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Pic0o

Nix Distro Tinkering

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Hola from the land away from home. Since it's hard to play games in the office all day, I opted to spend some time enriching my minimal skills with nix distros. In my recent testing over the last week, I've been tinkering with:

  • Ubuntu 7.10 = Winner for ease of use and install.
  • Gentoo 2007.0
  • Ulteo Linux

As for my rig, I'm on my Old AMD Duron 800MHz, 512MB of Ram, with a trusty GeForce 2 MX installed. I have since Moved on to run Ubuntu on my AMD 2600+ Gameb0x.

 

When playing on a Live Disc, my first necessity was to define a root password for the session, so I could actually do stuff and change the configuration. The following command saved me much heartache, and taught me the ease of control even on a Nix rig, if you have local console.

 

sudo passwd root

 

Once done, enter the new root password, old one not needed. Once I installed Ubuntu to a distro, it did ask for my current user password, before resetting root. I cannot verify other distros at the time.

 

Since I am a nub, I did desire to have a working X setup, and I am currently running Gnome on the Ubuntu install. My efforts to get X installed on Gentoo were quite the hassle, that ended with fail, despite my primary objective being to run Ubuntu from my HD.

 

Here I'll list some notes of install processes, and where I ended up.

 

Ulteo: Homepage

Short and sweet, this did install fine, but once I got poking around, I realized I was on a black sheep distro, made from a dood who got the boot from the Mandrake team. Once I went to config my Network card, and saw that my Distro was not recognized, I flagged this once as a no go and opted to go with something that didn't come from a low-key source.

 

Gentoo: Homepage

Installing from the Disc was an epic fail every time. After the 4th or so DL, I had the full Live DVD and figured I'd be able to install from there... FAIL. After banging around the fruitless install more times then I can count, I moved on. Installing a straight up unix command line OS was no problem.

 

Ubuntu: Homepage

I saved this one for last, as I wanted to avoid the more popular one, from a straight up Vuln perspective, as the more users a platform has, the more holes it has. Once I pushed the obscurity desires aside, I installed from my Live DVD, and didn't have a lick of issues. Enter now, as I grab updates to this distro.

 

While poking about, I did notice a few distros had no Icon for network device configuration, so I was off to the Terminal. Here are a few more commands I found essential on my investigations.

  • 'ifconfig' - Get info on your Network Devices
  • 'cd ..' - Drop back a folder
  • 'network-admin' - Pretty sure this was my call in Gentoo to invoke the Network Config.
  • 'su root' - Switch Console User to root. Handy when you need to escalate your privs or install and app that requires root privs.
  • '/etc/init.d/gdm stop' - Stop Gnome & X Server
  • '/etc/init.d/kdm stop' - Stop KDE & X Server
  • Ctrl+C Keyboard shortcut will close any Sub-line you open, handy if an install locks or you login to a sub-shell for an App.
  • 'ifconfig' get current network info.
  • 'ifconfig eth0 down' - Disable Network Card (mine is Wired and labeled as eth0, stand-alone config will give you a list of your devices.
  • 'ifconfig eth0 up' - Turn NIC back on, especially useful when changing MAC, etc.
  • 'sudo apt-get install ~appname~' - Call to download said package name. Handy for the more common apps.
  • 'sh filenamepkg1.run' - Install App, IE Nvidia Drivers
  • 'uname -r' - Get Kernel Version
  • 'init 3' - Kill XServer
  • 'init 5' - Start XServer
  • 'ps aux | grep programname' - Get service info, so you can use the ID in a 'kill' command.
  • 'tar -xvnf filename' - Extract archive to Folder.
  • 'mount -o loop -t iso9660 file.iso /mnt/test' - Mount an ISO to a Drive. Why burn, just mount.
  • 'apt-get update' - To get list of updates from Server
  • 'apt-get -u dist-upgrade' - Install Distro Updates.
  • 'apt-get -u upgrade' - Install updates to Packages
  • 'java -jar 'name-of-file.jar' - Run Java App.
  • 'history -c' - Clear Command History on current user account
  • 'lsb_release -a' - Display OS and release info.
  • 'dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb' - Sample command to copy a Hard Drive. I may move my Nix Partitions over the XP one on my SATA drive, since I don't use XP @ home anymore, unless I'm tied into another PC.
  • 'mount -t smbfs -o username=LoginName //Cilent-IP/folder /mnt/path' - Mount a Samba or Windows share to a folder. Suffix path must exist.
  • 'sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst' - Edit Grub Boot config
  • 'sudo nano /etc/fstab' - Add partitions to be mounted @ boot. Very handy for persistent path directing. Be sure to make a folder and give it proper privs for any user to access said drive.

Core DOS-esc commands are handy, and quite a few are differently named but with similar functions. Peep some scrub Nix intro sites, and RTFM for your Distro. There is a good reason the manuals are so massive!

 

Here is a sample line to do Vidrips from your capture card, as MythTv does not have direct record if the source is not part of a program roster. (S-Video). I need to find a lighter app for that purpose.

 

In Unbuntu, do yourself a favor and avoid be sure to install packages via the Snaptic Package Manager, especially Apache, PHP and the like. They tend to go in derelict locations, that will cause you config isssues shortly down your install processes. This assessment changed when I installed on a 2nd machine, that is much faster then this Duron. I found no out of date updates on the other PC. Updating, as I have had a bit better luck with managed package installs, apache came up fine when MythTv placed the bundle of software. Edit - After more use over time, I decided that overall, the Package manger does more Good than Harm. There are some exceptions, but typically with the dependency checking and such, Snaptic Package Manager will be your friend.

 

I am icing the Cake, as I want to be able to print to my Printer shared off a Windows machine, so the impact of other machines printing is not an issue. I am reading this guide on setting up the method to print from my Nix Pc, to the Shared Windows Printer. Yay, I just got this PDF conversion working via the Adobe method. :ninjawub: Be sure to chmod 755 the winp-pdf file once you place it in the backend folder of CUPS.

 

For your apt-get use, check the Debian docs, since you are on a Debian build. :P

Edited by Pic0o
Grub edit command added to post

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i gots me a live cd of ubuntu 710. but i's a nub.

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Ctrl+Alt+Backspace for killing X Server was handy, but crippled my Tv-Out when I changed Drivers from Packaged. Got 1024x768 Dual Display w/ reinstall Drivers. :yar:

 

Time for Culdcept Saga. :musictang:

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I was able to get MythTV working, and my last hurdle is to rock the Nvidia Drivers running @ full steam, as I originally only had a generic Vesa driver running, and TV was choppy as shit.

 

I fixed the chops with the nvidia driver, but my GLX / OpenGL side was not enabled, so I was hosed by not getting the Text Overlays on the MythTv menus.

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I fixed my Video Driver today finally. My problem was that I extracted the installer from the .run I downloaded from Nvidia and was running the contents, not the pkg1.run.

 

Using sh 'filename.pkg1.run as root fixed my driver for me, finally. :lol:

 

Yay, MythTv is all Set.

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So the latest version of Wine is certainly worth installing, as I was just running Photoshop 7 in it.

 

Once you install and patch to latest, be sure to add some Fonts to the Windows Folder, as you will not get far with the Txt tool in PS, if you don't have fonts. :P

 

I was running some FFxI Benchmarks on my Home Rig and they looked good. I'll try some PC games sometime, and possibly Mount WoW to my Nix boot for Guest to play on when they swing by.

 

I'm running Wine 0.9.54, that is apparently being sponsored by Google this year, helping them make some bigger strides in running Win only Apps on your Nix Distro.

 

I'm updating to 0.9.55 Now, the update is smooth and live on my Duron.

Ps7_on_Wine_w_Fonts.jpg

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Nice, yo. My friend and I were trying to install linux on his PS3 last weekend, but we couldnt get the PS3 to recognize one of the installers we needed on there... lame. But we had planned on putting Wine on there so he could play WoW from his PS3 :P

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I would not give up yet. I'm pretty much installing anything I found useful in Windows that was lacking in a Nix counterpart, thanks to Wine.

 

I'm prepping an Install of GTA: SA to see how well performance fares, while also giving MTA DM it's fair chance. ;)

 

FYI, I'm spoiled from a Windows Share environment and I tired to install shit by Samba share, by running it in Wine. Don't even bother, just copy it to a Local Partition, as any execute from a smb:// share, tends to not load at all.

 

I'm installing GTA SA now. So far, so good.

 

Mounting ISO's works well, but for Bin / Cue, you'll need to convert the file to .Iso, or use CDEmu. I'll give it a run when I need to mount a Bin / Cue.

 

Also of note, it seems you can get the Xbox Live Camera running in Ubuntu. I'll try these @ home, since my Duron with it's USB 1.1 is not gonna make the cut.

 

Xbox Live Camera on Ubuntu Guide 1

Xbox Live Camera on Ubuntu Guide 2

Edited by Pic0o

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Just as a heads up, I was tinkering in GTA: San Andreas this morning in Wine, and it ran like shit. I was fine until cars and shit entered the scene, via exiting a save house. I was trying 800x600 and 1024x768

 

If I find some Wine Tweaks, I'll give them a go, but I certainly feel GTA: SA is not playable in Wine, via my Ghetto Rig. Then again, 1024x768 was my Cap for decent performance in XP, but even that was far more playable then in Wine.

 

I think the major tweak I can do is try to run the game in OpenGL, but I don't think as many games support that these days. crdy.gif

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I find aptitude a bit better than apt-get. I also find it easier to remember the commands.

 

aptitude

aptitude search $word

aptitude install $program

aptitude killyourparents

 

etc.

 

While poking about, I did notice a few distros had no Icon for network device configuration, so I was off to the Terminal. Here are a few more commands I found essential on my investigations.

 

man is the best command for nix. :)

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Good to know. ;)

 

I almost had a dedicated Nix rig in the office, but my Boss' rig took a shit and needed some parts. :frl:

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Most of our workstations run Ubuntu by default, unless you install your own. I'm not a fan of the flashy stuff, but's it's built ontop of a good solid OS, so theres nothing much to complain about.

 

That aside, if you are using a redhat type OS (centos / fedora included) you will find yum replaces apt.

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Coo Coo, I'm going flashy as well here, as the boot disk was polite to me. Not to Kat though, as I think some USB device is why the Video Boot just fails all dirty NES Cartridge style on X Load. :bunny:

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I got Kat's PC to boot Ubuntu. Oddly enough, I just unhooked her 17" LCD to have her run single display with the Hyundai, and she was good to go. We only ran the Live CD, as I figure she'd want to be somewhat familiar with how to do things in Gnome, before we install Ubuntu on her rig.

 

Her 17" is a Samsung that I forget the Model # of. I was kinda shocked that having dual-displays hooked up would cause X to take a shit on load though. I figure Dual Displays will be fine once the OS is installed with Nvidia Drivers, as I can run my LCD and Tv-Out at the same time with no problem on my install. It's just a bitch that the Live Disc takes a shit with 2x screens hooked up.

 

Speaking of such, I got my Office Fileserver running Ubuntu. I mapped some Samba shares for us to use and all is peaceful. While doing so, I also insured the machine stay safe in our Dept, as no one will want to mess with 'evil' Linux. :bunny:

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I have embraced the realm of Command Line encoding, and thanks to some unearthing, I got the older versions of Mplayer via DeVeDe. It's about 6 MB in size, and is at the bottom of the linked page.

 

The pack downgrades the Mplayer & Mencoder packages to fix the Distorted Audio you get from the default Ubuntu 7.10 install of Mplayer.

 

Oh nice, I can record Vids from consoles and other Input sources via MythTv. Rad, my last reason to boot XP is gone. I am going to try Kino for my MPEG editing needs, since I can capture them now.

 

A new Avatar is Born. :P

Edited by Pic0o
Found an Editor

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