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Linux Changes, Summer 2007

This page is for sharing information regarding the Fedora 7 upgrade during summer 2007.

emacs differences in fedora 7

Emacs now displays a splash screen by default even if command-line arguments were given. The new command-line option --no-splash disables the splash screen; see also the variable `inhibit-startup-message' (which is also aliased as `inhibit-splash-screen').

To turn off the splash screen on load up add the following to your .emacs file

(setq inhibit-startup-message t)

-- DaveCostello - 05 Sep 2007

(courtesy of Michael Scott)

You may have recently encountered some annoying changes in emacs, including crazy colors in the mode line and minibuffer. These are artifacts of the switch from emacs 21 to emacs 22, which came with Fedora 7. Here are a few hints you may find helpful.

If you don't like the "file foo is large (12MB); really open?" messages, you can turn them off by adding the following to your .emacs file:

(setq large-file-warning-threshold nil)
The colors are the result of defining new "faces" for several things, including the minibuffer and mode line. You can see what the various faces are and what they look like by running
M-x list-faces-display
Then you can change the faces you don't like by adding lines to your .emacs. If you want the file to continue to work with emacs 21 you'll need to put the changes inside a conditional. Here's what I did for my own setup:
  (setq emacs22 (string= major-version "22"))


  (if emacs22
        ;; fix mode line and minibuffer colors
        (set-face-attribute 'mode-line nil :background "cyan")
        (set-face-attribute 'mode-line nil :foreground "black")
        (set-face-attribute 'mode-line-buffer-id nil :background "gray")
            ;; notions of mode line foreground and background appear
            ;; to be reversed in emacs22 [a bug?]
            ;; so the above 3 lines are counterintuitive workaround
        (set-face-attribute 'mode-line-buffer-id nil :weight 'normal)
        (set-face-attribute 'minibuffer-prompt nil :foreground "blue"))
      ; else:
      (set-face-attribute 'mode-line nil :background "black"))

-- DaveCostello - 04 Sep 2007

sun java

integration of Sun's Java JDK as default is complete. Now users should get our latest JDK installation version when typing java at the commandline.

-- DaveCostello - 17 Jul 2007

usb drives

Confirmed usb thumbdrives are automounting properly on insert in both gnome and kde under fedora 7.

-- DaveCostello - 17 Jul 2007

f7 desktop issues and new features (gnome 2.18 / kde 3.5.6)

KDE Screen Lock Timeout
A couple of KDE users have asked how to increase the timeout for screen lockout. Here's what to do:
Open KDE Control center
   Appearance and Themes -> Screensaver
Here you can configure options about your screensaver. You can configure the timeout before it starts, and whether it requires a password to unlock the screen.

-- DaveCostello - 17 Aug 2007

Liberation Fonts
F7 includes a set of fonts called "Liberation." These fonts are metric equivalents to some common proprietary true-type fonts. A quick peek seems to indicate they are replacements for Mono, Sans, and Serif. Red Hat is advertising " users will find better cross-platform viewing and printing support for a variety of documents "

-- DaveCostello - 18 Jul 2007

Localized Common User Directories (xdg-user-dirs)
This release of Fedora now includes the new common user directory structure, xdg-user-dirs. Features of these new user directories include:

  • Directory names can be localized (translated)
  • Includes a set of common directories by default, such as for documents, music, pictures, and downloads.
  • Appear as common bookmarks in the file browser, and are picked up by many applications as app-specific defaults. For example, a music player would start the file opening dialog in the default music directory.
  • Configurable by users, who can move or rename the directories via the Nautilus file manager, or by editing ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs.

-- DaveCostello - 18 Jul 2007

Gnome Desktop Errors: Noticed a problem with gnome desktop. Login was successful but no panel or menus were displayed. Just a blank desktop with an xterm. KDE login had no problems.

.xsession-errors file indicates:

 :14:3: error: invalid preprocessing directive #add

I would encourage gnome users to login at the console so we can determine if this might just be an isolated issue.

-- DaveCostello - 16 Jul 2007

UPDATE: Gnome Desktop Errors -- DaveCostello - 17 Jul 2007

Removing all dot directories from previous gnome versions allowed new dot directories to be created on login and gnome desktop became functional. Note: still getting xsession-errors written to .xsession-errors but no fuctionality seems lacking... I am kde user though so others will need to test gnome desktop more thoroughly.

Software Update Notifier Default settings for gnome desktop include a software update notifier popup that should be turned off as it is useless without the root password. We have identified the service and it should be turned off on production machines.

-- DaveCostello - 17 Jul 2007

Test Machine

The machine f7beta1 is currently available for testing via a remote connection. This is identical to a regular office workstation. I'll post a followup when there is a machine with a console available for testing.

The machine f7beta2 is now available for testing if you need to sit at a console to test. The machine is in the robot lab in the row of machines facing the robots on the far right.

-- JamesRoche - 06 Jul 2007

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Topic revision: r8 - 2007-09-05 - DaveCostello
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