Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kiara 04 Finally Uploaded!

Download the LIVE CD

Big News in the little World of Kiara GNU/Linux! The new release features a return to KDE3.5.10 as the default desktop, a better organized fluxbox menu, and something that I've always thought a live CD should have... mount points!

Mount Points, You Say?

Kiara's added mount points are nothing more than six empty directories located just inside of / (root) When you mount a hard drive, flash drive, or other device, the data essentially takes plugs into that space. The if I mount my usb hard drive /dev/sda1, to /files, everything in that hard drive is now /files. I like this better than the automatic mounting, which is easy enough, but generates a directory like /mnt/dev/sda1 of /media/dev/sda1. In my opinion, it's worth the extra effort of mounting manually to only have to deal with a url like /files /backup, or even /1.

It's especially helpful if you like to mess around with different distros, and if you like to write scripts that refer to the contents of your external hardrives, and use the same script in different distros. If I create the moun points and manually mount them, the same device that is automatically mounted as /dev/sda1 in a Slackware based distro like Kiara, and is /dev/sdb1 in Kubuntu, can be /files in both of them. This makes writing a script to run on the same hardware with two different distros a lot simpler.

And now I don't have to set the mount points manually every time I boot the Kiara CD. They are a permanent part of the filesystem.

Now, I created a menu addon for mounting the files by clicking for fluxbox. It works nice, but there's a catch. You have to have to be set up to use sudo without any password. Other than that, needs some work.

The special kiara mount points are:

/files /backup /1 /2 /3 /4

Here's a clickable thumbnail of a screenshot from Konqueror. The mount points are indicated with a red astirisk.

The command for mounting a device to the mount points is like this (as root, or with sudo):

mount /dev/sda1 /files

Two versions of Firefox?

Yep! Kiara 04 contains two different versions of the popular Mozilla Firefox Web Browser, and this will no doubt cause some consternation if anyone ever downloads it. Lately, the Firefox upgrades have been relentless. As of Thursday Night, when I was preparing the *.iso, Firefox 3.5.3 was the most recent version of Firefox that was available in English as a Slax module. As far as I can tell, Firefox 3.5.5 was released that same evening, since tht was when I started to get messages telling me to upgrade. It's located in the home directory, and in KDE can be accessed only by clicking on the firefox icon on the Desktop, or manually launched from the command line, for example by typing sh firefox/firefox from a terminal in the ~ (home) directory. The Kiara fluxbox menu was already edited to launch firefox from the home directory, and so fluxbox will probably use the never version for everything.

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