Community Enterprise OS

CentOS 4.8 finally there ?

So it looks like we are going to have CentOS 4.8 before RHEL 5.4 after all. I blogged about the big 4.8 release delays a week ago and we can expect CentOS 4.8 on Friday if all goes well. Maybe the weekend ?

If you remember that RHEL 4.8 was released on 18 May 2009, that makes CentOS 4.8 three months (or 95 days) late. Of course it is impossible to release a rebuild at the same time as the original, but 3 months is a lot of QA :-)

CentOS 4.8 release delays again

After the big CentOS 5.3 release delay in the beginning of 2009, the community witnesses history repeating with CentOS 4.8 being delayed even longer. It is unfortunate that 13 weeks after Red Hat released RHEL 4.8, CentOS is unable to release their own rebuild.

The burden of keeping things private

Now that the cat is out of the bag I can discuss one part of what bothered me within the CentOS project for more than 2 years. Something which was unknown to outsiders, but also not discussable inside of the project because of the fear of the repercussions of bringing up this topic during a meeting. If you cannot discuss, you cannot fix.

Nokia E71 modem on CentOS Linux

I often use my cellphone to connect my laptop to the Internet on the train or when I am in the car, not driving. Fabian was interested in the details and since I promised him this almost a year ago, without further ado...

So here is an overview of how I configure my Nokia E71 to be used as a modem (over bluetooth) with my laptop. First make sure you have bluez-utils installed by running either apt-get install bluez-utils or yum install bluez-install

Then check if you can find your cellphone by doing:

CentOS too much like Red Hat ?

I noticed there was something wrong with Planet CentOS this evening, and apparently the CentOS website says:

The CentOS websites are current down for some unscheduled maintenance, we hope to have services restored as soon as possible.

But at the same time if you go to www.redhat.com, you get a:

redhat.com will be back soon.Thank you for your patience.

I think there's plenty of food for conspiracy theorists in there :-) Maybe CentOS is running in Red Hat's datacenter ?

Could it really ?

First CentOS book available as ebook

About 18 months ago I blogged about the fact there was no book that focused on CentOS. There were books about Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which would be the same, but none of them had CentOS on the cover. None would discuss the community aspect, where to get help or why it matters in size.

Improved RHEL, CentOS and Scientific Linux hardware support

The past few months a bunch of very cool CentOS community members (and I am not including myself here) spend their time creating kernel modules for the stock RHEL5 2.6.18 kernel to extend hardware support. The result is now known as: ELRepo

What does it mean ?

It means that if you have problems to get specific hardware working on RHEL5, CentOS-5 or Scientific Linux 5, you can visit http://elrepo.org/ and download kmod packages for your hardware.

It effectively means that with recent hardware (laptops, desktops), you have a high chance that you can run an Enterprise Linux distribution to get recent sound hardware, webcams, dvb-t, file systems drivers and others, to work with no fuss.

RHEL 5.4 beta released

At the very same day as Firefox 3.5 hit the mirrors, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 Beta with a lot of interesting new functionality:

  • KVM hypervisor now supported (backported to stable 2.6.18 kernel)
  • Fencing agents for IBM LPAR HMC and Cisco MDS SAN switches
  • Updated ALSA drivers (backported to stable 2.6.18 kernel)
  • Improved laptop docking support
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • FUSE support (already available from RPMforge and elrepo.org)

Leaving CentOS team, not CentOS community

With disappointment and regret I decided to resign from the CentOS team after having spent the prior weekend thinking it through. It was not the first time I was in this situation, but this time the number of reasons weighed up against the belief that I can make a difference from within the team.

What inside Firefox is using my CPU ?

I love Firefox a lot, more than any other browser actually. With my small set of addons, me and Firefox, we conquer the world every day !

That's why I hate it when my buddy Firefox is chewing away too many CPU cycles while not doing anything. It is really frustrating because it heatens my lap(top), flattens my battery and slowens my work. (yeah yeah, I know that is not proper English)

Community newsletter, take two

I knew exactly what I signed up for when I got this crazy idea to create a CentOS newsletter, still the second issue was less well planned than I had hoped :-/ But then again I am very happy with the result and step by step I am sure things will go easier.

Publishing and announcing it was now a matter of minutes. Geerd-Dietger was of great help to get it to the finish line (in time) ! And the result of the hard work is now available here:


CentOS Pulse - Community newsletter

A CentOS newsletter was what I wanted to have for a long time. It finally materialized the past week and was published today. You can read it at:


We plan to release a new issue every 2 weeks and for the time being I will be the interim editor. The foreword explains why the newsletter is a new starting-point for the CentOS community and hopefully we can use it to communicate decisions, needs, hopes and events better and in a transparent way.

Gnome thumbnails in CentOS

Since some time I was wondering why my Gnome did not generated thumbnails for various video formats (avi, mkv, ...) as thumbnails in my file browser (nautilus) really help me navigate.

Today I investigated some more, and even though I have the whole gstreamer-plugins set installed what I apparently needed was gstreamer-ffmpeg !

When RPMforge is enabled, simply do:

apt-get install gstreamer-ffmpeg
yum install gstreamer-ffmpeg

Red Hat backported I/O accounting to RHEL5

One of the things I do on a weekly basis is follow the kernel development that Red Hat undertakes for their future RHEL5 kernels. This is very interesting because you can check the changelog for fixes, new hardware support, backported features (eg. kvm) and newly supported stuff (eg. fuse, xfs) that is coming in RHEL 5.4.

We discovered xfs was coming to RHEL, new ath5k fixes prove helpful on a friend's laptop, and I was waiting for I/O accounting, kvm and fuse to hit these releases too.

Are there too few people who understand desktop Linux ?

I just read the ComputerWorld article "Are there too many desktop Linuxes?" and once again I think the author is missing something very obvious and important.

If we are talking about Desktop Linux, we are talking about the consumer and enterprise market. If we are talking about the consumer and enterprise market, we are talking mostly about non-technical people and not me or you (since you are reading my blog, I do not consider you the average computer user).