martes, 31 de diciembre de 2019

My Linux Experience in 2019

This is my last post of the year.

In summary, I can say that my experience with Linux during 2019 has been extremely satisfactory.  I mean, my computers have been working great and the distros have been more stable than ever.

This is not to imply that I have not encountered problems along the way.  Mageia 7 has been showing me strange updates that, when I have succumbed to the temptation of installing them, my system has lost functionality (for my particular purposes, that is).  Those two notorious problems are the mesa update, which wants to remove Steam, and the WINE update, which has rendered the few Windows programs I still keep unusable.  I tried the  instructions here to fix issue, but to no avail.  Using DNF, I have seen that Mageia 7 does not seem to be connecting to the mirrors.

So I guess I will use Steam in Mageia and WINE in PCLinuxOS for the time being.

I can always resort to OpenMandriva LX 4 if I want to use both Steam and Wine.
I could finally enable Wine in Mageia.  I did it with konsole, using these commands as root:
urpmi.update --no-ignore "Core 32bit Release"
urpmi.update --no-ignore "Core 32bit Updates"

to make sure that the i586 repos are enabled to retrieve the i586 dependencies and then

dnf install --allowerasing  wine

this allows dnf to erase the newer packages that were conflicting with Wine.


Fedora keeps eating the /root space avidly every time there is an update.

sábado, 9 de noviembre de 2019

Getting the Epson XP-231 Multifunction printer to work in Fedora 31 KDE spin

This new version of Fedora gave me a bit of a headache trying to get the Epson XP-231 multifunction printer to work.  The main problem was that the OS would not enable the printer and, regardless of my attempts, I could not get the rpm package with the drivers installed.

The Plasma assistant detected the printer, but could not find any drivers.  So, I first tried what has been working before: using a local package called epson-inkjet-printer-201204w-1.0.0-1lsb3.2.x86_64.rpm (which I downloaded and keep around) using either Discover or dnfdragora. Discover told me that the installation was successful, but the Plasma assistant still refused to see the driver.

When I used dnfdragora, it would not start and issue an error message about insufficient permissions. I made my user a sudoer, but it did not help.

Little did I know that the solution was a lot simpler that I expected.

All I had to do was to start dnfdragora and search "epson." This gave me a package with a newer version of the drivers, which I installed and, after that, I simply configured the printer with the plasma assistant, where the drivers could be selected this time.

For the scanner, I used megatotoro's procedure here again.

Now everything is good!


lunes, 4 de noviembre de 2019

The Changes that November Brought

I realized that Fedora 31 had been released on October 29, so I decided to install it to my laptop three days ago.

Putting on the Fedora is a touchy operation: generally, installing this distro implies a fresh install keeping my home partition, running DNF commands to install the RPM fusion repo afterwards, and finally configuring my brand new Fedora desktop.  Although that sounds pretty standard, the problem lies on the fact that I am dealing with a laptop that has OpenMandriva Lx 4, Mageia 7, PCLinuxOS, Elive 3.0, PicarOS Diego, and Pisi Linux.  The changes that Fedora makes to the OpenMandriva-controlled GRUB2 regularly lead to a kernel panic in OpenMandriva and a slow start in Mageia.

This time was no different.  Well, there was a difference: I required a considerable less time to fix the problems, which made me very happy as I needed the laptop for work today.  Yet, I made a change to make my life easier.  I moved OpenMandriva Lx 4 from rolling to rock.  Steam is working, too.  In Mageia 7, I keep avoiding the three mesa updates that want to remove Steam.

I am considering replacing Pisi... It is way too outdated and there is no word about it since 2016.

The question is what distro to pick.  I want something light and, if possible, not rolling.

Or maybe I should try BSD?  Say, MidnightBDS? My daughter and her cat, Mr. Midnight, would certainly like that! :)

I will give it a thought...

sábado, 14 de septiembre de 2019

An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

I waited a long time for Mageia 7 and for OpenMandriva Lx 4.  When both distros arrived, I was very happy.

But new distros bring changes, and sometimes it is not easy to adapt.  Mageia 7 has been rock-solid: it is doing a great job in my laptop and both in my daughter's desktop and in mine.  There is one thing, though.  I have been avoiding a strange mesa update that wants to remove Steam.

OpenMandriva is also fantastic, but this new release provided options like rock, release, and rolling.   When I first installed the distro,  I chose rock because I was shying away from the rolling flavor.  Eventually, I had to move to rolling because that was the only way in which I could manage to install Steam in both my laptop and desktop machines.

And then, disaster came to the desktop.  I forgot to update packages in over a month.  Logically, when I attempted the update, kwin was not operational.  I reinstalled as rock and, curiously, this time installing Steam was possible.  So, that took care of the problem.

I then started the update in the laptop.  Since I had been installing upgrades more frequently, I assumed that the process was going to be painless.

I stumbled upon a large update and, just like with the desktop, I had problems.  The screen lock was broken and, even though I tried the recommended method (Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch to a virtual terminal, then running loginctl unlock-session c2 and then switching back to the running session with Ctrl+Alt+F1), I got an error message.

So, the installation was not completed and the desktop had several issues, like kwin crashing, dragora failing to retrieve the database, and losing widgets and icons.

I was prepared to reinstall as rock, but I thought that maybe I could use dnf to complete the installation.  Dnf showed me that the database was corrupted.

I decided to try rpm --rebuilddb  and then dnf upgrade

That did the trick.  Now OpenMandriva is fully operational on my laptop!

domingo, 16 de junio de 2019

OpenMandriva Lx 4 is finally here!

Great news today that, around here, we celebrate Father's Day: OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 has been released!

The details can be found here

I am presently downloading the .iso file to install it as soon as possible.  In the time being, I think I will test the live distro when the download completes.


Magiea 7 is coming around soon, too.

miércoles, 8 de mayo de 2019

Mixed thoughts

Elive 3
In a bout of insomnia, I booted my laptop with Elive and discovered that it had been updated with a feature to notify me if my HD has a problem.  Wow!  Plus, this live wallpaper is simply gorgeous! The Elive signature live wallpaper changes depending on the time of the day.  I hope I don't have to be up at 1AM to be able to see it, hehe.


OpenMandriva Lx
After installing OpenMandriva Lx 4 Beta (and accidentally erasing my home partition in the process), I decided to re-install OpenMandriva Lx 3.03.  The process took some time because of the updates, but it was worth it.

PCLinuxOS and iBus
I discovered yesterday that PCLinuxOS can now use iBus as the IME.  That was great because I had been using SCIM so far and it is complicated to enable.  Now I can use iBus for Japanese.  Yay!

Mageia 6
My daughter had been sad because, on her desktop, the Steam client running on WINE was not working properly.  That was a problem because one of her favorite games is a Windows-only game that could only be played with WINE... Not even Proton could run the game.
Well, I ran the Steam client in WINE and the issue was rectified.  Now my daughter can play her game after a long wait.

Fedora 30
I still do not get the reason why the root partition gets full so fast... I need t keep looking.

jueves, 2 de mayo de 2019

Upgrading Fedora again

On Feb, 24, I upgraded my Fedora install from 27 to 29.  Well, it turns out that Fedora 30 was released two days ago, so I decided to upgrade now.

This time, I read the post I wrote two months ago first. 

The process was completed successfully and my system was all ready in two hours, time that included the configuration of the printer/scanner.

And even the gaming headphones were operational from the start!

miércoles, 1 de mayo de 2019

The 9th Anniversary

Wow... Today is the ninth anniversary of this blog, which has its humble origins as my personal attempt to record my experiences as a Linux user when I migrated.

In this journey, I wrote about the different problems that I encountered and how to solve them.  Linux has grown so stable, however, that, as a non-technical user, I barely find problems with my computers, so the quantity of my posts has reduced.

Truly, this has been an awesome path and I am glad I took it!


sábado, 27 de abril de 2019

Using a Gaming USB Headset on Linux (OpenMandriva, Mageia, PCLOS, Fedora and Elive)

I bought a new headset for my laptop two days ago.  Since the store did not have many options available, I went for a Combat Argom Tech piece that is more expensive than the headsets that I normally buy.
However, I did not pay attention to one detail: this headset does not have a plug to a standard headphone jack, but has a USB connection.  When I plugged it to one of the USB ports of my laptop, which I booted with PCLinuxOS, the computer speakers reproduced sound but I could hear nothing with the headphones. I looked at the audio icon on the task bar, where there was an entry for "Multimedia headset [Gigaware by Ignition L.P.] and noticed that I could listen to sound by sliding the volume control, but there was no audio from YouTube videos and audio players.  So, I clicked on the audio settings and selected the Multimedia headset option as default.  This simple action solved the problem both on PCLinuxOS, Mageia 6, and Fedora 29:
Settings on Plasma--PCLinuxOS

Settings on Plasma--Mageia 6
OpenMandriva Lx 3, however, required no action from me because the headset was working out of the box.
Settings on Plasma--OpenMandriva Lx 3
With OpenMandriva, the headphones were also functional for playing on Steam without any intervention from me.

On Fedora 29, I had to change to Windowed screen in each game individually to be able to tick the box in Plasma like this:
Plasma settings for Steam game "Melody's Escape"--Fedora 29
UPDATE:  Fedora 30 was released two days ago.  Just as with OpenMandriva Lx, the headset was fully functional for Steam games.

I could not do this on Mageia, so no sound for Steam games on that OSUPDATE: Almost a week after I posted this, I booted Mageia and ran Steam.  The headset is working perfectly now and I did not do anything.  Steam is not available on PCLinuxOS, I believe, so I did not try on that OS.

As for Elive 3, to enable the headset, one has to go to the sound configuration from the menu:

After doing this, you might need to logout and log back in to listen

Once completed the process, the audio players can send sound to the headset
I do not run Steam on Elive, so I do not know if this process can work for that particular purpose.

domingo, 24 de febrero de 2019

Fitting Fedora 29... For not all hats are the same

Yesterday, I wrote a post on how my Fedora 27 reached EOL and I had to upgrade to Fedora 29.  So, I finished the download of the Fedora 29 KDE spin and, after creating a USB live medium, I started the installation expecting two main problems as a result:

1.  A messed-up GRUB2
2.  A fierce battle to get the printer working.  Or the scanner.  Or both, as I have a multifunction Epson XP 231 printer.

I have to say that this time the installer made me confused, in particular regarding the partitioning.  I wanted to keep my home partition and it took me a while to figure out how anaconda does it, but I eventually managed.

The installation was quick after that and I rebooted.

Sure enough, I had problems with GRUB2.  My OpenMandriva-controlled GRUB2 started, but when I selected Fedora, it tried to locate my old Fedora 27 and obviously could not boot.  "No problem," I thought.  "I simply boot OpenMandriva, refresh the GRUB2 configuration, and then boot Fedora."

But my expectation was met: Fedora messed up OpenMandriva and it performed two checks that lasted 1:30 minute each...

After the delay, I used GRUB customizer and could boot Fedora 29  KDE.  The OS was responsive and my personal settings were kept (since I used my old home partition), but one needs to do several things before the fresh install of Fedora becomes completely functional.   Otherwise, you get something very promising, but somehow weird, like Indiana Jones using a top hat.

This post by Mehedi Hasan helped me a lot.  I first installed the updates with su, my root password and then dnf upgrade.  That took a while because there were many packages.

Next, I enabled the RPM Fusion repos.  Again, after su and the root password, I pasted this text on the terminal:
dnf install --nogpgcheck
dnf install --nogpgcheck

Next, I installed essential programs:
dnf install vlc
dnf install libreoffice
dnf install wine
dnf install steam
dnf install gimp

The real challenge was to enable the printer and the scanner, as I had predicted.  The printer driver installed without any problem, but I could not enable the printer because of lack of privileges.  I solved that granting my user administration privileges.

The old Fedora 27 drivers for the scanner complained about missing dependencies, so I had to get this iscan bundle.  Then, I remembered that Megatotoro had a post on how to enable the scanner here.  That did the trick.  Thanks, brother!!!

With that, Fedora 29 KDE was in a perfect state for me. Yay!

sábado, 23 de febrero de 2019

Last minute shopping... I need a new Fedora!

Linux has become really stable.  I remember that, when I migrated, I waited for the two yearly Mandriva releases.  Then, it was for the yearly releases of Mageia and OpenMandriva. But releases have been slowing down.  While Mageia and my daughter had pretty much the same age at first, my child will be 9 this year and Mageia is not 7 yet.

PCLinuxOS has to be updated frequently and PicarOS Diego and Elive are special.  I once updated PicarOS and the result was a major disaster: it became a weird Minino spin.  Elive took more than 5 years to move from 2 to 3, but it's awesome.

And then, there's Fedora.

I installed Fedora 25 as an experiment and upgraded to 26 and 27.  But then I became lazy and lost track of its development because, once that everything worked the way I needed, the thought of installing the new distro releases went to the back on my brain.

However, today I tried to upgrade the Fedora packages and all I got was a message saying that my distro was up-to-date, which I immediately suspected because Fedora releases upgrades quite frequently, just as PCLOS.

So, I went online and read that Fedora 27 had reached EOL on November 30, 2018... Three months ago!

It goes without saying that I have to download the ISO and install it before the start of the new semester.  I am on it, getting the Fedora 29 KDE spin.  Darn, I feel like that client that rushes into the store in the very last minute before it closes! 

Well, at least I know that Fedora is changing the logo :P

viernes, 1 de febrero de 2019

The Banner of Death!

Google+ greeted me with this banner.

I guess that says a lot about how all the campaigns to preserve the social network fared...

jueves, 17 de enero de 2019

On Facebook

I came across this article today.  With everything that is happening with social media today, one really thinks.

G+ is about to disappear and many users are going either to Facebook or to MeWe...

It's the Ides of August!

In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Roman general Julius Caesar is given an ominous message by the Soothsayer.  The message is a simple warn...