Yet Another Blog

June 5, 2008

My progress with OpenSuse 10.3

Filed under: computer, linux, Software — Tags: , , , — guilleml @ 2:13 pm

Last night I installed OpenSuse 10.3, the install was clean, no problem, really fast.

After that, the first was to install madwifi to enable my atheros wifi card, that was a problem because I couldn’t use repositories, I booted up other linux and I downloaded the kernel source package from the official repository and the madwifi source package from the madwifi site.

Then I installed them in the OpenSuse system:

#rpm -i kernel-source-

#rpm -i madwifi-

The GCC compiler and make tool are needed too, they can be downloaded from the official site as other packages needed.

#rpm -i gcc-4.2-24.i586.rpm

#rpm -i make-3.81-66.i586.rpm

Then just build the madwifi driver:

#cd /usr/src/packages/SOURCES

#tar xvfj madwifi-

#cd madwifi-

#make && make install

#modprobe ath_pci

That should build, install and load the driver, it can be checked with iwconfig tool or dmesg.

Then I used yast2 to configure my network and it worked fine.

I have other little problems I’m not still sure how to solve yet or I’ve solved them already.

  • For example, I have a Pentium IV CPU and p4-clockmod is not loaded at boot so I can’t change the frequency unless I load it:

#modprobe p4-clockmod

  • There is another thing I don’t like, when I’m installing packages or refreshing repositories, the CPU load goes to 100% so the whole system gets a little slow, I’ve never seen that using aptitude.
  • The bootsplash is not loaded at boot, I can see the kernel booting in text mode, I’m sure it’s easy to change, but…then I’ve to do it.
  • I would like to see knetworkmonitor loaded by default in KDE, it is not so yast2 must be used to configure the network.
  • To install amsn I had to add a new repository, the package is not in the official one. After that and intalling it, amsn didn’t load because libtk8.5 and libtcl8.5 links weren’t created in /usr/lib, it was easy to solve:

#ln -s /usr/local/lib/libtk8.5.lib /usr/lib

#ln -s /usr/local/lib/libtcl8.5.lib /usr/lib

  • When I’m browsing Internet with konqueror and move the scrolling bar on the right, it’s slow, the web page moves slow, the desktop seems to work pretty fast and light but konqueror rendering the webs is a little slow, slower than konqueror in Debian or Kubuntu.

I’ll see how can I solve those things.

June 3, 2008

Things I don’t like about some GNU/Linux distributions

Filed under: computer, Software — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — guilleml @ 12:20 pm

I’ve been trying linux distributions dor a while and there are things I like and things I don’t like. My aim was to use another distribution as my main Linux system.

Now I’m using Kubuntu 8.04 and I’ve been using Kubuntu since version 6.04 or 6.10 I don’t remember.

Some years ago I was a really Linux-geek guy, I used LFS for a while, I loved Gentoo and optimizing my system, to try new gcc flags, etc…but one day I just wanted to have my computer ready for anything I need, I couldn’t wait 6 hours untill my OOo compiles or some hours just if I want to install an IDE like Netbeans or Eclipse, they are binaries but the system require to built some libraries to run them. So that’s when I started to look for a distro with binary packages and…well…I don’t want to edit config files anymore, so the distro I was looking for had to be very user friendly, had to detect all my hardware, config it…I don’t want to spend much time configuring my system.

So I tryied some of the most famous distributions, Debian, of course, I’ve used it a lot of times, I tryied Lenny and I had some problems like a kernel bug with the DMA and my DVD writer, the system spent to boot arround 5 minutes and the writer wasn’t operative, I had to reset the device and set the DMA flag to 1 to use it, I don’t use the wirter too much but this was annoying and I didn’t want to build my own kernel.

Debian worked fine, really well, but it worked like Kubuntu, I didn’t find pretty much differences, I don’t have any stability problems with Kubuntu so I didn’t notice Debian more reliable, the fact was Debian was giving me problems with the writer and with aMule (ed2k p2p client), in the search tab, when I closed the searches I made aMule crashed all the time, it doesn’t do that in Kubuntu and my writer works fine.

Well, I had to build my atheros madwifi driver, that wasn’t much problem, make, gcc, linux-headers, madwifi-source….and all done, Kubuntu detected at first boot.

I didn’t notice any performance difference, Debian was just as fast as Kubuntu so, I already have my Kubuntu configured, the performance is the same and I avoid a pair of bugs using Kubuntu…I didn’t find a reason to change Kubuntu for Debian.

Next I tryied OpenSuse, I like KDE and OpenSuse has a name as a KDE distro, even Linus Torvalds recommends it.

I tryied OpenSuse 10.2 and 10.3, it worked great, it has a “control panel” where you can configure the system, something I liked a lot, Kubuntu doesn’t have it and I think it wont since Canonical gives priority to Gnome and the KDE version is not so nice in wizards or admin tools.

I configured some repositories, I updated the system…not much problem. The thing I don’t like was everytime you run the software install tool, it synchronizes with the repositories, son you have to wait a lot of time because the mirrors were slow, for me. And this happends everytime you run this program, so install something like amsn, close the program and run it again because you forgot to install ktorrent can cost you 15 minutes.

I had to build my atheros driver too…

I’m really comfortable with aptitude and .deb packages, yast didn’t liked me because of that updating process.

After that I installed Mandriva 2008 Spring, I installed it in a virtual machine I liked it and then I tryied in a partition. Well, I have to say Mandriva is a great distribution, really easy, it detected my wifi card, my network, I configured the repositories, updated my system…everything fine.

But there were lot of things, little things and a big thing I didn’t like.

When I updated the software repositories list it spent a lot of time, waiting, not downloading, and the mirror was in my country, I don’t know why but it was slow.

My screen was always set to 60Hz, it’s a LCD monitor that works at 1280×1024 @ 75Hz, using krandr tool I set it to 75Hz, fine, but everytime I rebooted the system, the screen was set to 60Hz again, I even edited xorg.conf but it didn’t work.

That was a little thing, there was other little things, not very important but I didn’t like it neither, there is an applet in the panel that shows you what devices are mounted to extract, mount or dismount them, there appears a floppy disk icon, I have a floppy drive but I never use it, so I disabled it in the config menu, it disappeared but, as before, it was there again when I loaded the system! I like my settings to me saved, I don’t want to spend 3 minutes setting up the environment every time I boot my computer.

Anyway, the big problem I found, the reason I don’t use Mandriva are the fonts. The rendering is so…UGLY and DIRTY that I didn’t feel fine reading them.


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There you can see the difference between fonts in Kubuntu and Mandriva.

So, I’ll try OpenSuse 11 official release, maybe they have solved the install software problem, until I found other thing I’ll be using Kubuntu, I’m tired for so much publicity ubuntu gets, but it works fine for me…for now.

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