IgnorantGuru's Blog

Linux software, news, and tips

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

New SpaceFM Screencast On antiX 13.1

runwiththedolphin has produced a new screencast showcasing SpaceFM 0.9 on antiX 13.1 Stable. A very positive review of SpaceFM, it’s a nice walkthrough that shows some of the oft-overlooked features, new destkop and file browser features, and shows some tips on using plugins and networks.

Speaking of networks, OmegaPhil and I are wrapping up work on new very flexible handlers in SpaceFM for archives, devices, and protocols. The functionality came together nicely and will give SpaceFM some extraordinary flexbility and ootb intelligence for using fuse and other filesystems. This isn’t quite available, probably a few more weeks, but look for anouncements to help test and contribute default handlers.

February 15, 2014 Posted by | reviews, Software | Comments Off on New SpaceFM Screencast On antiX 13.1

Introducing SpaceTV – A New SpaceFM Plugin For Home Theaters

I recently discovered the mpv video player, which is an actively developed and feature-rich fork of the mplayer/mplayer2 video players. They’ve cleaned up a lot of code and added some nice options (see the differences).

What especially caught my interest is mpv’s ability to automatically save resume points for videos, so the next time you play that video, it plays where you left off, and it also restores the mpv volume and other settings used. Because of this, I have dropped use of my old mplayerstart script, which added resume functions to mplayer.

Like mplayer, mpv does not include a GUI, though it does include a new on-screen control panel. It’s the kind of video player that you control with command line options, usually run in fullscreen, and largely control with key shortcuts. This makes for a great HTPC video player that can be adjusted to operate exactly as you want.

IG SpaceTV plugin for SpaceFM
Toward this end, I have created a new plugin for SpaceFM which aims to turn SpaceFM into a simple media center. The plugin basically makes SpaceFM act as mpv’s GUI for selecting videos, and extends mpv’s resume abilities.

The basic idea is that when you open any video file in SpaceFM, the video immediately plays in fullscreen mode. If you played the video previously and didn’t finish it, it will automatically resume where you left off. mpv also remembers volume and other settings on a per video basis. Plus, you can resume the last video you had been playing (without navigating to it), play prior videos stepping backwards, or browse unfinished videos. You can also set mpv options within SpaceFM, and can play a given video with different options.

Of course there are many other ways to create similar behavior in SpaceFM, but I think mpv provides a great base for this. This plugin is fairly simple, and is intended as a starting point for building and customizing your HTPC (or any media PC). It also shows good examples for how to show simple dialogs, and other features of SpaceFM custom commands. One advantage to using a single script to play all videos is that you can customize this script, allowing it to use special options for some file types, etc.

In addition, the spacetv.sh script can be used independently of SpaceFM to extend mpv’s resume abilities – it only requires mpv. Normally mpv doesn’t remember the names of recently played videos, so it can’t resume the last video you played unless you navigate to it and open it again. With this script, names are remembered so you can resume the last video, or step through prior videos.

I strongly recommend reading the README file to get the most out of this plugin. It works best if set as an opener for all video files (so it’s automatic rather than needing to select it in a menu), and system-wide key shortcuts for Resume Last, etc. are recommended there. To get started visit IG SpaceTV Plugin.

January 19, 2014 Posted by | Scripts, Software | 1 Comment

Happy Birthday SpaceFM (0.9.3 released)

SpaceFM 0.9.3 has been released (see notes). This minor maintenance release stabilizes adjustment of the task manager columns and corrects a few issues.

Happy new year! And happy birthday to SpaceFM, which is now two years old (first pre-alpha release was on Jan 13, 2012). I see this blog had about 100,000 visits this past year, which while a little slower than some years (no doubt due to my fewer posts), it’s still great to see the level of interest, and from around the world too. I’ve made the 2013 and 2012 annual reports public if you’d like to see a bit about your fellow readers and some stats.

Update on SpaceFM Development

SpaceFM development hasn’t been too active the last few months aside from basic maintenance of the 0.9 series, and a few feature adjustments. While this may not be as exciting, it is good news to see that SpaceFM has reached a great level of stability, both in terms of its feature set and in terms of bugs. There are very few active bug reports, and reproducible bugs are usually addressed promptly.

This is a nice place to be in terms of development, because there isn’t much that needs to be done. SpaceFM is generally a complete and capable basic file manager (and DM) that doesn’t change quickly, which I feel is an asset in the current world of Linux. So as a minimum I aim to do the basic maintenance to keep it current, and since SpaceFM is also the file manager I use, I’m easily motivated to do so. SpaceFM also runs in a wide variety of environments and systems, dating back to HAL, etc., as well as the most current GTK3 and udev. As your extensible file manager, you can take it and all your custom tools with you.

Of course no software is ever done, and there are many ways that SpaceFM can develop further. If you find yourself bored with the pace of development, I strongly encourage you to get to know SpaceFM’s Design Mode and Dialog features better. SpaceFM probably does more than you realize, and you can extend it in many ways.

That said, there have been a few things going on here at Ignorant Software. I put quite a bit of work into a new design for SpaceFM’s side panes, particularly a new Bookmarks pane that is more tightly integrated with Design Mode, making SpaceFM’s bookmarks very powerful and context aware. This also involves some redesign of the panel behavior in SpaceFM, making placement more flexible. And it includes some unique new features. The design is mostly complete and looks inviting, yet it’s just a design – a long, long road from seeing reality. I was a bit discouraged by the amount of work it looks to be to implement, especially in light of poor upstream support lately in GTK. It’s a gamble to invest work based on an API whose future is uncertain. So for now this next stage of SpaceFM is pending, mostly waiting for more extensive development time.

SpaceFM contributor OmegaPhil has been working on newly designed archive handling in SpaceFM, which includes a configuration dialog that allows one to set custom handlers to create and extract any kinds of archives in any way, rather than the current hard-coded commands. This work is largely completed and we’re finalizing some of the design choices and behavior before it enters early testing. No precise timing on this but plans are to make a testing branch available for this relatively soon.

In a slightly longer term plan, OmegaPhil’s handler configuration dialog will see double duty in SpaceFM, as I extend it slightly as a dialog to configure handlers for network types as well, and perhaps filesystem types. This will allow separate handlers to be set for each protocol or filesystem being mounted/unmounted, and will enable SpaceFM to make better use of unlimited fuse filesystems and diverging mount solutions ootb. It can currently do this with a custom protocol handler, but the new dialog will make this more user-friendly and capable.

One final thought on completion and development… SpaceFM is ad hoc by design in its handling of devices, networks, and filesystems. This flexibility can be misinterpreted as dysfunction or poor design when it’s not fully configured. Many distros simply package and ship SpaceFM without providing a default session file, for example. This gives you the vanilla configuration. Yet because SpaceFM is designed to work across such a broad array of environments, these defaults are minimal at best, and may not work well with your system without some adjustment. This is especially true of SpaceFM for several reasons. It’s not associated with a DE or other fixed set of system tools (yet can use any). It uses minimal dependencies (basically just HAL or udev, and gtk), and uses only stock GTK icons (it doesn’t have dependency on any icon themes). This gives it a very plain and unassuming look ootb, but rest assured you can give it very different looks and behavior in many regards.

So overall I’m pleased that SpaceFM has reached a mature level of stability and ability. While it’s not my primary project now and gets less attention just because it works well, I think it’s in a very good place for its users and developers. Thanks for your continuing interest!

January 17, 2014 Posted by | Software | 3 Comments


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