How to install LibreOffice (3.4.5 and 3.5.0) on Linux (Fedora, RHEL, CentOS)

libreoffice

LibreOffice, no doubt a great office suite, doesn’t come pre-installed with major Linux distributions so here we are explaining how to install Libreoffice 3.4.5 or 3.5 on Fedora, CentOS and RHEL. Well you have a privilege of installing LibreOffice on Fedora 16 through command line. Following code can do the trick :

yum install libreoffice

Above code will install latest version of Libreoffice. We have more than that in the box, tutorial to install different versions of Libreoffice on Fedora, CentOS and RHEL.

Downloading Packages

Libreoffice 3.4.5 32-bit stable version

wget http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/3.4.5/rpm/x86/LibO_3.4.5_Linux_x86_install-rpm_en-US.tar.gz

LibreOffice 3.4.5 64-bit stable version

wget http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/3.4.5/rpm/x86_64/LibO_3.4.5_Linux_x86-64_install-rpm_en-US.tar.gz

LibreOffice 3.5.0 RC3 32-bit stable version

wget http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/testing/3.5.0-rc3/rpm/x86/LibO_3.5.0rc3_Linux_x86_install-rpm_en-US.tar.gz

LibreOffice 3.5.0 RC3 64-bit stable version

wget http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/testing/3.5.0-rc3/rpm/x86_64/LibO_3.5.0rc3_Linux_x86-64_install-rpm_en-US.tar.gz

Switch to root

su -

OR

sudo -i

Extract Libreoffice downloaded packages

Libreoffice 3.4.5

tar -xvf LibO_3.4.5_*

Libreoffice 3.5.0

tar -xvf LibO_3.5.0*

Installation

LibreOffice 3.4.5

cd LibO_3.4.5*
rpm -Uvh RPMS/*.rpm
rpm -Uvh RPMS/desktop-integration/libreoffice3.4-redhat-menus-3.4*.noarch.rpm

Libreoffice 3.5.0

cd LibO_3.5.0*
rpm -Uvh RPMS/*.rpm
rpm -Uvh RPMS/desktop-integration/libreoffice3.5-freedesktop-menus-3.5*.noarch.rpm

..and you are done!

A complete fstab guide

Wherever you stand on your linux learning curve, you will have to deal with fstab one day or the other. Fstab file is edited to configure filesystems. The process is really easier if you are well versed with fstab file. Continue reading to know more about fstab and how things work.

Introduction to fstab

Every operating system has a file system table, in Linux fstab happens to be that file. Earlier in linux era, one had to manually mount any drives/files at specified locations with the help of “mount” command. Right after plugging in your device, they just didn’t show up on your desktop. They were meant to be mounted manually and then further processing was done. There existed (exists) a way through which it can be done automatically, fstab was the magic wand. Fstab is used to store configurations for different file systems and it contains what to do with them, i.e., what and where to mount.
This automatic mounting can be carried out in graphical style too with the help of a tool PySDM, it is explained here.

How does fstab file look like?

Fstab file is found at:

/etc/fstab

You can see your fstab file by executing following command:

# gedit /etc/fstab

Columns in fstab file are separated from each other by a “tab”. We will go through and explain each column in the order they appear.

File System

This is the screenshot of my fstab file:

All the fstab entries are starting with UUIDs. These UUIDs are assigned to file systems while formatting, these are considered ideal for selecting file systems while mounting as they do not and cannot be changed. This setup is best for home users but for an advanced user who wishes to use RAID in future or uses a network based device, you should pass. To get the UUID of a partition so that you can make an entry in fstab, use blkid .

Mount Point

The next section in fstab denotes mount point of that particular partition. All the sections are separated by a ‘tab’. While making an entry in fstab, a mount point is to be created before rebooting (as changes take effect after restarting).

 

Type

The next section is type of file system for that partition. Linux supports a variety of file systems, few might need some packages to be able to perform read/write on them. We are looking only over a few of them:

ext3 : Most of the systems these days have ext3 linux partitions. Older systems had ext2 type filesystems but now ext3 has replaced it for its advantages. Ext3 is journaled, that is, if the power goes off and system is not properly shut down, no data will be lost, therefore, no time wasted in disc checks.
Note: Some distros are shipping with ext4 as default.

swap : Name stands for itself. “Swap” partition is of type “swap”.

ntfs and vfat : You will find your pendrives in vfat format (also known as FAT32) and windows drives in ntfs format.

auto : When you find written “auto” in this column, it doesn’t signify type but automatic detection of filesystem type.

Options

This section of fstab contains mount options for partitions. This section can seem really confusing at first but knowing few them can get you through it. Popular ones are discussed here while rest can be checked on man page of mount .

auto/noauto

With auto , the partition will automatically be mounted on a system boot. You can prevent a partition from automounting on bootup by editing option to noauto in fstab file.

exec/noexec

It lets you choose whether the partition can execute binaries or not. For example, you can give a partition noexec which contains binaries and you don’t want them to execute.

ro/rw

ro is for read-only partition while rw denotes read-write partition. To be able to write on a partition, it should have rw option in fstab file.

user/nouser

With nouser as an option, only root has privilege of mounting a partition while user allows any non-root user to mount a partition. Many users find it annoying that they can’t mount a partition as a normal user, well, now you know that solution is to update your fstab file.

sync/async

It is responsible for files being written synchronously and asynchronously. In layman words, when you issue a “copy” command on a pendrive, writing process starts as soon as command is issued but this is not the case with internal hard drives. Write operations on hard disks are not synchronised, that is, writing might start long after command was issued. This is the reason for error “wait while changes are being wriiten”. This can also cause accidental data loss. If async is set, it might appear that files are successfully written but they might not be physically written.

defaults

It sets all the default options: rw, suid, dev, exec, auto, nouser, async.

dump

This is the fifth column in fstab file. It has zeros and ones as entries, zero is for false and one is for true . It is an old school method of backing up. Backup will be performed if option is “1”. In case of “0” option dump will ignore the partition.

fsck

fsck is short form for file system check. This makes the 6th column for fstab file. You will see 0,1 or 2 written in this section. “0” denotes that the partition will be skipped from checking. “1” is for partition which will be checked at booting time. These numbers are actually the sequence in which they will be checked. Root (/root) partition is always set at 1, partitions other than root which are supposed to be checked should be set at 2.

How to automount partition in Linux: GUI style

Automount partition in linux like never before. Introducing a tool that can automount partition for you as soon as you boot up your linux box.

One of the Linux Guru’s characteristics is to use command line for everything. One can accomplish anything when well versed with command line tips. After booting up a linux box, one needs to manually mount the partitions. Its not a big deal but it gets really annoying when you keep getting error just because you forgot to mount a partition. This hassle can be avoided by making partitions to automount themselves. It can be accomplished by editing few system files but we are not going there. This post is for those ‘lazy’ ones who don’t want to trouble themselves with system files and all, here we are going to automount partition in graphical manner. We have a tool available that can automount partition right after booting.

PySDM: PyGTK Storage Device Manager

PySDM is a Storage Device Manager that is widely used by users to automount partition without touching fstab. Read more about it here.

PySDM for Ubuntu

Download PySDM to automount partition in Ubuntu and other Debian based distros by executing following command.

sudo apt-get install pysdm

 

PySDM for Fedora

Download PySDM to automount partition in RHEL/CentOS/Fedora by executing following command:

sudo yum install pysdm

 

PySDM for Arch Linux

Download PySDM to automount partition in Arch linux, link: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=16992

When you are done with downloading, start the tool by shooting following command in terminal as a root:

sudo pysdm

A prompt for password will appear, past that you will see following window with partitions listed on the left:

 automount partition pysdm

Click on Assistant button and following window will appear.

automount partition pysdm

Now you can check and uncheck according to your preferences and you are done, PySDM will now automount partition for you just after booting.

Actual meaning of Free Software: Free as in beer versus Free as in speech

Vastness of open source can leave anyone in confusion. Whether it is distro hunting or phrases that are used to explain related concepts. The one which annoys every single beginner is that Open source is said to distribute free software, so far so good, but what exactly we mean by free? Free as is Beer or Free as in Speech? Keep reading.

The difference can be narrowed down to “no money” versus “no restrictions (or a bit of them)”. In English, free is often mistaken for both the meanings but in Spanish they have different words for them, Gratis and Libre.

Free as in Beer (Gratis)

Java from Oracle is a product which is free as in beer. When you are offered a beer, you are not supposed to pay for it but enjoy. The ‘body’ giving away pays for it and everyone enjoys it at no cost.

Java from Oracle is available free of cost for everyone but restricts users from getting even a glimpse of source code. Hence, users are also deprived of the liberty of modifying the code. Speaking of that, none of distributing publicly and submitting bug fixes is available. The decision of What/When/How you get the “beer” is made by the “giver”.

Free as in Speech (libre)

In addition to facility of getting the software for free, the air of liberty comes in. The liberty in “libre” is more than you get in “gratis”. Following are the rights you have in software which are Free as in Speech:

♦ You can use it anyway you want. They don’t care if the software was made for computer you are running it on mobile device. More the merrier!

♦ You can easily see the internal working of the software. Users want to know the secret ingredients in their favourite beer but are deprived of this pleasure in case of free beer.

♦ Sharing is caring! After using and falling in love with the software, one would definitely want to share it and libre allows him to do that without violating any law. Distribute it publicly whether by packaging it with your software or provide a mirror, etc.

♦ You can be a part of the development process. If you find a bug and a fix to it, you can submit it so that community benefits from it. After all it is all about giving away.

First beta of gnome 3.4 released

gnome 3.4

Gnome is making another step forward. The news just came that first beta of Gnome 3.4 is out and is approaching the release time. This release is meant for testing and hacking purposes. Being a beta it can be built and used but should be avoided for hardcore purposes. Gnome uses its own nomenclature to signal development status. Interested folks can have a look at their brief schedule here. This release is first beta to the final release. We have second release scheduled on March 7th followed by candidate release on March 21st.

Final release of Gnome 3.4 will hit the web on March 28th.

If you wish to use Gnome 3.3.90, compile it using jhbuild and moduleset files.

Links

What is new in first beta of gnome 3.4?
core apps

Where can I get the code?
core apps

Apache 2.4 released: nginx you listening??

apache 2.4

Apache 2.4 released! After six years this one is the major release. First release 2.4.1 is out for download, this is not just another patch to deploy. Apache or httpd is the most popular and widely used web server. 400 million websites are breathing over Apache web server. Have a look at what they have to say about new features in Apache 2.4:

New features include Loadable MPMs, major improvements to OSCP support, mod_lua, Dynamic Reverse Proxy configuration, Improved Authentication/Authorization, FastCGI Proxy, New Expression Parser, and a Small Object Caching API.

Apache HTTP server, the new version, has a plump for cloud this time. The prime area of improvement is performance. The 2.4.x is using less resources and concurrency is better than previous version. All users ever wanted was a faster web browser, this one can rule them all.

Other areas of improvement would be flexibility in configuration and a stronger security check (read authentication and authorisation). The new-features-list is here.

There is a news all over that Apache 2.4 is “direct aim at nginx”. It came out due to the sudden popularity of ngnix for its scalability and performance. Many of them switched permanently to nginx. This new release is an attempt to win them back as this one is incredibly fast..challenging nginx in the face. More on it, later.

Lets hear it from you, what do you think:

httpd or nginx?

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VLC 2.0 twoflower released

Open source media player, one of the greatest, VLC has reached version 2.0. This one is a major upgrade for vlc. According to just-in-report several hundred bugs are removed from previous versions.

What freaks me out is itself being an open-source project, no downloads for linux are being provided on official website. A link to its source is given, fair enough, but the link is returning 404 error (in India). And then we complain why people are still stuck on non-linux operating systems. There you go!

See whats new in all new vlc 2.0 Twoflower on official page.

Edit: Looks like they made a typo, you can build it yourself from source.

Arch Linux Cannot Open Firefox and other applications

arch linux logo

A little bummer for Arch linux lovers, those who have updated their systems lately might face a temporary issue. This problem is restraining users from invoking some applications including firefox and chromium. Issuing a command to run “few” applications will welcome you with following error:

libpng14.so.14: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

See what Arch Linux has got to say about this:

Recent releases of libpng and libtiff have required a rebuild of all packages that depend on them; these have just been moved from [testing] to the main repos. As usual, remember to fully update your system and check your unofficial packages (especially the cairo-* packages from AUR) for required rebuilds.

To get through this, you need to rebuild some packages, run following command to see which ones need the updating:

pacman -Qm

[Source]

Your own command line password generator!

random password from command line

When you need to create a random password, stop brain storming over random characters as you have Linux command line at your disposal. It can accomplish things perfectly and, there are multiple ways to do it. Today we are creating our own command line password generator. We have assembled some ways to create a random password. We will start off with an easy one, its easy to remember:

Using md5sum

It doesn’t give you enough options but its random enough.

date +”%N” | md5sum If you want some more control, keep reading.

For rest of the following random password commands, you are allowed to modify them according to your requirement like restricting the number of characters returned.

Using /dev/urandom

It is a built-in feature. Following command return only those characters which you need to use in a password.

< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c${1:-32};echo;

Another way to do it but in reverse order:

tr -cd '[:alnum:]' < /dev/urandom | fold -w30 | head -n1

Using SHA

Date is hashed via SHA, passed on to base64 and 32 characters appear in output.

date +%s | sha256sum | base64 | head -c 32 ; echo

Using Strings

String command filters and returns printable straings:

strings /dev/urandom | grep -o ':alnum:' | head -n 30 | tr -d '\n'; echo

Using urandom (again!)

This one is less complicated:

< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c6 ; echo ;

Using dd command

Ever thought dd is capable of doing this?

dd if=/dev/urandom bs=1 count=32 2>/dev/null | base64 -w 0 | rev | cut -b 2- | rev

Using openssl’s rand

It may not be available on your system:

openssl rand -base64 32

If you feel like using some method again and again, you can save yourself the trouble of executing the command by putting it into a function and placing that function in ~/.bashrc. For an instance, if you want to create a function for SHA one here is the code:

genpass() { date +%s | sha256sum | base64 | head -c 32 ; echo } We are calling our random password generator as “genpass”.

All the commands are tested on our own system, screenshot:
random password from command line

So whats your favorite method? Post it in comments.

Here’s why you can’t update to Ice Cream Sandwich right away

Android-icecream-sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich, best piece of software from Google (till date), was released in October, 2011. This Android software is beyond imagination and pinches in your whole world in your palms. Users wait eagerly for an android update but what is restraining them from installing one? Let’s find out.

Involvement on multiple parties holds the whole update process back. Its not that manufacturers and carriers don’t want to push out latest updates but before doing that they need to test it on their equipment for compatibility issues. Suppose a Motorola handset which is sold by Verizon. Manufacturers are Motorola but the software is made by Google and is running on Verizon network. Therefore, an update before being pushed out to end users should be tested by Motorola for hardware compatibility. This update when released will be passed on to carriers for further testing. When they approve of, only then updates are made available for users.

This whole life cycle seems to progress slowly but truth behind this is, of course, multiple parties. iPhone users don’t have to face this issue as every stage is carried out in ‘house’ itself. Android users have to wait a bit longer to enjoy Ice Cream Sandwich and we are sure that it is worth waiting.