Upgraded to Fedora Core 12

I upgraded my work laptop from FC11 to FC12 yesterday using the “preupgrade” tool. It was pretty simple, though it took a lot longer than I expected. There was some funkiness with my screen going crazy after the upgrade – my external monitor and the laptop’s LCD both did this crazy wavy-line thing. I tried changing the refresh rate, running system-config-display, nothing worked. I found a post that suggested passing “nomodeset” to the kernel boot options – that solved it. Yay!

The other problem I had was reinstalling VMware Workstation – I couldn’t. I got this error: /tmp/vmware-root/modules/vmnet-only/vnetUserListener.c:240: error: ‘TASK_INTERRUPTIBLE’ … etc. I ended up having to edit the vmplayer source files directly (!!!) to get them to compile – instructions found here

So far FC12 seems exactly like FC11. But that’s fine – I only upgraded because I didn’t want to be on a dead-end version once FC13 is released.

Everything works on my laptop except Bluetooth

This is pretty weird. Bluetooth worked fine under Win XP. The computer is an HP/Compaq nc8430. When I go to the Bluetooth control panel I get “Your computer does not have any Bluetooth adapters plugged in.” The weird thing is, sometimes I’ll see the bluetooth logo in the taskbar at the top, but then when I look again it’s gone and I have no idea how to get it back. When I booted it up this morning I noticed the icon was there so I ran some of the debugging tools for Bluetooth and checked dmesg and this time at least it looks like at least there’s proof that Linux CAN see the Bluetooth adapter, I just don’t get why it then stops recognizing it after just a minute or two, and a reboot doesn’t even consistently bring it back.

Continue reading “Everything works on my laptop except Bluetooth”

NILFS – A File system to make SSDs scream… in pain?

So I got this 128 gig Corsair SSD and put it in my laptop at work. After some fiddling I copied my old disk over to my new disk by booting to Knoppix and doing dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=4k conv=notrunc,noerror. It’s a lot faster, but what’s really fast now is my Windows XP VM. Anyway, I was looking into other filesystems to try out on SSD to improve speed and I found this article claiming that NILFS is the best choice. So I decided to test it using the same ghetto test I always use for filesystem performance: dd!

Continue reading “NILFS – A File system to make SSDs scream… in pain?”

How to install the 64-bit Sun Java plugin on 64-bit firefox on 64-bit Fedora Core 11 Linux (which happens to use 64 bits)

I’m giddy! I found this post on mozdev.org which was magical.

[evan@ehoffman ~]$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_17"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_17-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 14.3-b01, mixed mode)
[root@ehoffman plugins]# uname -a
Linux ehoffman 2.6.30.8-64.fc11.x86_64 #1 SMP Fri Sep 25 04:43:32 EDT 2009 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
[root@ehoffman plugins]# pwd
/usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins
[root@ehoffman plugins]# ln -s /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_16/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so

The main thing I was missing was that the plugin isn’t libpluginjava_oji.so, or whatever I thought it was, but libnpjp2.so. Once I created the symlink into /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins it worked (as verified on http://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.xml and http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp).

That’s all it takes to get the Sun Java plugin working in Firefox on Linux.

I put Fedora Core 11 on my work laptop

My work laptop, which I got around the end of 2006, was starting to run like crap. Pretty sure it started around the time I put antivirus on it, which reinforces my theory that antivirus is a virus itself. Anyway, being bored with Windows XP and having already played with Windows 7 at home, I decided to install Linux. The last time I tried Linux desktop was around RedHat 7.3, which was a long time ago… pre-Fedora even. I’m pretty happy with CentOS on the server side and was set to try CentOS 5.3 on my laptop when someone suggested I go with FC due to more bleeding-edge driver support. Even though the hardware is pretty old at this point I figured it was worth a shot.

Generally everything works pretty well. Everything pretty much works out of the box – I had dual screens up at native resolution, it even recognized my phone as a camera when I plugged it in to charge it. Best of all, I was able to resize the NTFS partition (rather than blowing it away) so I can still boot back to XP when the need arises.

There are 2 problems I’ve had so far though:

  • the computer now hovers between 76 and 85 degrees Celsius, whereas under Win XP it generally peaked around 68 C. I tried underclocking the CPU down to 250 MHz but the problem persisted.
  • The Java plugin for Firefox … wtf? How can this not work? I downloaded Sun’s JDK and symlinked the libjavaplugin_whatever into /usr/lib64/mozilla/whatever/ and that didn’t work. Then I tried “yum install java-plugin” or something like that and that installed some OpenJava-ish plugin which looked like it was going to work, but when I logged into the Raritan KVM and clicked “Connect” it wouldn’t work. I booted up Win XP in a VM and Firefox with Java works fine. Really annoying and dumb.

I’ll probably try Ubuntu tomorrow as several people suggested it runs cooler than Fedora. If that fails then I guess I’ll go to Win7 after all. I also want an SSD for my work laptop now… my Windows VM seems to spent eternity spinning my crappy 5400 rpm drive. Plox.