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Entries tagged "el6".

Scientific Linux 6 released

Wow, nice, Scientific Linux 6 is released. Details here.
I'm downloading the DVD right now (thank you Virginmedia for capping me to 2 Mbps, arseholes).

Allow the local user to install and update software without root password

This tutorial is for EL6 and possibly Fedora (12, 13, 14 etc); not sure if it will work on other distros.

For my personal laptop or even work station I don't see a reason to require the root password to install or update programs from trusted sources (i.e. repos from which we imported the gpg keys). In order to allow the regular user to perform such actions we use PolicyKit. As such we need to write 2 new pkla (PolicyKit Local Authority) files:
vi /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/10-pkgkit-pkginstall-policy.pkla

and copy/paste the following:
[Let All Install Packages]

This will allow all users to install new programs either by using pkcon or its graphical counterpart gpk-application.
In order to update packages we need to write a new pkla:
vi /var/lib/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/10-pkgkit-pkgupdate-policy.pkla

and copy/paste:
[Let All Update Packages]

That's about it. Now you can use pkcon install blah or pkcon update as a normal user. Alternatively you can use "System > Administration > Add/Remove software" or "System > Administration > Software update".


Install Skype in EL6 (RHEL 6/ Scientificlinux 6/ Centos 6)

UPDATE 14th August 2014: Microsoft has released a new Skype version, - you need AT LEAST this version to be able to login any more as they seem to have changed something in the authentication process. It is available in my repo, grab the latest from here:

UPDATE: For Skype 4.0 instructions click here.

I used to have here some instructions on how to get skype installed from official RPM, then overwrite the binary with a static one to get it to work etc etc - quite a PITA. Now you can just install an RPM[1] to get the same result; so, if you have my repo installed (nux-dextop) just do:
yum install skype
If you do not have my repo installed:
yum localinstall --nogpgcheck ./skype-
All of the above needs to be done as root, obviously.
You may want to browse for newer skype rpms; who knows what will happen next to the linux client. It has always sucked in one way or another, I can't see it improving now that Microsoft has bought them.
If you run intro problems with this RPM let me know at rpm at ! Thanks.

[1] - Thanks Russian Fedora repo, it's their package actually!


Transmission bittorrent client for EL6

As it turns out there's no graphical bittorrent client in EL6, therefore a quick copy/paste tip so you don't end up butchering your favourite OS like this guy (though he was trying to achieve smth a tad different):
yum localinstall --nogpgcheck transmission-common-2.04-2.fc14.1.x86_64.rpm transmission-gtk-2.04-2.fc14.1.x86_64.rpm

Modify the paths accordingly if you're on 32 bit arch.

Enjoy! ;-)

Install LabPlot on EL6

Installing LabPlot on EL6 can be a bit daunting as compiling from source can be problematic due to odd dependency issues, however the packages from Fedora 14 install and work just fine, provided you have EPEL enabled:
mkdir /tmp/labplot; cd /tmp/labplot
yum localinstall --nogpgcheck ./LabPlot-*

And voila!
As I said this operation requires the EPEL repo enabled for some packages (electronics-menu and liborigin) so make sure your system has it.

Libreoffice repo for EL6

For those people who wanted to use Libreoffice on their EL6 workstations there weren't many options; basically you had to download a tarball from and `rpm -ivh` the contained rpms manually - not the best way to have it installed and relatively painful to keep up to date.

But no more - I've been backporting Libreoffice for a while now from Fedora and you're free to use it!
Also, recently I noticed there are RHEL conditionals in the spec files. For those unfamiliar with RPM building this means Redhat is probably getting ready to include Libreoffice in their enterprise distro.

I don't know when we'll see Libreoffice in EL 6 officially but I know it won't be in v6.3. Until then you can use my repo - it should gracefully upgrade existing stock installations:

To install do the following as root:

rpm -ivh
yum install libreoffice

To upgrade from stock

rpm -ivh
yum update

To replace Libreoffice installed from the official rpms:

yum remove libreoffice\* libobasis\*
rpm -ivh
yum install libreoffice

If you run into issues feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line: rpm @

EL6 deps for Oracle11g

The pile of shit called Oracle data base (11g) needs a crapload of deps. This is for 64 bit OS:
yum install libgcc.i686 nss-softokn-freebl.i686 glibc.i686 libaio.i686 libstdc++.i686 ncurses-libs.i686 readline.i686 libICE.i686 libtool-ltdl.i686 libSM.i686 libuuid.i686 unixODBC.i686 libXau.i686 libX11.i686 libxcb.i686 libXext.i686 libXi.i686 compat-libstdc++-33.i686 libXt.i686 libXtst.i686 libaio-devel.i686 unixODBC-devel.i686 glibc-devel.i686 kernel-headers libstdc++-devel elfutils-libelf-devel mpfr libXmu libXxf86misc glibc-headers libXxf86vm xorg-x11-xauth cpp libtool-ltdl unixODBC cloog-ppl ppl libmcpp mcpp xorg-x11-server-utils compat-db42 compat-db43 libdmx libXxf86dga libIDL ORBit2 GConf2 libbonobo gtk2-engines shared-mime-info libdaemon avahi avahi-glib gnome-vfs2 xorg-x11-utils compat-libstdc++-33 celt051 libXp ConsoleKit-x11 xorg-x11-xinit glibc-devel gcc compat-gcc-34 ncurses-devel gcc-c++ libgnome readline-devel compat-db libaio-devel unixODBC-devel compat-gcc-34-c++ libgcc nss-softokn-freebl glibc libaio libstdc++ ncurses-libs readline libICE libtool-ltdl libSM libuuid unixODBC libXau libX11 libxcb libXext libXi compat-libstdc++-33 libXt libXtst libaio-devel unixODBC-devel glibc-devel

Stella - a Centos desktop remix

Hello everybody, I'm doing a Centos 6 desktop oriented remix called Stella. This has been brewing since the summer and it's starting to get ready.
I've backported a lot of packages from Fedora and Rpmfusion and bundle several other repos, too, resulting in a big range of software available, including but not limited to:
LibreOffice, VLC, MPlayer, Shutter, Arista, Java, Flash, GParted etc

You can read (just slightly) more about it here:
I'd love to receive any feedback.


Russian Fedora and EL6

Just stumbled upon and I'm amazed. There's a lot of really interesting web sites and projects in the cyrillic part of the internet, too bad I don't speak Russian (had an attempt when I was younger, but failed miserably).
Anyway, these guys are quite cool, not only do they build their own Russian remix of Fedora, but they also make a remix of EL6 (unlike Stella, theirs is based on SL6, not Centos6) and apparently they have quite a large collection of RPMs. Really nice stuff!
Here are some links:
- Russian Fedora Remix:
- Russian EL6 (SL6) Remix:

The installation images default to Russian language, but can be easily switched to other languages so feel free to give it a go!

Get Broadcom BCM43xx WIFI working in Centos6/ScientificLinux6/RHEL6

While working on my Centos desktop remix Stella, I've noticed many people own laptops with BCM43xx wifi chips that raise a lot of issues.
I've finally managed to get my hands on a laptop with such a wifi card and find a solution. This is really easy, just grab and install the b43-firmware RPM from here:
I also keep a copy here:
If you have my repo nux-dextop installed or if you use Stella you should already have this package installed. Stella BUILD16 ISOs contains it as well.
Let me know if you run into issues; this package may not be able to help everyone though, if problems persist you can try to ask for help on the ElRepo mailing lists. Also, make sure to have conflicting packages (such as kmod-wl) removed beforehand.

Skype 4.0 on EL6 (CentOS/Stella, ScientifixLinux, RHEL, PUIAS) update

UPDATE 14th August 2014: Microsoft has released a new Skype version, - you need AT LEAST this version to be able to login any more as they seem to have changed something in the authentication process. It is available in my repo, grab the latest from here:

So after a long long time we finally have a new Skype linux release - and it's not even a beta!
This seems to be the first release under Microsoft's auspice and I hope it will run well and not bother the users with too many annoyances (I hear the Windows version has in-call ads now? wtf!).
As usual, EL users will still not be able to just "rpm -ivh" their packages - this has never been Skype's strongest point, not even after M$'s acquisition, but it's not like I was expecting anything.
Here's how to install it manually:

UPDATE: Now there is an RPM that does all the dirty work. If you run Stella or Centos with nux-dextop repo active then you can just yum install skype, otherwise:
yum localinstall --nogpgcheck skype-
The RPM maintainer is Arkady L. Shane of the Russian Fedora community. Thank you, Arkady!


Hardware accelerated video playback on EL6 (RHEL, Centos, SL) and Intel SandyBridge

Recently I got to play with a linux laptop that had an NVidia card and was impressed by how well and efficient mplayer is when using VDPAU.
My personal laptop however is an all-Intel one with a 2nd generation i5 SandyBridge CPU and no NVidia GPU, but an Intel HD 3000. This is quite a popular setup nowadays and this is actually great because it turns out we can have hardware accelerated playback using entirely open source software, no binary blob required. Linus will be happy. :-)

Don't get me wrong, this is a great machine and mplayer uses around 30% of one core when playing 1080p video, however this is no match for the under 10% when using NVidia's VDPAU.

So let's start. What we need is LibVA from and gstreamer-vaapi (to enable acceleration in Totem) or/and a version of mplayer with VAAPI patches. I'll assume you are using Stella or EL6 with my repo nux-dextop.

yum install libva-freeworld gstreamer-vaapi
And that's it, open some HD content in Totem (aka Movie Player) and behold low CPU usage.

Thanks to Tux99 at SL forum for packaging gstreamer-vaapi.

If you want to use mplayer though we need to work a bit more and build it from source (until I'll make a package of it).
We need to install some development packages first:
yum install gcc make freetype-devel alsa-lib-devel pulseaudio-libs-devel yasm-devel patch subversion libva-freeworld-devel

Next we need to get mplayer-vaapi and build it:
cd ~/Downloads
tar xjf mplayer-vaapi-20110127.tar.bz2
cd mplayer-vaapi-20110127
...wait for the build process to finish then you can merely copy the mplayer binary to somewhere in the path and that's it - we do this not to overwrite or mess up other pre-existing mplayer installatons in the system.
cd mplayer-vaapi
mkdir -p ~/bin
cp mplayer ~/bin/mplayer-vaapi

At this point we're pretty much done, try testing it by playing some HD mp4 file with the following parameters: -vo vaapi -va vaapi.
mplayer-vaapi -vo vaapi -va vaapi /path/to/HDvideo.mp4
and enjoy low CPU usage. :-)

If you want to skip inputing these parameters each time you want to use VA-API then simply add the following to ~/.mplayer/config :

Here's the difference on my system:

Stock MPlayer, no acceleration:

VA-API enabled MPlayer:

This should work across all i3/i5/i7 chipsets (Intel HD 2000 & 3000), feedback welcome.

ntop: service not configured, run ntop manually

So today after creating an ntop rpm package for EL6 I wanted to test this program.

After "yum install" I naturally tried "service ntop start" but only to get this:
Starting ntop: service not configured, run ntop manually

Of course, the service was not "configured" - by this ntop means that there is no admin password set for the web interface. To set a password you only need to do this:
ntop --set-admin-password=reallyBadpassword

After this ntop will start just fine. Enjoy!

From Russia with love: a new RHEL clone

What a nice surprise today to learn about a new RHEL clone!
The russians behind ROSA Labs (the same people who build ROSA Linux) have come up with a testing rebuild of RHEL, "imaginatively" called RELS, "ROSA Enterprise Linux Server".
There are rumours the "Russian Fedora" community is also involved.

I hope this clone will move out of testing and into proper production. I'm so bored with Centos and ScientificLinux. :-)

More info here:

PS: Got in touch with them and they specified:
We've already done some additions:
1) we've ported Mandriva Directory Server, Mandriva Setup Server and Mandriva Management Console to RHEL6 basis;
2) we provide pretty minimal LXDE Desktop (we're the first who build LXDE for RHEL6-compatible distributions);

All our additions come to "extra" repository, 
while "base" mainly consists of RHEL6 packages to provide 100% binary compatibility.

EL6 power usage optimisation on Intel Sandy & Ivy Bridge

So you finally bought that fancy new laptop with a SandyBridge or IvyBridge chip, but the power usage goes through the roof when you use it on Linux? Well, there are a couple of things you could do:

1. Enable some nice features such as a lower power usage state capability of the Intel GPU (if you use the integrated Intel 3000/4000), frame buffer compression and optionally down-clock the LVDS refresh rate. Also, you can force PCI-Express to enable "ActiveState Power Management" which can save further power - just append the following to the kernel command line (in /boot/grub/grub.conf):
i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.i915_enable_fbc=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1 pcie_aspm=force

2. Install and tweak tuned. Tuned is a Fedora utility responsible for tuning your system's power settings.
yum install tuned
service tuned start
service ktune start
tuned-adm profile laptop-battery-powersave

If you want to get even more serious about power saving, then the powertop program is very useful, too. For a graphical tool focused on power management have a look at Jupiter.
Feel free to play around with the settings and read the man pages for more information.
Be careful as some of these settings may cause some issues or instabilities. Use at your own risk.

ROSA Enterprise Linux Server "Helium" 2012

So after a period of silence after their test edition ROSA has finally announced a final release for RELS:
Main advantages of ROSA Enterprise Linux Server "Helium" 2012:

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 package base.
    Centralized management of user accounts.
    Web-based administration and configuration interface.
    High scalability.
    Support for Windows and Linux clients.
    Improved data and service security by means of strong user authorization with "Single SignOn" possibility.
    Easy integration with existing corporate networks.
    A ready-to-use basis for deploying cloud solutions.

Download from here:


Long Term supported kernel in ElRepo for RHEL and the clones

The good people at just announced on their blog that in addition to the kernel-ml, tracking the current mainline kernel, we now also have kernel-lt (!!!) tracking the current long term supported mainline kernel.

So if you feel like going a bit more bleeding edge, but not too much, then kernel-lt is for you!


Yesterday I needed to migrate a very old dns server running djbdns/tinydns on Centos 5 to a Centos 6 machine.
My 2 options were to convert the tinydns zones in BIND format and use this which comes by default in EL6 or install djbdns on the machine.
I really was not looking forward to "make, make install" sessions, but also converting the djbdns data was not very appealing - luckily though there's a fork of djbdns in Fedora nowadays called "ndjbdns" (new djbdns) which is fully compatible with the original implementation! All I had to do was to install it move the "data" and "Makefile" files over in /etc/ndjbdns/ and run "make".

The Fedora SRPM is quite RHEL/EL friendly so building it for Centos 6 was a breeze! You can find the RPMS in my nux-misc repo. Enjoy!

ZFS on CentOS

For those interested in running ZFS on EL6 via kmods, I snatched and updated the kmods in PUIAS. Testing so far has been _minimal_ (beware, Selinux needs to be in permissive mode or disabled altogether). Any feedback welcome.
Installation is very easy:
wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d/
yum --enablerepo=nux-zfs install kmod-spl kmod-zfs zfs spl zfs-dracut
modprobe zfs

Stella 6.4

Following the release of Centos 6.4 recently I'm pleased to publish the same version of Stella.

There is nothing special about this release other than the changes brought in by EL 6.4.

Download from the usual locations:


Cloudstack Centos 6 template

Everytime I installed Cloudstack I had to limit my tests to the bundled Centos 5.5 template, which is not the best one around.
For this reason I created a nice and clean minimal CentOS6 64bit template that has the password and ssh key init scripts installed and functional.
You can download it from here:

Make sure to consult the README file.