Run MeeGo in VirtualBox/Linux

Please note that this is most likely deprecated for newer MeeGo

is a new linux distro which targets phones , netbook  and other embedded devices . It’s a joint between Nokia’s Maemo linux and Intel backed Moblin  .  Version 1.0 was released not long ago . Officially supports Nokia N900 and Atom-based netbooks . But of course , if you want to take a look at it , you can run it inside a virtual machine . And from what I saw over the net , there’s already an un-official version that can run on x86 , using a normal kernel .

For the start , you should know that MeeGo is a rpm distribution , so prepair to use yum 😛

I’m using VirtualBox for virtualization , but if you prefer something else , I saw Meego can work on  Qemu and Vmware too. I used VirtualBox 3.1 . First step is to get the cd image from here . VB might not see the .img file , so in open box , select “All files”.

Create a new machine . I installed on 384MB , but the more , the better . You need to enable PAE/PAX , otherwise it won’t boot . After you made the new machine , start it . Select install MeeGo , and bla bla bla ( means a pretty normal linux GUI instalation ) .

At first boot , comes the moment of truth . If you are lucky , it will boot in the graphical desktop . Otherwise …

Boot again , and press Esc key . On the boot line options , deselect “quiet” and boot . To get a terminal press alt+F1 . enter your login , do a “sudo su” and then a

init 3

. This should kill the X server with tries to start , but fails ( use alt+F1 to get back to terminal until it’s killed ). Now .. : do a

yum install wget

and after wget is installed , do a




.  Now you need to copy this to /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/ . Maybe a

chmod u+s /usr/bin/Xorg

might be needed also.

Now you can reboot ( or do a “init 5” and “startx” , but better reboot ) . Normally , now you should get the GUI .  On my laptop  , mutter ( the GUI ) is SLOW , but look awesome . Not sure why is slow , maybe because of video … or because the kernel is optimized for Atom CPUs . Anyway , works for a preview and you can make an idea of what this OS will become . Practicly you will be able to have (almost) anything that runs on a desktop linux in your phone . It comes with several apps like Chrome , Emphaty ( a gnome IM client ) , Evolution ( mail client ) , Banshee ( media player ) etc.

I’m really curios how Nokia will direct the progress of Meego … well actually how both Intel & Nokia will do it . I’m saying this because Nokia is the patron of KDE and Qt . This Meego first version is based on a gnome/gtk interface ( and even more ,it has Banshee with is based on the damn Mono ( .net clone) ) .
Credits goes to from here in helping me making this work .

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Summer guide for linux distros

This is not a complete list of linux distros news , just several distros that I’m watching.

As you  know , Ubuntu’s second LTS ( long time support) – Lucid Lynx 10.04 is in the wild from some time . I’m a KDE fan , so for last 2 years I used mostly the Kubuntu spin , which some times seemed more stable even than the official Gnome version . The problem with Ubuntu , I think since Jaunty 9.04 , is that Canonical instead of consolidate the desktop version ( make it work as much of possible out-of-box ) , they try to enter mainstream and enterprise with some services , like Ubuntu One . I don’t say it’s a bad idea , but my feeling is that since Jaunty there were regressions in some areas , of which users complained . Not big regressions , but annoying . For example , in 8.10 the 3G modem was working perfectly for me . Since Jaunty problems started .  Another “always problem” was with the proprietary drivers . Luckly for Ubuntu , Ati and Nvidia always provided at least a beta driver in the last moment before the launch .  Of course , some of these problems were created by upstream ( changes in X server seems never ending ).

Unfortunatly for Kubuntu , Canonical invest only one core developer , the rest are from community . This is good , because this distro has the liberty to listen a bit more of what people wants . The problem is , this is not enough . Gnome shit is not stripped enough from Kubuntu , it always get the feeling that more development should be invested in Kubuntu to make it more stable, faster . One on another , I say Kubuntu is a pretty good KDE distro . One nice thing is that beta repos for new KDE versions are available pretty quick for Kubuntu and they are pretty stable – I never could have patience until a new KDE version was put in official repo so I always used beta repos . But as I said , canonical shits from official version are felt in Kubuntu , which often is translated in less speed .

3 weeks ago I used for a week Fedora . Didn’t tried Red Hat’s community distro from some time , even I worked on CentOS servers  . As usually I used the KDE spin-off  . Like Kubuntu , it comes with almost a non-customized KDE interface . Last Fedora – version 13 “Goddard” seems a pretty solid distro. Fedora has a more professional feeling than Ubuntu . Performances seems pretty good , no big problems , except one . Proprietary drivers  🙂 At the moment it was launch , the ATI proprietary driver was not yet working on Fedora .

The big problem with proprietary drivers comes on laptops . For example , I used the new experimental mesa driver , which looks pretty good in performance , BUT power management is not yet ready . Not having the power management translates in less battery . For example , using the open source or mesa driver on my Elitebook  ( has ATI graphics ) , the battery lasts about 2 hours . With the driver for ATI I get 3 hours . It’s a pretty much diference , not to mention that the laptop is more quiet , because the fan don’t run all the time .

Back to Fedora . One particular thing I didn’t liked was the SELinux . Fedora comes with a nice policy manager , but it can be annoying for a home user . Of course , it can disable . One goodies on Fedora are several system-config-* GUI utilities . Made in the gnome style ( simple without options for expert changes ) they are a nice addition that newbies might like it . Another good thing was that Fedora is the only one ( I think …) where I found Eclipse to be on Galileo ( 3.5 ) . Personally , I wouldn’t recomend Fedora to a newbie . It was and still is a distro for power users . It can work in a enterprise env. , the influence from RedHat is felt , even it’s community based.

OpenSuse . If you want a KDE distro , this is the one . These guys work pretty much to make a polished distro . They have a custom KDE interface which is very , very nice 😀 . Didn’t tried OpenSuse for some time . Long ago , it was slower than Ubuntu or Fedora , mostly because of Yast , their utility – a blessing and a curse in the same time . But things evolved ENORMOUS . OpenSuse is a damn fast KDE distro , I was surprised . It beats by far Kubuntu ( or at least that was my feeling ). The current stable 11.2 uses KDE 4.3 , a bit outdated , but you can upgrade to 4.4 . I had some issue with 3G modem  ( not sure if it was because of the 4.4 version ) . 11.3 will be released soon , I’ll definetly install it – I hope ATI and nvidia drivers will be ready by then . Opensuse promotes a lot the new mesa drivers , but as I said before , it can match yet the proprietary . YAST control center is one of the strength of openSuse , yet the yast package manager I found it powerfull, but not very friendly – it looks at first view very criptical .

Mint is a Ubuntu fork . It’s basicly a modified version by the community . In other words , most of canonical shit is taken out , but keeping the official repos . Except this stripping and modification to some packages , the Mint team also developed some nice tools like the Software Manager or the mintUpdate . The latest version ,9 – Isadora , is , of course , forked from Lucid 10.04 . I think it’s the first Gnome desktop I still used it after 3 days :)) . It comes with a custom theme ( a NORMAL layout , 1 panel as bottom taskbar) and runs FAST – I like it .  Almost zero problems , everything worked ok . This is how Ubuntu should be .  I would recomend this for newbies more than Ubuntu .  Even if it’s on Gnome , I can take it … well , until KDE version is released ( unlike others , Mint team don’t use fixed dates for releases – when it’s ready , they throw it in the wild ) . The software manager is very nice , except the apps from official repos, it also have some external . For eg. , you can install skype from here . Of course , if you want more refined managing , there’s always Synaptic . One nice thing is that , for example , it comes with Pidgin and not Emphaty ( or whatever is called ). Personally I don’t understand why Canonical tries to promote Emphaty , when there’s already a gtk IM client , which even KDE users ( yeah, Kopete is a down , at least from my point ) use it .

So, in the end , things to watch :

  • OpenSUSE 11.3 ( aroung 15 July )
  • Mint KDE version and even XFCE one
  • Fedora 13 , but watch out if you need proprietary drivers
  • if you have a netbook and want to experiment , try MeeGo , it’s the next OS for Nokia phones and not only

About Apple , Flash and HTML5

Some time ago ,  Flash developers and fans were saying that Flash will kill in several years AJAX and that Flash is the future for web . Well, I wasn’t best at literature in high-school either 😉

Every tech blog or newspaper was invaded in the last weeks with articles about a debate that most people ( those who doesn’t use Apple products) don’t care very much . Apple is killing flash in his App store , after Adobe was announcing with drum&basses that the new CS Flash will support iPhone development . Like I care  …

Well , I don’t care , but I had good times reading Apple and Adobe fans spitting each other on tech blogs ( like techcrunch ). Apple fans , those that are either tired of Flash or just follow whatever Jobs says are on one side . On the other side are Flash fans , mostly developers I guess , for which a market that could get $$ is now closed . In defending of Flash , you might say that is portable ( like a flash can be run in any browser , without tweaks , which you can’t always say about CSS or JS ) , so rather that making an app for you site in iPhone SDK , Android , Symbain and god knows what , you just make it in Flash and will work everywhere .  Well , things might look good , except that Flash sucked and sucks on mobile . Runs slow , drains much memory , bugs etc. Why ? Because as Jobs said , Adobe was lazy (a common huge mystake when you don’t have a real competitor)  and didn’t improved Flash on mobiles , because so far there wasn’t much interest ( on older platforms , like Symbian , people were not that crazy after apps … but even Symbian HAD Flash 🙂 … well symbian had multitasking before iPhone was born , but that’s another story ). And here Jobs is right . Flash crashes often in Mac , Flash runs like shit on linux , Flash runs like shit on existing mobile platorms that supports it . Even in Windows,  Flash runs shitty if you think about , in every browser when you open a Flash , the CPU and memory usually jumps crazy .

But this is interesting . It’s the first time HTML5 is brought in front of Flash , because Apple says HTML5 would do the Flash job . Wow … Apple doesn’t tell a lie  and  that doesn’t happen often . Of course , Apple doesn’t want Flash in their Store because Apple likes to control the applications on their devices . Full control. And of course , if you run an application on a Apple product , Apple likes you to pay for it . Having Flash , everyone would start play free flash games ,the  millions over the free internet , and no one would pay anymore for the games that are in the Store . And since Apple takes a cut from that pay … you can figure out their reason .

For Adobe , this is a serios problem , even if other Stores ,like Android’s , are/will support Flash . You could say , oh well , their software won’t run on iPhone , they loose a market . Yea , but also Youtube is testing HTML5 to play videos . It’s still in beta  and only supported by some webkit browsers ( and opera I think) . But this is only the beginning . HTML5 development is slow … well , like W3C is usually slow with making specs . Some say HTML5 will be a recomandation in 2022 . That’s bad … Apple might give up on mouse and keyboard by then  . The good news is that major players won’t wait until then and will proubably push HTML5 unofficially . Some sites are already testing the geolocation ( available on FF eg. ) , canvas features  etc. This might be a deja-vu like in 90′  ( remember MARQUE tag ? 🙂 ) . Recently Apple has a showcase site with HTML5 .  Don’t try it with FF or IE ,  it will show some bullshit that runs only on Safari … but Chrome doesn’t care and will run it . Of course , there are already showcases about HTML5 like this one . This is something that I don’t like at Apple , they say they will support some open tehnology , but they make a showcase that runs only on Safari . Limited . The key word you find in all Apple products . Even Microsoft is more open .

But fortunate , Apple is not the only one that wants to push HTML5 . Google ,as you might know ,  open-sourced VP8 video codec . One problem so far with html5 video tag was that the first option codec H.264 is a proprietary one . And already a list of adopters was announced to support VP8 codec . This is a hit to Apple in some way , because H.264 is more lovely for them , since their products already have H.264 hardware decoding .  But VP8 will be the new HTML5 codec , since already there are more than 40 supporters announced ( guess what , Adobe is too ).

a common huge mystake from someone that didn’t had a competitor in it’s market