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: https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/selinux-policy-3.10.0-56.fc16


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 org.gnome.shell.clock show-date true

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

Friday, 3 September 2010

Shotwell replaces F-Spot in Ubuntu

Shotwell, the GNOME application developed in Vala and SQLite, is the default photo manager application in Ubuntu 10.10(Maverick) replacing F-Spot. It is also the default photo manager in Fedora 13 (Goddard). F-spot is the second Mono based application after Tomboy(replaced by Gnote) which is removed from the "default application" status in popular distributions. Shotwell is licensed under GNU GPL v2.1

Shotwell is still in early stages of the development, but it has proved to be a stable application to import, manage and edit(with limited capabilities) on GNU/Linux desktop. The current version of Shotwell is 0.7 and Fedora 13 ships with version 0.5. Here are some of the key features of Shotwell-0.7:

  • Import photos from digital cameras supported by gPhoto or from a disk or from F-spot
  • Supports JPEG, PNG and Raw formats.
  • Automatically organise photos based on events and collections.
  • Organise photos using tags and titles. A photo can have multiple tags. The tags will be included in the metadata when you export the photo.
  • Publish photos to Facebook, Flickr and Google Picasa
  • Rate the photos
  • Photo editing - crop, rotate, auto-enhance, red-eye correction, colour adjustments, etc..
  • Edit the photos which are not imported to shotwell.
  • Allows the user to set the photo as the desktop background and slideshows
  • Automatically detect missing photos
  • The original photos are stored in ~/Pictures
Shotwell seems to be fit for all the basic photo management tasks. However, there are some minor disadvantages which I noticed in version 0.5. The tags are case-sensitive and each time the user have to remember the exact case and spelling of the tags used earlier. An autocomplete feature which will solve this issue partially is already in the trunk. A feature request for case insensitivity is also reported in the bug tracking system.

The Shotwell team has published a short, but comprehensive user guide for end-users, which can be accessed here. Shotwell packages are available for Fedora, Ubuntu and OpenSuse. It has also a Microsoft Windows version with limited features.

Note on editing features:
Shotwell doesn't write the edits(crop, rotate, auto-enhance) to the image file. Instead it records the changes in a database and apply them on the fly when the image is viewed. This will make sure that the original image file is not tampered even if you do something wrong while editing. You can always get a modified version of the photo by exporting it. The RAW editing features are also limited in Shotwell. This may improve in the course of development.

References:
  1. Ubuntu Release Notes: http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/maverick/beta#New%20features%20in%20Maverick
  2. Fedora release notes: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/13/html/Release_Notes/sect-Release_Notes-Changes_in_Fedora_for_Desktop_Users.html#sect-Release_Notes-Fedora_Desktop
  3. Shotwell Wiki: http://trac.yorba.org/wiki/Shotwell