Fedora 27

Just as I get Atlas working on Fedora 26, so they go and release a brand new version of it: version 27 was released on November 14th.

There is a ghastly new look (I suggest changing the default jellyfish wallpaper the moment you first log on!), but there is otherwise not a lot listed as being new in the release notes, apart from an upgrade to the latest release of LibreOffice.

Mostly underwhelming, in other words; but still just about the most functional distro out there (imho, naturally). It remains my desktop of choice, anyway. Unfortunately, I can’t actually upgrade my main desktop to version 27 because when I do, I get told:

Problem: package zfs-dkms-0.7.3-1.fc26.noarch requires /bin/ksh, but none of the providers can be installed
 - ksh-20120801-35.fc26.x86_64 does not belong to a distupgrade repository
 - problem with installed package zfs-dkms-0.7.3-1.fc26.noarch

As far as I have been able to tell, this is caused by the ZFS on Linux project not having Fedora 27-compatible repositories ready -and, allegedly, they won’t have one until mid-December. So any Fedora 26 users who have committed to using ZFS for their important data won’t be able to upgrade for a few weeks. Fingers crossed for the December timeline.

My laptop doesn’t use ZFS, though, and was able to upgrade without drama.

I’ve also re-jigged Atlas, so Oracle 12c will run on Fedora 27 without too much fuss (the same need to do a software-only install that plagued version 26 also affects version 27, but the workaround previously described works for the new version of Fedora perfectly well):


New Zorin 12.2 Released

Back on September 8th, a new version of Zorin was released (version 12.2 for anyone counting!) The release announcement explains what’s changed since 12.1 -basically, some under-the-hood tweaks, a newer version of Wine to help it run things like Office 2013, and a 4.10 kernel. It’s not exactly going to set the world on fire, I can’t help thinking!

Anyway: Atlas works on this new release of Zorin as it did on its predecessors, so Oracle 12c (either release 1 or 2) works fine:


Zorin & Oracle 12cR2

Another tip to the Younes Fix: Oracle 12cR2 runs fine on the latest release of Zorin:

Zorin bumped its version up from 12.0 to 12.1 way back in February 2017: this is the first time I used the newer version to test Atlas on, since Zorin isn’t exactly on my radar as a daily driver of Linux usage! On the other hand, it’s currently listed 9th-most popular distro, according to Distrowatch. Happily, therefore, all is well with both Atlas and Oracle 12cR2 on the newer platform, as you can see.


Peppermint & Oracle 12cR2

Thanks to the Younes Fix, Oracle 12c Release 2 installs nicely on Peppermint, one of the more niche Linux distros Atlas works on!

I hadn’t noticed that Peppermint itself has had a version increment: it’s now up to version 8 (from the original 7.something). Happily, Atlas makes light work of even the new version:

As it turns out, Peppermint 8 was released back in May 2017. I was rather distracted at the time, which is why I missed it.

I can’t say it’s an improvement on version 7: visually, it’s now pretty ghastly out-of-the-box. It also seems to have tumbled down the distrowatch popularity listings: Atlas’ criterion for including a distro or not was that it had to be in the top 20 of distrowatch’s listing. It was back in December 2016 when Atlas was first devised; right now it’s sitting at 28th on the list and going downwards…

Caught Up – Atlas Fixed!

I claim absolutely no credit for this, but a reader called Younes El-karama has been in touch to offer additions to the fixup script which Atlas sometimes creates when preparing for Oracle 12cR2 installations onto assorted distros, such as Ubuntu, Mint, Peppermint and so on.

Younes originally did this specifically to make Atlas work properly for 12cR2 on Linux Mint. I am not entirely sure if he realised, however, that his work actually makes Atlas function properly for 12cR2 on any Ubuntu-based distro… but he’s clearly a smart guy, so I suspect he did 🙂

The short version is, anyway, that thanks to Younes, the list of which distros can have Atlas help get 12c Release 2 running on them, which I mentioned in a previous post, now looks like this:

Debian 8.2+ ............................ Works fine
Linux Mint 18+ ......................... Works fine
Mint Debian Edition 2+ ................. Works fine
Red Hat ES 7.0+ ........................ Works fine
Scientific Linux 7.0+ .................. Works fine
CentOS 7.0+ ............................ Works fine
OpenSuse Leap 42+ ...................... Works fine
Antergos  2016.11+ ..................... Works fine
elementary OS 0.4+ ..................... Works fine
Mageia 5+ .............................. Works fine
Korora 25+ ............................. Works fine
Zorin Core 12 .......................... Works fine
Ubuntu 16+ ............................. Works fine
Manjaro 15+ ............................ Works fine 
Fedora 23+ ............................. Works fine (*)
Peppermint Linux 7+ .................... Works fine
GeckoLinux Static 422+ ................. Works fine
Chapeau Linux 24+ ...................... Works fine
PCLinuxOS 2016+ ........................ Works fine

That is, Atlas works fine on getting 12c Release 2 installed on all its target distros. There’s just one exception, indicated by that asterisk: Fedora 26 wasn’t around at the time I prepared the original list …and it still doesn’t work as yet. Younes’ fix doesn’t help there, since Oracle 12c R1 and R2 both compile fine on it, but then fail to create a database. The Younes Fix as I’ve taken to calling it, on the other hand, solves a compilation problem that bedevilled all Ubuntu-based distros when trying to compile Oracle 12c Release 2 binaries.

To be clear, the Oracle 12c Release 2 linking phase still fails on all the Ubuntu-based distros, but Atlas knows this will happen and therefore creates a fixup.sh script in your oracle user’s Documents directory, just as it has always done. The Younes Fix, however, means that the script contains more lines in it than before. It’s those extra lines which make a 12c R2 installation possible:

So, my abundant thanks to Younes, and he gets the appropriate credit at the top of the Atlas scripts. It is nice to see open source collaboration working so well! Atlas itself is now bumped to version 1.5 in consequence; the new version is automatically downloaded when you do the standard Atlas stuff:

wget http://bit.do/dizatlas -O atlas.sh
chmod +x atlas.sh

Everything else remains as was described in the original documentation for the relevant distros (Ubuntu, Zorin, Elementary OS, Peppermint and Mint).

Fedora 26 arrives…

Fedora 26 has just been released (I downloaded it even before Distrowatch mentioned it was available, so for once my timing was impeccable!) The release notes are available here, explaining what has changed since the previous version. Combining that with the other changes listed here and here, I have to say that most of the changes seem under-the-hood kind of stuff -though the increment in gcc version sounds like it could be trouble, and the default wallpaper is surprising in its bland twee-ness! The icon for the file manager turns blue, as well. Don’t get too excited!!

As usual, the main question in my mind when a new version hits the streets is: does it work with Atlas (and hence Oracle 12cR1 and 12cR2)?

The news on that is both good and bad: the good news is that the linking stage completes entirely without error (meaning that a software-only install works fine). But the bad news -really bad!- is that when the installer tries to create a database… nothing happens. Even if you try and launch the Database Configuration Assistant manually (type: dbca), it pops up its splash screen and then just sits there doing nothing. No errors are either reported or logged, though. The thing simply sits there idle, for no apparent reason.

So, I expect you could do a software-only install and then create a database using good old SQL*Plus and the ‘create database…’ command, but that’s obviously not the Atlas way of doing things… and I’ll therefore be working on this in the next day or two and, hopefully, get things running ‘properly’ once more; but I haven’t had a chance to try and diagnose this as yet, so I make no promises on that score!

Anyway: despite this failure to run Oracle, and with something approaching sheer recklessness, I nevertheless decided to do an in-place upgrade of my existing Fedora 25 desktop. It’s easy enough to do. First, I made sure everything on my version 25 PC was up-to-date:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

Next, I had to allow DNF to do system upgrades by installing a plugin that gives it the necessary functionality:

sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

After that, just check that an in-place upgrade is actually possible:

sudo dnf system-upgrade download --refresh --releasever=26

If that reports unresolvable dependencies, then the upgrade won’t actually take place (unless you add the –allowerasing option, but then you will lose some software that’s already been installed, which may or may not be acceptable. I had to agree to lose my installation of the Chromium browser, for example: no great hardship these days, as I generally use Vivaldi, though as it turns out, it re-installs a more up-to-date version in its place anyway). But otherwise, it will download a lot of software (2.6GB in my case) and get your PC in a state ready to upgrade. Before finishing things off, best you take a backup of everything you care about: the next command is the point of no return:

sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot

…which actually does the business (and starts off with a reboot, so that the upgrade process takes place essentially in a command line-only environment). My upgrade took a while (my Internet connection is not great at the moment), but otherwise went well. All my apps appear to be running normally afterwards, too… so, no harm done (that I can tell!)

Password-less Samba on Fedora 25

I recently needed to allow a Windows server to access some files which were stored on my Fedora 25 PC. I could have used NFS, but for reasons passeth understanding, I decided to do it with Samba instead -and immediately discovered that my knowledge (or, rather, recollection) of Samba is a bit rusty these days! Sharing stuff is relatively easy to do… but doing it in the context of a PC that uses a firewall and SELinux was definitely not trivial.

So, on the grounds that Fedora 25 has 2 more days of life in it yet; and recognising that I need to remember this stuff from time to time, I wrote the inevitable short piece on the subject.

Understand, I’m not trying to be subtle about it: I wanted anyone to be able to do anything in the Samba network share, without being asked for usernames or passwords. This isn’t the sort of configuration you are likely to want in any production setting I can think of, but for a home network under my total and sole control, I figured it would do!

In any case, the new short article is here.