Thursday, 12 November 2009

Reinstalling X? :(

Seems the graphics driver thing has caused more than just the odd yum glitch...

In short, because of the way ATI bundled the driver, I will probably have to reinstall the X server and stuff that goes with it. That doesn't sound like it will be a fun job at all. :(

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Some of the update issues sorted...

Turns out switching on the rpmfusion-free-update repository sorted out a lot of the issues with doing a yum update.

Now left with ....
[root@yeti yum.repos.d]# yum update
Loaded plugins: dellsysidplugin2, refresh-packagekit
Setting up Update Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
--> Processing Dependency: for package: iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586
---> Package libnetfilter_conntrack.i586 0:0.0.100-1.fc11 set to be updated
--> Finished Dependency Resolution
iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 from installed has depsolving problems
--> Missing Dependency: is needed by package iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 (installed)
You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
package-cleanup --dupes
rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest
[root@yeti yum.repos.d]#

To sort out.

kmod-fglrx issues

Recently ran through the upgrade process of Fedora 10-11. Preupgrade went smoothly but no upgrade, so had a look at grub.conf and discovered I had to select the upgrade option there during boot. Duly done and complete, kind of.

A $yum update gives me a bunch of dependency issues, here are a couple....

Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package vlc-core-1.0.0-0.11rc3.fc11.i586 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: kernel-uname-r = is needed by package kmod-fglrx- (rpmfusion-nonfree-updates)
You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
package-cleanup --dupes
rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest

Straight away I can see a package is from fc10, so not a big suprise that causes issues. Turns out kmod-fglrx- is from the ATI proprietry drivers I installed, so....

[root@yeti yum.repos.d]# yum remove kmod-fglrx
Loaded plugins: dellsysidplugin2, refresh-packagekit
Setting up Remove Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package kmod-fglrx.i686 0:9.3-1.fc10.14 set to be erased
--> Finished Dependency Resolution at least I only have fc11 packages whining at me....

--> Finished Dependency Resolution
iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 from installed has depsolving problems
--> Missing Dependency: is needed by package iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 (installed)
vlc-core-1.0.0-0.11rc3.fc11.i586 from installed has depsolving problems
--> Missing Dependency: is needed by package vlc-core-1.0.0-0.11rc3.fc11.i586 (installed)
gstreamer-plugins-bad-0.10.11-4.fc11.i586 from installed has depsolving problems
--> Missing Dependency: is needed by package gstreamer-plugins-bad-0.10.11-4.fc11.i586 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gstreamer-plugins-bad-0.10.11-4.fc11.i586 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package iptstate-2.2.1-5.fc11.i586 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package vlc-core-1.0.0-0.11rc3.fc11.i586 (installed)
You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
package-cleanup --dupes
rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest

The gstreamer and VLC packages are packages I want to keep for my video/mp3 collections so I need to work out why these are failing. Clearly (?) they have missing dependacies, but I need to know where to get those from and equally why can I not get them from the repos I have enabled? Dropped from Fedora 11 possibly? In which case I need to find out what replaces them in 11.

Monday, 20 July 2009

New Evolution build, still no mobile sync

My hunch anout Evolution recurring appointment bug being the problem seems incorrect. Opened Evolution today, it has been updated to 2.6.3 which fixes that bug.

Tested and indeed I can now create recurring appointments without a crash, but it hasn't sorted my mobile phone sync issues. Back to the drawing board :(

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Battling with syncing

Time has come to try to figure out synchronising my mobile with my Fedora desktop calendar program.

For no reason other than it's the default in Fedora, I'm using Evolution as my local calendar program. I have a Nokia N85 and a Google calendar.

Somehow I want to get them all talking/synchronised with each other.

Using open sync and some other stuff ( I successfully got my N85 talking nicely to my FC11 64bit machine, even managed to do a sync of calendar. Once.

More recently I have been consistently getting an error on running the sync tool (see page linked above) rather than a successful sync. Started playing with google calendar, that has a similar but not identical error which makes me think something might have been confused (corrupted) with Evolution.

More so as when I tried to modify a new appointment in Evolution to be weekly with no end date Evolution crashed. And continued to every time I tried to modify that event to be repeating.

Which leads me to think that maybe the sync error is actually evolution getting confused by appoinments in my phone that repeat indefinately. Though that wouldn't fit with not being able to sync with Google unless the Evolution state is so messed up it can't transmit it's data because it got busted on that original (apparently successful) sync.

Seems this bug in Evolution with repeating appts is known and should be fixed in next minor release.... 2.26.3 (I'm on 2.26.2 now). So it's a matter of wait and see now to see if that new version sorts it once it hits the Fedora repositories.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

N85 sync with evolution...success :)

Finally got round to looking into getting my Nokia N85 to synchronise its data with my (Fedora) Linux PCs.

After much scrabbling about and fighting with it, it seems to be working now for both my Calendar and my contacts, syncing between the phone and the Evolution Outlook-a-like program.

I've put some notes on the hows and and whys on my personal website:

Hopefully those notes will prove useful both to me when I get round to doing same to my home machine, but as it runs a slightly different version of Fedora (32 bit FC10) to the machine I've just got work (FC11 64bit) it may be a little more involved!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Learning everyday....

Been a while since posting here, learnt a few things during that time.

Booting into runlevel 3 by default can have some odd side effects when you've spent time building scripts in runlevel 5.

Namely, I discovered my backup script wouldn't work for some reason when I tried to fire it off from the command line. I had taken the command generated by GRsync GUI and put it in a #! script so I could run from where ever and not have to remember the command and the flags I was using.

After a bit of poking I determind the backup disk had died. Or so I thought.
I log in locally, startx up x and no disk available. It used to live under /media/backup but it just wasn't there.

Discovered lshw to find out about hardware in the system, that reported the disk was present. So hopefully it was a config thing rather than hardware failure as first feared.

My GRsync (that I had originally used to launch the backup process) wouldn't run either.

Experiment time... logout of X, su and change the run level back to 5 (init 5). Login as regular user and presto, backup works again.

Seems running startx to get to desktop rather than switching run level means some script or other (presumably in /etc/rc5.d) that mounts the backup disk isn't being fired.

Another useful little program I've discovered during investigations is conky. A system monitoring tool. When first launched it is really dull looking black/white, but with the addition of a .conkyrc file to my home area it can be customised very heavily. A quick bit of googling brings up loads of screenshots with sample .conkyrc files to play with.

Been experiencing some strange behaviour with Banshee recently too... when downloading a podcast from the BBC, one one box (FC11 64bit) any - or _ characters in the filename get stripped.
On my home machine (FC10 32bit) the - and _ are left alone and remain in the filename.

On the face of it that wouldn't be an issue so long as each Banshee can find the files right? Problem is I want to setup a process to keep the two postcast directories in sync, so if one or other machine doesn't get turned on the other would make the download. Redundancy if you like to make sure I get the podcast!

Not worked that one out yet :/

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Dynamic DNS (contd.)

Turns out I was looking in the wrong place in my router config. I was expecting it to live under the firewall options and open a port there, but instead it is actually under 'Virtual servers'.

Ahh well, either way it works now and I can get CLI access from anywhere to my home machine via SSH :)

Monday, 1 June 2009

Playing with DynDNS

My router is an older one. But it was a good one when I chose it, still does the job even if it can't support latest WiFi encryption tech (so have to rely on WEP!).

What it dows support however is out of the box dynamic DNS. So having a play with it last night and getting some odd results.

If I give my browser the magic URL it goes out, get redirected to my router, which passes the request to a http instance on my LAN (I assume the first one it finds) and passes results back to the browser. So as a proof of concept, I'm happy.

Now the server it is finding is my dev server, which I have not yet put any effort into nailing down http.conf so it displays the default 'welcome to fedora/apache instance' page. Not good.

Simple thinks I, I only want Dynamic DNS for use with SSH so I'll turn on firewall blocking of all ports but the ssh port.

Added to IPTables config on the macine and (re)started IPTables but still the machine seems to be serving out html from httpd :(

Looked at whether I could block incoming requests by port in the router firewall, but not found the options I need yet. I'm sure they should be there somewhere.

Maybe playing with these things at 1 in the morning is not such a good idea :/
Needless to say I switched off DynDNS in my router and PC is now off :P

Friday, 15 May 2009

Update breaks keyboard (and mouse!)

Got a fright at the weekend, after my PC booted to the login screen sans problem I found I couldn't login. Not because my password/user had become corrupt or anything like that but I simply could not enter my username/password as both my mouse and keyboard were dead.

Both are plugged in to the box via USB->PC2 adaptors. I unplugged them and plugged into my USB hub and presto - fully functional peripherals again. :/

So it seems the last update either broke the way the OS talks to PC sockets or Fedora guys have switched off support by default. Took me by suprise that sort of change would be done in an update rather than a major release as it seems a shift in policy (assuming it was switched off rather than broken).

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Hurrah for Nokia!

Here's me, sat at home. Knowing at some point if I am to use my shiny new Nokia N85 for music at the gym etc I am going to have to spend some time fiddling to get my Nokia and Banshee talking nicely.

So I try plugging in that little USB cable to see if Linux recognises a mass storage device. Not only is it recognised but Banshee instantly adds the phone as a writable device for syncing my music.


No tinkering at all needed. Not sure who's done the work or whether it's just that Nokia have followed the same protocol standards as the Banshee coders did, but either way I'm very happy I don't have to spend ages getting it to work.
Only ages to sync it all!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Banshee 1.4.2 problem with flash drive

Since upgrading to FC10, the Banshee install I have has been refusing to write to my generic USB sticks.

When transferring tracks, using the Banshee interface, to my USB drive I was getting an error "Object reference not set to an instance of an object".

While I have a reasonable grasp what the error means from a coding perspective, I don't have the time nor the inclination to dig into the source code. Nor would the average non-coder trying to move to Linux have any idea.

Turns out that a fix found here:

Sorted out my problem nicely.

I added output_formats=audio/mp3 to the .is_audio_player file on the USB device and I can now copy my tunes for the car and I'm a happy raver once again :)

Apparently this is something to do with telling Banshe the device supports mp3 format audio and not to bother re-encoding for the device.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Streaming Radio1 now works :)

Followed a link from the BBC help pages to get to the rpm download of the latest (11) RealPlayer (

Installed as root:
yum installlocal /home/-path to .rpm

Restart my browser and hey presto it works :) Much more succesful than previous attempts with Realplayer10 pluging nonsense!

Laptop now on FC10

It wasn't without issues but I now have Fedora10 running on my laptop.

I tried installing using ext4 filesystem.

The WiFi setup was a nightmare, using the system admin options for network (as root) simply refused to do what I wanted I was probably using it wrongly!

Finally found some errors around writing to disc in the logs. Something to do with ext4 so I tried a format with ext3 to try FC10 on ext3. Half way through the process the hdd starts making a horrendous squeeling noise. I guess it's dead! Must be something to do with the power issues this laptop has meaning the disc has been clobbered by random power offs!

So, a replacement disc (I had a 20Gb one laying around) and a reinstall of FC10 and things went a bit smoother. I tried installing an ext4 system in the hope the issues I had before were down to bad disc rather than ext4 issues.

Started up ok, but still a real struggle with the WiFi card (PCMCIA). I added the firmware in the right place and everything!

I then discovered a new button on my Gnome panel, options for network can be set per user by that button. After a bit of friggin about I worked.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Maybe a format is the answer

I ran the online upgrade process using preupgrade and apparently everything went smoothly upgrading to FC10.

The machine seems to behave itself and everything works as it used to, only when I run an update yum downloads packages marked with fc8 rather than fc10. So it would seem everything is not quite as good as it could be.

I was contemplating doing a format and install of FC10 to take advantage of the ext4 filesystem anyway. Next step - backup all those config files that I spent time working out (eg. httpd/svn/yum.repos.d etc).

Not sure when I'll get time to do it though........

Friday, 23 January 2009

Upgrade in progress...

Yesterday I read about the next iteration of Fedora (11) being discussed as en-route. As I'm still on 8 I reckon it is a good time to take the plunge and do an upgrade.

So after a yum update to make sure my FC8 is up to date, I launched the preupgrade program I mentioned in an earlier post and started it doing its' thing to upgrade me to FC10.

Needless to say, downloading and installing an entire OS and lots of software with it is going to take some time, so left it running overnight, dozy me forgot to check it before leaving the flat this morning.

Needless to say, I ran my backup scripts before running the upgrade stuff as the forum recommendations seem to be for FC8->FC10 best route is a format + install rather than upgrade. Given FC10 supports ext4 filesystem which (from my breif reading of reports and graphs online) seems would give me a performance boost.