Category Archives: Linux

Everything related to Linux really

gcc 4.2.x woes

In Rockbox we’ve seen the gcc 4.2.x series introduce warnings on C code that really is perfectly fine, and also compiles warning-less on all other versions of gcc. (We use the 4.2.x series in Rockbox only for the simulator, built for running on host.)

In the linux-mips project, they’ve found gcc 4.2.2 to not even be able to build their kernel…It has been suggested that perhaps the best thing is to just skip to 4.3. Bugzilla entry.

Segmentation Fault Fix

I got this lovely mail today (sender shall remain nameless and not possible to identify as I have no intention to point fingers). The mail doesn’t mention any project I’m involved in, nor does it say how the guy gets his problem or anything. The question is simply:

I hope that you managed to resolve Segmentation fault. I am having the segmentation problem when I run my Executable, I think it got to do with Remote failure Reply, I am not sure. My executable is build under ARM-Linux. I will be grateful if you can tell me which Library file you included or deleted in order to get rid Of segmentation fault.

I love it. I have no idea what he’s talking about..! Quite likely everything will be evident once just a tad bit more details are revealed.

Linux Sound, part II

Here’s a follow-up on my previous rant about Linux sound still lacking:

I got the advice to try shutting off my on-board audio in the BIOS settings, and indeed I think that’s a great idea as with only one sound card present in the system I figure the chances are much bigger that things would auto-detect and work smoothly.Music Note

Forget that. When I did that, I failed to get any sound at all. Not by default and not after trying one of my alsaconf and aumix tricks. I went back and enabled the on-board sound again, did the insane command line invokes and voila, sound is now back…

Someone mentioned that this situation of course may be different with different distros, and while that may of course be entirely true it really doesn’t matter much to me since I won’t change distro (now) and I would expect Debian to be at least around the distros that do a half-decent job.

Booting Linux Faster

I have to admit the little I’ve used SUSE Linux I just disliked it and the yast thing is completely inferior to debian’s system – a lot because of its slowness.

However, I noticed they’ve worked a lot on improving boot speed, boasting a cutdown from 55 seconds to 27, and I’m a bit jealous about that…

I  mean, I reboot like once every two months so I could save like 3 minutes of my life during a year. Not too shabby… 😛

3gp movies on Debian

Sony Ericsson w580iI recently shot a little video with my phone (SE w580i) and when I copied it over to my Debian Linux box I of course immediately realized I had no video players that would show a 3GP film. Or rather, they all showed it but none of them played the sound! It seems the phone uses the ‘amr_nb‘ codec for audio, which is a non-free thing that my “Debian unstable” players (not very surprisingly) don’t have built-in support for…

Anyway, if you close your eyes for the problems with closed proprietary evil, I got pointed to the cool site and then I could add the following line to my /etc/apt/sources.list

deb unstable main

… and do a plain plain “apt-get update” and “apt-get dist-upgrade” and wham, my mplayer could now show the 3gp video with sound.Film and Sound icon

The only slightly quirk remaining is that I didn’t manage to transcode the movie with audio nicely with mencode, but I didn’t really spend enough time to figure out why.

Sound on Linux has some quirks left

I’m a stupid person.

When I bought a new PC the last time, I went for a ASUS M2NPV-MX motherboard with built-inASUS M2NPV MX Motherboard sound and nvidia graphics. I had been told that the nvidia open source driver is fine enough for 2D graphics, and since I never game or anything I’m perfectly fine with 2D-only.

Ok, it didn’t take me long to realize two things about my motherboard:

  1. The built-in audio “nVidia Corporation MCP51 High Definition Audio” is not supported by Linux/ALSA. It seems to detect it fine and it can show what it is and everything but it can’t produce any sound.
  2. The open source nVidia driver does not support DVI in resolutions beyond 1280×1024, and it made me wanna cry. I switched to VGA instead, only to realize that the analog output on this board is really noticeably worse than my previous and much older trustworthy Matrox card. (New MutePCI-Express board in the pipe.)

There’s nobody to blame but myself. Lessons for next time: check the audio support better and do not go with nVidia graphics (at all) until they have a good open source driver – and really really check this. (No need to tell me there’s a binary-only nvidia driver, I know about it but I hate it and I hate the inconveniences dealing with binary drivers cause when you upgrade your system etc.)

Funnily, the motherboard has built-in Ethernet (of course) but I don’t normally use that, as I’m on 802.11g only. My work computer is on the upper floor and my (24 mbit) ADSL connection is downstairs and I like not having to connect all my computers with cables running all over.

Music NoteSo, back to the story, to get sound for my box I got an old SoundBlaster PCI card from a friend (hej Kjell) and inserted it in the last available PCI slot (the other slot has the wifi card).

Now, when I upgrade to a fresh new kernel version with Debian unstable the system boots up and defaults to the (detected but not working built-in) hda_intel stuff, and I must run alsaconf to select my ens1371-equipped SoundBlaster instead. But this is not enough. After I’ve ran alsaconf I can’t get any sound out still, but I have to reboot and when it comes up again I must run aumixer and pull up the master volume and wham, now I have sound…

I’m quite sure this can be fixed in another way, but trying to learn this and figure how I can repair my situation to always work fine in the future is a mighty task that I haven’t yet been able to overcome. I really should get involved in the ALSA project one day…

Sony Ericsson w580i on Windows

Sony Ericsson w580iI have a fairly new phone, the Sony Ericsson w580i and I think it is a neat little thing.

I’ve been using it as a usb-storage device at home under Linux without any problems, and I’ve pretty much filled my extra 4GB M2 card with music from my collection.

Today I decided to try to get a picture from my phone to my work PC (which is running… eh, Windows XP) and guess if I’m up to a shock: it doesn’t talk to the phone. It claims it can’t find any drivers for it and for some reason it doesn’t just go for usb-storage (even though we know now that it is OHCI compatible – at least).

Crap. On the Sony Ericsson site they offer the Sony Ericsson PC Suite 2.10.38 (for Windows Vista/XP) which is a whopping 44.8 megabytes! And all I want is to access my phone as UMS. Grrrr.

Once installed, I can access the phone fine but now I get that bonus popup annoyance windows that repeatedly asks me if I want to reboot the computer so that the new stuff can take effect…