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April 12, 2007

A totally useless trick in openSUSE Linux

by @ 11:57 pm. Filed under General Linux, General SUSE, SUSE Tips & Tricks

While I am sure that today could have been much worse, I’m not quite clear on how.

First, I found that my little jaunt to the Salt Flats completely destroyed my car’s engine, and I am now having to junk it and start from scratch. So that pretty much totally sucks.

Even worse than that, though, is that my wife called me at work, saying that she was at home and unable to locate our 2 1/2 year old daughter. I spent the next 15 minutes making the 25-minute drive to my house. My mind was racing and I was quite interested in getting home as soon as the laws of physics (not necessarily those pertaining to the speed limit) would allow. We were getting ready to call the Sheriff and get them to come help us find her. I thought of Elizabeth Smart and all the other crazy stuff that happens. That really, really sucked.

About a minute and a half away from my house, my wife called me back and said that they had found her, half-way across the neighborhood, playing with someone’s little bicycle.

Man, when I got home, all I could do was just pick her up and hug her for like 4 hours.

On days like this, I get really thankful for things like eyesight, having both legs, hearing, and a house (and one car, at least). Tell you what, things can always always be worse no matter how bad they get.

Alrighty then. On to Linux stuff.

One of the most annoying things about Linux is mime types for files. I can sit there in Gimp and make a graphic project and then save it out with the proprietary XCF extension that no other application on the entire system will ever use in the entire foreseeable future of the Universe. Yet, for some reason unknown to mankind, when I double-click on that .XCF file, the operating system asks me what to open it with. GIMP, stupid! And this happens with .m3u files in XMMS. .dia files open in what? Not DIA, but ARK. And then there’s the .kino files that open in what? Not KINO, but Kate, the text editor (yes, I know they’re text files). For some reason, I guess I just expect that, when I create the blasted file with a given application, that somewhere, something should know that I want to open that file again with that same application, should I just double-click on the file.

So I was playing around with my file-types, opening .jpgs in klipper, .mp3s in my RSS feed reader, and .odt files with Solitaire, when a silly thought dawned upon me. In KDE, when you right-click a file, and then select Open With, a little fly-out menu appears. You will see a couple of options in this menu. If none of them are the right one, you can click on Other. Another dialog box opens, laughing at you, daring you to attempt to locate the intended application yourself, challenging you to a battle of wits. At that point, you need to know the precise location of the program to open it with.

Except that you don’t. You only need to know the actual name of the binary.

For example, if I have a .kino file that I would like to open with KINO and not Kate, I can put some magical fairy dust into that box, making it find the app itself. All you have to do is put in the following:

`which kino`

Now, those are not quotes, they are backticks. The backtick is the key immediately to the left of your ‘1’ (number one) key at the top of your keyboard.

When the system evaluates an expression like this, it just executes what is between the backticks as though it were a shell command, and then replaces the whole thing with whatever the command returns. Thus, `which kino` evaluates to /opt/gnome/bin/kino, which is then accepted by the system as the proper location of the kino binary.

Just don’t check the box at the bottom that says “Remember application association for this type of file.” It puts weird things into the filetypes table, such that if you ever try this trick again, it will attempt to open it with that same program again. In this case, kino. On the other hand, you have different fingers. Just kidding. On the other hand, if you don’t check the box, it will forget what application to open the file with. Because of this, some of the usefulness is diminished.

So another thing you can do is to pop open a terminal window and type in “which ” followed by the application you are looking for. In this case, it would be “which kino”. Note that this is without the quotes. Then press ENTER. It will output the location of the application. Then, you can just copy and paste this output into that window that is asking you what to open the file with.

Man, I am really horrible with dangling prepositions.

That reminds me of a joke:

TEXAN: “Where are you from?” HARVARD GRAD: “Harvard — where we do not end our sentences with prepositions.” TEXAN: “OK — where are you from, stupid jerk?”

Sorry, the ADD and friends are really going full force today.

Have a good one.

openSUSE 10.3 Alpha3 released

by @ 8:39 am. Filed under General SUSE, SUSE News, SUSE releases

openSUSE Logo

My bro Andreas Jaeger had some spectacular news this morning:

I’m glad to announce the third public alpha release of openSUSE 10.3.

Important Changes Since Alpha2

The following are some highlights of Alpha3 compared to Alpha2:

* On x86-64: Firefox is now a 64-bit package and uses nspluginwrapper
  to handle 32-bit i386 plugins if needed.

* AppArmor uses now a new parser.  The kernel patches have been
  reworked completely.  Please do test AppArmor extensively (see below).

* GNOME 2.18 mostly integrated.

* Update to Kernel 2.6.21 RC5

* New opensuse-updater running natively under GNOME

* Further fixes for using libata by default for IDE devices

* New yast2-ftp-server module.

* The package manager handles more than one CD/DVD drive.

A more detailed list of changes is available via .

Most Annoying Bugs
So far the following critical bugs have been found, please read before

you install:

* Java applications are not working due to implementation errors in
  SUN Java. Bug 252510 Workaround here and also adding

  "LIBXCB_ALLOW_SLOPPY_LOCK=1" to the environment. 

* The installation of vim-normal might fail, just ignore it Bug 262706

* Branding and translations are still at the 10.2 level Bug 240598

* The Radeon driver is broken and crashes the X server Bug

  263199. Workaround: Disable the MergedFB option (see bugreport).

* Installation with several CD-ROMs might crash at some point Bug 263207

* gnome-main-menu might crash in some installations. bug
  263294. Fix: Reinstall gnome-main-menu with –force (you might

  want to install a new control-center2 package without the
  duplicated libslab, it’s available from the ftp server under


The list of annoying bugs is found here as well, please update it if

you find more:

Call for Testing

* libata for IDE devices

   We’re using the libata stack now also for IDE controllers.  Please
   do test that an update works and all files are changed

   automatically (libata uses /dev/sda for the first harddisk instead
   of /dev/hda).  Disks with more than 15 partitions are not handled

   right now, we’re still evaluating whether there is a good solution.
   to use the old scheme, boot with "hwprobe=-modules.pata".

* Kiwi scripts for LiveDVD

  We release the Kiwi tool together with a configuration for creating

  a LiveDVD of openSUSE 10.3. It can be created by anyone, you just
  need to call one simple script.  Please find detailed instructions

  and a list of known issues here:

* AppArmor

  – Behavior Changes:

     New rules to distinguish directories from files:
     The previous behavior made no explicit handling for directories. The new

     kernel module makes access to directories explicit and distinguished by the
     addition of a trailing ‘/’ to a rule that identifies it as a directory.

     Old Behavior:
     /path/to/somewhere     r, # Gives read access to the path 
                               # whether a file or directory

     /path/to/somewhere/*   r, # Read access to all files and directories
                               # in /path/to/somewhere

     /path/to/somewhere/**  r, # Read access to all files and directories
                               # under /path/to/somewhere

     New Behavior:
     /path/to/somewhere/*  r, # Gives read access to files in the directory 

     /path/to/somewhere/   r, # Gives read access to the directory 
                              # element only
     /path/**/              r, # Gives read access to all directory entries

                               # under /path
     /path/to/somewhere/**  r,  # Gives access to files and directories under 

                                # /path/to/somewhere

  – Included Profiles:

    The current apparmor-profiles package only ships with the

    abstractions and a profile for ping. We are working to update the
    existing profiles and they will be included in the next alpha


  – Testing:

    Testers and profile developers should focus testing efforts on

    profile deveopment with the tools (in YaST or at the console).

Media and Download


openSUSE 10.3 Alpha1 for i386, x86-64 and ppc comes as different media

* 5 CDs
* 1 AddOn CD with only NonOSS packages on it
* 1 AddOn CD with language packages that are used for extra

  languages (the 5 CDs contain support for english, french, italian, spanish,
  german, chinese, japanese, czech, danish, norwegian, khmer,

  hungarian, polish) (the 5 CDs have support for installation in all
  languages, just extra packages are only on this extra media)

* 1 DVD containing the contents of the 5 CDs and the NonOSS AddOn CD
* CDs/DVDs containing the sources corresponding to the media

We have created Delta ISOs from openSUSE 10.3 Alpha2.  Please use them
for download.

The DVDs and the source media are only available via bittorrent.

Please report all bugs you find on in our bugzilla as explained in, discussion is most appropriate on the
opensuse-factory@xxxxxxxxxxxx mailing list.

To download media, please use the links provided at:

 Andreas Jaeger, aj@xxxxxxx,
  SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Markus Rex, HRB 16746 (AG Nürnberg)

   Maxfeldstr. 5, 90409 Nürnberg, Germany
    GPG fingerprint = 93A3 365E CE47 B889 DF7F  FED1 389A 563C C272 A126

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