Saturday, December 26, 2009

End of this project

Sorry about stopping this project. I have given up this long time ago but haven't posted about it. The video driver always causes problem, therefore I decided to end. If you are interested in Linux topic, be sure you take a look at my Tux Wears Fedora (Computer topics except programming).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Distro#16 Slax 6.1.0

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSlax is a LiveCD system, based on Slackware. When I booted it with default option, there is a driver issue because of wrong driver version. But, the VESA mode is ok to use, just the resolution is too small for these days.

Boot-time for my hardware took about a minute. The desktop environment is KDE 3.5 and Kernel is I checked the website, its build system is very convenient to compose your own of packages, but adding dependencies needs some clicks. I added NVIDIA 96xx driver, Firefox, pppoe-kemo, and removed KOffice. The final is about 198 MB and only took 4 minutes or less to download, the download speed is very fast. I used external USB harddrive this time, because I want it can be able to store data/session.

Image Hosted by
Screenshot of Slax' builder

I unpacked tarball to disk and ran ROOT/boot/ instead of (for FAT-only) because the partition is ext3. It provided a clear message about what would be done:
                        Welcome to Slax boot installer                        

This installer will setup disk /dev/sdb to boot only Slax from /dev/sdb1.
Warning! Master boot record (MBR) of /dev/sdb will be overwritten.
If you use /dev/sdb to boot any existing operating system, it will not work
anymore. Only Slax will boot from this device. Be careful!

Press any key to continue, or Ctrl+C to abort...

Flushing filesystem buffers, this may take a while...
Updating MBR to setup boot record...
Warning: /dev/sdb is not on the first disk
Warning: The initial RAM disk is too big to fit between the kernel and
   the 15M-16M memory hole.  It will be loaded in the highest memory as
   though the configuration file specified "large-memory" and it will
   be assumed that the BIOS supports memory moves above 16M.
Added Slax ? *
Disk /dev/sdb should be bootable now. Installation finished.

Read the information above and then press any key to exit...

This time it's in text-mode. I ran xconf, then startx, the video driver didn't work, kernel module wasn't load, because that package is for kernel So, I set up PPPoE and downloaded the driver from NVIDIA, and deactived the module and removed it from USB hd. After running the installer, startx gave correct result. After rebooting, it also gave the correct one.

I started to explore Slax, the following screenshot is the Module Manager:
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You can use it to add or to remove a module. On the website, you can directly activate a module (not in Firefox).

 Accoding to this feature list, the persistent changes to whole root filesystem is achieved by AUFS filesystem. In this current install, it took about 450 MB disk space, and around 200 MB memory in use. I think speed isn't an advantage of Slax, but portability is. By my estimation, there should be over 1100 modules (including multi-versions of a module) that you can activate on your system. The boot-time is not fast, but it's acceptable becuase it's not just a LiveCD.

Lastly, the screenshot
Image Hosted by

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Distro#15 Kwort Linux

The CD image is less than 500MB. After booting from CD, choosing keyboard layout, and partitioning, then selecting swap and root file system locations. As of formatting, ext2/ext3/ext4 are the options, I chose ext4. After that, I made a sound “ah!!” because the GRUB in Fedora is still not supporting booting disk. In this partition table, I don't have /boot, therefore GRUB stays in root file system. I can only cross my fingers. Now the files is getting installed.

The architecture of Kwort Linux is i486. Kernel is Kwort is Slackware-based and uses Xfce. The version of Kwort is

After 7 minutes, installer asked about boot loader, LILO. I chose simple installation of LILO and use of frame buffer console.

After installation is done, it boots, and there are more settings, such Xorg settings. Here I chose to boot into graphical login. Then I logged in as root and created new user, and reboot.

It booted into SLiM, took less than a minute. After logging in, I launched the Settings from Xfce menu, then the Kwort Network Manager. For eth0, there is a special tab PPPoE, I set my account and chose the connection type ADSL from Basic tab. But it didn't work. So, I went to the and asked. The package for PPPoE, rp-pppoe, was missed in CD image. The people on IRC room are very kind to help me.

As of writing, you need to wait for next release, 2.4.2, if you need PPPoE. They have built the package for me. There is also a bug in Kwort Network Manager's script, it will be fixed in 2.4.2 as well.

While chatting with the developers, they keep simplicity as the philosophy. Kwort is actually 7 years old, the developers were trying to learn from it, then it became a hobby. They want to bring developers and normal users closer. You can easily get in touch with dev-team via Google Group or IRC.

Lastly, the screenshot

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Distro#14 Linux Mint 6 Felicia Fluxbox CE

It has been about three month, I haven't not been trying any distribution. Now, I am back on track. Linux Mint 6 Felicia Fluxbox CE has just been released alongside KDE version, I decided to try Fluxbox because Fluxbox is relatively less seen than KDE. Just a sidenote, I am using Fluxbox on Fedora 10 and I am quite like it.

Linux Mint is Debian-based and compatible with Ubuntu packages. According, it's third popular distribution. This Fluxbox released is based on Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid, Linux 2.6.27, Fluxbox 1.0.0 and Xorg 7.4

When you boot up the CD, the first choice is what type of LiveCD option you want to have:
  • Full desktop: 300MB RAM
  • Light session: 256MB RAM or 128MB & Swap
  • Installer only: 192MB RAM or 128MB & Swap
From the options, we can assume Felicia Fluxbox CE is suitable for old computers. After the desktop showing up, I got the restricted driver notification. It detected nVidia correctly and suggested the right driver version, 96 series driver. It needs to get online in order to download the driver. So I ran sudo /usr/sbin/pppoeconf to set up the PPPoE. However the route table isn't correct (I may miss some settings), so I ran the following commands to set the default via PPPoE:
sudo ip route show
sudo ip route delete default
sudo ip route add default via [correct_gateway_ip]

I activated the driver, but it needs to restart and I don't know if this LiveCD can resume the session. Therefore, I continue to install Mint into harddrive. The installation took less than 10 minutes.

After reboot, it went into problem, can't get X worked. The video driver is nvidia in xorg.conf, I changed it to nv. Using mintUpdate to do first system update. I then re-installed the driver and activated it. After rebooting (30 seconds boot time), I got the login screen and correct resolution and xcompmgr is loaded and working.

This Fluxbox version is pretty lightweight. So far, except the PPPoE and video driver, everything is work-out-of-box and neat. Color scheme and style are consistent.

Lastly the screenshot:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Distro#13 Topologilinux 7.0.1

Topologilinux lets you install alone with existing Windows, but you can also install as normal Linux installation. It's Slackware-based and for i486 only. I downloaded 7.0.1 DVD, which is released on 2009-01-10.

I booted it with install-real option. The instructions say that I need to do disk partitioning and the installation setup was mostly copied from Slackware 12.1. I fdisk /dev/hda, and create two partitions, root and swap, then run setup. The boot loader is LILO. The installation process is just like Distro#8 Slackware Linux 12.2, but I chose GNOME as default window manager this time.

After rebooted and logged in as root, I typed setup to configure, which leads to add new user and setup X, sound system.

After rebooted and logged in as normal user, I tried to set up PPPoE via Network, but I couldn't my setting didn't get saved. So, I used pppoe-setup. Now, I need to install official nVidia driver. I rebooted with runlevel 3 for installing the driver by typing Linux 3 in lilo. Since the kernel is not 2.6.27, which needs a patch, therefore it went smoothly.

The Mixer applet complains that it couldn't find the sound device, it's resolved by adding normal user to gropup audio. Adobe Flash wasn't installed by default, I downloaded and installed, then watched No Pants Subway Ride 2009.

I think this is it for all. It actually runs like Slackware, it is. As tradition, a screenshot:

You can be this is written and published on Topologilinux.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Distro#12 gOS 3.1 Gadgets (SP1)

I downloaded the gOS, it's an i686 architecture distribution based on Ubuntu. The “g” in gOS seems to stand for Good rather than Google, even though supporting Google Gadgets is the major feature of it.

The CD is a Live CD, and includes WINE 1.0. The application dock is wbar. Using Live environment is not the purpose of this project, so I clicked the Install icon on desktop. It took about 15 minutes to finish at this phase. Here is a unusual action after the installer finished its job. It logged out X, ejected the disc tray, and rebooted! Directly, automatically did. Usually, the instally would tell you the installation process is done, take the CD, and click on Reboot button. Well, this is not how gOS does.

Anyway, after the first-time reboot, the resolution is wrong as usual. Once again, I need to pkill NetworkManager in order to get connected via PPPoE. Somehow this NetworkManager has no PPPoE to set up, I can only rely on Network.

Now, the first system update needed to download 280 MB for 218 updates. They are too many to read them all, so I just clicked to install. While updating, I tried the Gmail, it uses Mozilla Prism. So do Google Calendar/Documents and YouTube.The rest of Google services use Firefox.

The boot time is around 42 seconds at the moment. After rebooted, NetworkManager didn't stop my way to the Internet and PPPoE has been connected in the boot-time, I suppose and it should. I installed nvidia-glx 96 series package, enabled the driver, and rebooted. Now I have correct screen resolution. It's time to explore this distribution.

Desktop Effects can't be enabled due to compliz isn't installed by default. After installed, I still can't get it enabled. Flash works out-of-the-box and this I just watched.

This distribution does work like a charm for me, though there are few problems need to get resolved. But it is good indeed. I don't know if that is Ubuntu does good or gOS does good. No matter which does, I recommended this distribution, especially to the Google addicted users.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Distro#11 ZevenOS 1.0

ZevenOS is a distribution from Germany. It gives you a BeOS interface and it's based on Ubuntu. I booted up the CD and installed it. The installation took about 10~15 minutes. It boots up in about 35 seconds.

So far, a small problem is I need to re-plug my USB after booting and another bigger problem  is that you can't unlock Network and the solution to change the settings. You must do manually in order to get updates and solve this issue.

So I set my laptop as gateway and upgraded these two policy packages (didn't help), then I did system update and installed nVidia driver. Enabled the driver and rebooted. I have correct screen resolution.

I think this is it, it's not worth continuing trying this distribution. The traditional ending,

Even though this is a little bit disappointing, I still wrote this and post this on ZevenOS.

  • 2009-01-03 Added the solution of unlocking problem. (Thanks, Leszek!)