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Old 10-17-2004, 03:45 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Maine
Distribution: Whatever...
Posts: 45

Rep: Reputation: 15
Slackware 10 Ownage

I'm sick of hearing Linux is hard. Well, actually, I'm not. It makes me feel supremely geeky and superior. Anyways, onto my enthralling story. Over this summer I forced myself to acquire Linux knowledge so I could get a reasonably easy and decent paying summer job I was offered. I decided I needed to have it as my OS at home. So I grabbed an 80gb hard drive at Best Buy(~$40 after rebate I think), popped it in and started *nixing. I installed everything under the sun, with the exclusion of Gentoo. Fedora pissed me off. Mandrake was annoying and chirpy. Debian was nice, but burdened me with needlessly complex configuration scripts, not to mention sarge's troublesome hardware detection. Suse managed to piss me off somehow, but I don't quite remember how. Anyways, I arrived at Slack as it was the only distro that seemed as if it wouldn't piss me off. Here is the process I went through for my current install, in the hope it will help others. I'm assuming you have some knowledge of just what it is you are doing, as in, you know your way around a linux system enough so that you're halfway useful.

First off, here's my System:
ABIT KV7 Via KT600 Mainboard
Athlon XP2500+
512mb Corsair Valueselect Ram
WD 80gb and Maxtor 80gb
8x Memorex DVD+-RW
8x DVD-Rom
Powercolor ATI Radeon 9700 Pro
Thermaltake TWV-480 Power Supply

ATI Radeon Cards are well known to be a royal pain in the ass under linux, and my chipset/mainboard isn't supported the greatest, so I knew I'd run into a few problems.

1) Partitioning/Formatting
Hopefully reasonably self explanatory. The hard drive I wanted to use for this installation was second on the channel, so at the installation CD command prompt I typed 'cfdisk /dev/hdb'. I created a 15gb partition for /, a 1gb partition for swap, and allocated the rest for /home. I could have just gone with a 1gb swap and the rest for /, but I didn't want to lose all of my files in the not altogether unlikely event of formatting my root partition at some point.

2) Packages
I just selected everything because I have plenty of space, and I wanted to avoid hunting down packages down the road.

3) Boot Loader
I tried using the lilo config script that was part of the Slackware install, but it didn't seem to like the idea of putting my bootloader on the MBR of the second hard drive, so I just skipped it to do manually later. More on this later.

4) Rest of the Install
I set up networking to use DHCP(from my router, in this case), by just telling it to use DHCP to get everything. This works fine for me as I don't run any servers from my computer, so I don't care what the IP is. I don't exactly remember what else is in the install, but just use common sense, and if in doubt, just hit enter .

5) First boot
Since I skipped bootloader installation before, I had to boot from the CD. It tells you how to do this in the CD welcome message, but here's the command I used anyways: 'bare.i root=/dev/hdb noinitrd ro' Upon boot, my system got to hotplug hardware detection and promptly froze. I rebooted again, and added 'nohotplug' to the string of boot options, and this time I was able to get fully booted.

The first thing I needed to do was get a bootloader installed. I logged in as root, first of all. I took the configuration file generated by the slackware install(/etc/lilo.conf), fired up pico, and changed the boot option to 'boot=/dev/hdb1'. Afterwards, I ran lilo with no switches. Then, remembering I wanted it installed on the MBR of hdb, I used the command 'lilo -M /dev/hdb'. All set.

6) Second boot
Since I installed the bootloader on the MBR of the second disk, I had to change the boot priority in my bios. I rebooted and lilo came up succesfully. Remembering the hangup on hotplug, I added the nohotplug option at the lilo prompt. Since hotplug was disabled, my USB mouse obviously wasn't working, so I didn't even bother starting up X. I browsed a bit with links and found that I needed to set USB mouse and Keyboard support to 'BIOS' instead of 'OS' in my bios. I rebooted, did this, and was now able to boot up. Excellent. I went about doing a few basic things that I don't feel the need to mention, such as adding users.

7) Kernel Compile
I wanted to run a 2.6 kernel, since I know for a fact my hardware is supported much better under it. I grabbed the latest stable kernel( I copied the config file from the old 2.4 tree to the new 2.6.8 directory. I ran 'make oldconfig' to copy over as many settings as possible. I started up the xserver after this, as I like to use xconfig(make xconfig in /usr/src/linux). I set the processor type to Duron/K7, as this is my chip type. Within the ALSA section, I selected everything in the main section as a module. I use the onboard sound on my motherboard, and I knew it used the snd_via82xx module under alsa, so I made sure I selected this module to be compiled. Getting the framebuffer working took me a few compiles, and thanks to another LQ user I recently fixed this problem. Check out the thread here. Basically, I just made sure all the drivers and filesystems I need were going to be included. I then compiled the kernel with 'make', the modules with 'make modules', installed them with 'make modules_install', and compiled the bzImage with 'make bzImage'.

I added my kernel as a boot option, so I could go back to 2.4 in the likely event of a problem. To do this, I copied the bzImage I created from /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/ to /boot/ . I renamed mine to bzImage-2.6.8 or something like that, so I knew what it was. I also copied the from /usr/src/linux/ to /boot, and name it something like ''. I created a symlink called that pointed to this file. To add the entry to lilo.conf, I basically copied the entry for the existing 2.4 kernel, except made it point to my new 2.6.8 kernel. I then ran lilo the same way I did before, and rebooted. Of course, all this did NOT go perfectly in one compile. I probably recompiled the kernel 10 times before I got to my current working configuration. Don't expect everything to work the first time, and be absolutley sure to keep the 2.4 kerenel as an option, just so it's there if you need it.

8) Aftermath
After I had my brand spankin new kernel working, I had to do a few things I skipped before. I ran alsaconf, and it ran through fine. However, whenever I played a sound file, whatever app I did it with crashed, and alsa spit out a bunch of garbage to the terminal. Not good. I researched it a bit, and found that ACPI had to be disabled. I added append="noapic acpi=off" to my lilo configuration, rebooted, and everything was fine. I'm looking into a way to use the onboard sound and have ACPI enabled.

9) ATI Drivers
DUM DUM DUM!!!! I grabbed the XFree86 4.3 rpm from ATI's site. I did rpm2tgz with the package, and installed it. First relief, everything went where it was supposed to. Now, I had to build the kernel module. As superuser, I navigated to /lib/modules/fglrx/build_mod. I executed the make script with 'sh'. Fingers crossed, and it compiled. I went to the parent dir and typed sh No errors! I modprobed fglrx, and it loaded with no errors still. I ran fglrxconfig, and renamed the file to xorg.conf. I closed my eyes and fired up X. fglrxinfo told me, and still tells me I have a 9500 pro, and not a 9700 pro. 3D acceleration works reasonably well now. Oh yeah, and I added 'modprobe fglrx' to my /etc/rc.d/rc.modules file, so I didn't have to load it manually every time I booted.

Well, there you have it, from start to finish my setup of a Slackware 10.0 System with a 2.6.8 kernel on my box. It wasn't without it's problems, but I now have the goodness of an up to date slack system on my box. I've played CS, Far Cry, JKA and a few others via wine or cedega and all have run decent enough. Well, this was my experience, it turned out pretty well in the end. I'd be glad to elaborate on anything I've mentioned here, just let me know.
Old 10-17-2004, 04:58 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

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Excellent, congratulations and well done
Old 10-20-2004, 01:12 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 857

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110

Thanks for the how-to! You section on ATI configuration helped me to solve some problems that I'd been wrestling with for quite some time. (I had forgotten to write "modprobe fglrx" into my rc.modules.)

Have a good one.

Old 10-23-2004, 10:26 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Notre Dame
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 14

Rep: Reputation: 0
Ahhhhh! I can't believe I forgot to add the 'modprobe fglrx' line. Super thanks for the reminder Dane. I've been stumped for days.
Old 11-18-2004, 09:04 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 15
I'm running an NVIDIA card, just installed Slackware for the first time and when I try to run 'X' from console all I get is the 'X' mouse cursor and the gray hatch background. I chose fluxbox as my GUI and I have a feeling if I switch it to Gnome that it may work... how do I do this as root from a console?

Old 11-18-2004, 10:56 PM   #6
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Ohio, USA
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 464

Rep: Reputation: 30
Do "xwmconfig" before starting x.
Do this as root to set gui for root, do it as regular user to set gui for regular user.
Old 11-23-2004, 02:44 AM   #7
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 15
thanks for the tip... it turns out to be something else... I'm not exactly a linux guru, but I AM learning. I still can't load into X Windows.

After staring at my 'X' shaped mouse cursor for a few seconds, I hit ctrl+alt+F2, then ctrl+alt+F1, I had a message on my screen. Here's m log file Xorg.0

_XSERVTransSocketOpenCOTSServer: Unable to open socket for inet6
_XSERVTransOpen: transport open failed for inet6/darkstar:0
_XSERVTransMakeAllCOTSServerListeners: failed to open listener for inet6

Release Date: 18 December 2003
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0, Release 6.7
Build Operating System: Linux 2.4.26 i686 [ELF]
Current Operating System: Linux darkstar 2.4.26 #6 Mon Jun 14 19:07:27 PDT 2004 i686
Build Date: 05 June 2004
Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.X.Org
to make sure that you have the latest version.
Module Loader present
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Mon Nov 22 11:26:38 2004
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"

I hope this information helps I don't know what I need to do to fix it.
Old 11-26-2004, 06:30 PM   #8
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Chico, CA, USA
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 857

Rep: Reputation: 110Reputation: 110
Hi, fatherg.

It sounds like your ~/.xinitrc file is out-of-whack. Try backing it up and replacing it with the following:

# $XConsortium: xinitrc.cpp,v 1.4 91/08/22 11:41:34 rws Exp $


# merge in defaults and keymaps

if [ -f $sysresources ]; then
    xrdb -merge $sysresources

if [ -f $sysmodmap ]; then
    xmodmap $sysmodmap

if [ -f $userresources ]; then
    xrdb -merge $userresources

if [ -f $usermodmap ]; then
    xmodmap $usermodmap

xscreensaver &

#Start the window manager
This will (hopefully) get you loaded into KDE. If it doesn't work, at least you know your .xinitrc file is probably OK. You might want to insert the entire path to "xscreensaver" and "startkde" on their respective lines in case they're not in your path.

Good luck!



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