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Release notes for siduction LXQt Dev Release

Please welcome a new linux citizen!

We are very happy to present to you today, straight from LinuxTag conference in Berlin, the first integration of the shiny new desktop environment LXQt into a distribution image. This is clearly labeled as a Dev-Release, so do not trust it, it might kill your kittens, although the developers of LXQt flagged it as being beta status. The image is to be found on this and other mirrors.

The released image, that is only available for 64-bit for now is a snapshot of Debian unstable, that also goes by the name of Sid, from 2014-05-08. They are enhanced with the lightweight LXQt desktop environment, some useful packages and scripts, our own installer and a custom patched version of the linux-kernel 3.14-3, accompanied by X-Server 1.15.1.

LXQt, the new kid in town

LXQt, the kingpin of this release is a shiny new desktop environment, that , remarkebly enough, came to live through a merge, not a fork. The desktop envirmonments LXDE (GTK+ 2) and Razor-Qt (Qt 4) bundled their ressources and, on May 7, after more than a year of development, released a first beta version LXQt 0.7, based on top of the Qt 4 framework. The developers say, the port to Qt needs just a bit more RAM than LXDE did, but performance is said to be as blazingly fast as we know LXDE is.

As with our latest full release from January 2014 we again make use of Systemd as init system in version, which Debian will also ship, starting with the release of Debian 8 “Jessie”, expected in early 2015. It is clearly the most technicaly advanced of the init systems at hand.

New commands

Here is a little cheat sheet with some of the commands that are new for booting, handling services and logging with systemd:

Handling Services

  • systemctl list-units – List all units (where unit is the term for a job/service)
  • systemctl start [NAME...] – Start (activate) one or more units
  • systemctl stop [NAME...] – Stop (deactivate) one or more units
  • systemctl disable [NAME...] – Disable one or more unit files

Check man systemctl for more information. For your comfort we also ship systemd-ui, which is called with the command systemadm.

Changing Runlevels, Reboot and Shutdown

Changing runlevels is also different from sysvinit. What was known as runlevel 3 is now multi-user.target, init 5 changes to graphical.target:

  • systemctl isolate graphical.target – Will take you to what you know as init 5
  • systemctl isolate multi-user.target – Will take you to what you know as init 3
  • systemctl reboot – Shut down and reboot the system
  • systemctl poweroff – Shut down and reboot the system

Logging with Systemd Journal

    Journal is a great win over the agedsyslog. Logging starts earlier, which for sure was one of the backsides ofsyslog. Also there is commands that give you tailored information at your fingertips.

  • journalctl –all – gives you the full journal of the system and all users
  • journalctl -f – gives you a live view of the journal as it grows (used to be tail -f /var/log/messages)
  • journalctl -b – shows the log of the last boot
  • journalctl -b -p err – shows the log of last boot, limited to the priority ERROR
  • journalctl –since=yesterday – since Linux people normaly do not reboot much, this is limiting it more than -b

That is only the tip of the iceberg, more is to be found on Lennart Poetterings blog

Since we still ship a compatibility package called systemd-sysv, you can also continue to use the commands you are used to for now, other than the ones for the journal. Besides that we set up systemd in a way, where you can use all the above commands for the journal as plain user, no root needed.

Our Resources

siduction Forum
siduction Blog
Git Archive
Distro News
Bug-Tracker
siduction-Map

Support can be obtained on our forum as well as on IRC. The relevant channels on OFTC-Network are #siduction for english support or #siduction-core, if you like to join in and participate. On your desktop you also find an icon that takes you to the right channel for support, depending on the chosen language.

To be able to act as a testbed for Debian, we are introducing our own bug-tracker. Let me explain how you can help us and Debian by submitting bugreports for broken packages. Weathered users will know how to file bugs directly with the Debian BTS (Bug Tracking System). For users not so comfortable with the system we have reportbug-ng preinstalled.

If you think, you found a bug in a Debian package, please start reportbug-ng and put the name of the package in the adressline on top. The app will now search through the already filed bugs for that package and show those. Now it’s up to you to determine, if “your” bug has already been reported. If it is, ask yourself if you have anything relevant to add to this report or maybe even a patch. If not, you are done for this time. If the bug has not been reported yet and you are not familiar with the BTS yet, you may report the bug in our Bug-Tracker.

That obviously goes for siduction packages as well. We will sort the bugs for you and file them in the appropriate place, if it’s reproducible. Please look out for a forum post with more detailed info on the bug-tracker soon.

Speaking of release and our planned release cycle. There is nothing we can tell you other than that we strive for 2-4 releases per year.

As we are always looking for contributors, here is what to do: Come to IRC to channel #siduction-core and talk to us about what you would like to do within the project, or where you think you could help. As you will notice if you scroll down, we have no art-team at the moment. If you are willing and capable, talk to us.

Hardware Tips

If you should own a ATI Radeon graphics accelerator, please use the failsafe option, when booting the Live-ISO. This option will add the cheatcodes radeon.modeset=0 xmodule=vesa to the Kernel bootline, so that you can boot to X. Before installing, on the Live-ISO, please install firmware-linux-nonfree. To do so, please open your /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list with your favourite editor as root and append contrib non-free to the end of the first line. Save the edit and do:

apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree

If you install the operating system now, the package will be installed also, preventing you from a garbled screen when first rebooting. Mind that if you rebootbefore installing the system, the changes you made will be lost.

If your system has wireless network, this will probably not work out of the box with free drivers, so you better start with wired network connected. You might want to use the script fw-detect to get information on wireless drivers. The installer will prompt you for any missing firmware and guide you through the process of installing it.

Last but not least a hint for users of the kernel based virtual machine KVM. The developement of a frontend for the kernelbased virtual machine (kvm) has begun as a fork of qemu with the name qemu-kvm or short “kvm”. Since qemu version 1.4 all patches of the kvm fork have been integrated back into the qemu source. Also there has been much progress in the field of virtualization. So there is a lot of outdated documentation around. We have a current worksheet for Qemu in our wiki.

Credits for the dev release of siduction LXQt

Core Team:

Alf Gaida (agaida)
Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
Axel Beu (ab)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Hendrik Lehmbruch (hendrikl)
Markus Meyer (coruja)
Tom Wroblewski (GoingEasy 9)
Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)

Maintainers of the siduction Desktop Environments:

GNOME: Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
KDE: Ferdinand Thommes (devil), José Manuel Santamaría Lema (santa)
LXDE: Markus Meyer (coruja)
noX: Alf Gaida (agaida)
Razor-qt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
LXQt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
 

Art Team:

missing in action :)
Seriously, we need contributors for siduction release art!

Code, ideas and support:

ayla
bluelupo
der_bud
J. Hamatoma (hama)
Markus Schimpf (arno911)
Joogi
musca

Thank you!

Also thank you very much to all testers and all the people giving us support in any possible way. This is also your achievement.

We also want to thank Debian, as we are using their base.

And now enjoy the new linux citizen that came from a merger, not a fork!

On behalf of the siduction team:
Ferdinand Thommes

It’s that time of year again – LinuxTag is here

Yes, it is. LinuxTag (LT) conference and fair starts tomorrow. We have a new location, moving away from Berlin Messe, the big convention center, to a more cozy place called The Station. So everyone involved is real excited about how the new concept is going to pan out. We again share a booth with Debian and Kanotix.

This year we have two big surprises for our visitors. For one we do a Linux quiz with valuable prices, like a Intel NUC mini-pc, a Raspberry Pi, accompanied by a book with projects for it, a beginners book about learning Python and t-shirts and USB-Sticks.

Secondly we will have our by now traditonal release for LT. This one is kind of special, as it is the first official appearance of a new desktop environment. Today the teams behind LXDE and Razor-Qt have, with a little help from siduction, released the first version of the united LXQt desktop environment, based on the Qt framework, LXQt 0.7.0. During LT we will offer an image for download and on display at LT that features the newcomer.

2

So, if you are in town, come see us on community day, which is on Saturday, May 10th, when admission is €10 only. We throw a little party at our booth with beer and snacks at 16:00, announcing the winners of our little quiz.

New website launched

After just two weeks of tinkering, we moved our website over… Well no, not really, let me start over :)

Together with the first release of siduction we also wanted to move our website away from Zikula, the CMS that we had used before. We find it unnecessarily complicated in administration without at the same time offering an adequate plethora of options and nifty tools, specially when it comes to things like spam protection. First off we had an intensive look at Joomla, did not really warm to it though. At least, in the process, I learned a lot about setting up Joomla with multiple languages, which a year ago was anything but straight forward. Continue reading

Summer in the City

Let me tell you, it is hot and it’s been that way for a month now. Just now a storm is brewing up and it will rain. My private life was quite stormy too during the course of this year. Spent spring in the US, then got back, got married, had a honeymoon on a float on a river and now filed papers for migrating to the USA. So the rest of the year will be busy as well. Continue reading

siduction 2013.1 has landed

firestarter.0.9.3

This morning, just before LinuxTag conference opened it’s gates, we shipped our first release in 2013. The conference has picked up momentum by now as has the seeding of our torrents. Besides that, the images should have propagated to our mirrors by now.

The release notes will inform you that we ship Kernel 3.9.3,  KDE SC 4.10.3 and XFCE 4.10. Besides that for the first time we officialy present GNOME 3 and a noX as a variant with no X-environment at all. Give it a spin while it’s hot and spicy.

Greetings from LinuxTag Berlin 2013, Europes biggest Linux event.

KDE SC 4.10.1 packages for siduction (and Debian)

Should you have wondered if siduction came to a grinding halt, let me asure you, that this is not the case.  The fact, that there has been no posts here for a while has two reasons, one being that I am in the USA for two months on vacation and not being on the computer very much. The other is Debian still being in deep freeze and not much happening there. That can change any time now, as RC bugs are down to a mere 43 as of right now.

In the background we are re-writing a lot of things around the build-system, the manual and so on, but these things are not really noteworthy on their own. I will blog about them, once all that is done. What makes me write this today is the fact, that we have siduction packages of KDE SC 4.10.1 for you. I would like to thank santa very much  for providing those packages for us and welcome him under our roof.

If you want to update to KDE SC 4.10.1, you need the line

deb http://packages.siduction.org/kdenext unstable main

in your sources.list. Then run

apt-gt update && apt-get dist-upgrade

Please make sure you run the dist-upgrade outside of X. Former entries to your sources.list pointing to qt-kde repository can be removed, as they are not needed anymore in the future.

Besides KDE SC 4.10.1 we also have a fresh Razor-Qt 5.2 in our repo. For that you need

deb http://packages.siduction.org/razorqt unstable main

in your sources.list.

Patches for “samsung-laptop”-driver with UEFI

Kernel Panic on bricked Samsung Notebook

Kernel Panic on bricked Samsung Notebook

Samsung had to take a solid beating this week for obviously not having tested their notebooks under Linux, booting with UEFI. Quite a few people had to brick their notebooks before the story finaly came up. Patches by Matt Fleming (scroll down to M, like Matt) from Intel, that will prevent  “samsung-laptop” from being started, where hastily included into kernel 3.8 -rc6 before Linus took of for a week of well deserved diving. In his usual charming way he lets us know:  “I have a CleverPlan(tm) to make *sure* that rc7 will be better and much smaller. That plan largely depends on me being unreachable for the next week due to the fact that there is no internet under water.

As of today, our kernel 3.7.5 has these patches included to prevent our users from bricking their devices. Happy computing.

One pilot leaves ship

Alan Cox, one of the longest standing kernel-developers next to Linus Torvalds, leaves the kernel team and his job at Intel, for personal reasons having to do with his family.

Kernel-Developer for more than 20 years, Cox has implemented a new network stack all by himself in the early 90s and from thereon rose to become number two in the ranks of the kernel-devs. Hardly anyone else has such a solid knowledge of the complexity of the kernel as he does. Linus Torvalds, that he does not always agree with on technical questions, joked about him once, saying:

Alan_Cox

Note that nobody reads every post in linux-kernel. In fact, nobody who expects to have time left over to actually do any real kernel work will read even half. Except Alan Cox, but he’s actually not human, but about a thousand gnomes working in under-ground caves in Swansea. None of the individual gnomes read all the postings either, they just work together really well.

Up to the release of Kernel 2.6 Cox was the operative number two as well. Since then, he only takes care of parts of the Kernel like the serial drivers that he was responsible for until now. His most important achievements were, besides his care for Kernels 2.2. and 2.4, the implementation of SMP in Kernel 2.0. In his professional life during the last years, Red Hat and Intel payed him to work on the Linux Kernel full time.

In his announcement he left it open, that he might be back if the situation allows him to do so. He will not only be severely missed by his colleagues on the kernel team but also by the community for his often sarcastic, witty analysis and comments, where he was never far from the truth.