Archive for the ‘Compiz’ Tag

Installing openSolaris (SXDE 1/08) and openSUSE 10.3

After almost a year I decided to upgrade the Operating Systems on my laptop.
The plan was to install the latest Solaris build – Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08 (snv_79) and openSUSE 10.3 along with the pre-installed Windows XP.
I managed to get hold of a USB hard disk to take a backup of my data, partitioned/formatted my disk and installed Win XP.
This is how my partition table looks like:

root@abhiltlnx(~)# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xcd9ccd9c
Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1        1912    15358108+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2            1913        3452    12370050   bf  Solaris
/dev/sda3            3454        8061    37013760    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda4   *        8062        9729    13398210   83  Linux
/dev/sda5            3454        5759    18522913+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sda6            5760        7799    16386268+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sda7            7800        8061     2104483+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
root@abhiltlnx(~)#

I then went about installing Solaris. Anyone who has tried installing Solaris in the past will be totally impressed with the new installer – very user friendly!
It gives simple options to the user to pick from and goes about installing the OS.
I haven’t spent much time looking into the system, however I must mention the things that I already like:

  • Easier user/group administration – creating user part of the installation process
  • Easier network management – It detected my wireless device and post-installation, displayed all the networks I can connect to.
  • Nice Gnome-based Desktop with the “Shutdown” option (Yes!). Although I’ve gotten used to “poweroff”
  • Detected all the devices and installed NVidia drivers
  • Out-of-the-box development environment viz. NetBeans 6, Apache, Databases etc.

Some screenshots:

Next on the agenda was openSUSE 10.3 installation.
I’ve been using openSUSE for over a year now and based on my past experience,
I was kind of expecting the installation to be fairly trivial.
Unfortunately, that was not to be :(. After few minor glitches (the installer kept crashing every now and then), I finally managed to install it.
Things I love about openSUSE 10.3

  • Love the Green look-and-feel
  • The startup time has really improved – A good enough reason to upgrade for 10.2 folks.
  • 1-click install of packages
  • Detected all my devices

Some screenshots:

Configured Compiz desktop:

Lastly, I had to modify the Grub menu for both openSUSE (to add an entry for Solaris) and openSolaris (to add an entry for openSUSE).

openSUSE grub menu:

root@abhiltlnx(~)# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu Feb  7 21:41:29 UTC 2008
default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd0,3)/boot/message
##YaST - activate
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 10.3
root (hd0,3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22.5-31-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_IC25N080ATMR04-_MRG401K4G1SY6C-part4 vga=0x317    resume=/dev/sda7 splash=silent showopts
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.22.5-31-default
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
<b>
### Abhi: Solaris entry added based on the windows one ###
title Solaris SXDE 1/08 - snv_79a
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader (hd0,1)+1
</b>
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe -- openSUSE 10.3
root (hd0,3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22.5-31-default root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_IC25N080ATMR04-_MRG401K4G1SY6C-part4 vga=normal showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off noresume nosmp noapic maxcpus=0 edd=off 3
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.22.5-31-default

openSolaris grub menu:

root@abhiltsol(~)# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
#pragma ident	"@(#)menu.lst	1.2	07/01/10 SMI"
#
# default menu entry to boot
default 0
#
# menu timeout in second before default OS is booted
# set to -1 to wait for user input
timeout 10
#
# To enable grub serial console to ttya uncomment the following lines
# and comment out the splashimage line below
# WARNING: don't enable grub serial console when BIOS console serial
#	redirection is active!!!
#   serial --unit=0 --speed=9600
#   terminal serial
#
# Uncomment the following line to enable GRUB splashimage on console
splashimage /boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz
#
# To chainload another OS
#
# title Another OS
#	root (hd,)
#	chainloader +1
#
# To chainload a Solaris release not based on grub
#
# title Solaris 9
#	root (hd,)
#	chainloader +1
#	makeactive
#
# To load a Solaris instance based on grub
# If GRUB determines if the booting system is 64-bit capable,
# the kernel$ and module$ commands expand $ISADIR to "amd64"
#
# title Solaris 
#	root (hd,,x)	--x = Solaris root slice
#	kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
#	module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
#
# To override Solaris boot args (see kernel(1M)), console device and
# properties set via eeprom(1M) edit the "kernel" line to:
#
#   kernel /platform/i86pc/kernel/unix  -B prop1=val1,prop2=val2,...
#
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08 snv_79a X86
kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris xVM
kernel$ /boot/$ISADIR/xen.gz
module$ /platform/i86xpv/kernel/$ISADIR/unix /platform/i86xpv/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris failsafe
kernel /boot/platform/i86pc/kernel/unix -s
module /boot/x86.miniroot-safe
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
title Windows
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
<b>
### Abhi: Linux entry added based on the windows one ###
title Linux
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader +1
</b>
# Unknown partition of type 15 found on /dev/rdsk/c0d0p0 partition: 3
# It maps to the GRUB device: (hd0,2) .
# Unknown partition of type 131 found on /dev/rdsk/c0d0p0 partition: 4
# It maps to the GRUB device: (hd0,3) .

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openSUSE 10.2 and Xgl

Last week I installed openSUSE 10.2 on my laptop and I’m very impressed with this linux distro. I have been planning to install linux on my laptop (along with Windows and Solaris) so that I could check the user experience of a Swing application project that I’ve been involved with.

I have been using Red Hat/Fedora for few years now but the recent buzz around other linux distros viz. Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mandriva etc. piqued my interest to try them out. The difficult part in a linux installation is deciding which linux to install. I discussed with few friends of mine – each one recommending the one they use. I did some reading on the web.. distrowatch is a very good resource. Finally I zeroed on openSUSE 10.2 .

The installation was very smooth.. a bit time consuming though. I really liked the admin/setup tool – yast (Yet Another Setup Tool).

openSUSE provides most of the applications one needs out of the box.

  • OpenOffice for office applications
  • Firefox as browser
  • Evolution as email client (which I replaced with Mozilla Thunderbird)
  • Gimp for graphics
  • Real Player and Totem for playing movies. I prefer VLC media player, so I installed it later.
  • Helix Banshee for playing MP3s and syncing with IPod. It’s an excellent player although I’m struggling with the iPod syncing part due to the iPod Raid bug. Will look for the openSUSE fix later.

Configured Compiz/Xgl for the jazzy stuff 🙂



openSUSE has a very active community presence and have good documentation online viz. articles, blogs etc.
Getting XGL to run required installing NVIDIA drivers and some tweaks here and there. I found the following resources very useful:

Using Xgl on SUSE Linuxhttp://en.opensuse.org/Using_Xgl_on_SUSE_Linux
Xgl Troubleshootinghttp://en.opensuse.org/Xgl_Troubleshooting
Linux Display Driver – x86http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_1.0-9755.html
Nvidia Installer HOWTO for SUSE LINUX usershttp://www.suse.de/~sndirsch/nvidia-installer-HOWTO.html