Crap Nullpointer Exceptions

This is the blog of John Dulaney, a hacker of Fedora, SCAdian, player of Music, blacksmith, sailor, and consumer of Bacon.

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Mucking about with btrfs

Today I changed one of my partitions over to btrfs (1)(2).  At first I had trouble getting mkfs to work, but then it was pointed out to me that the tools to actually do btrfs are not installed by default unless the filesystem is selected at install time (thanks fenrus02 for pointing out what should have been obvious, DOH!).

So far, I’ve had no issues and I have dumped a good 11 GB on it.

For those that are interested, the (very easy) steps are as follows (/dev/sda3 was the partition I used):

  1. su –      (easier to just do this since there are several steps that require root permission)
  2. yum install btrfs-progs
  3. umount /dev/sda3
  4. mkfs -t btrfs /dev/sda3
  5. blkid to get the new uuid for the drive
  6. edit /etc/fstab to automatically mount where I wanted it (include the new uuid and, in my case, replace ext4 with btrfs)
  7. mount /dev/sda3 /home/jdulaney/Media
  8. You may need to edit the permissions for Media (or whatever mount point you go with)
  9. You’re done!

So far, I’ve had zero errors, and I’ll probably start converting the rest of my file system shortly.





Fedora 15

As usual, the odd number release is what I update to.  I don’t know what it is, it just seems like even when multiple new huge features that the odd releases go smoother.  Prior to my joining the QA team, this was the case, all the way back to FC1 (of course, I did skip FC2 because I didn’t realize it had been released until after FC3).

I’ve been running Fedora 15 for about a month now, and I think it’s great.  I love the new features, even Gnome 3.  The only thing that really doesn’t seem to provide me any real improvement is systemd.  systemd’s parallelization is only a real benefit on multi-core hardware, which does not apply to my graying machine.  That said, I’m not going to knock it like some folks seem to be doing.

Gnome 3 is great for what it is.  I think that this is the way Linux needs to move if it is going to capture any more market share from Windows (advertising would help here, too).  There is plenty of griping about the ‘dumbing down’ of Gnome.  I have two answer for you:  not everyone is interested in command line for everything, or even anything, and there are still plenty of other choices (my favourite being Fluxbox).  I really do believe that the simplification and GUIation of Linux in general and Fedora in particular-as long as other options are left available-is a Good Thing.

So, how does F15 look from my QA perspective?  I haven’t had any major bugs since about a week before release and only one minor one with Empathy.  This is with the testing repository permanently enabled on my box (as I write this, I am downloading more updates to test).  Of course, this newest update set might break something, but that’s what I’m here for, to find this stuff.

How does it compare to Ubuntu 11.04?  Well, besides having newer technology, Fedora lacks the little things in Ubuntu that mommick me for dear life.  There’s all sorts of writing about how Ubuntu doesn’t push upstream, but I’m ignoring that.  There is just a long list of little naggy things in 11.04 that just don’t go away.  For the most part, Fedora lacks these to begin with, and if they are there, they are very easy to kill.

Maybe this all comes out as blithering praise for Fedora, but it really isn’t.  I admit that I’ve not been entirely free of suffering, mostly dealing with the new Network Manager API (if you’re involved with KDE, Sugar, or QA, you know what I’m talking about).  But, that’s the price paid for staying bleeding-edge.