The Birth of a New System

Going going gone. I did it. I killed my primary windows system. On purpose.

It’s officially dead! because for something new to be born, something old has to die!

[Now I am writing on my laptop]

I just hope this is going to work. I will need to configure all those stupid things that cost me so much time at work already. All over. I tried to document most of it on this blog (usb mouse on debian, alsa sound on debian, cups printing on debian, …) but I am pretty sure some of the stuff will still take a while to get right.

Partitions:
/dev/hda1 -> / (1.5 GB)
/dev/hda2 -> /swap (1.5GB)
/dev/hda3 -> /usr (12GB)
/dev/hdd1 -> /home (22GB)
/dev/hdd2 -> /mp3 (30GB)
/dev/hdd3 -> /opt (30GB)

I was just a bit shocked to find that fdisk didn’t recognize my 80GB harddrive, until I remembered that there was also an older 14GB disk in that computer and that /dev/hdd was indeed a second hard disk and not some cdrom.

Installing base packages, I am hoping that whatever network card is in there is simply supported right now, because I have no idea which one it is. Choosing a new name statosphere, ip – too bad I cannot have 333 and entering the dns servers for the resolv.conf and rebooting 🙂

Congratulations you have just installed debian – but still it’s nice to have a running debian system sitting there to look up some of the configurations. Tasksel reminds me of DSA and I never liked dselect. So I guess I’ll apt-get most of the things I need.

After unpacking 502MB will be used, and that includes X and a window manager. I thought it was rather cute when MourningDragon’s brother asked me wether at work I was using a graphical user interface with linux or wether I was working with text based terminals? Oh no I forgot the default is to install KDE, but I want gnome. I will have to purge all those nasty KDE packages. Gnome is just so much more fitting for the season!

Downloading is taking forever … Wait! Downloading? Does that mean everything worked? I am all done? First time ever: network installation went smooth as possible. It feels strange. I am not used to any OS installing without trouble. I wonder when the real trouble will hit me.

Have fun! You can now login at the prompt … I am done, whow.

Of course this time I’ll want to get the nvidia drivers to run, because the first thing I’ll try is to test out wether Neverwinter Nights looks just as good as on Windows. Who would have thought … there is trouble after all: my Geforce4 TI4200 isn’t supported in the default nv driver. So it seems like I will need to install the nvidia drivers a bit earlier than I thought.

Basic System Configuration

0. upgrading to testing: edit /etc/apt/sources.list s/stable/testing/g. just takes some time you can use to surf

1. New Kernel: Do you want fries with that? Compile yourself a new kernel, you’ll need it anyway, so do it first.


  • apt-get install kernel-package kernel-source-2.4.22 ncurses5 ncurses5-dev

  • bunzip2 the kernel-source in /usr/src and ln -s 2.4.22 linux

  • make menuconfig, configure network, usb, sound, bluetooth, ext3(!), sound, ipsec etc. (also available: make xconfig)

  • make-kpkg kernel-image –revision=statosphere-2003-12-07-003 (clean if you compiled one before!

  • dpkg -i kernel-fnord.deb, if you made a kernel before with this version remove the /lib/modules/ … if you do that you might need to completely re-install the nvidia drivers.

2. Download drivers from nvidia., install with sh nvidia-fnord.run, installs the drivers, tries to download kernel interface from nvidia or compiles one. Installing NVIDIA Accelerated Graphics Driver for Linux … yay the nvidia driver was loaded. Don’t forget to change the driver for the card in the /etc/X11/Xfree86-config-4 from nv to nvidia

3. USB System. Now the usb mouse really needs to work, X is not starting without.


  • did you select all the necessary kernel modules?

  • apt-get install hotplug

  • Make sure all drivers you need are loaded: lsmod and cat /proc/bus/usb/drivers.

  • Load those you need if they are not there: insmod hid.

  • Make sure your usb device was recognized cat /proc/bus/usb/devices should list your ports and the plugged in devices by some id you can look up.

  • usb wheel mice use the imps/2 protocol and are usually found at /dev/input/mice

Further help at the linux usb website and the X mouse faq which verifies that IMPS/2 is the correct protocol for wheel and also usb-wheel mice.

4. Alsa Sound didn’t work on the first try. I guess I am missing the correct configuration for my SBLive
(a) /usr/src/modules/alsa-drivers/configure –with-cards=emu10k1 –with-sequencer=yes;make;make install
(b) chmod a+rw /dev/dsp /dev/mixer /dev/sequencer /dev/midi
(c) modprobe snd-emu10k1;modprobe snd-pcm-oss;modprobe snd-mixer-oss;modprobe snd-seq-oss
I did all that and finally thought to turn up the volume: seems I have sound now. But something is still fishy because /etc/init.d/alsa start gives a –configure error?

5. Installing packages is rather crappy while package-search at debian is still down after that november hack

hoogla told me I can use apt-cache search … and that works just fine

Important packages
mozilla-firebird mozilla-thunderbird openoffice.org xmms gabber emacs21 xslide jde cvs eclipse(not debian), jdk1.4 (not debian), sawfish-themes, xscreensaver, multi-gnome-terminal, ant

[…]

n: Ext3 Journalling File System!!! Don’t forget this: tune2fs -j /dev/hdXX Done!

n+1: use update-alternatives to install java (1.4), then download eclipse

n+2: copy config files from working computers (.bashrc, .emacs, bookmarks.html, abook.mab …)

n+3: ssh-keygen -t dsa, distribute key to all necessary computers.

After the ‘standard’ stuff is done with, I will have a lot of fun getting wineX to do what I want.

Then when sometime next year World of Warcraft comes out, I’ll be yelling at it and quit to install Windows again. But I have hope it’ll not be like that.

And I promise I’ll continue the UA Blog soon.