Zubuntu 2.0 - Enhancements and Refinements 
[ updated 01-09-2009 ]
Just after releasing version 2.0 I found that there are some things that need to be fixed. I think it's handy when I start a list here with known problems and their solution (whenever I found one). Decide for yourself if it's worth fixing, or if you rather wait for me to upload a new release, which could take a while.

As always, I welcome any feedback, and please report problems, share fixes, enhancements etc.

kdepimpi
Package libqt3-mt isn't installed. Install it with apt-get install libqt3-mt. If you don't have an internet connection setup download it here and copy the file into /var/cache/apt/archives, then install it with the command above.

Apart from the missing package you need to move some libraries. Do this with mv /opt/kdepimpi/lib* /usr/lib. This should make the kdepimpi applications working.

Sound
Run alsamixer, and change the following settings:
  • Left mixer (is [off], press "M" to enable)
  • Right mixer (is [off], press "M" to enable)
  • Speaker (use "up-key" to turn volume up)
  • Right mixer left (is [off], press "M" to enable)
  • Left mixer right (is [off], press "M" to enable)

  • You'll find them all the way to the right. Exit alsamixer by pressing the "cancel" key twice. This should enable sound.

    Broken packages
    After running apt-get update followed by apt-get upgrade to get the latest package updates from the repositories you'll find that some packages bail out with an 'illegal instruction' error. This is due to a bug in libstdc++6. For now, hold your horses and wait before upgrading.

    Other things that need to be fixed:
  • Mapping volume up and down on the back
  • Screen swivel auto rotation

  • [ updated 01-09-2009 ]

    [ 22 comments ] ( 1242 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 12908 )
    Zubuntu version 2.0 released for Spitz 
    Just a quick note to say that I've just uploaded Zubuntu v2.0. I think it's stable enough, but you'll let me know soon enough I guess!

    Zubuntu v2.0 is based on Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" and is using the latest linux 2.6.31-rc8 kernel.

    For all of you lucky enough to own a Spitz (SL-C3000, SL-C3100 and SL-C3200) please download the root filesystem and the root-addition archive containing the device-specific kernel and the kernel-modules for Spitz,

    Please use the installation instructions from the previous version.

    More info on this later. Now I need a good nights sleep first!

    [ 26 comments ] ( 1654 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 27407 )
    Zaurus resurrected finally! 
    Hmm, so here we are, waiting for a follow up on the Zaurus for quite some time, and when it finally arrives we can't help being disappointed by the specs. Pocketability and connectivity are my main worries. I just want to take the device from my jacket (size) and be online all the time (3G). But, apart from that, the keyboard looks great, the CPU speed and internal memory is enough to run most apps comfortably and battery life seems stunning (unchecked, have to see it first). Current mid/netbook trend has done great things in terms of optimizations of the Linux operating system, and since the PC-Z1 (the Z refers to little Zaurus brother of course) runs Linux, the limits of possibilities take a huge step forward compared to our beloved Zaurus.

    I say this is a great upgrade from the Zaurus, much better than any of those battery slurping, overpriced and overweight Wintel based things thrown at us for months now.

    Time for a group buy. I'll check what Brett can do for us. Anyone in? The more the merrier :-)

    PS: The PS-Z1 seems to be based on Ubuntu 9.04... Would be cool to have a Zubuntu 2.0 based on 9.10 for the Zaurus in the meantime. Oh, what the heck, I'll upload one later.

    [ 18 comments ] ( 10541 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 12668 )
    Wireless networking in Zubuntu 
    I was testing the (upcoming) new Zubuntu release today on my Spitz. For my wireless network I once again tried to use my old Buffalo WLI2-CF-S11 compact flash card. Although the card worked nicely for a while, it has always been a troublesome experience setting it up. I guess last time I had it working was before I changed my home networking security from WEP to WPA.

    So I figured today was the time to delve into the secrets of chipsets, firmware and flashing, just to see if I could get the Buffalo running again in Zubuntu.

    First I checked for the chipset on the Buffalo card. Where else than on OESF I found that the Buffalo had a Prism 2.5 chipset. Next thing I checked was whether there was a way to update the firmware. I had no idea, never tried actually. I found this great site with lots of interesting information about flashing prism2 firmware.

    I noted the information (using the 'dmesg|tail' command) after inserting the card into the Zaurus. It said:
    wifi0: NIC: id=0x800c v1.0.0
    wifi0: PRI: id=0x15 v1.1.0
    wifi0: STA: id=0x1f v1.3.5
    wifi0: defaulting to host-based encryption as a workaround for firmware bug in Host AP mode WEP
    wifi0: defaulting to bogus WDS frame as a workaround for firmware bug in Host AP mode WDS
    wifi0: registered netdevice wlan0

    Using this handy reference table, I found that in my case, having a NIC id of 800c, I needed a primary 'K' and secondary 'F' release code of the Prism2 firmware. So I downloaded the firmware, using version 1.1.1 (pk010101.hex) for the primary firmware and version 1.8.2 (sf010802.hex) for the station firmware. Version 1.8.2 is not the latest (that is 1.8.4) but reportingly the most stable version, so I went for that one.

    I used the Zaurus to do the actual firmware flashing. The hostap-utils package contains the prism2_srec utility, which is used for the firmware flashing. After doing a testrun using...
    # prism2_srec -v wlan0 pk010101.hex sf010802.hex

    ...I saw no significant errors of any kind, so I then started the actual flashing using...
    # prism2_srec -v -f wlan0 pk010101.hex sf010802.hex

    This went flawlessly, and 'dmesg|tail' now told me:
    wifi0: NIC: id=0x800c v1.0.0
    wifi0: PRI: id=0x15 v1.1.1
    wifi0: STA: id=0x1f v1.8.2

    Firmware upgrade went fine this far, according to the version upgrade, so now it was time to check whether or not the card supported any new features, WPA being the most important for me.

    In the current version of Zubuntu I use WICD as network manager. In the properties I saw my home network instantly (it was not shown at all before the flash upgrade) and I could choose WPA as well. After entering my WPA passphrase I was connected to my wireless home network in just a minute.

    This was worth the upgrade, I hope this is of any help to any of you. It may be worth upgrading your wireless card as well. Be careful to pick the right firmware versions for you specific situation!


    [ 5 comments ] ( 322 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 12466 )
    Latest for Spitz 
    For all of you who want to try the latest and greatest (and why wouldn't you) please download the latest SL-C3000, SL-C3100 and SL-C3200 kernel for your Spitz device and give it a try.
  • 2.6.31-rc3 kernel
  • MD5: 602d83142fbf3d8692e4adf4dee07b4d
  • 2.6.31-rc3 modules
  • MD5: b154506766ead4018140ca3c8bef9a63

    Like previous kernels, the offline charging code still doesn't work, but at least the suspend/resume works again (thanks to Eric Miao for helping out again). This kernel also has all drivers compiled in to get Android going, so hopefully more on that later as well.

    Again, please give it a try and give me feedback on your findings!

    [ 13 comments ] ( 694 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 12083 )
    Zubuntu on my refrigerator (Zaurus SL-6000L aka Tosa) 
    After having acquired a Zaurus SL-6000L it has been eating dust in the drawer for quite some time now. Sorry about the bad joke comparing the Tosa with a refrigerator, but it simply looks that way to me. I still can't get used to the form factor, the keyboard and the size... well, it's huge and heavy. So, having said that, now lets have some action-packed Tosa fun then.

    Current status

    The 2.6.31-rc3 kernel is booting. Long live the serial cable, which revealed that there currently is a problem with the alsa sound device driver. So after disabling sound support in the kernel for the time being the kernel at least boots. Not that I see anything in the console! Bummer, the lcd (or backlight?) seems to be turned off. But from the serial console I understand that everything boots ok. After logging in as "root" (blindly) and starting "xinit" the Zubuntu desktop is started. Fonts are displayed as boxes, but hey, that should be easily fixed. I almost got excited, but soon found out that the touchscreen doesn't seem to work. But then again, I didn't calibrate the screen... Now, how do I press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace on this ridiculous small keyboard... I don't know, stuck again I guess. Ouch, have to Reset the device again, possibly corrupting the filesystem.

    Anyone willing to help from here?

    Bare in mind that this is all pretty experimental, so if you want to try it yourself don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and be prepared for some nasty headaches!

    Backing up your device

    First thing I did was making a NAND backup. If, in the worst case, this doesn't work out, I can always restore to the original state. Let me document here how I did that, because I didn't know that myself for this device. First of all make sure you have a FAT formatted SD or CF card inserted for storing the backup.

    Removing AC/Power, keep the 'D' and 'P' keys pressed on the keyboard and then press the Reset button on the back of the device. The Diagnostic menu should show up now. While in the menu plug in the AC/Power adapter, just to make sure there's enough juice for backing up the device. Go Left and Down twice and press "Ok" to select the option "NAND BACKUP". Follow further instructions on screen. Good thing this device has English messages by the way! All the other models I own show Japanese messages, and well, although I know my way around those menus, I really don't understand any of the text shown. Anyway, after the backup has finished press Cancel to get back to the Diagnostic menu.

    Press the Reset button again to turn off the device. I don't know if this is the preferred way to do this, but I couldn't find a better method.

    Making preparations

    Use the instructions for setting up the Zubuntu filesystem from here in the "Making preparations" part. The Tosa specific root-additions can be found here.

    Flashing the Multiboot kernel

    Since I messed up my build tree pretty badly I wasn't able to build a multiboot kernel for the Tosa. Luckily 'Ant' had a copy lying around somewhere (thanks for that Andrea) so off I went flashing the multiboot kernel.

    First, plug in the AC/Power adapter. Second, insert your FAT formatted CF or SD card containing the updater.sh and zImage.bin files. Now Reset the Zaurus using the button on the back of the device. To get into the Maintenance menu, press and hold the "OK" button, and press the power button. It should pop up a menu that has four options (nicely in English again), choose the option that says "Update". Select the medium that you are using, either CF or SD. The updater will run and the kernel is flashed. When it is done, the device will automatically reboot.

    Experimental

    From here it all gets a bit wacky. After reboot, the boot menu is shown, probably saying it couldn't find any bootable kernels (unless you prepared well of course). Pressing the Power button doesn't work, so I had to Reset the device again. Not very nice, but the kernel has no SD/CF cards mounted, so these won't get corrupt (no guarantees).

    Booting the device with the Zubuntu SD/CF card inserted shows Zubuntu in the boot menu. Pressing the "OK" button starts Zubuntu, at least until the login prompt. Login using "root" and type "startx" to see the desktop. Be aware that the touchscreen needs calibrating, but ts_calibrate bails out with an error here, so that didn't work for me.

    Help is needed from here, so please try this and give me your feedback, report problems, share fixes, enhancements etc.

    As you know by now, using the "Donate" button from the menu on the left keeps me motivated big time!

    [ 7 comments ] ( 480 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 11436 )
    The /root cause, media effects, perfect timing and result at long last... 
    In the Zubuntu 1.0-RC1 release I included Audacious as a lightweight media player. Worked as a charm, at least for me. Now, working on the Zubuntu 2.0-RC1 release, I tried the Audacious v1.5.1 player from the Ubuntu Jaunty repository. No luck, the player wouldn't even start, it just segfaulted.

    Googling here and there I found Eina, downloaded the source and compiled the player natively. Eina indeed is a nice, simple but complete media player, using Gtk+-2.0 only and GStreamer for media playback it fitted the lightweight profile. But after playing back some random MP3 files it came apparent that it couldn't play the tracks without hickups on my Zaurus. Whatever the root cause of the hickups was I still don't know, but the effect was that I once more Googled for Audacious and the cause of it segfaulting on startup.

    To my surprise, the author of Audacious has just released a brand new version (v2.0.1) a couple of days back. Perfect timing, so I downloaded the source and started to compile it once again natively. The building started about 5 hours ago now, and it is still building the list of plugins. I had to restart the build once because of an error in the SID plugin, so I disabled that one. Maybe next time I need to check first whether cross-compilation is a better option. I wouldn't dare to stop it now!

    To be continued, hopefully the result will be worthwhile...

    Update: Not bad at all. Building finally finished, and the player works. Guess what. I think this will be the media player for the next oncoming Zubuntu release
    :-)

    Update: I'm glad to say this was really worth the effort. The new Audacious 2.0.1 player plays the tracks I've thrown at it without any interruptions. Bitrates varied up to 256Kb/s. And it's even light enough to do other stuff as well without any problems. Superb!

    [ 10 comments ] ( 466 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 1552 )
    Most pieces of the puzzle seem to fit.. 
    After hours and hours of trying, interpreting and changing of code, problem guessing, debugging, reading logs, kernel rebuilding and device flashing I finally succeeded in waking the Zaurus up after suspending it. Man, you wouldn't believe how much time I spent on getting something "simple" as turning On and Off the device to work.

    So, result is that since this afternoon I have the latest 2.6.30 kernel working on my SL-C3100. There are still some things to fix, but most things seem to work... finally!

    Update:
    Some of you already requested a link to download the kernel, so here it is then. The 2.6.30-rc2 SL-C3x00 kernel (MD5: 43b691cc05a3c1aa694a287b34aefc23) and the corresponding SL-C3x00 modules (MD5: bc13ae45d2e79e6987d9ba60f75fa206) are both highly experimental. Bear in mind that, as said, some things need to be fixed.

    Update 01-05-2009:
    I've build the latest 2.6.30-rc4, this time with support for CPU frequency scaling and Android and I added various wireless LAN drivers (as modules).

    Update 08-05-2009:
    New update using the latest 2.6.30-rc4 kernel. This version fixes the screen flickering and the unexpected (hard!) hangups. I had to disable the CPU Frequency Scaling to get it stable, so I guess that needs more work. Until now this one is very stable. I've added more kernel modules as well. Since the previous version was buggy I've simply overwritten it with the new one. Please re-download!

    The kernel should work on the SL-C3x00 (Spitz) as well as the SL-C1000 (Akita).

    2.6.30-rc4 kernel: Download (MD5: d92771c86cd7c53cabd1bd216eac5a0f)
    Kernel modules: Download (MD5: 377c155df6fd1fc569188ddafa282af6)

    Again, please give it a try and give me feedback on your findings!

    [ 32 comments ] ( 1080 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 1216 )
    What's going on at Omegamoon headquarters... 
    You may ask yourself why it is taking so long before a fresh new Zubuntu release is uploaded on this site. Well, I was asked some time ago by an Ubuntu developer to get all Zubuntu related packages into mainstream Ubuntu, so it could become part of the upcoming 9.04 Jaunty release for ARM.

    First and most important package would be the kernel, so I've been working on getting a working 2.6.28 in the last couple of weeks, resulting in a more or less working kernel. But I'm having some major issues, power management isn't working for instance.

    So this is taking a little longer than I expected. The current 2.6.28 kernel I'm using has support for the ext4 filesystem, build-in support for Android, and I'll try to incorporate CPU Frequency scaling as well, so we can overclock the CPU and try to fry an egg on our Zaurus ;-) I guess I have to sit through another series of kernel debugging session before this kernel is ready for release. The CE-170TS serial cable I kindly got donated from Rolf Leggewie is doing overtime currently.

    Parallel on this, I'm in the process of extending the kexecboot boot manager. A lot of ideas have been passed on at the #kexecboot IRC channel. Feel free to join us there by the way, although we might bark sometimes, we certainly won't bite. So expect to see autostart functionality, ext4 support, customized logo and icons, (re-)ordering of items and much more in an oncoming release of the boot manager.

    So, to cut a long story short, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Plan was to release a Zubuntu Jaunty combined with the 2.6.28 kernel and the new boot manager. But since this could take a while to finish, I might upload a new root filesystem based on Jaunty using the 2.6.26 kernel. Give me a shout and let me know what you think!

    Last but not least, Google has cut me off from their Adsense "service" because of alleged misuse. My account "has posed a significant risk to AdWords advertisers". Bullocks of course, they just didn't like paying me. But anyway, this means I have to ask you all to use the "Donate" button if you like what I'm doing and are willing to support me. Thanks in advance!

    [ 9 comments ] ( 590 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 1102 )
    Zubuntu meeting Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) - First Impressions 
    I've been very busy the last couple of weeks sorting out various Zubuntu-related problems. I'm glad it seems to work for most of you, and hope you like it.

    I was contacted recently about the Ubuntu for ARM initiative from Canonical. I always thought that this was targeted at the armv7+ family of CPU's, but to my astonishment this seems not to be true! This means that the latest (unstable) Ubuntu should technically spoken work on our beloved Zaurus.

    So that's why I started another 'proof of concept' just to see if it is possible to get Ubuntu version 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) running on the Zaurus.




    The images speak for them self I guess. I've got it all set up now, using most of the applications from the Zubuntu 1.0 RC1.

    The system is running a stock Ubuntu 2.6.28 kernel with most of the packages 'as is' from the official Ubuntu repository.

    This is just a first impression. Pretty cool so far!

    [ 10 comments ] ( 7105 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 1064 )

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