Tag: Fedora

Fedora 23 on a Dell XPS13 (part 1)

Taking advantage of a trip to Canada and a very favourable CAN$:€ exchange rate, I bought a Dell XPS13 (9350 or “late 2015”), following excellent reviews from around the web. Dell sold a ‘developer edition‘ of this laptop (shipping with Ubuntu Linux) but unfortunately it was out of stock on Dell US and I couldn’t find the item on the Dell Canada website. So I bought the Windows version with a touchscreen (it was Black Friday :-)).

fedora_infinity_140x140Here is how to install Fedora 23 on it (and probably most other Linux distribution) … I will focus on three aspects (in brief: everything works out of the box, except the wireless card that needed some additional action):

  1. How to boot and install Fedora Workstation
  2. What works and what doesn’t work out of the box
  3. Some things to do after installation (additional software)

Continue reading “Fedora 23 on a Dell XPS13 (part 1)”

Funny update of ql2400 and ql2500 devices in Fedora 14

ql2400 and ql2500 update in Fedora 14
ql2400 and ql2500 update in Fedora 14

Although some people think it’s a joke (see kalev’s comment on 2011-09-17 19:13:44 in the bugfix report), I won’t install this update; I agree it’s funny but refusing to install it at least gives me the feeling I have still something to say on my system (that’s also what free software are for, isn’t it?).

I also like what the (same) submitter wrote for the first update:

Updated qlogic 2400 and 2500 firmware to 5.03.13. What does 5.03.13 do? No one knows, except for QLogic, and they’re not telling. I asked, and they told me that information was only available under NDA. So, I encourage you to imagine what this firmware does, and the bugs it fixes. While you’re at it, imagine a world where vendors release source code for their firmware.

Installing Fedora 13 on a Toshiba Satellite L670-10K

I quickly needed a new laptop to continue working and I found a Toshiba Satellite L670-10K. It’s a nice entry-level laptop with a dual core processor (I didn’t know Intel was still doing Pentium-branded processors) and a 17″ screen (read the specs for other details). I downloaded the latest Fedora Linux (version 13, 64 bits ; and version 14 is coming soon) and installed it from the LiveCD. Nearly everything was recognized out-of-the-box: screen resolution, graphical card (Intel, with 3D effects), wired network, webcam, card reader, sound card, etc.

The only thing that was not recognized was the wireless network card: a Realtek RTL8191SE. Here is how to install it. On the Toshiba website for (Windows) wireless drivers, it is always associated with the RTL8192SE model. So don’t be surprised if the driver downloaded from the Realtek website is a file with RTL8192 in its name although you clicked on the link for the RTL8191SE-VA2 model. Unpack this file. The LiveCD doesn’t come with some packges so you have to install them (via the System menu, Administration, Add/Remove software). These packages are: kernel-devel, gcc and make. Once it’s done, do a simple “make;make install” as root and reboot the laptop. Your wireless connection is now up and running!

Wireless UFO?

If you want to have Flash on your 64-bits Linux, Adobe released version 10.1 of their Flash player with native 64 bits support. Download Flash player “Square”, unpack the archive and copy the (only) file “libflashplayer.so” in directory /home/yourusername/.mozilla/plugin, restart Firefox. You have now a Flash-enabled browser!

Finally, I must have done something wrong, somewhere but I kept having the first configuration screen after installation, even after subsequent reboots. After a quick search, I didn’t find anyone with the same issue. YMMV. In order to skip this screen (after you went through them a first time), just add the line “RUN_FIRSTBOOT=NO” in the file /etc/sysconfig/firstboot and voilà!

In conclusion, I’m very pleased with this laptop and Fedora. My Linux desktop was ready in just a few minutes. Let’s work, now! 🙂

Installing Pwytter on Fedora 11

This morning, it was impossible to post tweets on Twitter so I finally gave in to install a Twitter client. Amongst many software available, Pwytter seemed interesting to try: free software, written in Python were my two criteria.

Unfortunately, the installation process is not straightforward (although its use of the general python setup procedure). Here is how to install it on Fedora 11 from the command line:

  1. Download Pwytter, unzip it, enter directory pwytter-0.8
  2. Install ImageTK: as root, type “yum install python-imaging-tk” (in Fedora, ImageTK was renamed python-imaging-tk)
  3. Install simplejson: as root, type “yum install python-simplejson
  4. (optional) launch: python setup.py build
  5. launch: python setup.py install
  6. Complete the installation by copying some files with the 4 lines below (type them as root too) (a comment in pwytter blog helps to solve the pwCache installation bug):
cp pwCache.py /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/pwytter-0.8-py2.6.egg
cp pwCache.pyc /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/pwytter-0.8-py2.6.egg
cp -r media/ /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/pwytter-0.8-py2.6.egg
cp -r theme/ /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/pwytter-0.8-py2.6.egg

Now you can launch pwytter from any user! In addition, since the source code is available and Identi.ca supports a Twitter-compatible API, let’s see if it’s easy to modify pwytter for Identi.ca 🙂

pwytter screenshot

Fedora 11 is out (since a week or so)

This week, I nearly emptied my internet quota by downloading and seeding the new Fedora Core 11. For those who don’t know yet, Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. What I particularly like in this GNU/Linux distribution is that its developers prefer to make changes to the original software instead of applying fixes specifically for Fedora ; in this way, all the other distributions may also take advantages of the improved software. You’ll find many reviews and “tours” on the web about this new Fedora. In the next paragraphs, I’ll just highlight some of the most interesting points I saw until now. Coming from a Fedora 9 also helps to pinpoint the major improvements (mainly from a user point-of-view).

Fedora 11 screenshot

The first nice thing I noticed was the reduced time to boot my ageing laptop (ok, 2 years is not so old) and its simplicity (just a progress bar in the bottom of the screen). I won’t give you numbers. Anyway, numbers would have been specific to my computer. But I can tell you it’s quite faster than with the Fedora Core 9. And anyway faster than Vista. In general, I think it’s a big improvement for the user experience: after all, most users just boot their machine to use it as a tool, not to wait with amazement that everything is loaded.

Another nice thing is to finally get new versions of some software. OpenOffice is in version 3.1, Netbeans is in version 6.5, Python 2.6, … One thing I was waiting since a long time is Istanbul, a screen recorder. Otherwise, all the other main software I use are also present: Gimp, Inkscape, vim, gthumb, xmms, etc. The only thing a little bit tricky was to add the ability to read two proprietary formats: mp3 and flash. For mp3, you have to add the fusion nonfree repository and it’s clearly explained here. For Flash, I was surprised that Adobe offers an installation procedure just identical to any other software on Fedora, based on yum. I was also pleased to see projects like bioperl and biopython already available at the installation step (along with XDrawChem and JMol which will allow me to read old molecules I drew a few years ago with proprietary software like Chemdraw). One last thing a was eager to see in action is the ext4 filesystem (Fedora being the first distribution to include it by default). To be honest, I don’t see the difference.

XDrawChem and JMol in Fedora 11

Finally, if I have to summarize the experience with this Fedora Core 11 so far, it will be: smooth installation, up-to-date software, no surprise, ready to work after 1 day (I had to play with nearly all the new toys inside). I think GNU/Linux is really ready for the desktop 🙂

A first step toward TV on my Linux laptop

I recently got a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2 (a TV tuner, video recorder and FM receiver) because I read it was well supported on GNU/Linux. The following post explains how I installed it on a Fedora Core 9. If you want to install it with another Linux distribution, some information may vary but most of the following steps will be exactly the same.

First connect the USB device, the list of USB devices shows my system has recognised it:

[root@localhost ~]# lsusb
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 2040:2900 Hauppauge
[root@localhost ~]# dmesg
usbcore: registered new interface driver pvrusb2
pvrusb2: Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2 MPEG2 Encoder/Tuner : V4L in-tree version
pvrusb2: Debug mask is 31 (0x1f)
firmware: requesting v4l-pvrusb2-29xxx-01.fw
pvrusb2: ***WARNING*** Device fx2 controller firmware seems to be missing.
pvrusb2: Did you install the pvrusb2 firmware files in their proper location?
pvrusb2: request_firmware unable to locate fx2 controller file v4l-pvrusb2-29xxx-01.fw
pvrusb2: Failure uploading firmware1
pvrusb2: Device initialization was not successful.
pvrusb2: Giving up since device microcontroller firmware appears to be missing.

Although my tuner is fully recognised, the system needs a firmware in order to make it work. Where is the firmware? A quick search on a well-known search engine redirects us to Mike Isely’s website where he explains how to get the driver (Mike actually also wrote the driver for this TV tuner). Although I got the CD with drivers for Windows, I prefer to use the latest driver that can be found on the Hauppage support website. Mike also writes you can get the driver from the ivtv project.

So I uncompress the driver in the “win_driver” directory and launch Mike Isely’s fwextract.pl script:

[jepoirrier@localhost hauppauge]$ mkdir win_driver
[jepoirrier@localhost hauppauge]$ unzip hauppauge_cd_3.4d1.zip -d win_driver/
[jepoirrier@localhost hauppauge]$ ./fwextract.pl

The script extracted 4 drivers (2 decoders and 2 encoders) and dmesg already told me the two I need: v4l-pvrusb2-29xxx-01.fw and v4l-cx2341x-enc.fw (as encoder). To know where to put these files, check a little bit on the web (this depends on your GNU/Linux distribution). On the Fedora Core 9, it’s in /lib/firmware, so:

[root@localhost hauppauge]# cp v4l-cx2341x-enc.fw /lib/firmware
[root@localhost hauppauge]# cp v4l-pvrusb2-29xxx-01.fw /lib/firmware

Unplug your USB cable, re-plug it and a dmesg should give you a long list of what your system detected, the most interesting part being the last line where it request the firmware and doesn’t stop: firmware: requesting v4l-cx2341x-enc.fw 🙂 Now check your video devices and you should have an additional /dev/videox:

[root@localhost hauppauge]# ls /dev/vid*
/dev/video /dev/video0 /dev/video1

In my case, /dev/video1 is the one I need …

Now, how to watch TV? TVTIME seems to be good but, unfortunately, my video card driver doesn’t support hardware YUY2 overlay (I have an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 2600 with the open source radeon driver). No problem: mplayer /dev/video1 shows a very beautiful snow. Now I need an antenna or a cable to connect to my tuner …

mplayer -vo x11 /dev/video1 -vf and then s