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cidViscous

taming debian

14 posts in this topic

<backstory>

Okay. I've been tinkering with linux for a little while now--started with live cd's and recently installed debian as my primary os. It's great, and for the most part very functional. There are a few things that I'm having trouble understanding/accomplishing, however, and so I thought I'd see if anybody here could shed a little light or point me in the right direction... I'm not looking for quick fixes, but rather to understand the underlying problems.

</backstory>

1. Gnome - iPod Autostart AmaroK

Upon plugging in an iPod, Gnome automatically launches Rhythmbox. I'd prefer an autolaunch of AmaroK, but I can't seem to find what's triggering Rhythmbox. I can't find anything under Gnome's Preferred Applications list or /etc/alternatives, but this doesn't seem like it should be complicated. Anybody know what I'm missing?

2. Reboot Issues

a. USB - After rebooting (or booting to windows) I've noticed that the paths to my external usb hard drives change sometimes. This creates problems for things that point to files/folders on external drives (such as all the tracks in a media library suddenly not found--files are still intact, but the path to the library changed). Anybody know why my paths would change?

b. ALSA - After rebooting sound no longer works until I re-run alsaconf.

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I can help you with the first part about the Ipod. On the gnome menu go to System > Preferences > Removable Drives and Media

Then go to the multimedia tab, the section that says portable media players: Check the box and replace the default of rhythmbox to Amarok.

Rhythmbox integrates better into the Gnome desktop, thats why it is default.

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System > Preferences > Removable Drives and Media

Not sure how I missed that. Thank you. Now, I wonder if this is controlled by GConf or by a dot file.

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For ALSA, you need to find out what alsa drivers alsaconf loads after you run it. You can find this out when you run alsaconf. It usually displays what it is unloading, then reloading to initialize your sound card. Once you know what they are, you might want to make this easy and put the names of those alsa drivers into /etc/modules.

It's a quick fix, but my guess is that you just dont have the /etc/modprobe.d directory set up for your sound card. It's virtually impossible for anyone to help with this issue unless you post what sound card, kernel, and alsa version. "dpkg -l alsa-base" should give me enough info on what version of alsa you are running.

/etc/modules should have some text explaining what it is, but it just loads all kernel modules at boot in the order that you specify. One module per line, exact name.

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you can also try running alsactl -store after you configure it, it may just not be storing your new settings after running alsaconf.

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For your external hard drive you might just want to add it into your /etc/fstab to be automounted by fstab rather than the hald daemon. It will be in the same place everytime. But, im not sure what you mean it has a 'different path' after reboot. The automounting daemon (hald) makes a directory in your /media dir and names it according to the descriptors on your partition table. ie the name the manufacturer or you gave it during partitioning. You can add it back with fdisk quite easily.

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Thanks for all the input, so far.

To clarify what I mean about the changing paths....

From time to time, the mount points on the external hard drives change for no apparent reason (other than a reboot). For instance, when I first installed it, it was mounted to /media/usbdisk, then next time it came up as /media/usb, then /media/usb0, and now /media/disk.

I need to read up on the difference between fstab and hald--I thought hald was the daemon actually talking to the hardware and the fstab was a config file to tell the initialization script where to mount what drives (and who can mount them, etc.). Maybe I've got that wrong, but occasionally, the mount points change and the only connection I've been able to find is reboots.

Other usb storage devices have the same issue--the mount point for the ipod changed from /media/IPOD to /media/sdd2.

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What are your system specs? And what version of Debian are you running?

I ask because if this is happening on Debian Etch (Stable), it needs to be submitted to the bug tracking team. This should not be happening in any case with hald. /etc/fstab is just a static file that tells your OS what to mount and when/how to mount it. First get on the debian irc network and ask someone, they will reply, just give them a bit to respond. http://www.debian.org/support#irc

If they say to submit a bug report: http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting

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i think you can use udevinfo to name removable drives so they are always mounted in the same place.

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Yeah I would definetly use fstab over hald to mount that drive, it'll make it much easier for you in the long run

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Thanks to everyone who's replied so far. Sound's working just fine now. I'm still having trouble understanding HAL and Fstab--I thought I understood them until my box started acting up.

Hald is a daemon that queries hardware and maintains a list of attached devices, right? It acts as an interpreter between the kernel and userland to maintain a current and consistent way for userspace programs to discover and access hardware, yes? So, if I've got this right, then during the init script of the boot process, hald is started, and it scans the system for devices and builds a table, then periodically rescans to maintain it.

Fstab seems to be nothing more than a conf file. During the init script, (some program?) looks at the fstab to see what /dev entries get mounted to what mount points, how they are to be mounted, and whether regular users can do the (un)mounting, right? When you call a mount command, mount checks the fstab to see what it's s'posed to do, yeah?

So, how do the two correlate? Does hald use the fstab? Am I making this too hard?

Rebooting the system changes where the external drives get mounted to, and root has to unmount an ipod (from a kde session, xfce lets users unmount it just fine--in fact, the AmaroK post-disconnect even accomplishes this).

Again, thanks for all the help so far. Back to reading and tinkering....

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Almost forgot to answer your question Alk3.

I recently upgraded from etch (which was solid as a rock) to lenny (which began all of my problems). I wanted updated versions of gimp, amarok, etc. and the 6.22 kernel (so I could use ntfs-3g).

Unfortunately, this broke several things, and my attempts to understand what is happening (and fix it) have unfortunately broken several more. Now that I'm on lenny, I....

...can't seem to get the proprietary nvidia driver installed.

...can't 'safely remove' an ipod until root unmounts it.

...cant start an xfce session.

...have to manually start metacity for a gnome session.

...have usb devices that hop mount points.

I'm a mess, here.

Edited by cidViscous
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Almost forgot to answer your question Alk3.

I recently upgraded from etch (which was solid as a rock) to lenny (which began all of my problems). I wanted updated versions of gimp, amarok, etc. and the 6.22 kernel (so I could use ntfs-3g).

Unfortunately, this broke several things, and my attempts to understand what is happening (and fix it) have unfortunately broken several more. Now that I'm on lenny, I....

...can't seem to get the proprietary nvidia driver installed.

...can't 'safely remove' an ipod until root unmounts it.

...cant start an xfce session.

...have to manually start metacity for a gnome session.

...have usb devices that hop mount points.

I'm a mess, here.

Just a tip for next time -- when you want something from testing/unstable (or even the old Sarge tree), enable the apt source, install the package, and then disable the source. This should keep you from having to basically dist-upgrade to get a few new items.

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Almost forgot to answer your question Alk3.

I recently upgraded from etch (which was solid as a rock) to lenny (which began all of my problems). I wanted updated versions of gimp, amarok, etc. and the 6.22 kernel (so I could use ntfs-3g).

Unfortunately, this broke several things, and my attempts to understand what is happening (and fix it) have unfortunately broken several more. Now that I'm on lenny, I....

...can't seem to get the proprietary nvidia driver installed.

...can't 'safely remove' an ipod until root unmounts it.

...cant start an xfce session.

...have to manually start metacity for a gnome session.

...have usb devices that hop mount points.

I'm a mess, here.

What do 'cat /etc/debian_version' and 'uname -a' say?

Also you can fix xfce by killing GDM and Xorg. Then hit CTRL + ALT + F1 and then logging in as root. Then type: apt-get install --reinstall xfce4-session

For gnome do the same thing. For USB Devices, I would consult irc.debian.org #debian and ask about it. It may be a bug and it could be fixed and in the process of trickling down from Debian Experimental and Unstable.

After making sure your /etc/apt/sources.list reads from Lenny repositories only, run this:

root~# apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade ; apt-get dist-upgrade

For your video, you need to use the vesa driver or install from a Nvidia installer from the nvidia web site. The repositories only have support for legacy Nividia cards, though they fail to mention this. (I found out the hard way, lol) So look at your card with lspci -v and find the chipset and version of your video card. Then go to the nvidia web site and search for a Linux installer.

Let me know if any of that was useful. :)

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