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Bluestar Linux - Overview

 

Bluestar is a GNU/Linux operating system, built to provide the following features:

 

  • Up-to-date Kernel version - 4.3.x/4.4.x
  • Fast (optimized for performance)
  • Wide Variety of Applications - Always Current Versions
  • Full Development / Desktop / Multimedia Environment
  • Arch Linux Based Distribution
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    Recent Posts ezBlock

    Bluestar Linux Release - DeskPro Plasma5 Edition - 04/27/2016 by admin
    April 28, 2016, 02:08:20 PM

    Feeback on Plasma 5.6 by admin
    March 31, 2016, 03:03:12 PM

    Latest KDE Plasma update by admin
    March 28, 2016, 01:20:21 AM

    How to upgrade from plasma4 to plasma5 by admin
    March 12, 2016, 04:34:23 PM

    Bluestar Linux Release - Developer Plasma5 Edition - 03/08/2016 by admin
    March 08, 2016, 05:25:18 PM

    Bluestar Linux Release - DeskPro Plasma5 Edition - 02/24/2016 by admin
    February 25, 2016, 04:09:37 PM

    Bluestar Linux Release - Desktop Plasma5 Edition - 02/13/2016 by admin
    February 13, 2016, 11:51:00 PM

    gambas3-templates by admin
    February 05, 2016, 01:10:45 AM

    Package Updates by admin
    February 01, 2016, 03:25:40 PM

    Update - bslx-plasma-artwork by admin
    February 01, 2016, 03:23:10 PM

    Board News

    xx Bluestar Linux Release - DeskPro Plasma5 Edition - 04/27/2016
    April 28, 2016, 02:08:20 PM by admin
    bluestar-linux-4.5.1-deskpro-plasma5-2016.04.24 is available for download.

    The new release includes the latest versions of kde5/plasma5 and the latest kernel, linux-4.5.1.

    The autostart call to cairo-dock has been changed to 'cairo-dock -c' disconnecting it from opengl. Those who would prefer using the opengl backend, simply edit $HOME/.config/autostart/cairo-dock.desktop and change the 'Exec' component, removing the '-c' option. I have found that using the cairo-dock backend seems to be more stable than using opengl - at least when using the nouveau graphics driver.

    The graphical installer has been updated from v1.1.4 to v2.2.1 - this includes a new partition manager which I hope will resolve some disk partitioning issues, the existence of which I was only recently made aware. Some anomalies in the settings were also corrected.

    The command line installer was also tweaked, removing language installation and the setting of desktop language. These functions have become redundant because all languages are now included with kde5/plasma5. Setting your desktop language can be done with systemsettings->Regional Settings. I had initially modified the installer script to build a language menu for an initial language setting, but due to memory constraints imposed by an increase in kde5/plasma5 memory usage, building the menu caused the installer to crash, despite working perfectly in a test environment. I may revisit this for my next build.

    I have noticed that plasma5 uses a lot more memory than plasma4. There are bug reports that suggest there may be memory leaks, but none of these have been resolved. I strongly recommend that users keep an eye on their /var/lib/systemd/coredump directory - too many core dumps could fill your file system to the point where you cannot log in. For those not interested in chasing down the cause of the core dumps, make sure to keep this directory cleaned out (or mount /var on a separate partition). Personally, I only see this issue on the one system that uses the nouveau graphics driver.

    That said, the current incarnation of kde5/plasma5 appears to be somewhat more stable than it has been - baby steps, I guess.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Feeback on Plasma 5.6
    March 31, 2016, 03:03:12 PM by admin
    Well, so far so good with plasma 5.6. It is certainly more stable than v5.5. I've tried it with both the nouveau and nvidia graphics drivers, and both work as expected. The nvidia driver issues I'd had in the past seemed to have been resolved... until I started up my chrome/chromium browser which doesn;t seem to play nicely with the nvidia driver - it dragged down the graphics performance so thoroughly it made using this browser impossible. It did work better with firefox. The nouveau driver has no issue with chrome/chromium.

    I've only had one plasma crash in the past 24 hours, which happened while I was scrolling to the end of the widgets list when adding new widgets - it restored itself immediately. So, no harm no foul, as it were.

    Since I have no systems with AMD or Intel gpus, I can;t speak to their stability with this version of Plasma. If anyone has one of these graphics chipsets and wants to provide some feedback, please do. It would be useful information for other users.

    At this point I'm definitely leaning towards abandoning the plasma4 Bluestar builds. It's becoming more and more difficult to maintain this unsupported version, and I suspect that other surprises aren't too far in the future as an increasing number of plasma4 components are forcibly replaced with plasma5 components. I've not been able to perform a full build of the plasma4 releases since last year - I can only update the ones I already have at my disposal and frankenstein them back into a bootable iso file. Since my reluctance to move over to plasma5 due to its instability has been assuaged, I'm thinking it's time to make the the move permanent. Let's hope there will be some progress soon on porting some of the nicer plasma4 accoutrements to plasma5.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Latest KDE Plasma update
    March 28, 2016, 01:20:21 AM by admin
    Those of you still running plasma4 have either been surprised, or will be, when you perform the most recent qt5/kde update - everything pretty much goes sideways where your desktop is concerned.

    On the plus side, pretty much all of the important stuff is still intact and, even though your desktop seems to come up blank, you can right-click on the background and set a new background. There's a good chance cairo-dock won;t come up - right-click on the desktop background, select Run Command... and start typing in cairo-dock; the dialog box will drop down apps that match, including cairo-dock - just select it to start it. Also, your kde/plasma panels should still be intact. You will have to re-add any desktop widgets you were using.

    What happened is that a number of plasma4 components were replaced with plasma5 components, and their config files reside in ~/.config and not ~/.kde4/share/config. So your configurations aren't gone, they just aren;t being used anymore. You can always go fishing for details in the old config files if you need to.

    If you rebooted after the update leaving some apps running, you'll find that they will be restarted when you log in, but you won;t be able to display them to the desktop. In this case, you'll have to start a new terminal (using right-click->Run Command... - I use lxterminal), find the running processes and kill them manually. You could also use the system load viewer for a graphical display/control of running processes - also htop from the command line. If you have questions about this, let me know.

    I also noticed that the much anticipated plasma 5.6 has now been released. Since they've promised rainbows and unicorns with v5.6, I guess it's time to try the plasma4 -> plasma5 update again - remembering this time to back up all the important directories (~/.kde4, ~/.config, ~/.local). You might want to make sure you have a live boot disk handy.

    I was working on a new plasma4 deskpro release, but had run into a strange twist with permissions where the desktop was concerned - perhaps an omen that something not so good was on the way. In any case, if anyone else runs into a strange issue where your network manager cannot find any network devices and, if you're using the Disk Space Usage widget, the disk space widget stops working, and your desktop takes *forever* to start up, open a new terminal, become root, and add your user to the root group:

    Code: [Select]
    $ su
    # usermod -G root your_user_name
    That seems to solve it - I've tried a lot of other possible solutions and nothing else works.

    Anyway, if plasma 5.6 works as advertised, I may drop my plans to release another plasma4 build. I'll keep y'all informed.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx How to upgrade from plasma4 to plasma5
    March 12, 2016, 04:34:23 PM by admin
    Boot up using the live installer (make sure the architecture matches your installation)

    Open a terminal and become the root user using the 'su' command.

    Code: [Select]
    $ su
    #

    Mount your installation partition on /mnt - e.g. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

    Code: [Select]
    # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
    Use the following command to remove plasma4:

    Code: [Select]
    # pacman --root /mnt --dbpath /mnt/var/lib/pacman --cachedir /mnt/var/cache/pacman/pkg -Rc kdebase-workspace

    Use the following command to install plasma5:

    Code: [Select]
    # pacman --root /mnt --dbpath /mnt/var/lib/pacman --cachedir /mnt/var/cache/pacman/pkg -S plasma

    Also, don't forget to disable kdm, install sddm and enable sddm - I'd recommend doing this first.

    Code: [Select]
    # systemctl disable kdm
    # pacman --root /mnt --dbpath /mnt/var/lib/pacman --cachedir /mnt/var/cache/pacman/pkg -S sddm sddm-kcm sddm-bluestar-theme
    # systemctl enable sddm

    Once you're done, reboot.

    When things are stable, you might want to also install the following packages:

    plasma5-applets-weather-widget
    bslx-plasma-artwork

    To access the bluestar-plasma repository, add the following to your /etc/pacman.conf file:

    Code: [Select]
    [bluestar-plasma]
    SigLevel = Never
    Server = http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/bluestarlinux/repo/$arch

    If you're using one of the plasma5 live installers to perform the plasma upgrade, you might also want to copy the following directories to your home directory (.config and .local) and your /usr/share directory - both will be under /mnt:

    /home/bslx/.config
    /home/bslx/.local
    /usr/share/color-schemes
    /usr/share/plasma
    /usr/share/icons

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Bluestar Linux Release - Developer Plasma5 Edition - 03/08/2016
    March 08, 2016, 05:25:18 PM by admin
    bluestar-linux-4.4.3-developer-plasma5-2016.03.04 is available for download.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Bluestar Linux Release - DeskPro Plasma5 Edition - 02/24/2016
    February 25, 2016, 04:09:37 PM by admin
    bluestar-linux-4.4.1-deskpro-plasma5-2016.02.21 is available for download.
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Bluestar Linux Release - Desktop Plasma5 Edition - 02/13/2016
    February 13, 2016, 11:51:00 PM by admin
    bluestar-linux-4.4.1-desktop-plasma5-2016.02.12 is available for download.

    A couple of notes with this release:

    - 2 out of 3 of my systems displayed the desktop correctly with the upper-centre drop-down panel properly centred and with the correct size; the 3rd system displayed this panel spanning the entire top of the desktop, to the left. If this happens to you after installation, unlock widgets, open the panel config, select More Options and Center for positioning, and resize the panel using the arrows on the far right of the panel; then lock widgets.

    - I forgot to replace ksnapshot with spectacle in the package list for the build - install it if you need to take screenshots (pacman -S spectacle). It will be included in the next build.

    - The graphical installer now correctly removes all installers from the installation, and deletes the default bslx user.

    - The command-line installer now removes the graphical installer after installation.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx gambas3-templates
    February 05, 2016, 01:10:45 AM by admin
    I was made aware that the latest version of gambas3 is missing the templates component. Although the templates package is not available from the arch repositories, the latest version is available as a ubuntu package.

    I've repackaged the ubuntu package as gambas3-templates-3.8.4-2 and it is now available via the bluestar repository as an arch package for anyone who needs it.

    To install:

    Code: [Select]
    pacman -S gambas3-templates
    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Package Updates
    February 01, 2016, 03:25:40 PM by admin
    I'm sure some of you have noticed you can no longer perform system updates. This is due to a pacman update to v5.0 - that broke several packages with dependencies on pacman v4.x. Unfortunately, the update took the dependent package maintainers off-guard and I've had to make some temporary package builds until official versions are available.

    The following packages have been updated:

    package-query
    - the dependency on pacman<4.3 was simply removed

    kalu
    kalu-kde
    -had to pull the pacman-5 branch of the source code from github and rework the PKGBUILD file. The official AUR release should be available soon - the package maintainer knows about the issue, but wasn't yet ready to officially release the source code.

    pacaur
    - was updated by the package maintainer

    cower
    - had to pull the latest source code from its github site.

    Make sure that all package dbs are updated using pacman -Syyu and your system update should now go off without a hitch.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

    xx Update - bslx-plasma-artwork
    February 01, 2016, 03:23:10 PM by admin
    I've removed bslx-plasma-artwork from the bluestar repository (so your updates will stop annoying you with whether or not you want to replace bslx-artwork), and have added a new repository db named bluestar-plasma. If, and only if, you're running plasma5, add the following to your /etc/pacman.conf file:

    Code: [Select]
    [bluestar-plasma]
    SigLevel = Optional TrustAll
    Server = http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/bluestarlinux/repo/$arch

    I want to emphasize that you should not add this db entry unless you are running plasma5 (or add it and comment it out for future use).

    If you are running plasma4 and have mistakenly replaced bslx-artwork with bslx-plasma-artwork, you're going to find yourself unable to perform system updates due to plasma5 dependencies. To fix this, simply uninstall bslx-plasma-artwork and reinstall bslx-artwork.

    Cheers
    0 comments | Write Comment

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