KDE 4.2.85 (KDE 4.3 Beta 1)

Yesterday Rex Dieter announced the landing of KDE 4.2.85 in kde-redhat/unstable for Fedora 11 (Fedora 10 coming soon).  Since I like to live on the bleeding edge, I decided to give it a try. Installing it was fairly easy. You just have to make sure that you’ve got the kde-redhat repositories installed and that the unstable repository is enabled. A simple yum update will do the rest.

Since I just installed it, I haven’t had the time to thoroughly test it. But, so far so good. 🙂 I haven’t seen any major problems yet.

Fedora 11 with KDE 4.2.85

Fedora 11 with KDE 4.2.85

If you decide to give it a try, a warning would be appropriate so I’m going to quote Mr. Dieter here;

expect it to eat babies and kittens. We’ve
done very little testing other than “woo it builds, SHIP IT!”. Enjoy.

Yesterday was a really nice day

  • I had a day off due to the Easter holidays.
  • The weather was excellent.
  • That gave me some space to play with kdesvn-build to have a go at KDE 4.3 (while compiling, I was outside having a beer). Surprisingly after some rebuilds because of missing dependencies, I managed to have it almost fully, and more important, successfully compiled for F10. I’ll post a KDE 4.3 screenshot tour  later on. In advance to that, I’m impressed with the work that has been done on KDE 4.3. To me, it feels just as fast (or even faster than KDE 4.2.2) and I haven’t had or seen any major issues so far.
  • Amarok 2.1 beta 1 has been released Abhishek Rane has posted a screenshot tour with instructions on how to get it up and running for F10 (and F9 soon). You’ll find it here: http://www.abhishekrane.com/2009/04/11/amarok-21-beta-1-screenshot-tour/.
  • Jesse Keating announced a Fedora 11 Snapshot release. The information got posted to the fedora-announce list. You find a copy here: https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-announce-list/2009-April/msg00004.html.

Fedora 10 and KDE 4.2.2

KDE 4..2.2 has been released yesterday! And for all the daredevils out there, Rex Dieter from the Fedora KDE SIG has pushed it into the KDE- RedHat (testing) repository’s for Fedora 10 (the updates also have been pushed to Rawhide). So if you are desperate to give it a try, follow the instructions on the KDE-RedHat page and install it from the repositories. Make sure you enable the “testing” repositories. I prefer doing that manually using Yum:

yum –enablerepo=kde-redhat-testing –enablerepo=kde-redhat-testing-all update

Bear in in mind that it’s called testing for a reason and that it might hold updates for other packages too (the repo also holds early bird versions of digiKam and KOffice and perhaps some other packages too). Obviously you could exclude them by only installing the KDE update by doing

yum –enablerepo=kde-redhat-testing –enablerepo=kde-redhat-testing-all groupupdate kde-desktop

but that is not really encouraged because you might miss out on other important updates related to KDE. Also note that the update pulls in Qt 4.5 which has been used to build KDE 4.2.2 against.

There’s a very nice mailing list regarding Fedora and KDE which you’ll find here: https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/fedora-kde. There’s a lot going on there regarding these kind of updates and Fedora/KDE updates in general which you might find interesting.

Short conclusion: The KDE-RedHat repositories hold updates that have been put together by experienced maintainers and will most likely work fine for most of the time (at least for me it does). But there always could be slight possibility that they could break stuff, I quote:

The unstable repository contains bleeding edge, untested, sometimes pre-release, or alpha-quality software. You’ve been warned. (-:

Edit: when writing this article I though it was in the “unstable” repo, I changed the unstable to testing. I’ll leave the last quote untouched though to make people aware of the possible risks (if there are any). 🙂

Fedora 11 countdown counter part 2

Usually I’m not fond of posting blog entry’s so close to each other, although nicu has kindly pointed out to me that there is an official Fedora countdown counter (https://fedoraproject.org/en/counter). I didn’t realize it existed until it got pointed out (well I knew about it, although my enthusiasm beat me to it). He also pointed out some other, rather important, things too.

That counter seems to be a bit more advanced than mine. It’s multilingual and follows a central timestamp (convenient when a release date changes). Mine didn’t do both. Also the whole temple theme is going to be changed into a lion one, post-beta.

Therefor I had to make some changes to my script. I now use a central date too (located at my server though) and I whipped up a second version of the script using a lion theme. I also made some rounded corners on this image which worked out pretty well.

Fedora 11 countdown counter lion theme

Countdown counter lion theme

Temple theme: http://berkenpies.nl/leonidas/pkg_countdown.tar.gz
Lion theme: http://berkenpies.nl/leonidas/pkg_countdown_king.tar.gz

There still are many other things I could change (timezones, custom background images, multilingual etc). I’ll fiddle around with it for a while and will post any updates in the comments for this post.

Fedora 11 countdown counter

I just got a little bored and I decided to make myself a little bit more useful by creating a Fedora 11 countdown counter. Just for the heck of it. =)

It’s a small script that counts towards the (current) official release date of Fedora 11, 05-29-2009. It’s written in PHP and uses a customized version of Mo’s Beta wallpaper and was inspired on Paolo Leoni’s website banner.

Fedora 11 countdown counter

Fedora 11 countdown counter

You can download the package (~77kb in 3 files: 1 png file – 1 PHP script and 1 font file) here: http://berkenpies.nl/leonidas/countdown.tar.gz

If you are interested in using the banner than please consider downloading the package and putting it up somewhere yourself to save my bandwidth. 😉 The only requirements I can think of are PHP and GD.

And if you are not able to have it hosted somewhere for whatever reason, feel free to link to the version above.

PS. I’m not a graphics artist so it doesn’t have spiffy rounded corners and the image might not be perfectly cut out and scaled down, but it’ll do for me. Feel free to send me any changes and/or variants of the background. I’d be happy to whip up different counters.

PPS. If you want to display the script as an actual image you might want to add a .htaccess file to the directory you’ve put the scripts in containing:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteRule ^countdown.png$ countdown.php [L]

Hello planet!

Hello Planet,

Here’s a short introduction to who I am. (I’m not a man of many words. ;))

I’m Eelko Berkenpies, 25/M/The Netherlands. I’m a Fedora / KDE / Amarok enthusiast and therefor my posts would be mostly about one of those. Recently I became a co-maintainer for taglib-extras, a new requirement for the upcoming version of Amarok, 2.1. I’m also planning on becoming a co-maintainer for Amarok and TagLib. I currently experimenting with Amarok SVN and having some sort of Project Neon clone for Fedora.

There haven’t been much noticeable things I’ve accomplished so far. I used to maintain a site called Audio-Tracker.com which served dynamic signatures for misc. media players. Unfortunately I ran out of time and resources to maintain it so it’s near dead at the moment. It still works but it lacks support for media players ( or better said, media players would need to integrate Audio-Tracker.com to their systems using their plugin architecture and I currently lack the skills to accomplish that =) ).

My plans for the near future are polishing my packaging skills and pick up on development again.

rekonq 0.0.4 rpm (packaging continues)

I bumped into a neat little browser for KDE called “rekonq”. It’s a browser designed for WebKit and KDE and it’s light weight, all big pluses for me. I like fast little browsers which just do what they are supposed to do (browse the web as fast as possible) like midori and Arora. Although I very much like the fact that rekonq is designed to be KDE specific which Midori and Arora are not. I think it has the potential to become a serious thread for those two. Here are two screenshots of the browser:

Main Browser Window:

rekonq main browser window

rekonq main browser window

Browser Configuration:

rekonq configuration

rekonq configuration

Installation is quite simple, you download the package from the author’s (adjam) website (http://rekonq.sourceforge.net/) and follow the rules in the INSTALL file. To improve my packaging skills I decided to wrap it up in a shiney RPM which I will share below. I tested it on Fedora 10 with Qt 4.5 and it seemed to work fine.

A download link can be found here: rekonq 0.0.4 (rpm, srpm and debuginfo).

Suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated. 🙂

PS. I recently finished the procedure to become a Fedora Contributor (Package Maintainer). I think this will be a nice project to get started with. I’ll keep you updated on this one.

Fedora 10 and KDE 4.2.1

Yay, KDE 4.2.1 has been released and already landed in the kde-redhat / testing repository’s. Thanks people of Fedora KDE SIG (Fedora KDE Special Interest Group)! Read the official announcement here: KDE 4.2.1 Release Announcement.  And check the changelog here: KDE 4.2.1 Changelog.

For people who whould like to give it a try before it lands in the official Fedora repository’s, here’s a quickstart guide taken from the KDE-RedHat website on how to make use of the repository’s using Yum:


  • Fedora: kde.repo
  • RedHat Enterprise (and compatibles: CentOS, Scientific Linux, etc…): kde.repo

and drop it in /etc/yum.repos.d/

Note to x86_64 users: You may have to enable both x86_64 and i386 repos.

To install, a simple

yum groupupdate kde-desktop

yum update

ought to fetch and install the packages for you.

To keep up to date, you can periodically run

yum update

on your system as well.

Keep in mind that these are 3th party repository’s and are not officially supported by RedHat or the Fedora Project.

CTRL – ALT – Backspace

Here’s a little tip for users that upgrade from Fedora 10 to Rawhide and like to make use of the CTRL – ALT – Backspace combo.

Due to a change in Xorg, the combination doesn’t work by default anymore. You have to override it manually by adding the following lines to your xorg.conf file (/etc/X11/xorg.conf):

Section “ServerFlags”
Option “DontZap” “off”

Here’s the corresponding manual section:

Option “DontZap”  “boolean”

This disallows the use of the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace sequence.  That sequence is normally used to terminate the Xorg server.  When this option  is  enabled (as per default),  that  key sequence has no special meaning.
Default: on.

I guess this also applies to other distributions which are using Xorg 1.6.

The real Fluffy Bunny author stood up!

Florian Schepper has shared his work in my call for the original author of the Fluffy Bunny theme. I immediately got in touch with him, asking his permission to distribute it again since it virtually disappeared off the internet. And with luck I must say, the same evening I was able to wrap up a RPM and a dedicated page for it.

The theme has been tested and used with KDE 4.2 (and also should work for KDE 4.0 and KDE 4.1) and it seems to be working pretty much flawless. The RPM is built under Fedora (10), but as long as your theme files are located in /home/USER/.kde/share/apps/desktoptheme/ it should work fine. The source is released under LGLP v2.1 and can, like the theme itself, be found here at: Fluffy Bunny Plasma Theme For KDE 4.