Linux Mauritius

I’m pleased to announce the first public release of SnowBird Linux named New Dawn  based on Fedora 19SnowBird Linux 19  (New Dawn) has been around for a while as a closed corporate project intended to replace Windows desktops but in recent months I have cleaned/tweaked the distribution to make it suitable for public release.  SnowBird Linux 19 (New Dawn) includes a selected mix of free and non-free software from Fedora, RPM Fusion, Russian Fedora, Remi, Adobe, Google and Open Printing repositories.

SnowBird Linux 19 (New Dawn) includes all the goodies released in Fedora 19 plus the following features:

  • Tweaked Gnome 3 Desktop
  • Clean theme with flat icons
  • LibreOffice 4.1
  • Bundled audio and video codecs
  • Web, social and telephony applications
  • Productivity software
  • Graphics and development tools
  • Useful utilities and accessories
  • Live CD with optional installer

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SnowBird Linux 19 (New Dawn) can be downloaded from SourceForge.

Note: Snowbird Linux is a remix based on Fedora but is not officially supported by the Fedora Project. Bundled software are the property of their respective owners and subject to their respective licenses. The released version is for x64 bit systems and I have no intention to build an x86 version in the short term as most computers are 64 bit capable and my build servers are x64 based 🙂

GNOME Terminal 3.10  Beta 1 enables the Nautilus extension by default along with the menu access key out of the box.

* Build fixes and cleanup
* Portability fixes
* Migration fixes
* Enable menu access key by default again
* Enable nautilus extension by default

I’ve written many rants about Gnome 3 in the past but as from 3.8  I must admit it does feel a lot better! I still think that the classic-session is a waste of time but if you put some effort tweaking the standard desktop (too much for the average Joe) you end up with a decent user experience. I am looking forward to the music and photo application which is due with 3.10 so that I can drop some heavier applications in favour of the integrated versions in SnowBird Linux.

Over the past week I’ve been contacted by Valent Turkovic to help breathe some new life into Fusion Linux. In this spirit I’ve pushed my kickstarts to github to help test the remix and make a decision about the default desktop to be used for the next Fusion release. I’ve got my own views on the future of the Linux desktop in the light of the latest developments and below is what I’ve told Valent:

I must say I’ve been a great fan of Gnome 2 for a very long time and I haven’t upgraded from F14 until F18 was out. I’m not a big fan of Gnome 3 but being in a corporate environment I tend to stick with what works best as an end user experience. With F18 I was under the impression that Cinnamon would eventually become a an official spin which is why I based my remix on it, but if you’ve followed the Red Hat Summit you must have noted that Red Hat has announced that Gnome 3 with the classic-session will be the default on RHEL7. While it hardly matters for RHEL, you must realize that Red Hat has decided the future of the Linux desktop and you shouldn’t underestimate the effect (+impact) it has on the fedoraproject.

While I find it sad I must agree with their decision as Cinnamon is forked off Gnome 3.4, it is currently being maintained (+by a small team) as a separate branch and at the rate at which Gnome is developing the changes will soon become incompatible and we’ll have a headache. Right now nemo and nautilus don’t play well which is why even if i prefer nemo I can’t run it as Shutter and Deja-dup require nautilus extensions (+just a rant). At present Leight123 is packaging Cinnamon for Fedora but if he decides not to maintain it any more, what do we do?

I’ve tried to build Compiz-Mate since F18 and I must say it is badly integrated into Fedora, some applications (+which you add) look horrible (Win 95 look) unless you install lib-pangox-compat (+works in most cases) and still there is no consistent look and feel across the system. Having both Cinnamon (includes Gnome 3 + or many components) and Mate will pull in large dependencies and it would be better to have separate spins (+remixes). Vicodan currently maintains Mate/Compiz @ , while I admire his effort I must say we are far behind what Linux Mint has produced.

I’m sure many will disagree if not rant about the default desktop but in the end it’s always about freedom and choice which is why we have so many distributions, spins and remixes. I’ll try to help as much as I can with the Fusion project and if you can/are able to contribute back to the community please consider helping Valent or any other project you would like to be part. Remember a small change can make a big difference, so you don’t have to be a geek, a hard core coder, designer or scientist to contribute.

Below are some screen shots of the latest version of SnowBird Linux based on Fedora 19/Gnome 3

1. (+comment) have been added to this post for clarifications.

2. As usual I am responsible for what I say but decline any responsibility for what you understand  (make of it) 🙂

3. Have a nice weekend!


Spacewalk 2.0 Systems Management

A big thank you to the Spacewalk team on this 5th anniversary for making my life (and many more) easy by engineering such a wonderful product and freeing it from the Oracle back-end. This release added Fedora 19 support, basic auditing for things like user and system creation/deletion, and the ability to use an externally managed PostgreSQL database. This release also includes further enhanced ABRT integration, more SCAP improvements, the ability to use Inter-Satellite Sync to transfer org and channel trust information as well as maintain the org ownership and visibility of custom channels, and faster rendering of the pages thanks to CSS3. New API methods were provided and several existing API methods were updated to fix bugs or add functionality. You can read the full announcement @

The Fedora Project is delighted to announce the release of Fedora 19 (“Schrödinger’s Cat”). Open the box and take a look for yourself!

Fedora is a leading-edge, free and open source operating system that continues to deliver innovative features to many users, with a new release about every six months.

Download it now:

Detailed information about this release can be seen in the release notes:

** What’s New in Fedora 19? **

The Fedora Project takes great pride in being able to show off features for all types of use cases, including traditional desktop users, systems administration, development, the cloud, and many more. But a few new features are guaranteed to be seen by nearly anyone installing Fedora and are improvements that deserve to be called out on their own.

A complete list with details of each new feature is available here:

*** Downloads, upgrades, documentation, and common bugs ***

Start by downloading Fedora 19:

If you are upgrading from a previous release of Fedora, refer to:

Fedora now includes FedUp in order to enable an easy upgrade to Fedora 19.

*** Documentation ***

Read the full release notes for Fedora 19, guides for several languages, and learn about known bugs and how to report new ones:

Because of the number of changes to the installer, we particularly suggest taking a peek at the Installation Guide:

Fedora 19 common bugs are documented at:

This page includes information on several known bugs in the installer, so we recommend reading it before installing Fedora 19.

*** Contributing ***

We can’t build Fedora inside a box. We need your help! Bug reports are especially helpful–if you encounter any issues, please report them!

Fedora is a fantastic, friendly community, and we have many ways in which you can contribute, including documentation, marketing, design, QA, and development.

To learn how to help us, visit:

 Fedora 19

Fedora 19 (“Schrödinger’s Cat”)

The Penguins are back,  awaiting the next release of Fedora (19) named Schrödinger’s Cat. At the Fedora 19 Final Go/No-Go Meeting, it was agreed to “Go” with Fedora 19 by Fedora QA, development, release engineering and FPM.

This release marks a major milestone for me as I have been unwilling to upgrade from Fedora 14 (Laughlin) because of the Gnome 3. There is enough rant about Gnome 3 on the web so I won’t go into the details but sticking with Fedora 14 (using Remi repos after EOL) which has been the base of RHEL 6 has provided me with a stable desktop since January 2011. Having mastered SnowBird Linux off Fedora 18, I have been quite pleased with the user experience (Cinnamon 1.6) and Cinnamon 1.8 in Fedora 19 is a huge update.

While I appreciate the work being done to bring back the much loved Gnome 2 desktop (of which I am a huge fan) to Fedora through the Mate spin, I believe it is a lost cause as Red Hat has announced that RHEL 7 will be based off Fedora 18/19 and default to Gnome 3 with the classic session. The Mate components in any case are too loosely integrated in Fedora, the user experience is so poor that some applications have an erratic behaviour and even require the use of libpangox-compat to avoid looking like Windows 95. Here, I have to show my appreciation for the work being done by Linux Mint, it is most likely the distribution of choice for newbies or those willing to make the switch from Windows. While the desktop hardly matters for RHEL as most installations are headless, it is clear that Red Hat has already decided the future of the desktop.

So watch out, the cat will be out of the box on Tuesday 2nd of July 2013.

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