Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PCLinux OS on Intel 82845 chipset

PCLinux OS is a very user friendly Linux Distribution which I have not tried since long. I am bored with Ubuntu Karmic and most mainstream distributions since the desktop I am using at present has Intel 82845 chipset which has problems with all these distributions because the problem lies with the latest intel driver. When I looked at PCLinux OS it has X.Org X Server built in 2007 and I thought it should work on this machine.

I decided to have a look at their LXDE Live CD and downloaded the iso. I mounted the iso and copied vmlinuz and initrd.gz in pclos folder on the root of sda4 partition (mounted at /media/disk) and livecd.sqfs at root of sda4:
mkdir /tmp/pclos
sudo mkdir /media/pclos
sudo mount pclinuxos-lxde-2009.4.iso -o loop /tmp/pclos
sudo cp /tmp/pclos/isolinux/vmlinuz /media/pclos
sudo cp /tmp/pclos/isolinux/initrd.gz /media/pclos
sudo co /tmp/pclos/livecd.sqfs /media/

Then I wrote the following lines in/etc/grub.d/40_custom:

menuentry "PCLinux OS" {
set root=(hd0,4)
linux /pclos/vmlinuz livecd=livecd root=/dev/rd/3 vga=788 keyb=us splash=silent fstab=rw,auto changes_dev=/dev/hda4
initrd /pclos/initrd.gz

and updated grub:
sudo update-grub

If you are having Legacy grub you have to write following lines in /boot/grub/menu.lst:

Title PCLinux OS
root (hd0,4)
kernel /pclos/vmlinuz livecd=livecd root=/dev/rd/3 vga=788 keyb=us splash=silent fstab=rw,auto changes_dev=/dev/hda4
initrd /pclos/initrd.gz

After reboot I could choose "PCLinux OS" on grub menu and get the Login screen. I logged in as guest and I could see the LXDE Desktop but could not do much before it froze. Then I added vesa at the end of linux boot line in grub and I could use the Live CD.

I went to PCLinuxOS Forum and searched for 82845 and read a couple of posts and got a solution in this post. PCLinux OS loads intel driver which does not work for 82845 chipset, however, it also has the old i810 driver which works.

I clicked on Configure your computer icon in the Application Launch Bar entered the root password (root), clicked on Hardware/Set_up_the_graphical_server/Graphic_card_selection (Intel 810 and later) and changed it to Intel 810, accepted the changes and clicked on Ok to logout. Unfortunately, I got blank screen on logout.

On next attempt I booted without vesa driver and followed the above procedure once again. This time I could get Login screen on logout and after re-login the driver was changed to i810.

If you intend to install PCLnuxOS the blank screen on logout should not matter since the change of driver is already saved by the system.

I can say that PCLnux OS 2009 works for Intel 82845 chipset with i810 driver.

I have added changes_dev=/dev/hda4 to boot options to have persistent Live system. Now when I change the driver to i810 the new configuration is saved for reboot. The default web browser is Midori. I have installed Firefox 3.5.6 using Synaptic package manager and it is available on reboot.

If you are looking for how to use Ubuntu Karmic on Intel 82845 chipset read this post.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sidux with XFCE.

I had tried KDE version of Sidux earlier in May 09 and wrote about it in this post. I decided to try XFCE version this time and downloaded the latest iso. As before I wanted to boot from iso without burning a CD. Now I have grub2, therefore, I opened /etc/grub.d/40_custom to edit and wrote the following lines in it:
menuentry "sidux 32bit from ISO" {
set root=(hd0,4)
linux /sidux/vmlinuz boot=fll quiet vga=791 fromiso=/sidux/sidux.iso persist tz=Asia/Calcutta
initrd /sidux/initrd.img

First I copied the iso to 'sidux' directory at the root of sda4 partition (mounted at /media/disk)
sudo cp sidux-2009-03-momos-xfce-i386-200911110039.iso /media/disk/sidux/sidux.iso

Then I mounted the downloaded iso and copied vmlinuz and initrd.img to 'sidux' directory at the root of sda4 partition (mounted at /media/disk):
mkdir /tmp/sidux
sudo mount sidux-2009-03-momos-xfce-i386-200911110039.iso -o loop /tmp/sidux
cd /tmp/sidux/boot
sudo cp vmlinuz* /media/disk/sidux/vmlinuz
sudo cp initrd.img* /media/disk/sidux/initrd.img

Then I updated grub to get the sidux entry in grub menu:
sudo update-grub

Then I restarted and selected 'sidux 32bit from ISO' entry in Grub menu and I could boot into the XFCE Desktop on latest Sidux.

There was a freeze after some time because of the bug in Xorg for Intel 80845 chip-set.
I had faced same problem on Ubuntu Karmic on this chip-set and forced Xorg to use vesa driver by writing xorg.conf. I copied the file to /fll/cow/etc/X11 on sda4:

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier    "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier    "Default Screen"
    Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
    Device        "Configured Video Device"

Section "Device"
    Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
    Driver        "vesa"

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Google Chrome Browser for Linux

Some Linux users were already running Google Chrome Browser from dev channel. Now Google has announced immediate availability of Google Chrome Browser for Linux. You can download it from here. You can download themes and extensions. See my screenshot. I have installed Similar Pages, Feedly, Aviary screenshot utility, Gmail checker and Xmarks extensions and you can see their icons on right side.

Update on Dec 12
When Google announced Chrome Beta it was version and unstable version was also same, however, the development continues and if you upgrade unstable today it is at version If you installed unstable before beta was announced the version changes if you upgrade, however, those who installed beta the version remains at, therefore, if you want to stick to beta remove unstable and install beta or don't upgrade unstable and let it stay at version
Update on Dec 17
Today Chrome Beta also got updated to version

Monday, December 07, 2009

Using Google Chromium OS on Desktop.

After Google announced the availability of source of Chromium OS VMWare and USB images appeared on internet. I downloaded USB image but it exceeded the 2 GB size of my pendrive. Then a smaller USB image (less than 1 GB) was made by a developer and I downloaded it today from this site. I extracted the image and copied it to the pendrive through:
sudo dd if=ChromeOS-Cherry.img of=/dev/sdb bs=4M

I could boot from USB to the login screen but it froze after login then I realized that I was using a desktop which has Intel 82845G chipset. Then I modified xorg.conf on the USB stick to use vesa driver.

I could then get to the Chrome browser. I could browse but noticed following two problems:
  1. I was already logged in to my Google account but could not use the Blogger even after I logged out of gmail and tried to login to Blogger. The Blogger complains about cookie functionality.
  2. When I type I have to wait a few seconds before the text appears on the browser.
Note: On next boot I was already logged into Blogger. You can ignore point 1.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Xmarks on Google Chrome Browser.

I have been running Google Chrome Browser (unstable) on Ubuntu Linux. Today I discovered that I can run Xmarks for Chrome Alpha, version 0.5.11 on it. I clicked on the download link of Xmarks through Chrome Browser and it installed as an extension.

You need to have an Xmarks account to access the download link and the Google Chrome Browser should be from Development Channel.

Xmarks is working perfectly on Google Chrome from dev channel.