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Cobber Linux Repository Information

April 7, 2014 2 comments

Cobber’s repository is being built. I am using reprepro to do this and it is being hosted on sourceforge which has mirrors around the world including 1 in Australia (Adelaide I think). I have also contacted various other hosts and I am waiting for their replies. If anyone knows a host in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea (even in any of the Pacific Island nations) please let me know.

This post is to help you access Cobber’s repository and when it is up and running, in the next few days, you’ll be able to use Cobber’s repo to “Cobberise” your Debian installs. I have made a FAQ and will add to it as time goes by so if you have any questions that are not already here please ask them and I’ll answer them either in the post, if it belongs in the post, or in a reply below the post.

What is contained in Cobber’s repository?
Cobber’s repository has packages from various other repositories, updated daily if need be, such as MATE Desktop Environment, SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics), Liquorix Kernel, Deb-Multimedia, and of course native Cobber packages. If you know of a repository that would suit Cobber please let me know and I’ll consider it.

Why have you done it this way?
Well sources.lists can get really untidy and unwieldy if there are alot of entries in it. By doing Cobber’s repository this way Cobber users have the normal Debian repositories listed but also just one more which is Cobber.

How is Cobber’s repository setup?
Cobber’s repository is setup with a main, community/main, community/non-free, backports/community/main, backports/community/non-free, archive/community/main (where old packages will be stored for historical purposes), development/community/main (where new untested packages will be placed for people who wish to test development releases). Everything in community and development is upstream and can change from one version to another so watching what you are updating is, as always with any operating system, advisable.

What do I need to do to use Cobber’s repository?
First you need to add the gpg key to your system so it recognises Cobber as friendly. Then you need to add at least one, more depending on what you want, entries to your sources.list
You can do this by opening a terminal (as root) and copy/paste or type this command.

wget -O – -q http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/cobber.gpg.key |apt-key add –

Once you have done that add Cobber to your sources.list by copy/pasting or typing this in your sources.list file
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ [dists] main

You will need to change [dists] to suit the version of Cobber (or Debian) you are using, the current versions are stable2013 (uluru2013), testing (maralinga), unstable (canberra), and experimental. So as a minimum your sources.list entry will look something like this
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ stable2013 main

If you want to add community it will look like this
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ [dists] main community/main

If you want to add non-free it will look like this
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ [dists] main community/main community/non-free

If you want more up to date software but still use stable2013 (uluru2013) it will look like this (n.b. backports are sometimes not complete, they are provided for you to use but you do so understanding this fact).

deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ stable2013 main community/main community/non-free
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ stable2013 main backports/community/main backports/community/non-free

If you are brave and want to help test development packages (when they are available) it will look like this
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ testing main community/main community/non-free
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ experimental main development/community/main development/community/non-free

or

deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ unstable main community/main community/non-free
deb http://sourceforge.net/projects/cobberlinux/files/cobber/ experimental main development/community/main development/community/non-free

What versions of Debian do the Cobber dists correspond with?
Excellent question, Stable2013 (Uluru2013) is based on Debian Wheezy, Testing (Maralinga) is based on Debian Testing (which is currently Jessie), Unstable (Canberra) is based on Debian Unstable (also called Sid) and Experimental is based on Debian Experimental.

When Debian Jessie is released as Debian 8 (Stable) Cobber Uluru will become uluru2015 (if Jessie is released in 2015). Maralinga will always be based on Testing and Canberra will always be based on Sid.

Will Cobber’s repository have all packages available from these other repositories?
From MATE and SIL yes, from Deb-Multimedia and Liquorix no. Do I here you ask why?

Well until MATE is fully eccepted into Debian I feel it is a good idea to mirror the full MATE repository so Cobber users don’t have problems with dependency issues.

I like SIL and believe they have good usuable software so I want to include it in Cobber’s repository.

Deb-Multimedia has a massive amount of software but most of it is already available in Debian so my intent is to only offer packages that are 1. not available in Debian, and 2. actually going to be used more than equivalent Debian packages.

Liquorix is a great kernel so I will be offering that but I’m not sure offering the full Liquorix repo is warranted. It’s a bit like Deb-Multimedia in a way some packages are already in Debian and do a really good job already. I just want simple with no dependency issues and to avoid double ups as much as possible.

I have a University assignment to finish off, by midnight tommorow, so I will let my update script do its work and after my assignment is out of the way I will get back into making iso images of Cobber using MATE and XFCE initially and upload them for downloading. I will make a new announcement when they are ready.

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Tutorial: How To modify the Floating Feet Screensaver to make your own.

May 11, 2013 Comments off

I was asked recently how can someone modify the Floating Feet screensaver that is used in Gnome2 and MATE. Gnome had the Feet symbol, MATE has the target and Debian has the swirl. Read on to find out how to make it work using your icon.

  1. As root open up /usr/share/pixmaps so you can copy an icon of your choice into the folder. I copied a png image of the Australian flag into the folder. To open something as root you need to use the root teminal (just enter the root password), mate terminal (type su next to the prompt then click enter then type in your root password) or have caja-gksu installed and select “Open as Administrator” from the right click menu.
  2. Now, as root, open up /usr/share/applications/screensavers/ folder. MATE calls the file you need to copy Floating Feet. Right click copy and then right click paste, then rename the new file to whatever you want to call it (this works on my machines). I called mine FloatingFlags. Why? Well I couldn't open it with Pluma if it was Floating Flags but I could as FloatingFlags.
  3. Again as root in your terminal type pluma /usr/share/applications/screensavers/FloatingFlags.desktop and the file will open in Pluma MATE's text editor. If you use another text editor just replace pluma in the command with the one you use.
  4. When you have this file open you will see

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Floating Feet
Name[en_AU]=Floating Feet
Comment=Bubbles the MATE foot logo around the screen
Comment[en_AU]=Bubbles the MATE foot logo around the screen
Exec=/usr/lib/mate-screensaver/floaters /usr/share/pixmaps/mate-logo-white.svg
TryExec=/usr/lib/mate-screensaver/floaters
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Screensaver;
OnlyShowIn=MATE;

To get your picture to show you need to either modify a line or add a line. I chose to modify and add a new line like this as shown in the bold text.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Floating Flags
Name[en_AU]=FloatingFlags
Comment=Bubbles the Australian Flag around the screen
Comment[en_AU]=Bubbles the Australian Flag around the screen
#Exec=/usr/lib/mate-screensaver/floaters /usr/share/pixmaps/mate-logo-white.svg
Exec=/usr/lib/mate-screensaver/floaters /usr/share/pixmaps/Flag_of_Australia.png
TryExec=/usr/lib/mate-screensaver/floaters
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Screensaver;
OnlyShowIn=MATE;

Now save your file and check to see it works.

Australian flag screensaver

Australian flag screen saver

Cobber icon needed.

October 19, 2012 6 comments

Calling graphic artists, Cobber is at a stage where I would like Cobber to have its own icon that defines it from other Linux distributions.

Ubuntu has the circle, Linux Mint has the Green LM square, Debian has the swirl. I would like Cobber to have something Australasian (maybe a Thumbs Up) for its defining icon. I would also like for this icon to be done by Australian/New Zealanders to keep with Cobber’s “Australasian” mission. So if there are any budding graphic artists out there who want to be part of the Cobber family please either respond to this thread or send me a message

Cobber MATE

December 24, 2011 Comments off

A new addition to the Cobber family is MATE the DE based on (meaning forked) Gnome 2.32. While Debian squeeze is 2.30 I personally think the extra benefits of 2.32 are worthwhile so it is my intent to offer MATE in a community repository for all those who are fans of Gnome 2.32 and want the features it offered. Please note that unless the current developer(s) offer security updates MATE will be supplied as is with no security updates.

Here is a screenshot of Cobber MATE

Categories: Canberra, Cobber, MATE, Repository

Canberra updated

December 24, 2011 2 comments

I know that I haven’t spent as much time updating Cobber (on my machine) as I could have but I have updated it today and now have Gnome 3.2.1 instead of just Gnome-Shell 3.2 on the older Gnome 3.0. I also updated to linux-image and linux-headers 3.2.0-rc4 from experimental. Gnome 3.2.1 is great and is now my main DE. Linux-image and linux-headers 3.2.0-rc4 has a few issue with my hardware or settings so I am sticking to 3.1.0-1 for now.

With regards to the kernels my intent is to keep Canberra on the cutting edge or as close to it as possible but regular releases (Uluru) will probably stick with what used to be listed on kernel.org as long term versions. If you take a look at the link in the previous sentence it appears as though they now have the old long term kernels (the ones with huge numbers) listed as stable. The kernels I will put in the images will be as stable and work on as many variations of hardware as I can possibly test. That is why, for now, 3.2.0-rc4 wont make it into Cobber but I am ever hopeful that 3.2.0 (stable) will be good.

Categories: Canberra, Cobber, Gnome, Kernel

Cobber Canberra

November 14, 2011 Comments off

These are screenshots of Cobber Canberra (Canberra is unstable and this one has experimental in it as well) using Gnome 3 (Gnome-Shell is 3.2 from experimental).

Here is Cobber Canberra using XFCE4. Notice the dropbox intergration, yes this install has Nautilus as well as Thunar.

Here is Cobber using LXDE. Again notice dropbox is available.

Here is Cobber with Enlightenment (E17 from Experimental)

Work on Cobber is continuing and a repository is slowly being constructed using Reprepro.  It seems as though I wont be able to have a  proper repository on sourceforge so I’ll be spending a little bit of time looking around for a suitable location. I am thinking of contacting Linux Australia and the major Australian ISPs to see if they will host it for me and what their terms and conditions are for the service.