Tag Archives: Testing

me-tv package not working properly in Debian Squeeze.

The me-tv package is not working properly in Debian Squeeze. It loads up but the window will not respond to input, therefore you can not control the application to change channels or the volume. So I am using my digital set-top box connected to the tv card input instead. Below is the command that I use to view television with mplayer. At least this works very well. Me-tv uses the xine backend, so maybe the problem is there, or a Gstreamer update. I hope this is fixed soon though. Compiling the latest version from source will not be easy. I tried the gnome-dvb tools, but they will not detect any channels. I really need to buy a DVB card for Linux that is properly supported by my Linux distribution. My DVB card will not work properly with kaffeine either, so only me-tv will actually tune some channels and allow me to watch any television.

mplayer -tv input=1 tv://

I tried to use the vlc package, but it will not allow me to select the video input to watch the input from my set-top box. That is strange, The Ubuntu and Mint packages allow you to select from the various inputs that your capture card offers, but the Debian Squeeze package does not allow this. That leaves only the mplayer package to watch a video input. There is a bug report about this here: http://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=91410 I am sure this will also be fixed. Here is to hoping. There are some tips here on using vlc for v4l inputs.

Listing hardware on a Linux system. And using the UUID drive identifiers.

Listing hardware on a Linux system. This is easy when using the Linux command-line. In the olden days, you would use the cat /proc/pci command to list hardware installed on the PCI bus, but this /proc file is deprecated and does not exist on modern Linux systems. The lspci command is the modern way to list the hardware on your system and is useful when troubleshooting your Linux system.

lspci -vv

The lspci -vv command shown above is the verbose version of the lspci command and will display a lot of information about your hardware. The /dev directory contains all of the device nodes for all of your devices. The modern Linux distributions mount your drives under the /media directory using the UUID identifiers, but there will always be a /dev file for the drive as well. For example /dev/sdd1. Therefore you could type mount /dev/sdd1 /mnt/drive1 to mount the drive as root, but a UUID identifier for your external hard drive will not change unless you format the partition and therefore if you wish to add the drive to the /etc/fstab then the UUID method is better.

For example, mounting a NTFS external hard disk.

UUID=GTH2-G653    /mnt/media    ntfs-3g    defaults    0 0

Using the UUID identifier is the best way to add your drives to the /etc/fstab file.

And this is how my / filesystem is mounted on my Debian 6.0 installation.

UUID=7999ef9f-793f-46c7-ba27-13f3559d15f9    /    ext4    errors=remount-ro    0 1

The UUID identifier is used for the partition containing the root file-system. if you look under the /dev/disk/by-uuid folder, then you will see the UUID identifiers for each mounted drive on the system. And you can see what /dev/sd* device file they are mapped to. This can be very useful sometimes.

[neo@deusexmachina]:~> ls /dev/disk/by-uuid/
total 0
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 280 May  2  2012 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 120 May  2 13:20 ..
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 0A11-5FA0 -> ../../sdi1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2  2012 1a9b7944-95ed-4b3c-85d3-c1824f2892ab -> ../../sdd6
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 3f5684e0-0d40-4628-9a69-094ca671b291 -> ../../sdb1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 3fabc97d-c76a-4922-8705-5536e89cfd21 -> ../../sdb2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 52d826a6-7de5-45db-b693-dd7c7e82af37 -> ../../sdb5
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 552e6388-4ee8-4d09-a58a-b3472a9ec149 -> ../../sda2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2  2012 7999ef9f-793f-46c7-ba27-13f3559d15f9 -> ../../sdd1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 F824FD9424FD565A -> ../../sdc1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 a6f66737-afea-48c3-9694-f6da22904d37 -> ../../sda3
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2  2012 a87281f5-c64c-40dc-a3c4-5b10f475296e -> ../../sda5
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2 13:20 e01436e0-4aa5-420b-94aa-0b35bd00020e -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  10 May  2  2012 f61a17c6-98c2-4f35-bdbc-90487f3ca430 -> ../../sdd5
[neo@deusexmachina]:~>

Compiling a vanilla kernel tarball from kernel.org on Debian Testing.


Compiling a vanilla kernel tarball from kernel.org on Debian Stable/Testing. Firstly you need to download a vanilla kernel tarball from the kernel.org website. Once you have the tarball downloaded, type tar -jxvf linux-3.3.tar.bz2 and then follow the sequence below. This sequence of commands will build a pair of Debian *.deb packages in your home folder that you may then install onto your system making the compilation and installation of a Linux kernel very easy.

neo@deusexmachina:~$ cd linux-3.3/

neo@deusexmachina:~$ make mrproper

neo@deusexmachina:~$ make menuconfig

neo@deusexmachina:~$ make-kpkg clean

neo@deusexmachina:~$ fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd --append-to-version=-custom kernel_image kernel_headers

neo@deusexmachina:~$ su
Password:
root@deusexmachina:/home/neo# dpkg -i *.deb

Once this is completed, assuming you compiled the kernel in the ~/Downloads/linux-3.3/ folder, you would then type cd .. and then su to switch to the root user and type dpkg -i *.deb to install the Linux kernel and the kernel headers.

The listing below shows the Debian packages that are created in the folder below the kernel source folder. You do not need to build the kernel in the /usr/src folder, the ~/Downloads folder in your home folder is fine.

neo@deusexmachina:~/Documents$ ls -hula *.deb
-rw-r--r-- 1 neo neo 7.5M Mar 25 18:52 linux-headers-3.3.0-custom_3.3.0-custom-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r-- 1 neo neo  29M Mar 25 18:52 linux-image-3.3.0-custom_3.3.0-custom-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
neo@deusexmachina:~/Documents$

E17 desktop available for the Debian Testing repository.


Green piping.

Pic unrelated.

The enlightenment E17 desktop window manager is now available for the Debian testing distribution, now all of those complex steps that were formerly required to install this window manager are a thing of the past. I have installed the enlightened window manager as it is a nice complement to the Debian testing distribution. I used sudo apt-get install e17 after adding the Debian testing repositories and running sudo apt-get update. The Debian testing distribution with the Lxde desktop installed is so much faster than the Ubuntu distribution, every part of the Debian distribution is so polished compared to the two major distributions that dominate the Linux desktop world. I have installed kernel 3.2 and Gnome Shell, but that seems to be having problems at the moment and is not working. I tried reinstalling, the packages, gnome-shell-common and the gnome-shell packages, but the problem persists. I will install some updates and fix this problem soon though. I had Windows 7 installed on the hard drive that I used for Debian 6.0, but deleting the partitions and installing Debian over that was no problem at all. Debian Testing does not blue screen when the login screen appears like Windows 7. Debian is named after the founders Debra and Ian, this is a free and open distribution that is good quality and founded on the desire to use stable and free software.

I was thinking of installing FreeBSD, but I needed hardware support and Debian was the best choice for a perfect and fast Linux distribution that will be a very fast and useful desktop Linux. The Gnome Shell desktop is not such a disaster like the Windows 8 Metro interface, which is hated by the common computer users that are shown the interface on a desktop machine. You can bring back the start menu in Windows 8 with third party add-ons, but this should not be necessary with a modern desktop operating system, they have gone crazy. They are even mandating the Metro interface for Enterprise applications. How is this interface going to be taken seriously, how can you use the Metro interface on multiple monitors, using Exchange software and Outlook with such a stupid interface that looks like a toy. This should have stayed on a mobile telephone instead of moving to the desktop. The Windows 2000 interface was just fine, why did they have to change it? Even with Windows 7 you could revert it to a Windows 2000 look, but with Windows 8 Consumer Preview they have removed the Windows Classic theme and only offered the Windows 7 Basic theme instead, which does make the interface a bit faster. The Debian Squeeze Lxde desktop is many times faster than a Windows desktop and has far more security and reliability than Microsoft software ever had.

When I first used Linux, the Gnome desktop was quite different to the Gnome Shell and Gnome fall-back desktops that we use these days, the Red Hat 9 Linux desktop had a Windows styled desktop with the single panel on the bottom of the screen and a nice theme called Bluecurve. The Fedora desktop these days uses the Gnome Shell desktop by default, but you could use any other desktop window manager you wished, even Larswm or Fluxbox. Running Openbox and Tint2 is a good fast desktop, but I am happy enough with Lxde. When I boot up my Debian installation, it loads to a virtual console instead of LightDM, I am perfectly happy with that, the lovely init scripts Debian uses result in a very fast boot up and a usable system in no time. With PHPMyAdmin I have performed a search and replace on my database, the blog had some references to my old blog in the comments field and I have fixed that. And I have performed some SEO tweaks to the blog settings regarding the indexation by search engines and I hope this will help with performance in the search engine rankings. Do not forget to run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade after installation of a Debian distribution to make sure that the repositories and packages are up to date. Especially after adding the testing or unstable repositories to the /etc/apt/sources.lst file.

I installed Debian 6.0 from the 4.3 GiB DVD I had laying around, when you are installing the Debian distribution this, way the software updates may be installed during the installation process saving some time later, I only had to install a heap of updates due to the fact I added the testing repository to my Debian installation. And my installation was to a 120GiB SATA2 drive connected via eSATA and it worked perfectly, the Windows 8 Customer Preview would not work like this, I do not know why the Windows 8 Preview does not support this, but it shows that Linux does win on the desktop after all. Windows 7 worked over eSATA but Windows 8 does not, what a load of Lovecraftian Eldritch horror. Something from the blackest pit; darkest spawn of Shub Niggurath. I just borrowed a HP Lovecraft book from the library, sadly not the Necronomicon, but a book of horror stories by Lovecraft, I look forward to reading that and having nice dreams afterward  :). I am a big fan of horror and the best horror stories are by HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, everyone should read the Pit and the Pendulum once in their life as well as his other works. Modern horror movies are not scary due to the over the top horror & gore they contain. True psychological horror is hard to create but very effective if done correctly. Books are better than movies at evoking a worthwhile story and characters whose adventures you actually care about.

Gnome 3.2 available in Debian Testing.

Fedora Core 16 Gnome 3 desktop.

Fedora Core 16 Gnome 3 desktop.

http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=75463. The Gnome 3.2 desktop is available in the Debian Testing repository. This means that any Debian user who wishes to install and test out this new desktop may do so by switching to the testing repositories and installing the required packages. This forum post has some information on how to install the Gnome 3 desktop and all related packages. it is a little dated as it is referring to the experimental repos instead of the testing repositories, but it is easy to substitute the experimental repos for testing. I do not like Gnome 3 myself, the KDE desktop is a better smoother desktop environment that will make your day using Linux even more productive and efficient. The Gnome 3.2 desktop on Debian Testing supports the installation of themes from the https://extensions.gnome.org/ website. This is a very simple process, just click the extension you wish to install and slide the off button to the on position and the extension will be installed. I guess that the Gnome 3 desktop appeals to some people, but the amount of effort it takes to get it to a working familiar state is more than is necessary. KDE provides a familiar and fast desktop out of the box and does not require heaps of plugins to be added to make it usable.

Gnome Shell desktop with Gnome Shell Frippery installed.

Gnome Shell desktop with Gnome Shell Frippery installed.

The Gnome Shell Frippery extension pack for Gnome Shell is one that I recommend for users of the Gnome Shell desktop. http://intgat.tigress.co.uk/rmy/extensions/index.html This extension makes the Gnome Shell desktop look and work a little more like the Gnome 2 interface with the two panels and a Gnome 2 styled programs menu. The screenshot to the right shows the Gnome 3 desktop on Fedora 16. And this screenshot to the left shows the Gnome Shell desktop with the Gnome Shell Frippery extensions added. This makes the desktop more familiar to the users of older versions of Debian that may not like the new Gnome 3 interface. When I was running Debian 3.0 I ran the KDE desktop, version 2.0 and that was very usable indeed. There are some differences between the KDE 2.2 and 4.8 releases, but it has stayed true to its roots whilst Gnome has morphed into a desktop environment for the tablet computers that are all the rage right now. But using Linux is all about choice and everyone has their own preference for a usable desktop.

Gnome 3 desktop in Debian Testing/Sid.

Gnome 3 has just made it into Debian experimental with version 3.0 packages available, but once you have installed this you will have great problems getting back to Gnome 2.32, so it is not recommended to install this until the packages are perfected and the panel applets such as the Weather and CPU speed applets are ported to Gnome 3. I have heard that Debian Testing/Sid has the Gnome 3 packages now, this means that version 3.2 of the Gnome Shell could be in Experimental soon, as it is better than version 3.0. The thing I noticed when I tested out the Gnome 3 desktop on Fedora 15 was that you could not customise the desktop as much as you can with Gnome 2.32 or even Gnome 2.30. I am running Debian Stable with Gnome 2.30.2 and this desktop environment is perfectly suitable for day to day usage and it does not need a totally different desktop interface to be usable. So the challenge for the Gnome developers is to make the Gnome 3 desktop environment a very easy to use and customise desktop that is perfectly usable and has all the popular Gnome Panel applets that version 2 of Gnome featured.

We will wait and see what happens with this different new desktop GUI. Ubuntu 11.10 uses this desktop and Debian seems to be following in their stead, so we will have to get used to it when a future Debian installation with Gnome will install version 3 instead of the familiar Gnome 2.32.