Which PC?

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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby nelz » Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:37 am

Kernel 2.6 includes ALSA drivers, instead of having to install them separately. udev only works with 2.6 but is not compulsory. You can still use devfs (although it is marked as deprecated in the kernel configurator) or static device nodes.
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Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby nordle » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:33 pm

Birdman, I know a little about a little, so you've been warned, take anything I say with a healthly dose of scepticism!

I was saying how easy it was to setup a kernel, but to check the status of support on the sata controller I downloaded 2.4.30 and ran make menuconfig to see what it said about some of the modules, AGGHHHH, Id forgotten how much of a mess the config in the 2.4.x series is! The sections are all over the place, trying to find hardware support can be tricky as items are not where you'd expect them.

Happily though the 2.6 series has a far nicer config screen, with more logical sections and a far less confusing layout, not perfect but far better than 2.4

As Nelz has said, udev is one of the biggest changes, if your interested theres a quick pro's / cons article here:
http://www.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/util ... v_vs_devfs

With KDE 3.4.1 out now Slackware-Current might have the packages by the time you come to do an install. Im running the contrib version from kde.org, seems fine.

After installing Slackware, run swaret to update everything before logging into your desktop environment (ie login at command line console run level 3, as controlled by /etc/inittab). This is because some of the KDE files which are stored in the home directory have changed a lot, and if you did run startx on kde 3.3.x and then update to 3.4, you'd have mess around deleting ~/.kde stuff to possibly avoid problems. By not running startx it will not create all the kde config files in your users directory, giving you time to install 3.4.x and then running startx will start you off with the new/correct config's.
Another reason for runnng swaret straight away, is it will overwrite your kernel, so you don't want to spend 30mins installing your 2.6 kernel only to have it wiped out by swaret.
After updateing with swaret run ldconfig and updatedb. updatedb will take a few mins to update the file name database, you can then use this to search for new config files which you will need to manually overwirte the old ones. Again, its a 2 minute job, eg
ldconfig (updates the library cache)
scrollkeeper-update (update the scrollkeeper databases, might not be installed)
fc-cache (update the freetype font index)
updatedb (updates the file name database)
locate .new
This will list all the .new files, simply copy them over the top of the original config files. Most of these will be located in and around the /etc/whatever directory. This is because by default Slackware, when upgrading packages, leaves the old config files as current so to not overwrite any important settings like your samba.conf file which you spent hours tweaking :)

Once this is done you can install your shiny new kernel, would suggest downloading the source for 2.6.11 (not 2.6.11.11, just 2.6.11) from
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/ ... 11.tar.bz2
homepage = http://www.kernel.org/

Unpack that into /usr/src then apply the ck patch, download
http://ck.kolivas.org/patches/2.6/2.6.1 ... k9.tar.bz2
homepage http://members.optusnet.com.au/ckolivas/kernel/
The advantages of this patch are detailed on the homepage, but basically it makes things a little easier for desktop users, different schedulers, memory page allocation tweaks and support for 1GB RAM without the need for enabling highmem support in the kernel which you would have to do in vanilla 2.6.x kernel.

ck9 already includes the 2.6.11.11 stable patch, hence the reason to not download the full 2.6.11.11 from kernel.org, otherwise you end up with errors and pressing enter a million times as it complains about overwriting changes with ones that already exist.
Unpack the ck9 patch into /usr/src/linux-2.6.11 and apply with:
patch -p1 <patch-2.6.11-ck9

Thats it, then you can run the make mrproper && make menuconfig stuff as mentioned above.

There is also the cko patchset (I use this because of my hauppage nova-t card). It takes the ck patch and then adds stuff to it like UML, Supermount, SHFS, Reiser4 etc etc But if none of that is needed, just run with the ck patchset, its excellent!
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Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:44 am

Wow, some interesting stuff there!

nordle wrote:Another reason for runnng swaret straight away, is it will overwrite your kernel, so you don't want to spend 30mins installing your 2.6 kernel only to have it wiped out by swaret.

There is the option in /etc/swaret.conf to leave the kernel alone. It does make sense however to do everything up front before logging in as a user and using the box. I do have backups (phew) of the home directories. I have in the past simply renamed the .kde folder .xkde and then deleted it when I know the newly created set-up is working OK.

Many thanks for crystalising some of the stuff that I had floating around in my head. Just need the time to get sruck in and do everything :)
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby nordle » Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:22 pm

OK, sounds like your already clued up on updating the system, let us know how it goes though, should be interesting to see the jump from a PII350 to a 64-3000 :)
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:53 am

nordle wrote:OK, sounds like your already clued up on updating the system, let us know how it goes though, should be interesting to see the jump from a PII350 to a 64-3000 :)


First impressions.

Hardware in situ I decided to pop Knoppix3.7 into the CDROM and go for a test drive. Used the 2.6 kernel and everything ran great. Then moved on to do the WinXP installl - can't see the SATA drive :(

Next stop was to pop the LXF Mandriva DVDROM into the box (I know it has a very good disk partitioning tool). Great, sda is there. I set-up a few partitions in preparation for my WinXP and Slackware install and reverted back to the WinXP install. Still no SATA drive :(

Then, just for the hell of it, decided to try Knoppix with the 2.4 kernel. Nothing :?

Given all the WinXP hassle I'm going to install Slack on the SATA, copy all my stuff on the hda to sda and use hda for Windows. As the default sata.i kernel in Slackware is 2.4 it will be interesting to see if I get anywhere. If not I can see a minimal install of Mandriva coming on so that I can then complile a custom 2.6 kernel to use with Slackware. What fun :roll:
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Postby M0PHP » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:57 am

For XP to see the SATA in the setup you'll need to press F6 at the third-party drivers request (after "setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration", bang the XP drivers on a floppy disk and put it in 8)
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby jjmac » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:53 am

>>
Doesn't the 2.6 Kernel do things slightly differently and use different tools.
>>



There will be a "Changes" file in the "Documentation" sub directory of the source tree that briefs those general issues.

Code: Select all
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
o  Gnu C                  2.95.3                  # gcc --version
o  Gnu make               3.79.1                  # make --version
o  binutils               2.12                    # ld -v
o  util-linux             2.10o                   # fdformat --version
o  module-init-tools
      0.9.10                  # depmod -V
o  e2fsprogs              1.29                    # tune2fs
o  jfsutils               1.1.3                   # fsck.jfs -V
o  reiserfsprogs          3.6.3                   # reiserfsck -V 2>&1|grep reiserfsprogs
o  xfsprogs               2.6.0                   # xfs_db -V
o  pcmcia-cs              3.1.21                  # cardmgr -V
o  quota-tools            3.09                    # quota -V
o  PPP                    2.4.0                   # pppd --version
o  isdn4k-utils           3.1pre1                 # isdnctrl 2>&1|grep version
o  nfs-utils              1.0.5                   # showmount --version
o  procps                 3.2.0                   # ps --version
o  oprofile               0.5.3                   # oprofiled --version

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Typical of a kernel doc (grin), always out of date. Though the "module-init-tools" package is the main one that stands out. 2.6.x goes about its' module loading process differently to 2.4.x, but it also runs with/along side the 2.4.x modutils facility. So you don't need to get rid of that. But you will need to install "module-init-tools".

Best to go for the latest versions of the lot really.

2.6.x __will__approach disk geometry differently than does the 2.4.x series. You probably remember the FC2 dual booting with XP --=-- scrambled partition-table --=-- fiasco from last year.

The 2.6.x kernel will return a disk geometry based on 16 heads in response to a system call invoked by a user space program, rather than a 255 head based one as is the case with the 2.4.x series. As the ata-ide spec is for 16 heads the kernel people have decided that this is now the correct behavour.

The result is that some programs ... if they don't check on this, and act with a 255 head expectation, there likely to miss-write the partition table as a result. The fault here is debatable, and it does kinda seem harsh ... but any program dealing with that end of a disk should be checking on what the existing tables geometry state is itself before it acts. Rather than lazily just relying on a syscall return. All it has to do is open the boot as a file and read the table records to find the geometry used. All the kernel will do is return the firmware geometry description. Some programs are responsible in this regard, but someotheres arn't ... hint --> older versions of parted.


That was basically the heart of the FC2 installer problem. The parted program it used wasn't 2.6 aware and so wrote an incorrect cylinder count based on the sectors/head x 16 value it got from the 2.6.x kernel. Definitely a fault of the FC2 team.

My lilo simply refused to update my 1st stage loader after initially installing 2.6, that is, with out using its' "-P ignore" switch. In that it received the kernels geometry but it didn't match what was already written in the table. So it suspected a possible problem and requested direct user intervention/over-ride. And good on it to. It was an old version, very pre-2.6.x, but it still bothered to open the boot sector itself and go to the trouble of reading the tables geometry so that it could compare it to what was returned by the kernel. Any tool mucking around down there should do that !.

Updating to the latest lilo, v22.5.9 solved that. It still mentioned the discrepancy but proceeded along the lines that the existing geometry formate found, was the one to use.

So any older programs you may have that could have issues there, it would be best if they were updated for 2.6.

It's an interesting issue. Personally i go along with the kernel peoples decision to just go spec compliant rather than Ms compliant, as it really is up to user programs to check on what their doing before they do it. Rather than to just rest on a smurfed spec, because its' been around for a long MS time.

It is a minor thing really, but something to keep in mind. Besides, there's no reason why a person can't keep a 2.4.x kernel listed in their menu as well.

Can't say much on the rest ... but i bet you find the configuration gui for the kernel (gconfig) a lot smoother to use than 2.4's hideous Tk one. And there is heaps of explanatory stuff in the options etc. I'd recommend a source compile though, unless a binary version has "obscure/hard to get" patches, that would make chasing around for them on the net a pain. I figure pretty well though that any needed patches would be traceable.

The 2.6.x gives a much improved desktop experience to the 2.4 ... better subsystem efficiencies ... scheduling/task/memory management, hw support etc.


jm
Last edited by jjmac on Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:08 am

Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can get a driver sorted so that I can push on with Plan A rather than have to change all my plans just to fit in with MS.
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Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:34 am

Good progress being made.

I got the sata driver business sorted and now have WinXP installed.

The sata.i Slackware kernel let me in with no problems and I had a 10.1 installed in no time. My broadband was being a bit dosey however and it took yonks to update to current. As per last time i installed xorg, the xorgconfig is not that wonderful and I haven't got X running yet. I am going to manualy tweak my old file to allow for the change of graphics card and I am online now to download the nVidia drivers.

The stock kernel does not have highmem configured which means that 35% of my RAM is missing. This means that Nordle's tips are now in progress.

nordle wrote:Birdman, I know a little about a little, so you've been warned, take anything I say with a healthly dose of scepticism!

.......................

Unpack the ck9 patch into /usr/src/linux-2.6.11 and apply with:
patch -p1 <patch-2.6.11-ck9


The latter complains that the patch does not exist. Examining the structure a directory called "patches" is created (or maybe it already existed) and there are several patches in there waiting to be applied. The trouble is I cann't find the syntax to have it work. You suggest one command will do the lot? Suggestions welcome.

I keep asking myself "If windows is this quick what will linux be like once it is all configured?" :D
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby nordle » Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:31 pm

Great news that Slack was ok, not that I had any doubts....cough.... Con must have known you were patching today as he's bumped the patch up a number (just to include the latest stable patch from kernel.org I think).

1. So you've got the linux standard source in /usr/src/linux-2.6.11

2. Unpack this patch http://ck.kolivas.org/patches/2.6/2.6.1 ... 1-ck10.bz2 into /usr/src/linux-2.6.11
So there should be a single file (called patch-2.6.11-ck10) added to that directory.

3. Then patch the kernel sources with that unpacked file from within the kernel source directory

eg:
1.
tar xvjf linux-2.6.11.tar.bz2 -C /usr/src

2.
cp patch-2.6.11-ck10.bz2 /usr/src/linux-2.6.11
cd /usr/src/linux-2.6.11
bunzip2 patch-2.6.11-ck10.bz2

3.
patch -p1 <patch-2.6.11-ck10

Then it should output that its succeeded ok and you can crack on with the compiling, make mrproper make menuconfig etc etc
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby jjmac » Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:31 am

Just to add to that ... using the

"--dry-run" switch allows you to test the patch first. Not really necessary for "ck" patches but still a good policy generally.


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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:42 am

Well. That worked :) I applied the patch and compiled a kernel. Sadly I was short of time and will not have time to test it until tomorrow. I am expecting it not to work because I rushed the kernel options and I am sure to have missed something. Also, I am booting from floppy at the moment as I haven't got round to setting up lilo.

I will have to be patient. You cann't rush these things ;)
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:24 pm

Slight problem.

I decided to run lilo in test mode, this is what I got:

Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
Reading boot sector from /dev/sda
Warning: /dev/sda is not on the first disk
Using MENU secondary loader
Calling map_insert_data

Boot image: /boot/vmlinuz
Added Slackware24

Boot other: /dev/sda2, on /dev/sda2, loader CHAIN
Fatal: Partition entry not found.

Obviously I am not going to go steaming in and end up not being able to boot Windows (that will upset the family and I'll have to fix it PDQ). My lilo.conf is:

default = WinXP
boot = /dev/sda
prompt
timeout = 100
vga = 773
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins for Slackware24 new kernel 2.4.29
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/sda3
label = Slackware24
append="hdd=ide-scsi"
read-only
# DOS bootable partition config begins
other = /dev/sda2
label = WinXP
table = /dev/sda2
# DOS bootable partition config ends
# Linux bootable partition config begins for new kernel 2.6.11
image = /boot/vmlinuz26
root = /dev/sda3
label = Slackware26
read-only

I have one SATA drive and an IDE drive. I assume that it is looking at the IDE drive as the first drive?

I haven't run liloconfig. That may well do the job, but I am scared of breaking things.

BTW, my partition setup is:

/dev/sda1 150meg linux /boot
/dev/sda2 20GB NTFS WinXP system
/dev/sda3 15GB linux /
/dev/sda5 Swap
/de/sda6 20GB FAT32 Win data

Also, my 2.6 kernel is too large to fit on a floppy.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby Birdman » Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:31 pm

I have installed lilo on a floppy and this has given me the opportunity to test the 2.6 kernel. I have somehow missed the correct options for the SATA drive so need to go back to menuconfig. However, I had a good look at the 3 screens of output before the kernel panic and noticed that my memory was still limited. I was told that I did not need to enable Highmem if I use the ck-patch. Is that right?
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Which PC?

Postby davecs » Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:32 pm

I'm gonna be boring here and get back to the topic!

My Shuttle decided to die last week. Suspecting the mobo, I had to think about what to do. Should I go 64-bit with PCI-express? I eventually decided to stay on 32-bit, as there was a good possibility that my processor (Athlon XP2500+) and graphics card (FX5200) were still working.

So I decided to go for the Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe. At just under £50 from Eclipse Computers it seems a bit steep considering how long it's been out there, but thinking back to its original price and what a good board it is I decided to go for it. I also bought a power supply and CPU fan, choice based on advertised noise levels (or lack of).

I can say that, with the above chip and card, I have excellent compatibility, smooth operation, wish I'd done this a year ago (thought it might have cost!) A few other places are still flogging Mobile Athlon MPs which you can overclock and over-multiply. Maybe around £60. Seems a good solid base for a Linux computer to me.
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