Yet Another Blog

June 25, 2008

OpenSuse 11.0 KDE 4.1 beta2

Filed under: computer, linux, Software — Tags: , , , , , — guilleml @ 9:37 am

Kde 4.1 beta has been released and there are packages available for OpenSuse 11.0, I’ve installed them and they work pretty good, I can’t tell much differences but flash plugin works on konqueror!

The desktop seems quite stable and fast.

You can get it from http://en.opensuse.org/KDE/KDE4

Or just click here and OpenSuse will do everything for you.

The changelog shows some interesting features I haven’t tested yet, but I will.

June 20, 2008

Updating OpenSuse 11.0 to KDE 4.1

Filed under: computer, linux, Software — Tags: , , , — guilleml @ 5:53 pm

I read on this blog KDE 4.1 was more stable than KDE 4.0.4, the version by default in OpenSuse 11.0, I updated the mirrors to try it.

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE4:/UNSTABLE:/Desktop/openSUSE_11.0/
http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE4:/UNSTABLE:/Extra-Apps/openSUSE_11.0/
http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE4:/UNSTABLE:/Community/openSUSE_11.0/

Just add them using yast2, software repositories.

After updating I restarted the xorg server and the KDE running, there wasn’t much visual difference, just some little details not very “beautiful” but not much problem. I have to say that this update solved the problem I had with kopete I wrote about in my last post, notifications are working fine now.

  • The menu for adding a new msn account in kopete was chaotic, by resizing the window the objects were shown fine, KDE 4.1 mixes languages, I suppose it’ll be solved in the final release.

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  • Kget doesn’t download anything, neither in 4.0.4 nor in 4.1.

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  • Taskbar icons have a gray border they didn’t have under 4.0.4, I don’t know how to remove it.

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  • Alt+Tab combination sometimes doesn’t work for changing active window, neither under 4.0.4.
  • The p4-clockmod kernel module doesn’t load at boot so I can’t change my CPU frequency if I don’t load it.
  • I haven’t disabled the pc speaker yet.
  • Konqueror4 stills doesn’t load flash objects, I haven’t found information about how to solve it, at least firefox loads them perfectly.
  • I updated Firefox 3b5 to version 3 adding the Mozilla repositories, Firefox is a little faster for it.

One thing I’ve noted is that OpenSuse 11.0 seems faster than Kubuntu/Ubuntu, on Kubuntu I can hear the hard disk everytime I run an application, now the application loads perfectly and fast without accessing so much, that was one thing I noticed when I tried *buntu, in Debian, Gentoo, Archlinux…the disk access was much like OpenSuse’s, maybe it’s for the disk scheduler, I haven’t investigated it. Oh! I discovered that you can change the kernel I/O scheduler in yast2, by default it selects cfq.

June 19, 2008

Some problems with OpenSuse 11

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — guilleml @ 9:32 pm

The system works great but there are some glitches I would like to be solved.

  • Kopete shows a notification windows always a contact writes me, I’ve disabled every notification but it stills shows them.
  • Flash plugin is not working under Konqueror4, it shows a gray square where the flash app should be, nothing more.

I’ve installed kopete from KDE3, it isn’t so beautiful but at least it is not so annoying.

Updated:

I’ve configured Kmail with IMAP Gmail, it works fine but when I want to download all mail to local for offline access (backup) it doesn’t download them all or it crashes configuring it, so I’ve installed Thunderbird and it works perfectly fine, I’m starting to think OpenSuse 11.0 is not a final version, it’s a beta in my opinion.

OpenSuse 11 KDE4 already installed

Filed under: computer, linux, Software — Tags: , , — guilleml @ 6:09 pm

The installation has been nice and fast, it even detected my atheros wifi card, this version installs the ath5k madwiki OSS driver, it didn’t work for me, but at least it detected my wifi.
After install I booted another linux, and I mounted the OpenSuse volume under /media/sda3, then:

#cd /media/sda3
#cp /etc/resolv.conf etc
#chroot .
#zypper ref
#zypper in gcc make kernel-source

I downloaded the madwifi source package from http://madwifi.org/suse/11.0/ and I installed it:

#rpm -i madwifi-0.9.4-1.src.rpm

Then just build it:

#cd /usr/src/packages/SOURCES/madwifi-0.9.4
#make && make install
#rmmod ath5k
#modprobe ath_pci

And that’s it, I selected my wifi network using knetwormonitor and everything worked great.
Now my first impressions:

  • Desktop looks great, beautiful
  • KDE4 works pretty well, as fast as KDE3 in my computer
  • I had to configure my monitor to set it to 75Hz editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf, maybe it’s possible using sax under yast2 but it didn’t work for me, now it’s set to 1280×1024@75Hz and Direct rendering is working fine.
  • I like Konqueror4, it renders webpages pretty fast and seems very stable, no crashes for now.
  • System is updating packages right now, just 2 clicks, I didn’t have to configure repositories.
  • System speaker is working and the pcspkr module is not loaded so I have to guess how to disable that little devil noise when I press tab key.
  • Fonts are great, just as I like them, not like Mandriva…
  • Yeah! package managing it’s lovely now, fast and easy, they’ve solved the thing I didn’t like about OpenSuse.
  • Firefox version is 3 beta 5, a little old, yesterday version 3 came out, I don’t mind because I don’t use it too much, just for posting in the blog because Konqueror doesn’t support the wordpress visual editor.

That’s for now, I’ll post more impressions and conclusions, desktop is really fast.

Downloading OpenSuse 11.0

Filed under: computer, linux, Software — Tags: , , — guilleml @ 3:21 pm

The torrent doesn’t work but the direct download does, you can get it from:

http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.0/iso/cd/openSUSE-11.0-KDE4-LiveCD-i386.iso

http://ftp5.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/distribution/11.0/iso/dvd/openSUSE-11.0-DVD-i386.iso

I will install it later, I hope it does better than the RC…will it include the madwifi driver? I don’t think so.

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-2.6.22.5-31.i586.rpm

#rpm -i madwifi-0.9.3.3-0.1.src.rpm

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-0.9.3.3-0.1.tar.bz2

#cd madwifi-0.9.3.3-0.1

#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 4, 2008

Next Linux distributions I’ll test

Filed under: computer, linux, Software — Tags: , , , , , , — guilleml @ 4:00 pm

I’ve seen a video which shows how the zypper version that comes with OpenSuse 11 will solve the problems I talked about.

Another distro a user recommended me was MEPIS, version 7.0 is based again in Debian 4.0 Etch, I’ve already downloaded the liveCD+install iso so I’ll try tonight.

If I like MEPIS I may install it and I will install OpenSuse when the version 11 comes out, I’m gonna like to have a nice KDE-centered Linux distro.

I’ve used FreeBSD too, but I didn’t like to compile the packages, I know there are binaries but I think they were old…maybe I was wrong, I may try PC-BSD, a FreeBSD distro very easy which uses .pbi packages, something like install packages in Windows, you ust download a file which contais all libraries and binaries needed to work. There is a website with tons of packages http://www.pbidir.com/ where you can download them.

I may try this one, but I’m not sure since the last time I installed FreeBSD, was version 6.0, I had problems with the madwifi wifi driver, the wifi card worked but the computer was so slow it couldn’t be used, with the driver unloaded the system was fast enough.

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.

Kubuntu:

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Mandriva:

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Kubuntu:

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Mandriva:

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Kubuntu:

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Mandriva:

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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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