Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Road dogging, No. 12.

Road dogging, No. 12.

Today I’m hitting the road, first heading to Red Hat’s Tysons Corner office — basically as a jumping-off point for my next destination tonight, the UMLUG (University of Maryland Linux Users Group) in College Park, MD. It should be an interesting talk — I’ve deliberately not gone overboard creating slides because LUGs are exactly the kind of place where you want to do a lot of Q&A, letting people lead the conversation naturally in the directions in which they’re interested.

I’ve been doing a bit of smoke-testing here of F9, using the last Rawhide tree from 13 April, and it’s doing pretty well from where I sit. The last few weeks before a release are always full of a lot of concern as intrepid developers-turned-exterminators try to stomp out pernicious bugs, but there’s lots to be delighted about with Fedora 9.

Here are some tidbits deserving praise, some of which may not have been trumpeted as much as of yet:

  • By release, there should be a preupgrade package available in the Fedora 8 software repository that will help anyone migrate a system live from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9.
  • The new gvfs backend has a catchy new “file operations” notification icon, so you can queue up a bunch of, say, file copying processes, and know when they’re all done no matter which virtual desktop you’re using in the GUI environment.
  • The GNOME Dasher utility is incredibly fascinating from a usability perspective. It’s designed to grab text input where the actual input mechanism is very limited. Imagine you’re a programmer who has highly impaired motor skills, and you’ll see how cool this input mechanism is.
  • I still can’t say enough about our persistent Live image creation. I made a custom Live image last night from the current Rawhide using pungi, and threw it on a Live USB key with livecd-iso-to-disk. And because that tool is the first in Linux that doesn’t requiring monkeying around with an existing, usable USB key, now I can do the same for anyonen who shows up at tonight’s talk. Ahh, giving the gift of Fedora!

That last item is so important to people spreading Fedora — anyone can create a respin at any time with just a couple of simple commands, incorporating all the latest updates. Doing this on CDs can be a drag because then you have to worry a lot more about whether you’re going to fit everything into the magical 700 MB (or 650 MB, or what have you) limitation. Leave all those worries behind — with pungi and livecd-tools packages, you just edit a kickstart file and create away!

In any case, I’d better clear out of here before I’m late for a conference call. ? Hope everyone’s as excited as I am about Fedora 9’s coming release!