Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) desktop amd-64 on ASUS A6750KLH A6000 series.
I bought the computer in December 2005 with the hardware below.
AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology, 1MB L2 cache, MT-30 1600 GHz. Frequency scaling working with Linux.
SiS M760GX + SiS 964L.
1 x 512 MB DDR-333 SO-DIMM (expandable to 2 GB) I have expanded it to 1.5 GB.
IC25N060ATMR04-0 60GB 4200RPM ATA-6.
Matshita UJ841S DVD-Super-Multi Double Layer. Does not work with some commercial DVD, see note in my SuSe article.
SVGA LCD TFT 15.4" WXGA 1280x800.
Nvidia GeForce Go 6200 with Turbo Cache 256 MB. Tested with bouth XOrg and NVidia driver.
Integrated [SiS] AC'97 Audio Controller.
4 x USB-2 SiS integrated controler.
Ricoh R5C552 (IEEE1394a/IEEE1394b). Tetsted with a camcorder from Canon.
RTL-8139 (10/100Mbps) from Realtek.
BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g from Broadcom. Use ndiswrapper and Windows driver. The chip does not support 802.11a/b. Windows driver can be downloaded from here.
Integrated [SiS] AC'97 Modem Controller 56K V90. See AC '97 Modem Driver Project. It looks like that the right driver is snd_intel8x0m, and the modem could be used together with the slmodemd application from Smart Link
The ACPI modules load and successfully report the remaining battery, etc. See note in my SuSe article about LEDs and Hotkeys.
Ricoh RL5c476 II (The kernel module is yenta_socket).
After have used SUSE 10.0 for almost a year (you can read my article about it here), I decided it was time to either do an upgrade or try an other version of Linux. I had for some time wanted to try Debian, especial because of it packed system, but went for a soft start with Ubuntu 6.06.1 (Dapper Drake), the try out of this distribution ended with a kernel update there first blocked in boot-up, while it was loading the ndiswrapper driver. After have disable the ndiswrapper, none of my USB port functioned. I know that ASUS A6000 is not the most Linux freindly computer, but I did not expect such problems, with Ubuntu after have lived with SuSe for almost a year without any problems. I tried to report the bug at Launchpad with the number 76212 and last time I controlled my bug report it had the status; unconfirmed!
This brought me in the situation to either return to SuSe, or an other Linux version, or try an other version of Ubuntu. As I was still huge on trying out the Debian packing system I went for Ubuntu 7.04 that at the time was in heavy test. I did this choice of two reasons, first I would like to try a Linux version in heavy development. Second 7.04 had a new kernel that, as fare I understood, should have less problems with my computer.
I installed Ubuntu without any problems and the experience up today has been very mixed, in general I had many more problems with Ubuntu that I had with SuSe. So why did I not went back? The answer to that is; that the Debeian Packing system is so much superior to SuSe's RPM, that I remained with Ubuntu up to today and tried to find solutions to my problems.
This article is not build up around the hardware on my ASUS A6000, but around the problems I encountered with Ubuntu on the computer and this way reflect more my installation log.
Installation of Ubuntu 7.04 amd-64
AAll Ubuntu comes on live disk, that means you can try them out with out to install them. Version 7.04 amd-64 life disk did not function very well, especial the graphicial boot, on my computer. But I decided to try to install it in any case.
The installation went very south, I had the computer attached to the Internet trough the NIC as I excepted problems with my WiFi.
As All Ubuntu comes with a secret root password, the first think to do is to get control of this. Open and shell and type sudo passwd root
To get more software adverbial I added the Universe and the Multiverse packages repositories to my repositories list in the file /etc/apt/source.list:
deb http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ feisty universe
Followed by the commands apt-get update and apt-get upgrade
The installation did not find the right resolution of my screen (1280x800) so I added the sub-section below to my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file Screen Section:
I now had a functional Ubuntu installed, connected with the NIC interface to the Internet, my wireless interface did not function jet!
The last problem I had with the installation was that my boot splash screen is black and white and I can not read the messages written there. It looks like a bug in the usplash-theme-ubuntu package. To solve this problem I have deleted the splash kernel parameter in the /boot/group/menu.lst file.
Last I installed the following packages, using Ubuntu's package installer Synaptic, to help me to install drivers further on:
linux-source-2.6.19 (to use it I have to tar -jxf /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.15.tar.bz2 /usr/src)
Getting the Wireless Lan working
The Ubuntu installation procedure installed the bcm43xx driver, there does not function with the BCM4318 chip in the ASUS A6000. I needed to un-load it and black list it, so it not will be loaded in the future. Then I had to install the ndiswrapper and the Windows driver for the chip. To un-load the bcm43xx driver do: sudo rmmod bcm43xx. To black list the driver, open the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and add the following to the end of the file: blacklist bcm43xx.
The ndiswrapper-utils there come with Ubuntu did not function very well, so I downloaded the last version from sourceforge, compiled it and installed it. The 64-bit Windows driver can be downloaded from here. Unzip it and install it as described below:
ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf (Installing Windows INF driver in ndiswrapper)
ndiswrapper -l (See Driver installed)
ndiswrapper -m (Write configuration for modprobe)
change the wlan0 aliais to eth1 in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper
add ndiswrapper to the file /etc/modules to load it at boot time.
modprobe ndiswrapper (Load driver)
dmesg | tail -n 6 (gives a description of your wireless lan interface)
A good instrument to administrate wireless networks is wlassistant, you should be able to find and install it with Synaptic. You could also use the commands iwlist eth1 scan to scan the aria for networks and the iwconfig command together with ifconfig, to setup the interface manually.
Getting 32-bit applications to work on a 64-bit Debian based system
To getting 32-bit application to work under Ubuntu 64-bit, was much more difficult than under SuSe, it looks like that Debian 64-bit systems only install 64-bit libraries. The libraries are installed in /lib and /usr/lib, the /lib64 and /usr/lib64 are only symbolic links to these directories.
The Ubuntu amd-64 version does not contain any 32-bit applications such as Wine. I think it would be nice if Ubuntu would allow users to install 32-bit libraries into /lib32 and /usr/lib32 directly from Synaptic, so we could use 32-bit applications together with the Ubuntu amd-64. The problem with 32-bit applications and libraries is that many property software, such as Skype, Picasa and Flash players, only exist in 32-bit versions. To be honest to the Debian philosophy you should not install property software.
If you like me needs these type of software and are no so honest to the Debian philosophy, there exist two solutions, as fare I am concern. Installing 32-bit libraries into the /lib32 and /usr/lib32 directories by hand without using Synaptic, or do as me; create an 32-bit environment in a separated directory and use chroot to enter a almost clean 32-bit environment.
To create a 32-bit environment follow the steps below:
Step 1. Prepare the raw environment.
I am going to call this command prompt the chrooted.
installed dchroot and debootstrap packages using Synaptic.
sudo mkdir /chroot
sudo vi /etc/dchroot.conf. Add this line: dapper /chroot
Step 2: Add the packages repositories
This step is done in another terminal window as vi not is installed in the chroot environment yet.
sudo vi /chroot/etc/apt/sources.list
Add following lines:
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty main restricted
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty universe
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty main restricted
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty universe
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty multiverse
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty-security multiverse
Step 3. Update apt-get
Do this in the first windows where we have chrooted.
Step 4. Create the system configuration.
Do this in the not chrooted window.
Step 5: Set-up a 32-bit Synaptic
In a new terminal
sudo apt-get install synaptic
Got following error:
syntax error: unknown group `postdrop' in statusoverride file
1. add the line postdrop:x:114:postfix to /etc/group
2. add the line postfix:x:107:114:Postfix user::/bin/false to /etc/passwd
sudo vi /usr/local/bin/synaptic32
Add following lines:
/usr/bin/dchroot -d synaptic
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/synaptic32
To keep your 32-bit environment up to date run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade at regular intervals.
The steps below show how to install Skype in your 32-bit environment:
Determine missing 32-bit libs: ldd /usr/bin/skype | grep not
Install missing 32-bit liberaies using the 32-bit Synaptic
To lunch Skype: dchroot -d /usr/bin/skype
This should demonstrate how to install and run 32-bit application in the 32-bit environment.
One of the first application I installed in my new 32-bit environment was Firefox followed by Flash Player 9 plug-in and later I installed Wine using my new synaptic32 command
Installing the Nvidia driver from Nvidia
As the video driver coming with X-org does not offer the same performance as the original driver from Nvidia I wanted to install this. Synaptic offer an original driver, but I could not get it function. So I decided to download the 64-bit driver direct from Nvidia, and install that. This was not without problems! Before you install the new driver, I advise that you backup your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. The driver from Nvidia install without problems!. Remember to exit your graphical environment (<Ctrl><Alt><F1>) and login as root. Kill the graphic environment (killall gdm) and install the Nvidia and re-start the graphic environment (gdm), you should see the Nvidia splash screen before you enter the Gnome login. The problem occurred when I re-booted my computer, the X fails to start. The problem is that there exist more than one Nvidia driver in the kernel, I believe that I have a Ubuntu package installed that I am not aware of, any case, delete the extra modules not installed with the package from Nvidia (rm /lib/modules/2.6.19-7-generic/volatile/nvidia*. Also control that you have write access to the /dev/nvidia0 driver (chmod a+rw /dev/nvidia0). The whole process should be repeated every time there are updates for your kernel!
I encountered a problem after an update from Ubuntu, my screen went almost dark when I unplugged the power. The problem was with the /apps/gnome-power-manager/battery_brightness parameter that gconf has problems with reading. The following command solved the problem: sudo gconftool-2 -t int --set /apps/gnome-power-manager/battery_brightness 80. I could also have used the gconf-editor to unset and re-create the parameter to 80.
EasyUbuntu is a small program there install lot of liberaries that a normal Linux distribution can not include because of license problems. The problem with EasuUbuntu is that it does not support Ubuntu 7.04 jet as it is not official released, so I installed the following libraries by hand:
- Free codecs from universe, multiverse:
- libdvdcss to read commercial and encrypted DVDs.
As I wrote in the introduction, I had much more problems with Ubuntu, some of them was/is related to the early state version 7.04 was in when I started. I had updates almost every time I connected to the Internet and the biggest problems was when I had to re-install the Nvidia driver for my graphic card. The easy way the Debian packet system function and the huge number of application in the repositories did that I remain with Ubuntu up to today (I did the installation 7/1-2007) and hope this article will help other to try out this distribution.