Ubuntu is dying , Debian Lenny is the Future!

I used Debian Etch for a long time even though several unstable versions of Lenny has been relased.So I thought to give it a shot for new Debian Lenny.So i downloaded Lenny Beta 2 DVD and the installation was smooth and easy.

Lenny comes with Gnome 2.22 and built in compiz and I  think people that complained that Debian is not that much attractive would change there attitude.I heard that Ubuntu making there releases half a year using Debian testing code base , so its obvious that, even this Beta is stable than Ubuntu8.I am not condemning Ubuntu ,but I have some bad experiences with Ubuntu.I used it about ~2 months at work and it really gave me a headache.I couldn’t run one instance of Eclipse and Tomcat with some heavy weight applications (Sun IDM…etc) .System behaved even worst than Window$.Yeah, I same applications ran smoothly in Window$ than in Ubuntu.

Anyway I always liked Debian , because its giving me the “pure” “GNUish” and “open source” feeling.There is no doubt that Debian is the future of OS.Ubuntu well…my feeling is its sinking…It has become to a something like “linux for dummies”.

Whatever the linux distro you are using ,take a look at this advertisement by IBM :

Beryl with flgrx + AIGLX in Debian Etch


I have suffered over months to get Beryl working on my Toshiba Satellite with ATI Radeon x700.I found out that this was an issue every ATI mobility x700 users encountered.(Click here if you don’t know what beryl is)
Now finally, I managed to get it working with new ATI proprietary ‘flgrx’ driver.After installing the driver you have to configure the xorg.conf.

In the ServerLayout section add the option ‘AIGLX’

Section “ServerLayout”
    Option “AIGLX” “true”

In the section ‘Module’ you should have ‘dri’,’glx’.In my xorg.conf its like

Section “Module”
   Load  “i2c”
   Load  “bitmap”
   Load  “ddc”
   Load  “dri”
   Load  “extmod”
   Load  “freetype”
   Load  “glx”
   Load  “int10”
   Load  “type1”
   Load  “vbe”

In the ‘Device’ section you shoud have follwing options,notice that I am using the ‘flgrx’ driver

Section “Device”
   Identifier  “aticonfig-Device[0]”
   Driver      “fglrx”
   Option     “XAANoOffscreenPixmaps”
   Option      “AGPMODE” “4”
   Option      “AGPFastWrite” “true”
   Option      “DisableGLXRootClipping” “true”
   Option     “AddARGBXVisuals” “true”
   Option     “AllowGLXWithComposite” “true”
   Option     “EnablePageFlip” “true”

Also you should have following sections:

Section “DRI”
      Mode         0666


Section “Extensions”
    Option     “Composite” “Enable”

That’s it.Now you can run ‘beryl-manager’ and enjoy the eye candy.
(beryl debian packages  can be found at http://debian.beryl-project.org )

For more info visit beryl home page http://www.beryl-project.org

To download ATI proprietary linux driver (flgrx) visit www.ATI.com

Disabling touchpad in linux

synaptics touchpad 

Most of the time the “Fn” + “key”s are not functioning in Linux.(Well.. its not working for me, even though I have installed Omnibook module for Toshiba laptops ).So the touch pad is always turned on and it’s a real headache if you are doing lot of coding stuff.
I found a method to disable the touchpad using ‘xserver-xorg-input-synaptics’ kernel module.

First you have to install ‘xserver-xorg-input-synaptics’ .In Debian based system its
apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

Then you have to edit your xorg.conf file.
Add a new “InputDevice” section, in addition to the section for your mouse.

Section “InputDevice”
   Driver “synaptics”
   Identifier “Mouse[1]”
   Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
   Option “Protocol” “autodev”
   Option “SHMConfig” “on”

And in the “ServerLayout” section add an entry for the new synaptic touchpad like, and for your primary mouse (in my case – Configured mouse) add the option “CorePointer”.

 Section “ServerLayout”
     InputDevice “Mouse[1]” “AlwaysCore”
     InputDevice “Configured mouse” “CorePointer”

Then restart the X server and type the command ‘synclient TouchPadOff=1’ , WOILA..your touchpad is now disabled. If you play with ‘synclient’ command , you can notice that there’s many settings for the touchpad. I am writing a small python GTK proggie, visit here soon to download it.

FOSS-ed On Wheels Ratnapura @ Ruwanpura National Collage of Education (RNCOE)


Last Saturday, I had this great opportunity to give my support to  ‘Linux Traning  workshop at Ratnapura’ .Event was held at Ruwanpura National College of Education , targeting IT teachers in Ratnapura area.
We (Sagara and Me) started the journey from Colombo at 4.00am and got on to the Ambilipitiya bus at 5.00am.We reached the place at about 9.00am.

Place was a nice, and when we got there,Sucheta, Kunchana and Bikku Metta Vihari had already finished installing Ubuntu and Edubuntu on machines.

After the starting ceremony, I had to give support in laboratory. I basically did hand on to Linux desktop, file system..Etc while other student-set were given a presentations on OpenOffice, Desktop environments..etc.

After the lunch, I did a small introductory speech on ‘OpenOffice Spreadsheet’ and again back to laboratory to do some particles on spreadsheets.

At about 5pm we were able to finish the schedule and went to our crashing place. After having a wash we watched some movies (including American Pie 5: naked mile;, Die Hard 4) while having some beers and at about 12.00pm I crashed to bed.

The sad part is, even though the event was a two day workshop I only had the chance to attend to the first day only. So early Sunday morning me and Sagara packed our gear and headed back to Colombo.

I really enjoyed hanging out with FOSS guys and giving my knowledge FREELY!. I am trying my best to give my support for future events like this.

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