Archive for the ‘Fedora’ Category.

CyanogenMod on ASUS Transformer Infinity using Fedora 19

Today I decided to finally make the jump and install CyanogenMod on my ASUS Transformer Infinity.

It turned out to be really easy. I needed some Android tools (adb and fastboot) which are available in the Fedora repositories

sudo yum install android-tools

I made sure to take a backup of all the data I had on the tablet first (books, comics, pdfs, sound files, etc.).

Make sure that “USB debugging” is enabled on the device. On Android 4.2 and newer this requires going to “Settings/About tablet” and tapping “Build number” 7 times (I kid you not). This will cause “Settings/Developer options” to magically appear and “USB debugging” can now be enabled.

When rebooting into the ClockworkMod Recovery (by choosing the “RCK” icon on the boot screen) I had to go into the “Mounts and storage” menu and “mount /data” to be able to make backups and find the zip files.

Then I just followed the official CyanogenMod installation instructions. Remember to download the Google Apps as well to get Play Store, etc.

And that’s it.

Upgrading the BIOS on a Dell laptop using Fedora 17

A warning: I don’t know what I am doing and this may brick your laptop. So proceed at your own risk.

I noticed that my Dell E4300 was behaving a bit strangely when it came to managing the speed of the CPU. Sometimes it would limit it to 800Hz for an extended period of time and obviously that made it kind of a pain to use. So I thought that maybe the issue had been fixed in a BIOS update (there have been 11 BIOS updates since the one I have on the laptop now) and here’s how I installed it using Fedora 17.

First we need the Dell firmware tools

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo yum install firmware-addon-dell

Then we need to figure out what BIOS version we are running

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo inventory_firmware
Wait while we inventory system:
 System inventory:
 System BIOS for Latitude E4300 = A13

Then go to Dell’s “Drivers & Downloads” page and look for updates for E4300 BIOS. I found A24 and downloaded the E4300A24.exe file.

Now to run that .exe file and extract the BIOS update we need to install wine:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo yum install wine
[maxx@siamese ~]$ wine E4300A24.EXE  -writehdrfile

This should give you with a file called E4300A24.hdr.

Update the BIOS:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo dellBiosUpdate -u -f E4300A24.hdr

And finally reboot. Upon booting the machine you should see a message about updating the BIOS.

When you are back at a shell check that the BIOS version is right:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo inventory_firmware
Wait while we inventory system:
 System inventory:
 System BIOS for Latitude E4300 = A24

And that’s it.

A small python script

Recently I changed from using Secrets on my Android phone to using KeePassDroid for storing my passwords. The point of this change was that KeePass is also available for Linux (called KeePassX) and I can now sync my passwords between my desktop and my phone using Dropbox.

However I had to migrate my passwords from Secrets to KeePassX. Luckily Secrets can export to CSV and KeePassX can import XML. So Python to the rescue.

Here is the small Python program I made in case anyone on the Internet should be interested (does anyone know of a nice code syntax highlighter plugin for wordpress?):

import csv
from xml.dom.minidom import Document

doc = Document()
db = doc.createElement("database")

group = doc.createElement("group")

gtitle = doc.createElement("title")
gtitle.appendChild(doc.createTextNode("Imported from Secrets"))

row_reader = csv.reader(open("secrets.csv", "rb")) # skip the header
for row in row_reader:
 e = doc.createElement("entry")

 # "Description","Id","PIN","Email","Notes"
 # to
 # <title></title>
 # <username></username>
 # <password></password>
 # <comment></comment>

 etitle = doc.createElement("title")

 euser = doc.createElement("username")

 epass = doc.createElement("password")

 ecomment = doc.createElement("comment")

xml_out = open("converted.xml", "w")
s = doc.toxml()

Note to self: The alternatives system and Java

Using the Fedora alternatives system to make Sun’s (Oracle’s) Java the system default after installation.

sudo alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_20/bin/java 2
sudo alternatives --config java

Backups, homedirs, and selinux

I recently upgraded Fedora Branched (aka. soon-to-be Fedora 13), and I did a clean install to redo some partitioning. After that I naturally had to roll in my homedir from the backup.

All went smooth, however selinux started giving me this warning on login:

SELinux is preventing /usr/libexec/gdm-session-worker "write" access on .xsession-errors.

Looking into it I found out that my homedir had the wrong selinux type – most likely because I restored the entire homedir as a subdirectory under a temporary user directory and then moved it to /home.

Anyway the solution was to run

chcon -t user_home_dir_t /home/maxx

and the warning went away.

Fedora 12 Released

Fedora 12 is now released. Get it now. While it is downloading read the short release notes – or if your download is slow go read the full announcement.

Fedora 12 and USB Palm Pilot Sync

It seems I am destined to have trouble syncing my Palm Pilot. On the plus side I figured out a great deal more about udev than I ever thought I needed to know.

The problem was that with Fedora 12 I was no longer able to sync with my Palm Pilot using J-Pilot (and I wasn’t able to get any connection at all using pilot-xfer -l -p usb:). The bug report is #529259.

Since I was able to run the command as root I figured it had to be a permission issue. So I set about figuring out how udev works – and I found a really great document about writing udev rules. In particular the parts about udevinfo and udevtest where helpful.

Of course since I now knew a bit about udev I was ready to try writing a rule myself. What I came up with was a file called /etc/udev/rules.d/99-palmpilot.rules with the following content:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb",ATTR{product}=="Palm Handheld",MODE="0666"

And with that I am now able to sync my Palm Pilot again.

Raindrop and Fedora 12 Beta (almost there…)

Mozilla Labs’ Raindrop seems to be getting a lot of attention these days, so here is a small recipe to get it up and running on Fedora 12. After following these steps make sure the read the official Install page to find out more about configuring Raindrop.

Unfortunately couchdb currently crashes in Fedora 12 Beta – see bug #530904. When that bug is resolved I am almost certain the following steps will work 🙂

  1. sudo yum install mercurial python-twisted python-twitter couchdb
  2. Install python-paisley. As this isn’t currently packaged by Fedora you can download a package I made: python-paisley-0.1-1.fc12.noarch.rpm
  3. sudo service couchdb start
  4. Add accounts to your $HOME/.raindrop file as specified in Raindrop/Install
  5. hg clone
  6. cd raindrop/server/python
  7. ./ sync-messages --max-age=5days
  8. Open http://localhost:5984/raindrop/inflow/index.html

Have fun.

Compaq Mini 700

The daughter is turning six on Thursday so I think it is about time she got her own computer. These days it makes a lot of sense to buy a netbook for the kids since they are relatively cheap, lightweight, and small.

So she will be getting a Compaq Mini 700. A pretty standard 10″ netbook with 80GB harddrive and 1GB RAM.

I have it all up and running Fedora 11 now – I just need to transfer her settings and bookmarks from the wife’s computer. I decided to start her out using Gnome with a one-panel layout on the left hand side of the screen. She is used to it being a the bottom, but on a screen this small you can afford to waste pixels vertically. When Fedora 12 goes gold I will probably play around with Moblin since it is better suited for netbooks.

I faced two problems in getting things to work. First of all the wired network adapter didn’t work. The solution is to specify acpi_os_name=Linux on the kernel line in /etc/grub.conf. Next up was getting the wireless to work. It is a Broadcom chipset, and requires some proprietary bits to work. So enable the rpmfusion repository and install the broadcom-wl and kernel-devel packages. On the next reboot a new kernel module will be compiled and the wireless should work.

Now I just need to develop a small, easy to use media browser so she can watch all her movies that are stored on the media server.

Dell Studio Hybrid: Now with sound through the TV

TV/Sound sign by John Kannenberg. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic.

TV/Sound sign by John Kannenberg. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic.

The title of the post says it all, I guess. An upgrade of the kernel and pulseaudio packages means that I have working sound over HDMI.


Now I “just” need to write a file browse plugin for Moovida, and I should be ready to use the new media center.