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Posts about linux (old posts, page 10)

The bad side of Arch Linux

I post­ed yes­ter­day that I liked Arch but I called it "not too good". So, Mark Kretschmann post­ed a com­ment ask­ing what I did­n't like.

It's not too much, but here it goes:

  1. The up­­­grades some­­times are a bit painful (switch­ing to udev was a bit hard).

  2. The pol­i­­cy of delet­ing the pack­­age doc­u­­men­­ta­­tion is evil. Re­al­­ly.

  3. The start­up sys­tem is too sim­­plis­tic. No de­­fault or­der of start­up scripts means some­­times it takes tri­al and er­ror to fig­ure out what goes first. Hal or dbus? hwd?

  4. The pack­­age se­lec­­tion (with­­out un­­sup­­port­ed) is some­what skimpy (no per­l-net-server? no per­l-ht­m­l-tem­­plate?) but that's prob­a­bly my POV be­­cause I am a bit server-ori­en­t­ed.

  5. Some ba­sic pack­­ages make scary as­­sump­­tion­s. For ex­am­­ple, if you have a us­er with UID 89 when you in­­stall mysql server, weird things may hap­pen. Same for UID 40 and named.

On the oth­er hand, the good side (at least for an am­a­teur like me) is a bazil­lion times big­ger.

Linux Installation Kung Fu

I de­cid­ed to try Arch Lin­ux on my note­book. The rea­sons don't mat­ter.

How­ev­er, there was this prob­lem about the CD drive be­ing bro­ken, and the lack of a flop­py drive.

So, how did I do it?

I had a par­ti­tion I could de­stroy (/de­v/h­da3)

I in­stalled qe­mu.

Then, I start­ed qe­mu us­ing the whole HD and a CD ISO im­age (boot­ing from the CD!):

qemu -hda /dev/hda -cdrom arch-0.7.1.iso -boot d

Then, very care­ful­ly I in­stalled it on hda3 and did not in­stall GRUB.

Copied the ker­nel and ini­trd im­ages to /boot on the oth­er lin­ux in­stal­la­tion.

Edit­ed grub.­con­f, adding the Arch en­try...

And it worked.

Keep in mind that if you make a mis­take, this will com­plete­ly de­stroy all your da­ta. But if you are care­ful, and have enough space, you can in­stall your next Lin­ux while you use your cur­rent one.

Now, is that cool or what? :-)

Linux and a TrendNet TEW-PC16

So, I am try­ing to use this an­cient card with Lin­ux and all I get when I plug it is a mes­sage in the logs:

Aug  3 13:11:28 monty cardmgr[12752]: unsupported card in socket 0
Aug  3 13:11:28 monty cardmgr[12752]:   product info: "PCMCIA", "11M WLAN Card", "", ""
Aug  3 13:11:28 monty cardmgr[12752]:   manfid: 0x0274, 0x1601  function: 6 (network)
Aug  3 13:11:44 monty cardmgr[12752]: exiting

A lit­tle dig­ging showed me the fol­low­ing:

  1. This card is sup­­posed to work with the hostap driv­er

  2. It has nev­er been a pop­u­lar card.

  3. Noone seems to have used the thing on Lin­ux. Or if they did, they nev­er doc­u­­men­t­ed it.

So... all you have to do is in­form the PCM­CIA thing in Lin­ux that this card works with hostap.

After you installed hostap correctly for your kernel, edit /etc/pcmcia/hostap_cs.conf and add this:

card "TrendNet TEW PC16"
   manfid 0x0274, 0x1601
   bind "hostap_cs"

Re­boot (or restart the pcm­cia ser­vice, un­plug, plug, etc), and that's it.

Fixing windows the unixy way

A while ago, I wrote about my mis­ery try­ing to use a HP PSC 1410 print­er at­tached to a XP box as a net­work print­er.

Ba­si­cal­ly:

  • The Lin­ux driv­er freezes the print­­er if you print re­­mote­­ly (but works lo­­cal­­ly)

  • The ba­sic win­­dows driv­er will not even in­­stall on a Win­­dowsMe note­­book with 32MB of RAM (says it re­quires 128MB and clos­es)

  • The full fea­­tured driv­er re­quires the print­­er to be lo­­cal­­ly con­nec­t­ed to in­­stall suc­ces­­ful­­ly. And if you do that, you can't lat­er tell it that the print­­er is re­­mote (plus it in­­stalls about 600MB of garbage)

Since at­tach­ing the print­er to the lin­ux box and us­ing PS driv­ers was not prac­ti­cal (be­cause it has to be used as a scan­ner too...what­ev­er), I thought... wait a sec­ond. Why not do that on win­dows?

And what the hel­l, it worked.

If you have a rebel can't be net­worked print­er, do this and be sor­ta hap­py. It ex­plains how to cre­ate a Ghostscrip­t-based vir­tu­al print­er that you can share.

And of course, the client PS driv­ers works just fine on any OS. Which means you can use print­ers that, for ex­am­ple, have no Lin­ux driv­ers. Or no Win­dows9x/Me/NT driv­ers.

On­ly prob­lem re­al­ly is that it's a bit slug­gish (it may wait a minute or two be­fore it prints) be­cause the XP box is slow... but it beats copy­ing files.

Booting with runit / runit RPM - updated

I have up­dat­ed my Boot­ing with runit sto­ry for the com­mands in runit 1.5.1 and in­clud­ed a men­tion for my easy runit RPM (which is now al­so up to 1.5.1).

If you are look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive way to boot your lin­ux ma­chi­nes, or for a re­li­able way to run and con­trol your ser­vices, please take a look. Runit is cool.


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