Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Move over Fedora Core 5, here’s Ubuntu 6.10!

October 26, 2006 9 comments

Wahoo! Ubuntu 6.10 installs on my Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3, SATA Maxtor 320GB drive, and IDE CD-ROM drive! Now I have Ubuntu running on my system.

I have to give credit to Fedora Core 5 for allowing me to work with Linux when Ubuntu 6.06 couldn’t be installed on my system then.

Ubuntu 6.10 wasn’t that smooth because many attempts saw the Install program freezing at various points during the copying of the files. In the end, I booted the Ubuntu 6.10 with “all-generic-ide” option, and installation managed to complete. I think there was some problem with the data transfer between the IDE CD-ROM and the SATA hard drive. When I tried installing earlier with the IDE CD-ROM and an IDE hard drive, I didn’t encounter problems.

So why am I so excited even though there were some hiccups during installation? Well,

  1. it detected my 1280×1024 screen resolution correctly,
  2. my sound card worked immediately, with ALSA 1.11 too!
  3. usb devices are recognised without freezing the Gnome. FC5 has that problem.
  4. it boots up faster,
  5. its Synaptic Package Manager runs a lot faster than Yum.

So far, that’s what I observed. I’m pretty happy with Ubuntu 6.10 so far.

Thanks guys! Great job!

Get Ubuntu 6.10 here. 🙂


I neglected to mention that the setting of “On-board SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode” (in my motherboard’s BIOS) is “IDE”.


Lots of people still reading this article, so I would like to update that Ubuntu 7.04 is now available!

Categories: Fedora Core 5, Ubuntu 6.10

Sound enabled on FC5

October 14, 2006 2 comments

At last!  I have sound on my Fedora Core 5.  After all the attempts, music sounded so sweet.

With my Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 board, which came with the Realtek ALC883 chip, the ALSA package that came with Fedora Core 5 didn’t work.

So here’s how to get it working.

  1. Make sure that your Azalia codec is enabled in your BIOS.
  2. Install the Linux kernel’s header files.  You will need this to compile the latest version of ALSA.
  3. Download the ALSA driver package, util package and the lib package.  At least version 1.0.13.
  4. Set the CONFIG_SND_HDA_INTEL in your  /boot/config-<kernel version>.smp to “y”.  Not sure if this is really necessary, but someone mentioned to do this.
  5. Compile the ALSA packages and install them.  If this part fails, read the instructions carefully again.  I shameless reused Realtek’s install script by modifying to suit the latest version of ALSA.  You can use it too if you like.  I’m assuming that you know your shell scripting.  I’m copying it below as doesn’t allow me to attach the file due to security reasons…
  6. After installation, run the alsaconf program to identify your sound device.
  7. After alsaconf, reboot your Linux.  I think there’s a way without resorting to rebooting, but I was in a reboot mood and it worked for me.

I was in the reboot mood because I had tried so many different ways to get the sound going.  In the end, it was the technician that didn’t connect the front audio jack correctly.  I managed to get the sound after connecting to the back audio jack.

I was slightly disappointed as none of the players that I tried could produce the sound quality that compliments my Sennheiser HD595 headphones.  So far, RealPlayer produced the clearest and tightest notes on the high end.  The bass was a bit weak.  I’m not sure if it’s the hardware, or the codecs used by the players.

Anyway, I hope that helps you in setting your sound device up.

===install script===


######## VERSION 1.0 ########

KERNEL_VER=`uname -r`

#. ./version

#echo “…..Decompress Driver source v1.0.12-$ver”
#tar xvpfj alsa-driver-1.0.12-$ver.tar.bz2 > /dev/null 2>&1
#echo “…..Decompress ALSA Library source v1.0.9”
#tar xvpfj alsa-lib-1.0.9.tar.bz2 > /dev/null 2>&1
#echo “…..Decompress ALSA Utility v1.09a”
#tAr xvpfj alsa-utils-1.0.9a.tar.bz2 >/dev/null 2>&1
#echo “…..Decompress XRealMixer v0.5”
#tar xvpfj xrmix-0.5.tar.bz2 > /dev/null 2>&1

echo “Remove old sound driver”
if [ -d /lib/modules/$KERNEL_VER/kernel/sound ]; then
rm -rf /lib/modules/$KERNEL_VER/kernel/sound/pci > /dev/null 2>&1
rm -rf /lib/modules/$KERNEL_VER/kernel/sound/acore > /dev/null 2>&1
rm -rf /lib/modules/$KERNEL_VER/kernel/sound/driver > /dev/null 2>&1
## remove driver modules
if [ -f /etc/rc.d/init.d/alsasound ]; then
/etc/init.d/alsasound stop
rmmod snd-page-alloc > /dev/null 2>&1
rmmod soundcore > /dev/null 2>&1

sleep 2

echo “Compile Driver……..”
cd alsa-driver-1.0.13
make install
cd ..

## for x86
echo “Remove old alsa library”
rm -rf /lib/libasound.* > /dev/null 2>&1
rm -rf /lib64/libasound.* > /dev/null 2>&1
rm -rf /usr/lib/libasound.* > /dev/null 2>&1
rm -rf /usr/lib64/libasound.* > /dev/null 2>&1

echo “Compile ALSA Library…..”
cd alsa-lib-1.0.13
make install
cd ..

echo “Compile ALSA Utility……”
cd alsa-utils-1.0.13
make install
cd ..

#echo “Comiple XrealMixer……”
#cd ./

## for x86_64
if [ -d /usr/lib64 ]; then
cp -lf /usr/lib/libasound.* /usr/lib64
cp -lf /usr/lib/pkgconfig/alsa.pc /usr/lib64/pkgconfig
ldconfig -n /usr/lib64

sleep 1

## del audio stat file
if [ -f /etc/asound.state ]; then
rm -rf /etc/asound.state > /dev/null 2>&1

## alsa driver sndstat file relink
rm -rf /dev/sndstat > /dev/null 2>&1
ln -s /proc/asound/oss/sndstat /dev/sndstat

## sample wave
if [ -d /usr/share/sounds/alsa ]; then
bzip2 -d test.wav.bz2
cp -f test.wav /usr/share/sounds/alsa
bzip2 test.wav
mkdir /usr/share/sounds/alsa
bzip2 -d test.wav.bz2
cp -f test.wav /usr/share/sounds/alsa
bzip2 test.wav

#echo “Remove Folder…..”
#rm -rf alsa-driver-1.0.12-$ver > /dev/null
#rm -rf alsa-lib-1.0.9 > /dev/null
#rm -rf alsa-utils-1.0.9a > /dev/null
===end of script===

Categories: Fedora Core 5, Linux

Screwing up my Fedora Core 5

September 3, 2006 4 comments

 Here’s how I screwed up my Fedora Core 5 today.

Start up the Add/Remove Software program in Gnome. Remove the ALSA modules. Realise that some of the Gnome components have been removed too, because the Gnome menu didn’t have the listing for desktop software anymore. Run the Add/Remove Software again, and saw that the Gnome desktop was no longer installed. Click on it to get it installed, and wait…

The screen saver is going to kick later, but you won’t be able to get in anymore because the login screen was already screwed.

You will try rebooting, but it won’t work. The Gnome’s screwed.

I spent 5 hours trying to rescue my Fedora Core, and in the end, I reinstalled the whole thing.

Some more information that I found out while I was trying to remove the ALSA packages using “yum remove”.   It will also go through all the other packages that have a dependency on ALSA, and will prompt you if you want to proceed with the removal of 240 packages.  If you indicate “yes”, it will most likely remove a lot of packages and render your system unusable.  I didn’t dare to try, so I indicated “no”, and the yum execution terminated without removing the ALSA packages.

I think this is likely to happen to all packages.

Categories: Fedora Core 5, Linux

Linux and Intel Core 2

September 3, 2006 Comments off

After resurrecting my old Intel Celeron system with Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, and finding it to be too slow for my liking with the Gnome graphical interface, I decided to upgrade the hardware. I don’t recall my Intel Celeron system to be that slow. Really, I am starting to believe that Intel chips have a decay mechanism built in.

So I got myself an Intel Core 2 E6300, supported by a Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 motherboard, 1GB RAM, and a SATA Maxtor 320GB harddisk. Not too bad, right? Although it’s not the highest end of the Intel Core 2, but should be a drastic improvement over the Celeron. Furthermore, I’m not a hardcore gamer, so that should be fine.

Alas, the hurdle that stumped me for 3 days was that most of the Linux distros have problems with the Intel 965 chip. During the installation, Linux will have a problem trying to mount the CD-ROM, hence installation will stall at that part. Apparently, it’s a bug in the Linux kernel, which will be fixed in the 2.6.18 version. But I can’t wait that long.
The only distro that I have found that can install is Red Hat’s Fedora Core 5, and you have to do the following:

1. Modify your BIOS to use AHCI mode for your SATA/IDE drives.

2. Start the installation with “linux install all-generic-ide”.

I hope that helps you. You can read more about the problem here.  A wiki page in Ubuntu on this issue is now available!

Looks like I’ll have to stick with Fedora Core 5 for a while. At least until Ubuntu 6.10 is out. It will be a good opportunity to try out Fedora.

Categories: Kernel 2.6, Linux, Ubuntu 6.06

Fireworks and my Nikon

August 9, 2006 4 comments

Here’s my story on the attempts to capture fireworks on my Nikon camera during Singapore’s 2006 National Day.

My first attempt on 5 Aug was at Esplanade.  As my family was having dinner outside, we decided on a restaurant just 1 minute away from the bay, thinking that we could just walk out and watch the fireworks when it starts.  Oh how wrong that was!  When I came out of the restaurant, it was so crowded that all I could see were the palm trees.  Needless to say, I have got nothing decent to show.  I’m too embarassed to show them.

My second attempt was on 8 Aug.  This time, I chose a more remote location at Marina South.  The view was not obstructed, and seems to be the choice of many photographers.  I have 100 over pictures this time, but still not decent enough.  The shutter speed seems to be too long, and photos show too much of a trail in the fireworks.

I still have 2 more opportunities.  Yup, Singapore is having 4 fireworks this year.

One thing I found out was that most cameras have their own proprietary formats for RAW files.  Hence I had problems trying to download the raw files from my Nikon D50 to my Linux machine.  After searching on the Internet for a while, I found Dave Coffin.  He who has written dcraw to decrypt/decompress RAW file formats from so many camera vendors.  Now I can see the terrible pictures that I took with my camera!

Thanks Dave!

Categories: Chatter, Linux, Nikon D50

Davicom network card with Tulip driver

August 7, 2006 Leave a comment

Just doesn’t work in Ubuntu 6.06.  This problem was fixed in the package for 2.6.15-24.40, and the latest kernel from dapper-security should no longer have this bug.

But if you still have this problem, you can do this:

sudo sh -c ‘echo dmfe >> /etc/modules’

sudo sh -c ‘echo blacklist tulip >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist’

This is to load up the dmfe driver on boot up, and blacklist the tulip driver.

Categories: Kernel 2.6, Ubuntu 6.06

Ubuntu 6.06 hanging on IBM ThinkCentre A30 after non-activity for more than 24 hours

July 31, 2006 1 comment

Linux 2.6.x, which Ubuntu 6.06 is based on, hangs on IBM ThinkCentre A30 after non-activity for more than 24 hours.

My scenario is that when I come back to office after the weekend, my linux system takes very long (about 2 minutes) to respond to any keystroke or mouse click.

IBM has a BIOS patch for it:

If you want to know more about the problem, you can read it at:

The other solution is to start up the kernel with the “noapic” option.  You can edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file and add in the “noapic” in the boot command for the kernel lines.

Categories: Kernel 2.6, Ubuntu 6.06