Foresight Linux 2.0

I'm always on the lookout for new innovations from the Linux community and today I stumbled across something interesting. Foresight Linux is a relatively new distribution but what differentiates it from the competition is the package manager. In other binary distros upgrading an application involves removing the old package in its entirety and dropping the new one in its place. Foresights Conary package manager takes a different approach and only swaps out the bits which have changed. This makes it more efficient as your saving on the amount of downloading you need to do for a new package.

One of the other benefits Foresight brings is the ability to run a current system without waiting for the new release media. In some ways its like Gentoo without the hassle of compiling everything. It will be going on my list of distros to test when I get some time and I'd suggest anybody looking for an alternative to Ubuntu/Fedora etc. give it a shot.

There is a good initial review here.

Foresight Website.

Gentoo Linux – Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part 6)

I have been happily using my notebook without problems since I posted my last update. I was enjoying using it so much I decided to take advantage of the low RAM prices and upgrade from 2GB to 4GB. Running a 64bit version of Gentoo I was just expecting to plug the stuff in, it be detected and that be the end of it. To my horror the bios reported 4GB but Gentoo was only seeing 3GB. The majority of posts of people struggling with 4GB of RAM were those running a 32bit system. I applied 2 bios updates to my system (currently running bios version 2.10) in the hope that would fixed the problem, alas no.
Continue reading "Gentoo Linux – Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part 6)"

Gentoo Linux – Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part 5)

SOUND!!! Yes it is now possible to get the ALC268 hda-intel audio chipset working along with the headphone jack. It has taken a few hours trying to hack a solution together from notes relating to other distros but I finally have something acceptable. I guess you want to know how to do it, instructions now follow.

I am using the gentoo-sources kernel 2.6.23-gentoo-r4 without alsa compiled in. Alsa will be compiled as a module. I am using the latest Alsa drivers 1.0.15. You may need to unmask and emerge the packages listed below.

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=media-sound/alsa-utils-1.0.15 ~amd64
=media-libs/alsa-lib-1.0.15 ~amd64
=media-sound/alsa-headers-1.0.15 ~amd64
=media-sound/alsa-driver-1.0.15 ~amd64

This guide should provide the information to get Alsa setup http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml. Once Alsa is setup and the above packages installed run alsaconf (if not done so already) to setup alsa.

At this point I got some sound from the speakers and the 1.0.15 drivers gave me slightly different mixer options over the 1.0.14 drivers.The key to getting everything working is adding the following line to /etc/modprobe.conf

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options snd-hda-intel model=toshiba

Reboot or restart alsasound to get the sound working. The headphone jack should mute the speakers when headphones are plugged in and unmute when they are removed. The sound from the speakers is also noticeably louder and richer and the integrated sub is generating the lower frequencies. I have not tried the other i/o jacks on the front of the notebook so I cannot say for sure if they are operational.

Xorg Mouse Configuration

Yesterday I purchased a mouse to use with my notebook; I lead such an eventful life. Ordinarily this wouldn't be worthy of mention, most mice are plug in and use. My mouse however needs to work with Linux and here in lies the problem. Getting a mouse to talk to Linux is getting easier the left, right and middle buttons usually work as well as the up down scroll. It's the additional buttons that cause the problems.

The mouse I have is a Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000. I know I dislike Microsoft but they do put branding on some reasonable peripherals (and it was cheap). I have chosen to use the evdev driver for the mouse, support for this is required in the kernel. The information on how to set this up can be found on this wiki:http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Advanced_Mouse.

Add the following information to your xorg.conf and remember to add "Mouse1" to the server section. Currently the thumb button does not work correctly. I believe this is to do with the evdev driver, button support may be developed in the future. Forward and back functionality in Firefox is achieved by the horizontal movement of the scroll wheel.

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Section "InputDevice"
# Microsoft Notebook 4000 Mouse
# Thumb button responds as button 9
    Identifier  "Mouse1"
    Driver      "evdev"
    Option      "evBits"    "+1-2"
    Option      "keyBits"   "~272-287"
    Option      "relBits"   "~0-2 ~6 ~8"
    Option      "Pass"      "3"
    Option      "Buttons"   "9"
    Option      "ZAxisMapping"  "4 5"
        # Axis swapped to make back be left and forward be right
    Option      "DialRelativeAxisButtons" "7 6"
EndSection