you want. For 64 bits systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.5rc2 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/unstable/4.4.92/Mandriva/2010.1/x86_64/

Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible (as root):
urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to perform the installation (as root):

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Going to Campus Party Colombia 2010

I'm very happy because for the third time in a row, I have been invited to Campus Party Colombia to talk about free software or software development related topics. Campus Party, as defined by them is "known as the biggest technology, creativity, leisure and digital culture event in the world". It lasts for seven days, and it has talks, workshops, gaming tournaments and another bunch of activities the 24 hours of the day during the whole week. It started in Spain on 1997 but since some years now it also takes place in other places around the world, like Brasil and Colombia. THe event is from June 28 to July 3.

In the 2008 edition I gave a talk about KDE 4, somewhat technical but at the same time for regular users, and also I did a workshop about Qtambi programming. The workshop assigment that time was to do a music player with an embedded web broswer able to load the wikipedia page of the current playing artist. Last year I also did a workshop about KDE programming, but this time about developing python plasmoids.

This year I will be giving a talk about KDE SC 4, but this time will be completely end user oriented and full of demos to spread the "WOW factor" of KDE, doing some demos of the coolest stuff KDE 4.4 has. The other activity I'm going to do is a workshop about OpenAM Single Sign On open source solution. If you have read my blog before, you should have noticed that OpenAM is a product I'm very familiar with because of my job. It will also have a demo of some of it's main features (without going too technical) and the attendants will be doing their own SSO seup as part of the workshop.

I'll try to post some pictures of the event as soon as I can.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mandriva 2010 Spring Release Candidate disponible

Hola,

El viernes pasado fué liberado el primer Release Candidate de Mandriva 2010 Spring. Esta versión ya se encuentra disponible para ser descargada para pruebas (versiones Free x86 y x86_64 y One). Recuerden que esta es una versión de desarrollo, no es recomendado usarla en un sistema de producción.

No son muchos los cambios que trae esta versión respecto al anterior beta ya que se está en proceso de estabilización, aunque algunos cambios en las herramientas de Mandriva que cabe resaltar son:

  • Ahora es posible instalar Mandriva One sin arrancar el CD. En el menú de arranque ahora hay una opción para instalar Mandriva Linux.
  • Mejoras en la cuenta de invitados, como un shell de acceso restringido, o acceso restringido a los archivos de otros usuarios de la máquina y prevenir el acceso a algunas de las herramientas de Mandriva.
  • Mejoras en el instalador en el manejo de particiones encriptadas, ahora es más fácil definirlas que antes.
  • Ahora, la versión Free cuando se agregan los repositorios, no habilita por defecto los repositorios non-free. Esto para ser congruentes con la idea de que es una versión completamente libre de programas propietarios. Quienes deseen habilitar estos repositorios deben hacerlo desde el Centro de Control.
  • Ahora se puede configurar una contraseña para GRUB desde el Centro de Control.
  • Muchas mejoras para msecgui, la herramienta de seguridad de Mandriva.
  • Ahora con drakguard es posible bloquear la ejecución de aplcaciones seleccionadas para usuarios determinados.
  • Mejoras en el manejador de perfiles de red: ahora se pueden agregar servicios que se deben iniciar cuando se está utilizando un determinado perfil de red.
  • Nueva versión de Mandriva Directory Server (el servidor LDAP de Mandriva con interfaz Web de administración).

Esos son los cambios que más vale la pena resaltar de esta versión. Para descargar esta versión puede escoger un sitio de descarga de esta página.

Aquí les dejamos unos links en donde pueden encontrar más información sobre la futura versión 2010 Spring:

Todas las pruebas que se puedan hacer sobre esta versión son bienvenidas, recuerden que dentro más pruebas se hagan una mejor versión final vamos a tener.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mandriva at FLISOL Bogotá

The past April 24 the six'th edition of the FLISOL (Latin American Free Software Install Fest) was held in more than 200 cities in Latin America. Mandriva-co was present on the event on Bogotá, doing installations and with a booth. I was in charge of coordinating the instalations and the booth, the idea was to present to people Mandriva Linux and our community, answer people's questions, etc.

We printed 40 Mandriva 2010 One CD's (both KDE and GNOME) and 10 Free DVD's (i586 and x86_64), which turned out to be a really really small amount, as those 50 discs were all sold in like an hour. Then we burned like 30 more which also got sold out in another hour or so, and also gave away around 10 or 15 more to people coming to our booth and asked some questions aboiut Mandriva. Here is a pic of the dics (sorry for the quality but it was taken the night before and I didn't have a more potent light at hand):

Mandriva 2010 CD's

We used some really nice covers designed by totti82 from blogdrake.net.

We also desgined a Mandriva promo flyer and printed more than 200 copies that were given out to visitors to Mandriva-co booth during the day. We used this same flyer on SFD but with some minor fixes. If someone likes it, I will be doing a translated version to english in the comming day's and I'll make the svg file available too. I know it isn't the best design but it was made on a hurry for SFD last year:

Mandriva flyer

We installed around 10 or 12 machines, we were a little under-powered this time and couldn't do much more installations compared to other distros. Last year we did around 15 or 16 installs and hoped to increase this number but we were less Mandriva installers for this year. Anyway, any number above 1 is good, right ?

There were a couple of laptops with i3 processors (Intel GM 45 express with intel GMA 4500MHD video accelerator) that we had trouble with the video when booting for the first time after installation. Both laptops would change to a black screen after kernel loading. I suppose this had something to do with speedboot or KMS. We tried disabling speedboot which didn't work and we didn't knew how to disable KMS at the time. If you have ever attended to an install fest you know you have little time to figure out problems and not always all the resourses you would like to have to try to fix them. We ended up installing PCLinuxOS 2010 on one of those laptops as it was the only distro (tried Ubuntu and Fedora too) that gave video after installation, like two minutes after booting up but it worked :D

At the end we ended up having a good time and finished the day with some well deserved beers will all the organizers. Here are some pictures of our booth at the event:

At the left image you can see our Mandriva model, bringing a lot of attention to our booth ;) At the right image you can find me (the one in the center) with Miguel at the right (member of Mandriva-co) and Jorge, that came all the way from a University in El Salvador, and was amazed with Mandriva's ease of use and excellent hardware recognition.

You can find more pictures form the event here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

KDE 4.4.2 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

The second bugfix release of KDE 4.4 was released this week and again thanks to neoclust we have packages for Mandriva 2010 since today, this time for both i586 and x86_64 platforms at the same time !!. With 4.4.1, packages for x86_64 weren't built but I didn't care much as I wasn't using that plaform, but last night I reinstalled my system with 2010 x86_64 and it was a really great surprise to find this morning both platforms available to install. If you are upgrading from a previous KDE 4.4.x upgrade then don't forget to disable or delete the old KDE 4.4.x repository before starting this upgrade, just in case. Here are the instructions again:

First, Add the KDE 4.4.2 repository, for 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.4.2 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.4.2/Mandriva/2010.0/i586

You can use another mirror if you want. 64 bits packages aren't yet available, but probably they will be this week and you should be able to use the following repository:

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.4.2 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.4.2/Mandriva/2010.0/x86_64

Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to perform the installation:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

KDE 4.4.1 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

The first bugfix release of KDE 4.4 was released at the beginning of this month and again thanks to neoclust we have packages for Mandriva 2010 available since last week. You can follow the instructions of my previous post about the upgrade to KDE 4.4.0 to upgrade to 4.4.1. If you are upgrading from KDE 4.4.0 then don't forget to disable or delete the old KDE 4.4.0 repository before starting this upgrade, just in case. Here are the instructions again:

First, Add the KDE 4.4.1 repository, for 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.4.1 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.4.1/Mandriva/i586

You can use another mirror if you want. 64 bits packages aren't yet available, but probably they will be this week and you should be able to use the following repository:

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.4.1 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.4.1/Mandriva/x86_64

Then update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to perform the installation:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the packages installation finishes, logout and log back in, That's it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

An example of the awesomeness of the open source community

OpenSSO is one of the best (if it isn't the best one) open source web Single Sign On projects out there. Sun Microsystems on 2008 open-sourced one of their products called Access Manager, and rebranded it as OpenSSO. But it's sad to see how Oracle after Sun acquisition, is slowly shutting down this amazing open source project, marking it as "not strategic" and dismembering the few parts they think are worth for their own SSO product. They started on December by freezing the next express release, and during the last few weeks they have slowly started to remove all the open source downloads from OpenSSO website. Last but not least, they have also started to remove content from the wiki. Now, the only download available is the enterprise version, which is buried very deeply at Oracle's website (it took me like 15 minutes to find it, it isn't even listed as an Oracle product),and the patch sets that also were free to download, are now only available to paying customers with a valid support contract.

If this had happened with a proprietary product, then undoubtedly OpenSSO would have died when the plug was pulled, and the only way out for current users would have been be the "upgrade path" to Oracle's SSO product. This upgrade by it self would have cost a lot of money, not even counting license fees, not fair for a good that they had for free before.

But here it comes the awesomeness of the open source community: A Norwegian company called ForgeRock has stepped up to give OpenSSO a new home and continue developing OpenSSO under a new name: OpenAM (because of trademark issues with the name). They claim they will continue with Sun's original roadmap for the product, and they have started to make available again all of the express builds, including agents, that were removed from OpenSSO's site, and a new wiki with all the content that once was available at dev.java.net.

This is great news for people like me, that where involved in projects with OpenSSO. ForgeRock will assure the project continues alive, our customers or any other user can't be forced to the "upgrade path" if they don't want to and they can switch to OpenAM whenever they want. There is also another company giving OpenSSO support on Europe, so if you are a current OpenSSO user and don't like to have Oracle on your back then you have other options from where to choose.

ForgeRock will also be releasing other projects related to SOA and identity management technologies, some of them also based on other open source projects like OpenESB and an identity management solution completely written from scratch. This seems will happen after the transition of OpenSSO to it's new home and when the re-launching under the new OpenAM name is complete.

I don't have anything more left to say but ForgeRock thanks and you rock !!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Facebook and kopete

After my upgrade to KDE 4.4, I noticed that kopete's facebook plugin was making kopete crash just when it connected to facebook. While looking for an updated version of the plugin I ran across this blog post from duncan mcvicar's (one of the lead developers of kopete) explaining that there wasn't a need for that plugin anymore since Facebook added XMPP support for their chat service this week. Now, you can use any jabber client to connect to Facebook's chat. Duncan's blog post is missing details about how to accomplish this so I'm going to explain how to setup your chat account here.

First, you need to assign a chat user name to your facebook account, you will not be using your email address for this. Go to your account settings and set it up. After you have done that you can create a jabber account on kopete. Use your new facebook username like this: username@chat.facebook.com :


Then configure the connection setting to not use TLS and allow plain text authentication:



And last, do not forget to disable jingle support as it only works with gmail/gtalk accounts:


That's it, you now will be able to connect to facebook chat service from kopete and avoid opening a browser just for that.

KDE 4.4 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

Updated (02/16/2010): repository URL's changed and 64 bits packages are now available :)

This last Tuesday KDE SC 4.4 was released and on a lightning-fast time, neoclust managed to have packages available for Mandriva 2010 on KDE official FTP mirrors (thanks neoclust !!). If you want to upgrade to it, it's really easy. First, Add the KDE 4.4 repository, for 32 bit systems use the following urpmi command (as root):

32 bits:

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.4.0 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.4.0/Mandriva/2010.0/i586

64 bits:

urpmi.addmedia kde-4.4.0 ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde/stable/4.4.0/Mandriva/2010.0/x86_64

After adding the KDE 4.4. repository you will need to update, download and install all of KDE 4.4 packages. You can do all of this in one command, but I, for safety, prefer to do it in two steps. First, update the repositories and download all the packages before actually installing them to make sure that the installation is possible:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select --test

When all packages finish downloading and you see a message at the end saying that the installation is possible, you can now run the same command without the --test parameter to perform the installation:

urpmi --auto-update --auto-select

After the package installation finishes, logout and log back in, that's it !! you will have a brand new, shiny, awesome and rocking KDE 4.4 desktop :D

Enjoy !!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New year, new challenges, more music

Well I haven't blogged since last year, so... happy new year !!

It ended good, not all of the stuff I wanted to do were done but some other it was and it was nice. I became a Mandriva contributor, started Mandriva-co community in my country, went to a LOT of metal concerts (Heaven & Hell, Arch Enemy, Haggard, KISS, among others), and on December 30th, I took and passed the "Oracle WebLogic Server 10g System Administrator Certified Expert" exam that I needed for my current job. I scored 78% (over a 66% to pass it), which is a decent score for one of the complex tests I have taken. Maybe it was due to the fact that I had to read,understand, and pseudo-memorize a lot of the ~2500 pages of the three course materials + plus > 50 course labs, all of that in just two months and on my spare time. Also I have had just a single project at work of prior experience with that product (and it was over a year a go, so go figure what I did remember from that), I have worked with application servers for several years now and they all work in very similar ways, but each one has it's own details that you need to know very well to take a cert exam. I'm not quite proud of taking these kind of exams on proprietary software, but I have a career to build and unfortunately not all people can earn a living with free software :(. I hope one day I could, but for now I have to stick with what the market needs here, that's what pays the bills.

Some of my plans for this year are blogging more, specially about Mandriva Linux. I think more exposure is one of the important things it has been missing since a long time, to show to the public in general their goodness in many areas, like the Control Center, or their excellent hardware support. So, if someone has an idea of what could be really good topics to blog about, post a comment and I'll try to write about that too.

Oh, and of course, I plan to go to a lot more concerts, I'll be starting with Metallica for the second time this coming March (first time was 10 years ago !!), Iced Earth was going to play on Feb 14, but unfortunately the concert got cancelled this week :(. Anyway, we'll see what surprises this year has for us, what other bands will make my head bang and my heart pump to the fullest :)