Monday, July 13, 2009

Mandriva 2009.1 on Dell Mini 9 - More tweeking required

Only while trying to play a video did I realise that there was no sound coming from the speakers. So a quick search revealed the solution.
I had to add the following line into /etc/modprobe.conf
options snd-hda-intel index=0 model=dell

Reboot, open the mixer and turn up the volume for the channel Speaker. There will be a loud buzzing noise after you do this. To stop it, disable the channel Capture 2 (untick the checkbox).

So far, I've tested the boot speed versus Ubuntu MID, It is actually quite fast to boot & only ends up being < 10 secs slower due KDE4's longer startup time.

Power consumption has also been quite good, averaging about 3 hours. I could get 3.5 hours from Ubuntu MID, so I'll definitely have to see what I can tweek to make this better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mandriva 2009.1 on Dell Mini 9

I got my hands on a Vostro A90 (Black clone of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9) from a friend in the states. It came with Ubuntu MID 8.04.1 preinstalled with the custom Dell launcher. I've been using it for a while now, it works perfectly as expected since the distro was heavily customized.

Lately I decided to try out something else on it. Since I've always loved Mandriva, I decided to give it a go, I knew it wouldn't be so simple.

From the LiveCD boot, it was already clear that WiFi and Bluetooth both did not work. I installed it anyway into an SD card & proceeded to try various things to try to make it work.

But whatever I did, nothing worked. I booted back into Ubuntu MID to check the setting there, nothing much helped. I rebooted into Mandriva again, but this time everything magically worked.

Bluetooth & WiFi was detected & worked nicely. The only thing I couldn't do was use my Bluetooth stereo headset. This is mainly down to kdebluetooth4 being still quite new. It had worked in Ubuntu, but it's no big loss.

Most of the important shortcut keys worked, namely brightness & volume control. Keys that didn't work are, Sleep, Wifi toggle, Battery Status & Toggle VGA. Of these, I only cared for the Wifi toggle.

To make Wifi toggle work, I needed to install aircraft-manager. Unfortunately, this was only available as a deb. I extracted the files out the deb & tried to figure it out.
It was basically written in python, so it wasn't too hard. This is roughly what I needed to do:
1. Extract the data.tar.gz out of the deb
2. Extract the data.tar.gz into /
3. Move from /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages to /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages
4. Install (through rpmdrake) python-dbus, pygtk2.0-libglade and gksu.

That's it, after that you can simply use KDE's System Settings -> Input Actions to configure a shortcut for running aircraft-manager.

You might see this message when booting the system:
Configuring wireless regulatory domain nl80211 not found. [FAILED]

This can be fixed by commenting out the line CRDA_DOMAIN=XX in /etc/sysconfig/network

The intel driver will exhibit some artifacts especially if you are using kwin effects. This can be solved by adding the line:
Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
to the Device section of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

That's as far as I got for now. I'll update as I go along.