Configuring Your Laptop for GNOME and Sound
If you followed my tutorial, “Setting Up a Base Linux Install on a Laptop”, you should have a base Linux install up and running Window Maker, Debian's default window manager. Although Window Maker is useful, I find the feature-rich environments of GNOME and KDE to be more useful in a desktop/laptop configuration. In this article I'm going to discuss how to further configure your Debian laptop with GNOME 2.2 and enable sound using the basic modules that come stock with the 2.4 kernel.
Let us start by installing GNOME 2.2. There are multiple ways to install it, but really only one way is viable for a Debian user. All that you have to do is run apt-get install gnome-core. Debian's apt-get system goes out to the Sid repositories listed in /etc/apt/source.list and downloads Debian's latest build of GNOME and all of its many required packages. This automation saves you tons of time. Although I have found a couple of missing packages here and there, the convenience of an apt-get install by far outweighs the downside of compiling it from source. Using apt-get, the entire process takes a matter of minutes; if you were to do a source compile from scratch it could take you hours. For those of you who need to have the absolutely newest build of GNOME, you're stuck with a source install. Fortunately, a utility called Gargnome can assist you with a source compile. Although Gargnome is no apt-get, it is a heck of a lot better then messing with each individual package.
Once apt-get has finished installing GNOME, you need to change the default window manager from Window Maker to Metacity. If Metacity is not made the default default window manager, GNOME does not work correctly; windows and menus pop up in funny spots and its overall appearance is a mess. To change the default window manager run update-alternatives --config x-window-manager. This lists all of the available window managers available on your system and allows you to pick which one should be the default. After you have made the selection, run startx and prepare for the amazement of what is known as GNOME 2.2.
The first time GNOME 2.2 runs, you will receive errors about xscreensaver being missing and /dev/sound/mixer not existing. apt-get install xscreensaver fixes the screensaver error. The mixer popup occurs when you have yet to configure sound support. Due to the wide variety of available embedded chipsets, there is no way I can go through every variation in this article. What I can do is go through configuring one of the more popular sound chipsets, the i810. In my next article I'm going to explain how to set up the Alsa modules, which offer a more standardized configuration. If you don't want to wait, here's some direction to get your sound cranking using the stock kernel modules:
1. Compile the kernel with support for the i810 chipset. Here's the settings to be made for the 2.4 kernel:
Sound card support
Intel ICH (i8xx)
OSS sound modules
Persistent DMA buffers
Crystal CS4232 based (PnP) cards
2. After you recompile the kernel to incorporate the changes made in the previous step, the sound-oriented modules are created. We need to load two of them, i810_audio and ac97_codec. If you want to load the modules by hand you could run insmod $module_name. Or, to have the system load them at boot time, add them both to /etc/modules. In addition, for i810_audio to load properly, ac97_codec must be loaded first.
3. Add the following lines to /etc/modules/aliases. This step is dependent on your sound card; for the i810 you should add these to the bottom of the file:
alias sound-slot-0 i810_audio alias sound-service-0-0 i810_audio alias sound-slot-2 off alias sound-service-0-2 off alias sound-slot-3 i810_audio alias sound-service-0-3 i810_audio alias sound-slot-4 i810_audio alias sound-service-0-4 i810_audio
4. Run update-modules
5. Create a group called audio, and add to it all users that are to implement sound. Make sure that /dev/dsp belongs to the audio group as well.
If all went correctly, after a reboot you should have sound in GNOME. A good way to test this is to try to play a music CD. This will avoid any possible problems you may be having with ESD, GNOME's sound dæmon. Which brings us to one of the problems I found to be an outcome of apt-getting GNOME 2.2, in regards to missing packages. Four multimedia related packages are missing: esound, esound-clients, gnome-audio and gstreamer-plugins. If you want to use your machine for any type of multimedia, you should apt-get these packages yourself. This may not necessarily be a problem with the install itself, because not all GNOME 2.2 users are interested in sound. But, if you don't specifically know to install them, it can be difficult to troubleshoot the cause of the resulting problems.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Google's SwiftShader Released
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- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide