I reinstalled Fedora 17 on my main work machine yesterday — I was having weird issues with gnome-boxes and virt-manager, and thought my problems might have stemmed from the weird libvirt machinations I undertook to get oVirt running on my laptop w/o disabling NetworkManager.

I always keep my home directory in a separate partition to allow for easy clean installs w/o losing my data, but this time around I copied my home directory off to a separate drive to start completely fresh — I’ll ferry needed files and folders back as needed.

One thing I had to go recreate on my new install was a set of tweaks for providing decent font rendering on Fedora. Without these steps, fonts render pretty poorly. I follow the steps in this blog post to mimic Ubuntu’s font rendering options, and then create the .fonts.conf file described here to cajole Google Chrome into obeying the rules laid out in the former step.

I hereby remind myself to look into exactly why it is that the patent fear fairies that prompt Fedora to ship with a crappy-looking font config don’t equally menace Ubuntu. I realize that my employer, with its relatively deeper pockets, presents a more attractive lawsuit target compared to Ubuntu’s sponsor, but if Fedora were to shun every piece of potentially patent encumbered software, there’d be no Fedora at all.

Where to draw the line?

Spice Spice Baby

Last week, when I was getting to the “here’s where you access your shiny new oVirt-hosted VM” portion of my super duper Up and Running with oVirt howto, I was a bit embarrassed to say that  you needed Fedora to access oVirt’s console-launching automagic.

oVirt uses the spice protocol for delivering virtual desktop sessions, and while spice client packages are available for Ubuntu and for openSUSE, I wasn’t able to find any up-to-date packages to provide the Firefox plugin, spice-xpi, that handles the hand off between oVirt’s web admin console and the spice client application.

So, I grabbed the source RPM for the Fedora spice-xpi package and headed off to the openSUSE Build Service and to the Ubuntu Personal Package Archives to build some packages. Now, I’m close to being a packaging n00b — historically, checkinstall has been the extent of my packaging efforts — but, I got the packages built and they work, at least on the 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 11.10 and openSUSE 12.1 with which I tested. I built x86 versions, too, but haven’t tested them yet.

Here’s a shot of the spice-xpi package doing its thing on Ubuntu 11.10:

And here’s a shot of the spice-xpi package in action on openSUSE 12.1:

So, if you were all set to test drive oVirt, but drew the line at fleeing your client distro of choice to access your VMs (and if your distro of choice happens to be Ubuntu or openSUSE) go forth and get to your oVirt tire-kicking. And if you check out the packages and have feedback that’ll help me be a better Ubuntu and openSUSE packager, I’d appreciate it if you’d share.

Also, I have at least one more soon-to-come VM access blog post in me, dealing with VM access from Windows (and maybe not dealing, but wondering aloud, at least, about access from OS X).

Finally, I want to put in a plug for an oVirt Workshop that the project is holding in Beijing, China, on March 21. If you’re Beijing-based, and you’re interested in learning more about oVirt, check out the oVirt Project site for more information, and please spread the word.


Navel Gazery, Ubuntu, and Fedora

Welcome to the first non-lorem ipsum post on this, my non-work blog, where many of the things I might write about on my work blog, but don’t, because they seem way too navel-gazy, I may end up writing about here.

One such thing: the ongoing (sort of) battle between different Linux distributions on my work notebook. I used to jump around a lot between different desktop OSes: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, BeOS, SuSE Linux, Red Hat Linux, Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Gentoo, Fedora, Ubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu… Continue reading “Navel Gazery, Ubuntu, and Fedora”