I’m Still here

October 4, 2013

I have retired Synergy-Linux in a sense… It really didn’t make sense for me to work alone. So for the past year I have just taken a break, had my 3rd child and did a career change, for a little bit. Now I am actually working back at my old job which believe it or not has been a relief. I am working back with Linux (some) and thought it might be good to get involved in another community and do my best to be an outstanding open source citizen. So I have begun to help the guys at Korora Linux. They’re a nice bunch and quite enjoyable to work with. So that’s where I am now if anyone wonders and most likely I will be doing future posts on KDE 4 on Korora and changes etc.. I have helped out with. I really think Korora has a bright future and I am excited for the opportunity to be involved. If for some reason you want to find me I will be on #korora on IRC.

Synergy Linux 2 Alpha 3 (Last Beta) has been released tonight with KDE 4.6.4. Some how the ugly blue tangoish icons snuck in there that are now in KDE 4.6.4. I have been meaning to add a more greener icon theme in the mix now is my chance, in my opinion almost anything will be better then what’s now the default in KDE. Unfortunately no one will see the new theme but me at least until the next Beta, sorry. Any Who check it out:

Synergy Linux 2 development release 0.11 was released today with less memory consumption. Yay!..

Find out more here:

These last few days have been the days of updates for me. I noticed I still had KDE 4.5.1 rpms that I hadn’t pushed too the Unity KDE 4 Channel. Really the only thing holding me back was building language packs (kde-l10n) a script later on my build machine and they were all updated and done. In case some of you don’t know the Synergy KDE 4 Channel that is ran by me separate from Unity KDE 4 is like a testing or staging Channel. I normally keep packages residing on the Synergy KDE 4 Channel some times for a few weeks before syncing them with Unity. I Like to run them a while and allow a few others too just to make sure there’s no major issues. There wasn’t so they got synced, a little later than I would have liked but 4.5.2 is just around the corner and I’ll have time to prove myself. I’m really in no rush, just waiting for the binaries to show up on my favorite kde ftp server and I’ll start the scripts up. In the mean time I’ve been going through all the source packages in SVN and updating to the most recent version. Good times so far, most likely a lot of these updates will hit the Unity KDE channel pretty quick as a lot of them are just small updates to an already stable existing version.

So anyways you should see updates coming down the pipe for all QT4 and KDE 4 related packages. please as normal let me know if there’s any issues.

Mandriva Fork: and Unity

September 20, 2010

It seems a lot of the old Mandriva employees have decided to create there own distribution that will of course be closely related to Mandriva but not MandrivaLinux S.A. The new name is Mageia which means Magic.

There have been a few post and a few people who have wondered about what will happen for the Mandriva based Linux distributions if Mandriva was to go away. Now in the current case if Mageia fails or takes for ever to come up with development structure ie. SVN, BuildServers etc.. What will happen with Mandriva will Unity be based on Mandriva or Mageia?

First let’s start with a little history. Unity Linux started as a fork from PCLinuxOS during the early development stage it was decided to rebase on Mandriva and maintain our own repositories, more specifically Kernel, Xorg version, Window Managers etc.. So we created a SVN repository and started importing packages from Mandriva changing spec files, taking out epochs, adding patches, and updating source. Then the decision was made to use RPM5+Smart dropping any option for urpmi or apt-rpm. Once again packages were rebuilt, so Unity uses it’s own version of RPM and maintains it’s own repositories using smart too install and manage packages.

So now we have some things that are very similar to Mandriva like drakxtools that are basically patched to use SMART instead or URPMI. We have become pretty familiar with drakxtools and themed it for Unity etc.. but it’s still drakxtools and we still sync the source (like we would do with any project) to Mandriva when there’s new upgrades that are worth the time in testing. We also follow PulseAudio pretty closely as it’s no secret that Mandriva has one of the best implementations. Even more on our BuildServer we can pull source packages from Mandriva SVN and build some (very few packages) will little or no changes. We tend to shy away from Epochs though, even though we have some packages that still have them. Yet Mandriva has no issues using them.

So is Unity dependent on Mandriva? Yes too a point we are. We like their configuration tools (some times) and with some packages that really are straight forward to build we may import from Mandriva SVN. However these are just niceties. The real question is could we survive without Mandriva.. Yes we could and may have too until they get a clear direction (for that matter survive) or the fork gets off the ground enough so we can pull and push packages for them. What will this mean? In our case packages may not be updated as fast as normal, because packagers may have to take on a few more packages.

In the long run though if Mandriva does survive and Mageia gets off the ground Unity will have more resources to pull from. Our plan is to not use just one for resources but both. There’s rumors one may choose to upgrade to RPM5 (which will be fine for us) and may even drop URPMI for SMART. Now this is all speculation but in any scenario it seems with time Unity will turn out better off than before. So should the Unity community be worried no, just offer help where you can and test for us and we’ll be good.

Some ask why not just disband Unity and Work with Mageia? Well the reason we have created Unity is too allow more advanced Linux users a core or ground work to create their own distribution. That is our focus. Our focus is not desktop use, or even end users. Someone who uses Unity for it’s packages and core though may decide to create a community driven distribution with these focuses and we will be very supportive of that. We call such project branches and are very friendly to branch maintainers. However if we were merge our efforts at Unity with Mageia than we would loose our focus and direction that we have all come together to create. Unity is a much different concept and a concept we are quite happy with.

Hope this helps expel some fears 😉 and explain why at the very least I am very much excited about all of this..

The Pre Beta Release of Synergy Linux Code Named “Identity Crisis” has been released. The official announcement is here:

Identity Crisis

Synergy-Linux.com is back up. I was using a home machine to to host my site, however with the latest Alpha releases and the latest builds of KDE 4.5 RC 3 I have decided to try and make my home machine more the work horse and less the file provider. This is better for my home Internet connection and it’s better for those downloading ISOs or packages as it will be much faster with the host I have gone with.

Currently I have packaged KDE 4.5 RC 3 and KDE Pim 4.4.5. A Vast majority of packages have been updated and can be found in the repository for those who want to test if you would like to connect to the new server it will be up soon and I am more than willing to support those who want to test.

Synergy Linux Latest Release
Currently Synergy Linux is at Alpha3a we’ll be moving to Alpha3b tonight which includes more video drivers and wireless drivers. Alpha3c will be pushed out some Tomorrow or Thursday and unless there are major issues still it will the be last Alpha release.

Moving on to Beta
A few things will be focused on during the Beta series. A further investigation will be put into KDE 4 running in our compressed mode. Comparisons between gzip and lzma compression too see if it makes a difference in memory and ramdisk allocation will be investigated. Further investigation into running KDE 4 with less than 512 will be looked into. Swap is a first suggestion some will make. However performance has to be key in this scenario and a lot of testing and test cases will need to be thrown at such a feature. In my attempts I have found that when the system starts swapping to slows down quite a bit. However, further tests will need to be done. If it ends up working it could be a viable USB solution and the installer could create a swap partition quite easily with the needed amount of memory to run and allocate most of ram to disk space and the rest of the USB for persistent file storage. Cosmetically a new theme and background will be released and witht he exception of minor improvements and tweaks should carry into the first official final release. Late in the Beta cycle, packages that allow remote use and enhance netbook functionality integration will be the focus.