Samstag, 23. Mai 2009

yum install thunderbird-enigmail

The RPM Fusion Free package repositories now(¹) contain the popular thunderbird extension enigmail for F9, F10, F11/rawhide and EL-5. To install it just configure RPM Fusion and run:

# yum install thunderbird-enigmail

Big "thanks!" goes to Remi Collet for packaging it up and submitting it for Review in RPM Fusion.

The package is especially helpful for users of rawhide/Fedora 11, as the enigmail homepage doesn't offer prebuild extensions for the thunderbird beta that Fedora 11 contains. It's also nice for users of Fedora for x86-64, as the add-ons on the enigmail homepage sometimes were outdated.

Additional note: Normally RPM Fusion doesn't take any packages that are suitable for Fedora to avoid getting in Fedora's way. But earlier attempts to get thunderbird-enigmail into Fedora have failed, so we took it; hopefully the package can be moved to Fedora sooner rather than later!

(¹) might take up to something like 32 hours till your yum sees it due to mirror lag and metadata caching

Fedora 11, kernel-PAE, and what it means for your x86-32 system

There is one small change in Fedora 11 that I guess will confuse Fedora and RPM Fusion users with x86-32 (aka i386/ix86) systems quite a lot, but afaics did not get enough attention yet:
"Appropriate" is not really explained -- maybe because it's a bit hard to sum up without going into the boring details. But basically it boils down to: The kernel with PAE support will be installed by Fedora 11 for x86-32 on the majority of x86-compatible systems that have been manufactured in the past three or four years(¹). So likely on your system as well if you are running a x86-32 distro on a modern system.

The important part: the package containing the kernel with PAE support is not called "kernel" -- it's called "kernel-PAE" instead. And that's not the only package where "-PAE" is used as suffix. That has major certain consequences on systems where Fedora 11 installs kernel-PAE:
  • when you build kernel modules with akmods, dkms, or manually, then you from now on need to install kernel-PAE-devel instead of kernel-devel
  • similar for kernel-modules: instead of "yum install kmod-nvidia" your now need to type "yum install kmod-nvidia-PAE". Yum otherwise will try to install the matching kernel without PAE support for you, which (in short without the boring details) is something you most of the time don't want(²).
In other words: the change in Fedora 11 makes lots of howtos, FAQs, articles on the net and in computer magazines confusing, wrong, misleading or harmful (depending on view and specific howto/FAQ/article), because most of those docs don't consider the above fact (yet).

And that's not Fedora's fault -- PAE kernels are around for a long time in Fedora already. But they were used only on a minority of systems. Most (not all!) of those that have written today's howtos, FAQs or articles were likely either not aware of it or chose to ignored it to keep things simple.

That's backfiring now. So go and spread the news on mailing lists, forums and other places where it might be of interest. Feel free to copy-n-paste this whole text or simply point to this blog entry. Thanks in advance!

(¹) E.g. since processors with NX bit became mainstream; NX stands for NoeXecute and is also called Enhanced Virus Protection by AMD and xD-Bit by Intel

(²) not sure, but maybe the yum-plugin "yum-fedorakmod" could have made yum to the right thing and install the proper kmod for the PAE kernel. I never tried and it doesn't matter much as the plugin is not available in the Fedora or RPM Fusion repositories for F11. If someone wants take care of yum-fedorakmod and wants to get it into RPM Fusion then please drop me a line.

Dienstag, 19. Mai 2009

What questions would you like to ask the Fedora Board or FESCo Candidates?

Several seats of the Fedora Board and FESCo are up for election soon(¹). Right now we are in the nomination period, which will be followed by a "Candidate Questionnaire." That means we give candidates a list of questions to answer by mail before the Town Hall meetings on IRC happen.

Candidates may choose to answer (or not) those questions as they see fit. Voters can use the answers to get an impression of what the candidate think or plan to do while serving for the Board or FESCo. That should help to get a interesting discussion running during the IRC Town Hall meetings. Furthermore, those people that can't or don't want to participate in the IRC meetings can use the answers to make a more informed vote.

Hence we need to prepare a few good questions that we can send to the candidates once the nomination period ends. And that's where I need *your help*: If you have one or more questions you'd like to send to the candidates simply go and add them to:

It just takes a minute or two, so best to do it right now -- otherwise you might get distracted and forget about it. ;-)

I'll take care of the remaining work to review, sort, and clean up the questions(²), and send them to the candidates after the nomination period ends. Hence, I need them by around the 27th of May. I'll later collect the answers from the candidates and put them up for pubic consumption to give people enough time to read them before the town hall meetings start.

So go to the wiki and add at least one hard question! The answer will help Fedora contributors to chose whom to vote for!

Thanks for your help in advance.

(¹) If you haven't read about it yet see for details.

(²) If you want to get involved or review the questions before I send them please drop me a line and I'll try to get that arranged


Dear GNOME project,

thanks for running the "GNOME 3.0 General Sociological Research" survey and putting the results online.

A small note: If you ask people if they use foo, bar, baz or foobar and most people select foo, that that's it. Nothing more. And definitely don't conclude "Nearly 3/4 of the people use foo for it's stability, compatibility and ease of use", because the latter part is a personal option if there wasn't a question "why do you use foo" with checkboxes "stability", "compatibility" and "ease of use" next to it.

Personal opinions like that render the whole conclusion unbelievable and make things look highly unprofessional.