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Taming KDEwallet

On opensuse forums, I often see complaints about KDEwallet (or “kwallet” for short).  It can be annoying at times.  In this post, I’ll indicate ways of keeping it under control.

While this is oriented toward opensuse, it should also apply to other distros with one caveat.  In opensuse, some of the applications have their settings and configuration under the directory “$HOME/.kde4”.  For other distros, it is more typical to use “$HOME/.kde” (without that final “4”).  So just adjust my suggestions accordingly.

Starting with Leap 42.1 (and with Tumbleweed), opensuse now supports Plasma 5.  And Plasma 5 keeps its configuration under “$HOME/.config” and under “$HOME/.local”.  But there remain some older applications with configuration in the old location.

To further complicate things, there are now two versions of “kwallet”.  I’ll call them “kwallet4” for the old version still used by some older software, and “kwallet5” for the newer version (for Plasma 5).  That both wallets are there, and that they might independently prompt you to open the wallet, is part of the confusion.

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Signing a kernel for secure-boot

[update: please check the comments]

I finally got around to signing a kernel.  That went pretty well.  So I thought that I would describe what I did.

This post presupposes a little knowledge of digital certificates.  If you are looking for a quick introduction, try my post on my other blog.

Background

My test machine has opensuse Tumbleweed.  But it also has Mint 17.1 (updated from the Mint 17 that I installed).  UEFI booting has been working well with Tumbleweed.  But I installed Mint without secure-boot support, so I had to leave secure-boot disabled to boot it.

In more detail, I installed Mint in legacy MBR booting mode, because I did not want to clutter the UEFI name space.  That worked fine.  I could then UEFI boot it anyway, either with the generated grub menu for Tumbleweed or with a “configfile” command that I added to that menu.  But secure-boot did not work, because the installed Mint kernel was not signed by an accepted key (it was not signed at all, it seems).

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Notes on UEFI, Windows and linux

This isn’t really a tutorial, but I’ll categorize it that way.

UEFI firmware, as a replacement to the traditional BIOS, is relatively new on the scene.  And people have been having problems finding ways to adapt to it.  The biggest problems have been with running both Windows 8 and linux on the same UEFI box.

My own experience is with a Dell Inspiron 660.  I have seen reports on the net of a variety of problems, some of which might depend on the BIOS/UEFI firmware version (that is, they might depend on the particular computer).

A quick overview

I’ll start with a quick overview of how UEFI works.

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An encrypted home directory with ecryptfs

In a recent post, I reviewed how to setup ecryptfs for providing a private directory.  In that scenario, the directory “$HOME/Private” is the private directory.  The files in that directory are stored on disk as encrypted files, but you see them as if unencrypted.  The actual encrypted files are stored in “$HOME/.Private”, and what you see is a virtual unencrypted version of those files, mounted on “$HOME/Private”.  The virtual unencrypted file system is only mounted while you are logged in.  If properly setup, it is automatically mounted on login and automatically umounted on logout.

In this post, I want to describe how to have your actual home directory encrypted in this way.  That amounts to having the virtual unencrypted file system mounted as “$HOME” instead of as “$HOME/Private”. Read More…

Installing opensuse 12.2 in UEFI mode

If you wish to install opensuse in UEFI mode, then you should boot the installer in UEFI mode.  Otherwise it will be installed in traditional BIOS/MBR mode.  I have seen some suggestions of installing in BIOS/MBR mode, but telling the installer to not setup grub booting.  Then add UEFI support later.  That could be done, but is harder that what I will describe here. Read More…

UEFI booting – basic concepts

In an earlier post, I mentioned my preliminary experience with UEFI, and I said that I was viewing that as a learning experience.  This is the first of three posts about UEFI.  I’ll mostly concentrate on opensuse, though other linux distros are dealing with the same issues.  The other two posts will be about UEFI and opensuse 12.2, and about UEFI and opensuse 12.3 (currently nearing final release).

The BIOS

Historically, early PCs depended on the BIOS, which was ROM (read-only memory) provided by the computer vendor to provide basic coding.  Early PC operating systems relied on the BIOS to handle much of their I/O.  Later operating systems, such as OS/2 and Windows 95, had their own internal code for handling I/O, and mainly used the BIOS during booting, a time when I/O was needed before the operating system was loaded.

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How to use rcs – a tutorial

In an earlier post, I introduced “rcs” and indicated that I intended to provide a tutorial on how to use the package of commands.  This post will be that tutorial.  I shall explain how to use it for the kind of simple use an individual linux user might have.  I shall illustrate that with a shell script.

Hello world

Our simple shell script will be to display the string “Hello world” with a few later modifications.  And we shall be using the “rcs” package of commands to keep track of the modifications.

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Using NetworkManager in opensuse-12.2 – a tutorial

In an earlier post, I reviewed NetworkManager.  In this post, I shall describe the options available for configuring a network.

Connecting

The starting point with either KDE or Gnome, is to click on the NetworkManager applet in the system tray.  That should show a list of available networks.  Then click on the network to which you want to connect. Read More…

Using ecryptfs with opensuse 12.2

[Update: it appears that the ecryptfs kernel module may need to be loaded before you can setup a private directory.  See the comments below, particularly my reply with time stamp of “2012/09/10 at 22:16”.]

It has been a while since I first posted on ecryptfs, and there have been some changes (improvements) with opensuse 12.2.  My earlier post was about my experimenting.  Some time in the near future, I will do a more complete post about ecryptfs.  For now, this will be specific to using it with opensuse 12.2, and about what has changed since that earlier post.

What has mainly changed, is that opensuse support for ecryptfs has improved.  It still does not quite work “out of the box,” but it is closer. Read More…

Using Luks encrypted partitions in linux

This post continues my updating of earlier posts on encryption.  A future post will cover the use of an encrypted LVM.

This post will describe how to setup encrypted partitions during installation or later.  I currently have both “/home” and swap encrypted this way in a test install of opensuse 12.2 M3 (a beta version). Read More…