Category Archives: Open Source Software

KDE SC 4.3.5 To Be Pushed As An Online Update to openSUSE Users

The openSUSE Marketing team today made a surprising announcement, stating that KDE SC 4.3.5 will be pushed to users as an online update, rather than an optional update from the openSUSE build service. The team mentions that the fact that this release fixed many bugs convinced the team to make it available via the online update service.

As a consequence of this, the KDE4.3 repository ( Build Service KDE:43 ) will no longer be in use and users are requested to remove this repository from the installation sources, present in YaST.

If you’d like to skip past KDE 4.3.5 and go directly to KDE 4.4, do check out our guide to update to KDE 4.4.

Installing KDE 4.4 in Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora And ArchLinux

Few days ago, the KDE team had announced the release of KDE 4.4. We, at Techie-Buzz had taken you on a screenshot tour of KDE 4.4. Now, if that has piqued your interest to explore KDE 4.4, let’s have a look on how you can install KDE 4.4 on some popular Linux distributions.

KDE 4.4

Installing KDE 4.4 in openSUSE

openSUSE’s 1-click install and openSUSE build system makes it one of the easiest methods of installing KDE 4.4 ( or for that matter, any software). Head over to KDE 4 page of openSUSE wiki, and select the 1-click install link on the version of openSUSE that you have. For those extra lazy ones out there ( I’m one of those ;) ) here are the links:

Installing KDE 4.4 in Ubuntu/Kubuntu

To install KDE 4.4 in Kubuntu, first add the PPA by opening the Terminal and typing

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa

If you’re using Ubuntu, add the backports PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

Next, update the repositories to reflect the newly added PPA by typing

sudo apt-get update

Finally, if you’re using Kubuntu, perform the update to KDE 4.4 by typing

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you’re using Ubuntu, then install the kubuntu-desktop package to install KDE 4.4

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

Installing KDE 4.4 in ArchLinux

ArchLinux users can install/update to KDE 4.4 using pacman – the awesome package manager.

Installing KDE:

pacman -Sy kde

Upgrading to KDE 4.4:

pacman -Syu

Installing KDE 4.4 in Fedora 12

Fedora users will have to add repo file provided by KDE Packaging project to proceed with the installation. Download the repo file, save it in /etc/yum.repos.d directory.

Next, launch KPackageKit, head over to settings and enable kde and kde-testing repository. Once this is done, launch the terminal, switch over to root by typing

su root

Then, proceed with update by typing

yum groupupdate kde-desktop

Enjoy your KDE 4.4 install!

Adobe joins Linux Wireless group LiMo

US based software firm Adobe, now is officially a part of the Wireless Linux group LiMo. LiMo focuses on the development of Linux for mobile devices, especially hand-held devices like cellphones.

Linux is the current dominant OS with regard to development and growth. Nokia released its high end N900 based on Linux, we have the Linux based Android platform fast being accepted by major players from HTC to Samsung. Not only this, the competition from Symbian OS has been dampened to a huge extent given the level of customization and hacks possible on a Linux based cellphone OS.

The head of Limo,Morgan Gillis has remarked correctly in saying,

No other operating system now matches the vendor coverage of Linux — it is being commercially deployed by virtually all leading mobile device vendors from the largest downwards.

Limo includes some of the worlds biggest players from the mobile section including Samsung, Vodafone and now Adobe. The main aim of LiMo is to give telecom operators a greater say over the software development for mobile platforms.

Adobe, being a company which deals in widely popular web-based technologies, forms an integral part of LiMo with its close to 1.6 million developers.

More and more operating systems based on Linux creates more and more support issues for telecom handset developers. In coming years, resolving this redundancy issues will be a prime target for LiMo.

Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition | Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition

Linux Mint 8, codenamed “Helena” , had two more additions to the family : Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition and Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition.

Linux Mint is an Ubuntu based Linux distribution with integrated media codecs and a sleek user-friendly look. Over the years it has evolved to be a complete Distribution within itself, complete with a custom desktop menu, unique configuration tools, a web-based package installation interface and a number of different editions.

Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition

Linux Mint 8 KDE Edition has been available for over a week now and is based on Kubuntu 9.10.

Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition has all the features of the KDE Edition like KDE 4.3 with improved performance and stability, Software and Update Manager improvements and default applications like Songbird, Tucan and Minitube.

This KDE64 version is identical to KDE Edition but compiled for 64 bit processors (Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, AMD Athlon X2 64 and all x86-64 compliant processors).

Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition

This release has been built with the emphasis on a lightweight and yet fully functional desktop centered on the Fluxbox window manager.

Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition is easily configurable to run on lower-spec hardware with the tools needed for doing so readily available. It is based on Fluxbox 1.1.1 and other than improvements in the Software and Update Manager, it also has changes in the Menu whereby the “System Tools” submenu has been broken down into smaller, less intrusive submenus.

With the addition of KDE, Fluxbox as well as 64-bit editions, it turns out that Linux Mint is turning out to be a more than “just another Ubuntu fork”. Let’s hope other Linux Distributions try to provide the user experience that the Linux Mint guys have managed to accomplish.

Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition can be downloaded from here and Linux Mint 8 KDE64 Community Edition can be downloaded from here.

For Linux users in India, you can save your bandwidth and directly buy the Linux Mint 8 Live CDs from here.

OpenOffice.org 3.2 Released

At the start of it’s tenth anniversary OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 was officially relased today, a week after the 5th Release Candidate (RC 5) had been released.

For those who don’t know, OpenOffice.org is   the leading open source, cross-platform software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It can be used as an alternative to Microsoft’s Office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.

Since the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0, just about a year ago,   there have been more than 100 million downloads and it remains one of the largest open source application projects out there.

Apart from fixing a number of bugs and numerous potential security vulnerabilities, the following are some of the features of the new OpenOffice.org 3.2 :

  • Upto 40% faster startup time
  • Support for open standards like ODF
  • Support for Propreitary formats and better compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007
  • Support for Postscript based commercial and free OpenType fonts for formatting, printing and display.

A few weeks before the Release of OpenOffice.org 3.2, the OpenOffice.org Community   had formally announced the “End-Of-Life” (EOL) status for the legacy OpenOffice.org version 2.x series of it’s productivity suite. This meant that support with patches, bugfixes and security updates is no longer available from the Community for these or before releases. It thus becomes imperative for the user to upgrade to OpenOffice.org version 3.x

You can download OpenOffice.org 3.2 from here and read about it’s new features in detail here .

At the dawn of 2010, OpenOffice.org 3.2 seems to be the first and only complete Office application suite out of the kilns which has made an official release. It would be interesting to see how other Office suites compare to this release.

Screenshot Tour of KDE SC 4.4

Earlier, the KDE team had announced the availability of version 4.4 of the popular desktop environment, KDE. I’m a big KDE fan, and have been a KDE user since KDE 3.5. Despite the criticism faced by KDE4 for its initial release, I’ve always been impressed by KDE. I’d been running the RC2 version of KDE 4.4 since it was made available. And today I’ve upgraded to the release version.

Here are some screenshots of the DE:

KDE 4.4 in its barebones view

KDE 4.4 in its default avatar
KDE 4.4 in its default avatar

The folder view plasmoid in KDE 4.4 – indeed I’m hovering my mouse pointer over the folder, not clicking on it!

Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4
Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4

Revamped interface for adding new Plasmoids on to desktop. As you can see, the widgets (“Plasmoids” ) are categorized, and can also be searched.

Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known
Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known

Multiple windows can now be grouped into one, providing a tabbed interface across windows. Individual windows can be further split and remote protocols do work

Multiple windows grouped into a single window
Multiple windows grouped into a single window

KWin’s composition engine is now a lot smoother, faster and my preferred composition engine

CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin
CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin

KDE 4.4 comes with Amarok 2.2.2 as the music player. Amarok can make use of KNotify for displaying Now Playing information, instead of its OSD feature.

Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4
Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4

KRunner functions well as an application launcher, as well as a search bar

KRunner functions well as an application launcher
KRunner functions well as an application launcher

Konqueror is a fine browser, based on KHTML – the foundation for WebKit. However Gmail is not fully supported under Konqueror

Konqueror
Konqueror

So, what’re your thoughts about KDE 4.4 ? Or are you still hanging onto KDE 3.5 ? Post a comment and do let us know!

Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week announced

Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week is a week of sessions aimed at enabling and inspiring opportunistic developers to write applications that scratch their itches.

The Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer is Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon‘s pet project. The idea behind the project is to enable developers to write quick, scratch-an-itch application and making development on Ubuntu fun and more accessible.

Jono declared Project Awesome Opportunity first on his blog where he explains how to get started using “Ground Control”, an integration of Bazaar with Nautilus file manager by Martin Owens and “Quickly”, a fast way to start developing applications on Ubuntu by Rick Spencer and Didier Roche.

Jono announced Call for Paricipation for Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week yesterday, which will be happening online between 1st and 6th March.

Like Ubuntu Developer Week and Ubuntu Open Week, the Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week will be conducted over IRC on the irc.freenode.net server.

The #ubuntu-classroom will be the channel where the talks be held, with questions being asked on #ubuntu-classroom-chat .

Rick Spencer will be giving two tutorial sessions for absolute Python beginners and Python programmers on the 25th Feb.

The Ubuntu Opportunisitic Developer Week itself will cover topics like :

  • Creating an application from scratch from Quickly
  • Integrated developement workflow with Ground Control
  • Creating stunning interfaces with Cairo
  • Micro-blogging with Gwibber
  • Lernid
  • Create games with Pygames

Lernid, the online tool that Jono Bacon created for connecting to online learning events like Ubuntu Developer Week and Ubuntu Open week can be used for attending Ubuntu   Opportunistic Developer Week as well.

See the full schedule details and jkeep up with more upcoming news on Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week here.

OOoCon: OpenOffice.org Conference 2011

The first OOoCon was held way back in 2003 at Germany and since then, it has made a huge impact on the growth and promotion of OpenOffice.org. This time too, the conference is to be held at Hungary. The conference mark a milestone of another year for the OpenOffice.org and its success in a world of MS Office.

The OOoCon describes the conference as,

Hosting OOoCon is challenging, rewarding, exhilarating, exhausting, and can provide a huge publicity boost for OpenOffice.org in your country. There is no fixed date for OOoCon, although we prefer an autumn date.

The next venue for the conference needs to be decided and there is a open proposal system just for that. The proposal needs to be sent  before midnight UTC on Sunday February 21st 2010 and should include some mandatory informations like date which is preferably in Autumn, the availability of conference technologies, transportation etc.

All proposals need to be sent to [email protected] before the above mentioned deadline. You can check some data on previous OOoCon and review some sample proposals.

Budapest is already gearing up for the next conference. If you want to host the next OOoCon at your city, send in your proposal and help OO flourish.

KDE releases KDE SC 4.4 “Caikaku” and buzz.kde.org

The KDE Desktop Environment is in news this week for a number of reasons.

To begin with,   the folks at KDE have released the KDE SC (Software Compilation) 4.4 application suite , codenamed “Caikaku”. The KDE SC 4.4.0 is a Workspace, Application and Development Platform compilation bringing an innovative collection of applications to Free Software users.

The KDE SC 4.4 release introduces major new technologies such as:

  • Social networking and online collaboration features
  • A netbook oriented interface   of the KDE Plasma Desktop, called the Plasma Netbook.
  • Underlying   infrastructural innovations such as the KAuth authentication framework, a more stable implementation of the Nepomuk Semantic desktop project and better Desktop search.

The overall look and feel of this Linux desktop experience has become much more sleek and refined and the community seems to have shown excitement on this release.

To follow what is happening around the KDE SC 4.4 release on the social web , you can visit the new KDE community livefeed , buzz.kde.org .

buzz.kde.org aggregates what people say about KDE all around the web. It currently monitors identi.ca, twitter, youtube, Picasa Web Albums and flickr to show you news, opinions and other interesting stuff concerning KDE. The content claims not to have been filtered and in “almost” real time.

With bouncing windows et al, the buzz.kde.org website has been launched alongwith a complete redesign of the KDE.org frontpage. This step seems to be a   deliberate attempt by the KDE Marketing team to re-vitalise the website which contained orphaned and out-of-date pages.

With such an attractive horde of releases, even GNOME users are getting tempted to give another go to KDE.

How many Gnome-to-KDE conversions do you reckon will take place with these new releases ?

Kernel Vulnerabilities Detected In Recent Ubuntu Distributions

Canonical has released a security notice announcing the presence of kernel vulnerabilities in recent Ubuntu distributions. The vulnerability affects Ubuntu 6.06, 8.04, 8.10, 9.04 and 9.10 versions, but not Ubuntu 7.04 or Ubuntu 7.10 versions. The security notice mentions that corresponding versions of other desktop environment based distributions of the Ubuntu family, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu are also affected. As part of the advisory, Canonical has recommended an immediate update of the kernel to versions mentioned below:

  • Ubuntu 6.06 update to linux-image-2.6.15-55.82
  • Ubuntu 8.04 update to linux-image-2.6.24-27.65
  • Ubuntu 8.10 update to linux-image-2.6.28-17.45
  • Ubuntu 9.04 update to linux-image-2.6.28-18.59
  • Ubuntu 9.10 update to linux-image-2.6.31-19.56

The vulnerabilities which affects various modules would cause amongst others, remote user being about to crash the system, gain root privileges and local attacker being able to consume all network traffic leading to denial of service.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures(CVEs) which are referenced for the above security bulletin are:

  • CVE-2009-4020
  • CVE-2009-4021
  • CVE-2009-4031
  • CVE-2009-4138
  • CVE-2009-4141
  • CVE-2009-4308
  • CVE-2009-4536
  • CVE-2009-4538
  • CVE-2010-0003
  • CVE-2010-0006
  • CVE-2010-0007
  • CVE-2010-0291

The details of each of these CVEs can be obtained at Secunia Advisories.

Users of the above mentioned distributions are recommended to update their kernel images to to above mentioned versions. Please note that a reboot will be required following the update. Canonical also mentions that all third-party kernel modules will most likely require recompilation and reinstall following the update to the kernel.

Symbian OS, Open Sourced before Deadline

The Symbian OS used to be the most powerful OS for cellphones before the release of Maemo and Android. One reason for the popularity of Android and Maemo among the developers as well as the cellphone manufacturers is the reason that they are Open-Source and would engage more developers and give them transparent application development opportunities. Following this, now Symbian OS has also been released as Open-Source by Symbian Limited.

The process of open-sourcing the Symbian OS had started a long time ago and this only marks the completion of that process. One remarkable thing here is that the process, which was due to be completed sometime in June was completed well before the deadline. This OS will be used on some recent phones under development, which are expected to come out early next year. The code of the Symbian OS was valued at billions of dollars, given the 330 million devices it powers at present.

Symbian had earlier open-sourced the kernel and the hardware services packages in October 2009, but now, the complete code of the Symbian OS is available for download. While the kernel and the hardware services are licensed under the Eclipse public license, the rest of the services and modules are under some other open source licenses.

Symbian suffered a setback because of the rising popularity of open-source platforms and hesitation from open-sourcing because of possible fears of developers forking off the OS. Though, now that it sees Open-Source is the way of the world at present, this move will bring Symbian its respect and popularity back.

For more info and download, visit the Symbian developer community.

openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 1 makes its appearance

openSUSE

It’s been couple of months since openSUSE 11.2 was released. But in the Linux world nothing comes to a standstill, and as on schedule the openSUSE team has announced the release of the first Milestone of the next version of the distribution.

The first Milestone (M1) release is intended to provide a glimpse into what would be featured in openSUSE 11.3. This release features updates to some of the most popular and commonly used software, and an introduction of LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment as an alternative into the desktop environment selection lineup.

The updates include:

Desktop Environments:

A look at the desktop environments in openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 1

GNOME: M1 features GNOME 2.29.5, which is the first release of the popular desktop environment in 2010. The updates include Ephiphany, GNOME’s built-in web browser now stores all form data in GNOME keyring and Empathy redesigned to make it easier to use.

KDE: M1 brings in the first release candidate of KDE 4.4. The RC brings in new applications such as Blogilo which is a blogging tool to Rocs & Cantor – the scientific applications for advanced math and graph theory needs. In addition, Nepomuk Search framework is now faster due to a new storage backend, and now provides a timeline view of your files. Full details of intended goals of 4.4 release of KDE can be read over here.

LXDE: LXDE, short for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment makes its debut in openSUSE as the lightweight alternative desktop environment, which will help users who have computers with less amount of RAM.

Desktop Apps:

Some of the updated desktop apps include:

Firefox: Firefox gets updated to 3.6, bringing in support for personas which allow you to change the look of the browser via themes/

Thunderbird: Thunderbird gets bumped to 3.0.1, which features a tabbed messaging interface, Smart folders and whole lot of bug fixes.

Other updated Desktop Apps include Amarok – the awesome media player, the KDE Photo Manager digikam, and the BitTorrent clients ktorrent and transmission.

Other Updates:

Other updates include moving Qt library to version 4.6, several updates to Networking stack and Development tools.

Download it!

Download openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 1 NowIf you’re itching to get your hands on the bleeding edge of software, don’t hesitate to try out M1 release and in the process contribute to the openSUSE community by means of bug reports ( and fixes too ;) ). Do note the most annoying bugs, however.

WARNING: Please do note that the Milestone release is very much under heavy development, and is not intended to be used in production systems.

China’s Next Supercomputer is using Linux

China is on its way to make a new indigenous supercomputer build with custom microprocessors developed at the Institute Of Computing Technology. This supercomputer, the petascale Dawning 6000 is a successor of the current fastest supercomputer China has, the Dawning 5000a. The Dawning 5000a has been running on AMD powered microprocessors and Windows HPC Server as it’s OS. The Dawning 5000a ranks 11th in the world. Apart from that, China also holds the #5 supercomputer in the top 500 list.

Surprisingly though, the Loongson processor family has been used on low power netbooks and similar miniature devices.This is a major step for the company and the chief architect of this family of processors  Weiwu Hu is really looking forward to this. A fact that needs to be mentioned here is that this is not the first time  Loongson has gotten hold of a deal for a supercomputer. It did get a deal for the Dawning 5000a but failed to deliver in time and also lacked support for Windows.

If everything goes as planned, the supercomputer would be ready by mid 2010 and running by later this year. The microprocessors have been fed with the MIPS instruction set which is widely popular in embedded systems.

This supercomputer will not be just another trophy for Linux, it will let us unleash the power of Linux, yet again.

[ Via: Technologyreview ]

Linux Foundation Announces Free Webinars On Fundamentals of Linux

Linux Foundation, the not-for-profit foundation which actively promotes in accelerated growth of Linux has announced a series of free webinars aimed in helping the attendees grasp the basic fundamentals of Linux. In a press release, Linux Foundation announced that the webinars will be taken up by Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board members and other community members.

The first webinar will focus on contributing back to the Linux community, titled “How To Contribute Back To The Linux Community” and is scheduled to begin on First of March. Interested people can register for the webinar over at this link [training.linuxfoundation.org].

Other confirmed webinars include:

• An Introduction to Git,by kernel maintainer and TAB chair James Bottomley;
• Linux System Troubleshooting and Tuningand Linux Administration 101,by Linux author and community manager Joe ZonkerBrockmeier;
• How to Work with the Linux community,by LWN.net editor and kernel developer Jon Corbet;
• A Linux Filesystem Overview,by kernel developer Christoph Hellwig;
• Btrfs: An Intro and Updateto the new file system for Linux, by project lead and TAB member Chris Mason; and
• Linux Performance Tuning,by North America’s first kernel developer Ted Ts’o.

In addition to these webinars, Linux Foundation conducts training programs all over the world,   with classes in Boston, London, Ottawa, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.

Red Hat Launches OpenSource.com

For those of you who have come across Linux, might have definitely heard about Red Hat, and might have even used RHEL distros at some point of time. Red Hat the free and open source (FOSS) company has been around since 1993 and has played a big part in bringing the features from UNIX and distributing it as Linux.

OpenSource.com 

After almost 17 years of existence, Red Hat has finally launched a new website called Open Source (http://opensource.com) where users can find the latest news, apps and information about products that follow the FOSS fundamentals.

We want to shine a light on the places where the open source way is multiplying ideas and effort, even beyond technology. We believe that opensource.com will be a gathering place for many of the open source stories we’d like to share–through articles, audio, web presentations, video, or open discussion.

The core fundamentals behind the site is to have more and more users to start using Open Source, and their main focus is to tap into the Education, Business and Government users. This initiative does not come as a surprise since most businesses and Government agencies are looking to cut costs that they have to bear when they use closed source and proprietary software.

Open Source Red Hat

OpenSource.com like any other FOSS project is a community driven project, and any users who are interested to contribute can pitch in with help. To start contributing to OpenSource.com, read the guidelines here and register to start voicing your opinions.