[conspire] iBook and Ubuntu/Kubuntu

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Wed Oct 5 09:59:04 PDT 2005

Both you and Calvin have sent a couple of replies off-list. I'm 
guessing that was by mistake, so I'm taking the topic back on-list.
"No gnu's is good gnu's."   --Gary Gnu, "The Great Space Coaster"

On Oct 5, 2005, at 7:51 AM, Ross Bernheim wrote:

> On Oct 4, 2005, at 9:22 PM, Daniel Gimpelevich wrote:
>>> My experiences with putting Kubuntu 5.10 preview on a 12' 500 Mhz G3
>>> firewire iBook
>>> have been mixed. Install went easily if a bit slowly.
>>> Kubuntu looks nice and works well except for a few things.
>>> First, usb thumb drive would not work.
> Fixed with dist-upgrade.
>>> Second, closing the cover puts the iBook to sleep, but it stops 
>>> partway
>>> when trying to wake when the cover is opened.
>> Ditto on my iBook. I found a fix that used to work, but with recent 
>> kernel
>> updates in Breezy, it now only sometimes works. I'll be glad to copy 
>> over
>> the necessary files to your iBook when I come to the 10/22 meeting (I
>> won't be there this Saturday).
> Still a problem.

Well, you don't have the necessary files yet.

>>> Third, no sound output.
>> My iBook suffers the same problem if the install is left in a stock 
>> state.
>> I originally messed around with boot scripts to fix it, but recently, 
>> I
>> discovered that there is a really simple fix. Edit the file 
>> /etc/modules
>> with root privileges. Find the line that says "snd-powermac" in the 
>> file
>> and insert two lines immediately before it like so:
>> dmasound-pmac
>> -r dmasound-pmac
>> snd-powermac
> Thanks to Daniel, this now works.
>>> Fourth, usb wifi dongle does not work. The dongle is good and works 
>>> with
>>> Calvin's iBook and Debian install.
>> Again, I'm sure the fix is very simple.
> Still a problem, but we know that it can be made to work.
>> Oh, goody. I'm not sure where you got a 2.6.12-8, since Breezy has 
>> already
>> gone through 20 updates of 2.6.12-9 kernels. Are you sure you're 
>> running
>> the latest 2.6.12-9? Until Breezy is officially released later this 
>> month,
>> you should dist-upgrade at least once a day. There is now a new front 
>> end
>> to apt called "Adept" that I haven't got the hang of yet. If you 
>> decide to
>> run the GNOME desktop, it will periodically do "apt-get update" for 
>> you in
>> the background, and let you know if anything is new.
> The 2.6.12-8 was the kernel that I got when I downloaded Breezy when it
> was first available. The dist-upgrades have helped a lot. I believe I 
> saw
> adept as part of the last dist-upgrade download.

Breezy was first available when the development on it began, even 
before the Hoary release in April. I know you haven't had the iBook 
that long. If you used the bluish CDs that Jim Dennis burned, that was 
the third "Colony" release of Breezy, shortly prior to the "Preview" 
release, both of which have already been greatly obsoleted.

>>> So far no joy on the other issues. Tried all the different settings
>>> for the sound
>>> but no change. Sleeping still does not work. The wifi issue seems to
>>> be no
>>> modules for wireless. Not sure how to solve that one.
>> Do you know what chipset is being used? And which module Calvin was 
>> using
>> for it? If I knew that, I could give you a step-by-step.
> I will look it up and get you the information when I get a chance. I 
> have been very
> busy this week.

You say it has a Prism GT chipset, and Calvin says it has a zd1211 
chipset. Are you sure you have the same dongle? If you have the exact 
model# of any 802.11 device, you can nearly always determine its 
chipset at <http://www.linux-wlan.org/docs/wlan_adapters.html.gz>. It's 
best not to click that link unless Firefox is your default browser, 
because you need one that will display compressed webpages, like the 
pages on the RUTE site. I really hope it's not one of the Prism 
chipsets that need the linux-wlan-ng driver. That's what was giving 
Bruce so much trouble with the dongle that he had, and what continues 
to prevent José from using the Hawking card that he has. I just tried a 
"modprobe zd1211" on my iBook and got no errors, so that module is 
obviously there. If that is indeed your chipset, the problem must be a 
driver matching issue.

>> I haven't checked recently, but have they fixed the problem in KDE of 
>> kded
>> repeatedly segfaulting whenever you insert a CD or DVD? It was really
>> making KDE hard to use. Ubuntu has accomplished the hitherto 
>> unimaginable:
>> making GNOME more usable than KDE. That is, THEIR packaging of both. 
>> The
>> CPU is used very efficiently, so it never seems really slow to me. One
>> thing that will improve apparent speed is switching X.org to 16 bits
>> instead of 24, because it will give direct rendering a chance to work.
>> There isn't enough VRAM in the machine to use direct rendering in 24 
>> bits
>> at 1024x768. Type "sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg" and accept 
>> default
>> answers to each question except the one about bit depth.
> I haven't noticed the segfault problem on inserting a CD.

What about a DVD or audio CD?

> I changed the color to 16 bits and it does seem to help with speed and 
> usability
> a bit, but the disk drive is just plain slow. I wonder how much faster 
> an external
> 3.5 inch 7200 rpm firewire drive would be?

I keep forgetting that the stock installation has DMA disabled. You 
should turn it on in /etc/hdparm.conf, although the difference is not 
all that noticeable.

> Speaking of external hard disk drives, I plugged in one of my external 
> firewire
> drives from my Mac and it automounted and Kubuntu had no problems 
> dealing
> with it even though it is an hfs+ formatted drive! I am impressed! I 
> have avoided
> hfs disks with linux as it has always had a reputation of being less 
> than a
> satisfactory situation. I am not sure who changed it, but it now looks 
> to be good.
> Ubuntu/Kubuntu seem to be making some real progress in getting a real 
> consumer
> quality desktop experience on a par with the best, (Mac OS X).

Don't let appearances fool you. It relies on the kernel's handling of 
the filesystem, which was barely Panther-compatible for HFS+ when I 
last checked, and will definitely cause problems with Tiger. The 
filesystem journaling introduced in 10.2.2 and made default in 10.3 
AFAIK still isn't handled under Linux, let alone all the new filesystem 
stuff in 10.4, so my recommendation is to only mount HFS+ volumes as 
read-only except when it's absolutely necessary to mount as read-write 
for as short a time as possible, immediately followed by a course of 
DiskWarrior 3.0.3 or later. As for HFS-not-plus, support was 
near-perfect in the 2.4 kernels, except for formatting them, which 
would stuff the superblock full of subtly invalid values. I don't know 
whose bright idea it was to rip out most of the HFS code from the 2.6 
tree, but there is no longer any way to access either metadata or 
multiple forks, where 2.4 gave you a choice of like 5 different ways. 
If you need to share files between Linux and Mac OS X on the same 
machine, run OS X under MOL, and export a Linux folder over NFS to the 
OS X you have running under MOL.

>> Under the GNOME desktop, simply plugging in a FireWire hard disk will
>> mount all partitions on it (including HFS+ ones, and in read-write 
>> mode!).
>> Haven't tried it under KDE, but I would expect problems related to 
>> kded.
>>> I was not a great fan of laptops, but the used iBook was affordable
>>> so I got it.
>>> It is slowly converting me to the usability of a laptop, though I
>>> still prefer my
>>> desktop with dual 17 inch monitors.
>> The iBook can drive an external monitor, but AFAIK it can't do 
>> dual-head.
> There is a patch under OS X to enable dual-head operation, but I don't 
> know
> if it would work under Linux.


>> I can also be of assistance in getting Java to work on it, as well as 
>> the
>> PowerPC equivalent of the w32codecs package. I've had no luck getting
>> RealPlayer to work, though.
> I will probably take you up on it if we can get the other problems 
> resolved.
> Thanks,
> Ross
> Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once. (Graffiti: Gene Mora)
> There are no ugly women, there is only lack of vodka.
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