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#1 2006-03-16 17:59:28

m123
Member
Registered: 2006-03-16
Posts: 29

Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

I am rather new in the linux world. I bought a Suse 10 package six months ago and installed it on a little bit outdated box. 5 CDs, lots of install options and, as a result, 3 web-browsers, 4 or 5 media players, 2 office suites… Quite confusing.

Very quickly I faced issues, one of them being package management and started googling. That led me to Ubuntu. Only one CD, not many duplicates, it fitted better with my idea that one should know what's on its computer and what should not be there. And apt is a great package management tool.

Again I ran into issues and had to google further. When it came to compiling programs on my own I started to scratch under the surface and discovered that the software on my computer was not necessarily offering the possibilities developers include in their source code. Compile options are quite hidden and dependencies are often difficult to trace. And also, I don't understand why there are so many packages for a single program. It's nice if you think you can select exactly what you install, but it's very confusing because you don't know exactly what is in which package and in the end have to install all of them. For example, look at the stripping of xine-lib, in different repositories, and named libxine1c2xxx even if it's version 1.1.1 and not 1.0.rc2!

And now ArchLinux. I do not consider Archlinux as a « distribution ». To me, it is more an « assisted » Linux From Scratch. In other words, without offending the conceptors and developers, the ArchLinux distribution « is » Pacman and ABS. With Pacman and ABS you know exactly what's on your computer. Installing a package is no longer dropping a binary, it's having someone else save your time by compiling the source for you and telling you exactly what he/she did. And if you don't like his/her choices, you can easily change the sais choices and do it by yourself. It's just a matter of spending more or less time.

Oh, I'm sorry; the distribution is Pacman and ABS and … the community. And I must say I was impressed by the wiki and the forums. I found there guidance to solve all my issues. When I have an issue with component « A », I don't like forums answers like « try B ». I want to understand why « A » doesn't work and then decide if it's worth insisting on « A » to work or switch to « B ». In other distros forums, I don't like the answers like « try Automatix »  big_smile .

On the install process, there is probably a lot to say (more or less friendly…) but if you agree with the Arch Way, this doesn't matter. As a matter of fact, my first install was a bit hectic, mostly because of the particularities of my mainboard.

I would like now to mention these issues and how I turned around them for reference purposes.

My motherboard is an ABIT BE6 model, my CPU an Intel PIII @ 500 MHz. This mainboard has the particularity of having two pairs of IDE ports. The first two (ide1 and ide2) are regular ones, while the two others (ide3 and ide4) are controlled by a Highpoint chip (Hpt366) enabling DMA66 mode.

To start the install process, I connected my HD to the first Hpt366 controller (ide3) and the CD-Rom drive to ide2 (according to the hpt366 documentation, it is not possible to connect a CD-Rom drive to such a controller). And I chose a CDROM->HD->FD boot sequence and was able to start the install process.

First issue: Selecting FTP install, the Network configuration module was not able to detect the dhcp-connected network adapter. Following a post on this forum I had to configure it aside and define it as « eth1 » and not « eth0 ». But when the system is installed, to have network properly work, it has to be defined as « eth0 » in rc.conf! As if the hw management tool in the install process is not behaving the same as in the normal boot process. I would like to understand this strange behaviour. Maybe because I have also FireWire PCI card ?

Second issue: Based on my disk connections, the system partitions the HD as « /dev/hde » which is logical because it's on the third ide controller. And it is as /dev/hde that both Suse and Ubuntu know it. However, later in the install process, Grub install failed because of « /dev/hde - no such device » or similar message.

After some search on Grub which indicated me that in some circumstances Grub's interpretation of the Bios HD map is incorrect, I decided to try the following: I unplugged the HD from ide3 and plugged it in ide1. This time the install process went well on /dev/hda and Grub install was successful. But reboot failed with something like unable to mount /dev/hda. What I did to solve that was simply to re-plug the HD (with the installed system) in ide3 and reboot. It worked and now I have a /dev/hda HD on ide3!

In other words, there appears to be some confusion between 1. the install hw detection tool, 2. the install partitioning tool, 3. grub and 4. the hw detection tool used in the initrd process. By "confusion" I mean different ways of interpreting the Bios information.

There can be other ways to solve this issue (I have not explored the device.map features of grub, nor lilo) and I would be happy to learn them here. If this was a bug somewhere, I would be happy to know it and glad to have contributed to its identification.

Thanks for the great work  big_smile .

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#2 2006-03-17 07:28:36

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

I like Arch for the same reason you mentioned, the combo pacman-ABS is really great.

Your second issue, the Grub stuff is really strange. Could you post your /boot/grub/menu.lst?

Cheers Sigi
<proud>I read through your whole article!</proud>  wink


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#3 2006-03-20 14:55:46

m123
Member
Registered: 2006-03-16
Posts: 29

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

wielfried,

Here is the link I was refering to:
http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=17735

By the way, I have noticed several posts on such "switches" when the HW configuration contains two nics. This is not my case, but I assume that a FireWire card is also considered as a nic. So that could explain my case.

I also refer you to:
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Udev

Look at the section "Mixed Up Devices, Sound/Network Cards Changing Order Each Boot"

Hope this helps.

Sigi,

I will post my grub/menu.lst when I'm back on my Archlinux box. Thanks.

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#4 2006-03-23 03:11:11

m123
Member
Registered: 2006-03-16
Posts: 29

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

Ok. Here is my grub/menu.lst (without any commented line).

timeout   1
default   0
color light-blue/black light-cyan/blue

# (0) Arch Linux
title  Arch Linux
root   (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz26 root=/dev/hda3 ro
initrd /initrd26.img

Any idea ?

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#5 2006-03-23 07:32:05

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

If your root-partition is on /dev/hda1 change root=/dev/hda3 to root=/dev/hda1.

If your root-partion indeed is on partition /dev/hda3 change

root   (hd0,0)

to

root   (hd0,2)

Does this help?

Cheers Sigi


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#6 2006-03-23 08:32:17

Sander
Member
Registered: 2006-02-26
Posts: 137

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

Sigi wrote:

If your root-partition is on /dev/hda1 change root=/dev/hda3 to root=/dev/hda1.

If your root-partion indeed is on partition /dev/hda3 change

root   (hd0,0)

to

root   (hd0,2)

Does this help?

Cheers Sigi

I think he has a separate boot partition though (note the 'kernel /vmlinuz26' instead of 'kernel /boot/vmlinuz26') so this might not work. some info about the partition layout and mountpoints might help to decide wether or not the problem is related to the partition names or not.


You like cheese? You like peas? You'll love cheezy peas!

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#7 2006-03-23 09:48:27

Sigi
Member
From: Thurgau, Switzerland
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 1,121

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

Sander wrote:

I think he has a separate boot partition though (note the 'kernel /vmlinuz26' instead of 'kernel /boot/vmlinuz26') so this might not work. some info about the partition layout and mountpoints might help to decide wether or not the problem is related to the partition names or not.

Oops, I wrote a little faster than I thought. Sorry about that one.


Dammit, haven't been here in a while. Still rocking Arch. smile

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#8 2006-03-23 14:01:56

m123
Member
Registered: 2006-03-16
Posts: 29

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

Hi,

Sander is right. I chose the default partitioning, i.e. /boot mounted on hda1 (ext2), swap on hda2 and / (root) mounted on hda3 (ext3).

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#9 2006-06-06 21:38:18

m123
Member
Registered: 2006-03-16
Posts: 29

Re: Another ArchLinux adept but some HW issues [solved]

For reference purposes, I will add that this issue is also encountered in a debian etch install: during install the HD is recognized and configured as hde and on first and subsequent boots it is seen as hda. So, for the first boot to succeed one has to edit grub/menu.lst on the fly and set hda instead of hde.

Furhter Edit : The issues encountered here ar now solved in an elegant manner with mkinitcpioand archboot. See this thread : http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=25248 and also create an Arch install CD with the same mkinitcpio config. Now diska are always detected in the same order during boot and during install (which can happen when you mess everything badly  smile ).

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