2005 Meeting Minues

Live forum: /viewtopic.php?t=213


16-08-2006 20:33:48

Notes I took at the meetings for 2005 for which I was present.


16-08-2006 20:43:12

Distro Roundup

First Thursday of the month is OKC PC User's group Special Interest Group on Linux meeting time. Try saying that 3 times fast. Today's topic: a sampling of Linux Distributions. Since Linux is the perfect VAR (Value-Added Reseller) product, it is value-added, repackaged, and resold by numerious people, companies and organizations. I use SuSE Linux with Ximian Desktop (now borth of Novell.) The 'president' of OKCPCUG SIG Linux and his employers used RedHat Linux (now RHEL and Fedora Core.) The four covered today are not one of those, but are Whitebox, Gentoo, Ubuntu and Debian.

Whitebox Enterprise Linux


  1. 3rd party RHEL clone, without the license from RedHat.
    uses RHEL src RPMs recompiled for free
    lacks ANY RedHat, Inc. logos or customizations
    resulted from RHEL + Fedora core product line split by RedHat
    Supports serial console setup (headless install)

    Essential the old fedora code code becomes RHEL. RHEL is identical to Whitebox plus some binaries and RedHat logos and special drivers for old hardware. While RedHat pushes Fedora for the desktop and RHEL for servers, Whitebox is a one product solution. There is an 18 month release cycle on Fedora code migrating to RHEL, but RedHat provides years of support beyond release. yum and up2date networks are available for RedHat's Linuxen. Whitebox has no offical support but networks are known to be available from time to time for security and upgrade needs.

    Gentoo Linux


    1. Linux for Ricers
      uses custom compilation (consuming up to 4Gb of /var/tmp space in the process) for speed and configuration
      uses recipies and raw src.tar.gz for software instead of packages (RPM or DEB) similar to BSD ports
      Portage system with emerge sync world -pv, emerge sync system -pv
      Gentoo toolkit: gpkg -I -g pkg,rc-update
      Different configuration (ect/conf.d instead of /etc/sysconfig, /etc/runlevels not /etc/rc[0-6].d)
      use flags in /etc/make.conf for adding optional support or removing optional parts of large software systems
      one of the best forums for distro-specific topics and Linux in general

      Minimal, only compile what you want. Get the latest code out to people ASAP. Has certain tools, like nano instead of pico, set as 'easy use' alternative defaults (e.g. nano is the default editor, not vi.)



      1. Humanity to other humans. Alternatively, software for humans.
        live CD with HD install
        GNOME based graphical shell
        very Debian-like with .deb based package system
        minimal system fits in 24 Mb

        Another argument in the APT/.dev vs. RPM/.rpm and yum debate. Debian release cycles can be very long (+24 months,) so Ubuntu walks on the edge of stability for recent features and fixes (6 month cycles.) Security updates throughout the product lifecycle. So, Ubuntu becomse a workstation version of Debian similar to Knoppix but with Gnome as the default X Windows GUI (see Kubuntu for a KDE based system.) Is an attractive alternative to RedHat for Linux support companies since RHEL splits out the freeloaders and support leaving RedHat in competition with other VARs or service companies. RHEL is reasonable for people who don't sell Linux support, otherwise paying for RHEL is not a good thing. Ubuntu is free, but sold by Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth's company, if you want someone to pay for your software.



        1. Free as in beer. Free as in Speech. Old as in ancient (and slow release cylces.)
          stable as the mountains
          three versions: stable, testing and unstable (using code names like Potato and Sid)

          More a political movement backed by a non-profit FSF company than a VAR. Very security and stability focused. Long release cycles and fix vs. features translates into poor hardware support (if Debian supports it, every Linux made supports it by now.) Serveral distriburtions started with forks of Debian: Projeny, Mephis (live CD Debian,) Knoppix (Klaus Knopper's KDE Debian at knopper.de,) Ubuntu/Kubuntu (Cannonical's Linux,) Linspire (was Corel Linux became Lindows until Microsoft sued over naming similarity.)


16-08-2006 20:47:21

Package Mngt & MythTV

Intro Topic - Package Manglement
Distros - RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake, Linspire

Implementation - cpio based archive
Tools - rpm, rpmbuild, yast, synaptic, redcarpet, apt-rpm, up2date, yum
Sites - apt.freshrpms.net, livna Nvida packages for RH/fedora, etc


Distros - Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix

Implementation - custom build dir in tgz
Tools - apt libs, dpkg, dselect, apt-get, synaptic
Sites - www.debian.org, www.ubuntu.org, www.knoppix.org

Slackware .pk

Distros - Slackware

Implementation - .tgz files
Tools - slack-get
Sites - www.slackware.org

Gentoo Emerge

Distros - Gentoo

Implementaion - controlled, automated source compile from tgz
Tools - emerge
sites - www.gentoo.com

Source code

All distros

tar.gz, tar.bz2, tgz files of source code w/ or w/o 5 step process
make, autoconf, tar, bunzip, and gunzip
many many many sites

Example Apt workflow (blackbox install, remove)

a. get apt for an rpm based system
1. download apt from apt.freshrpms.net
2. sudo rpm -Uvh apt-...i386.rpm
b. get new apt DB
1. sudo apt-get update
c. install upates
1. sudo apt-get upgrade
d. search and find new applications (via local cache of packages avail.)
1. apt-cache search
2. apt-cache search blackbox
e. install application, etc.
1. sudo apt-get
2. sudo apt-get blackbox
f. remove something
1. and it's dependancies
- sudo apt-get remove
2. it only
- sudo rpm -e
- sudo rpm -e blackbox

See http://www.linuxsig.org website for debian and redHat package sites.
Example source install (flack)

a. find and download your chosen application
b. check the tarball for the directory issue
1. tar tvzf tarball.tar.gz
2. look for / for All things in the tarball
c. get the files out of the archive
1. tar xvf tarball.tar.gz
d. do the 5 step install
1. cd
2. vi README (note any special build instructions)
3. ./configure (with --prefix=/home//local for local user installation)
4. make (some programs will Not allow you to make as root)
5. make test (if available)
6. sudo make install
e. update any libs
1. vi /etc/ld.so.conf
2. /sbin/ldconfig
f. remove the application (if available)
1. cd
2. make uninstall

The Loki installer
a huge shell script with an archive in it.
typically named application.bin
run from command line but may need X windows window.
requires root privledes most of the time.

Advanced Topic - MythTV

  1. History

    Evolved from Tivo clone. Was tons of bins with python glue. Now is a QT based 'application.' Is TV on Linux, turning your PC (Personal Computer) into a PVR (Personal Video Recorder.)


    Start by going to mythtv.com and checkout Hardware first. Good cards will output MPG streams. You may need kernel drivers that must be found and compiled sperately. All this is in heavy development, some drivers are stable but may still have problems.


    Can output VGA, video out, etc. MCE versions of the Hotpod cards DO NOT HAVE OUTPUT. The Matrix Marvel (G200, G400) are parital support. NO, none, zer ATI All-in Wonders are supported.


    Apt RPM repositories has drivers, software and plugins. Low-end hardware is not going to be doing transcoding (re-encoding software.) Demo system is a fedora core 3 box. QT, MySQL (qtMySQL) and LAME (mp3 encoder) packages are needed to install or compile the software. IrBlaster and lrt support for remote controls.


    Backend, mid-tier, frontend + plugins everywhere. Frontend simply talks to backend. Backend does the recording and transcoding.

    Run the backend with 'mythbackend' in terminal. Run the front end with 'mythfrontend' after the backend is running. Backend and frontend can run on seperate machines. Php scripts on a webserver can talk to the backend for a website controlled TV experience.


    Tuners right now are not shipping with the broadcast flag. FCC is trying to get that into law. Get your decoders and recievers and capture cards now (July 2005.) With the IrBlaster you can even take input from the turner. MythTV will support multiple tuners. It does support the 'for Linux' TV cards. It has a web-plugin so you can use a webserver + webbowser to schedule your programs. MythTV has a relationship with ZAP2IT so you can submit a periodic survey and get 14 days of TV programming information in a TV guide. Outside of North America, XMLtv does the old (early MythTV) screen scraping off of ZAP2IT's website to get the channel information. Typical usage are 3.5 MBPS or ~ 3 Gb per hour. HD usage depends on ditrate, codex, transcoding to DivX, etc.