Friday, December 17, 2010


I am really sick and tired of people spreading FUD on the future of openSUSE and SUSE Linux in light of the Attachmate/Novell merger.

Point One - Attachmate is not Oracle and openSUSE is not OpenSolaris.
Point Two - Jeff Hawn, CEO of Attachmate has already said that SUSE and openSUSE are important components of the merger and will remain.
Point Three - Goto Point One

Novell has contributed much to the FOSS universe (think, Banshee, Mono, GNOME, KDE, Linux Kernel, Moonlight etc) and on behalf of the community, bore the brunt of the SCO assault on Linux and later on UNIX. Funny some trolls just conveniently forgot that Novell literally squashed the baseless SCO litigation and scored one for the good guys.

People will always say what they want and there will always be trolls. Get your facts right before you speak mate. You obviously have an axe to grind or something. We work hard to make openSUSE successful and hey by all means help us out if you think you can do a better job than us; we'll be glad to have you on board. Otherwise just STFU.

Sniping on the side and lying and spreading your poison around is just sad and counter-productive. What do you hope to achieve? Is it another case of my distro will bitch-slap your distro? Get real and grow up or get laid, watch some pr0n or whichever pleases you mate.

If you have a commercial motive behind your poison, well that only means whatever you are dealing is just crap.

I am an openSUSE guy and as much as I love the Geeko, I have long realised that it's part of the FOSS Universe. I am just as happy to see BSD, Ubuntu or Fedora successful. Deep down I really don't give a damn about distros. I am more interested in seeing FOSS make it.

So if you think that FOSS is all about how awesome <$DISTRO_NAME> is, then you are sadly mistaken. In the mean time if you need to comment on things you are not sure of, show some humility and respect, otherwise just STFU. You don't have the right to insult and belittle the efforts of others.

Friday, December 3, 2010

SUSE Linux Administration Guide

This useful guide is slightly dated but is still relevant for the modern SUSE/openSUSE system.

Read it here.

19 hours of battery life

Heheh...sweet!!! If only it was true.

Ah well it just means that my notebook is newer than openSUSE 11.3's Power Management can work with.

Gotta see if Fedora 14 or Ubuntu 10.10 will have the same weirdness.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Firefox Pegging CPU cycles in SLED

Some users of SLED 11 SP1 have complained about Firefox consuming an inordinate amount of RAM.

From URL bar of Firefox, type about:config
  1. Change 'browser.cache.memory.enable' from true to false
  2. Add ‘browser.cache.memory.capacity’ as an integer, and set it to 4096.
  3. Close and restart Firefox.
I have not tested the above on other distros so your mileage may vary.

Also check out this site.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Canon PIXMA MP258 with openSUSE 11.3 and Ubuntu

I bought one of those fancy all-in-one printer/scanner for my father recently. As a dyed to the core Geeko acolyte, naturally I installed openSUSE 11.3 on his new Dell Inspiron.

Goggling yielded no definitive results for openSUSE and MP258. Instead I found an excellent how-to for Ubuntu, RPM-based distros and Arch Linux (32-bit) here. I tried the excellent but lengthy instructions on my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and it worked fabulously. Note, you gotta have good and stable Internet connection for Ubuntu 10.04 as it will require getting some additional packages and accessing a git repo.

For openSUSE 11.3:
  1. Install libpng12 (zypper in libpng12)
  2. Download and install the RPMs for both the scanner and printer functions. Note that each tarball has 4 files, two each for 32 and 64 bits; choose the correct one for your platform.
  3. Goto Yast -> Hardware -> Printers to check for correct printer installed
  4. Goto Yast -> Hardware -> Scanner to select the one with the word PIXMA.
  5. Good to go!
Next stop, trying it on my SLED 11 SP1 64-bit.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Speeding up/Tuning Ext3

A nice tutorial on how to tune your ext3. Though it was written with openSUSE in mind, the principles are the same across distros.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Zypper Cheat sheet

Zypper the CLI to the Zypp package manager in the openSUSE and SUSE Enterprise distros has a downloadable cheat sheet.

You can download wither the US Letter or A4 sized PDFs at

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Packman Repo for SLE 11 SP1

Finally Packman has an "essential" (i.e. restricted stuff) repo for SLED/SLES 11 SP1.

For the SUSE world Packman has always been the repo for the sweet restricted codecs.

To add the repo:

zypper ar -f Packman_SLE

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Firefox Panorama

Firefox new Panorama feature is just simply awesome. Makes tab management really fun and useful. Check it out here

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa the Movie

A couple of weeks ago I saw a trailer of the coming Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa movie produced by KRU Studios. Being one of the very small majority who actually read the Hikayat when I was in my teens and as a history buff I was of course elated that piece of local history (and legend) is being made into a movie.

Until I saw the part they portrayed the Romans (or Rum as in the annals). I could already screamed at that moment! They actually portrayed the Romans (or Rhomaioi as the Greeks called themselves then) like something that came out from the comics; bright brass cuirass, Trojan headress and blue-eyed blonds. Note to costume director, the Romans seldom wear brass cuirasses except if you are a noble or higher ranked. Mostly wear chain-mail over tunic or a leather cuirass and are usually armed with the throwning spear septum and short sword gladius. In fact towards the end of the Western Roman Empire, much of their army consisted of Germanic "barbarians" like the Goths.

I really don't know which joker they hired as a history/literary consultant, but Rum actually referred to the area of what was the Byzantium or Eastern Roman Empire and so was more Greek than Latin. Rum was also what the Seljuk Turks called their domain when they conquered the Anatolian Plains from the Byzantines.

Also by the time the Hikayat was written the Western Roman Empire has fallen for over 600 years.

I am very disappointed to also see Mano Maniam portraying as what seems to be an Indian trader with a stereotypical Indian accent . To see one of Malaysia's finest actors reduced to such a role is heart breaking.

This shows that the jokers at KRU Studios are not serious at all in bringing a local epic to the silver screen. While I am aware that the Hikayat is a mix of the historical and fanciful, a cursory Wikipedia search will yield much information.

Do they even know that Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa is also known as Sejarah Kedah?

I cannot speak for others but to see a Thai movie (Queens of Langkasuka) that chose to portray the early Malay kingdoms (in this case Pattani) closer historically is quite sobering. Why can foreigners to tell our stories and history in an unbiased way and closer to the fact?

Will I watch it? Possibly. I may not like it. But I always make it a point to support local productions whenever I can.

End of Rant....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changing the background in GDM

Run this command as root:

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source=xml::/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.vendor --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename --type=string "/path/to/picture"
gconftool-2 --direct --config-source=xml::/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.vendor --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_options --type=string "stretched"

Sourced from

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

VLC on SLED 11 SP1 Part Deux

I have received some comments for my previous post on VLC on SLED 11 SP1 that it doesn't seem to work according to what was stated.

Well if all else fail, revert to using the openSUSE 11.1 repos:

zypper ar -f Packman && zypper refresh Packman

zypper ar -f vlc && zypper refresh vlc && zypper in vlc

If it still won't install try adding these two repos and try installing vlc again:

zypper ar -f multimedia-libs && zypper refresh multimedia-libs

zypper ar -f multimedia-xine && zypper refresh multimedia-xine

On my T61 with newly installed SLED 11 SP1, the above methods work flawlessly.

Monday, June 21, 2010

VLC on SLED 11 SP1

Out of the box, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (SLED 11) has no good video playback capabilities. In past (and now) I needed to add the Packman repos for openSUSE 11.1 and get those gstreamer plugins installed. Video playback for me is absolutely crucial as I use my lappy for entertainment as well; by that I meant playing my many downloaded AVIs, RMVBs and MPEGs.

VLC has always been the Swiss Army Knife of media players and VLC has always been sucky on openSUSE 11.1 (which SLED 11 was based on). With VLC 1.10 launched, I decided to give it a go on my SLED 11 SP1. I added the repo, refreshed it and installed vlc:

zypper ar -f vlc

zypper refresh vlc

zypper in vlc

I decided to add the 11.2 repo on a hunch, since there are numerous upgrades and additions to SP1.

So far it has been working well and I have no problems with any video or audio playbacks.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hacker's Code

# Hackers come and go, but a great hack is forever.

# Public goods belong to the public.*

# Software hoarding is evil. Software does the greatest good given to the greatest number.

# Don't be evil.

# Sourceless software sucks.

# People have rights. Organizations live on sufferance.

# Governments are organizations.

# If it is wrong when citizens do it, it is wrong when governments do it.

# Information wants to be free. Information deserves to be free.

# Being legal doesn't make it right.

# Being illegal doesn't make it wrong.

# Subverting tyranny is the highest duty.

# Trust your technolust!

* Definition: A good is public if the marginal production cost is lower than the marginal billing cost.

Thanks to Ditesh.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good Intro to SUSE Studio

Linux Journal has an awesome intro article on SUSE Studio. You can read it for free at the following location:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Installing Software Pattern/Groups in SUSE/openSUSE

I often use the yum groupinstall feature when running Fedora/CentOS to get the bunch of software install without fuss, especially when it comes to development tools (gcc, bison, flex etc.)

In SUSE/openSUSE you can also do so:

To search for available software pattern (ala Group in RH-based distros):

zypper se -t pattern

To install a pattern

zypper in -t pattern xxx

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Patent Absurdity

For those of us who are still struggling with the whole stupidity around Software Patents, please proceed to download (legally) a nice video from

Enough of mega corps dictating on how we do our computing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fixing Packman Repository error for openSUSE 11.2

For a couple of days now, when ever I do a zypper operation (and the resulting repo refresh) I get the following error message:

Repository 'Packman Repository' is invalid.
Can't provide /repodata/repomd.xml : Can't hardlink/copy /var/adm/mount/AP_0x00000001/repodata/repomd.xml to /var/cache/zypp/raw/
Please check if the URIs defined for this repository are pointing to a valid repository.
Warning: Disabling repository 'Packman Repository' because of the above error.

Since I added the Packman repo via Yast (Yast -> Software -> Software Repositories -> Add -> Community Repositories) I was scratching my head trying to find out why. Then it hit me that Packman does not use a redirector URL like

To resolve it I added another location for Packman (with autorefresh enabled):

zypper ar -f Packman

Then refresh the repo

zypper refresh Packman

For a list of additional repos you can add to openSUSE 11.2, do refer to

Sunday, January 10, 2010 3.2.0 Build 9319 Available for openSUSE

OO.o 3.2 is now available via the Unstable repo for openSUSE. 

Just add the below repo using zypper:

zypper ar openSUSE\ 11.2\ OpenOffice\ Unstable

Change 11.2 to 11.1 or 11.0 if you are not running 11.2.

One of the coolest things of running openSUSE is the availability of the latest OO.o from the devels themselves, since Novell sponsors the excellent Go-oo variant of Go-oo has better support for OOXML and VBA macros,  GStreamer integration and 3D transition for Impress. Go-oo is the default bundled with other distros such as Ubuntu and Mandriva. Go-oo also has a version for MS Windows.