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Old 04-05-2006, 04:26 AM   #1
ctos
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Registered: Mar 2006
Distribution: Slack 10.2, kernel 2.4.31 on a Dell Inspiron 1150 Laptop
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terrible two days: sound, kernel, distros...


Whew! I really have wasted the last two days (in a sense). As you can see (left) I am using Slackware, kernel 2.4.x. About two days ago I decided to tackle sound. After some struggle it was successful. Sound came up. And I was able to get to my favorite Spanish sound sites, e.g. < http://www.rtve.es/rne/envivo.htm >. I discovered that I needed RealPlayer, so I got that. I was able to play the radios on that page. But soon, the Player came up less and less often, and/or failed to play the stream. Other favorite radio links remained inaccessible e.g. the radios on www.elpais.es (e.g. Cadena Ser). I'm not sure what to do about sound/picture links that are embedded in web pages with no redirection permitted. For example, I have a subscription to CNN+ through www.elpais.es. I don't know if I'll ever be able to access it. I haven't tried Mplayer yet.

Then I tried ndiswrapper, with no success. Before spending more than about three hours on that, however, I decided to go for a kernel upgrade, because that might take care of sound and wireless.

So I decided to upgrade the kernel to 2.6.x. Unfortunately after compile/install/boot it couldn't find my Internet connection. I get Internet through Verizon, which is PPPoE over fiber to a router with DHCP enabled, and delivered to computer with Ethernet cable. This was the bane of my early attempts to find a distro. SuSE, Mandriva, Kanotix, NST, and others couldn't find the Internet. Slax and Puppy did, and I went with Slackware, which also found it without tweaking after install from CD. Alas, in upgrading the kernel I found the same problem as with the other distros--no Internet, no network. Yet I'm quite sure I checked anything that could have been relevant in the 'make menuconfig' stage.

I went back to 2.4.x. At some point along the way I lost some of the touchpad's functionality, specifically, the auto-scroll, and the double-tap (e.g. to mark something for dragging or copying).

So I decided to try Debian. I burned a minimum CD that downloads missing components from the Internet. It found the Internet, indeed. Nice job there. But when I got it all installed, I couldn't get X windows to start. All I could see to do was type "X". That just brought up a half-tone grey screen, and an x-cursor. It didn't do anything else. There was no "startx" or "xinit" command. What to do? So close and yet so far.

So I'm back to Slackware 10.2. I installed it from CD, and have my touchpad back completely, Internet access, no sound, no wireless. My conclusions are (in a partly humorous vein):

1. If it's working, count your blessings. Don't do anything else. You might lose functionality.
2. Any attempt to gain (or recoup) functionality common to desktop computers will probably not succeed, and will cost at least one full day.

What would you recommend for me?

1. Try Debian again, this time doing __________ when it is installed.
2. Stick with Slacky, upgrade to 2.6.x, get sound and wireless that way, and check _____________ in make menuconfig to ensure that your PPPoE Ethernet DHCP is properly exploited at bootup.
 
Old 04-05-2006, 05:20 AM   #2
Electro
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If the router is setup as DHCP. You do not need PPPoE on your computer. All you need to access the internet is the DNS servers, the gateway address which is your router, pick an IP address for your computer, and set the netmask that matches your router's netmask. The router will handle all the hardwork for you so you really do not need PPPoE. You just need to enable PPPoE in the router. If you do not want to specify all the network information, I suggest running a DHCP daemon to setup the network information for you.

I prefer using Gentoo, but Slackware and Debian are fine.

I recommend do not use wireless NICs.

BTW, you are thinking too hard on this problem. It is simplier than it seems to be.
 
Old 04-06-2006, 01:38 AM   #3
ctos
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Distribution: Slack 10.2, kernel 2.4.31 on a Dell Inspiron 1150 Laptop
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The difficulties continue. Today I have spent about 6-8 hours working on the basic problem, which is that I only have a working system if I use the 2.4.31 kernel as installed by Slackware 10.2. This system has no sound. Almost every time I attempt to recompile the kernel, the Internet connection is lost. ifconfig gives only the loopback. It is not possible to ping the router. To get sound I have to recompile the kernel (put sound support in, remove sound devices, install ALSA---incidentally this worked for a day but the RealPlayer typically required 5-10 re-tries before it would actually start to play the live .ram files--this is part of why I sought to try the 2.6 kernel). If I don't lose the Internet on a recompile I lose the tap and double-tap feature of the touchpad, which is another insoluble problem effectively requiring a complete reinstallation.

What file is controlling the Internet? Is it rc.inet1.conf? That file says something like 'if DHCP is yes, all else is ignored'. Which is fine. The router has DHCP enabled. So why does the Internet become unreachable? The only way I can fix this at present is to completely reinstall Slackware from the CDs. I have reinstalled it today about 5 times. (If I try to just reconfigure it from the setup program, it won't let me, instead bouncing the cursor to the top of the options again.)

When I run make menuconfig for the kernel, I don't change any of the network settings. I still lose the Internet almost every time on the reboot. Booting to the old kernel also leaves me with the network unreachable.

Last edited by ctos; 04-06-2006 at 01:40 AM.
 
Old 04-06-2006, 08:57 PM   #4
Electro
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The basics

Print out your /etc/resolv.conf

Did you run netconfig in Slackware?

Did you tell netconfig that you want dhcp?

Is dhcp utilities installed?

Did you ping the router?

What does ifconfig print out?

What does route -en print out?

Does the router have a way to access through web brower? If so, use Mozilla, Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, etc to access it. An IP address have to be given in the URL box.

Did you check the IP address, DNS, and gateway address that the router displays?

Again you do not need PPPoE unless you are setting up your computer to share its WAN connection to other computers on your network.

Use mplayerplug-in to handle video clips on the internet.

Sorry, I have not used Slackware for two years, so I do not remember where its network config files are located.
 
Old 04-06-2006, 11:55 PM   #5
ctos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro
Print out your /etc/resolv.conf
At the moment I am giving Kubuntu a try. If I decide to go with Slackware I will follow these instructions to the letter. For now, my best recollections:

Quote:
Did you run netconfig in Slackware?
I don't think so. I hadn't heard of it until now. Is it mentioned in Welsh? I was reading the relevant chapter and don't recall it.

Quote:
Did you tell netconfig that you want dhcp?
I did see in rc.inet1.conf that DHCP was indicated.

Quote:
Is dhcp utilities installed?
Is that a separate package of some kind? The OS was able to deal with the Internet as installed from CD, so there was some ability there to handle DHCP. The router had no listing for a static address; I think mine was "101" (last number).

Quote:
Did you ping the router?
Yes; these incidents were characterized by "network unreachable" and 100% packet loss.

Quote:
What does ifconfig print out?
It typically had only the loopback device when the network was unreachable.

Quote:
What does route -en print out?
I can't reproduce that now but if I have a problem again I'll check that.

Quote:
Does the router have a way to access through web brower? If so, use Mozilla, Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, etc to access it. An IP address have to be given in the URL box.
No, when I had this problem the computer couldn't find 192.168.0.1 which was the router address.

Quote:
Did you check the IP address, DNS, and gateway address that the router displays?
I'm not sure how to answer, but I do note that the router was not the thing that changed. My experience was that everything was working with kernel 2.4.31 and that trying to recompile that one (usually) or 2.6.x (always) meant loss of the Internet connection, even when nothing was changed (e.g. in make menuconfig for 2.4.31) about networking settings.

Quote:
Again you do not need PPPoE unless you are setting up your computer to share its WAN connection to other computers on your network.
Right, I don't think it is in the computer. The computer simply needs to know about DHCP.

Quote:
Use mplayerplug-in to handle video clips on the internet.
Thanks, I'll check in to it.

Quote:
Sorry, I have not used Slackware for two years, so I do not remember where its network config files are located.
Thanks so much for taking the time. If I revisit Slackware I'll check in to netconfig.
 
Old 04-10-2006, 04:32 PM   #6
ctos
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I am trying Slackware again. My current situation is: I have 2.4.31 and 2.6.16.2 in lilo.conf. I have run lilo. I can boot to either one successfully. When I boot to the 2.4 I have Internet access. When I boot to the 2.6 I do not.

Does this mean that I have failed to put something into the 2.6 kernel that needs to be there?

I have run netconfig after making, installing, and booting to the 2.6 kernel. I still had no access after doing that, immediately and after reboot. I did select dhcp in that process. I have access to the Internet via a dhcp-enabled router when I use kernel 2.4 so I assume that the correct utilities are available. I was unable to ping the router when booted to 2.6 kernel.

Here is my route -en when booted to 2.4 kernel:
Code:
root@my_host:~# route -en
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags   MSS Window  irtt Iface
192.168.0.0     0.0.0.0         255.255.255.0   U         0 0          0 eth0
127.0.0.0       0.0.0.0         255.0.0.0       U         0 0          0 lo
0.0.0.0         192.168.0.1     0.0.0.0         UG        0 0          0 eth0
Here is the content of my /etc/resolv.conf which I assume doesn't change when I boot to either kernel:

Code:
root@my_host:~# cat /etc/resolv.conf
nameserver 192.168.0.1
Here is what ifconfig prints when I am booted to 2.4 kernel.
Code:
root@carl:~# ifconfig
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:0F:1F:26:16:27
          inet addr:192.168.0.101  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST NOTRAILERS RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:826 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:386 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:2
          collisions:1 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:341699 (333.6 Kb)  TX bytes:85924 (83.9 Kb)
          Interrupt:11

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
When I boot to 2.6 only the loopback device is indicated.
 
Old 04-10-2006, 07:38 PM   #7
ctos
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When I boot to 2.6, my route -en gives just the lo entry as above, and neither of the eth0 entries. resolv.conf is the same (obviously, it's just a file). I have been trying different inclusions in Networking->Networking Options, and Device Drivers->Network Device Support. When I boot to 2.6, usually there is nothing listed for dmesg | grep eth , although once I got some errors when I had enabled just about everything I could think of under DD->NDS. When I boot to 2.4, of course then I get:

Code:
eth0: Broadcom 4400 10/100BaseT Ethernet 00:0f:1f:26:16:27
b44: eth0: Link is down.
b44: eth0: Link is up at 10 Mbps, half duplex.
b44: eth0: Flow control is off for TX and off for RX.
What am I failing to put in the 2.6 kernel? It shouldn't be difficult, no?
 
Old 04-10-2006, 08:31 PM   #8
Emerson
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Upgrading from 2.4 to 2.6 involves switching to udev. Although it may work without it. Try googling for upgrade and 2.6 keywords. Here's what Debian maintainers tell to their users http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...mation.en.html
 
Old 04-10-2006, 11:45 PM   #9
Electro
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When you compile the 2.6.x kernel, I think you did not select the broadcom to be compiled for your NIC. You can try to add the following line in either /etc/modules.conf or /etc/modprobe.conf.

alias eth0 b44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson
Upgrading from 2.4 to 2.6 involves switching to udev. Although it may work without it. Try googling for upgrade and 2.6 keywords. Here's what Debian maintainers tell to their users http://www.debian.org/releases/stabl...mation.en.html
Slackware uses udev even though it comes with 2.4.x kernels too. Also Slackware is not Debian based.
 
Old 04-11-2006, 02:04 AM   #10
ctos
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Thanks for the help. You're very kind to a noob.

I just noticed something. When I put Slack back on the laptop this afternoon, the touchpad wasn't fully functional. A finger movement on the pad moved the cursor, but tapping was not recognized. Now suddenly, this evening, it works. The attention can be shifted, bars moved, text selected, etc., by tapping and tap-dragging on the touchpad. I wasn't doing anything different during the time before and after which the change appears to have occurred. Just suddenly I noticed it working. Strange.

Maybe I'll just leave the kernel alone for now. I'm not using sound much anyway. Too much else to concentrate on... can't have the computer talking Spanish at me. Someday. Perhaps with 11.0. But if I try, I'll follow your suggestion and post if it works.
 
  


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