Archive for September, 2010

Parsidora 13 Release Party!

It was long ago that I talked about Parsidora: a Fedora based distribution targeting specially people with no or slow internet connections and also Persian users (but it is equally usable for English users too). It was not released as soon as I liked; but finally, it is going to be released tomorrow. Interestingly, we will even have a release party for it!

In fact, we wanted to hold a release party for Fedora 13 and introduce Parsidora 13 there; but it didn’t happen on time. And now, since it is too late to hold a Fedora 13 release party we decided to call it “Parsidora Release Party” :). BTW, the purpose is still the same: gathering Fedora and Linux fans in an event.

Parsidora 13 is the first release of this distribution, and is based on Fedora 13 (hence the number “13”). For this release, we only provide single disc 32 and 64 bit installation DVDs. We will consider releasing live CDs for later versions, but the main target is providing installation DVDs since it is much more useful for people without fast internet connections. This release comes with A LOT OF additional software including:

A set of commonly used Persian Fonts (not available in Fedora because of legal ambiguity)
Stardict English-Persian dictionary
Multimedia Codecs and Players (e.g. VLC, MPlayer), Miro, Bunshee
RPMFusion Hardware Drivers
UnRAR/UnACE, p7zip
Kile, TexMaker
TeXLive 2010 (with Persian support)
Jalali Calendar
Compiz Fusion extra packages
LXDE Desktop
Internet applications: Aria2, Epiphany, Pidgin, Gyachi
Complete security related packages of Fedora Security Labs Spin
Eclipse, NetBeans, MonoDevelop, Qt Creator and IntelliJIDEA
Arm and Avr compilers, Avr programming packages
Electronic Related packages: GEDA, ngspice, Kicad, KTechLab, xcircuit
Octave, QtOctave
RoboCup 2D/3D Soccer Simulator Packages
Games: BZFlag, BTanks, CSMash, Chromium-BSU, DosBox, FreeCIV, Glest, ManiaDrive, Neverball, VDrift, Wesnoth

You can find some screenshots of Parsidora here: Parsidora release pre-announcement. We’ve also covers and DVD labels for distributing packaged DVDs. Because of our target user base, our main delivery mechanism will be by using online Linux shops. Currently, we’ve problems in uploading DVD isos (so they are not available for download yet) but we will try to make iso files available for download in Parsidora’s main website ASAP.

I hope a great release party for ourselves! It is going to be in about 14:30 hours from now… 🙂

Trying to install and test Fedora 14 without success

Wow! I was off for a while and many things have been happened in this period. But it is a few days that I’m back. One of the first things that I decided to do was to start testing a new version of Fedora much sooner. So, for the first time I downloaded an Alpha version of Fedora DVD to test and report any bugs encountered.

I have a ThinkPad X61 laptop which doesn’t come with any DVD/CD drives. So, I usually install Fedora using Hard disk installation method. Before Fedora 12 (IIRC), hard disk installation was only supported using ext or Fat partitions. Also, it doesn’t support installing from LVM partitions. As a result, I had a 10GB non-LVM ext3 partition solely for this purpose which was really annoying considering my 120GB hard disk. Fortunately, in Fedora 12 and 13 hard disk installation from NTFS partitions was supported, so I happily removed the 10GB ext3 partition and added it to the pole of LVM physical volumes (I have a NTFS partition for my Windows OS, and I put Fedora DVD iso images for installation there).

Well, I downloaded Fedora 14 Alpha iso and started the installation… but after selecting the desired partition and images directory, the installer simply stopped doing anything! I tried playing with different options and trying again, but with no progress. So, I filled this bug and it was discovered that this problem occurs only in NTFS partitions and not in ext4. Unfortunately, it seems that this bug is considered not-important just because that the documentation (which is outdated IMHO) says that only installation from ext and fat partitions are supported (has anybody still FAT partitions in his hard disk?!! or people should stop using LVM?).

IMHO, if hard disk installation is going to remain a really “useful” option, it should at least support either installation from LVM partitions or NTFS partitions.

Following that bug report, I decided to try installing from an ext4 partition. Fortunately, my 120GB hard disk is replaced with a 500GB hard disk and I use the 120G hard disk as an external USB hard disk. I had not touched its partition table since the replacement and retained its contents for backup purposes. However, for this test I was forced to create an ext4 partition and try to install from it. This time, I could advance in the installation process past the partitioning section.

I found two nice tweaks in the installer compared to older versions:

1. It correctly detects my Windows partition and does not try to use my sda1 (which is my recovery partition) as my Windows partition to boot from.

2. In the date/time configuration window, the “System clock uses UTC” option is not checked by default (apparently because it knows that I have a Windows installed and this option is not appropriate for dual boot systems who use Windows).  This was one of the things that I always noted to almost everybody who wanted to try installing Fedora, as almost all of them wanted to install it beside their Windows.

But, when I was going to be presented with the software selection window, this bug was encountered (which is apparently duplicate of this bug). Therefore, I was unable to install Fedora 14 Alpha.

Unfortunately, the bugs are still present in Fedora 14 Beta RC2 (thanks to delta isos I was able to jump over different releases with not too much download) and it seems that they’ll be in Fedora 14 Beta release too. Considering the comments in both bugs, I’m afraid that they’ll be taken seriously for Fedora 14 final release; which means that I might be able to install Fedora 14 on my system from hard disk which would be a considerable regression in my point of view.  (Yes, certainly I can setup a server on another system and install from network (if it still works though!), but that’s really undesirable. And I don’t like to buy an external DVD drive just for this purpose!

Well, not a very interesting experience of trying Fedora early pre-relaeses! But if it’s just for the pre-release versions, it’s still nice. I’m afraid of encountering the same problems in the final release… 😦

OK, that was too much! I did other things too. First, I decided to once again tray to have a look at what’s annoying in PackageKit for me, and report the problems in a reasonable way. The result was a set of bug reports and a patch (30251, 30276, 30284, 30252 and 30240) which will hopefully make Fedora package management system a bit more pleasant for some of us (usually people who doesn’t have a fast internet access). Three of the bugs are already fixed (thanks Richard) and I hope that the other 2 will be fixed soon. Now, PackaeKit should correctly support split media repositories (e.g. Fedora installation CDs in addition to Fedora installation DVDs) and be more well behaved in some scenarios.

Second, I’ve also joint Fedora Localization team to contribute a little to Fedora Persian translation.

And finally, I’m starting my work on yum which I talked about it about 3 months ago! Who knows, maybe I can make it a Fedora 16 feature 😛