I managed to get sound working using Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy beta) on my Dell Latitude D830 a few weeks ago but hadn’t documented it. I didn’t document it because I basically hacked out a solution that involved compiling a kernel of my own and including the Intel HDA driver in the kernel (rather than as a module like it is by default). This also meant that wireless and such didn’t work which was actually okay because during the day I wanted sound to listen to music but at night at home, I didn’t need sound but required wireless. So essentially i had a big hack that involved me choosing the right kernel to boot from at startup. Not an ideal solution.
But I see now from this bug report that the problem was indeed with the ALSA driver and it’s now been fixed upstream. Unfortunately there’s no update to the Ubuntu packages as of yet but at least now there is a fix that is much less of a hack.
First, grab the latest snapshot source from the ALSA site and extract the file. I grabbed the August 21, 2007 snapshot.
% wget ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/projects/alsa/snapshot/driver/alsa-driver-hg20070821.tar.bz2 % tar xvpjf alsa-driver-hg20070821.tar.bz2
Then change into the new directory, configure the build and install the driver files. It is important to note that until this is fixed, you will likely have to do this everytime the Ubuntu kernel is updated.
./configure --with-cards=hda-intel make sudo make install
After the drivers are installed, reboot and sound will now magically work.
I got a new Dell Latitude D830 laptop for work last week and decided that Kubuntu was what I would run on it. However, to date there seems to be little in the way of documenting their install of Linux on the D830, so here’s a start. And I’ll try to update the entry as problems are solved. And I’ll assume that you are familiar with apt-get or the Adept Manager programs and other aspects of managing a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution.
First, the executive summary: I successfully installed Kubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) Tribe 2 on my Dell Latitude D830, with a few problems. I tried Kubuntu Feisty Fawn (both desktop and alternate) and had little success. And in doing some research it seemed that I would likely run into more problems than it was worth with Feisty given the new leading edge hardware within the D830.
Second, what’s not working? At this point, sound is not functioning whatsoever for me. And I’ve run into problems with some software packages, such as VMware Workstation 5.5 and OpenOffice. But at this point, the software issues seem more to do with the unstability of Gutsy than to do with the D830.
Here’s a look at my Dell D830. It’s a stock Latitude D830 with WUXGA (1920x1200), an Intel wireless network card (rather than the Dell wireless options) and built-in Bluetooth support.
% lspci 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile Memory Controller Hub (rev 0c) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c) 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c) 00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 02) 00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #5 (rev 02) 00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI #2 (rev 02) 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02) 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02) 00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02) 00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 02) 00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 02) 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 02) 00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 02) 00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 02) 00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI #1 (rev 02) 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev f2) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile LPC Interface Controller (rev 02) 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation Mobile IDE Controller (rev 02) 00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation Mobile SATA IDE Controller (rev 02) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 02) 03:01.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. Cardbus bridge (rev 21) 03:01.4 FireWire (IEEE 1394): O2 Micro, Inc. Firewire (IEEE 1394) (rev 02) 09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5755M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02) 0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)
The desktop CD of Gutsy Gibbon didn’t work properly, due to the Intel video card from what I understand, but the alternate install CD worked like a charm. After the install is complete and you’ve booted off your new Kubuntu-based laptop, you should find that X starts up just fine though at this point it will be using the vesa driver rather than the Intel one. To install the Intel driver, which should bring improved graphics as ability to run OpenGL based stuff better, you need to install the ‘xserver-xorg-video-intel’ package. Then you need to edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and change your ‘Device’ section to use the Intel driver and then restart your X Server.
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Video Card" Driver "intel" BusID "PCI:0:2:0" EndSection
If you want to control your touchpad, which works out of the box, from within KDE you need to install the ‘ksynaptics’ package and then change your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, adding a ‘SHMConfig’ option.
Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad" Driver "synaptics" Option "SendCoreEvents" "true" Option "Device" "/dev/psaux" Option "Protocol" "auto-dev" Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0" Option "SHMConfig" "on" EndSection
Suspend and hibernate also worked out of the box, once I changed the ‘When Laptop Lid Closed’ option to ‘Suspend’. To change that, click on the battery icon in the system tray which will bring up the Power Manager options. Frequency scaling also works perfectly out of the box.
Unfortunately, the sound does not currently work which, according to this bug, appears to be related to the current version of the ALSA driver (version 1.0.14). The error I see in the logs is as follows:
[ 21.400000] hda_intel: azx_get_response timeout, switching to polling mode... [ 22.404000] hda_intel: azx_get_response timeout, switching to single_cmd mode... [ 26.100000] hda_codec: No auto-config is available, default to model=ref [ 33.508000] hda-intel: no codecs initialized
I’ll update this page as I encounter more details on the sound problem. Also, at this point I have not tested the Firewire or Bluetooth functionality as I do not have any devices to try out. Bluetooth, however, does appear to be working from a KDE perspective so if I can find someone at work with a Bluetooth device, I’ll see if I can make it do something.
As I mentioned, I ran into some issues with some software packages but I will document those issues in separate entries.
For the past four year I have been a huge proponent of all things Gentoo and I still am. But I’ve decided that Gentoo on the desktop (or in my case, laptop) is no longer for me. That’s not to say that it’s because Gentoo doesn’t belong on the desktop because that certainly isn’t the case. As far as I’m concerned, if you want a source-based distribution on your desktop, Gentoo is the way to go – hands down. And I still believe that Gentoo is a solid platform to run on enterprise servers; I have three servers all running Gentoo.
As my life gets busier and my priorities change, I find that I no longer wish to spend any time mucking around with the configuration of various functionality, libraries and applications on my laptop. Instead, I want everything to just work so I can concentrate on using my laptop to accomplish stuff, and I mean stuff other than making my laptop work properly. So, with that in mind, I switched to Kubuntu. It’s not fair to compare the two distributions as they have different goals and different target audiences. But I will say that when I installed Kubuntu 7.04 that everything pretty much worked out of the box, including the scroll wheel emulation on the touch pad and wireless network support. I haven’t tried suspend/resume yet but I suspect that it will work equally well. So I must say that overall I’m very pleased.
It’s been a long time since my last entry; while I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been too busy, it’s mostly because I just haven’t been motivated enough. And that means that a new version of KDE was released without my usual report on how it works with Gentoo.
KDE 3.5.6 was released back in late January and I built it shortly thereafter. And I’ve been running it ever since, again with no noticeable issues. As of this entry 3.5.6 is still marked as unstable in the Gentoo Portage tree but I say go ahead and build it. Though, if you haven’t already built it, then you may want to just wait as KDE 3.5.7 is expected at the start of May.
KDE 3.5.5 was released this morning. I had been eagerly anticipating it’s release for a week now as there are some good fixes and updates in this release. I am writing this using KDE 3.5.5 as I built the latest KDE triumph last night while the source files were still being pushed out to the mirrors.
I don’t normally build KDE until a few days after release as I’m usually too busy to grab the 150MB+ of source files and then wait 12 hours while my machine builds it. But last night I couldn’t sleep so I figured I’d surf over to KDE’s main FTP site to see if the files were available yet. But the site was non-responsive which I found strange, so I checked out another mirror and was delighted to see the 3.5.5 source code tar files available. So I grabbed the files and started the build. And knowing that I would wake up to a new version of KDE, I was able to fall back asleep.
A quick check of Gentoo’s stable Portage tree shows that the latest version of KDE available to those who don’t want to live ‘close to the edge’ is still KDE 3.5.2. As I said before, I’ve always found KDE to be very stable on Gentoo and I had zero issues with KDE 3.5.4 over the past two months so I’m not anticipating any issues with KDE 3.5.5. So, that said, once again my suggestion is to update your
/etc/portage/package.keywords file and use the latest KDE; I doubt you’ll regret it.
My new job requires that I use Windows. Sorta. Realistically, there isn’t all that much in terms of software that is forcing me to use Windows per se as for the most part everything I need to use is also available on Linux. The exception to this is Microsoft Outlook. And although I could use Thunderbird, and I haven’t ruled that out, I decided to explore the use of VMware.
I’d used VMware Workstation 3.2 way back when but hadn’t used it since. And since that time, I’ve switched from a supported Linux distro (Red Hat) to an unsupported distro (Gentoo); you can view the list of supported distros in the system requirements page linked off the Workstation 5.x release notes. Luckily, like most software vendors these days, VMware has a ‘try before you buy’ evaluation licence which is good for 30 days.
Thus far, Gentoo and VMware Workstation have worked perfectly together. I was able to install Windows XP using Workstation 5.5 running on my Gentoo laptop and encountered no issues with respect to Gentoo. The only issue I did encounter was with the Windows XP install; I had to call in my registration as I used my Dell Windows XP CD and Windows XP was smart enough to realize that my product key was for a Dell machine not the “VMware machine” I installed it on. In any case, my guest operating system is running perfectly and I can now test my web apps and such using IE without the need to use a separate machine altogether. If you haven’t yet checked out VMware, I highly recommend it.
I spent the long weekend in Fairmont Hot Springs. Unfortunately we drove but it was a great weekend nonetheless. And although I didn’t do anything on my laptop per se, I did have the laptop turned on for most of the weekend, recompiling everything with the new release of GCC, version 4.1.1. As with most things Gentoo, the upgrade was seamless, though due to the age of my laptop, the upgrade was a two day affair. But all is good, with the exception of three packages, which seem to still work as is so I’ve ignored the fact that the recompiled failed for them.
I’ve since started the GCC 4.1.1 upgrade on my two servers, though I’m doing them one at a time. I’m sure all will be well there also. So if you’ve been hesitating on doing the GCC 4.1.1 upgrade under Gentoo, I don’t see why you’d wait anymore.
KDE 3.5.4 was released a couple weeks ago. As per my normal routine, I had my machine compiling it the night of it’s release and had the latest version KDE running by morning. But then I flew out to Prince George for my brother’s wedding the next day and forgot to blog about my success with KDE 3.5.4 like I normally do.
Gentoo’s stable Portage tree is still stuck back at KDE 3.5.2 but in the past two weeks since building KDE 3.5.4 I’ve experienced no problems whatsoever. So, if you’re impatient like me when it comes to your X Windows environment, my suggestion is to update your
/etc/portage/package.keywords file and use the latest KDE because I suspect it will work just fine for you also.
I don’t know why it took me so long but I finally got around to properly installing junk (SpamAssassin) and virus (ClamAV) filters on my mail server. Although most of the junk was getting caught by Thunderbird, I was getting far too much junk mail and when I was accessing mail through the SquirrelMail web interface, which isn’t set up to filter junk, it was practically impossible to read mail.
I’d actually tried to set things up about a year ago, but at the time I was too busy to give it a proper try. But this time, I managed to find a wiki page with some instructions on setting SpamAssassin and ClamAV up using AMaVIS under a similar server setup (Gentoo, postfix, etc) and had things functioning within an hour or so. And most importantly, the setup is a huge success.
In the past two weeks, my server has quarantined roughly 4900 emails and 100 viruses. And instead of Thunderbird catching 80+ junk emails per day, it’s now only required to catch the six or seven that make it through. And that makes it easy for me to look for any false positives.
SpamAssassin assigns a score to every incoming email, and by default (at least under Gentoo) it quarantines anything with a score of 6.32 or greater. I found that this was a little loose and was still getting more junk emails than I should so I lowered the score to 5.26 which has given me my current results of an average of 6 junk emails per day. I been watching the incoming junk mails that get through and most of them have a score of 3.5 or less which I think is too low to change to and may end up classifying actual emails as junk. But I’ll likely play with the number slightly over time. In the meantime, I’m extremely pleased with the results. Cutting the junk down 90% is success in my mind.
KDE 3.5.3 was released on Wednesday, though the monolithic ebuilds for Gentoo weren’t available until yesterday afternoon. I prefetched all the packages earlier this week and yeserday evening set up my Dell Latitude C840 to crunch all night long, compiling KDE 3.5.3. Once again, the KDE gang has produced a solid release, and thus far KDE 3.5.3 (built from source under Gentoo) appears to run just fine. It also seems to start up slightly faster, though the improvement for me is not as much as some people have been reporting.