The Foresight Linux Search Engine

If you’re a Foresight Linux user, there are many resources you have at your disposal for documentation.  First and foremost, you have the excellent guide shipped by default in Foresight accessible in the menu…but there are other resources you can search for a resolution to your problems.  The Foresight Wiki and Foresight Forum are other areas that can be searched as well as the Foresight Issue Tracking System (FITS).  Since Foresight is rPath Linux based, you also have the rPath mailing lists, the rPath wiki and rPath Issue Tracking System (rITS).  There is also Planet Conary and Planet Foresight.  With all of these resources, I found that I was jumping back and forth quite a bit while searching for information.  There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it isn’t efficient.

Taking this into consideration, last year I created a Foresight Linux search engine.  (You can bookmark this at because the Google url is quite long)

This search engine is Google powered and searches the following locations for you:


The interface is a single search blank that returns results from the aforementioned 8 sites.  Google indexes those domains and searches through them for you, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

If you’d like to give it a try, you can visit the link above.  On the front page of the search engine, you can get code to embed this search engine on any web page or add it to your google homepage as well.  Hopefully, this search eninge will come in handy for Foresight Linux users.

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:


change this to the following:


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


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 kernel made way for the and it seems to work for me quite nicely.  I did notice that the kernel had some sound abnormalities for me with the Intel HDA sound card…so I rolled back to the 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

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…

Foresight Linux and Conary Part I

People flat out do not understand anything about Conary. What I hear the most:

Why another package manger? Isn’t there already too many of these out there? Why use Conary when I can apt-get? Apt-get is soooo much better. Dpkg gives you sooooo much more than anything could possibly give you. Conary is still beta quality…rpm and deb are much more developed mature.

If the person(s) asking the questions above actually understood what Conary is and CAN do…they would see this is a very limited view of Conary. Not only is conary a package management system vis-a-vis a system that manages EVERY single package of software on your system…it is also a powerful version control system for software packages and packaging. It’s an enabling mechanism for packaging software quickly and easily.

I’d like to go over some of the things I think are great about Conary…clear up some of the “why is this needed” speak by showing how Conary actually gets things right and the common problems experienced by other package managers that it solves.

Read more

Foresight KDE Alpha-Alpha-Pre-Alpha-Pre Screenshot

Is that Foresight Linux running a pre-pre-pre-alpha-alpha-alpha build of KDE 3.5.9 I see? 😉

Those of you interested in helping us develop, package, or use KDE are welcome to join us in IRC #foresight-kde freenode.  Plans are to build a 3.5.9 Stable version and wait until 4.1 is released to push out a 4.1 version.  Of course, we’ll have 4.0.X builds available for testing and fun all the while :)  Please, lend us a hand and file those bug reports!

Foresight Users and Developer Conference 2008

Are you interested in Foresight Linux or the Conary package management system? Are you located in or near North Carolina…specifically Raleigh? If so, join us April 18th through the 20th for the Foresight Users and Developer Conference!

Even if you’re not a Foresight User and are just curious about the Conary System Manager, Software Appliances, or software packaging…it would be a great boon to understanding how these things give Foresight an edge over most distros.

Signup on the wiki page (add your name) to attend and we’ll see you there 😉

Installing and Using RealPlayer on Foresight Linux

Last night, I decided to install RealPlayer onto my fresh Foresight Linux 1.4.X install. I’ve replaced my main workstation with Foresight due to convenience (I use it at work) and I use RealPlayer from time to time for videos and music.

No package exists for RealPlayer in the repositories, so head over to and download the .bin file. After the .bin file has been downloaded, use the following commands to install:

chmod 755 RealPlayer10GOLD.bin && sudo ./RealPlayer10Gold.bin

In the terminal, it will ask you what directory you’d like to install RealPlayer into. I chose /opt/RealPlayer (you’ll have to type it in) because I’d rather have the files installed there than in my home directory, which is where I downloaded the file to. After this, you’ll have a shiny, new shortcut inside Applications >> Sound and Video >> RealPlayer. Click on this to launch the program and follow the wizard.

The wizard will setup the Mozilla (firefox) plugins for you but they still won’t work solidly. This is because mplayer is overtaking the player duties for real media formats. To change this, gedit ~/.mplayer/mplayerplug-in.conf and change these entries as shown below:


Save and close that document. You’re set :) Restart Firefox and go to and test out the player capabilities.