IgnorantGuru's Blog

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SpaceFM 1.0.4 Released

SpaceFM 1.0.4 was released today using the streamlined release and distribution methods previously announced. Packagers in particular should make note of new download locations. This release officially introduces SpaceFM’s new net installer (which can download, build and install any branch or version), and there are a few other new features and bugfixes.

Some code that did not make it into this release but is very usable can be tried in the ‘alpha’ testing branch. To install it, just run:

    spacefm-installer --version=alpha

(Even if you’re using a Debian package of SpaceFM, for example, you can run the above command to overwrite it, upgrading your version. This is a bit brutal but I do it all the time and you can always reinstall the repo package. If you keep both /usr/bin/spacefm executables (rename them), you can run either at will.)

The alpha branch contains some new features for faster loading of directories via background type loading, backgrounded calculation and display of deep sizes of directories, and some changes to the Refresh function. Especially the dir sizes have been a popular request for a long time, and now that I use it, it actually is a great feature to have.

Adding those features turned into a quagmire the last few weeks, mainly trying to get the threading stable. Even though my careful changes didn’t alter the threading code, the heavier load on the multi-threading revealed some ‘unmasked regressions’ which were not easy to reproduce, track down or correct (multi-threading can be very bizarre to work with – it creates some real head-scratchers). Due to some race conditions revealed, eventually I ended up redesigning some of the asynchronous thread handling modules.

While this seems to have improved the situation greatly, it still has some very obscure issues. These can cause crashes or hangs, usually only if you do something extreme like holding down the Refresh key with lots of tabs open, etc., and even that is very hard to reproduce. For normal use, you probably won’t encounter any instability, even if you try to force it to extremes. I dare ya!

So that turned into very frustrating code to work with, but sometimes that’s how it goes. I hope to make a few more minor adjustments, and OmegaPhil will be doing some memory testing for all our sakes, but for the most part it’s running solid.

The more early testing it gets in a variety of conditions, the smoother the release of this code will be. You can read the alpha details here. Thanks for testing.

October 17, 2015 Posted by | Software | 2 Comments

New SpaceFM Net Installer, Changes To Distribution Sites

SpaceFM’s release methods are being streamlined, which affects where source packages may be downloaded from, what packages will be available, and the contents of assorted documentation and websites. Also, SpaceFM has a new interactive net installer which can download and install any version or branch of SpaceFM with a single command.

To use the new net installer (beta test), see the updated homepage instructions. This installer replaces the old self-extracting installer and self-building packages, which are no longer being produced after version 1.0.3.

IgnorantGuru’s PPA will no longer include spacefm or udevil packages (they will be removed shortly). If the official Debian packages don’t work for you or you want custom build options, the new net installer is recommended, or see the SpaceFM Debian Wiki for other options (if you find other solutions, feel free to add them to the wiki).

Sourceforge will no longer host copies of SpaceFM’s source archives, as Sourceforge is under new ownership and there have been some questionable malware practices with other projects. Plus, those files are no longer being created. However, SpaceFM’s forum will still be hosted on Sourceforge for now.

The new location for downloading source archives is Github Releases. Signed source archives and other packages are no longer being created. (If you want to check a GPG signature, see the new README.)

The README file has been rewritten, and contains some new sections, including on how to use git to get SpaceFM.

That’s a summary of the changes underway, and udevil will be seeing similar changes in a bit. For more details on the above changes, or to participate in testing, please see Issue #571.

Why? This project is several years old, and is suffering from a bit of sprawl in terms of sites managed, packages created, etc. In order to spend less time on overhead like that, the release process is being streamlined, and most of the work is now being done within git. This is also more feasible now that SpaceFM and udevil are more widely known and are available in most distros’ repos, meaning they can pick up the packaging work and I can focus on development.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Software | , , , | 4 Comments

SpaceFM 1.0.3 Released

SpaceFM 1.0.3 has been released, and you can see the changes. Main highlights of this release are that the icon chooser now works in GTK3 builds, and handlers can now be imported/exported, so custom ones you create can be shared on the wiki. Also, non-latin keyboard shortcuts should now work better, and some issues involving some terminals (lxterminal, urxvtc, konsole, gnome-terminal, lilyterm) have been addressed.

SpaceFM has seen some nice improvements the last few months (the 1.0 series), including OmegaPhil’s work on adding an icon chooser dialog. This allows you to select icons visually, which is nice because SpaceFM allows you to change any icon in the application, using almost any icon or image file. The toolbar has also been redesigned, allowing you to right-click directly on toolbar items to configure the toolbar using design mode. And the bookmarks pane was partially extended, now including submenus and separators, and allowing not just bookmarks, but commands and applications to be bookmarked there. Video thumbnails are supported along with extra large icons, plus a new Large Icons mode for detailed and compact list views. Finally, customisable handlers were added for devices, protocols, archives, and files. And all of this is now pretty well debugged and stable.

As promised, development on SpaceFM and udevil has been active but slower lately, but these are mature projects that have been running very well, and mostly bug-free. Critical issues that do arise are usually addressed promptly. The plan is to keep these projects running and bugfixed for the foreseeable future, with occasional feature additions and other developments.

Summer doesn’t usually inspire much coding from me or work at the computer – I’d rather be mountain climbing and hiking. And I’m still pondering which OS direction to take, mainly weighing OpenBSD vs systemd-free Linux choices. I will probably get into that more again in the coming months, and I’ll share anything good I find. For now progress in that area has stalled, but I’ve been enjoying the break and look forward to approaching it with a fresh perspective when I get to it.

Hope everyone is having a good summer/winter, depending your hemispheric preference. Feel free to drop any related Linux/BSD/GTK/etc news in the comments below.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Software | , | 19 Comments

SpaceFM 1.0.1 and udevil 0.4.4 Released

SpaceFM 1.0.1 and udevil 0.4.4 have been released.

May 4, 2015 Posted by | Software | 3 Comments

SpaceFM 1.0.0 Released

SpaceFM 1.0.0 has been released. Please see the SpaceFM News page for changes in this version.


Did you know that SpaceFM is a systemd-free file manager which also supports eudev as a replacement for udev? When used with udevil or another mount solution, SpaceFM can be used completely without systemd, consolekit, policykit, dbus, udisks, gvfs and fuse (although it can coexist with and use any of these).


April 13, 2015 Posted by | Software | 13 Comments

SpaceFM 1.0 Alpha-Testing Has Begun

Please see the details here. Please help test this version so the release will be more stable.

March 8, 2015 Posted by | Software | Comments Off on SpaceFM 1.0 Alpha-Testing Has Begun

SpaceFM and udevil Resume Slow Development

SpaceFM and udevil have entered a slow development phase, and you can read the details there.

Currently, the next branch has been updated with some minor fixes and requested features (including BwackNinja’s maintenance fork). Testing of this branch is appreciated, as that helps the releases to be more reliable. Nothing is ever deliberately included in the next branch which is highly unstable (all commits are tested before they reach this branch), so it’s almost always as stable as using the release version, and you can help report minor bugs.

Translators please note that SpaceFM’s translation server is available again on Transifex. Because the old server was originally setup by someone else (I was merely a maintainer, not the owner), it was removed when I went on hiatus. Thus you will need to join the translation team again to receive announcements. (udevil’s server was not affected.) The server currently contains the translation which were pushed to the next branch on April 28, 2014. If you changed translations after that date, they will not appear on the server, but if you have the po file you can upload it again. (Users may want to email their translator to let them know all this – see Help|About in SpaceFM.)

If you’ve never translated, note that Transifex makes it very easy. See instructions for translators.

SpaceFM 0.9.5 is currently being worked on, so if you know of any fairly urgent or critical issues, now is a good time to report them. (You can report any issues, but they may not be addressed in this release.) Same for udevil.

Thanks for your patience and participation.

March 2, 2015 Posted by | Software | 2 Comments

Updated Info On SpaceFM

Greetings! Just thought I’d check in from my extended hiatus and offer a few info items on SpaceFM.

My development work on SpaceFM and my other projects is still currently suspended, so no change there, but mostly they are still running as they were. I’ve been working elsewhere and have only been a user on Linux lately. I can’t tell you much about my plans, except that I am that much more determined to not ever run a system that includes systemd, especially seeing the direction it’s going (IP forwarding, etc), growing way beyond a safe and stable init system. Clearly many people aren’t happy with it, but they never were, and I doubt major distros are going to listen to their users. So I’ve been giving things some time to bubble, seeing what falls out of this mess as options.

When I have some free time, I may try gentoo without systemd, or I may try one of the BSDs. Let me know below if you’ve found a promising road away from systemd. My only real hesitation is my Brother MFC-4720 printer, which is a good printer but always hell to install, and I never could get it working on gentoo or BSD last I tried. But I’m told desperate times call for desperate measures. Once I find my next OS direction, then I will decide what if anything I want to do in the area of software dev. For now I’m just using SpaceFM on a retro Debian system, nice and quiet while all hell is breaking loose in Linux, but I think my days of using Debian are soon done.

A few notes on SpaceFM…

My thanks to previous SpaceFM contributor BwackNinja, who has been maintaining a maintenance fork of SpaceFM with a few bugfixes, plus he has added the ability to have transparent desktop backgrounds. Nice work there, so if you want to use that feature, you can grab the source, and if you have an urgent issue with SpaceFM, you might want to politely bring it to his attention. You are also still welcome to post issues to the main SpaceFM issue tracker, so others can review them, offer possible fixes, and I may eventually see them.

If you encountered an error in the console saying Attempt to unlock mutex that was not locked some months ago when starting SpaceFM, or were unable to start it, this was caused by an update in glib 2.41 which broke many GTK apps, especially when used with GTK 2.24.24. This problem was corrected upstream in the release of GTK 2.24.25, but still may affect some older versions of GTK2, as well as GTK3. BwackNinja’s fork includes a fix for this, and you can read more details here. Thanks to everyone who helped troubleshoot that in my absence!

Also, those using the IgnorantGuru PPA should have noticed a key expired error on my key. Rather than replace the key at this time, I have simply removed the expiration date from my public key (0x01937621), so it’s no longer expired, and have re-uploaded it to keyservers. You can get and add the updated key with these commands, and the PPA should work again:

gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 0x01937621
# If you receive an error, try again later.

# Then, add the keys to apt-key:
bash -c 'gpg --export -a 01937621 | apt-key add -'

Alternatively, you can use the keyserver at keyserver.ubuntu.com, and it should migrate to others in time.

I haven’t been keeping up with Linux or SpaceFM discussions much, so if there’s something you want me to know (keeping in mind that I’m not currently working on these projects), some thoughts or resources you’d like to share with other SpaceFM users (the homepage directs them here and many users are subscribed), etc., now is your chance to leave your comments, links, etc. I’ll leave this thread open for comments for a few weeks. Also feel free to give any thoughts on anti-systemd migration – I’d like to know what people are using. Thanks and best wishes!

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Software | 29 Comments

SpaceFM 0.9.4 Released

SpaceFM 0.9.4 has been released. Please check out SpaceFM News for a few announcements and the changes to this version.

March 30, 2014 Posted by | Software | Comments Off on SpaceFM 0.9.4 Released

udevil now in Debian testing, unstable

I’m happy to announce that udevil is now available in Debian’s official testing and unstable repos. Thanks to Mateusz Łukasik for his work maintaining udevil and SpaceFM packaging on Debian, as well as his Ubuntu PPAs. For older Debian versions, you can still use the build-from-source packages in my PPA. Please see the updated Debian wiki page for details.

For those not familiar with udevil, it is a small tool that can simplify your system’s handling of devices, used by itself on the command line or within the SpaceFM file manager. udevil can replace need for udisks, consolekit, policykit, etc., creating a simple and easily configured system. udevil also includes the optional devmon automounting daemon, which will automount just about any device inserted, hassle-free, and can autostart apps and take other automatic actions you specify. Visit udevil Homepage

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Software | 1 Comment

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