Saturday, February 11, 2012

RPM Fusion configuration for RHEL / CENTOS / FEDORA

Installing Free and Nonfree Repositories

We have two separate software repositories:
  • free for Open Source Software (as defined by the Fedora Licensing Guidelines) which the Fedora project cannot ship due to other reasons
  • nonfree for redistributable software that is not Open Source Software (as defined by the Fedora Licensing Guidelines); this includes software with publicly available source-code that has "no commercial use"-like restrictions
Installation can be done either using a web browser, or via the command line.

Graphical Setup via Firefox web browser

  1. First enable access to the free repository. For users of gpk (gnome package kit) or kpackagekit in Fedora that is easy and basically only one step: just click on one of the following files, depending on what distribution you use and then follow the default options that Firefox and Package Kit offer by clicking Enter a few times (¹):
  2. Once that succeeds, you can enable access to the nonfree repositories by clicking on one of the following files, depending on what distribution you use and then follow the default options that Firefox and Package Kit offer by clicking Enter a few times(¹):
(¹) Once you clicked on above link Firefox will ask you how to Open the file. Here you can simply use the default and open the file with the default application Package Installer. Then Firefox will call Package Kit, which asks Do you want to install this file ?. Click OK to begin install; Package Kit then will complain about a Missing security signature; once you tell Package Kit to install the package nevertheless it will move on and install it. That's all.

Command Line Setup using rpm

To enable access to both the free and the nonfree repository use the following command:
  • Fedora 15 and 16:
    su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck'
  • Fedora Rawhide and what will become Fedora 17 (Alpha, Beta and snapshots):
    su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck'
  • RHEL 5 or compatible like CentOS:
    su -c 'rpm -Uvh'
  • RHEL 6 or compatible like CentOS:
    su -c 'rpm -Uvh'

Important notes

  • You need to enable EPEL on RHEL 5 & 6 or compatible distributions like CentOS before you enable RPM Fusion for EL. See the fedoraproject wiki for instruction how to enable EPEL.
  • The RPM Fusion for EL repositories are still in the early testing stages; hence you (for now) need to enable epel-testing as well, as some of the RPM Fusion packages depend on packages that are currently in epel-testing.
  • All users that used Freshrpms or Livna installed properly (e.g. by installing one of their foo-release packages) got RPM Fusion free and nonfree repositories enabled automatically.

Friday, February 3, 2012

2 Computers via 1 Keyboard & Mouse

Do you have multiple computers on your desk? Is one of them a laptop that is sat off to the side a bit? Have you ever wished that you could get rid of all but one of the keyboard / mouse combos that clutter your desk or that your laptop was easier to control? If so then Synergy is the answer to your woes.

Synergy ( ) allows you to use the keyboard and mouse of your primary computer to control all the other computers around you. Best of all, it is free, works with Linux, OS X, and Windows. There is one pitfall though... Synergy has not been updated since 2006 but have no fear because it has been forked to a new project called Synergy+ ( and they are working to squash the bugs that have arisen plus add new functionality. Below is an explanation of Synergy (taken from the Synergy+ home page):

Synergy+ (synergy-plus) lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, without special hardware. All you need is a LAN connection. It's intended for users with multiple computers, where each system uses its own display. It's a little like having a 2nd or a 3rd desktop...

In the above picture you could just as easily substitute a laptop for any one of these machines. Client computers can be to the left, right, top, or bottom of the server's screen or any other clients screen. For example, imagine a shelf just above the monitors in the above picture that holds your laptop and monitors for two other computers. Then imagine a shelf above that with a bank of 5 more monitors...

As a side note, if you run a dual monitor setup then the "screen" is the combined real estate of both monitors. Synergy supports mapping a certain percentage of the screen to be aligned with a percentage of another screen. The means that if your dual monitor setup uses matching monitor resolutions you could have 50% of the screen's top edge (one monitor's worth) mapped to the edge of one client and the other 50% (the second monitor) to another client.

Synergy does have some shortcomings when it comes to security but they are easily overcome. Quoting the Synergy2 site:

Synergy does not do any authentication or encryption. Any computer can connect to the synergy server if it provides a screen name known to the server, and all data is transferred between the server and the clients unencrypted which means that anyone can, say, extract the key presses used to type a password. Therefore, synergy should not be used on untrusted networks.

However, there are tools that can add authentication and encryption to synergy without modifying either those tools or synergy. One such tool is SSH (which stands for secure shell). A free implementation of SSH is called OpenSSH and runs on Linux, many Unixes, and Windows (in combination with Cygwin).

So, to secure Synergy you can either tunnel it through SSH or do like I do and configure a private VPN between your computers using OpenVPN and run Synergy over it. OpenVPN is available in most Linux distributions or you can download it directly from their site.

As a final tip, be sure to set your clients to run Synergy (and OpenVPN if used) automatically so that you can login without having to break out the spare keyboard and mouse again. This is particularly easy in Gnome. At the end of /etc/gdm/Init/Default, just before the line that says exit 0 add the following:

/usr/bin/killall synergyc

while [ $(pgrep -x synergyc) ]; do sleep 0.1; done


Now, go clear those extra keyboards off your desk!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Install Mozilla Thunderbird 9 on Centos, Red Hat (RHEL) 6.2 / 6.1 / 6, Fedora 16 / 15


Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. The project strategy is modeled after Mozilla Firefox, a project aimed at creating a web browser. On December 7, 2004, version 1.0 was released, and received over 500,000 downloads in its first three days of release, and 1,000,000 in 10 days.

Mozilla Thunderbird 9 is released on 20 December and today we discuss about it in this tutorial. This tutorial allows you to install Thunderbird 9 on Fedora 16/15/14/13, CentOS 6.2/6.1/6 and Red Hat (RHEL) 6.2/6.1/6 using YUM command. Fedora 16 and Fedora 15 users found Thunderbird 9 on their updates repos, they don't have to install the Remi Repositories as other previous versions of Fedora do. So older Fedora users can also install Thunderbird 9 on their desktop by installing the Remi Dependencies. So just follow the instructions given below.

What's New in Thunderbird
Thunderbird is based on the new Mozilla Gecko 9 engine
New opt-in system for users to send performance and usability data back to Mozilla to improve future versions of Thunderbird
Additional support for Personas in the compose and address book windows
Better keyboard handling for attachments
Windows users can hide the menu bar (and show it with the "alt" key)
Several user interface fixes and improvements

You also check out more features ans other details at the Thunderbird Release Notes.

Installing Mozilla Thunderbird 9 on Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat (RHEL)

Step 1 : Before beginning the Installation you must log on as Root User and now Open the terminal and enter the following command to enter as a Root user : -

$ su

Alternatively, you can also use

$ sudo -i

Step 2 : Now Install the Remi Repository on the Older versions of Fedora and on CentOS or RHEL. Type the following commands to install the Remi Repository. The Remi Repository are needed on the previous versions of Fedora such as Fedora 12 / 13 /14.

Remi Dependency for Fedora 14

$ rpm -Uvh

$ rpm -Uvh

Remi Repository for Fedora 14

$ rpm -Uvh

Remi Repository for Fedora 13

$ rpm -Uvh

Remi Repository for CentOS / Red Hat (RHEL)

Remi Dependency for CentOS 6 and RHEL 6

$ rpm -Uvh

Remi Repository for CentOS 6 and Red Hat 6

$ rpm -Uvh

Step 3 : Check Available Thunderbird Versions for Fedora, CentOS and Red Hat and install it with the help of YUM on terminal

For Fedora 16 / 15

$ yum list thunderbird

For CentOS 6 and Red Hat (RHEL) 6

$ yum --enablerepo=remi list thunderbird

Step 4 : Now, Update and Install the Thunderbird 9 with the help of YUM on Terminal

For Fedora 16 / 15

For updating type the following command : -

$ yum update thunderbird

For Installing type the following command : -

$ yum install thunderbird

For CentOS 6 and Red Hat (RHEL) 6

For updating type the following command : -

$ yum --enablerepo=remi update thunderbird

For Installing type the following command : -

$ yum --enablerepo=remi install thunderbird

Step 5 : Finally, you can start the Thunderbird 9 on your Fedora, CentOS and RHEL Desktops with the help of terminal. Start Thunderbird with the help of following command on the terminal : -

$ thunderbird

Alternatively, You can also use Thunderbird (9) launcher and launch the Thunderbird on your desktop.

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