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Nokia To Add LGPL Option For the Qt UI and Application Framework

Good news for all developers! QT will be available under the LGPL starting with version 4.5. The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. The LGPL places copyleft restrictions on the program itself but does not apply these restrictions to other software that merely links with the program. There are, however, certain other restrictions on this software. The LGPL is primarily used for software libraries, although it is also used by some stand-alone applications, most notably Mozilla and OpenOffice.org.

This option could increase Qt usage and adoption. You may see more cross platform commercial application on the Linux desktop. This is huge news for cross-platform developers.
[click to continue…]

Kill a Frozen or Crashed UNIX / Linux X Desktop

Here is a quick tip to kill a crashed Linux / UNIX X desktop system. Many new user do not know this simple tip and end up hitting computer reboot button. Press CTRL + ALT + Backspace to kill GUI and get back to login screen. There are more ways to kill a crashed desktop without restarting your computer.

If CTRL + ALT + Backspace refused to work, try to login to console by pressing CTRL +ALT + F1. To kill GDM (Gnome Desktop) manger, enter:
killall gdm
You can also run the following:
/etc/init.d/gdm stop
To start GDM again, enter:
/etc/init.d/gdm start
To kill KDM (KDE Desktop), enter:
killall kdm
/etc/init.d/kdm stop
To start KDM again, enter:
/etc/init.d/kdm start
This is useful for killing desktop session. You can always kill indidual process such as a web server or firefox using kill / killall command line option. Under X windows you can use xkill command kill a client by its X resource and not by process ID.

New Bulletproof X system for Linux / UNIX desktop

I was just wondering why this feature wasn't included in X from the day one. Ubuntu Xorg maintainer Bryce Harrington recently demonstrated the BulletProof-X feature that is planned for inclusion in Ubuntu 7.10:

This specification describes a new failsafe mode that will be used if X fails to start up. It will be in a reduced (VESA 800x600/256 or VGA 640x480/16) graphics environment running a single application (displayconfig-gtk) for configuring the graphics devices.

The goal of this specification is to eliminate the need for users to need to run apt-get reconfigure on the commandline. That approach is confusing and too technical for many users, so moving away from that will solve a key pain point for users.

This is useful if the user has changed monitors or graphics cards or X failed to detect your hardware. Linux based desktop system getting better and better everyday :)

Howto build an open source digital entertainment system using MythTV

MythTV is a GPL licensed suite of applications that, together, provide a complete home entertainment system. The system's capabilities include television, movies, music, photography and the display of other information like weather and news. It has been developed using only open source components and works under a variety of operating systems from Linux to Mac OS X.

This TechBrief provides an introduction to the leading open source home media convergence system, Mythical TV, more commonly referred to as MythTV.

MythTV is a digital entertainment suite that is as sophisticated as any commercial system available on the market today. Part 1 serves as an introduction to MythTV and guide to install the latest development frontend and backend on Ubuntu Linux. It covers building the development branch of the project suite using the latest source. Due to the complexity and variations of hardware and software, this brief will only focus on North American service. Part 2 will focus on building and installing the complete set of official modules.

pessulus is a lockdown editor for GNOME, written in python.

pessulus enables administrators to set mandatory settings in GConf. The users can not change these settings. This is an excellent software something like Microsoft profile manager.

Use of pessulus can be useful on computers that are open to use by everyone, e.g. in an internet cafe. Examples of what can be locked down are the panels (no changes in the panel configuration are allowed, locking their position and their contents), some of their functions individually (disabling screen locking and log out), the web browser (disabling specific protocols, arbitrary URLs, forcing the user to be in fullscreen mode), among many others.

From the article:

The software lets you create a profile that limits a user to a set of application that a system administrator allows. It has a nice, logically structured GUI that allows administrators to choose and click checkboxes on the options that you want to deny for user access. By default all the lockdown functions are unchecked, meaning the system remains configured as is. Also, there is no button to check all the checkboxes at once; you have to choose each one by one. Moving the mouse button over a specific lockdown option gives administrators a description of that function in a popup box.
Pessulus provides four main groups for locking specific sets of applications -- Main, Panel, Epiphany Web browser, and GNOME screensaver. Each group allows an administrator to limit a specific set of software or functions.

Lock down the GNOME desktop with Pessulus

Quick Tip: Use remote Linux GUI system, admin tools locally

This is a reader-contributed article.

Technology has changed dramatically in the last decade. OpenSSH is one the best project. It allows you to control remote Linux / UNIX server using command line or GUI tools.

Do you miss GUI configuration server management tools such as Debian network-admin or Redhat/Cent os system-config-* tools/utilities while administrating a Linux server? Do you want to run GUI admin tools on a remote Linux server and get display on local desktop or laptop X server system?

I have been using OpenSSH X11 forwarding and it works very well with DSL / ADSL/ cable connections.

Sample setup

Our setup is as follows:
#1: Remote Redhat Enterprise / Debian Linux Server
IP address:

#2: My IBM laptop running Ubuntu Linux connected via hi speed ADSL connection.
IP address: Dynamic

Step #1: Server Setup

You must have OpenSSH server installed. Open SSHD configuration file /etc/ssh/sshd_config
$ sudo vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Turn on X11Forwarding by setting X11Forwarding parameter to yes:
X11Forwarding yes

Save and close the file. Restart OpenSSH server you so the changes will take place:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart
If you are using RedHat server, use:
# /etc/init.d/sshd restart

Logout and close ssh connection.

Step # 2: Running a command remotely

Debian Linux has the Network Administration Tool. It allows you to specify the way your system connects to other computers and to internet. Let us run this tool from laptop and make some changes to remote server networking. Open X terminal and type the command:
$ ssh -X /usr/bin/network-admin
Run RedHat Linux system-config-httpd tool (Apache sever configuration tool):
$ ssh -X /usr/bin/system-config-httpd

Basic X11 Forwarding Over SSH - Open HTTPD Config tool
[X11 Forwarding in action]

Within few seconds (depends upon your network speed) you should see a network-admin or system-config-httpd GUI locally. The client desktop/laptop does not need any extra configuration :)

Another option is to connect to the remote server and use X port forwarding:
$ ssh -X

Make sure you replace IP address with actual hostname or IP address.

A note for apple OS X tiger users

Instead of –X option use –Y option:
$ ssh -Y
$ ssh -Y system-config-network

Optional : Turn on Automatic X11 Forwarding

You can turn on automatic forwarding by adding following two lines to local OpenSSH client configuration file /etc/ssh/ssh_config or ~/.ssh/config:
$ sudo vi /etc/ssh/ssh_config
Set configuration parameter:
Host *
ForwardX11 yes

Save the changes. You can run almost any GUI program locally :)

Reference Links:

About the author: Rocky Jr., is an engineer with VSNL - a leading ISP / global telecom company in India and a good friend of nixCraft.

LinuxBIOS available with X11 GUI

Wow this is really cool news.

LinuxBIOS is a Free Software project aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS you can find in most of today's PCs.

Linux BIOS in action

Alan has posted video of his work. This setup includes
=> LinuxBIOS

=> Linux kernel

=> BusyBox

=> Tiny X11 server called Kdrive

=> The Matchbox window manager

=> rxvt - a colour vt102 terminal emulator

All of the above software packed on a 2MB flash chip :).


Found via Uwe Hermann blog