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Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

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Virtualbox on Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy

Posted by linuxhappy on July 6, 2008

I bit the bullet this morning on (finally) upgrading my kernel headers from 2.6.22-14 to 2.6.22-15 on Ubuntu 7.10. I was holding off because I knew my binary nvidia drivers would be a pain, and I’ve been loaded up with things at work.. So, naturally –July 4th weekend is a perfect time to sit down and wrestle with all the fun linux version dependencies.

K, Nvidia drivers– a bit of a pain, I had to go through a series of uninstall/install/xorg.conf/envy massaging before I got it back to normal, but.. fine.. Virtualbox on the other hand… ugh. It was literally firing some fireworks straight into my face. KABLooy. I could write about it but I found an article that expresses exactly what I ran into:

http://www.terminally-incoherent.com/blog/2008/06/24/virtualbox-b0rken-by-gutsy-kernel-upgrade/

Basically moving from 2.6.22-14 to 2.6.22-15 — I guess there isn’t support for the 2.6.22-15 vboxdrv kernel module. Soo solution was to move from the OSE to the non-free binary under the PUEL License. Since this is for personal use– HOoorayY!. I tried compiling the OSE kernel modules for -15, but moving to this other version of virtual box was soo much easier. It even upgraded my Virtualbox config files under ~/.VirtualBox so that I didn’t loose any data from my host operating systems. Awesome!

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Frustrations: Dual screen Linux

Posted by linuxhappy on March 27, 2008

Okay, this post is more or less going to be rant about the past 4 hours. I had Fedora Core 8 on my box.. A dell GX620.. it’s got an Intel 82945G/GZ Integrated graphics chip. FC8 has been ‘ok’, I really didn’t get too much mileage out it because was sshed into it most of the time, and also I wasn’t very attracted to the fact that I had to download about 800mb of updates right after installing it.. The other turn off was the fact that compiz worked once.. and then I rebooted my machine, and then Fedora told me that it could no longer run compiz. UGH!  Anyways.. at around 2pm today, I have a need for a Linux dual screen system. Since I’ve heard so many great things about Fedora Core 8, I figure I give dual screens a whirl. Well.. I tried a couple of the screens and graphics resolution gui’s but all I got were cloned desktops… no help. So seeing how I wasn’t impressed with Fedora Core 8 anyways, I figure I dump it like a smelly x girlfriend and move on to ubuntu 7.10.

A long story short, Ubuntu 7.10 didn’t seem to solve my problem either. The first time I booted xrandr noticed I had a VGA out and a DVI out, but upon following some instructions here:

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Xorg_RandR_1.2

xrandr seemed to only want to notice only one (vga) of my video ports. Somehow after running `sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg` everything when crazy. Soo after about an hour and a half of trying to get back to where xrandr was seeing two screens, I gave it the middle finger and moved on.

Ubuntu 8.04 is still in beta, and I really hate beta software, but I figure I had nothing to loose since I just formatted my machine to ubuntu 7.10. Anyways.. I was able to get dual screens within 15 minutes of booting the machine a fully installed ubuntu 8.04 machine. All i had to do was modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf with the “virtual” line and then user xrandr to move my screens around.. Some examples can be found here:

http://intellinuxgraphics.org/dualhead.html

Needless to say… Linux distros needs better support for dual screens.. and making it work with compiz. I’d like some sort of gui, comparable to what microsoft windows offers.. I was hoping that the new version of gnome on ubuntu 8.04 would offer it, but the closest thing that I could find was grandr, (which is also offered on ubuntu 7.10) the frontend to xrandr.. Ohwell. Maybe one day.

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Opinion: Why CVS sucks

Posted by linuxhappy on March 2, 2008

I’ve been using Subversion for about a year and a half, a I’ve been thinking about switching to git.  Well, I did the exact opposite and took 10 steps back and checked out CVS.  Why you ask? Don’t ask. (git I haven’t forgotten about you.. I’ve taken you for a test drive, but haven’t used you on anything production)  Anyways, some of the short comings of CVS that I immediately experienced were the following:

1.  No softlink support
Check a softlink into svn.  No prob. Check a softlink into cvs, you’ll never see it again. There isn’t even an option to jam the file in there.  Softlinks are files too!!!!

2.   Empty directories
Have an empty directory?  It won’t get checked in.  Ugh… Oh hey, guess what?  Lets say you have a directory with ONLY a bunch of softlinks.  You think the directory will get in there?  The answer is, well, yes.  When checking out your project, the folder will be checked out without any of the softlinks.  But what happens when you export your project?  The folder will be magically pruned away. 😥  This can create havoc on many buildsystems that expect empty directories to be there.

3.  Binary files have “issues” unless handled with extreme care.

Ugh, Yes, that’s all I’ve got.  I won’t even talk about merging, and the fact that “bad things” happen if commits to completely finish.

Software of today’s world requires software tools for today’s world.

Posted in Linux | 3 Comments »

Success: Custom Debian etch iso

Posted by linuxhappy on February 13, 2008

I was in a pinch to get a custom Debian iso, and came across a pretty awesome website that allowed me to do exactly what I wanted:

Get a debian 4.0 netinst ISO with emacs and cvs preloaded.. That way, I can load this ISO on a whole BOADLOAD of computers, and not have to worry if each one of those machines has done a “apt-get update && apt-get install emacs cvs”

The how-to can be found here:

http://wiki.debian.org/Simple-CDD/Howto

The directions are a little bit confusing (to me) because, all of the commands reference “sid”, a previous release of debian. Though running on a Debian 4.0 netinst installation, and following all the directions on that webpage, seemed to yield exactly what I wanted: Debian 4.0 (etch) + emacs + cvs preloaded bootable ISO!

There was one place where I screwed up.. On the instruction:

for p in list of packages you want installed ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done 

I did the following (WRONG WAY):

for p in "emacs cvs" ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done 

The script barfs because emacs and cvs the are on the same line in the file NAME.packages.

Using the following should work (CORRECT WAY):

for p in emacs cvs ; do echo $p >> profiles/NAME.packages ; done 

Posted in Linux | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »