Monday, 26 January 2015

Cinnamon Desktop on Fedora 21

GNOME Classic was originally intended to be a replacement of GNOME 2 after the release of GNOME 3. In addition, it also served as a lightweight replacement of GNOME 3 in older hardware which couldn't afford the graphical effects. However, the classic mode started gaining weight after each release and now it has reached a point were it is hardly usable. I tried with GNOME Classic in Fedora 21 and it's really a beast which is very difficult to tame. The settings app doesn't seems to work; couldn't add input methods; Files (Nautilus) came up as an intruder; too many clicks to open an application.

There were too many issues, so I tried various other Desktop Environments such as LXDE, MATE and Cinnamon.Out of these, Cinnamon doesn't have an official fedora spin so far.  An unofficial spin maintained by Dan Book is maintained here: Hope we will have an official Fedora Cinnamon spin soon.

Meanwhile, for someone who likes to have  a clean install of Cinnamon on existing Fedora 21 Workstation, here are the steps:

Step 1:
Boot the machine and switch to a text console and login as root. Do not login to GNOME desktop. You can get a text console by pressing Alt+F2.

Step 2:
Remove packages related to GNOME. LightDM seems to be better than gdm for Cinnamon, so it's better to remove gdm.
# yum remove gnome*
# yum remove gdm
Step 3:
Install Cinnamon Desktop Group using yum
# yum group install @cinnamon-desktop
Once yum is completed, you can reboot the machine and login using Cinnamon Desktop. You might need to install RhythmBox and Gnote if required.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Starting MySQL Server in Fedora 16

The selinux-policy package in Fedora 16 had a bug which prevents MySQL server from starting when SELinux is in enforcing mode. Fedora has released an update for selinux-policy which can be updated from updates-testing repository.

To install thisupdate run the following command:
yum update selinux-policy --enablerepo=updates-testing

The relevant error messages in /var/log/message:
Nov 17 18:44:12 es016 kernel: [  172.476165] type=1400 audit(1321535652.092:14): avc:  denied  { read } for  pid=1907 comm="mysqld_safe" path="/bin/bash" dev=dm-1 ino=396459 scontext=system_u:system_r:mysqld_safe_t:s0 tcontext=system_u:object_r:shell_exec_t:s0 tclass=file
Nov 17 18:44:12 es016 systemd[1]: mysqld.service: control process exited, code=exited status=127
Nov 17 18:44:12 es016 systemd[1]: mysqld.service holdoff time over, scheduling restart.
Nov 17 18:44:12 es016 systemd[1]: Job pending for unit, delaying automatic restart.
Nov 17 18:44:12 es016 systemd[1]: Unit mysqld.service entered failed state.

More details:
Bug Report: RHBZ #754072
Package update:

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

GNOME 3 - A Quick Review

I have been experimenting with the latest and greatest version of GNOME desktop for the last 4 days. I was allured by the Simply Beautiful tag line of GNOME 3, and it was not completely wrong. The new desktop is really clean, simple and elegant. But there are some usability issues which made me crazy while using the new desktop. I did an upgrade to the beta release of Fedora 15 to test GNOME 3.

I don’t want to re-iterate all the fancy features of GNOME 3 which have been discussed else where. This scribbling is basically about the issues I faced while using the desktop and I'm not sure whether it qualifies as a review. May be the issues I faced are side-effects of a better desktop architecture and it’s due to my ignorance or unfamiliarity with GNOME 3.

The notable change in the new desktop is the absence of the bottom panel, which saved some space for the opened windows, but it costs several clicks to re-open a window. In GNOME 2, I need only a single click to re-open a window from the bottom panel, but in 3 I have to click on the Activities, and then click on the Favourites icon to get the previously opened window. If you have multiple windows opened, then you have to do another click to open the window other than the last one.

I was really frustrated, whenever I need a fresh Terminal. I was able to open a new terminal only by right clicking on the Favourites icon, if there is already an open terminal.

The Activities-->Applications has a section called Other. I thought that it may be some less important applications/utilities for the desktop. But, later I discovered that it had some really important utilities such as Firewall, Network, Input Method, Date & Time, Printing, etc... I’m not sure why these are aggregated under Other.

GNOME 3 doesn’t have a easy Shut down button to power off the machine. However, if I click on the username on the top-right corner and then hold the ALT key, I can see the Power off menu item.

I cannot change the format of date & time displayed on the top panel. The main issue is that if I have to check today’s date, then I have to click and open the calendar every time. The panel displays only the weekday and hours. I still can’t figure out how the date can be displayed.

A really great application I missed in GNOME 3 is the Hamster Time tracking applet. I know that it’s not a GNOME issue, but I have to return to gnote for tracking time at work.

There are no Minimize and Maximise button for the windows, but it’s not a big issue since I rarely used them. I always preferred double-clicking on top of the window to maximise/minimise them.

The keyboard shortcut to move files to trash have changed in Nautilus. I have to press control+delete(Same as copy, paste, etc..) to move files to trash. This is useful, since it avoids accidental removal files to trash. But it's an important usability change and users should get used to it.

I’m still exploring the new features and I wish to update the list as I progress. Since I’m using the bleeding edge of Fedora, things may change in the GA release.

Update - 6/6/2011

Solved the date issue on panel by running the following command:
$ gsettings show-date true

You can also install gnome-tweak-tool(available in YUM repository) to change the advanced settings in GNOME 3.