Info: ATI Drivers 9.8 Doesnt Work with Fedora 11 (2.6.29+)

After a night out I was about to go to bed when I saw the news that ATI has released a new version of ATI Catalyst™ 9.8 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver, its proprietary display drivers for Linux. I immediately downloaded the drivers to test with my Fedora 11 as I am getting more and more desperate to watch HD Movies 😐 Installed them on a manually compiled kernel 2.6.27 and the build failed :( Installed the latest kernel version (for fedora 11) 2.6.29.6.xxx and build failed yet another time. Switched back to 2.6.27 and tried to build again. This time build was successful. Everything worked as expected. I was getting 1500FPS with glxgears and 300FPS with fgl_glxgears. But after sometime display hanged inturn freezing the system. Hard reboot was the only solution and then this happened for a few times in a row. Now, I am back to radeonhd, waiting for yet another release of ATI drivers so that I can try them yet another time to see yet another failure :(

Update : Drivers are working now. Move on to How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) 9.8 Drivers on Fedora 11.

 

How To: Wireless LAN with Broadcom BCM4312 in Fedora 11

Fedora 11 does have support for Broadcom wireless drivers, but it didn’t really work out on a friend’s laptop. Finally we got it working and I thought I’ll just note the steps down. Below are the three easy steps you need to take to make it work properly.

Step 1

Install needed packages

[root@fedora ~]$ yum install broadcom-wl  wl-kmod

Step 2

Once the packages are installed successfully, reboot your laptop.

Step 3

Use the following command

[root@fedora ~]$ system-config-network

And add a new wireless device wlan0 or whatever you want by filling the required fields properly. If you want the device to be managed by NetworkManager, you can do so while editing the device you just added.

Activate the device. And you are on wifi :)

 

Info: ATI Drivers 9.7 does not work in Fedora 11 (2.6.29+)

Yesterday, AMD released ATI Catalyst™ 9.7 Proprietary Linux x86/x86_64 Display Drivers. I happened to checkout the website today. Initially I was very excited about it hoping that these drivers will work with 2.6.29+ and I’ll be able to use my ATI Radeon HD 3200 which is lying dead since a fortnight or so. I downloaded the drivers immediately and switched to Fedora 11 default kernel. Installed the drivers and checked the install log located at /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log. And I saw a failure. AMD disappointed me, yet another time :(

In case you happen to screw your graphics display while trying to install ATI drivers, use the following command to uninstall fglrx.

[root@fedora ~]$ /usr/share/ati/fglrx-uninstall.sh

Well, I am back to square one. Have to wait for another month and I hope next release will have support for kernel 2.6.29+.

Update : Drivers are working now. Move on to How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) 9.8 Drivers on Fedora 11.

 

How To: Boot Fedora Faster

Note: These tricks apply to any Linux based OS. But I have tested them only on Fedora, so can’t say whether they’ll work on other Linux(s).

My current Fedora installation is now almost one and a half years old. Yes. I am still using Fedora 7 😀 I have Fedora 10 on my other machine. Coming to the agenda, my Fedora installation has grown beyond control and I have services from named, squid, drbl, privoxy, vsftpd, vbox*, smb and what not on a personal desktop. These services really force my system startup to slow down to more than two minutes. While shutting down, its very easy to just cut the power supply but while booting up I can’t help and it frustrates me. And what frustrates me further that I have 4GB DDR2 RAM and AMD64 X2 5600+ (2.8GHz x 2) and booting time is still more than two minutes.

Agenda

  • Boot Fedora faster using whatever techniques possible.

Remove the services from normal order and delay their execution to a later stage. So, services like network, squid, privoxy, named, vsftpd, smb etc. doesn’t make sense unless I am not logged in and using them. Let us start them after we have login screen.

Turn off all the services by using the command

[root@bordeaux ~]# chkconfig service_name off

where service_name is the service you want to turn off.

Now create a file /etc/startup.sh. Enter a line like this

[root@bordeaux ~]# service service_name start

for every service that you have turned off in the Step 1.1 and you want it to be running after your machine starts up. Now, your startup.sh file should look like this

service network start &
service sshd start &
modprobe it87 &
modprobe k8temp &
/usr/bin/iptraf -s eth0 -B &
/usr/bin/iptraf -s lo -B &
service squid start &
service privoxy start &
service httpd start &
service mysqld start &
service named start &
service smb start &
service vboxdrv start &
service vboxnet start &
service vsftpd start &

Add the following line to /etc/rc.local file

/bin/bash /etc/startup.sh &

Done!!! Notice the &s in both files. They are for execution in background so that a process can block boot process. You’ll observe a drop of 10-20 seconds in system startup time.

Problem with Hack #1 : The execution is not really parallel. It executes like a process in the background. So we can’t get the real advantage of parallel execution.

Hack #2 solves this problem. Now we don’t put processes in background. We use daemon forking to fork a separate daemon process which will start all the services for us in parallel. Here we’ll get the real advantage and startup time will decrease further.

This step is totally similar to Step 1.1. So skipping it.

This step is also similar to Step 1.2. The /etc/startup.sh file should look like this.

service network start
service xinetd start
service crond start
service anacron start
service atd start
service sshd start
service rpcbind start
service rpcgssd start
service rpcimapd start
modprobe it87
modprobe k8temp
/usr/bin/iptraf -s eth0 -B
/usr/bin/iptraf -s lo -B
service nasd start
service squid start
service privoxy start
service httpd start
service iptables start
service lm_sensors start
service mysqld start
service named start
service nfs start
service nfslock start
service smb start
service vboxdrv start
service vboxnet start
service vsftpd start
service autofs start
service smartd start

Notice the absence of &s in the file.

Download the attached startup.py file attached at the end of this post or copy paste the following code to /etc/startup.py file.

#!/usr/bin/env python
# (C) Copyright 2008 Kulbir Saini
# License : GPL
import os
import sys
def fork_daemon(f):
    """This function forks a daemon."""
    # Perform double fork
    r = ''
    if os.fork(): # Parent
        # Wait for the child so that it doesn't defunct
        os.wait()
        # Return a function
        return  lambda *x, **kw: r
    # Otherwise, we are the child
    # Perform second fork
    os.setsid()
    os.umask(077)
    os.chdir('/')
    if os.fork():
        os._exit(0)
    def wrapper(*args, **kwargs):
        """Wrapper function to be returned from generator.
        Executes the function bound to the generator and then
        exits the process"""
        f(*args, **kwargs)
        os._exit(0)
    return wrapper
 
def start_services(startup_file):
    command = '/bin/bash ' + startup_file + ' > /dev/null 2> /dev/null '
    os.system(command)
    return
 
if __name__ == '__main__':
    forkd = fork_daemon(start_services)
    forkd(sys.argv[1])
    print 'Executing ', sys.argv[1], '[  OK  ]'

Add the following line to your /etc/rc.local file.

/usr/bin/python /etc/startup.py /etc/startup.sh

Thats it. Done!!! Now you’ll experience a boost of about 25-30 seconds of decrease in boot time.

Stats of my machine

With all services started in normal order : 2minutes.
With Hack #1 : 1minute 42 seconds.
With Hack #2 : 1minute.

Warning : These hacks may break your system and can make it unusable. Use at your own risk.

 

Info: Fedora 10 – Cambridge Released

Fedora 10 aka Cambridge is available now.

Fedora 10 - Cambridge Released

Get your copy of Fedora 10 now.

Well, if normal Fedora, doesn’t suite you, checkout the Fedora 10 spins and get whichever suits you :)

Also for KDE fans, there is a special corner.

After you finished downloading, burn the ISO and check the completely detailed Fedora 10 Installation Guide. Or if you want to upgrade from existing Fedora version to Fedora 10, check the upgrade guide.

Want to read whats new and what is there inside Fedora 10, checkout the release notes in your language.

In case your CD/DVD drive is burnt 😛 , or you don’t have immediate access to optical media, check How to install Fedora 10 without CD/DVD.

Still stuck somewhere, there are a lot of ways to get help. Proceed with whatever way suites you :)

 

How To: Install Fedora without CD or DVD

Note: If you are new to Fedora/Linux, I highly recommend the book “Fedora Linux Toolbox

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]0470082917[/amazon-product]

Use Case

  1. When you don’t have CD / DVD drive on your system.
  2. You have Fedora DVD but your system has only a CD Drive.
  3. You don’t want to waste time and resources in burning iso on optical media.

Pre-requisites

  1. You have a Fedora DVD iso or rescue cd iso.
  2. You have a Linux installation on your system.
  3. You have a partition (FAT32, ext2, ext3) which you will not format while installing the new OS.

How to proceed

Let us assume you want to install Fedora 9 on your system and you have a Linux distro already installed on your system. You have downloaded the Fedora DVD iso (Fedora-9-DVD-i686.iso). And you have a FAT32/ext2/ext3 partition /stuff/ which you will not format during installation.

Step 1 : Move the Fedora DVD iso to /stuff/ directory.

[root@saini saini]# mv Fedora-9-DVD-i686.iso /stuff/ [Enter]

Step 2 : Mount Fedora DVD iso on /mnt/

[root@saini saini]# mount /stuff/Fedora-9-DVD-i686.iso /mnt/ -ro loop [Enter] (do as root)

Step 3 : Copy the initrd.img and vmlinuz to /boot/ partition

[root@saini saini]# cd /mnt/isolinux/ [Enter]
[root@saini isolinux]# cp initrd.img vmlinuz /boot/ [Enter] (do as root)

Step 4 : Create grub entry for booting into Fedora 9

Add these lines at the end of your /boot/grub/grub.conf file.

title Fedora 9 (New installation)
    kernel /vmlinuz
    initrd /initrd.img

Step 5 : Note the device having Fedora DVD iso

[root@saini saini]# df -h [Enter]
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3              15G  9.5G  4.1G  70% /
/dev/sda8             135G  116G   13G  91% /stuff
/dev/sda5             4.8G  1.2G  3.4G  26% /home
/dev/sda1              99M   12M   82M  13% /boot

In this case /dev/sda8 contains Fedora DVD iso. Note this down as you need it later.

Step 6 : Reboot

Reboot your system and boot into the Fedora 9 (New installation) grub entry.

Step 7 : Install from hard disk

While in installation wizard, select “Hard drive” as installation method and choose /dev/sda8 as it contains the Fedora DVD iso. And rest is damn easy.

 

How To: Test Fedora Pre-release

If you want your Fedora to be best ever, just grab a copy of Fedora DVD or live iso from here and test the features you like. Checkout the Fedora 10 feature list and test as many as possible.

If you don’t have access to optical media (cd/dvd rom) and want to try the live iso, VirtualBox is your friend. Grab the latest version of VirtualBox for your distro and platfrom from Sun download center and install using rpm or yum. Using VirtualBox is quite easy. Here is a video tutorial for noobs on how to test pre-release live ISOs using VirualBox. Have fun :)

 

Review: KDE4 – Is it worth upgrading?

KDE4 was released on Jan 11, 2008. I noticed the rpms for Fedora on rpmfind.net on Jan 13. It was a big trouble to get packages one by one keeping in mind the dependencies. I tried Yum with rpmfind repo but it didn’t work out. Then I used the server where my domain is hosted. I have 15GB bandwidth per month and the download speed on the server is awesome (average 400kbps). So, I just ftp to rpmfind.net and downloaded all the rpms on the server hosting my site. And then I downloaded the packages from my domain to my local machine ( No effort for searching now and I can do parallel downloading now). So, lets see how to install KDE4 on Fedora.

Step 1:

Get the KDE4 rpms from rpmfind.net . Here is the list of all the kde4 rpms that you need to download from rpmfind.net.

Step 2:

Enable the fedora development repository. In '/etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-development.repo' file check if enabled is equal to 1 for development repo. If its zero, then change it to 1.

Step 3:

Use yum to install the kde rpms that you have downloaded.

[root@bordeaux KDE4_RPMS]# yum install *.rpm [Enter]  (do as root)

Note: After the KDE4 rpms are up in the fedora repos, then you can skip the step 1 and directly install kde by issuing the command

[root@bordeaux saini]# yum install kde* [Enter] (do as root)

My Experience

I was expecting a lot from KDE4. But a lot of things went wrong. When I logged into KDE4 for the first time, everything was looking awesome and very sharp. But then I faced the first crash while editing the settings for a widget and I realized that its not possible to have a crash free KDE application. After upgrade ( which cost me around 1GB of downloading via yum) and spending a lot of time manually downloading the packages, all I got was a desktop environment which will crash frequently to remind that you just wasted 1GB of bandwidth.

After upgrading, Kopete stopped working due to some conflict in ssl libraries, xchat is also not working due to some other library conflicts, dolphin the new file manager for KDE doesn’t even start and flush all kind of errors and faults when launched from command line. After the first crash the panel disappeared and I couldn’t get it back. Launching kicker returns the kde3 panel.

KDE4 is awesome when you just sit back and look at it. But when you want to work with some apps, its miserable. One of my friend had this status message on gtalk ‘ KDE4 : KDE3.5.8 :: Vista : XP ‘. KDE4 is as good as Vista when it comes to looks but its equally bad as Vista as compared to XP when it comes to work with it.

Conclusion: Don’t upgrade to KDE4 and wait till May, 2008 when KDE4 will be shipped with Fedora 9. I hope that KDE4 will not crash frequently when it’ll be embedded natively.

Here are some screen shots if you wanna have a look :)

KDE4 Desktop KDE4 Menus KDE4 Konqueror KDE4 Logout Screen

 

Review: Fedora 8 – Warewolf

I installed Fedora 8 32 bit from a leaky mirror on Nov 7th and I just had a very bad experience with it. Nothing seemed to be working. But I can’t accept that. As I am a hardcore fan of Fedora, I just can’t sit back and say “ah, Fedora 8 sucks, i am not gonna use that”. I fetched Fedora 8 x86_64 (64bit) from a mirror yesterday, after the release. I installed it and everything worked out of the box. I can’t believe that I wrote something wrong about Fedora. How could I do that ?

First of all, I would like to say that The artwork team at Fedora has done a very fantastic job. The graphics right from installation up to the desktop are just awesome. Especially the default background is very nice. Here is shot of the default Gnome Fedora 8 Desktop.

GNOME Fedora 8 Desktop

Right after the installation, I fetched the nVidia proprietary drivers from here and installed them. And those were installed successfully without giving any errors or problems. [ If you want a complete howto on installing nvidia drivers. Its here.] A reboot after the installation and compiz worked out of the box. Here is shot.

Compiz Fusion

Ok, graphics done. What now ? I just realized that there is no mp3 support. No worries. Codeina aka Codec Buddy is there. Just issue ‘codeina’ command from command line and a window like this will appear.

Codeina Audio Codec Fetcher

Check Fluendo MP3 Audio Decoder and click get selected, accept the license conditions and you’ll see that codeina is fetching the codecs. [If codeina does not fetch codecs or give error like timeout or some other network error. Try checking your proxy setting in System -> Preferences -> Internet And Network -> Network Proxy . It may help. ]

Codeina Installing MP3 Support

Ok. Now, codeina has done the job. Lets play some mp3. Note that amarok still can’t play mp3 files because it uses xine engine. So, you can choose either Totem or Rhythmbox to play your mp3 files. Here is a shot of Rhythmbox. So, Codeina also works out of the box.

Rhythmbox Playing MP3

Another major improvement in Fedora 8 in audio section is introduction or pulseaudio. Issue command ‘pulseaudio’ from command line and you will see a window like this.

Pulseaudio Device and Application Control

You can control the sound stream from different players or whatever. You can mute individual streams and can even set the default devices for certain streams through this fantastic gui.

Another good thing in Fedora 8 is Eclipse. Eclipse 3.3 is back in Fedora 8. They excluded it from Fedora 7. I am happy to see it back here in Fedora 8.

Eclipse In Fedora 8

Another utility that I found helpful is Remote Desktop utility. Launch System -> Preferences -> Internet And Network -> Remote Desktop and you’ll see a window like this.

Remote Desktop Utility

Set your preferences and now you can browse your desktop from anywhere using ‘vncviewer <yourIP>:0′. Though one call always configure vncserver to get that done. But for newbies it’ll be a great help.

Also, My wireless lan card, Ralink rt2500 WNC-0301 is detected successfully in Fedora 8. But I am not sure whether it works or not, because there is not wifi environment in my lab and I can’t check it without that. [ Anyway if your wifi card doesn’t work, here is a howto on installing Ralink rt2500 WNC-0301 using drivers from serailmonkey. ]

Another improvement is that cursor was never invisible. Up to Fedora 7, I suffered cursor invisible problem on first login. [ If you are facing the same problem, add line

Options "HWCursor" off

to “screens” section in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and issue ‘gdm-restart’ command. It’ll be fine afterwards. ]

The boot time has also improved significantly. My Fedora 8 boots in just 45 seconds.

These Fedora 8 Screenshots and other related to Fedora 8 can be reached here.

 

How To: Install Eclipse in Fedora 7

I have decided to stick with Fedora 7 due to the bad experience with Fedora 8 last night and also the difficulties in moving the servers to new os that I am running on Fedora 7. As I wanted to work with Padma in my spare time, so need a good IDE that can handle project in a nice way and can help me to import the cvs from repos online. So, is there any choice I have. There is one and only one – The Eclipse. Some people call it – programming paradise. Some may disagree to that and some other may say that Vim is best to program. I also use Vim quite often and in fact 90% of the time I do so. But using Vim looks confusing when the size of the project is beyond certain extent.

Anyway, here I am going to discuss how to install Eclipse in Fedora 7 because its not there by default. There are two approaches. One is extremely simple and other is extremely difficult.

Approach 1

Use yum do install eclipse. Just issue ‘yum install eclipse-*’ and it’ll be done automatically. But this method takes a very long time as yum will sequentially download the packages and dependencies and its very slow.

Approach 2

If I have a good bandwidth, then I’ll download all the packages and resolve the dependencies myself. But resolving dependencies will be frustrating enough that anyone will switch back to slow yum. But due to certain reasons which I suspect to be memory leaks by Firefox and other apps, my system was damn slow and yum could not do anything even after 10 minutes. It was not even able to download the package list.

So, I decided to download all the packages and install them. I download all the eclipse packages and their dependencies manually and installed it successfully. Here is the list of packages and dependencies so that you need not do rpm -ivh a 100 times :) All these dependencies are available on rpmfind.net and packages can be fetched from any fedora mirror. These are tested on Fedora 7.

Packages

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
eclipse-cdt-3.1.2-8.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-cdt-sdk-3.1.2-8.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-checkstyle-4.0.1-6.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-ecj-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-jdt-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-jdt-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-pde-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-pde-runtime-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-pde-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-platform-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-platform-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-rcp-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-rcp-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-subclipse-1.2.4-2.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-subclipse-book-1.2.4-2.fc7.i386.rpm

Dependencies

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
ant-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-antlr-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-bcel-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-log4j-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-oro-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-regexp-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-resolver-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-commons-logging-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-javadoc-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-javamail-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-jdepend-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-jsch-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-junit-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
antlr-2.7.7-1jpp.2.i386.rpm
antlr-javadoc-2.7.7-1jpp.2.i386.rpm
ant-nodeps-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-swing-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-trax-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
avalon-logkit-1.2-4jpp.5.fc7.i386.rpm
checkstyle-4.1-4jpp.1.fc7.noarch.rpm
checkstyle-optional-4.1-4jpp.1.fc7.noarch.rpm
ganymed-ssh2-210-5.fc7.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-beanutils-javadoc-1.7.0-5jpp.1.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-cli-1.0-6jpp_10.fc6.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-dbcp-1.2.1-10jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-lang-2.1-6jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-pool-1.3-9jpp.2.fc7.1.i386.rpm
java-1.5.0-gcj-javadoc-1.5.0.0-14.fc7.i386.rpm
jdepend-2.6-6jpp.1.i386.rpm
jdom-1.0-4jpp.1.i386.rpm
jsch-0.1.28-1jpp.6.i386.rpm
junit-3.8.2-3jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm
jzlib-1.0.7-4jpp.1.i386.rpm
libswt3-gtk2-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
lucene-1.4.3-1jpp.18.i386.rpm
lucene-devel-1.4.3-1jpp.18.i386.rpm
subversion-1.4.4-1.fc7.i386.rpm
subversion-javahl-1.4.4-1.fc7.i386.rpm
svnkit-1.1.4-2.fc7.i386.rpm
velocity-1.4-6jpp.1.i386.rpm
werken.xpath-0.9.4-0.beta.8jpp.noarch.rpm
xml-commons-apis-javadoc-1.3.03-0jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm

So, be sure to fetch the dependencies first. Hope that helps.