Monday, 17 November 2008

Fedora Installation Process

Ok, I am a little bit late with this post (since last time I installed Fedora it was F10 beta), but I though I'll write down some steps on what I usually do to not forget all of it during next installation...


Separate /home partition, separate /home partition, separate /home partiton. And whatever else parition with data (like /var/ftp). This is a necessity if you want to frequently do clean installs but don't want to back up your data.

Live Spin.

Before Installation

Boot your Live CD/DVD (I noticed DVD is faster so I use DVD in favour of CD even though the iso image fits on CD), mount your partitions. Move your home folders to something like /my/home.old, you will transfer your settings after your user is already created. Backup your settings in partitions that gets formated. In my case /etc/rc.d/rc.local, /etc/vsftpd, /etc/sysconfig/iptables /lib/firmware/b43.

In case you are dual booting, back up you /boot partition (/boot/grub/grub.conf, /boot/*, /boot/config-*, initrd-*, vmlinuz*, xen* sans kernels you don't want to keep should be enough). It would be really nice if Anaconda could detect already existing GRUB installation and offer to either update GRUB, while keeping the settings, or just add its own settings... Currently I even cannot add a boot option when I want to boot a system with root on LVM (or at least I don't know how)...

Backup your evolution settings (File->Backup Settings...)


Fire up install. In the parititioning section, use custom layout. Format system paritions and SWAP, set mount points for data partitions. I tend to format /boot as well, but Anaconda can handle installing GRUB to nonformated one as well (if you do it this way, you just need to do some cleaning after the installation, but you don't need to back it up, since files Fedora replaces should be backuped to *.rpmsave). In the bootloader section, let it install grub. There's usually no need to set anything else in the installator (sans some basic settings like your time zone, language or root password).

After Installation

First recreate all the users. Select UIDs and GIDs manually to match the old ones, move the settings you want to keep from the /my/home.old/* to the new folders, delete the rest (meaning the /my/home.old). I usually keep epiphany, gajim, ssh, pgp, mozilla, anthy, scim, texlive and liferea settings and some gconf settings (those for NetworkManager), inkscape palletes, some certificates and all data. Update the system, reboot. Install echo-icon-theme and gtk-nodoka-engine-extras and set my favourite combinations. Set up the destkop looks.

Add rpmfusion repositories.

Install my favourite applications (I use yum to do it, but PackageKit is a good option as well): inkscape, gimp, epiphany, midori, stardict, gajim, deluge, liferea, kanatest, gnumeric, texlive, gnuplot, rpm-build, mplayer, cvs, git. Install dictionaries for gajim, IRC plugin for empathy/telepathy, fedora-packager and echo-artist, let PackageKit figure out needed additional gstreamer packages by trying to play your favourite videos/music in totem or rhythmbox. Set up rhythmbox to look for songs in my ~/Music directory. Turn on metacity compositing. Restore evolution settings and check new mail.

Well, that's about all I do during the installation, I hope I didn't forget something so that next time the situation where I am in a train and want to fire up an application I forgot to install will not happen again... And well... not much usable blog post for others, I think, but at least I have some sort of installation todo list for myself...

Echo Icon Theme "Perspective", Part III

It's been a while since I've last blogged about this topic. It's mostly because new semester is keeping my spare time low... But anyway I thought I should take the first step and make some conclusions from my previous posts.

We are starting Echo Perspective

Ok, it's not official yet and there are still things that need to be done, but I am practically starting new parallel icon set to the current Echo called Echo Perspective. As the name suggests it's going to be more or less same as the current one, only we'll be using perspective.

Since we are starting basically on a clean field we can afford some more or less radical changes to the current looks, like complete redesign of some icons, slightly different looks, etc. I've drawn a proof-of-concept video-display icon to outline what way I'd like Echo Perspective to take. My goals are (in no particular order):
  • usability - an icon must be easily recognisable at all sizes, the metaphor must suggest it's meaning and thus must not be too much complex
  • looks - we are aiming at the same time at more realistic look, we'd like to be slightly more realistic looking than mango or tango, but slightly less than oxygen
  • modern - we will use modern metaphors where appropriate, for example we'll use wide screen flat LCDs in favour old 4:3 CRT ones
  • cross desktop - we aiming this icon set to be default in some future version of Fedora, this means we need to satisfy as much Fedora users as we can, so we need to support all major Fedora desktop environments like Gnome, KDE or XFCE

What's Next

Well, we need to set up our infrastructure to allow us easily push Echo Perspective icons to our git repository. I am working on that, but given the amount of free time I currently have, it'll take a while. But we can create the icons without pushing them to git in the mean time. And there are a few decisions that need to be made.

Directory Based Icons

From time to time, we are criticised for not having the directories blue in Echo. Also the design is pretty oldish, modern systems have folders that are standing. Now the questions is, how to make them in Echo Perspective? Any ideas? Any designs? I'd like the wider community to help with this one. You need not to create whole icon - concept design is all we need. I hope we can gather a few and decide later which one to use. I've set-up a wiki page for it, but you can as well send the designs to the fedora-art-list.

Trash Can

Trash can is another icon that is in dire need of redesign. We'd like our trash can to look more modern, perhaps made of metal, perhaps from coloured glass, perhaps semitransparent, whatever. Submit your ideas on the above mentioned wiki page or at fedora-art-list.

Saturday, 1 November 2008