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Sep. 22nd, 2006

Email to ATI

Hi there, in the blog on Sept. 16 you said:

"First off, it seems Fedora developers did not define the UTS_RELEASE in the kernel version header."

This is something that has changed upstream in the kernel:

"UTS_RELEASE has moved to linux/utsrelease.h"

You might like to update your script to take this into account.


Funny thing is - I blogged this very change on July 19th. Too much information to keep track of... Thanks to the anonymous commenter for the heads up.

UTS_RELEASE undefined in kernel source

Yesterday was the third (and final) test release candidate for Fedora Core 6. Initial support for Fedora Core 6 was brought in the packaging scripts with the 8.28.8 drivers. With the release of FC6T3, it seems the fglrx drivers are working but it does (currently) require a few tweaks on the end of the user.

First off, it seems Fedora developers did not define the UTS_RELEASE in the kernel version header. When running --buildpkg Fedora/FC6 on a clean FC6T3 install, the build will error out. The error, however, resides with the kernel. Within /lib/modules/2.6.17-1.2630.fc6/build/include/linux/version.h the UTS_RELEASE is not specified. Adding #define UTS_RELEASE "2.6.17-1.2630.fc6" to version.h will correct this problem so the RPMs generate fine.

From ATI Linux Blog.

Not that we're into making it easy for people to install proprietary software on their all-free Fedora system, but we're not into making it hard, or pushing out "broken" software.

I'm running 2647 and the UTS_RELEASE is still not in there. Should it be?

Sep. 11th, 2006

Democracy TV

I found Democracy TV while searching for a video podcatcher to receive and watch Chaz's Yogamazing video podcasts in.

Here is how I got Democracy TV working on my Fedora rawhide system

First of all I downloaded the source package for Fedora Core 5 from http://www.getdemocracy.com/downloads/fc5src.php

The rpm package available from the Democracy TV site would not install due to failed dependencies, mozilla-devel prominent among them.

The build of the source (rpmbuild -ba /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/Democracy.spec) failed with a similar error. The mozilla-devel package does not seem to be available for Fedora rawhide. I found a mozilla-devel rpm for FC 5 here: http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/fedora/linux/core/5/i386/os/repodata/repoview/mozilla-devel-37-1.7.12-5.html

and force installed it using rpm -Uvh --nodeps, as the mozilla installed on my rawhide system is 1.7.13.

After this it still wouldn't build, and then I found this thread: http://www.fedora-france.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=12245, in French.

Following the instructions there, notably:

as root :
cd /usr/lib/mozilla-1.7.12/
ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla-1.7.13/libgtkembedmoz.so .
ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla-1.7.13/libxpcom.so .

I was able to convince the package to build, and then install it. Installing it required me to get gnome-python2-gtkmozembed, which luckily for me this time, was available in the rawhide repositories.

Then it appeared in the Sound & Video menu.

Now that I have it, I don't know if I can actually watch the podcasts with it. Chaz provides his podcasts through iTunes. Still trying to figure that out...

Sep. 7th, 2006

Yum is not a dumptruck...

There was a little bit of confusion about Tim Lauridsen's depcheck plugin, so allow me to elaborate.

Depcheck will remove any packages from a yum operation whose dependencies cannot be satisfied, and continue processing the ones whose dependencies can be satisfied. No, depmod does not allow you to do a yum install with the equivalent of rpm --nodeps, but wouldn't that be cool?

As Seth explained in his yum tutorial at LCA last year, yum is not a dump truck, it's a pipe, and you can smoke whatever you want in that pipe by using the yum plugin architecture.

Seth said he did this because he got constant requests for "crack", and he wasn't going to put crack into yum, but he wanted to give people the freedom to smoke crack if they want to.

A --force plugin would be some serious crack, but depmod isn't it.

Sorry to disappoint any crackheads out there who were looking forward to trashing their systems...

Sep. 6th, 2006

Yum reloaded

Yum just got a whole new twist with yum-2.9.5-4. Man, this thing is so fast it could get a speeding ticket.

It's got a C meta data parser, and with Tim Lauridsen's depcheck plugin it can even do an update when some package dependencies can't be satisfied.

For anyone who can remember, the speed of yum has been an issue for me for a while, with Ubuntu toting friends updating their machines in a fraction of the time it took me to install a package using Fedora's updating and package management system (I don't admit to the existence of that iMac running 6.06LTS under my desk).

Anyway, that's history. There's a new yum on the block, and the word is that 2.9.6 will be even more smoking.

Big ups to Seth and Tim for their work, and props to Rahul for the heads up.

This is a momentous day for me.

Jul. 26th, 2006

VMWare on FC6T1 - working

I got it going, thanks to something that I overheard in #anaconda.

You can find out what to do by visiting this thread on vmware.com.

Just be aware that this problem has arisen due to a change in the kernel which forces code that uses the lock dependency infrastructure to depend on a GPL-only symbol, which b0rks any devil code like VMWare.

Getting around it like this will probably endanger the eternal destination of your soul, but at least you'll have your VMWare goodness before you get all toasty... ;-)

Jul. 19th, 2006

VMWare on FC6T1

At the moment I'm trying to get VMWare Workstation 5.5 running on Fedora Core 6 Test 1. Right now I'm working on some documentation for RHEL 5 and the build chain is all based on RHEL 4, so I need to have a RHEL 4 environment.

I downloaded VMWare Workstation 5.5 and tried to get it going.

First problem I ran into was the vmware-config.pl complaining that there was no kernel source. It requires the kernel-headers in order to compile a kernel module. I installed kernel-devel for both i586 and i686, but it still wouldn't pick it up, even when I explicitly told it where to look.

When I manually entered the directory /usr/src/kernels/2.6.17-1.2405.fc6-i686/include/ it would complain that the header version (@@VMWARE@@ UTS_RELEASE) did not match my running kernel, and that "even if the module compiled it would not work with the running kernel".

Use this command:

echo /usr/src/kernels/$(uname -r)-$(uname -p)/include

(from here) to figure out what the kernel header directory should be for your running kernel.

OK, so mine was fine, but it still wouldn't work.

A little Google love found me this thread on a Red Hat mailing list.

So I went to http://platan.vc.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/vmware/readme.txt, read through it and picked up the copy of vmware-any-any-update102.tar.gz. I unzipped it and ran runme.pl.

That got me further. Next I got an error advising me to run "make prepare" in the kernel header directory. I did this and it got a little further, then bombed out again telling me:

hostif_compat.h: error: expected ':' or '(' before 'UTS_RELEASE'

I Googled some more, then found this exchange between the kernel Gods.

UTS_RELEASE, it turns out, has been moved from version.h to utsrelease.h in kernel 2.6.18-rc1 and above.

The kernel I'm running on FC6T1 identifies itself as 2.6.17-x, but apparently has UTS_RELEASE in utsrelease.h.

The VMWare hostif_compat.h file has the following in it:

/* Retrieve UTS_VERSION and UTS_MACHINE if there is such information available */
#include <linux/compile.h>
#include <linux/utsrelease.h>

which obviously doesn't work on my kernel, which exhibits the 2.6.18-rc1 behaviour, but identifies itself to VMWare as 2.6.17.

I untarred /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/vmmon.tar and edited hostif_compat.h to change it to read:


This enables the module to compile ok, however when it tries to load it at the end of the VMWare configuration I get the following error:

make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/kernels/2.6.17-1.2405.fc6-i686'
cp -f vmnet.ko ./../vmnet.o
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/vmware-config14/vmnet-only'
Unable to make a vmnet module that can be loaded in the running kernel:
insmod: error inserting '/tmp/vmware-config14/vmnet.o': -1 Unknown symbol in module
There is probably a slight difference in the kernel configuration between the 
set of C header files you specified and your running kernel.  You may want to 
rebuild a kernel based on that directory, or specify another directory.

Anyone have any ideas, or already done this? As you can probably tell - I'm stabbing in the dark here...

May. 29th, 2006

Speaking of Rawhide...

Still trying to track down the source of the failure of wireless in the ppc rawhide kernels on my 12" ibook G4. (BZ #193082. Come on - anyone else out there seeing this problem? I'm feeling all lonesome here :-)

It's a little inconvenient because in the FC5 kernel wireless works but suspend blanks my screen on resume, requiring a reboot. In the rawhide kernels suspend works a charm, and wireless goes south...

At the moment everything mono seems borked on my system. Tomboy, banshee, f-spot, and beagle all give me gtk-related errors on startup. I lodged a bug #192183 against beagle-search, because that's where I first noticed it, but now I realize it's all the mono apps.

I've got a similar problem with rhythmbox where it blows up with a gtk related error when I try to import files or folders.

Anyway, small inconveniences on the way to a world conquering desktop...

May. 19th, 2006

Tech Support

Yet another customer who opens a ticket saying: "System crashed - kernel panic. I need to find out root cause. Please advise".

No sysreport, no information about what they were doing with their system. Nothing.

Hello - is this Red Hat, or Oracle? As in the Oracle of Delphi: "Excuse me one moment while I check my crystal ball...."

Hang on a minute.... that's an idea. So I call Franciso Cruzat, based on a recommendation from "The Net's Best Psychics - Your Guide to a Good Psychic Reading"

10 minutes and AUD$45 later I call that customer back: "Sir, your RAID controller firmware requires upgrading - I think you'll find that you're using version 1.34g - you need to go to 1.36b."

No, it didn't really happen - but it should. We should get psychics working the help desk - the customers seem to think that we already have them. Even if we had to put the psychics through RHCE training before we put them on the phones, we could get customer satisfaction up immensely. Hey, if we can get the really good psychics on board, we could call the customers up, instead of the other way round: "Sir, please make sure that you have a full backup, you're going to experience a drive failure this week".

Now that's technical support.

May. 16th, 2006

Fedora Core Rawhide

I must say that Rawhide is looking pretty spanking. The new icon theme totally rulez. Nice crisp feel. I haven't booted into OS X for weeks. The only thing that OS X can do that FC5.89 can't is flash embedded in the browser, and proprietary codecs like WMV 9.

Otherwise we're getting parity, and even coming ahead in some areas of usability and sex appeal.

The thing that really stands out to me the most, and it's what has always impressed me, is the rate of change. If you look at how far behind we've been, and how fast we're catching up, it seems that projecting that curve out further, GNU/Linux has the potential to have technical leadership, even in the desktop space, within a year or two.

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September 2006



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