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Life, the Universe and Debian

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Packages I’ve added to LibreOffice in Debian Squeeze


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I’ve added a few packages from Debian Backports related to LibreOffice to my Squeeze installation:

libreoffice-pdfimport (on the chance that I’ll actually do this some day)

and more importantly:

libreoffice-gnome, which makes LibreOffice look like it belongs in the GTK/GNOME world I’m working in.

libreoffice-gnome brought along a couple of dependencies, libreoffice-gtk and libreoffice-style-tango

I also added the mozilla-libreoffice plugin.

Packages I didn’t add

I didn’t add the libreoffice-emailmerge and libreoffice-evolution plugins because I can’t see using them.

Disclaimer: I used the Synaptic Package Manager to install the new packages. Once you have a new repository (like Debian Backports) set up, you can pluck packages at will in Synaptic without any special command-line magic, if that’s your thing (avoiding command-line magic) — not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Official Debian announcement on the move from OpenOffice to LibreOffice


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I’ve already made my move in Debian Squeeze from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, and a peek in my unread messages from the Debian mailing lists turned up this official announcement:

Debian moves to LibreOffice

Here is some of the text (a short how-to-install for Squeeze is included in the official newsletter):

The Debian project is proud to announce that the transition from
OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice has now been completed. LibreOffice has
already been available for “testing” and “unstable” since March and has
now been backported to Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”, too.

Rene Engelhard, Debian’s LibreOffice maintainer and member of
LibreOffice’s Engineering Steering Committee, says: “I am sure Debian and
its users will benefit greatly from this transition; I expect not only an
improved collaboration but also quicker development cycles.”

If you’re going to subscribe to one Debian mailing list, I recommend Debian News

Want to get involved in Debian? Raphael Hertzog needs your help


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I’m a subscriber to Debian Developer Raphael Hertzog’s e-mail updates, which I recommend highly — as I do visiting his website when those updates come through.

He’s a developer who has a great interest in helping out the end user, and I appreciate all he does very much.

One thing in a recent entry caught my eye: Raphael is looking for people who want to start getting involved in Debian. He has a page on the Debian Wiki on which he’s looking for people to help with dpkg, the developers-reference, the Package Tracking System, SAT-britney and the WordPress and quilt packages.

Skills needed range from coding in Perl and/or C (for dpkg) to a knowledge of good written English (developers-reference).

Having Raphael as a mentor sounds pretty good, if you ask me.

Raphael is also soliciting donations for the English translation of his Debian Handbook. He doesn’t have the donation mechanism set up yet, but once he does, I’ll let you know. Any book on Debian helps the entire project, and I’m eagerly awaiting this one.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I hate to say it, but one of the first things you need to do in Debian is remove Gnash


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It’s been a long time since I did a new Debian Squeeze installation, and I was just reminded about one essential step needed to make a functional desktop.

I’ve been running my Squeeze LXDE system today, and all of a sudden the CPU was pegged at 100 percent during a Firefox/Iceweasel session.

I opened up a terminal and took a look. Five Gnash processes were doing all of the damage.
[Read More…]

Debian Squeeze updated to 6.0.2 - and my nostalgic trip back in free-software time


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There are 60-something updates waiting for me in Debian Squeeze at the moment, and such a large number of packages staring at me from Update Manager usually means a “major” Debian Stable update.

In this case it’s the second update of Debian Squeeze, 6.0.2. Check the link for everything changing in Debian in terms of bugfixes and and security updates.

As always, while new installation media is available for download, any Debian 6.x image will still install a system that can be fully updated via the usual tools (apt, Aptitude, Synaptic/Update Manager).

Whether or not this point release is some kind of milestone (it’s not, I think), it’s a good time as any to assess where I’ve been on the Linux and BSD desktop over the past few years. Am I setting a personal longevity record with Debian Squeeze?

If you don’t count Sarge, and I don’t because I’m running it on my Sun Sparcstation 20 now and not in the deep, dark past when Sarge was the current Stable release, Squeeze is third Debian Stable release I’ve run for significant periods of time.

That means I’ve been messing with Linux for a bit more than four years at this point. I started experimenting with Knoppix, Ubuntu, Puppy and Damn Small Linux in early 2007 (maybe late 2006) and did my first Debian installation after I read about Etch going Stable in April 2007.
[Read More…]

Friday, June 24, 2011

Installing LibreOffice in Debian Squeeze from Backports without a hitch


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It’s not the least eventful package installation I’ve ever done in Linux and BSD, but tapping into Debian Backports to install the Document Foundation’s new LibreOffice suite and replace the formerly Oracle-controlled, now-in-limbo OpenOffice is fairly easy if you follow the steps, refrain from panic and just type in the letter “y” a few times.

I added the Backports repository to my sources, issued the Aptitude command and then watched as the system removed OpenOffice and replaced it with LibreOffice.

I didn’t use the Synaptic Package Manager for this installation. Instead I used Aptitude, which I tend to trust more when things get complicated.
[Read More…]


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Steven Rosenberg writes about many things in many places, including Debian (and FlatPress) right here.

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