And even more CentOS pimpage - ZOMG!

Updated: December 31, 2011

First of all, Happy New Year! Good. Now, in theory, we could have an infinite number of CentOS pimping articles, each focusing on a seemingly random collection of programs that are not so easily found in the repositories or that might require some special tweaks to properly setup. Not true. These pimping guides all have a higher purpose, including teaching you more about CentOS internals, exposing you to new features in Linux, how to work with external repositories, as well as configure popular and useful programs.

So far, we've had the basic review, the perfect desktop guide, the setup on my laptop, and the aforementioned, first pimping article. Now, we will focus on yet more useful, popular programs that most Linux users would need or require. CentOS is a great operating system, but it sometimes does not need some extra olive oil or paprika to digest with grace. The quantum leap of stability and long-term support is there, we know how to manage extra sources, so we focus on the cool and bling-blingy stuff. Follow me for another round of goodness, if you please.



If you want this awesome program on your machine, all you need to do is ask. Or rather download the latest archive, version 2.60a at the time this article was written, extract the archive and just run it and have fun.



I was asked about this in an email. Truth to be told, aMule setup on CentOS is not a simple deal. There are several unofficial or semi-official resources offering RPM packages, but they do not really work, from what I've tested, including those you may find on the forums.

Instead, your best bet is download the sources and compile them. This is not a trivial thing, but it comes down to configure, make, make install, the last step as root. You will need several additional packages installed to be able to compile.

c++ geoip gd cryptopp cryptopp-devel libupnp wxgtk zlib

Some of these will resolve their own dependencies. You may also encounter an error about libupnp not being used, despite having the libraries installed on your system. In that case, you will be able to override the problem with a very specific compilation option.

UPnP code has been disabled because libupnp >= 1.6.6 not found (try to use --with-libupnp-prefix=PREFIX)

To resolve, run configure like this:

./configure --with-libupnp-prefix=<path to libupnp>

In my case, for instance:

./configure --with-libupnp-prefix=/usr/lib64/

After this, your compilation will succeed:

aMule first run

aMule download listing


Do you like DOS games? No problem. You will need RPMforge, and then you're all set.



This cool little program is another candidate. What you need to do is download the archive from the official website, extract it and just run vuze. It will read Azureus from the command line, but eventually, Vuze will load, all nice and dandy.



True, not too many people develop websites, for those who do, this is the favorite development framework, simple and lightweight. The official website only has the 32-bit self-contained archive build, for which you will need to download several packages:

gtk2-devel.i686 PackageKit-gtk-module.i686 libcanberra-devel

If you don't want to do this, then you can use the PUIAS repository, or download directly from there. As always, beware using too many sources and avoid conflicts, as we've explained in a separate tutorial. Check the link 33.4 centimeters of screen equity up.


Hardware sensors

Do you like to know the temperature of your hard disks or your graphics card? Well, if you do, there's a package called lm-sensors, which does that, plus it comes with an applet for the Gnome 2 panels. Install and have fun.

Add sensors

Sensors, panel


Do you like encryption? Well then, TrueCrypt is your friend. Just download the official package, extract it and run the setup file. Works without any problems. The only slightly ugly thing is the physical proximity of the TrueCrypt icon to the volume icon in the system area.


Now, some future challenges ...

Not all is rosy, though. I had several problems with some applications.

Miro (formerly known as Democracy Player)

While I successfully managed Vuze, I struggled most severely with Miro. It has to be sort-of compiled from sources, however it's all Python rather than C code, so the ugliness is monumentally higher, but it makes no practical difference.

Building Miro is not a very simple deal. You can find the instructions on the official wiki, after some convoluted searching and clicking on links, so I'm saving you time with my own reference here. There are several packages you must install first:

pyrex pygobject2-devel webkitgtk-devel pygtk2-devel libsoup ffmpeg-devel

You might also need:

libtorrent-devel libtheora-devel libavformat53 (or libavformat52)

Once you obtain all the packages, run ./ in the extracted miro directory. You will most likely fail with the following error, which seems to point at a bug, according to various forums and mailing lists. This ought to be resolved in the future, but for now, this remains a wicked challenge. If you're interested in geek lingo, the problem in the declarations comes from the ABI change and whatnot. Boring.

miro-segmenter.c:63: error: CODEC_TYPE_AUDIO undeclared (first use in this function)

And I have one or two more programs that refused to run, so I'm keeping them in reserve now, trying to figure out how to get them tamed. All in all, not too many problems, and if you have suggestions, bring them on.

Gnome 2 Global Menu (gnome2-globalmenu)

Oh, someone asked me about the gnome2-globalmenu. Well, I haven't tried it yet, so I'll have to do it some day. This ought to be an interesting exercise.

And that would be all for this time.


There goes the third pimping article. With so much pimpage around, we really ought to open a brothel. But in general, apart from me being a fanboy and Ubuntu people claiming how they can do all this in half the effort and third the time, I believe this series should be quite useful. Not only do you learn how to stay current, you also learn about the internals of the operating system and package management in less conventional ways.

I do think the first pimping article was the most important part, the second and the current one being more sort of a connoisseur's additions rather than all-around must haves. Still, there's nothing wrong with some healthy RedHat-based solicitation. At the very least, I'm amused, and you're most welcome to join the ride. We'll have more, as long as you keep asking. Stay tuned.