Monday, May 16, 2011

Give your desktop a new look with the elementary icon theme

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Looking to give your desktop a new look? Try the elementary icon theme. These icons are available in the default Fedora repository for F14. As such they can be installed by issuing the following yum command:
# yum install elementary-icon-theme
To activate the icon theme Gnome users should:
  1. Access System -> Preferences -> Appearance.
  2. With the current overall theme selected click Customize.
  3. Select the Icons tab on the Customize Theme dialog box.
  4. Select elementary or elementary-monochrome from the list provided.
  5. Click Close on both dialog boxes to apply and save the changes.
The instructions for users of other desktop environments such as KDE, XFCE or LXDE will differ. Consult the documentation for your desktop environment of choice if you are unable to find the appropriate settings. wrap-up

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As I mentioned in my previous post last week I attended which was this year held in 2011. I thought I might do a quick wrap-up linking not only the presentation I made at the Cloud Mini-conf but also some other presentations I attended during the week which might be of interest to other Fedora users.

A colleague and I presented a talk called Deltacloud - Abstracting for Freedom providing an introduction to Deltacloud and the Aeolus Project. The video from the talk is available online as are the slides.  Some specific talks I feel might be relevant or of interest to Fedora users are linked below:
There are of course plenty of other presentations that took place during the week. The videos for these are being made available at

In search of unicorns

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Over the last week I have had the pleasure of attending which was held in my home city of Brisbane, Australia. Overall it was a great experience and I hope to write up on some of the specific experiences I had which might be more specifically interesting to the Fedora community over the coming weeks.

Right now however I would like to touch on the 'Training Allies' session I attended as part of the Haeksen mini-conference. Effectively the session was an opportunity to review some examples of discrimination which arise from time to time in the FOSS world and indeed the IT industry as a whole.
One of the specific scenarios discussed was the use of pornographic and sexually explicit imagery in conference presentations. As those running the mini-conf detailed some experiences from their own pasts where they had seen this occur and others from the crowd chimed in I distinctly remember rolling my eyes somewhat. In my mind we have long since passed the point where anyone in the industry thought this was acceptable or in any way necessary, right?

Then Friday's keynote speech rolled around. The full text of the speech and the slides can be found here.  While not everyone might be offended by the slides I think most readers will be observant enough to work out which ones some might not have considered appropriate for a conference which draws attendees from all walks of life. I have no doubt Mark Pesce also realised that some slides would be controversial and this was the intention of including them but that still does not make it acceptable.
Some will debate the rules word for word, others will be offended by the idea that conference presentations are being censored in some way (or not, as it turns out, otherwise we wouldn't be having this dialog). I'm not going to try address every argument that either has been made or is likely to be made in defense of this presentation. In fact I'm not even going to directly address any.

The sole purpose of this post is to register that in my personal opinion that such events are not at all helpful in an environment where we are trying to attract individuals, businesses, and governments to open source. They are also completely avoidable and therefore un-necessary.

I will also say I am not sure what the point of having a rule regarding the use of sexually explicit images in presentations is if the enforcement to back it up consists of allowing the presentation to continue unhindered and issue a lame duck apology retrospectively. I do however appreciate the difficult position this scenario put the room organiser in. Ultimately conference organisers shouldn't require such a rule and be able to rely on the professionalism of community members and people recognising the social consequences of their actions as is traditionally done, alas we can dream.

FOSS drivers for ATI Mobility HD 5xxx (Evergreen series) on Fedora 14

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I have had a laptop with an ATI Mobility HD 5xxx video card for some time now. Getting 3D support for this card on Linux has been painful. Unsupported by the FOSS driver included in Fedora releases the only option has been to install the proprietary Catalyst driver. The Catalyst driver works when available but often releases lag long after the versions of Xorg included in the latest Fedora.

I have recently discovered, via a post on, that the updated version of the FOSS driver which is currently in the rawhide repository includes support for cards in this series! To install it you can use the following commands (note that the first is only required if you have previously installed the Catalyst drivers):
# yum install fedora-release-rawhide
# yum update --enablerepo=rawhide --nogpgcheck kernel libdrm mesa-* xorg* cairo pixman
# yum remove fedora-release-rawhide

I had some issues with the graphical boot when I rebooted following the installation. By editing my grub settings to ommit the rhgb parameter I was able to successfully boot into my graphical environment which now has 3D acceleration!


Welcome to the Rainhill Trials blog, named after the Rainhill Trials. These trials were run by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829 to evaluate steam engines and locomotives for use on the company's newly completed rail line.

This blog is intended to document my own trials and tribulations with emerging technologies. In particular expect content relating to:

  • Linux, particularly the Fedora Project,
  • virtualization technologies, and,
  • cloud computing technologies and management platforms.
 Initial content will be migrated from the (limited) archives from my existing blog.