Monday, August 16, 2004

MC & vim

Still on Midnight Commander:

pkg_add: could not find package libslang-1.4.9 !
pkg_add: could not find package glib-2.2.3 !

Ack. Luckily those files can be found in 5.2.1 CD 1.

How to make vim as default editor. I use Midnight Commander and I've disabled the built-in text editor as the default when editin. The problem is, when I press [F4] (edit), vi appear. So I made .zshenv (zsh tend to have a lot of dotfiles) and added this:

export EDITOR="vim"

So now, my default editor is vim.

[Update]: Well, it's perfectly safe to write those 'export' thingy in .zshrc which is what I'm intend to do. Too many dotfiles can be a mess.

Midnight Commander

Midnight Commander is a Norton Commander clone fer *BSD/*NIX system. It's a file manager which can run in console. As you can see on the screenshot section in the MC's website, it's cool. Pretty much like Windows Commander (the no longer developed File Manager fer Win*).

Console has now become more and more irresistable.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Playin mp3s in console

Ah. FreeBSD is great! FreeBSD console is great too! I never knew there's so much that I can do in console (blame it on DOS). Although I can't play any movie yet, I can play mp3s contained in my ad0s1 slice (the XP partition, C:) with no problem! Wanna know how? Read on.

First, grab a console or ncurse based mp3 player (multi media player is better) from a FreeBSD ftp site. Currently the main FreeBSD site is down so I grabbed the .tgz file from another mirror. The files is:

ksmp3play-0.5.1.tbz # my choice of mp3 player
smpeg-0.4.4_1.tbz # dependency file needed fer ksmplay
aumix-2.8_1.tbz # ncurse based audio mixer, not needed fer ksmp3play but I love to have this included.

I put all those files in /usr/ports/distfiles. su and issue pkg_add filename.tbz (man pkg_add fer more info) and wallah, it's installed. man ksmp3play, man aumix fer the infos. Now to use it. Make sure your sound is tested, work and all the nessescary module are loaded.

Workin with ksmp3play:

As I have screen installed, it's even better workin with screen than wastin virtual terminal. If you know the directory and the mp3 file name you're about to play, you can just issue:

% ksmp3layer mp3-filename.mp3 # if the file is in the current directory you're in.

or

% ksmp3play /directory/mp3-filename.mp3 # if the mp3 file is somewhere else.

or

% ksmp3play playlist-name.ks3 # to play a saved playlist (more on it below)

and the ksmp3play ncurse screen appears. As the man is not that complete, I just found a few shortcut fer workin in ksmp3play ncurse screen. Press [a] to open a window listin the current directory ksmp3play is playin. If you have lotsa mp3 files, you can move around the list usin arrow keys. To get into a directory, just highlight the directory name and press [Enter]. To go to the previous directory, highlight .. and press [Enter]. You can select the file(s) you want to include in the playlis usin [Spacebar]. To save the playlist just press [s] and the playlist file will have the extension .ks3. To quit just press [q]. To increase and decrease the volume, hit [-] and [+] keys (in my case, I have to press [Ctrl] + [=] because it's a laptop keyboard). Now the console session won't be as quiet as the graves. Hurrah!

Current shortcut that I learned:

a # add file(s) to playlist.
s # save a playlist, will as fer directory/playlist filename input if it's a new list. All playlist is saved as .ks3 files.
d # delete highlighted file from playlist.
e # edit the file (probably id3 tag, I haven't test this yet because ntfs is read only)
q # quit ksmp3play / close file browser (fer addin file to playlist)
= # increase volume
- # decrease volume

I'm still experimentin with the shortcut as there is more that I still don't know of and the man is not that complete.

Update!: Hey! I just found out that pressin [h] will pop up a shortcut button list! Cheers!

Workin with aumix:

This is pretty easy. Just issue aumix and the ncurse screen appear. Just use the up and down arrow keys to scroll the list and use the left and right arrow keys to slide the sliders. The shortcut button are listed on the left side of the program screen so you won't get lost. I wish there's a mixer on bass, treble and stuff. Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Learning Vim

Needin to use another console text editor than ee (somethin with color in it, so I can finally learn and do some programmin), I installed vim which is contained in 5.2.1 CD #1. I dunno bout vi color syntax (and I'm pretty dumb to use vi effectively) and the newbie-friendly environment of vim captivated me instantly.

% man vim

and you'll see what I mean. It even have vimtutor (man vimtutor fer more info), a somewhat interactive tutorial page to learn the function of vim in a brief! Great! It also have a section on how to create, copy and save the .vimrc file which out of conciousness, you'll be doin in vim itself! By the end of each tutorial section, if you're 'doin' rather than 'memorizin', you'll have quite a knowledge of manipulatin vim's commands and features fer everyday text (and program) editin. Oh, I'm a sucker fer color thingy.

What is the programmin language I'm tryin to learn? Right now, python. Yeah I stated that I wanna learn PHP/C++ in my homepage and I will get to that. Just that it's stated that python is the most suitable language fer beginner so I'll learn that as a steppin stone. Oh, I added Assembly as the language to learn.

FreeBSD Splash screen

I successfully added a splash screen on bootup. Make sure the kernel is compiled with:

device vga
options VESA
options SC_PIXEL_MODE
device splash


and go find a good .bmp file (320x200 or 640x480 size, mine is 640x480) to make the splash screen image. Put the image in /boot directory and edit the /etc/loader.conf file like below.

splash_bmp_load="YES"
bitmap_load="YES"
bitmap_name="/boot/image_name.bmp"


If you're usin a .pcx file, change the splash_bmp_load="YES" to
splash_pcx_load="YES" instead. Reboot and enjoy!. I hope they'll add
.jpg support next. You can find tons of splash screen image here.

The mplayer port has been updated on the net and because my 5.2.1 can't internet yet, I can't upgrade and it seem that my current mplayer file and the dependency files is no longer hosted anywhere. Ack.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Screen: split and create new screen

Ah! I finally found it!. After gazillion trial and errors, I finally found out the use of split command in screen. I didn't know how to manipulate the split screen until now. Take note that ^A mean [Ctrl] + [A] button sequence. Uppercase and lowercase alphabet is important so if fer example the sequence of killin the window is "^A K" (minus the " character), You'll have to hit [Ctrl] and [A] simultaneously, followed by [Shift] and [K] simultaneously. Hope you got that. ^A is the base command to call out other screen specific functions.

In console (what else), fire up screen:

vampire% screen

then split the screen in two:

^A S

This is the time when I got lost, how exactly can I use the lower window? Ah, the answer:

^A [Tab]

Wallah! Now the input block has tabbed to the lower window. Now to create a new screen:

^A c

So there you have it. You can cycle between the 2 splitted screen's window using ^A [Tab]. Now to figure out how to attach a current screen to a new splitted window. The command above is fer splittin a window then creatin a new screen into the newly created window. man screen fer more info.

FreeBSD Splash Screens

I'm currently searchin fer info on the splash screen. Sound interestin. http://www.baldwin.cx/splash/ is one of those site talkin bout FreeBSD splash screen bootup. They have nice splash bmps to go with it too. Though the site is talkin bout the old 3.1 version it's still a good read. I'll try loadin 1024x768 pcx image as splash screen. Later

zsh and lovin it

Still on console and zsh shell. I found a great .zshrc sample on the net. The file can be use fer sample purpose and I've used some of it to make mine. I also shamelessly peek and copy another .zshrc file found on the net but the latter seems to have problem with PROMPT and RPROMPT. So I used the first file's PROMPT and RPROMPT. Now I changed the shell to zsh and together with screen, console feels great!. Just love the autocomplete, color stuff and all.

Next mission, playin movie with mplayer. Yeah, in console :). I got meself the mplayer-0.92.0_3.tbz package and right now I'm tryin to grab the win32-codecs-2.0.90_1,1.tbz dependency files but I've been tryin fer quite some time now because the file seems to be missin or somethin. Hmm. Error 505: No such directory. Ack.

*Wishin the built-in modem can work in FreeBSD soon....*

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

zsh shell

I added the zsh shell package from 5.2.1 CD and changed my shell to it. But the thing is, I can't find the .zshrc, .zshlogin, .zshlogout and .zshenv anywhere! Ack. Where am I supposed to change the alias etc? I installed it usin sysinstall so I dunno what is wrong. There's no zsh config file in /etc too although it's stated in the man. I'm missin somethin here. Anyway, the shell is nice. I love the text completion tab feature so I really wanna use it. More on that later. I'm usin tcsh now until I can find the answer bout those .zsh* files. I edit the ~/.cshrc file and add alias ls ls -G and the lovely color is there. Nice.

I tried chsh just now and whoa I was lost. Not because of the chsh but because of vi! I never use vi before and I dunno what to do. Thankfully there's a bunch of tty I can use so I login from another tty and man the darn vi A newbie like me still prefer ee. After a while, vi does feel a bit comfortable. Ah, fer now I'll stick with ee. Still learnin the screen proggy and it's been a while since I log in KDE. Console is nice too! :)

Right now I'm searchin fer info on lettin normal user to shutdown the laptop. Hmm. Found it! Drats. I wasn't in the operator group. So that's why I can't mount fd0 and acd0 in my home directory too. Shame.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I want a new shell

HOWTO: Change your Shell, What is a Shell? is one of the tips I found on changin shell. Currently I'm usin sh but I'm thinkin of tryin out zsh. Looks interestin. Ah, it's in the FreeBSD port collection. Nice.

I added:

alias ls="ls -G"

in ~/.shrc and wallah! Now my ls have that cool color I've been longin fer.

Bahasa translation.

I'm currently readin some *BSD related articles on the net. Great stuff. Links? Too many to put. Just Google fer BSD and you'll be on your way. Search some historical informations too. It's nice to read the main 3 *BSD flavor (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) histories like here.

I'm thinkin bout doin some FreeBSD document translations usin Bahasa Malaysia. It'll be a hard work but if I'm gonna do it, it'll surely be a slow and carefull process. Currently there's no FreeBSD translation project bein done on Bahasa so if I'm in it, I'll start off alone. Still thinkin though. It'll be nice if somebody have already start the project so I can just jump in and help. I hope someone has started the project. I better google some more.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Console .. console .. console..

Desktop FreeBSD Part 7 is a good read on things related to console (mainly bash shell) and more. There's also links to sites related to bash and console environment in FreeBSD. Happy surfin.

New installation walkthrough

The new 5.2.1 installation walkthrough is complete and has been uploaded to my homepage. The main layout has been rewritten as I'm usin Mozilla Firefox as my reference browser. The new config files (XF86Config, rc.conf etc) will be uploaded soon. I have this feelin I've already uploaded those files when I post question regardin my KDE problem. Hmmm.

I'm still searchin fer more tips on console stuff. I can't believe myself enjoyin workin in console. Not to mention the cool screen program. Still, I have to get use to usin the screen program and there's still lotsa shortcut I need to memorize.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

More on console.

I'm gettin more fond of workin in console and I just found out bout SCREEN - the terminal multiplexer which is also in the FreeBSD 5.2.1 ports collection. What is it? Simply put it's a window manager fer console. Err.. Console manager. I have to try this :). Later.

Searchin fer cool fonts

X windows font software is a great site featurin tons of links related to fonts. I'm currently searchin fer fonts to go with the nice console now. http://www.1001freefonts.com/ is a font related site worth visitin too along with http://www.highfonts.com/. Ahh.. Lovely.

http://www.proggyfonts.com/index.php?menu=download is a font site related to console along with http://rockbox.haxx.se/fonts/. Mind you though I havent try out any of the fonts.

Tweak the console.

Heyya, I just found out somethin related to FreeBSD console while I was readin vidcontrol, syscons, rc.conf and vga man pages.

I add this lines to the kernel configuration file - VAMKERNEL:

options VESA
options SC_PIXEL_MODE


and recompile the kernel. Then I added these lines into /etc/rc.conf:

allscreens_flags="-g 100x37 VESA_800x600"

After I rebooted, the console screen is much nicer with high resolution of 800x600 pixel even after KDE exit! Yay! No more garbled screen after loggin out of X! Right now I'm searchin fer nice fonts to go with this extra nice console resolution so more on that later I hope. I'm gettin more comfortable with workin in console and know what? I wrote all this usin ee in console, no X. :).

Oh, I remember that older FreeBSD version have the colorfull boot console with interactive startup etc. Very nice. I wonder if 5.2.1 can do that. The 5.2.1 console do have color but not as strikin and colorfull as the 4.x. Take note that if you want to change your console settings, make sure you read the vidcontrol manual page as this settings I've used might not work with your pc/laptop.

The new /etc/X11/XF86Config, /etc/rc.conf and /boot/loader.conf has been uploaded to my homepage. Still, there's lotsa redesignin that have to be done with the [FreeBSD & Me] section. Ouch, fergot to upload the VAMKERNEL kernel config file. I guess I have to simply edit the copy I have in the website.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

FreeBSD console

The FreeBSD Console - Living without X is a good read fer tweakin the console. I was searchin fer some tips on makin the console screen less garbled when X exited (after loggin out of KDE fer instance, the console's screen alignment and refresh rate kinda messed up). I dunno what version of FreeBSD though this guy is talkin bout but it's definitely worth experimentin.

http://www.gsp.com/cgi-bin/man.cgi?section=4&topic=syscons too deal with on how to make the console experience great. There are many good sites on how to make FreeBSD console more attractive and it's just a google away.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Custom kernel is up.

I've just finished compilin a custom kernel. I just figure out that uhci module will detect my usb mouse etc and I have to enable ohci module to make it work. Bad me. I disabled ohci on thinkin that only uhci is needed (blame dmesg output fer that) and I was granted with useless mouse. Neither of my touchpad or usb mouse was functional. Lucky me I still remember the kernel compilin sequence so I quickly enable the ohci module in my kernel config file and recompile the kernel.

I also notice somethin. The 1st custom kernel compilation is the longest. The later will be much more brief and quick. Yeah. Newbie. Damn proud!

KDE work. Now to add sound module by editin /boot/loader.conf:

snd_pcm_load="YES"
snd_ich_load="YES"


More tweakin to make the usb mouse's wheel button and touchpad tappin work later. /etc/X11/XF86Config too will need some adjustment. Yeah, it's all back to square one. Tirin but it's a satisfaction. Right now I wanna play Worms 3D. later.

I hope KDE won't go wacko till I get all the standard tweak adjusted.

New 5.2.1 CDs

Ah, I've bought 4 new CD-R media and I've just finished burnin the 5.2.1-RELEASE Boot and LiveCD. I've installed the XFree86 packages too so the installation part is practically over. The installation walkthrough is nearly complete too so I guess it's just the matter of (the right) time till I get it uploaded to my homepage.

Currently I'm searchin fer tips on how to make the console screen garble free after X exited.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

My 5.2.1 CD1 is faulty

I've just finished doin a fresh install 5.2.1 on this laptop. Yeah I know I said that I'll be doin it later but heck, I can't help it. The walkthrough is complete but lackin in XFree86 stuff because my FreeBSD installation CD 1 is faulty. Damnit!. Thank God I have the ISO in my XP partition so it's just a matter of findin a new media so I can burn the installation ISO and continue installin XFree86. Although I can't use the X yet, the 5.2.1 installation is complete and functional. The partition layout and size are still the same as the old layout. The new installation is much more minimal than the last one and I'm pretty satisfied with it.

The new installation walkthrough will replace the old FreeBSD installation details currently in my homepage soon. After I burn the 5.2.1 installation's ISO into a new media and install XFree86, then I'll start tweakin my FreeBSD such as compilin a custom kernel, editin fstab, loader.conf etc. Soon.

Nearly successful but worsen.

Still about the KDE error. I tried somethin today. KDM is still disabled so I was greeted with console. I log in usin root.

vampire# cd /
vampire# mkdir backup


I go to root folder "/" and create a directory named "backup".

vampire# cd /usr/home
vampire# mv Alsemo /backup/Alsemo


Here is where I move (mv) my Alsemo's directory to the newly created "backup" directory.

vampire# rmuser Alsemo

This is the command fer deletin my Alsemo user from FreeBSD system. It's interactive with some questionaire on option to remove home directory etc so I just choose yes to all.

vampire# adduser

This is the command fer creatin a new user. I create the Alsemo account again and follow the interactive questionaire provided.

When it's done, I log out from root and log in usin Alsemo. Issuin Startx take me into KDE but all my settings is lost (temporarily, remember the "/backup/Alsemo" directory?). So basically, Alsemo's KDE session is saved fer now. Thinkin bout restorin the /backup/Alsemo folder into /usr/home/ again, I log out and log in usin root. The catch? My root's KDE crash! Now my recently OK KDE under root crash. But it's ok I guess, so usin console, I went on restorin my Alsemo's home directory.

vampire# cd /usr/home
vampire# rm -R Alsemo


So now the Alsemo directory is gone.

vampire# cd /backup
vampire# mv Alsemo /usr/home/Alsemo


And the old Alsemo directory is successfully restored. Now on to test if KDE can work. root log out and Alsemo log in. The result? KDE still crash. And like I've stated above, now both root and Alsemo can't get into KDE. *sigh*. I'm thinkin bout doin fresh install ASAP. Can't wait fer 5.3. I'm currently layin out some important details like kernel config, partition layout etc fer the next installation. Mind you though that FreeBSD is still fine and healthy here, it's just that KDE gone wacko and as I'm a newbie (damn proud!) plus eye candies sucker, KDE is important to me.

My next installation should be the real deal. Optimizin the installation and gettin FreeBSD to run as long as I live. My current experience has teached me a lot regardin how to make the best possible FreeBSD installation fer my Clevo M22ES so fresh install is a must. My current 5.2.1 installation is just a test bed fer this upcomin fresh install. Some thing I'm keepin in mind:

1. Install FreeBSD + KDE
no sshd and any other server-type daemon (laptop doesn't need that). Currently my machine is kinda bloated with stuff my laptop doesn't use so the next will be more optimized.
2. Recompile new kernel with:
SMP disable (no multi processor here). There are some other option(s) I'm still learnin right now. My kernel is currently bloated too with things my Clevo don't use and I kinda have a few hints on the most suitable kernel config fer my next installation
3. Enjoy it.

I'm still thinkin bout IPv6. Mebbe I'll just enable it. My homepage detail on FreeBSD 5.2.1 will also be replace with a new walkthrough once I started doin the next fresh install.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Wait fer FreeBSD 5.3

I just thought of somethin. I might as well wait fer FreeBSD 5.3 which will be released soon (1st October it seem) and after I grab meself the ISO, then I'll fresh-install it here. But my 5.2.1 info contained in [FreeBSD & Me] section I've been doin in my homepage bothers me. Many of the problem I've encountered are still unsolved and I think those problem I've uploaded might get irrelevant if I switch to 5.3. Doin a fresh install will test out if my own info in [FreeBSD & Me] will help me through it or not. I think I'll make 1 more installation walkthrough on my attempt to install 5.3. The files related to 5.2.1 will still be there and archived.

I found a few tips bout my KDE problem on google.

Rename ~/.kde, use startx, disable kdm in /etc/ttys,
I tried that with no success. KDE still crash and it's gettin worst. I get a few more *.core dumps in my home directory which I can't remember. I guess my method of tryin to solve this specific problem are pretty much more destructive than helpin so it's best fer me to do a fresh install. Why the heck does root can get away with this problem? Seems like there's somethin wrong with some KDE's startup script or somethin. Definitely KDE's fault.

Can't log in KDE usin normal user

Still havin the KDE problem. googlin usin relevant search query such as "kdeinit error freebsd" show that there's people with the same problem as me. It seems that the problem just have effect on specific user id only (eg: root or normal user). In my case, it's my normal user (Alsemo) which can't log in KDE. I tried turnin off kdm in /etc/ttys and use startx but still can't log in. KDE keeps dumpin kdeinit.core and ksplash.core. I guess I just have to wait fer some time and see if any of our (me and the guys who have similar problem) post get replied.

I'm still thinkin bout reinstallin 5.2.1. Probably soon.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Maybe fresh install 5.2.1

Still with the KDE error but I learned a new thing. Uncommentin load "Glx" in /etc/x11/XF86Config does put away the Xlib: extension "GLX" missing on display ":0.0". error in ~/.xsession-errors. That's why although in XF86Config.new the load "Glx" is already uncommented before, the error still persist. It's that I need to change the /etc/x11/XF86Config file too to reflect the changes.

I'm thinkin to reinstall 5.2.1 from a clean state. Not because of the KDE error I'm currently havin but as I've learn a few good tips like optimal kernel config, loader.conf etc; I think I should reinstall 5.2.1 (and heck I need to practise installin it).

kdeinit.core & ksplash.core dumps

I have a problem last night. I tried to log in KDE usin my normal account id but as soon as I put my id and password in the KDM's box, KDE crash? on the splash screen and the screen turns to console tellin somethin bout kernel failure and it freeze. Ctrl+Alt+F* and Ctrl+Alt+BackSpace didn't work leavin me the only choice of hard reboot. After the reboot, my normal user id can't get in KDE and it seems that everytime I put my id and password in KDM, the KDE's splash screen doesn't appear and the screen turn to KDM again leavin a cycle of endless trial of loggin in. My Alsemo id still can't get into KDE.

My root account can successfully log in KDE and after I browse in the Alsemo's home directory (my normal user's id), I found kdeinit.core and ksplash.core dumps in it. Right now I'm in the office so I can't get the dump's details to publish here.

As the root doesn't seem to have this crash problem, I guess it has somethin to do with some configuration I messed with but I can't remember which one.

1st post here..

Heyya, it's me Karl. From now on, I'll write bout my experiences with FreeBSD runnin on my Clevo M22ES clone here. I think it's much simpler this way than to update the [FreeBSD & Me] section in my website. The [FreeBSD & Me] section in my website will still be updated whenever possible though as I figure out on how to keep the information confusion-free.

This blog will be open to everybody's comment and/or suggestion so I hope there'll be somebody who'll actually help me out here.