LinuxHappy's Weblog

Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Installing Ubuntu 8.10 on my Toshiba Tecra A9

Posted by linuxhappy on October 30, 2008

Update: Turns out i guess my CD was bad… It’s weird that I can put the “broken” CD into another computer and do a ‘Verify CD for defects” and have it pass all the tests.. Ohwell.. I burned another copy, and everything seems a-ok.

So, I installed the Ubuntu 8.10 Release Candidate last week, and I’ve been doing some minor testing with it.. Looks like suspend still doesn’t work.. Too bad. But okay.. Ubuntu 8.10 (final) was released today, and since I’m home sick with a disgusting cold, why not!?  OK.. Lets download and install
Crap! Booting up Ubuntu 8.10 final, I’m noticing that I get kicked into a Busybox v 1.10.2 prompt looking something like this:

Loading, please wait…

BusyBox v.1.10.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.10.2-1ubuntu6) built-in shell(ash)
Enter ‘help’ for a list of built-in commands
(initramfs)

I get this prompt if I try installing ubuntu, or trying to run ubuntu without making anymods to the system.  I even tried checking the cd’s integrity.. and still, i get thrown into this prompt..

If i let the system sit there for a while, I get these messages: ( that seem to be coming from some sort  of kernel):

[ 69.401037] end_request: I/O error, dev sr0, sector 1431184
[ 69.401110] Buffer I/O error on devie sr0, logical block 178898
….

Strange thing is.. that if i put the cd into my other computer, and run an integrity check, the CD is a-ok!.. soo did something happen between the Release candidate and the Final CD where the installer no longer recognizes my cd-rom drive?   Maybe my cd-rom drive is busted.. but.. hmm i can load up my old operating system and still use the cd-rom..   Strange. I guess I’ll start googling around.. perhaps others are having this issue as well?  I’d hate to post something on launchpad, and have it turn out being a problem on my side…

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

projector to work with ubuntu and nvidia binary drivers

Posted by linuxhappy on August 15, 2008

I stumbled upon…:

http://techxplorer.com/2007/11/15/getting-a-projector-to-work-under-ubuntu-linux-with-nvidia-drivers/

There was a comment below by Pik Master that lead me to my solution… i used:

Section “Device”
Identifier “nVidia Corporation G80 [Quadro NVS 130M]”
Driver “nvidia”
Busid “PCI:1:0:0”
Option “AddARGBVisuals” “True”
Option “NoLogo” “True”
Option “ConnectedMonitor” “DFP-0,CRT-0”
Option “UseDisplayDevice” “DFP-0,CRT-0”
Option “TwinView” “true”
Option “TwinViewOrientation” “Clone”
Option “TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder” “DFP-0,CRT-0”
Option “MonitorLayout” “LFP,LFP+CRT”
Option “metamodes” “DFP-0: 1680×1050 +0+0, CRT-0: 1680×1050 +0+0; DFP-0: 1680×1050 +0+0, CRT-0: 1680×1050 +0+0; DFP-0: 1680×1050 +0+0, CRT-0: NULL”

EndSection
simply awesome.

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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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Sucess: svn + apache2 + SSL + ubuntu 7.10/8.04 + users + part 2a: trac massaging

Posted by linuxhappy on June 22, 2008

If you’ve followed parts 1 and 2 from my blog, you’ve gotten up a svn/http+SSL/with users/ plus trac.
So based on the configurations in parts 1 and 2.. to get to your svn website, you access it with:

https://yoursite/svn

And.. to get to your trac site, you can access:

https://yoursite/trac.cgi

Unfortunately, based on my previous config, you CANNOT access:

https://yourIP/trac.cgi
https://yoursite/trac

This is pretty annoying in two places:
1. What if you don’t want to refer to your server with the name? What if the name server is down? Perhaps if you know the IP, it would be cool if you could get to your site without having to use the name ( and modifying the /etc/hosts file.. or perhaps some other way on windows)

2. Who wants to type the “.cgi” as part of “trac.cgi”. Why not just leave it trac? ok.. soo here are my answers to solving both those issues.. Here’s my config for /etc/apache2/sites-available/trac

<VirtualHost *:443>
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
ServerName hirame
DocumentRoot /usr/share/trac/cgi-bin/
<Directory /usr/share/trac/cgi-bin/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews ExecCGI
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
</Directory>
Alias /tracinfo “/usr/share/trac/htdocs”

<Location /trac.cgi>
SetEnv TRAC_ENV “/var/lib/trac”
</Location>
<Location /trac>
SetEnv TRAC_ENV “/var/lib/trac”
</Location>
Alias /trac “/usr/share/trac/cgi-bin/trac.cgi”
<Location “/”>
AuthType Basic
AuthName “Trac”
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd
Require valid-user
</Location>

DirectoryIndex trac.cgi
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.trac.log
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.trac.log combined
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem
SSLProtocol all
SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM

</VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:443>
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
ServerName 10.10.1.132
DocumentRoot /usr/share/trac/cgi-bin/
<Directory /usr/share/trac/cgi-bin/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews ExecCGI
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
</Directory>
Alias /tracinfo “/usr/share/trac/htdocs”

<Location /trac.cgi>
SetEnv TRAC_ENV “/var/lib/trac”
</Location>
<Location /trac>
SetEnv TRAC_ENV “/var/lib/trac”
</Location>
Alias /trac “/usr/share/trac/cgi-bin/trac.cgi”
<Location “/”>
AuthType Basic
AuthName “Trac”
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd
Require valid-user
</Location>

DirectoryIndex trac.cgi
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.trac.log
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.trac.log combined
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem
SSLProtocol all
SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM

</VirtualHost>

So as you can see, to get the http://yoursite/trac working, we basically define another location, and then set an alias to it. Secondly, to get http://yoursite/trac and http://yourIP/trac working at the same time, we haven’t done much more than to just repeat the entire virtual host stanza with a different value for ServerName.

Sweet. simple. easy. Now go to sleep.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Opensolaris 2008.05

Posted by linuxhappy on May 13, 2008

This is going to be the most retarded review you’ll probably ever read. It probably shouldn’t even be considered a review.  I’m not a solaris guy.  I’m a networking guy who has mostly worked on Linux, Windows, and embedded linux.. if you consider that any different than regular Linux distros..

Anyways I was over at distrowatch.com the other night and I noticed that opensolaris was released  on May 5th 2008.  Wow that’s sorta recent..  After doing some research,  it looks like the guy who started the Debian project headed up this release of open solaris (Project indiana) so I figure I give it a shot.

Initial reactions.. after about an hour of playing with it.
1.  Wow, it’s got alot of mounts. (`mount |wc -l` comes out to about 18)  What is it mounting? I’m not sure. There’s no /etc/fstab
2.   Proc filesystem.  Wow, what a mean lean fighting machine (unlike linux).  Linux puts everything under the sun in here.  On solaris it seems to be a place for ONLY processes and that’s it.
3.  How do I get gcc?  The easiest way I found to install gcc is with Solaris’s new package Managment:
pkg install SUNWgcc

4.  There is something called pkg-get, which seems to be a not-so-official way of getting packages.  I’m not sure if I really understand this completely.  You can use pkg-get to install  stuff from blastwave.org… which seems to install everything under /opt/csw.  Very odd.  Probably because they’re not-so-official packages?
5.  Gnome seems to be just as sexy as it is on ubuntu
6.  Headaches getting emacs with the pkg command.  Compiling from source works a-ok, but if i want X support, I think I’m going to have to compile a bunch of dependencies *ugh*. Getting emacs from pkg-get works like a charm.. but seems to be from a not-so-official server.. eww, makes me feel dirty.

On a philosophical note, I believe that developers/users choose a particular distribution for a number of reasons.  Here’s some of the criteria I live by for choosing a particular distribution:
1.  Package support
2.  Ease of compiling/configuring/customizing kernel
3.  Virtualization support
4.  Ability to extend and redistribute
5.  Software/security updates
6.  Fast release cycles
7.  Compatibility with binary-only 3rd party software packages (these always suck)
8.  Active user community
9.  Device support
10.  Colorful backgrounds for your desktop (not really)

Being a complete n00b to OpenSolaris, items 1-8 seem to well.. not so hot…. Ohwell. It’s more likely that I just need to get familiar with this thing.. I’m a n00b.  Anyways, here’s the plan:   I plan to keep OpenSolaris around a bit more, because I’ve been hearing such great things about this nuclear powered tool called “dtrace”. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6chLw2aodYQ&feature=related )  Also, I have a feeling by learning other peoples systems you can write more portable, robust code.  Eh. We’ll. see.

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Fullscreen performance with flashplugin-nonfree on Ubuntu 7.10 vs Virtualbox + Windows XP

Posted by linuxhappy on April 18, 2008

Something I’ve always hated about my Linux laptop is that I’m not able to stream youtube full screen, or even Veoh movies full screen. Don’t get me wrong, it functionally works, but when it looks like 5 frames per second, it just doesn’t cut it for me. I’ve upgraded to the latest binary version of my video drivers, and installed all the latest updates… no change on crappy performance on full screen flash videos. ok..

I searched the internet and didn’t see any real solutions. So what’s my solution?

Since I’m running Ubuntu, Package management is real easy.

1. Install virtual box, with windows XP.
2. Install the guest additions for virtual box.
3. Install Firefox ontop of windows.
4. Install the flash player on Firefox for windows.
5. Full screen your virtual box (Right ctrl +f)
6. Go to youtube and view a flash video full screen 😀 and view it as if you were running native windows.

What does this mean? Theoretically, this means the code in the Flash-nonfree-plugin was implemented so poorly that it’s worst than doing a hardware emulation for an entire computer AND running Windows XP.. Wait.. is this right? Maybe I should right an equation:

Ubuntu + binary nvidia driver+ Ubuntu Firefox + flash-nonfree-plugin = estimated 5 frames per second full screen flash (unwatchable)
vs.
Ubuntu + binary nvidia driver + Virtual box + Virtual box guest additions + Windows XP OS + Windows Firefox + real version of flash = estimated 25 frames per second (as if i were running windows on native hw)

I guess I could continue the algebra, and solve for which is worst, but I think you get the idea… Okay.. so does this mean that Adobe guys have some sort of incentive not to support full screen Linux? Because honestly, that’s really sad that running an entire Windows OS + emulating an entire computer yields with better performance than an Application running natively on Ubuntu. Another way of saying this *might* be is that the number of CPU instructions in the flash-nonfree-plugin in far higher than the Windows kernel plus virtual box. Yes? no? anyone agree or disagree? Ohwell, time to watch full screen youtube 😀

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

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.

Posted in Linux, Ubuntu | Leave a Comment »

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 »

gedit ruby on rails editor…

Posted by linuxhappy on February 3, 2008

Yesterday i wrote about emacs syntax highlighting.. but.. honestly.. i think I like using gedit with a couple plugins instead 😀

http://www.thaumatocracy.com/textpad-for-linux

Posted in Ruby, Rails, or Ruby on Rails | Leave a Comment »