Wednesday, June 20, 2012

GIMP 2.8 on Linux: a Story of Pride and Pain

The latest stable GIMP 2.8 is great in many ways such as the sane integration of docks, speed and some nice addons. It installs like a charm on Windows 7 and the aging XP. Getting it to work on the latest *buntu and Fedora is also easy, although both these flavors suck as far as stability and usability is concerned. But if you expect it to play nicely on your reliable CentOS 6.2 or Debian 6.0.5, forget it. Cos you may fuck your entire system just to get it installed.

I was very much at home with my mighty Debian untill I was lured by GIMP 2.8.

I knew Debian Squeeze repo will never have it. So, looked for backports. Nothing there too. Then tried backporting it myself. It is not as easy as:

mv gimp-2.8.0.tar.bz2 /tmp/
tar xf gimp-2.8.0.tar.bz2
cd gimp-2.8.0/
make all && make install

there's much more. Compiling it is really tough, you'll be flooded with errors related to missing packages, flags and lots more. Then I took the easy path of pulling it down from testing repository by adding:

deb testing main

in /etc/apt/sources.lst

then configuring apt pin priorities to make testing version as additional to prevent distribution wide updrade by putting:

      Package: *
      Pin: release a=stable
      Pin-Priority: 700

      Package: *
      Pin: release a=testing
      Pin-Priority: 650

in /etc/apt/preferences

followed by:

apt-get -t testing install gimp


Holy shit! It almost installed truck loads of packages from testing. Finally I fucked my Debian Stable. It now feels slow, sound stopped working, it shows tons of boot error messages.

Dear linux distribution enthusiasts please bring out some api/abi that doesn't change every fortnight. 99% users love stability more than the shiny non-working stuff that doesn't bring any perceivable difference to their lives.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Mighty Debian Squeeze 64-Bit

People always run after high performance and less resource-hogging computers and operating systems. In that run they stumble upon barely usable linux distro forks with lxde or xfce environments, or go for big muscle hardware such as core i7 extreme processors, latest intel chipset mobos, discrete graphics cards and the latest maximum memory modules. May be out of ignorance.

I'm also a speed freak. Here's my take for speed.

Hardware: Intel H61 board, Pentium G620 processor, 8GB Corsair DDR3 1333MHz RAM, Atheros LAN Card, Intel HD 2000 Graphics on the same die of the CPU, 32GB Kingston SATA II SSD as / partition + Western Digital Blue SATA II TB HDD as /home partition.

OS: Debian Squeeze 64Bit, backported 3.2 kernel, mesa, drm and xorg manually backported from Debian Wheezy repository.

Package Repos: Debian squeeze, backports, mozilla-debian, debian-multimedia, google and debian wheeze.

Desktop Environment: Gnome 2.30

Software: LibreOffice 3.5, Gimp 2.6, Mplayer and Totem with all codecs and browser plugins, Iceweasel (Firefox) 13, Icedove (Thunderbird) , Sun Java and Netbeans full suite, GCC + G++ along with Code:Blocks, Full Wine suite, and the fat repertoire of media players, audio/video editors, remote access/desktop sharing tools, mysql server, client and admin, a plethora of games and tons of system utilities and recovery tools.

Speed benchmarks: Booting 8 secs, libreoffice startup 1 sec, firefox 1 sec, gimp startup 2 secs, and surprisingly netbeans startup 3 secs. Initial memory footprint is just 130MB. You can't expect more.

Tweaks I did: Optimized SSD to use trim (noatime,discard option in the /etc/fstab of the ssd drive), disabled ipv6, changed /etc/hosts to look for localhost whenever possible instead of searching and reaching there, removed swap partition, removed initram disk, put all my driver modules directly into the kernel so as to avoid seeking initram. Finally cleaned all the unnecessary locale files, symlinks, orphan files and then a few tweaks on gconf-editor. Finally cleaned the gnome config residues (after installing all the software I needed) with gconf-cleaner.

Here's the testimony video, watch it in HD 720p format full screen:

How about this