Foresight Linux and KDE 4.2

UPDATE:  Foresight Linux 2.0.6 has recently updated the stable branch with python 2.6.  Therefore, much of this post is not needed to get Foresight KDE 4.2 running.  I’ve crossed through the portions not needed.  Thanks for reading!

I’ve been working with a lot of different distributions out there the past few days and haven’t found one that I like that has KDE 4.2 packages.  Experimenting further brought me back to my old friend Conary and Foresight Linux.  For those of you that don’t know what Conary is, I’ve written a Part 1 (I never finished Part 2 as I changed jobs and haven’t found the motivation) on what Conary attempts to accomplish and a bit of background on how it does things.

When I think of Foresight and rPath Linux along with Conary, I come to a direct comparison to Arch Linux…because pacman is quite similar.  The main difference is that Foresight does a lot more for you out of the gate than Arch does…and arch is quite a bit faster than Foresight.  Still, I decided to give KDE 4.2 a go on Foresight to see how it’s been progressing.

 The first thing I needed to do was to change from the 2 branch of Foresight to the 2-qa branch.  The reason for this is that 2-qa houses python 2.6, which is needed for KDE 4.2.  Until python 2.6 is pushed into the stable branch of Foresight, you’ll need to move your installation to the 2-qa branch.  First, using your favorite text editor, edit /etc/conary/config.d/foresight file.  Inside that file, you’ll see next to the line InstallLabelPath the following:

installLabelPath foresight.rpath.org@fl:2-kernel  foresight.rpath.org@fl:2 conary.rpath.com@rpl:2-qa

change this to the following:

installLabelPath foresight.rpath.org@fl:2-qa-kernel  foresight.rpath.org@fl:2-qa conary.rpath.com@rpl:2-qa

or you can substitute 2-devel there if you’d like to move to the 2-devel branch:

installLabelPath foresight.rpath.org@fl:2-devel-kernel  foresight.rpath.org@fl:2-devel conary.rpath.com@rpl:2-qa

Now, let’s migrate the system.  Migration to a different branch will result in moving your system to become EXACTLY like the branch you’re migrating to.  That means that any custom applications you have installed may be removed…conary will make your system become EXACTLY what 2-qa says it should.  This is the reason I recommend performing these tasks with a fresh install before customizing.

Change with the following command:

sudo conary migrate group-gnome-dist=@fl:2-qa --keep-required --resolve

Don’t worry, 2-qa is not as unstable as it sounds…the most unstable branch of Foresight is 2-devel.  To compare these branches to Debian, 2-qa is like testing while 2-devel is like unstable. 

I installed Foresight Linux 2.0.6 Gnome using a DVD on a Dell D630 Latitude.   Next, I like to uninstall the stuff that is extra in Gnome that I don’t use (you could say, I strongly do not like these):

sudo conary erase transmission f-spot evolution evolution-exchange tomboy banshee

With those packages out of the way, I did a full update.

sudo conary updateall

Some early Foresight 2.0.6 kernels cause random disconnects for my wireless chipset on the Dell Latitude D630 (Intel Pro Wireless) but after the upgrade this symptom isn’t present.  The default 2.6.27.5 kernel made way for the 2.6.27.10 and it seems to work for me quite nicely.  I did notice that the 2.6.27.10 kernel had some sound abnormalities for me with the Intel HDA sound card…so I rolled back to the 2.6.27.5 and things worked great.  See this issue for more information on this sound issue.

Now we have a completely “useable” Gnome system on our hands…but we can’t have that unusable system now can we? (easy Gnome supporters…tis only a joke).  Let us get a real desktop like openbo…er…KDE on there!  Before I got too far though, I wanted to make sure I could play mp3′s and other restricted format items so I installed the codecs needed:

sudo conary update group-codecs

Once this has finished, let’s get KDE 4.2 up and running.

sudo conary update group-kde4=kde.rpath.org@fl:2-kde4.2-devel

Once that command has completed, you should be able to logout and log back in to KDE 4.2.  The most recent builds of KDE 4.2 include python 2.6…something that Foresight Linux has been slow on the uptake with due to conary being written in python.  I’m still working on testing everything…I’m not sure how well this newest build works.  Look for a status update in a few days on this…

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