Tuesday, 27 December 2011

CentOS 6.2 LiveCD 64-bit - Small Desktop Icons Fix

If you have noticed CentOS 6.2 seems to have very small icons that behave strange when zooming in / out, here is the fix.


su -c 'yum reinstall gtk2'

This issue has been driving me mad for a while. Thanks to maruska on the CentOS Forums.

Monday, 12 December 2011

For a successful Mandriva 2011 install, follow these steps!

Mandriva 2011 is a very decent and innovating Linux distribution but is sadly let down by a few fixable quirks. The biggest show stopper occurs when trying to update Mandriva 2011 for the first time. Unfortunately many newbies are struggling with this pain in the backside so let me tell you what to do in easy to follow steps.

1.After installing Mandriva 2011 read the Errata -  http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/2011.0_Errata

Familiarise yourself with some of the known bugs, it isnt necessary to run every fix listed in the errata and I cannot tell you what to run as my system is totally different to yours :-)

However, the unused locales / drivers will apply.

2. Remove the unused locales and drivers left behind by the installer

Open a terminal and run these commands as root

urpmi xorg-x11
urpme --auto-orphans

3. Speed up KDE by disabling the debugging.

Why was KDE debugging turned on by default is beyond me, distributions such as Fedora KDE, Kubuntu, Mageia have this disabled. When enabled there is a performance hit.

To disable it, run this command as your normal regular user.


And tick the box to disable all debugging.

4. Update Mandriva

Open the Mandriva Control Center, select configure media sources for install and update.

Click on Add, then choose "Full set of sources"

You are now ready to update Mandriva, go back to the Control Center and select the "Update your system" option. If you get a prompt asking to resolve a dependency, please select the following option,


The update should run smoothly after this.

5. Reboot and enjoy Mandriva 2011!

Well almost, if closing Firefox causes LibreOffice to launch, remove the sym link in /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/libnpsoplugin.so

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Tutorial - Recompiling Freetype with the patented auto hinter enabled in openSUSE 12.1

Here is a great little exercise that will teach you how to recompile the freetype package in openSUSE 12.1 and enable the patented auto hinter for better looking fonts.

Start by opening a terminal.

Install required packages such as gcc and zlib-devel

su -c 'zypper install gcc zlib-devel patch'

Change to your Downloads folder

cd Downloads

We are going to download the freetype source rpm package from the openSUSE servers.

wget http://download.opensuse.org/source/distribution/12.1/repo/oss/suse/src/freetype2-2.4.7-1.2.src.rpm

At the time of writing 2.4.7-1.2 was the current available version.

Install the source package locally

rpm -ivh freetype2-2.4.7-1.2.src.rpm

A new folder will be created in your home directory called rpmbuild.

cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS

We need to edit the freetype2.spec file so it compiles with the auto hinter enabled.

kwrite freetype2.spec

Scroll down to line 80 and change %define enable_subpixel_rendering to %define enable_subpixel_rendering 1

Save and exit

It is now time to compile our modified freetype package, which should not take very long.

rpmbuild -bb freetype2.spec

Once the package has been successfully compiled, it will be located in the rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64 or rpmbuild/RPMS/x86 folder.

To install your modified freetype package,

cd ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/$(arch)

su -c 'zypper install --force libfreetype6-2.4.7-1.2.$(arch).rpm'

You have now installed your modified freetype package, reboot your machine to see the difference.

Important Note:

Installing your modified freetype package will overwrite the existing freetype package that has the patented code disabled. However, should openSUSE install an update to freetype it will overwrite your modified freetype package.