Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fedora 9 on MacBook Pro penryn (Intel)

Pre Installation Process

  1. Macbook has a single harddisk with two partitions, first one is for the EFI, second one is for the MacOSX itself. Resize the second partition to allow some space for Linux.

  2. After step-1 you have 3 partitions on your system. Do not touch the first and second partitions, you might loose your whole data on MacOSX

  3. Install rEFIt from here rEFIt scans all the available partitions/harddisks/removable devices for the Boot Images. After we install rEFIt we don't have to do any special configurations etc, it will auto-detect things for us.

  4. Installation Process

    1. Insert your Fedora 9 DVD into the notebook and reboot your Mac.

    2. rEFIt asks you to choose the 'bootable DVD' or 'MacOSX' for booting. Select the 'Tux' icon with arrow keys, now you can boot into the Fedora 9 Install system

    3. Answer all the questions as usual during the install process. Be careful at the partitioning page. Choose 'create custom layout'.

      1. Select the Last partition(/dev/sda3) that we've created on disk (extreme right block on the gui). Click on 'Delete' partition (Double check that you are deleting the right partition)

      2. Now you'll have free space on your system

      3. Lets create 3 partitions from the free space.

      4. Create new partition for /boot with 200MB of space (/dev/sda3)

      5. Create new partition for swap with 2GB of space

      6. Create new partition for / with the rest of available space (/dev/sda4)

    4. After you are done with the changes click 'apply' (This step writes the requested changes to disk, double check before applying your changes)

    5. Customize your packages and proceed with the rest of the installation

    Post Installation Process

    Login to your account and perform all the package updates. (This will make sure you have all the latest packages)

    1. Wireless Setup

    Wireless doesn't work automatically due to the Broadcom wireless chipset present in the system. Do not worry, its easy to get the wireless working.

    Download the windows driver package from here . (If you have 'wine' packages installed on system its easy to extract all the driver related from files within your linux itself, if not go to a windows machine extract the drivers which are present in the .exe file and copy them over to linux).

    Extract the drivers from the .exe into /tmp/ndis (I am using /tmp/ndis for all the steps below)

    Open Terminal and go to that directory

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ cd /tmp/ndis
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ pwd
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ ls bcmwl564.sys bcmwl5.inf bcmwl5.sys bcmwlcoi64.dll bcmwlcoi.dll Setup.exe sp37950.cva

    Download the ndiswrapper from Subversion (currently the ndiswrapper-1.53 doesn't compile correctly on 2.6.26 and higher kernels)

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ mkdir /tmp/ndiswrapper/
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ cd /tmp/ndiswrapper/
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ svn co ndiswrapper
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ pwd
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ ls
    branches trunk
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ cd trunk/
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ ls
    CVSROOT ndiswrapper
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ cd ndiswrapper/
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ ls
    AUTHORS ChangeLog driver INSTALL loadndisdriver.8 Makefile ndiswrapper.8 ndiswrapper.spec README utils

    (Before compiling stuff, make sure you have the kernel-2.6.26 and kernel-devel-2.6.26 packages)

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ make

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ sudo make install

    Now you have installed the ndiswrapper scripts and kernel module into the system.

    Install the drivers for wireless now

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ cd /tmp/ndis/sp37950a/
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf

    Verify that the drivers are installed. You should see something like below.

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -l
    bcmwl5 : driver installed
    device (14E4:4328) present (alternate driver: ssb)

    Setup the kernel modules to be autoloaded.

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -ma
    module configuration information is stored in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -mi
    module configuration information is stored in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/ndiswrapper -m
    [nareshv@fallenAngel ~]$ cat /etc/modprobe.conf
    alias wlan0 ndiswrapper

    Load the kernel module

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ sudo /sbin/modprobe ndiswrapper

    Check the wlan0 device

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ /sbin/iwconfig wlan0

    Now the NetworkManager should detect your wifi device and shows the list of available devices. Select your network and enter the passcode (if any).


    Just works


    Just works. Run this command.

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ echo "options snd_hda_intel model=mbp3" >> /etc/modprobe.d/sound

    Make sure to add yourself to the 'pulse-rt,pulse,pulse-access' groups from 'system-config-users' command.

    Ethernet card

    Just works

    Nvidia Graphics

    Install the nvidia drivers from either freshrpms ( or Livna repositories

    Keyboard special keys / Backlight

    Install the pommed rpm from the following location.

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ cd /etc/yum.repos.d

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ wget

    [nareshv@fallenAngel ]$ sudo yum install pommed

    (Edit the /etc/pommed.conf to suit your needs)


    This currently works out of the box (all the tapping features) on 2.6.27 and higher kernels. For this you can just upgrade your kernel from the 'fedora-rawhide' repository.

    I've filed a ticket with Redhat Bugzilla to get this driver for 2.6.26 and lower kernels, but the
    the touchpad is gonna work only from Fedora 10, See this ticket for reference

    In case someone interested in trying out the bcm5974 driver for the 2.6.26 and lower kernels, i have created a dkms package for RPM based systems. Give it a try, let me know if things work for you.

    Add the following lines to your xorg.conf so that synaptics driver can help
    your touchpad work like that in the macosx. Here is mine looks like.

    # nvidia-xconfig: X configuration file generated by nvidia-xconfig
    # nvidia-xconfig: version 1.0 (buildmeister@builder63) Wed Aug 27 13:20:19
    # PDT 2008

    # Xorg configuration created by pyxf86config

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "Default Layout"
    Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
    InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad" "CorePointer"

    Section "Files"
    ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/nvidia"
    ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules"

    Section "Module"
    Load "synaptics"
    Load "extmod"
    Load "dbe"
    Load "glx"

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad"
    Driver "synaptics"
    Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
    Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
    Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
    Option "SHMConfig" "true"
    Option "LeftEdge" "10"
    Option "RightEdge" "1200"
    Option "TopEdge" "10"
    Option "BottomEdge" "370"
    Option "FingerLow" "10"
    Option "FingerHigh" "20"
    Option "MaxTapTime" "180"
    Option "MaxTapMove" "220"
    Option "SingleTapTimeout" "100"
    Option "MaxDoubleTapTime" "180"
    Option "LockedDrags" "off"
    Option "MinSpeed" "1.10"
    Option "MaxSpeed" "1.30"
    Option "AccelFactor" "0.08"
    Option "TapButton1" "1"
    Option "TapButton2" "3"
    Option "TapButton3" "2"
    Option "RTCornerButton" "0"
    Option "RBCornerButton" "0"
    Option "LTCornerButton" "0"
    Option "LBCornerButton" "0"
    Option "VertScrollDelta" "20"
    Option "HorizScrollDelta" "50"
    Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "0"
    Option "VertEdgeScroll" "0"
    Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "1"
    Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "1"

    Section "InputDevice"

    # keyboard added by rhpxl
    Identifier "Keyboard0"
    Driver "kbd"
    Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
    Option "XkbLayout" "us"

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Monitor0"
    VendorName "Unknown"
    ModelName "Unknown"
    HorizSync 30.0 - 110.0
    VertRefresh 50.0 - 150.0
    Option "DPMS"

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Videocard0"
    Driver "nvidia"

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device "Videocard0"
    Monitor "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth 24

    Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "True"
    Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "True"
    Option "TripleBuffer" "True"
    Option "UseDamageEvents" "True"
    Option "UseRandR" "True"
    Option "RenderAccel" "True"
    Option "NoPowerConnectorCheck" "False"
    Option "RandRRotation" "True"
    Option "DynamicTwinView" "True"
    Option "OnDemandVBlankInterrupts" "True"
    Option "ConnectToAcpid" "True"
    Option "EnableACPIHotkeys" "True"
    Option "UseEvents" "True"
    Option "ExactModeTimingsDVI" "True"
    Option "NvAGP" "0"

    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 24

    Section "Extensions"
    Option "Composite" "Enable"

    Now upgrade your kernel to 2.6.27 as it allows all the above changes in xorg.conf come true.

    sudo yum --enable-repo=fedora-rawhide update kernel kernel-devel

    After kernel upgrade reboot your box and then recompile the ndiswrapper too (its easy, no other changes required)

    cd /tmp/ndiswrapper/trunk/ndiswrapper && make uninstall && make && make install && modprobe ndiswrapper

    Remove the 'applesmc' driver , its causing some problems with the wireless in 2.6.27. Also you see the following wierd error lines in /var/log/messages. Not sure if they are harmless. But removing the applesmc make them go away.

    echo "applesmc" >> /etc/modporbe.d/blacklist

    rmmod applesmc


    Just works


    Fails sometimes.


    Haven't tested

    iSight (webcam)

    Just works.

    Install this package

    bash$ sudo yum install isight-firmware-tools

    Test the camera using 'cheese' or 'tvtime'

    bash$ sudo yum install cheese


    Below documentations are verymuch useful in case of any problems.

    [1] Fedora :
    [2] Ubuntu :
    [3] Wifi Drivers :

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fedora 9 and Thunderbird / Lightning problem

Here goes the problem description,

You've installed Fedora without any development stuff on your notebook/workstation, Using thunderbird as the official mail client, using lightning as your default calendar handler.

If you are in the above case, you might face this wierd problem. Lightning extension does not show you the timezones, doesn't recognize the .ics invites which are present in the email. Here is why

Look at the following image for a description of what happens.

The problem could be that, you don't have the installed on your box. The lightning project also says the same. But the lightning extension fails to detect the presence of the shared library. This html tidy extension does good job of identifying the missing shared library.

In order to fix the problem with lightning, install the compat-libstdc++-3 package

bash$ sudo yum install

Now, relaunch your thunderbird, lightning will work fine. It took quite sometime for me to figure out whats the real problem is.

Hope this trick will help you guys out.