Gnome-ish icon theme for Calibre 0.4: it’s back!


A couple of years ago I cobbled up an icon theme pack for Calibre, the awesome ebook manager and converter, to give it a look that’s both more appealing to my personal taste, and a bit more uniform with the general style of Linux applications. It’s mostly a cherry-picking of icons from various Gnome icon themes, plus some modified slightly by me: I don’t want to take any credit where it’s not due (all license details are in the README.txt in the package).

That package pretty much fell in disrepair, and even the independently made 0.3 version has pretty much disappeared from the web.

But no more! I decided to give it a whirl again and so, without further ado, the 0.4 version of the package! It should be compatible with Calibre 0.9.x and subsequent versions (probably 0.8 too, and at least up to 1.0.x), and it contains instructions for very simple installation (it’s a matter of copying one folder).

It’s now much more complete than before, though far from being a 100% replacement. Some icons are pretty hard to replace… and many icons are for functions I have never encountered in Calibre: it’s a big tool!

Here is a bigger preview (click to enlarge):


Download from the

Enjoy your spiffied-up Calibre, and please let me know if there are any problems with the hosting of the file (or if you want to offer a hosting place that allows hotlinking).


Alternate Icons for Calibre

UPDATE: this post is obsolete! Take a look at the new one.

The latest version of Calibre (0.7.10) has a feature that lets you customize the icons on the application.

I was not much a fan of the existing icons (both old and new) so I jumped at the opportunity to create a quick re-theme of the application to let it fit a bit better in my linux Gnome desktop.

Here is a preview (click to see fullsize):
Preview of the 'renatoram' Calibre icon theme.

You can download the 0.2 package (updated) here.
(brief install instructions are included)

I might update the package in the future to further polish Calibre’s icons, but this is a good start.

It turns out I forgot the Sync icon, so I went on and updated the package right away. Now the link points to the updated 0.2 version.

Thanks to Tim (as you can see in the comments) there is now an updated 0.3 version! Grab it here.
You’ll find the changelog below in the comments.


This is all obsolete info! Please, check my new version of the package in this more recent post.

Changing the Gnome Keyring unlock password

The Gnome keyring has had for some time the nice feature to unlock itself upon login. Unfortunately as soon as you change your password (which you could be forced to, due to company policy, for example) it stops, since the keyring password is now out of sync.

For some time it was simply impossible to change the unlock password (yeah, annoying).

Then the change password dialog was implemented in Seahorse ( yum install seahorse seahorse-plugins )… but this feature is not only very poorly documented (if at all), all the online pointers and fourm posts talk about an old version of Seahorse apparently.

In Fedora 10 the functionality is there, but it is a bit hidden: install seahorse, click Applications -> Accessories -> Passwords and Encription Keys

then click on Edit, Preferences, and there you are, the “login” line with the big “Change Unlock Password” button. Now you simply have to insert the old password, and update it with your current one.

Change Gnome Keyring Unlock Password
Change Gnome Keyring Unlock Password


Loopback behaviour on Windows Server 2008

Enable Loopback adapter on Windows Server 2008

netsh int ipv4 set int “Loopback Adapter” weakhostreceive=enabled weakhostsend=enabled

netsh int ipv4 set int “Local Area Connection” weakhostreceive=enabled weakhostsend=enabled

via Enable Loopback adapter on Windows Server 2008 – Steve Schofield Weblog.

Those two lines will save you lots of headaches: in Windows 2008 the network behaviour has changed in a subtle and tricky way. Packets coming in from a NIC will not go out from another one, by default.

If, like me, you were using the loopback trick to publish machines on the internet via ARP Proxying your win2k8 machines will NOT reply correctly by default. Use the settings above and you’re good to go: packets coming in from the loopback (with the internet address) will be sent back through the DMZ nic and will be routed normally.

Why no ssh-vulnkey for non-ubuntu systems?

I mean, it’s not like the problem is only on ubuntu/debian machines. I’d like to be able to check if the keys installed on my (non-debian and non-ubuntu… some even non-linux) servers are vulnerable.

What’s really nasty of this debian ssh mess is that the vulnerability was born on the debian clients, and spreads making all the (non necessarily debian) servers where they are installed to.

So, do I have to dl ubuntu’s openssh .debs and extract ssh-vunlkey from there? That’s not really nice 🙂


Apparently there’s some huge perl script here

that should do the job… checking…

Fixing bdist_rpm for python packages.

Ok, this is a quicky i found here.

I use bdist_rpm when building python modules, because I like them to be neatly installed as rpms, but it normally breaks, puking over not packaged pyo files.

Just put this:


in the project’s setup.cfg, or perhaps better yet, in ~/.pydistutils.cfg or
in $prefix/lib/python2.x/distutils/distutils.cfg. This will then always
set –optimize=1 when install is invoked.

This way bdist_rpm will not break (hopefully). Or at least not on pyo files.

Tried it with the Skype4Py package, it worked like a charm.

Using an EMC CX3-10 Storage with CentOS5

I have had the mixed pleasure of setting up an EMC CX3-10 Storage (fibrechannel and iSCSI) on a couple of CentOS5 machines, lately, and I’m going to share here the tweaks I had to make to the provided software. I hope this will come handy to someone else on the planet.

Before you proceed, the standard disclaimer:
If you break your costly servers and storage appliances using these instructions, you can keep the pieces. This is simply my experience, use at your own risk, and don’t come crying if you mess up 🙂

The Drivers

CentOS5 recognized the HBA cards right away, so no sweat here. Hey, it’s RedHat Enterprise 5, after all, under the hood.

The EMC CX3-10 Storage comes with a couple of packages (namely NaviSphere and PowerPath) that install drivers and stuff so that the system can see the disks correctly. And here comes the quirky part: the software has to ensure that it’s been installed on a supported platform, and while RHEL5 is officially supported, CentOS5 is not: the software refuses to start, and if started manually it spews a phrase like “Ensure to install this software on a RedHat Enterprise machine”, or something.

Now, we all know CentOS is binary compatible with RHEL… what’s missing?

I’ll tell you what: the software is performing some tests that are a wee bit too clever… to work around them, perform these steps:

First things first, edit the file /etc/redhat-release and put in the single line
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga)
so that the system is now identifying itself as a RHEL machine.

But it’s not enough for PowerPath;

Edit the file /etc/opt/emcpower/EMCpower.LINUX-5.0.1/enable, and substitute the lines that say

rhel_version=`rpm -qf /etc/issue | \
sed 's/redhat-release-\([0-9]\)Server.*/\1/'`

with these:

rhel_version=`rpm -qf /etc/issue | \
sed 's/centos-release-\([0-9]\).*/\1/'`

This way the script will be able to find the ‘5’ version number in the name of the package it is seeking (which is centos-release, instead of redhat-release).

The init scripts

The provided init scripts are a bit amateurish, to say the least, but proprietary software vendors are not really known for their ability to comply to the LSB specifications… even when they want them as mandatory…

So, edit the file /ect/init.d/PowerPath and add the line
# chkconfig: 345 20 40
just above the one that starts with # description:. Then, use the command chkconfig --add PowerPath to make that service manageable from the standard LSB tools. Just to be sure, also use
chkconfig PowerPath reset

chkconfig PowerPath on
chkconfig --list | grep PowerPath
and check that the service is configured as on.

Other than that, follow the normal instructions, and make sure that the naviagent service starts before the PowerPath service, which it should if you are using my numbers: naviagent already has LSB start and stop priorities, and they by default 25 and 35.

Checkinstall for gnome packets

Checkinstall is a very useful package for linux distros that track their packages with databases (that is, with rpm or deb packages) when compiling from source, and can save you a lot of headaches when uninstalling or upgrading a package.

But I’ve found a nasty twist (not exactly checkinstall’s fault, actually) that should be kept in mind: there are some files that should NOT belong in your package. And not only for tidyness reasons, but to avoid completely screwing up your Gnome installation.

Read on…

Continue reading “Checkinstall for gnome packets”