All posts by Karan Gandhi

About Karan Gandhi

UX developer . Linux Mint User. Avid otaku .


First beta of KDE Frameworks 5 released, install it on your system

KDE’s Frameworks 5 enters beta stage today. The beta release introduces porting aids for Application developers so that they can easily port their Frameworks 4 applications to Frameworks 5.

As mentioned earlier, Frameworks 5(KF5) are group of libraries which will power the next KDE. Frameworks 5 will be replacing KDE Platform. It’s an uphill task for an application developer to shift from one platform to another. Porting Aids should make things easier for a developer.

Porting aids are group of kdelibs4 modules and API’s that are being deprecated. These libraries will help a developer port an application to KF5. The Porting Aids group will be supported only for a limited time. Application developers are encouraged to port away from these libraries. Once support is ended, these libraries won’t be a part of KF5.

The libraries which are part of Porting Aids include: khtml, kjs, kjsembed, krunner, kmediaplayer, kdelibs4support


It might be possible to have KF5 runtime and kdelibs4 runtime together. Applications will be able to use either one of them. It will provide compatibility for older apps.

KF5 on your Computer

KF5 is relevant only to application developers. End users have no use for KF5 as of today. You need to make sure if you really want to install it. If you do want to install Frameworks 5 on your system read these posts to get an idea of what it’s all about:

Overview of Frameworks5
List of Released Frameworks
Porting Notes

Installing KF5 binaries:

Precompiled binaries are available for popular KDE distributions. Below are the methods to install them on Kubuntu and OpenSUSE.

Project Neon, the guys behind nightly KDE builds, maintain KF5. Project Neon 5 is the codename of KF5. Daily and weekly snapshots of binaries are available. Packages will be installed in /opt/project-neon-5. This should keep production environment safe. Weekly snapshot is recommended since it is usable.

To use weekly snapshot 

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:neon/kf5-snapshot-weekly

To use daily snapshot

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:neon/kf5-snapshot-daily

To use Bleeding edge

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:neon/kf5

Enter these commands to update and install utilities

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install project-neon5-session project-neon5-utils


Neon 5 ISOs are available for download. These are custom Kubuntu ISOs containing KF5 and Plasma Workspaces 2. The daily-snapshot repository is enabled by default. Download the latest ISO here.


Frameworks 5 and Qt 5.3 binaries are available in “KDE:/Unstable:/Frameworks” repository. KF5 is available only on 13.1 and Factory releases.

For 13.1

zypper ar -f QT53/code>
zypper ar -f KF5B1/code>

For Factory Images

zypper ar -f QT53/code>
zypper ar -f KF5B1/code>

zypper dup --from QT53/code>
zypper dup –from KF5B1

Personally I would recommend using Neon 5 Kubuntu ISOs and switching to weekly snapshot. It is stable enough to get a gist of development done and doesn’t interfere working system.



KDE SC 4.12.4 released, install it on openSUSE 13.1

The monthly update for KDE SC 4.12.4 has been released today. It’s a bug fix and maintenance release which brings bug fixes and minor improvements. This release also includes an updated Plasma Workspaces 4.11.8. Improvements were made to Kontact, Konqueror, Dolphin and some other apps.

openSUSE community just made it easier to stay updated to the latest KDE SC releases. The community recently announced a new repository “KDE:Current” which stays udated with the latest KDE Software. In order to update to the latest release, first of all remove any extra or KDE repositories added to your system – you won’t need them from now onwards. Once removed run following commands (for openSUSE 13.1) to add the Current repo to your system:

zypper ar -f current
zypper ar -f currentextra
zypper dup --from current
zypper dup --from currentextra

The Current repository will be updated regularly. KDE SC 4.13 will replace 4.12 when it becomes stable. There is no need to add additional repos in future.


Facebook announces WebScaleSQL

In a span of 7 days Facebook released two projects which offer enterprise ready alternatives to traditional AMP stack. Last week they released Hack, which is a PHP based language tailor made for HHVM. This week Facebook, along with Google and other players, announced WebScaleSQL, a project intended for scale oriented members of MySQL community.

HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) was created by Facebook for superior PHP performance. It is somewhat similar to JVM of Java. However not all PHP code is supported by HHVM. HHVM is striving for a complete PHP compatibility. Hack is a PHP based language tailor made for HHVM. It allows both static and dynamic typing. HHVM is written in Hack and PHP. Hack is already being used in Facebook. It was however open sourced on 21st March. You can checkout extra details at the official website.

Whereas WebScaleSQL is a combined effort by companies running MySQL at scale. MySQL teams working for Facebook, Google, LinkedIN and Twitter are heavily involved in this project. It is based on MySQL 5.6 community release. Each company uses their own customised version of WebScaleSQL according to their requirements.

In a blog post Facebook Engineer Steaphan Greene says:

[blockquote]An automated framework that will, for each proposed change, run and publish the results of MySQL’s built-in test system (mysql-test-run).

A full new suite of stress tests and a prototype automated performance testing system. Several changes to the tests already found in MySQL, and to the structure of some existing code, to avoid problems where otherwise safe code changes had previously caused tests to fail or caused unnecessary conflicts. These changes make it easier to work on the code and helped us get started creating WebScaleSQL.

Several changes to improve the performance of WebScaleSQL, including buffer pool flushing improvements (links here and here); optimizations to certain types of queries; support for NUMA interleave policy; and more.

New features that make operating WebScaleSQL at true web scale easier, such as super_read_only, and the ability to specify sub-second client timeouts.


WebScaleSQL is not a fork but a branch of MySQL. As long as community releases of MySQL continue, WebScaleSQL will remain its branch. Other options like Percona, MariaDB, Drizzle, etc will be considered as the ecosystem evolves. WebScaleSQL intends to be community driven. Check the official website for details for more information.

HHVM and WebScaleSQL are both enterprise ready products. They offer superior performance w.r.t PHP and MySQL on large scale. Facebook looks all set to capture the Enterprise market with its superior software.


What to expect from GNOME 3.12

After 6 months of hard work, GNOME 3.12 will be finally unleashed tomorrow. Here is a list of what to expect from the newer release.

Videos Replacing Totem

Totem will now be called Videos (or GNOME Videos). The project will still be called Totem but user viewable name will be Videos. This is akin to renaming of Epiphany to web in 3.4 release. The “discover” menu will receive an UI overhaul. Pocket videos, Guardian Videos and Freebox TV support is enabled via grillo plug-ins.

GNOME software

GNOME software received lot for bug fixes and new feature. Screenshot are available for popular applications. Depending on how an application is integrated with desktop, user rating will be auto-generated. Users can now control and delete software sources.

Facebook Integration in Photos

You can now view Facebook photos from the Photos app.

Pocket Integration

Pocket has now been integrated within GNOME. Pocket is available in GNOME accounts and it is integrated with Videos via grillo. The integration with Web is still in works.

Windows Live Integration

It will be possible to use Windows Live (hotmail/outlook/live) emails over IMAP and SMTP using OAuth2 tokens for authentication. Windows Live Accounts are now available in gnome online accounts (GOA). Evolution will pickup Windows Live Mail via GOA.

Web (Epiphany)

Web receives new history dialog, passwords dialog, cookies dialog, page title, address UI. Other Visual improvements will be noticed in oops screen, most visited page.


Gedit receives a massive UI overhaul in this version.

These are some of stuff you will get to see in GNOME 3.12. We will be back tomorrow with the official release announcement.


Intel’s Linux Driver Installer Updated to 1.0.4

Intel’s GUI utility for graphics and video driver’s installation reached version 1.0.4 last month. The utility was updated a fortnight back.

This tool allows easy installation of drivers for Intel graphics hardware. The newer version is available for Ubuntu 13.10 and Fedora 20 users only. Ubuntu 13.04 /Fedora 19 users can install this utility but they won’t receive upgrades to newer Graphics Stack. This utility doesn’t support versions below Ubuntu 13.04 and Fedora 19. Support for 13.04 will be dropped next month with the release of 14.04.

Intel’s utility seems to support only two versions of Operating systems. Only one version if you want to have the latest stack. This is a turnoff for people who use LTS versions of Ubuntu. You can forcibly install the stack but it is not recommended by Intel. Low latency kernel is not supported by this stack. You need to have generic kernel only.

This utility is available for download here.

SOURCE: omgubuntu

Chrome banner

Chrome OS To Get Standalone Video Player App

Chrome OS is set to get a standalone video player app soon. Currently it is available on dev channel and is being developed as we speak.

Traditionally videos are played from Files app on Chrome OS. The Files app has an embedded player to play videos and music. Chrome OS as an operating system is capable of playing files with these extensions: mp4, m4v, m4a, mp3, ogv, ogm, ogg, oga, webm, wav, amr, avi, flac, 3gp

The new Video Player app was spotted in a recent commit. This app is almost like the embedded player. It’s just separated from the Files app. The embedded video player will be removed from Files app soon in a separate commit. Like the gallery app, Video Player app won’t have a launcher icon. You won’t be able to pin the app.

The reasoning behind separating the embedded player and Files app is given in Issue 271811.

[blockquote]* We want to separate the video player from playing inside to fix several issues with trying to watch videos and open * This separate video player should be a packaged app. * The video player should NOT have a launcher icon. * Let’s use this bug to separate our current video player, and then we may update the UI in separate bugs.[/blockquote]

The app is still in under works and only available in dev channel. Check this post to enable Dev channel on your chrome book.

SOURCE : ChromeStory


Video of Unity 8 showcasing Mir’s capabilities released

A video was released showcasing Unity 8’s capabilities with Mir’s Display compositor. The developer shows how applications and multi tasking might be handled on Unity 8 with Mir. Check out the video by Ubuntu developer Daniel d’Andrada

The demo showcases, Mir’s capabilities as display protocol. Qt Meta-Object Language (QML) applications are used in the demo. QML is mainly used for mobile applications where touch input, fluid animations and user experience are crucial. Qt scene graph renderer is used the display compositor for Mir in the demo.

Daniel explains how these elements interact, “This demo uses Mir to abstract away the underlying hardware specifics, set up the display and GL context for Qt to do the rendering. Mir delivers all input events to Qt’s event handling system, and manages client connections and surfaces. Those Mir surfaces are represented in the QML scene as a MirSurface item which can be manipulated by QML like any other native item: positioning, transformations and animations all just work. Qt decides the destination for input events does the right transformation and hands them back to Mir to deliver to the client.

Mir is capable of identifying and relaying user input across two applications simultaneously. However this feature is enabled by the developer just for this demo. On production builds unfocused applications will be suspended.


Wayland Available On GNOME 3.12 With A Click!

According to reports, users will be able to use GNOME on Wayland via Gnome Display Manager (GDM). On login, users will now be able to choose between Wayland and X11. The changes were integrated in the GNOME 3.11.92 version. This version is the final version of the 3.11 development series. GNOME 3.12 should roll out in next week.

Wayland support on 3.12 however is still remains experimental. Mutter, which is the display compositor for GNOME, still doesn’t support Wayland completely. Also Wayland builds for Free BSD are broken. The Wayland support only works with Open Drivers. There is no official statement on nVidia proprietary support.

Earlier it was reported that 3.12 won’t be supporting Wayland completely. A quick switch for Wayland session is a welcome feature.


Tor-ramdisk updated

Tor-ramdisk, a tor server distro, was recently updated. Linux kernel, tor binary was updated and haveged was used as entropy generator.

Tor-ramdisk is an extremely small distro which is used to host a tor node in RAM. The distro used uClibc instead of glibc. The distro consists of tor binary, libevent, openssh, busybox, uclibc and the linux kernel. The ISO itself is 6MB in size.Tor-ramdisk is capable of running on 600 MHz CPU and any Linux supported NIC card. 256MB ram is required for distro to run, 128 MB for ramdisk and 128 MB for paging. Since it runs off RAM, it is suitable for diskless systems and holder hardware.

The sole purpose of this distro is to run a tor node. A Tor-ramdisk server can be used ideally as a middle node or exit node. Tor-ramdisk however is incapable of hosting tor hidden services which require services like http and resources (HDD). One of the reasons behind running a distro off RAM is that data will be wiped off RAM on reboot. Tor-ramdisk can theoretically convert a computer to a network relaying device. This makes it fool-proof against Non-live Forensic investigations due to lack data storage.


Desktop Effects Control Module in KWin5

KWin5 will feature a new configuration module to control Desktop effects. KWin5 will be a part of the upcoming Plasma Next Workspace. The control module is rewritten with QtQuick controls.The focus of the control module will be on Desktop Effects.

KWin5 Developer Martin Gräßlin explains, “What we learned from our users is that they are only interested in configuring the effects and that the other options exposed in that control module bare the risk of users changing and breaking their system. Thus we decided to give the users what they need and move all other options into another control module.”

KWin can use different compositing backends like OpenGL 2.x/1.x (GLX), Open GL ES 2.0 (EGL) and XRender. Effects are categorised depending on the compositing backend in use. Effects which are not supported by the backend will be hidden by default. This is useful since some effects like Looking Glass are not supported by XRender. The internal or helper effects are hidden by default.

Desktop effects can now be mutually exclusive to each other. Mutually exclusive effects will be organised using radio buttons. In a mutually exclusive group, only one effect can be activated. This is implemented to prevent broken animations. The radio buttons double up as checkbox, in case animations are needed to be switched off completely.

Alpha release of Plasma Next is scheduled to be released this week.