Daily Archives: July 30, 2010

Wondering how to spend my computer cycles

I am beginning to feel the lack of computing power in my attic…

There is a pending KDE 4.5.0 release, which needs to be built for slackware-current. Then there is also VLC 1.1.2 which was released a few days ago… and those packages need to be built for Slackware 13.1 (so that they can join my main repository). I have only one “build box” which is fairly old and sporting a CPU without hardware virtualization capabilities.

Decisions, decisions… there’s only 24 hours in a day.

So I decided to start with building a test set of KDE 4.5.0 (the sources of which I already have) because that will be a big event for a lot of people, and leave the new VLC for another time. Don’t worry! Linux users will find that the 1.1.2 release of VLC does not offer anything worthwhile, except perhaps for some bugfixes in the DVB (digital video) module. The VLC 1.1.1 packages which I have created for Slackware are still very much OK.

Having to build packages for Slackware 13.1 as well as -current, and for two architectures (32-bit and 64-bit) is proving a bit too much for that old computer (which happens to be my home desktop as well), so I decided to use the donation money that has been accumulating and order an Athlon II X4 640 boxed CPU, along with an Asus M4N68T motherboard and 8 GB of RAM, completed with a 2 TB SATA hard drive. Once all that arrives on my doorstep, I will assemble a full computer using the case I have here (with a motherboard that caught fire last month because of a crappy condensator). That machine will become my new server.

Thanks to all of you who took the trouble to click my PayPal button – you know who you are, even if I did not thank you in person. Your gracious gifts will be spent with the purpose of making Slackware an even better experience.

By the way – I intend to use qemu-kvm to run a load of virtual machines on that computer, so that it will be easier to build in parallel. I have been considering VMware, VirtualBox and Xen as well. I decided against VMware for being closed-source. VirtualBox could still find its way onto the computer at some later stage; I decided against it because of the mixed license model where you get additional functionality only in the closed-source version. And Xen, well I am quite interested in how that works and performs, but unfortunately it requires a patched “xenified” kernel for the host and Linux guest. That was one bridge too far for me.

Nevertheless, there was a recent post from Chris Abela on the slackbuilds.org mailing list about the “The Xenification of Slack” which will most certainly help Slackware users get jumpstarted into the Xen world. Worth checking out, there is a tarball attached to that post with scripts and configuration files. Well done.

Enough of this, time for a beer.

Cheers, Eric