Wednesday, January 14, 2009

openSUSE 11.1 mirror in Singapore!

I was playing with the new openSUSE 11.1 two weekends ago and noticed that our local national university of Singapore has started mirroring the vanilla binary, updates and additional repositories for openSUSE 11.1.

This is simply brilliant! Much faster downloads for software and updates. sengihnampakgigi

Here's the link to the mirror provided by the National University of Singapore (NUS):

Have fun! peace

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Field Notes: Installing Virtual Machine Driver Pack for RHEL 5

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack (or VMDP) is a set of drivers that enhances the disk and network I/O of a fully virtualized (FV) virtual machine.

I was installing VMDP on SLES 10 SP2 this week at a customer site. They have a fully-virtualized (FV) RHEL 5.2 (i386) domU. The documentation on how to install this is fairly straight forward and can be found at this LINK.

Here are some additional stuff I did to complete the task:

1. Mounting the virtual CD-ROM

I could use virt-manager (GUI) to mount the 2Mb ISO file for RHEL 5 32 bit from the /opt/novell/ directories. However, from within the RHEL domU, the CD-ROM icon appears on the desktop but double-clicking it launches the CD/DVD Creator software!!?? It appears that RHEL thinks the mounted virtual CD-ROM is blank. jelir I had to use the terminal to figure out, with fdisk -l, that the mounted virtual CD-ROM is /dev/hdc. I then manually mounted this at /mnt/cdrom using the mount -t iso9660 -t ro,loop /dev/hdc /mnt/cdrom.

2. Installing the 2 rpms fails because the default RHEL install does not have the rpm-build package

Yep, installing the 2 VMDP RPMs will fail with the error "cannot create /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES". It appears that the rpm-build packages are not installed with a default install of RHEL. Easily resolved by mounting the RHEL 5.2 DVD and installed the rpm-build package. senyum


Training our partners in Seoul, South Korea

I had the privilege to run a partner training class on SUSE Linux Enterprise for our business partners in Seoul, South Korea. This happened back in mid-December 2008... my how time flies... it was a good first trip and a wonderful experience for me.

Here are the class photos and a shot from 20th Floor of the building where we had the class:

Friday, January 2, 2009

Field Notes: GRUB 1024 cylinder limit

So, I was at a customer site last month and had to quickly install and dual-boot SLES 10 SP2. Long story short, I hit the GRUB 1024 cylinder limit. I was able to install SLES 10 SP2 but GRUB installation semi-fail at stage 2. The result is SLES 10 SP2 got installed but I cannot boot into it. nangih

Thankfully, we are able to create a small partition for /boot to reside within the 1024 cylinder limit of the hard disk drive. Thus, we can successfully boot up SLES 10 SP2 and get on with the programme. kenyit

According to a few online resources, I should not encounter this challenge as most new computers have BIOs that allows GRUB to reach beyond the 1024 cylinder limit. Oh well... around

Here are some links:

nVidia 3D desktop effects with XEN on SLED 10 SP2

Here's my first post for the new year 2009...

Having 3D desktop effects (ie Compiz) on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10 is not a new thing since its been available for a few years. However, if you are using Xen virtualization with SLED, you would have realized that the Xen kernel don't play nice with these fancy graphics. kenyit

About a year ago, some brilliant and kind soul published how he got his Thinkpad T61p with nVidia graphics card to work with Xen and also enabled the 3D desktop effects. An awesome article (link here).

However, the technique used required a specific patch to be applied to a specific nVidia driver. xpasti About a month or so ago, I came across another entry online that talks about using the latest (and greatest) nVidia driver with Xen ... WITHOUT patching the nVidia driver! senyum

Here are the summarized steps (link and credit to muchologo's original entry on nvnews forum):

Pre-reqs: Ensure you have installed kernel-source and C/C++ tools.
  1. Download the desired nVidia driver. Link to good nVidia driver info.
  2. Install the nVidia driver per instructions on a non-Xen SLED 10 and check that 3D desktop effects works. Link to custom install of nVidia driver on SUSE.
  3. Reboot into the Xen SLED 10. Basic desktop GUI should fail to work (that's normal).
  4. Prepare the kernel:
    • cd /usr/src/linux
    • cp arch/x86_64/defconfig.xen .config
    • If you are using 32bit kernel, change x86_64 to i386
    • make oldconfig && make scripts && make prepare
  5. At the default TTY1, login as root, expand the nVidia driver package via:
    • ./ --extract-only
    • You could be using a newer driver/arch, the above is just a sample using version 177.82 and x86_64 arch.
  6. Here's the magic:
    • This will compile a new nvidia.ko module that will work with Xen
  7. Now, replace the newly compiled nvidia.ko file and restart the nvidia module as follows:
    • cp nvidia.ko /lib/modules/-xen/kernel/drivers/video/
    • cd /lib/modules/-xen/kernel/drivers/video/
    • depmod -a
    • modprobe nvidia
    • startx
  8. All the steps only needs to be performed once for each new driver or kernel update.
Have fun! sengihnampakgigi