Monday, May 21, 2007

Bootsplash in openSUSE

openSUSE has one of the most gorgeous looking bootsplash than most other Linux distros out there. In all my previous installs of openSUSE, for some mysterious reason, the bootsplash never showed up during boot. This was mainly due to the fact that the screen resolution for the splash was not set properly during install. In Yast2, the bootloader module does not give you options to choose the appropriate resolution from, as can be seen below.

You have to manually enter the corresponding code for your screen resolution. In my case, it was 794. Remember that bootsplash currently works only up to 16bit. If bootsplash still does not work, choose a lesser resolution and see if it works. To get the appropriate vga mode for your screen resolution, refer the table below:

Screen Size 640x480 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024

256 (8 bit)
769 771 773 775
32000 (15 bit)
784 787 790 793
65000 (16 bit)
785 788 791 794
16.7M (24 bit)
786 789 792 795

Note: If the above does not work, also try running additionally with root permissions
mkinitrd -s screen_size

where 'screen_size' will be 1280x1024 for an LCD monitor with 1280x1024 as the maximum screen resolution.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

How to install Internet Explorer in Linux

Although using Firefox is preferable than using IE, sometimes you really require IE to open a page which is IE only. This can be problematic especially if you are running Linux. Also, if you are a web developer and using Linux, installing IE can prove to be be useful.

Internet Explorer can be used in Linux using Wine. Wine can be easily obtained on any Linux distribution easily using the appropriate repository or it may even come pre-installed. But the difficult part is to get IE installed and working properly. To get the latest wine package for openSUSE 10.2, just add this repo as a source to Yast2 and then install wine.

Next, to install IE, use IEs4Linux. This provides a very convenient way to install IE and automatically downloads all required components. It also provides you with an icon on the desktop for launching IE. I have found it to be bug-free and the installed IE has worked flawlessly till now. Although you should be aware that the installed IE is as insecure as actual IE itself and so you would be better off using Firefox and use IE only when absolutely required.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

How to change MAC address in openSUSE 10.2

Yast2 is a great tool in openSUSE for configuring all your network settings but one thing it lacks is the option to change the MAC address of the network card. This option is available in Windows so I see no reason why it should not be available in Yast.

Luckily, there is an alternate way to change your MAC address. I am assuming that you would want to change the MAC address on every boot. Otherwise 'ifconfig' is always available to change the MAC address.

To change the MAC address automatically on every boot, just create a file named 'rclocal' in /etc/init.d folder. Enter the following in this file:

#! /bin/sh

## This script simulates redhat's rc.local (Add commands at the end)

# Provides: rclocal
# Required-Start: $local_fs $remote_fs $network
# X-UnitedLinux-Should-Start: $ALL
# Required-Stop:
# X-UnitedLinux-Should-Stop:
# Default-Start: 3 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 2 6
# Short-Description: Simulates rc.local
# Description: Simulates redhat's rc.local: contains
# commands to execute after system has booted (all services are already
# available)

## Execute ony when service is started
case "$1" in
## commands will be executed
exit 0

# vvvvv Add your commands bellow this line vvvvv
/sbin/ifconfig eth0 hw ether 'Your New MAC address here'

Enter the MAC address that you want in the last line. After this, open up Yast2 and goto System-> System Services (Runlevel). In the list of services, select rclocal and enable it.

Save the changes. Reboot your computer. On reboot, the MAC address of your network card should now have been changed to the new one.

Note that this file can also be used like redhat's rc.local and so you can also add other stuff here.

Hope this has been useful! Please let me know if I have written anything incorrectly. Bye!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Yay! I finally got lirc working...

I have a Pinnacle PCTV Stereo card that comes along with a remote which I finally got working today. So here's what I did to get it working on my distro, openSUSE 10.2:
  • install lirc and lirc-kmp-default using Yast2.
  • changed entries 'LIRCD_DEV_PERMISSIONS="666"', 'LIRCD_DRIVER=pinsys' and 'LIRCD_DEVICE=/dev/ttyS0' (for receiver connected to COM1) in /etc/sysconfig/lirc file.
  • used 'irrecord' command to create a config file for the remote and copied it over to /etc/lircd.conf. (You can also use the provided config file for Pinnacle remote in remotes directory of lirc source.)
  • Got lirc to start as service on boot using Yast2 (System->System Services).
  • Started irkick and configured modes and events as per my convenience.
If you want irkick to start automatically on login, just start irkick once and exit from it using the pop-up menu from the irkick panel icon. At this time irkick will ask if you want it to start automatically on login. Select your choice at this time.

One can use control tvtime using irkick by using the command 'tvtime-command'. See it's man page for the available control options. Use the 'Kde Program Launcher' option available when you are assigning a new function to the remote control button. For starting tvtime initially, just use the Kde Program Launcher to start 'tvtime' command.

Now that I have lirc setup properly, I can control both tvtime and amarok using my remote. This is great! Also, using DCOP, I can shut down my computer using the remote.

I still haven't found out how to simulate a keyboard key event so that I can browse through the kmenu. If anyone knows about this, please tell me. Cheers!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

New KDE 4 games

There are 2 new games to be included in KDE 4.0 - KSquares, a KDE implementation of the paper "squares" game and Kiriki, a Tali dice game. But around 10 games wont be making it because there is no maintainer to work for the transition from kde 3 to kde 4.
  • Atlantik
  • KFouleggs
  • Klickety
  • KPoker
  • Kenolaba
  • KAsteroids
  • KSnake
  • KSokoban
  • KJumpingcube
  • KTron
So, if any of your favorite games are listed above, join the kdegames-devel mailing list and volunteer to help your game to be included in KDE 4.1. I myself would really like KTron and Ksnake to be ported.

Oh, by the way, the ported games look really polished and beautiful. For more information, refer this announcement or the kdegames module release co-ordinator's blog here.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Preview of new KDE4!

Saw some great videos of KDE4 on youtube today. You can watch them below. I wonder if this means the end of compiz and beryl as we know it. Regardless, just can't wait for kde 4 to be released. It's gonna be great! Gnome developers better do something to keep up.