Archive for July, 2011

So.. like the other BSD’s I needed to configure my xorg.conf file to enable the correct resolution. Well… what’s next, play some sound. No sound card found. It seems I have to manually add the driver in the /boot/loader.conf file. So after adding driver to the configuration and rebooting, it works fine.

Well… some other things… which I did yesterday. My external hard disks… (which are ext3 formatted). On my FreeBSD, they appeared as icons on my xfce4 desktop. Double clicking it gave me an error. It seems, I had to add permissions to /usr/local/etc/PolicyKit/PolicyKit.conf, and now it works right away. Cool!

I haven’t got this working yet on the other BSDs. On the other BSD’s I can mount the manually of course. Please note on NetBSD the device is /dev/sdXe (e=0,1 etc) and on OpenBSD it is /dev/sdXi to mount the first parition on the external HD.

I think there was no dbus on NetBSD, (trying all three, but I don’t think I am mixing them up) but there was hald. But hald complains not being able to start since dbus is not running. And therefore the automatic mounting will not work.

I suppose this requires some more playing around with. For example to get TV-out working. I guess I’ll have to poke the xorg.conf for this again, and look at the driver to use.

Please note the video card in this system is a NVidia GForce 4 MX 440. To “modern standards” this is old. But the point is, for FreeBSD, NVidia provides a driver. For the other systems not. The Geforce4 in this machine is the NV17 core, which is supported by the nouveau driver, but looking at the supported systems section of the nouveau drivers reveals they only support Linux and FreeBSD, which are also supported by the NVidia drivers, so apart from being open source, this doesn’t add support for systems not supported by NVidia.

According to the man page of nv (FreeBSD), this driver supports my card, so it’s not using vesa I assume. I should check what the other BSDs support as well. Anyways on FreeBSD this nv driver manpage doesn’t show anything about TV-out, but I guess I could use the nvidia or nouveau driver, at least on FreeBSD.

So… I have this, I guess, about two year old Android phone. A T-Mobile G1, which is in fact a rebranded HTC Dream. So… for this phone there are no upgrades available since Android 1.6. And I must say, after I upgraded to 1.6, the GPS functionality of this phone stopped working. It was really after the 1.5 to 1.6 upgrade.

Well… looking at the upgrade guides, which tell me to root the device, tell my I must downgrade to exploit the bug in 1.0. Yeah…. the 1.0 version which was on there when I bought it. But googling a bit around got me this​ownload-universal-androot/ which gave me root without having to reset everything.

You see… the guides on tell me to backup *before* rooting, using apps which require root. So not that handy, isn’t it? Anyhow… so I got the root with that app…

Following the guide mentioned above… a new recovery rom is required. the amon ra is recommended for my phone, however the flash tool is missing. Perhaps it was only found in the ancient 1.0 rom? Well… I tried the other, not recommended one, and it installed fine.

The radio version of my phone was the radio version mentioned, so I don’t think I needed to upgrade it. I remember my phone prompting to upgrade this thing some time. However I did it anyways… tried to install the DangerSPL right away but it failed. rebooted the phone. it booted fine but the clock went back to 2009.

Trying to enter the recovery again to attempt to install this SPL thing again… but nothing seems to happen this time… just the icon remains on the screen, the menu doesn’t appear like it did previous time… I cannot continue without this danger thing, as it needs to repartition the flash to be able to flash larger images, so I can upgrade my Android version.

Why would I need a new phone, I can upgrade my old phone. Well… It doesn’t agree with me yet… but it will bow for me, I am root, after all!

So, I am continuing my *BSD series, on my old Pentium 3…. cramping three operating systems on a 20 GB hard disk… well… not that much space, and in the partition for a *BSD OS, there are disk slices… so I have a ~ 6 GiB space that I must devide in slices again. There I made a little mistake earlier, not giving enough space to the root slice on NetBSD.

Well… today it’s the turn to FreeBSD to be installed. The installer in menu driven. First it offers a IBM style disk paritioning tool, and after that a slice editor. Since I had already created the IBM style partitions for all OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD beforehand using sysresccd, a linux live cd with rescue stuff like partition editors and so.

When I entered the slice editor, I already saw some configuration. Some slice sizes were defined, but not their mount points/file systems. These were different values then the auto configure values it gave me when I choose this option. I wonder where did these values come from? I am not sure.

After copying the files it asks some questions, to enable ssh server, ftp, nfs, and so on. After this it offers some options to install software from the ports collection. I have looked for my window manager xfce4, but it didn’t appear in the list of window managers. However I observed separate entries for gnome and kde in the list, not under the window managers. Anyways, I choose to install the X server and drivers. Please note it is still installing from the installation DVD, not from internet sources, so this might explain the small software list in that ports collection.

After copying the files, it offers the option to add users to the system. This is again menu driven, including the entering of the password. The setting of the root password is a normal passwd change password action.

Now the system is installed and booted, let’s install some software,
in the FreeBSD manual, it says the pkg_add program supports the -r
parameter where it automatically sets the correct ftp server. So I
don’t have to set it like I did on NetBSD and OpenBSD. I suppose I
should check if NetBSD and OpenBSD support this option too, but I
guess not as I haven’t seen it mentioned.

As referenced on the pkg_mgr site, the OpenBSD package tool, the
FreeBSD program sysinstall, which also did the installation of
the system is responsible for package management with a menu.

So far, FreeBSD…. rooting my android is the next topic.

More NetBSD

After installing some software I realised I made the partition kinda small. I reinstalled the system. Now the metapackage works fine. Perhaps it was due the too small disk size. I’ve experienced weird problems with Linux systems on low disk space as well…

So… let’s try this shit again

So X with xfce4 running fine. Even though I had to do the same manual configuration for the X to enable the 1024 resolution, but that’s due the monitor not supporting DDC. However, the xfce4 tool to change the resolution works fine on NetBSD.

On OpenBSD there was a Chromium build in the repository. Since it’s missing on NetBSD, I am using midori instead. It’s also a WebKit based browser so it shouldn’t make that much of a difference anyways.


Yeah… I kept adding/editing previous post. Even though OpenBSD and NetBSD have a simular packages system. the OpenBSD one is much friendlier, and installing software worked like a charm. On NetBSD however, it’s a pain in the ass…

Like I mentioned, just setting the PKG_PATH is enough to get both working, but the tools pkg_mgr vs pkg_select, a huge difference. First is seemed pkg_select *required* a local copy of the packages database (which  is supposed to be updated through CVS). After some research it seems this is not required, but in FTP mode it’s slow as thick shit. There appear some meta-packages available in the NetBSD repository, but  trying to install them results in an error message regarding the file format being invalid. Really… this does not make a good impression, I’m sorry.

And the thing I’ve mentioned already in 2008. During package installation, it outputs a list of files it writes, but also some messages regarding some settings that should be adjusted manually…. and it just scrolls away as the next package installs…. this is still not changed…. kinda annoying, isn’t it?

Well… finally it appears to be installing something… using the *manually downloaded* bootstrap for the pkgsrc system, which worked “out-of-the-box” for OpenBSD, and I still don’t know how to do a search for a  package that works on this OS.

Like I mentioned yesterday, today I am continuing to play around with operating systems. I am now installing NetBSD. The paritition and slicing tool feels friendlier then the OpenBSD one. I can simply enter the sizes I want them to be, unlike the OpenBSD tool asking to enter CHS values manually. That was just horrible…

From this perspective NetBSD clearly wins, on the other hand, there are other things OpenBSD clearly wins. For example user accounts. OpenBSD gave the option to
create user accounts during installation, which NetBSD (and also ArchLinux) did not.

NetBSD asks what password cipher to use, something OpenBSD did not. Perhaps this is a point for NetBSD again.

I know I am comparing different operating systems, but, this is not really the OS itself but the installer, and the choices offered during the installation procedure, which are, from my perspective, not that much related to the OS itself, as creating users, offering to set up a (minimal) X instalaltion, and such things, shouldn’t differ (much) on various *NIX OS’es.

So, not having a user added automatically, I have to add my user manually. Which works basically the same on any *NIX OS, but living on a *BSD OS, I should add my user to the wheel group in order to be able to su.

So far so good…. software is next… and the same package management is in use as it was under the OpenBSD. pkg_add and the likes.

So far, I say OpenBSD wins… for making the user account during setup, configuring the X during setup, configuring network during startup. (ok I have to add the
network to the services to startup, but apart from that, the configuration was done)

However, NetBSD scored some points for the parition/slices tool during setup, the choice of the password cipher, and basically a decent looking installer. The installer didn’t ask as much as I wished for, but what it actually did, seemed to me to be in a more decent manner then the OpenBSD installer.


I removed some part as it was incorrect, but after some investigation there was still a point of truth in there. So, the pkg_add just setting up the path and such makes it run after all…. I just overlooked a small thing that make me wonder if I had to download the package database to the local machine in order to be able to use the packages at all… well… just setting the enviorement variable is enough to install something, but there is no pkg_mgr in here, The pkg_mgr site mentioned to have it’s roots in pkg_select, which is available in NetBSD.

Another thing is the quering seems to be different, op OpenBSD I just did a pkg_info -Q whatever but in NetBSD it seems to require another variable of which I am not sure yet what is should be.

So, yesterday I’ve arrived at my family’s place. Here I still have two computers left. A 1600 Mhz Pentium 4 (Willamette), and a 866 Mhz Pentium 3 (Coppermine)

I should be ashamed to inform you the Pentium 4 only has a Windows XP and a Windows 7 installation…. I should be deeply ashamed…

So… I’ve installed ArchLinux on my Pentium 4. This is a more advanced Linux distro. But I am using it at my computer in Eindhoven for a while now, and I am happy with it.

Well configuring this thing…. basic installation is really basic, you’ve got to install and configure everything. But there is a decent packet manager, so that’s not a problem. Just one little thing I forgot, is to get the ssh deamon running.

You have to allow access to it in the /etc/hosts.allow to get it working. I forgot this step…. apart from that, installation of this thing works without problems.

Now note the machine has a GeForce 4 video card, which means you need an old nvidia driver, the 96 series which are no longer working with currect kernel releases. But X works fine with the nouveau driver, so there is no problem.

Anyways…. apart from Arch… I noticed there is a new alpha version of HaikuOS available. However, on both machines, this alpha 3 version of HaikuOS randomly
freezes. Having the same problem on two machines, I think I’ve excluded a problem with the machine itself, since with other OS’es the machines run fine and with
HaikuOS they both have the problem.

Now, let’s play with some other Operating Systems. I have ArchLinux now, here and in Eindhoven… let’s try something else. The BSD family of operating systems. I think last time I’ve been playing around with those was 2008. So it’s a while ago. I’ve installed OpenBSD now on my Pentium 3 machine.

The partitioning tool, I must say, I’ve made the partitions with sysresccd with gparted. The OpenBSD installer isn’t that friendly with paritions. I remember other members of the BSD family had a better tool for that. Anyways…. partitions were made, and I told the installer to install in the OpenBSD part of the disk.

Well… before it did that, it asked me for root password and username and password for the normal user to log in, and some other questions included if I were planning to use X.

So, it installed the OS, complete with a working X server and XDM. The installed window manager is Fvwm. Let’s install some software. Yet another package manager. What’s it officially called? Packages. pkg_info pkg_add pkg_delete and the likes…. well… let’s see if I can get a xfce4 window manager instead, and install some additional software too.

Well… I said X started, right? But it started in 800×600 resolution. The monitor doesn’t support DDC, so it cannot be auto detected. Now I got xfce running, and replaced xdm by gdm by the way, I tried to start the xfce monitor setting to change resolution. Just to be told the video driver doesn’t support video outputs. I guess I have to poke the X settings manually…

By entering some horizontal and vertical frequencies, I have managed to get the monitor in the desired resolution. But I think this is enough playing for today.
Tomorrow another day, also FreeBSD and NetBSD will be my next toys.