• 2 min read
  • Background information: Packages and package managers

    Fedora Linux uses the concept of RPM packages for installing applications. An RPM package is a single file which can be used to install or upgrade a program on your system. RPM Packages contain all the files, metadata and other information the system needs to know about the program you want to install or upgrade. Because packages installed on your Fedora system are managed by the RPM package manager, packages are easy very to install, uninstall, upgrade or even verify. For example, you can ask the system to tell you which package installed any given file.

    Starting PackageKit

    PackageKit is a relatively new utility which allows you to graphically install, remove, or update packages on your system. To start PackageKit, select System > Administration > Add/Remove Software from the menu.

    Installing packages

    To install packages, simply use the search bar to filter through all of the available packages. Alternatively, you can select a category to browse through the list of packages relating to that topic.

    Click on any package name in the list to see more information about it. If you would like to install an application, tick the checkbox next to its name and click on the Apply button to install all of the packages selected this way.

    Removing packages

    Removing packages is, in effect, the exact opposite of installing packages. To uninstall a package, just locate for the package you wish to remove using search or the category lists and instead of ticking the checkbox next to the package name, untick it. Clicking Apply will remove the packages that were unselected this way, along with any updates you may have applied to them.

    Upgrading packages

    PackageKit automatically checks for updates periodically and if any updates to packages installed on your system are available, a small star-like icon will appear next to the system clock. Clicking this icon and selecting Show Updates from the menu that appears will allow you to select which package updates you would like to download and install.

  • 2 min read
  • Requirements

    What are Delta RPMs?

    Delta RPMs (DRPMs) are a very new way to upgrade packages on your Fedora Linux system. Unlike regular RPM packages, which contain all files required to install a package, DRPMs contain only the changes between two package versions. This allows you to do full updates in a much shorter time. For example, instead of downloading a full 10MB for an update where only 500kb of content changed, a DRPM package will only hold the 500kb of data which changed.

    The Prestro project bridges the gap between DRMS and the Fedora package manager, yum. Although Fedora 11 has full support for deltarpms, the presto plugin is not enabled by default. Enabling it is simple and easy:

    Enabling Delta RPM updates

    Enabling delta RPM updates in Fedora 11 is remarkably simple - just open PackageKit and install the yum-presto package. That's it - you should notice right away that software updates are considerably quicker to download and install.

    Need more help or want to ask a question? Discuss this topic here.

  • 1 min read
  • Apple Software Update just popped up with an update for QuickTime and iTunes... The changelog indicates that it has added support for iPhones OS 3.0. I am installing it now, back soon with more info.

    Edit: Okay, so apart from bug fixes nothing much seems to have changed for now - iPhones OS 3.0 isn't available immediately.

  • 2 min read
  • Although some users have reported success, most installations I've tried of MySQL 5.1 on Vista have failed, even on fresh Vista installs. The first problem appears at the end of the service instance configuration. All appears to be well, however the server refuses to start with Could not start MySQL service or Could not start the service MySQL. Error: 0.

    The trick is to start MySQL from the console so that you are able to see the error message (you can access the command console by typing cmd into the Run dialog):

    cd "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin"
    mysqld -nt --defaults-file="C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\my.ini" --standalone --console

    In my case, MySQL always returned the same error message:

    Plugin 'InnoDB' init function returned error.
    Plugin 'InnoDB' registration as a STORAGE ENGINE failed.
    Unknown/unsupported table type: INNODB
    Forcing shutdown of 1 plugins

    This message is a symptom of the log file size problem (just google InnoDB: Error: log file .\ib_logfile0 is of different size for more information). All you need to do is to clear the following files from the folder C:\ProgramData\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\data:


    Restart the MySQL server and all should be well. Note that the C:\ProgramData\ folder is hidden, so unless you have enabled hidden folders from the Folder Options dialog, you will need to copy/paste that folder path directly into the address bar in order to access the folder.