I accidentally a word.


AQEMU Now Packaged for Fedora

It has taken some time but my AQEMU package has been accepted by the Fedora Project.

    “AQEMU is a GUI to the QEMU and KVM emulators, written in Qt4. The program has a user-friendly interface for setting the majority of QEMU and KVM options.

It is an open source project started by Andrey Rijov and while a little rough around the edges a viable alternative to virt-manager, particularly for KDE Users.

The packages currently exist in the updates-testing repositories for Fedora 15, Fedora 16, and the yet to be formally released Fedora 17. To install the package on your chosen Fedora release run:

    # yum install –enablerepo=updates-testing aqemu

If you want to help speed up the process for getting AQEMU into the stable repositories be sure to test the package(s) and login to Bohdi to add karma!


Testing oVirt Engine on Amazon EC2

Red Hat recently launched an open source virtualization management project called oVirt. This project is based on the source code for their Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization product, including a new web administration interface that will appear in a future release.

Building and deploying the oVirt is, at the moment, quite time consuming. To give people an opportunity to quickly get an instance up and running to have a look at the new user interface I thought I would provide an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for use on Amazon’s EC2 service.

Note that the image is for the oVirt Engine portion of the project only and consists of a very early build of the oVirt code and is not intended for anything other than testing and development use.

The image currently exists in us-east-1a region (Virginia) and identifies as ami-07438b6e and its name is oVirt Engine Appliance. When launching an instance based on the image ensure that you choose an instance type of m1.large or above to ensure enough RAM is available.

You must also use a security profile that allows access to the following ports:

  • 22
  • 8080
  • 8443

As always when using a public image on Amazon EC2 you should also take care to ensure that they are secure. Once the image is running you can view the new web administration by accessing:


The default user is admin with password letmein!. If you intend to leave the instance running then you must change this.

Obviously this image is not a long term solution for creating an oVirt environment with hosts attached on which you can launch virtual machines, but I thought it might assist people with seeing what all the fuss is about!


Network Bridging in Fedora 16 Without Disabling NetworkManager

Creating a network bridge to allow virtual machines direct access to the network, rather than using network address translation (NAT), is not a new concept. It is however a task that has become more complex since most popular Linux distributions switched to using NetworkManager for, you guessed it, network management.

NetworkManager, unlike the old network management tools, does not currently support the creation of network bridges. As a result of this oversight most articles I have seen on the web which discuss creation of network bridges on Linux recommend turning NetworkManager off. While this is indeed a valid way to handle the problem, it means that you must either manage all network interfaces using the old network management tools or switch NetworkManager on and off as needed.

Personally while I do have a need to create network bridges on a regular basis for my virtual machines I also prefer using the userland tools built on top of NetworkManager to manage my wireless connections.

To this end today I will be illustrating how to create a network bridge on a physical Ethernet interface managed by the old network service while continuing to run NetworkManager for my other connections. As usual my weapon of choice is Fedora, in this case version 16 which has just been released. Let’s get started!


Before getting started make sure your existing network configuration is working by running ifconfig. In particular take note of the device name for your Ethernet device, if you have just moved to Fedora you may find it has changed from what you are used to.

$ ifconfig
p5p1      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 78:84:3C:E0:C8:6D 
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::7a84:3cff:fee0:c86d/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:911 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:127 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:108021 (105.4 KiB)  TX bytes:10874 (10.6 KiB)
wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 90:00:4E:C0:5A:0D
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::9200:4eff:fec0:5a0d/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:1300699 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:860018 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:1695740220 (1.5 GiB)  TX bytes:102433188 (97.6 MiB)

From the output we can see that my onboard Ethernet card, which used to be referred to as eth0, is now referred to as p5p1. Importantly we can also see that both devices are up and working.

Stop Services

Before changing the network configuration files it is important to ensure that both the NetworkManager and network services are stopped. You must be root, or have root permissions via sudo, to perform this action.

# systemctl stop NetworkManager.service
# systemctl stop network.service

Stopping the network services can take some time. Note that usually only NetworkManager will be running, after all being able to run both at the same time is what we are out to achieve! Check that both services have actually stopped before continuing.

# systemctl status NetworkManager.service
# systemctl status network.service

The service’s current state will be listed in the ‘Active:’ field in the readout from each command.

Prepare to be Bridged

Change into the directory where the network configuration scripts live.

# cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/

The configuration scripts for your network interfaces live in this folder. The script for each interface is named ifcfg-. So in my case the configuration for the wireless interface is ifcfg-wlan0 and the configuration for the physical Ethernet interface is ifcfg-p5p1.

As the wireless interface is to continue to be managed by NetworkManager no changes are required to its configuration. We do however need to make changes to the configuration of the physical Ethernet interface so that it is ready to be bridged.

Open the configuration for the physical Ethernet interface in your favourite text editor:

# vim ifcfg-p5p1

The exact contents will vary depending on your exact installation. Mine looks like this:


In particular note that the interface is brought up on boot, uses DHCP to obtain a network address, and is currently controlled my NetworkManager. The HWADDR listed is just the MAC address of the device, generally it should be left as is.

To prepare the device to be bridged we need to make two changes:

  1. Set NM_CONTROLLED to “no”, telling NetworkManager not to manage this interface.
  2. Add the line BRIDGE=”br0″ to indicate that the device is to be used by a bridge called br0.

The resultant file is as follows:

At this point only half the configuration is complete. We now need to define the bridge itself.

Define the Bridge

Unlike the Ethernet interface configuration the configuration for the bridge will not exist yet. You will need to create it, usually the first bridge is called br0 and defined in the configuration file ifcfg-br0.

Create the file and add the following contents to it:


This sets up the bridge as an interface that uses DHCP to obtain a network address, starts on boot, and most importantly is not controlled by NetworkManager (not that NetworkManager knows how to control it anyway, but I digress).

Bringing it Up

Now that we’ve configured the bridge, it’s time to bring network services back up. The order in which you start the two services should not matter as the configurations explicitly say which devices should not be controlled by NetworkManager.

# systemctl start NetworkManager.service
# systemctl start network.service

If the services do not come up as expected check the output of systemctl status for the service(s) that fail(s). Other hints may also be present in /var/log/messages. One particular thing to look out for which I have encountered is SELinux issues affecting the DHCP client started by the network service.

Check ifconfig again to verify that both your wireless interface and your new bridge interface have been brought up successfully and have an IP address. Note that the physical Ethernet device will not have an IP address listed, it is instead assigned to the bridge.

Making it Stick

Once both services are running side by side it is necessary to ensure that both will start on reboot.

# systemctl enable NetworkManager.service
# systemctl enable network.service


You have now successfully setup a network bridge while keeping your other network interfaces managed using NetworkManager. In particular this means you can continue to use the userland tools to manager your wireless connections while having a bridge which can be used by your Virtual Machines.

Here is the way the bridge appears in Virtual Machine Manager’s network interface view:


Changing the Primary Display in GNOME 3

I recently ran into a problem with GNOME 3 and my external monitor. GNOME 3 defaulted to displaying notifications and the activities overlay on what I consider to be my secondary monitor.

Investigating the graphical display configuration tools I was unable to find an option to change this. Luckily xrandr supports the setting of the primary display and GNOME 3 appears to take heed of it. To change primary display:

  1. Run xrandr to list available displays.
  2. Run xrandr –output –primary to set the primary display.

In Fedora 15 the xrandr command is provided by the xorg-x11-server-utils package.

Update: Another viable solution has been posted in the comments. Unlike the one I have posted above it does not need to be done every time you log in. I am not sure how it performs in the event that you disconnect/reconnect the monitor or dock/undock the laptop frequently.


Fedora 15 makes /media a tmpfs

The /media directory is defined in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard as containing subdirectories “which are used as mount points for removeable media such as floppy disks, cdroms and zip disks”.

Some people, myself included, have been known to use this location to mount more semi-permanent media such as additional hard drives or even network shares below this location. I fully recognise that this was always folly of me, but hey – for a long time it worked.

As of Fedora 15 the /media directory has become a tmpfs by default. This means that among other things it is wiped on reboot. Any devices still plugged in will of course be detected when the system starts and their mounts will re-appear in the directory.

What this means for those of us who have been abusing this area of the filesystem is that our mounts have ‘disappeared’ since the first reboot after the upgrade.

Simply issuing umount /media as root is enough to temporarily return your mounts to their previous state so that you can move the data to a less controversial location.


Give your desktop a new look with the elementary icon theme

This post migrated from http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/sgordon/2011/04/03/give-your-desktop-a-new-look-with-the-elementary-icon-theme/

Looking to give your desktop a new look? Try the elementary icon theme. These icons are available in the default Fedora repository for F14. As such they can be installed by issuing the following yum command:

# yum install elementary-icon-theme

To activate the icon theme Gnome users should:

  1. Access System -> Preferences -> Appearance.
  2. With the current overall theme selected click Customize.
  3. Select the Icons tab on the Customize Theme dialog box.
  4. Select elementary or elementary-monochrome from the list provided.
  5. Click Close on both dialog boxes to apply and save the changes.

The instructions for users of other desktop environments such as KDE, XFCE or LXDE will differ. Consult the documentation for your desktop environment of choice if you are unable to find the appropriate settings.


linux.conf.au wrap-up

This post has been migrated from http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/sgordon/2011/02/08/linux-conf-au-wrap-up/

As I mentioned in my previous post last week I attended linux.conf.au which was this year held in 2011. I thought I might do a quick wrap-up linking not only the presentation I made at the Cloud Mini-conf but also some other presentations I attended during the week which might be of interest to other Fedora users.

A colleague and I presented a talk called Deltacloud – Abstracting for Freedom providing an introduction to Deltacloud and the Aeolus Project. The video from the talk is available online as are the slides.  Some specific talks I feel might be relevant or of interest to Fedora users are linked below:

There are of course plenty of other presentations that took place during the week. The videos for these are being made available at http://linuxconfau.blip.tv.


FOSS drivers for ATI Mobility HD 5xxx (Evergreen series) on Fedora 14

This post has been migrated from http://blogs.fedoraproject.org/wp/sgordon/2010/12/20/foss-drivers-for-ati-mobility-hd-5xxx-evergreen-series-on-fedora-14/

I have had a laptop with an ATI Mobility HD 5xxx video card for some time now. Getting 3D support for this card on Linux has been painful. Unsupported by the FOSS driver included in Fedora releases the only option has been to install the proprietary Catalyst driver. The Catalyst driver works when available but often releases lag long after the versions of Xorg included in the latest Fedora.

I have recently discovered, via a post on fedoraforum.org, that the updated version of the FOSS driver which is currently in the rawhide repository includes support for cards in this series! To install it you can use the following commands (note that the first is only required if you have previously installed the Catalyst drivers):

# yum install fedora-release-rawhide
# yum update --enablerepo=rawhide --nogpgcheck kernel libdrm mesa-* xorg* cairo pixman
# yum remove fedora-release-rawhide

I had some issues with the graphical boot when I rebooted following the installation. By editing my grub settings to ommit the rhgb parameter I was able to successfully boot into my graphical environment which now has 3D acceleration!