• Category Archives OS
  • lfs and blfs frustrations

    Today has been a frustrating day. I finished my lfs (linuxfromscratch) 6.3 build and was starting the blfs portion. While I was working on installing xorg and xfce, I ran into some issues.
    first issue was dhcpcd build. version 5 will not compile,  ipv6 issues I believe. I gave up since static ip is fine.

    second issue,  .xz ….
    in the blfs build it instructs you to download. xz files. This is a problem, since blfs book does not inform you or give you the resource to unpack this file.
    To remedy this you can download 7zip,  specifically p7zip.
    To install it,  use make,  then make test, then make install.
    this will install it to /usr/local.
    to use it use, 7za x /your/package.xz
    And that will remedy that whole .xz crap…….

    Third issue,  when compiling xorg protocols ,  xbc(xcb?)_proto requires python interpreter,  so install python first. but remember to install 7zip so you can unpack it lol.
    **Edit** xcb does mention python, it is built after xorg protocols

    I am sure to find more things that don’t make sense with the build. When my box is done,  I will post on the whole process and more of the issues I ran into.

    Hope this helps someone,  because I would hate for someone else to give up on there build  due to poor information. Let me know what ypu think.


  • My battle with Ubuntu 11.10

    I decided to finally upgrade my Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.10 and deal with unity or gnome 3.4. Neither of those options looked promising to me. But change is inevitable.

    The whole process was painless, only a few unnecessary librarys removed. When it all finished, unity loaded up and I got to work, trying to make my desktop productive.
    So I went searching and found this link http://blog.sudobits.com/2011/09/08/10-things-to-do-after-installing-ubuntu-11-10/. It definitely helped, like, getting dvd movies to play. Most of it is pretty good advice and the rest is personal preference.

    My opinion on 11.10, I like it but I have my complaints. For example, gnome-shell or gnome classic, when logging in, is better then unity (I’m not going to get into this Unity just sucks, especially on a 32″ monitor) . Gnome-shell ‘s menu bar, it’s very hard to customize it, I’m still looking for the auto-hide option or the opacity setting. And I still can’t figure out how to add things to the top menu bar like the system monitor graph or even a fortune cookie app. The gnome tweak tool helped a bit but there are still large holes in the setting that need to be filled, but over all it does run on my i5 much better then gnome 2. Time to continue on customizing and tweaking the desktop.
    Next is to upgrade to 12.04 lts.

    The battle continues!


  • Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10, 11.04 The bane of my existence!!

    I have been an avid fan of ubuntu and I still am, but for newer hardware only. Recently I had to upgrade to 9.10 and then to 10.x. let start with my first issue in 9.10  and we will go from there. In 9.10 my sound and video would not play. this was caused by pulse audio and also not working together or something like that, personally i could not find the exact issue or cause, which made this issue very hard to fix…. but a fix was found….i will go over that in a min or two lol.

    Next issue was the keyboard and mouse locking up on ubuntu 10.04 and higher, this is a big pain, because once they lock up, both the PS2 keyboard and mouse freeze, and so do the usb keyboard and mouse. This makes is very hard to find a fix since i may have 2 secs of the mouse moving or i might get 5 mins, either way it locks and i have to reboot, and thats not a guaranteed fix.

    So lets start on how i fixed the 9.10, 10.04, 10.11 with an audio issue. The symptoms are choppy music play and then it cuts out, log file filled with “karmic pulseaudio [1653]: ratelimit.c: 2 events supressed” also video usually stops or wont play as well…… to Help most of you out, i have tried everything from recompiling the kernel, to installing from source, compiling pulse from source, changing alsa drivers, changing the scheduling, using every google fix there is……not even launchpad couldnt give me any info. There are bugs listed but no real fixes or workarounds…until now lol.  if you have applications that use pulseaudio ( im not sure what depends on it) this may not be a good workaround.

    Fix:

    Unistall Pulse Audio!!! (Thanks Kevix from the 43oh IRC room/forums!!) He stated that most programs still use alsa and dont need pulseaudio.

    as soon as i did that, my sound worked as well as my video, even the system alerts could be heard!!

    this worked for me, on my audiology and on board sound card…..I do not know the extent of pulse integration with ubuntu desktop so try at your own risk and feel free to let me know how it worked out for you. 🙂

    on to my next issue Ubuntu 10.4-11.04 Keyboard and mouse do not work/ freeze after a few min.

    This issue has been going on since i had tried 10.04 a little after the initial release, I haven’t tried nearly as much as i had worked on the other issue, but this one is inherently very hard to pinpoint for me. no log messages or errors, even on verbose…….tried combination of ps2 and usb with no luck at all.  I even tried reinstalling Dbus and Hal with no luck ….. and this is where i am stuck.

    My choices are continue on working on the issue and be down a PC (this is my main PC used for everything) or find a distro that works with my older PC, both require a decent amount of work to get it all going, including all the programs i have compiled from source.

    So any ideas ? any thoughts? another distro i could try? im willing to try almost anything to get my PC up and running so i can watch youtube on my tv!!

    PC specs

    P4 2 x cores with asus motherboard

    ATI 9600/128mb

    ram 1.2Gb

    nothing too special lol

    Leave some comments 🙂

    -justin


  • MSP430 tools for linux

    For your MSP430 launchpad to work on Linux you may have to do a little work, lol hopefully you expected this…..So lets get to it…..by the way i have Ubuntu 9.04 for my system, but that shouldn’t matter, except for dependencies may be different then mine.

    First you will need a few things to get it all working, so gather your tools and programs and lets start…..

    1. launchpad with 430 value line chip
    2. http://mspgcc4.sourceforge.net/ you will need at leas the binaries, or you can build it yourself
    3. http://mspdebug.sourceforge.net/ this is the program that will let you program your msp430 launchpad and debug it if needed
    4. libusb dev files (usb headers for compilation)
    5. Readline dev files
    6. and texinfo dev files

    after you have gathered all that you need you can start installing, you will most likely need the CLI to do most of the work, since we will be moving files into a root owned folder.

    1. First Build or install MSP430-gcc and other binaries for the tool chain http://mspgcc4.sourceforge.net/
    2. next install or copy the binaries /usr/ or usr/local ( i choose /usr/) I unpacked my archive inside my home folder and then CPd(copied) everything into /usr/ folder
    3. then check to see that they work, run msp430-gcc or msp430-gdb, it should just give the usage or start the program if all went well
    4. Now you want to install mspdebug, this program allows you to connect to the launchpad and reprogram the chip or debug it . It should be the simple make && make install on the source and it should go fairly quickly. if you have dependencies issues please consult the maintainer, I only listed the ones that i needed to download.
    5. after its done installing run it and test. to run it type “mspdebug rf2500” and it should start up
    6. jsolarski@server-001:~$ sudo mspdebug rf2500
      [sudo] password for jsolarski:
      MSPDebug version 0.9 - debugging tool for MSP430 MCUs
      Copyright (C) 2009, 2010 Daniel Beer
      This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO
      warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


      Trying to open interface 1 on 005
      Initializing FET...
      FET protocol version is 30066536
      Configured for Spy-Bi-Wire
      Set Vcc: 3000 mV
      Device ID: 0xf201
      Device: MSP430F2013
      Code memory starts at 0xf800
      Available commands:
      = erase hexout mw read run sym
      cgraph gdb isearch opt regs set
      dis help md prog reset step
      Available options:
      color gdb_loop
      Type "help " for more information.
      Press Ctrl+D to quit.
      (mspdebug)

    7. now that it is connected its time to try and reprogram the flash, or play around with the registers.

    Now that its hooked up and ready to go you can go ahead and play around with mspdebug, or connect it up with gdb to debug and reprogram as well, but im just going to go into mspdebug because i have not learned gdb as well as i should.

    The main commands for mspdebugare

    =        erase    hexout   mw       read     run      sym
    cgraph   gdb      isearch  opt      regs     set
    dis      help     md       prog     reset    step

    the ones that i have used so far in my learning this program

    • dis <address>< length> — disassembles that block of memory dis 0xf800 2048
    • prog <file> program the target board “prog main.elf”
    • md <address><length in bit> read an address
    • regs    displays your registers for the board
    • erase   erases the flash memory of the board

    There are plenty of other things you can do in mspdebug but that is beyond my knowledge at this point.

    To reprogram the board just follow the simple instructions of  erase, prog. simple as that.

    Personally the easiest way to reprogram it is use this archive, which has all the files needed to do a test reprogram …and its been edited so it can be compiled with mspgcc.

    Demo program that works with GCC and mspdebug and msp tools

    this is the same source code and make file found on This site. I have not modified it all i did was take the .tgz and package it up into a zip file so its an archive with in a zip file. this is the same program that’s on the 2231 chip that comes with the launchpad except a few changes to make it work with gcc.

    At this point you should have a good starting point to work with this chip…just a little more research and i should be able to creating programs that do what i want them to do….

    Hope this helps!!


  • Lubuntu LDXE

    I was checking out Hackaday (one of my favorite sites)
    and found this http://blog.lxde.org/?p=514
    and looked it over, its pretty cool that they took a debian system and brought it down under 400MB, which is pretty amazing, but its still not small enough for me, so i will still be compiling my lfs system but i am going to try out this new distro, so look later for a quick review

    update- I might have to wait till I get home, my proxy is telling me no route to host, may be due to Hackaday syndrom, I will try later


  • easy LFS chroot script

    In chapter 6.4 in the stable release of LFS you need to chroot into your build environment, and I have to keep rebuilding the chroot, and i keep going back to my PDF and retyping all the commands so i created on that would rebuild the environment by just calling my new script, then make it one better CP it into /usr/bin and make it executable
    #!/bin/bash
    mount -v --bind /dev $LFS/dev
    mount -vt devpts devpts $LFS/dev/pts
    mount -vt tmpfs shm $LFS/dev/shm
    mount -vt proc proc $LFS/proc
    mount -vt sysfs sysfs $LFS/sys
    chroot "$LFS" /tools/bin/env -i
    HOME=/root TERM="$TERM" PS1='u:w$ '
    PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/usr/sbin:/tools/bin
    /tools/bin/bash --login +h

    just copy and past the above code into a new file and called it lfsroot then if you just want to make it into a command copy it into /usr/bin and you are ready to go, the script will mount the file systems and the enter the chroot environment
    This has saved me plenty of time by not typing or copying and pasting commands, My next script will be a script that will tar and cd into the directory of source packages……look for it soon


  • Easy Way for custom kernels

    Borrowed from hackaday,
    Borrowed from hackaday,

    I am a regular Browser of certain DIY and tech sites just because they always have something interesting, or some new idea or technology that may be useful. Today I found this post, http://hackaday.com/2009/08/25/kernelcheck-kernel-compiler/ and it interested me, a quick and easy way of Downloading patching and compiling the kernel…..I thought ‘WOW’ this is one of those packages that will vanish in a few weeks and it prolly buggy, no good support, and not a big user base with comments from ’01……..so i downloaded it and installed it, it has a few interesting dependencies like qt3 and a few other small libs…..now its installed, i go over the over simplified PDF….fairly easy to use so i go at it…..I was surprised how well it worked right out of the “package”,  I went ahead and updated the kernel info with a click of a button, i know which kernel is installed currently, i know what the current stable dev kernel is,  the current patch and a slew of other info that i really didn’t need… so next i decided i wanted a customized kernel, so i click 0n the custom, chose the current stable dev, with no patches (i didn’t try but you can go back to earlier versions of the Kernel) a few other options i chose as well as manual config, pack into a .deb package, there a bunch of other choices as well… so i did a basic config just to get it to compile my new kernel…..in less than 4 hours my new kernel was ready to be used, so  i loaded it up in the VMbox and took it for a spin, it loaded and worked just as if i had done this manually…..so I am pleased that some one has created a great tool like this to make life a little bit more easy for me….

    So is this going to Help those out there that want to customize there system? well a little, it will make the process a little faster and creating a custom kernels you will still need to know what you are doing when configuring it……My over all opinion of this software, I think its great and someone should have come up with this sooner. What i think is needed is some more advanced options for people building kernels for other systems, or cross-compile options, but other wise its a Great Tool with a nice intuitive GUI.

    As for support if you run into problems, well i haven’t had to deal with there mailing list but they do have one and it looks like this is an ongoing project for them. I am usually pretty critical of software becuase i have been let down so many times, but this one I really cant complain about, Its just a Great tool for your linux toolbox.

    Now just go to there site and check out the program for yourself http://kcheck.sourceforge.net/


  • Evo T20 project OS choice

    So i have Decide on my Distro that I want to use for my Evo. Its called Linux from Scratch,
    its a way to build your OS from compiling all the components, into a working linux.
    You can find more info here
    so far i have completed the Pre setup and getting the too chain compiled for the enviroment.
    there have been a few Hiccups here and there which i will get into in just a moment. Currently my Goal is to have a working linux under 16 megs so i dont have to buy more smart media cards, especially at $30+ for 128 megs, on out dated technology. but that is besides the point..

    Issues that  i have had so far

    1. Wget list has 2 broken links, I will list the 2 packages a little later
    2. Binutils would not compile, it was my mistake that i had made a few days ago while i was, the Tools link was pointing at the wrong Device, deleted it and remade it so it point to the correct folder
    3. after that i have run into another compile error dealing with GCC the error stated ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/double-int.h:184: error: expected ')' before 'double_int'
      ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/double-int.h:185: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'mpz_t'
      In file included from ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/c-lang.c:26:
      ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/tree.h:4895: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'mpz_t'
      ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/tree.h:4895: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'mpz_t'
      and still looking into what that means but shouldn’t take too long to figure out
    4. maybe more later

    So far This has been an interesting adventure, and would highly recomend that any linux admin should try this out and learn about how linux actuelly works, not many people understand how it all fits together and what it takes to make your own distro that you have complete control over…

    well now back to some more compilling! 🙂

    Edit : these are the errors after the warnings make[3]: *** [c-lang.o] Error 1
    make[3]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/sources/gcc-build/gcc'
    make[2]: *** [all-stage2-gcc] Error 2
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/sources/gcc-build'
    make[1]: *** [stage2-bubble] Error 2
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/sources/gcc-build'
    make: *** [all] Error 2

    update 8/20/09

    So i went to the mailing list and asked my question and apperently the mpfr and gmp need to be in the source directory of gcc,  in my opnion the note in 5.3 assumes that your in the source directory of the package after its unpacked “Before issuing the build instructions for a package, the package should be unpacked as user lfs, and a
    cd into the created directory should be performed. The build instructions assume that the bash shell is
    in use.” is the exact wording, this should be rephrased  to be more clear, but that’s my opinion so back to compiling the tool chain

    Update 9/1/09

    Using V6.5 i started over and have had no diffuculty in compiling the OS on a USB drive except of my own typos, as soon as i can boot it i will put up a screenshot and also a copy of the USB drive image

    Update 12/26/09

    Never buy crappy USB drives…….Never again will i buy that really cheap drive from that off brand you have never heard of……..i lost my image on that drive but i am recompiling it and doing it again it was fun project and now i can do it a little faster now. This time it will only take a few days to create again.