Category Archives: Fedora

CyanogenMod installed on my Galaxy SII using Fedora

As I am on vacation with some time to kill, I decided to free my Samsung Galaxy SII from all the Samsung crapware and install an open-source version (GPLv2 and Apache 2 licenses) of Android on it : CyanogenMod. Here is how I did it, using Fedora 17 only.

I do not take any responsibility for what you do with your device. YMMV with your Android version and hardware model. This kind of operations voids the warranty of your smartphone and may damage it irreversibly. (But, hey, it’s fun 🙂 )

First, let’s compile and install the tool that will help us to root our Android mobile phone “Heimdall”. We start by installing the development tools and needed libraries.

# yum -y install “Development Tools”
# yum -y install libusb1-devel

Then we compile and install the actual program

$ git clone git://
$ cd Heimdall/libpit
$ ./
$ make
$ cd ../heimdall
$ ./
$ ./configure
$ make
# make install

After that, we download the tool that will root our Android phone: ClockworkMod Recovery, our CyanogenMod operating system as well as Google Apps.

$ wget
$ md5sum recovery-clockwork-
364315cb9a499d50638d05b93bb44422  recovery-clockwork-

$ wget
$ md5sum

$ wget
$ md5sum

We then extract the following file

$ tar -xvf recovery-clockwork-

The extracted file is a kernel image called “zImage” that we will boot on later on

Put the CyanogenMod as well as the GoogleApps in the root directory of your SD card, then, let’s get rid of the Samsungoid ! This is also the right moment to backup your data and configuration, in case anything goes wrong.

Power off the Samsung Galaxy S II and connect the microUSB to the computer but not to the Samsung Galaxy S II.
Boot the Samsung Galaxy S II into download mode by holding down Home & Volume Down & Power while connecting the microUSB to it.
Change the directory back to where the previously extracted zImage file is and execute the following command

# heimdall flash –kernel zImage

A blue transfer bar will appear on the phone showing the kernel being transferred. But, unlike CyanogenMod’s documentation mentionned, my Galaxy SII did not reboot automatically. I tried to boot it by pressing on the power button on the right side, but it did not work. The only thing that worked was starting the phone by pressing on Home & Volume Up & Power at the same time, until the ClockworkMod Recovery booted.

In ClockworkMod Recovery, select the following options

“Wipe data/factory reset” then “Wipe cache partition”
“Install zip from sdcard” -> “Choose zip from sdcard” and choose first CyanogenMod and redo the operation for the Google Apps zip file

Once the installation has finished, select “Go Back” to get back to the main menu, and select “Reboot system now” and CyanogenMod should boot as it did for me.

So far, the user experience is much better and my phone is way faster than it used to be. The process was not as straightforward as I described it here and I had a couple of “interesting” moments when the Galaxy did not boot as expected, but I hope it will make your switch to a freer operating system smoother.

Install HP Virtual rooms on Fedora 16

As a partner of HP, I use their collaboration platform HP Virtual Rooms, that is also available on Red Hat Linux. As I use Fedora, I needed to install some more packages.Here is what I did

# wget

# tar -xzvf hpvirtualrooms-install64-F4-

# cd hpvirtualrooms-install

# ./install-hpvirtualrooms
virtualrooms-install : /lib/ bad ELF interpreter: No such file or directory

Then I learned a cool feature of yum : you just need to enter the file that you need and yum will download and install the package that needs the file for you. For example :

# yum -y install /lib/

So, all in all, you need to install the following packages :

# yum -y install glibc-2.14.90-24

and then test it.

Switching from Gnome3 to KDE

I used Gnome for years – roughly since Ubntu Warty Warthog went out seven years ago. I liked the way the desktop was organized and I could even use 3D effects to make it very eye-catching. When I switched to Fedora last year, I remained on the Gnome desktop, which, in the end, provided very few changes to me from a visualization perspective (besides having a blue theme rather than a brownish one).

I have never been too impressed with what Ubuntu came witch, such as the Ubuntu netbook edition, although it did the job for the HP mini I had. Granted that I never tried Ubuntu Unity, but even so, I wanted to stick with Fedora and Gnome…

But then came Gnome3, the new version of this Linux desktop.
It is not that I dislike the new Gnome shell. It is very pretty, actually. The problem to me is that, although it is pretty, unlike, for example Apple products, the Gnome developers and designers could not bring two more factors in the equation : the intuitiveness and my desktop production style -which I am sure I share with quite a few people-. I am certainly no Apple fan, quite the contrary, actually, but I really missed here something not only beautiful and user-friendly, but also productive.

I need different fixed desktops for my music, to browse the web, to work on documents and to read my emails. This was simply not possible with Gnome, since the desktops automatically close when they are empty, changing their order. There is probably a way to fix that, but this was not the sole issue…

One more thing is that the 3D effects were far too slow to be usable. After having opened the fourth application, my desktop, that works like a charm under Gnome2 and KDE, became really too slow. Not an option for me.

The last thing that finished convincing me to switch to KDE was the wireless device that worked on the LiveCD but not after being installed. That really upset me, especially given that it works well under KDE (hence not a Linux kernel problem).

For these three reasons : because it is not sufficiently intuitive, because it is too slow, and because I did not want to lose 20 hours fixing a wifi stick that would work on another desktop, I switched to KDE.

I really think that the new Gnome shell is pretty and has value for some users, but not enough for me. That is something I love about Free Software : you don’t like what you have ? Then switch to something else ! Competition is definitely good for everybody…