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Old 11-19-2005, 11:30 AM   #1
springshades
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Quick List of Issues I've Had In 2006, Help Appreciated


So I've just installed 2006 a few days ago, and I'm still in that phase of slowly getting things working one by one. I've hit a couple things that I'd like to see if others have experienced and have managed to fix. Just to let you know I've got a Laptop that I tend to be very mobile with (something Linux isn't too great at yet). I have an updated X.org as a part of getting 3D support for my S3 Savage Video card.

The things that went quite easy were acpi (just worked), enabling frequency scaling for my cpu (one line in a startup script), enabling 3D support (lots of copying and installing... stuff... but the process is getting much better recently, and for some reason it never worked *quite* right in the last two versions of Mandriva), enabling badram patch (SO glad they include that patch in the Mandriva kernel), getting wireless internet working (putting one file in the right place), as well as some other things. If anyone needs help with anything on that list, feel free to ask and I might be able to help.

Now on to my problems:

1. shutdown command (from prompt) puts me in run level 1 instead of run level 0... this is REALLY weird and I'm sure the solution is either ridiculously easy (someone typoed a line in inittab) or disgustingly difficult (a random error buried deep in one of the startup scripts).

2. mindi (sp?) daemon never was able to start up, but I didn't know what it did anyway and figured I probably don't need it so I simply disabled it.

3. HAL daemon always fails to shutdown... no idea why... I'll probably just disable that service as well.

4. USB flash drive doesn't mount automatically. It did in every other version of Mandriva I've tried and on every computer I've tried it on. This time, however, I have to mount it from a command line.

5. So far, I've tried 4 or 5 different mirrors for contrib and have downloaded about 30 to 40 packages total from that source. I have yet to get a SINGLE package from contrib that actually has a key. Mandriva has always had crappy package repositories, but this is bad even for them.

6. At some point, my internet interfaces flipped... eth1 became eth0 and vice. Not a big deal, just a "that's weird" sort of thing.

7. My wired ethernet connection sort of thinks it's a wireless connection. In the Mandriva Control Center I can assign things such as frequency, fragmentation, WEP key, etc to it. I haven't tried to assign any of those settings for it... kinda curious what it would do. Probably either wouldn't do anything or it would break stuff.

8. This is the most important and probably the hardest to follow. It will probably be difficult to understand for anyone who hasn't used a laptop with Linux before. If you have, you'll understand just how AGGRAVATING and STUPID this behavior can be. In Linux, if you have an internet interface start at boot, and your connection isn't detected, you still have to wait for 3-5 minutes during boot up as the OS tries to get an IP address over and over and over again finally failing. This is fine in a desktop as the internet connection is always the same. It's NOT fine in a mobile laptop because you will basically *never* use the same internet connection two boots in a row. Mandriva 10.1 and 10.2 had a very easy way to deal with this. You basically don't turn on you wireless internet card until after the boot up sequence. In this way, Linux starts the wireless interface, but doesn't try to get an IP address until later when you're connecting to an Access Point. This would work on a laptop with a separate wireless "card", or a computer that has a button to turn the wireless capabilities on and off.

2006 doesn't work like this. From what I can tell, if the wireless card isn't on or plugged in, the internet interface doesn't load up during boot. This means you have to configure it later. You sort of had to do this before when you didn't know the name of the access point you were trying to connect to. You'd need some sort of tool to find that out. Now however, you CAN'T use any tools until after you've started up the interface. THEN you can search for the access point you want to connect to. THEN you have to configure the interface AGAIN with the correct information about the access point. This takes about 5-10 minutes just to connect to the internet. That's unacceptable for a mobile laptop.

Question, anyone been able to get 2006 to load up the ethernet interface for a wireless card that isn't "plugged in"? Until then, I'll basically have to wait the 3-5 minutes every boot for it to look for an IP address as that currently seems to be the best option.
 
Old 11-19-2005, 01:18 PM   #2
GrueMaster
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Ok, let's see if I can help, by the numbers.

1. What is the command line you are typing? If you want the system to power down, just type "poweroff". The default is to go to runlevel 1 (single user root shell).

2. Try "rpm -qf /etc/init.d/mindi" to find out what package it came from. My guess is that it has something to do with the emergency bootdisk generator, but there isn't a listing for a daemon process in the mindi rpm file that I have.

3. I woulnd't worry about the hal service. It is a background messaging service for the d-bus system, providing live device information.

4. See if you have udev loaded and running. Type "cat /proc/sys/kernel/hotplug" to see what should be running when a device is plugged in.

5. Try downloading the pubkey_main and pubkey_contrib from your download mirror (i.e. ftp://ftp.caliu.info/pub/distribucio...fo/pubkey_main), then "rpm --import pubkey_main". There have been issues with the pubkey files for both main and contrib.

6. Check /etc/modprobe.conf to see what the aliases are (if you have two different card manufacturers). Otherwise, it's probably a pcmcia slot ID change.

7. I can't reproduce this on my T20 with Intel E100 CB interfaces (I tried 5).

8. Not sure on this one. I have a Linksys (Broadcom) Wireless G pcmcia card running with the ndiswrapper driver. Maybe configure your wireless to roaming? I don't have wireless at home (don't own an access point router), so there is nothing for it to detect or get a dhcp address from. When I'm at school (University of Phoenix), it connects just fine, getting an ip address and everything.


Hope I've been helpful.
 
Old 11-20-2005, 02:05 AM   #3
springshades
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1. Funny as this seems, this is actually only the second time I've tried shutdown now and gone to runlevel 1 instead of runlevel 0. I always just assumed it was supposed to go to runlevel 0. Seems counter intuitive that shutdown takes you to runlevel 1, but I guess that's just me. Now I've checked the man page and you're absolutely right. Most of the other distros I've tried it in must have aliases that make shutdown mean shutdown -h.

2. It was actually mandi, not mindi... knew I was gonna get that wrong. Doesn't really matter as I wasn't planning on using it anyway. It was just one of those curiosities.

3. Yup, I'll turn it off. I had it off in 10.2, and I've got it off in Mepis.

4. hotplug is supposed to run udevsend. I did an lsmod and udevd isn't running normally, but udevsend is *supposed* to start udevd according to its man page, so it doesn't seem like that should be a problem. Anyway, if I insert the usb drive while running top, drakconf.real starts up immediately, next udev and udevd start up, then eventually they all go away. Usb drive never mounts. Seems like all of the right programs are probably running though. Do I need an entry in my fstab file?

5. Thanks. I knew how to find the key and messed around with things for quite awhile, but I could never figure out how to import it. Good command to know.

6. Yes, eth0 IS aliased to the wireless card. It just didn't start out that way. That alias was made at some point which is probably what caused the interfaces to flip. I could change the alias, but it seems like it might have broken things enough to actually be a good thing.

7. This is an RTL-8139, and I don't expect that you're going to be able to produce it. I think it has something to do with the fact that the interfaces flipped as it didn't have that problem before. It seems to have kept some of the options that the wireless card had when it was eth1.

8.
Quote:
Maybe configure your wireless to roaming? I don't have wireless at home (don't own an access point router), so there is nothing for it to detect or get a dhcp address from. When I'm at school (University of Phoenix), it connects just fine, getting an ip address and everything.
Problem is that this only works if you never connect to a WEP encrypted network. Otherwise it fails to get an address and you have to sit there during boot up for an extra 3-5 minutes (I'm not exaggerating) until it realizes that it's not going to be able to find an IP address. My home has an encrypted network, so that option just won't work for me. It would be fine if I only used it at school, libraries, cafes, etc. Due to the interface flip, during boot up there is this huge error where eth0 (my current wireless interface) has an unexpected MAC address. It probably thinks it should be the RTL-8139's MAC. Anyway, now if I have the card plugged in, it starts the card then has the huge error, so it skips the part where it tries to find an IP address... woohoo! That part of the problem is solved. However, this may have caused me other problems, so I may have to fix it at some point. Currently I can't get any wireless connection management software to actually connect me to a network without major problems besides the one in the MCC. And that one's just too slow. I'm holding out judgement on this because ALL of the wireless connection management programs for Linux pretty much suck. So it could still be a bunch of different configuration problems.

Thanks for your help. You solved several of my issues.
 
Old 11-20-2005, 09:54 AM   #4
/bin/bash
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1. You can edit /etc/inittab file and change the settings for ctrlaltdel so it does shutdown -h instead of shutdown -r then when you want to turn off the computer just hit <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Del>

8. You should be able to setup different network profiles. For example you have one profile (for instance we'll call it Home) with static IP and make this the default profile. When you boot the wireless will configure to the static IP then you can just switch to your other profile (we'll call that one Mobile) which is set to dhcp. This is in the Mandrake control center (mcc) but I can't point you to the exact spot right now, try looking in the network settings tab.
 
Old 11-21-2005, 03:37 PM   #5
springshades
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1. Nah, that's fine, halt should work. It just threw me off for awhile because they changed things on me in this release.

8. Nah, that's WAY too slow (start up MCC, enter root password, navigate through several pages, pick something, apply it... add in all the load times on what isn't an extremely up to date laptop... it's really unacceptable to take that long to load up internet on something that needs to work "right now"). I mean, wlassistant is better than that. Currently the fastest thing I've got is some scripts that I created and threw into /usr/bin using the iwconfig command. Problem is, it STILL requires root priviledges to use them. It doesn't make any sense to me that to have internet on a wireless laptop, you have to be root. I have other people that I let use this thing, and they don't have near the experience to be running around with root priviledges, but they should definitely be able to use the internet. Somehow, the version of wlassistant that came with LE2005 was able to connect to the internet without root priviledges if I changed permissions on the commands it called, but the newer versions all require it... plus they're a bit slower to navigate through. Currently, I haven't found any way to allow an unpriviledged user to connect to the internet.

4 is still a bit annoying, but I think I'll end up making some menu entries that point to scripts to mount a usb. Then the usb drive can be mounted quickly at least (though it'll probably require root priviledges again... argh.)
 
Old 11-21-2005, 09:15 PM   #6
GrueMaster
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Try removing the wlan interface in MCC, then reinstalling it with the wizard. Make sure to answer yes to allow system to track connection and also yes to allow users to start/stop network. That should eliminate the need for root to make a connection.
 
Old 11-22-2005, 02:00 AM   #7
sam.pedraglio
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Re: Quick List of Issues I've Had In 2006, Help Appreciated

Quote:
Originally posted by springshades
[B]7. My wired ethernet connection sort of thinks it's a wireless connection. In the Mandriva Control Center I can assign things such as frequency, fragmentation, WEP key, etc to it. I haven't tried to assign any of those settings for it... kinda curious what it would do. Probably either wouldn't do anything or it would break stuff.
All these things aren't connected with your interface flip.
They're used to set-up your wirelless interface. Normally the installation sets them to "automatic behaviour" but, sometimes you need to set them manually (ex. national limitation regarding the channels or the speed) and, in this case you need to configure these parameters.
 
Old 11-22-2005, 03:10 AM   #8
springshades
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Quote:
They're used to set-up your wirelless interface. Normally the installation sets them to "automatic behaviour" but, sometimes you need to set them manually (ex. national limitation regarding the channels or the speed) and, in this case you need to configure these parameters.
I think you've misunderstood my post. I have TWO interfaces on my laptop, one wired and one wireless. The wireless interface is SUPPOSED to have these options as they refer to setting specific to a wireless card. The problem is that my WIRED interface ALSO has these wireless options. That's not supposed to happen. The fact that eth1 used to be a wireless interface but now refers to a wired interface is the reason why I blame the flip for those unusable options showing up. Before the flip, this stuff was right. A wired interface does not connect to a specified frequency or have a fragmentation setting (that I know of), so it doesn't make sense to have these as available options.

@GrueMaster

I'll try this again, but I've tried it about 3 times so far, so I don't expect it's going to change anything. I believe that allowing a user to bring an interface up only allows them the use of ifup and ifdown sort of commands. The problem is that I need the user to be able to change settings like the essid, the channel, the WEP encryption key used, etc. I'm sure that these require write priviledges to files somewhere on the computer, but the problem is that it seems there are so many different command and files used by the iwconfig command that I don't think I'd ever be able to track them all down to change their permissions. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to sudo everyone that I want to be able to use the internet and then change the scripts accordingly. Hehe... I should find some icons to point to the scripts that would be somewhat intuitive for people to use. One for wireless at home, one for wireless in permiscuous (sp?) mode, maybe some others as well...
 
Old 11-22-2005, 03:57 AM   #9
theYinYeti
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Hello springshades,

I admit I haven't read previous replies. I have, however, read your whole post.

In my opinion, most of your problems (2, 3, 4, 8, and probably 6) come from HAL.
HAL is the service that gives data about the hardware: USB devices that are plugged, and so on.
HAL is needed for the "mandi" service to start, and mandi is responsible for the WiFi roaming (I'm not sure those are the right words).

To give you an idea: I have an USB WiFi device. Just after fresh-installing, I plugged my WiFi adapter, "mandi" detected the new device (put there by udev, probably), was told by HAL, that this was a WiFi device, hence started the "air-probing" and found my AP, auto-configured the device to this AP's ID, and the routing tables to the routing data provided by my WiFi modem/AP.
In short, without configuring anything after install, without any kind of wait during boot, I was connected to Internet less than a minute after plugging the WiFi device, and the Gnome panel showed a little applet with the signal strength.

Without "mandi", and without "HAL", you can't have that in Mandriva, unless you rewrite the feature yourself (which can be done, probably).

As for 1, 5, and 7:
- You're right about the repositories. They work, though. I've tried both Smart and Urpmi.
- I don't know about "shutdown", I've always used "halt".
- 7... I don't know.

Good luck.

Yves.
 
Old 11-22-2005, 05:24 AM   #10
springshades
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Quote:
HAL is the service that gives data about the hardware: USB devices that are plugged, and so on. HAL is needed for the "mandi" service to start, and mandi is responsible for the WiFi roaming (I'm not sure those are the right words).
That's helpful. To tell you the truth I don't remember ever seeing mandi before this... I don't even remember it in 2005LE. I have no idea what it does. I actually haven't been able to get the thing to start successfully, it always gives an error when it tries to start. HAL starts fine, but it doesn't shutdown successfully.

Quote:
In short, without configuring anything after install, without any kind of wait during boot, I was connected to Internet less than a minute after plugging the WiFi device, and the Gnome panel showed a little applet with the signal strength.

Without "mandi", and without "HAL", you can't have that in Mandriva, unless you rewrite the feature yourself (which can be done, probably).
Actually this isn't entirely true. My wireless card wasn't completely supported by Linux, so I had to add the firmware files myself, but once it was set up, it defaults to "any" as the essid, and it will automatically pick the best frequency/channel available. For a most wireless interfaces, integrated or pcmcia, this will allow you to connect to the internet without touching anything as long as there is no WEP encryption. THAT'S my problem. My home network has a WEP key (and I'm not about to get rid of it as that is probably the biggest single security flaw you can have). Neither HAL nor mandi are needed to connected to the internet. If you need those, it probably has something to do with the fact that you're using a USB interface wifi rather than an integrated or pci/pcmcia one.
 
Old 11-22-2005, 05:59 AM   #11
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Nice to know about that. I'm quite new to WiFi. I hope you'll solve your issue.

Yves.
 
  


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