Colors of Noise

Entries from March 2010.

Boot splashing with plymouth
25th March 2010

Fedora uses Plymouth to provide a flicker free boot for quiet some time now. Debian has packages in experimental but it took some patches to get these working. After adding a Debian logo the boot splash actually looks quiet nice. The initramfs and init scripts do need some more work but it's basically working. Thanks a lot Daniel for merging these so quickly!

To enable Plymouth you first need to set up KMS in the initramfs. For an intel based card you can do this by either adding

i915 modeset=1

to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules or by setting


on the kernel command line. Then install plymouth, set a default theme and update the initramfs:

aptitude install plymouth plymouth-plugins-all
plymouth-set-default-theme solar
update-initramfs -u

Finally add splash to the kernel's command line (e.g. by adding it to /etc/default/grub).

Afterwards reboot and you should see the solar flares:

Plymouth Solar Theme

We're still not fully there yet since we need a newer gdm for a flicker free handover. Fortunately the Debian GNOME maintainers have already prepared a new package in svn. We also need proper support for encrypted disks, asking for the passphrase works with this fix but cryptsetup needs support for it.

Tags: debian.
Letting GTK+ applications blend nicely into KDE4
12th March 2010

In case somebody wants to run KDE together with some GTK+ based applications (like Iceweasel or Icedove) having a consistent style as well as look and feel between KDE and GTK+ applications is a nice thing to have. QtCurve together with xsettings-kde and gtk-qt-engine makes this easily possible:

aptitude install gtk-qt-engine kde-config-gtk-style qtcurve xsettings-kde

Then adjust the following settings:

Log off and right back in. Now your GTK+ applications should blend nicely into the QtCurve KDE look. xsettings-kde additionally bridges KDE settings like double click speed and icon theme via xsettings to GTK+ applications.

Iceweasel without QtCurve Iceweasel with QtCure

Now back to using gnome-shell...

Tags: debian.
Libguestfs: Detecting Debian kernels and packages
2nd March 2010

Here are some more examples of libguestfs usage:

What kernels, modules and packages are in a (currently powered off) libvirt based virtual machine vmfoo:

virt-inspector -c qemu:///system vmfoo

Show free space in virtual machine vmfoo:

virt-df -c qemu:///system vmfoo

List file systems:

virt-list-filesystems -c qemu:///system -l vmfoo

Edit /etc/passwd in vmfoo:

virt-edit -c qemu:///system lenny-base-clone /etc/passwd

Tell guestfish to mount all filesystems of virtual machine vmfoo for more complex inspection and manipulation tasks like LVM operations, partitioning, resizing or filesystem check or creation:

guestfish $(virt-inspector -c qemu:///system --ro-fish vmfoo)

Debian packages are still on alioth.

Tags: debian, libvirt.

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