So, you want to be a kernel hacker. Before you go down that path, or get involved with any other free or open source development project, you should know that it’s often a wild, raucous place where — no matter what level of coding skill you possess — your tolerance for criticism or rejection might constantly be tested.
September 2, 2007
September 1, 2007
It’s faster than Windows, it fights viruses – and it’s free. Jimmy Lee Shreeve on the software that’s bringing more power to our PCs
“According to Jerome Glisse, who coordinates the development of the driver, progress is being made in the project, and “maybe by the end of this year, we might have some 3-D acceleration.””
August 21, 2007
In the Debian forums is a discussion about auto-updating.
In most Linux systems, you can use a warning system telling you updates are available.
Which is good, and in my opinion, also the best way. No auto-updating for me thank you very much; I would like to know what updates are available.
However, there is something I do need; A roll back tool to undo the last update!
The topic of Linux on the desktop is one that raises its head every couple of days somewhere on the web – and here it is again.
August 17, 2007
I usually grab the latest kernel from kernel.org to use for my Debian box.
Here is how I install it:
- ‘How To Compile A Kernel – Debian Etch’ is my template for creating the Debian packages.
- ‘Debian Official Kernel Configuration files’ is where I get the latest .config template matching my processor (k7) for compilation from.
The only thing I change in menuconfig is in “processor type and features”:
- Turn off “Symmetric multi-processing support”; I have only one processor
- Set “Preemtion Model” to Voluntary Kernel Preemtion. (It truly speeds things up for Desktop Users!)
Cleaning up unused modules and all that ? Why bother, The kernel only loads the modules it needs, and except for a longer compilation time, you can be sure the kernel is new, shiny and very likely to work perfectly.
August 13, 2007
In Ubuntu it is assumed a kernel for generic x86 support should be about as fast as a kernel suited for your arch.
So lets see how true this is.
I am not going to benchmark anything, I just want to see if the feel is snappier and/or quicker, and if compiling a kernel is worth the effort for the average user.
I used ‘How To Compile A Kernel – The Ubuntu Way‘ as a template for compiling a personalized kernel so read it for more detailed information.
The only change I made in the configuration file was setting the arch to Athlon/Duron/K7 suited for my AMD Athlon(TM) XP 2200+ @ 1800 Mhz processor.
The test is done on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon tribe4.
First I created a root terminal to prevent having to key in sudo all the time:
Made sure the needed packages were installed:
apt-get install kernel-package libncurses5-dev fakeroot wget bzip2
Then installed the kernel-source:
apt-get install linux-source
Then go to the directoy where the source is located (installed):
Unpack (in my case) linux-source-2.6.22.tar.bz2
tar xjfv linux-source-2.6.22.tar.bz2
Make a symbolic link of the unpacked linux source and giving it the name linux:
ln -s linux-source-2.6.22 linux
Go into the linux folder with the command:
Copy the config-file into linux so it can be used as a template for the compilation of the kernel,
In my case this is config-2.6.22-9-generic:
cp /boot/config-2.6.22-9-generic ./.config
Now I can set up the desired arch for my kernel with starting up the menuconfig:
First thing to is importing the config-file that is copied into linux so it can be used.
When all this is done: select exit and save, the configuration is now finished.
Now its time to make the needed debian packages which can be installed after compilation.
Depending on your processor this can take several hours. The name of the kernel wil be in this case tuxicityk7 : (- -append-to-version=-tuxicityk7)
fakeroot make-kpkg – -initrd – -append-to-version=-tuxicityk7 kernel_image kernel_headers
After having watched ‘The Godfather‘, the compilation and the creation of the packages is done.
The created Debian packages are located in /usr/src:
2 packages are installed with the command:
dpkg -i linux-image-220.127.116.11-tuxicityk7_18.104.22.168-tuxicityk7-10.00.Custom_i386.deb linux-headers-22.214.171.124-tuxicityk7_126.96.36.199-tuxicityk7-10.00.Custom_i386.deb
Wow, long names, but hey what can you do.
Grub will also be updated, and the new kernel will show up in the grub menu when rebooted.
After reboot I keyed in ‘uname -r’ in a terminal and got 188.8.131.52-tuxicityk7 as a result.
Is it worth the effort for the average user? No absolutely not, If I would use Ubuntu tomorrow with the generic kernel I probably would not notice the difference.
If you like tweaking, go for it.
Images are made on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon with the alt-print screen button, theme on the images is Clearlooks, with a Clearlooks2-Squared-Berries Window border, except for 2.png which I downloaded from the link I mentioned earlier.
June 6, 2007
After reading “Netscape releases Netscape Navigator 9 beta 1” I decided to install and try NN 9 for a bit.
Here is how NN 9 can be installed on the the average Linux distro.
- Extract the downloaded package (Right click netscape-navigator-9.0b1.tar.gz and select extract here).
Now open your console and become root (su or sudo -i) and go to ‘not into!’ the folder where the extracted folder resides.
mv navigator/ /usr/local/
ln -s /usr/local/navigator/navigator /usr/local/bin/navigator
The browser is now set up, on to setting up the plugins for NN 9, compatable with Firefox which usually reside in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins :
ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/* /usr/local/navigator/plugins/
- Leave root mode with the exit command, done setting up NN 9
Now there is one more thing to do and that is setting NN 9 up in Gnome with alacarte and/or in KDE with the menu editor (kmenuedit)
Properties are for setting it up :
Description = whatever you want
Icon for NN 9 is located here: /usr/local/navigator/icons/mozicon50.xpm
To remove NN 9, as root:
rm -rf /usr/local/navigator ; rm /usr/local/bin/navigator
As non-root user remove it from alacarte and/or kmenuedit
May 16, 2007
“You do not need a GUI to burn a CD / DVD Problems with burning mostly happen with the frontend (k3b), not so much with the backends (growisofs, wodim or cdrdao).”
Sometimes you stumble into a howto which screams:
- Bookmark Me!
This is one of them; an excellent cut and paste howto for burning and copying data cd’s and data dvd’s without using a GUI.
May 11, 2007
Global warming is hot, and an old post on ZDNet, How Windows XP wasted $25 billion of energy – but will Vista be eco-friendly? reminded me of other power consuming hobbies: Source based Distro’ s.
Setting up and maintaining Gentoo Linux on an average pc takes many hours; on my AMD XP 2200+ with one gig ram it takes about 12 hours to set up Gentoo with a Gnome desktop, for KDE a few hours more.
Maybe something to consider before deciding what Distro to use; besides being a distro, Gentoo is also a penguin living in the South Pole area, an area that might melt down due to global warming.