Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island


Opera 64-Bit for Linux

Posted by Ish

Opera_browser_logo-200pxI saw a tweet by OMG! UBUNTU! this morning, saying « Opera for Linux Makes a Triumphant Return ». I checked the article and followed the instructions to install Opera on a non-Debian derivative. The instructions are published on Github by an Opera employee, known as ruario on Github.… Read more ➡

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Meeting Eddy of Internet Systems Consortium

Posted by Ish

Last Friday, a few members of the Linux User Group of Mauritius organized an « Informal Talk on DNS » at Flying Dodo, Bagatelle Mall.

Eddy Winstead from the Internet Systems Consortium was our guest. He was in Mauritius for AFRINIC-21 and has been delivering talks on BIND.… Read more ➡

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Creating an RPM file for XMind

Posted by Avinash Meetoo


I am a big fan of mind-mapping software and, for years, I’ve been using Freemind.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are moving towards XMind which, for some peculiar reason, is only available as a Debian (.deb) package. This is a bit problematic as I run Fedora and CentOS which are both based on RPM (Redhat Package Manager). Here is how I managed to convert the .deb package into an .rpm which can then be easily installed with a yum localinstall:

(1) Download the Debian package

(2) alien -r –scripts package.deb

This command (alien) converts the Debian package into an RPM and makes sure that any scripts (pre- and post- installation) will run when the RPM file is installed. See this for more info.

(3) The issue is that the RPM will fail to install as there is a conflict with three directories: /, /usr/bin and /usr/lib. The solution is to install rpmrebuild and use it as follows:

rpmrebuild -pe xmind.rpm

Remove all lines for /, /usr/bin and /usr/lib in the %files section and you should then get an RPM. See this for more info.

Have fun with XMind ;-)

Screencast in Mauritian Creole

Posted by Ish

A few days ago I received a comment on facebook asking if it would be possible for me to make Linux video tutorials. I recall in a previous LUGM meeting, we did agree that it will help to bring Linux into Mauritian homes if we make Linux tutos in Mauritian Creole.… Read more ➡

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Linuxfest at Université des Mascareignes

Posted by Ish

Nadim along with several students from Université des Mascareignes (UDM) collaborated the past few weeks in order to organize a Linux Festival on the university campus. I was a passive reader of the emails going to & fro and also the lengthy group chats.… Read more ➡

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Using jigdo to rebuild a Linux ISO image

Posted by Avinash Meetoo


A few years ago, Internet was very slow in Mauritius (and some will argue that this is still the case…) Downloading a Linux DVD (or, more precisely, an ISO image) took ages.

Now the Internet is way quicker but downloading a 4Gb ISO image still takes a long time.

A few years ago, a Debian guy invented Jigdo, a tool which I’ve been using for some time now to only download the few files I don’t have when a new Linux release is made and reconstruct the ISO locally. The steps to follow are documented in this post but are basically:

(1) Download the full ISO on a server where Internet is very quick (I do that on a VPS I have in the middle of the Silicon Valley where I routinely get 250Mbit/s). Let’s call the ISO image Centos-Linux-6.6.iso

(2) Use jigdo to create a .jigdo and a .template set of files. Before that it is important to mount the ISO on the distant server so that the individual files in the ISO can be accessed directly by jigdo. I generally do:

mkdir Centos-Linux-6.6

mount -t iso9660 -o loop Centos-Linux-6.6.iso Centos-Linux-6.6

jigdo-file mt -i Centos-Linux-6.6.iso -j Centos-Linux-6.6.jigdo -t Centos-Linux-6.6.template Centos-Linux-6.6/

(3) On completion, Centos-Linux-6.6.jigdo and Centos-Linux-6.6.template (which are generally small) need to be downloaded locally.

(4) The final step is to reconstruct the ISO locally. This is done by:

jigdo-lite Centos-Linux-6.6.jigdo

jigdo-lite will prompt for folder names with existing content. For example, when I used jigdo yesterday to reconstruct the latest Centos 6.6 ISO image, I already had a Centos 6.4 DVD and all the updates released since. I only had to point jigdo-lite to these existing folders and, voilà, in a few minutes I had the latest Centos 6.6 ISO image ready.

To be complete, jigdo-lite complained that one file was missing (python-paste-script-1.7.3-5.el6_3.noarch.rpm) which I had to download manually. It was just a small file so no big deal.

All in all, jigdo, even if the software is now in maintenance mode, is still a lifesaver for me. I hope it becomes one for you too.

Have fun ;-)


Pygame with Fedora and Python 3

Posted by Avinash Meetoo


I’m having some fun with pygame, a library to create games in Python.

The exact steps to follow to have pygame in Python 3 on Fedora Linux are detailed in the Python Fun blog. In essence:

  • yum install python3 python3-tools python3-devel
  • yum install SDL SDL-devel portmidi portmidi-devel ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel
  • cd /usr/lib64 && ln -s

This takes care of all dependencies needed (minus smpeg which does not exist in recent Fedora Linux distributions). Then:

  • Get the pygame source code (e.g. hg clone
  • python3
  • python3 build
  • python3 install

That’s it! Test by running python3 and importing pygame.

Have fun creating games ;-)


Beautiful fonts in Linux

Posted by Avinash Meetoo


I love Fedora Linux and I love beautiful fonts. And, to be frank, these two do not easily love each other.

I’ve tried learning the complexities of subpixel rendering and bytecode hinting using freetype, I got fonts from our friends in Redmond and dabbed with infinality, which is a set of patches for freetype.

infinality worked really well until I realised that some software, especially Gimp 2.8 which I use on a daily basis at Knowledge Seven, do not work very well with it.

Fortunately, I also love Reddit and I stumbled upon this comment by ununununu:

You don’t need Infinality for pretty text rendering in Fedora. Here’s how to do it.

You may have noticed that fonts appear jagged and generally terrible-looking in Fedora 17 (and possibly in 18) while they appear smooth and lovely in Ubuntu. Both distributions use freetype for their renderer (kind of), though with different default settings.

The first step is to upgrade from the default freetype package to freetype-freeworld from the RPM Fusion repository. This version of freetype makes use of RGBA subpixel rendering which isn’t included in the default package for, uh, licensing reasons maybe?

Next, use gnome-tweak-tool to set Font Hinting to “None” and Font Antialiasing to “Rgba”. But that’s not all! There’s one more setting that Tweak Tool can’t set.

Create a file called .Xresources in your home directory. Its only contents need be Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault which actually enables the subpixel rendering.

That’s it. I works great and I’m now looking at gorgeous fonts on my Fedora Linux laptop.

I couldn’t install the latest version of the Liberation fonts though because of Wine. I’ll try later.

[Thanks to Cuong, I did it, at the end, by downloading the Liberation 2.0 TrueType files and overwriting the existing Liberation 1.0 files in /usr/share/fonts. Then I changed my default font in Chrome to be Liberation and used the Stylish extension (with this script) to have this gorgeous font in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.]

[A second update: Some fonts from our friends in Redmond (e.g. Calibri) look crap at small sizes because of the bitmaps embedded in them. To make freetype ignore all these crap bitmaps, put the following in, say, ~/.config/fontconfig/conf.d/10-ignore-embedded-bitmaps.conf:

<match target=”font” >
<edit name=”embeddedbitmap” mode=”assign”>

Have fun!


Shellshock: A survival guide

Posted by Ish

It’s been the hot talk since a few weeks. Well, the presentation was finally due today at the University of Mauritius. Scheduled for 13h00, however I reached at noon. Planned to meet Shelly first and explain her a little about Linux (in general) and then show her what’s Bash.… Read more ➡

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Network connection info with lsof

Posted by Ish

I still recall the line told to me when I started working as a Linux Sysadmin; “in Unix, everything is a file”. This includes socket files as well. Thus, one could use a utility like lsof to get network connection related information from the socket files.… Read more ➡

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