Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Using antiX live usb on Lenovo Ideapad S100.

I am presently at Bhopal and the family has Lenovo Ideapad S100 Netbook with Windows 7. I had made usb stick with latest antiX-15 which I decided to try on this netbook.

On this Netbook pressing F12 on boot is supposed to bring Boot Menu but it did not work (may be because F12 is actually Fn+F11 and Fn key may not be working on boot).

Pressing F2 however brings the BIOS Set up. In BIOS Set up Boot Tag I could see the USB Stick but there is no provision to bring it up and make it first boot device.

But I could disable booting from Hard Disk (first boot device) by putting a "x" by pressing "x" key and save settings.

Then I could boot from USB and  now posting this on Iceweasel (Open Source Firefox) on antiX-15.

This machine has 2 GB RAM and antiX is very fast.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Review of antiX-15 USB persist on UEFI Secure Boot.

On 30th June 2015 new version of antiX called antiX-15 (Killah P) was released. I was impressed with the announcement "Want to run live on a box with UEFI bootloader? antiX can do this", and immediately wanted to test this.

I downloaded antiX-15-V_64-full.iso from souceforge. The announcement recommended Unetbbotin to make live usb but unfortunately Unetbootin crashed while selecting the iso file. I used dd command to copy the iso to usb but it allowed me to boot only in Legacy mode of BIOS.

I posted on antiX Forum and was advised to mount the iso and simply copy the contents (same like what I recommend for Ubuntu 14.04 for UEFI)

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/iso
sudo mount -o loop,ro  antiX-15-V_64-full.iso /mnt/iso
cp -a /mnt/iso/. /media/USB_mount_point/

 After selecting boot from usb in BIOS Boot Menu I could boot into antiX default Desktop with secure boot on since antiX has Microsoft signed kernel image.

Then I wanted to make the usb persistent. I used the cheat-code "persist=root!,home" in grub boot line but was getting blank screen.

I created the rootfs and homefs files and placed them in /antiX folder on usb even then it did not work:
dd if=/dev/zero of=rootfs bs=1M count=0 seek=1024
mkfs.ext4 -q -m 0 -O ^has_journal -F rootfs
dd if=/dev/zero of=homefs bs=1M count=0 seek=1024
mkfs.ext4 -q -m 0 -O ^has_journal -F homefs 
After struggling for a day I was told to change "gfxpayload=text" to "gfxpayload=keep" in grub.cfg and it worked.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Enjoying old Desktop days with Mate DE 1.8.1 on Debain 8.1

I recently installed Debian 8.1 in triple/quadruple boot with Windows8.1/Ubuntu14.04.2/Ubuntu15.04 on my Lenovo G50-45 Laptop.

Initially I installed LXDE Desktop but yesterday added Mate Desktop and now enjoying good old days of Gnome 2.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to make back-light Brightness Fn keys work on LXDE.

Back-light Brightness is set on my Laptop by Fn+F11 (down) and Fn+F12 (up) keys. These keys worked on Ubuntu Unity Desktop but not on LXDE Desktop.

I tried xbacklight command but it did not work. Then after googling I discovered that xbacklight does not work on radeon driver.

Then I tried how it works on Ubuntu Unity Desktop and found that following command was executed by USER=root
/usr/lib/unity-settings-daemon/usd-backlight-helper --set-brightness 24
Since the command to be executed required root privileges I created two bash shell files on my desktop:File ~/home/Desktop/Brightness1
#! /bin/bash
# script to set the initial brightness on login
[ "$UID" -eq 0 ] || exec gksu bash "$0" "$@"
/usr/lib/unity-settings-daemon/usd-backlight-helper --set-brightness 12
File ~/home/Desktop/Brightness2
#! /bin/bash
# script to set the initial brightness on login
[ "$UID" -eq 0 ] || exec gksu bash "$0" "$@"
/usr/lib/unity-settings-daemon/usd-backlight-helper --set-brightness 24
I made the files executable and tested them. The script asked for sudo password and set the required brightness.
Then I inserted following Keycodes in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml
<!-- Keybindings for LCD Backlight -->    <keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessDown">        # decrease screen brightness      <action name="Execute"><command>/home/user/Desktop/Brightness1</command></action>    </keybind>    <keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessUp">        # increase screen brightness      <action name="Execute"><command>/home/user/Desktop/Brightness2</command></action>    </keybind>
and it works by pressing Fn+F11 and Fn+F12 i.e. it asks for sudo password and sets the required brightness. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to run Debian with secure boot on.

I am having Lenovo G50-45 Laptop which had Windows 8.1 pre installed and I have installed Ubuntu 14.04 and 15.04 in triple boot with secure boot on.

Today I installed Debian 8.1 on another partition. For installing Debian I had to disable secure boot. After installation if I was booting Debian through its Boot Loader I had to disable the secure boot.

Later on I enabled secure boot and using Ubuntu 15.04 and updated the kernel. After update the grub got updated and it picked up the entry of Debian.

Now I could boot Debian through Ubuntu's Boot Loader without disabling secure boot.

NB: For those who are not familiar with UEFI. Each operating system has its own Boot Loader with entries of other operating systems in the Grub Menu.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Chromixium OS -- Chromebox plus Ubuntu.

I was always fascinated with any OS from Google or something like that. I had tried gOS Desktop in 2007 and Chromium OS on pendrive in 2009.

Google then launched Chrome OS only on Chromeboxes and they have significant market share today.

One developer has combined Ubuntu with Openbox, LXPanel and Google Applications to develops what he calls Chromixium OS.

I downloaded the Chromixium 64 Bit RC ISO, copied it to USB, added casper-rw file and persistent boot parameter in /boot/grub/grub.cfg before "quiet splash" in the menu entry and running it now on my Lenovo G50-45 Laptop. The OS has beautiful Desktop:

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

How to recover lost Grub Menu and Edit Menu entries.

Yesterday I installed Ubuntu 15.04 on USB stick and selected grub install on the USB to keep the Grub on Hard Disk intact. Even then I lost the Grub Menu on the Hard Disk and had to use the grub on the USB to boot into Ubuntu 14.04.2 installed on the hard disk.

For recovering Grub of menu I had to install Boot Repair through the ppa. After running Recommended Repair through Boot Repair I got the Grub Menu on the hard disk but with many unnecessary entries.

For removing the unwanted entries on Grub Menu I installed Grub Customizer and used it to remove the entries.

Boot Repair and Grub Customizer are excellent tools.