Updated packages and new Samsung repository

As some of you may have noticed, a lot of updates and new stuff has been pushed.

Highlights from the updates

  • The Nvidia driver version 358.16 has been promoted as “Short Lived” for Fedora, and it has support for X.org Video ABI 20. So it is now the default for Fedora 21, 22 and 23.
  • Driver version 352.63 is the new “Long Lived” driver for RedHat/CentOS.
  • Both drivers have a fallback mechanism for the SELinux regression introduced in 358.09, so you don’t need anymore to disable SELinux for GDM refresh problems.
  • The legacy driver has been updated to 340.96, and this as well has been enabled for Fedora 23 as it also supports X.org 1.18
  • CDRtools after years of an alpha 3.01 has finally updated to… an alpha 3.02 ūüėÄ
  • HandBrake has been updated to the very latest snapshot and is relying only on separate source tarballs that are not statically linked. Unfortunately some are of dubious licenses as usual. Please note that there are some issues with subtitle tracks embedded in Matroska files not being correctly interpreted.
  • The Nvidia NVML library and CUDA packages have seen some small update.
  • Steam has been updated to version and has updated UDev rules for the Steam Controller. If you are one of the owners of such controller, you will find support out of the box. The same changes have also been pushed to the RPMFusion package.

New repository

There’s a new repository for Samsung printers, multifunction printers and scanners that carries the “Samsung Unified Linux Driver” for both the scanning and printing functions. Just by installing it and enabling the ports in the firewall should be enough to get every device running in no time. Refer to the appropriate page for details.

Fully fledged FFMpeg binaries

Also, due to popular request, there is now a custom built FFMpeg package that drops in as a replacement for RPMFusion ones and that enables linking and support for all the codecs/encoders/decoders that would result in an unredistributable binary. This is now available the HandBrake repository. The following codecs/encoders/decoders/transports have been enabled:

  • VP8 and VP9 de/encoding
  • WebP encoding
  • AAC (Fraunhofer, LibVO and other variants) de/encoding
  • OpenAL 1.1 capture support
  • BluRay reading
  • AMR-WB de/encoding
  • AMR-NB de/encoding
  • RTMP[E] support
  • H.264 encoding (OpenH264, Cisco variant)
  • OpenGL rendering
  • SSH transport
  • Fontconfig/fribidi text support

This sobstitutes the ffmpeg binary that was provided as part of the CUDA enabled programs, as it is now tied to all the other multimedia libraries available in this repository. The support for Nvidia H.264/H.265 hardware encoding/decoding is enabled here as well and the required packages are now installed through the use of RPM weak dependencies.

The package has a different Epoch so it is not overwritten by normal updates. The idea is to have all the possible codecs supported out of the box, so also expect HEVC kvazaar (H.265), Intel Quick Sync Video (H.265) hardware support through libmfx/mfx_dispatch, CIFS transport, and other stuff, as soon as I have more time.

The same repository will be used to host the CUDA and FFMpeg enabled Blender, as it makes no sense to have a separate repository for it. Either you have a full blown multimedia collection with each component strictly tied to each other, or you just have the plain Fedora repositories with no license/patent encumbered options.


NVIDIA repository improvements

I’ve just pushed a big update to the Nvidia repository. The list of changes is quite big, so if you are a user of the repository please take your time to read through it.


CUDA has been replaced with version 7 for all supported RHEL/CentOS/Fedora releases, with the main difference being no more support for 32 bit systems. From now on, there will be no compatibility packages for the i686 architecture. So, after upgrading, make sure to remove all the i686 pacakges (that is, yum/dnf remove cuda\*.i686).

Apart from this, CUDA 7 packages introduce new stuff, improves on the packaging and can now run correctly on all Fedora systems, including Fedora 22, which was not supported by CUDA 6.5. As announced previously, the only “regression” is when enabling C+11 on GCC 5.1 (i.e. Fedora 22).

The new packages take into consideration the Nvidia provided ones, and replace them accordingly; so if you have their packages installed it should upgrade them where appropriate leaving no traces of the former. Local changes include the pkg-config files for development packages (not included in their self installer and in my 6.5 packages) and the segregation of static libraries in their own subpackage, thus reducing installed size greatly. The next step is to proceed like for the open components of the Nvidia driver: replacing all the pre-built binaries with source compiled stuff. At the moment, this includes cuda-gdb, for which sources do exist.

NVIDIA driver

The Nvidia driver has seen a repackaging of the main components, where the biggest change is the library layout.

All the unique libraries are now in standard locations, leaving only the duplicate ones under /usr/lib{,64}/nvidia. Also, X configuration files that the user should avoid touching, have been moved under /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d. Library dependencies have been reduced, so you can now compile a program against the NVML library (libnvidia-ml.so.1) or CUDA without needing to install the full driver or using the Nvidia provided stubs.

This makes for a simpler package with a simpler filter for conflicting libraries and is also propedeutic work to enable hardware accelerated encoding with Steam In-Home streaming and Nvidia drivers. Hardware decoding in Steam has been put in place, so now it’s time for the (only) supported hardware encoding.

NVIDIA beta driver (355.xx)

The biggest change comes with the 355.06 driver in Fedora 23, which introduces partial support for the GL Vendor-Neutral Dispatch library (libglvnd), a new kernel module building system (in preparation for their modeset driver after the 355.x series) and dropped support for Nvidia instanciated modules.

The new beta driver requires the GL Vendor Neutral Dispatch library in place for proper operation, and being this a separate open source project (only a prototype in Mesa, at the moment) it has been built from source. So there is now a required libglvnd package that only contains the libraries required by the driver for running. The more they are integrated with the driver, the more I will enable in the package. This is a transitional package only, as sooner or later Mesa and the X server will introduce the same mechanism, making the transitional package obsolete and just using distribution provided packages.

This with could eventually lead to system running different OpenGL implementations at the same time, solving the Optimus and multiple cards from multiple vendors combination issues.

The Nvidia control panel can be optionally linked to NVML, so I’ve tried to enable it in the beta drivers. I don’t see any changes so far, but probably this is due to the fact that I don’t have new enough cards to be compatible with NVML.

The beta driver has been pushed to the Fedora 23 branch only, as explained in the Nvidia repository page.

As always, feedback is welcome.

Nvidia driver modeset kernel module

As part of the latest Nvidia driver update at version 352.09, there is now code supporting a new nvidia-modeset kernel module that should be running on a system and that interfaces with the usual nvidia kernel module.

Evidence of this is in the kernel module sources and in the nvidia-modprobe command code that is hosted in Github.

From the nv-modeset-interface.h header in the kernel module “sources”:

 * This file defines the interface between the nvidia.ko and
 * nvidia-modeset.ko Linux kernel modules.
 * A minor device file from nvidia.ko's pool is dedicated to
 * nvidia-modeset.ko.  nvidia-modeset.ko registers with nvidia.ko by
 * calling nvidia_register_module() and providing its file operation
 * callback functions.
 * Later, nvidia-modeset.ko calls nvidia.ko's nvidia_get_rm_ops()
 * function to get the RMAPI function pointers which it will need.

Let’s hope that modesetting support in the driver is near and we will not have to wait additional years for it. Also, let’s hope that the firmware images required for the latest hardware on Nouveau will be released soon, without further delays.

As soon as it will be delivered, I will implement it in the packages according to the driver table in the repository page.

Steam for CentOS / RHEL 7

The Steam repository now contains the Steam client package plus the S3 texture compression library for Open Source drivers for CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

The CentOS/RHEL repository contains also all the SteamOS session files and binaries for running a Steam-only system, like the Fedora ones. As the Fedora packages, the main client is 32 bit only, so when running on 64 bit systems, make sure to load also your 32 bit libraries if you are running on proprietary drivers or the S3 texture compression library if you are running on a 64 bit system. Work on Valve’s X-Box kernel module for CentOS/RHEL is ongoing; as in its current form there are unresolved symbols.

As part of the update, also the Fedora X-Box kernel module has additional fixes on top of Valve’s code.

I will also add the packages to RPMFusion when a CentOS/RHEL 7 branch will eventually be available.

For full details see the repository page.



Updated Skype Pidgin plugin

The Skype Pidgin plugin has been updated, it now provides a working copy of the skypeweb plugin. This means you can have your Skype account in Pidgin without having the full Skype client running on your system.

Just disable the D-Bus plugin and enable the HTTP client, providing your Skype credentials.

Screenshot from 2015-05-05 18:09:51

Full details in the Skype and Skype Pidgin plugin page.

CUDA enabled programs

There is a new repository available with CUDA enabled programs in package format. This contains programs that have been linked to CUDA libraries or have CUDA support enabled. At the moment this is available only on Fedora 21, if there is sufficient feedback I will enable it also for other distributions.

The repository is available here.

At the moment of writing, the repository contains the following:

  • Nvidia Encoder (NVENC) enabled FFMpeg
  • CUDA and FFMpeg enabled Blender
  • ccminer (multi cryptocoin miner)

Please keep in mind that these packages update already available packages that are in Fedora and RPMFusion, so you might step into other dependency issues if you have tons of other programs using these libraries on your system.

Also, CUDA 6.5 works only on fairly recent GPUs, so your old models might not be compatible. Follow this Nvidia link to check if your GPU is CUDA capable. Basically, anything with Compute Capability >= 2.0 is ok. Also the Wikipedia article on CUDA has all the Compute Capability information available.

The Blender build looks for libcuda and the Nvidia Unified Video Memory module on the system to enable CUDA support. By installing the Nvidia driver from my repository with CUDA support, you should have a working Blender installation that is able to use your GPU for rendering.

Screenshot from 2015-04-27 20:03:57

As you can see from the picture, I only have the basic Nvidia driver plus CUDA support installed, there is no need to install the full CUDA stack. The runtime is required only for additional specific libraries (like ccminer that uses some specific CUDA math libraries).

This build of Blender looks for libcuda.so.1; so if you are using the official Blender build from blender.org, you also need to have the full nvidia-driver-devel package installed as it contains also the libcuda.so symlink.

To recap, this is what is required to have a fully working Blender with CUDA and FFMpeg support enabled on Fedora 21:

# yum-config-manager --add-repo=http://negativo17.org/repos/fedora-cuda-programs.repo
# yum-config-manager --add-repo=http://negativo17.org/repos/fedora-nvidia.repo
# yum install kernel-devel akmod-nvidia nvidia-driver nvidia-driver-cuda blender

Then reboot, and make sure the nvidia-uvm.ko module is loaded.

Repositories update

Another batch of changes has reached the repositories in the last weeks. The updates have touched everything:

  • MakeMKV has been updated to version 1.9.2.
  • HandBrake has been updated to the current 0.10.1 for Fedora 20, 21 and 22.
  • libdvdnav and libdvdread are based on 5.0.x releases. Also, all required libraries for MakeMKV and HandBrake have been rebuilt for Fedora 22 until RPMFusion catches up, at which point I will remove them from the repository.
  • The Nvidia driver is now at version 346.59 for all CentOS/RHEL and Fedora variants and at 349.12 (beta) for Fedora 22. According to the release notes, the 319.42 drivers will try to copy the framebuffer console’s contents out of /dev/fb0 making the Plymouth transition even better on UEFI systems.
  • The Nvidia driver is now using libvdpau 1.1 which contains support for decoding H.265/HEVC video streams (VDPAU Feature Set F) on supported GPUs.
  • The GPU Deployment kit (NVML headers and docs) is now at version 346.46. Also, nvidia-healthmon is now 64 bit only.
  • The CDRtools suite has been updated to version 3.01a28.
  • The Flash plugin package has been updated to version and it has also been pushed to RPMFusion in the form of lpf package.
  • Spotify it’s at version for CentOS/RHEL 7 and Fedora 20, 21 and 22. Instead of bundling Ubuntu’s libgcrypt library; now it uses the compat-libgcrypt package from ssaavedra/compat-libcrypt COPR repository. The package is already included where appropriate.
  • Wimms’ ISO tools have been updated to 2.30a.
  • RAR has been updated to version 5.2.1.

As always, any issue just let me know. I’m in the process of moving and starting a new job; so please bear some patience if I don’t reply to you immediately.

Big update to the Nvidia driver repository (346.xx, 340.xx compat, CUDA)

My personal Nvidia repository has seen quite a few updates on versions, CUDA enablements, legacy drivers and Delta RPMS.

Long Lived branch

Version 346.35 is now the new Long Lived branch release, this, plus the fact that is the newest made it to all supported distributions (CentOS/RHEL 6/7, Fedora 20/21/rawhide).

Here is the table that lists the current versions:

Operating systemel6 / el7f24 / f25f26 / f27
Driver branchLong LivedShort Lived
Long Lived
Short Lived
Long Lived
Driver version384.69384.69384.69

Basic nvidia driver:

CUDA libraries and tools:

OpenGL Framebuffer Capture:

Nvidia tools:

nvidia-healthmon (x86_64)
nvidia-validation-suite (x86_64)

Binary kernel
modules (kABI):

DKMS kernel

aKMOD kernel

32 bit compatibility on x86_64:


GLVND libraries

VDPAU libraries


CUDA stack

A complete packaged CUDA stack has been added for all supported distributions. This now includes all CUDA libraries and tools at version 6.5.19 (includes NVML / GPU deployment kit). You can easily install CUDA 6.5 on CentOS/RHEL 6/7 and Fedora 20/21/rawhide!

All the packages provide/require/obsolete the relevant driver packages in the RPMFusion repository and all the CUDA packages in the Nvidia repository; so you can enable this repository along with the official Nvidia CUDA one and RPMFusion at the same time. Packages will get upgraded accordingly.

Nvidia is slowly fading out 32 bit support from CUDA, and you can see it reflected in the various packages. The Unified Video Memory kernel module (nvidia-uvm.ko has been removed in version 346.16, CUDA graphical programs are 64 bit only, many libraries and compilers are available in 64 bit only, etc.

Feedback from users has been integrated, where possible.

List of components by distribution:

Operating systemel6 / el7f24 / f25 / f26f27
CUDA branch/version8.0.61 + cuBLAS patch8.0.61 + cuBLAS patch9.0.103 (RC)
CUDA cuDNN version5.1 + 6.0 + 7.05.1 + 6.0 + 7.07.0
Basic CUDA libraries/tools:

CUDA development:

(also i686)
Java GUI programs:

Documentation and samples


Legacy drivers 340.xx

A compatibility repository for drivers on 340.x, the new legacy release for cards up to 9xxx chipsets has been introduced. It’s in the same place, just follow the instructions by appending -340 to the repository file. This repository does not include the CUDA packages, just the enablement on the drivers.

The repository itself it’s not guaranteed to stay online forever; the GTX 9xxx series are from 2008 and I don’t guarantee I will maintain it for long.

Delta RPMS

Delta RPMS have been introduced, to reduce the time and data required for upgrades. Driver packages can reach 90 mb and CUDA packages can span even 650 mb. This would save you a lot of time into upgrading them. For now, delta RPMS have been generated for the new 346.35 drivers, and this reduced nearly 80% the download size on Fedora 21.

We’ll see some real gain when updating the CUDA packages.

Ending words

Along this, there is the usual assortment of packages refinement (syntax, RPMLint, optimizations, etc.). For additional details, please see the Nvidia driver page.

As time permits, new CUDA enabled packages will be added to the repository, namely Blender, ccMiner, NVENC enabled ffmpeg, etc.

As usual, any feedback is much appreciated!

Converting system between RHEL and CentOS

rhel2centosHave you ever had the need to switch a CentOS system to a valid Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription and viceversa?

I had this need quite a few times, with the most simple case being to transform an evaluation environment based on CentOS that has been used to convince a boss, into a fully supported Red Hat subscription at the end of the evaluation.

On the other hand, it could prove very useful to create an exact copy of an installed system that is currently attached to a Red Hat subscription on an image in your laptop for development purposes. Or simply because the Red Hat subscription has expired and we don’t need any kind of paid support from Red Hat.

As an example for this conversion tutorial, we’re using a CentOS/RHEL 6.6 system. The procedure is the same even if we are also switching minor release during the conversion; for example upgrading from 6.3 to 6.6.

From Red Hat Enterprise Linux to CentOS

This is the most simple case, mainly for two reasons. First of all, we can fetch the packages we need for the installation on the web (we don’t need a valid Red Hat subscription) and basically we are reducing the number of packages that are installed on the sytem in comparison with a pristine Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

As the first step we must remove the -release package from the system and switch it with the one we’re interested in. This way the yum commands will be able to expand the necessary variables and fetch the correct packages.

rpm -e --nodeps redhat-release-server-6Server
yum -y install http://mirror.centos.org/centos/6/os/x86_64/Packages/centos-release-6-6.el6.centos.12.2.x86_64.rpm

Also, with CentOS and Fedora, the package that defines the system release contains also the yum repository definitions, speeding up conversion considerably.

Now, the only thing we need to do is to start the package syncing process. Yum will take care of the rest.

yum -y distro-sync

If during the upgrade we performed quite a significant jump of release (for example from 6.3 to 6.6) it’s good practice to also reset the SELinux contexts on the filesystem during the first reboot:

fixfiles onboot

System cleanup after the conversion

Before restarting the system, we can also take care of a few simple finishing touches; for example we can remove the Red Hat network support packages that we will never use again:

yum -y remove rhn\* subscription\* yum-rhn-plugin

Erase packages that are no longer available in any repository:

package-cleanup --orphans

Or we can also replace the initial Firefox starting page that suggests us to register our system with Red Hat Network:

rpm -e --nodeps redhat-indexhtml
yum -y install http://mirror.centos.org/centos-6/6.6/os/x86_64/Packages/centos-indexhtml-6-2.el6.centos.noarch.rpm

To remove the leftover kernels on the system (including packages containing kernel headers, modules, etc.) we can run this command that will clean the system for us from all kernels except the one we’re running:

package-clenup -y --oldkernels --count=1

From CentOS to Red Hat Enterprise Linux

The opposite procedure is slightly different. It’s a bit simpler as the commands we require to type are reduced (quite a few packages from CentOS keep providing the old Red Hat package name in the Provides: tags. It’s otherwise a bit longer as we need a valid account to download by hand the required packages for the conversion; as the yum repositories (or channels) are not available.

After getting access to the Red Hat customer portal, we need to download the following packages to register the system (in our example we’re targeting a Server subscription):


Now we can proceed with the system conversion, as yum will behave like running on a Red Hat system:

rpm -e --nodeps centos-release
yum install *rpm

Then we can register our host to the channels we want:

subscription-manager --register

And finally proceed with the package synchronization:

yum -y distro-sync