GNOME 3 Shell and fglrx fixed in next driver!

So we all complained about fglrx not working with GNOME Shell and it was evil AMD closed source drivers ignoring GNOME users, at least that is what you would think.

The opposite is true here it seems.
As we can read in this bugzilla report. A bugzilla that is not owned by AMD.

We can see AMD respond explaining they noticed the problem 2011-08-10 and it was fixed within 2 days.
They also explain that it takes 4 weeks to go through QA testing before it finally gets released. That obviously makes sense to anyone.

So how can things take this long? Didn’t GNOME developers actually test gnome-shell with fglrx drivers? Didn’t distributions that noticed the bug realize the Bugzilla wasn’t even owned by AMD at all? What would have happened if GNOME developers actually reported this to AMD while GNOME Shell was in a more early development cycle back in 2010?

**facepalm

Thank you AMD! Looking forward for the 11.9 driver that will hopefully come out within 4 weeks.

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=652029
https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=649666

“Nelson Marques 2011-05-25 23:30:05 UTC
ATI/AMD needs to fix this, not really us… I’ve opened this bug report on
their end, and other distro’s have the same issue…”
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=685691

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I installed Sabayon 6 what now?

Here is a very short guide what I would do directly after install.

Open a terminal and become root. (you type in su and hit enter and then give your root password)

Now the first thing would be to update the repository database:
equo update

It will now tell you there is 1 update available, glibc. This is an update that always must be installed before anything else so go ahead.
After installation it will re-spawn Entropy and continue asking to install the additional updates.

We stop here and first install the new entropy code with a trick so it doesn’t start pulling in huge dependency trees. Entropy does not need them to run anyway.

equo install entropy equo --relaxed

Once done we need to sort the mirrors. I noticed that on my test case it was set to a mirror in Australia. This is the other side of the globe and obviously not the best speedy connection I could get.

equo repo mirrorsort sabayon-weekly

Wait for it to test and then continue.

equo upgrade

And there you have it.

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Testing GNOME 3

About 2 weeks ago GNOME 3 was added to the testing repository and I think it is good enough for more experienced users to go and play with it. I’d like to state that if you like GNOME 3 or not, we cannot help that.

*** PHAT WARNING ***
If you use fgrlx drivers (<=11.7) do not migrate yet, GNOME Shell doesn't work with it!
You can get it to work if you remove ati-drivers and move to the OpenSource ati driver and switch to Gallium3d (eselect mesa)
*** END WARNING ***

To give you a head start here let me give you a quick howto migration guide.

1. Add Limbo (obviously)
2. Upgrade your system completely
3. Restart your system (A new gdm is installed and for me it required me to reboot or restart dbus)

If you log in the first time you will notice a warning and the Fallback desktop will load. This is wanted behaviour.

4. Install gnome-shell and log out
5. log in and there you go.

Some tweaks to apply:

- install gnome-tweak-tool
- install gnome-extra/gnome-shell-extensions-activities-button

Open gnome-tweak-tool and then:

File manager – Put all options on if you want desktop Icons
Interface – Select the Elementary icon theme as your default theme

Have fun!

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Sabayon Nostalgia

I came across a post made by Jeff Hoogland on his blog back in March. I never was much of a KDE user myself, but I recall how fast and stable it was in early Sabayon 3.

If you didn know it yet, KDE 3 has been removed from Gentoo Portage tree a while back. Same goes for Qt version 3 and the qt3 useflag.
Being removed from Portage tree does not mean it isn’t available anymore, actually, it still is and is being maintained too!

Everything got moved out tree into the sunset overlay.

I went ahead investigate what it would take to get it running on a current Sabayon 6 installation.

Sync Portage tree and add the sunset overlay:

emerge --sync
layman -a kde-sunset

Now I noticed that so far the only “big” change would be that I needed avahi from kde-sunset overlay. Since kdelibs:3.5 has a dependency on avahi with qt3 useflag.

Look at /etc/portage/package.use and add the qt3 useflag to the avahi entry so it looks like this:
net-dns/avahi howl-compat mdnsresponder-compat dbus gdbm -gtk python autoipd -qt4 qt3

Now we can go ahead and merge kde-base/kdebase-startkde. I tend to always install this one instead of kde-meta. It makes a nice minimal KDE installation.

Remember that you can use Entropy to install additional build tools, to keep as much insync with Entropy.

emerge -av kdebase-startkde:3.5

And there you have it!

Notice the :3.5 I used here. This is NOT a version it is a SLOT.

If you later want to install additional KDE 3.5 programs, e.g. ksnapshot or konsole do it like this:
emerge -av konsole:3.5
emerge -av ksnapshot:3.5

For Entropy users:
Mask avahi, otherwise Entropy will pull in the Entropy version (without the qt3 flag enabeld/available)
equo mask avahi
Finally sync Entropy database, so it is aware of the changes you made:
equo rescue spmsync

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Speed up Entropy

If you experience a low download speed when upgrading your system with Entropy there are several things you can do to try speed it up.

Select the best mirror
equo repo mirrorsort sabayonlinux.org

This will do some tests and evaluate the results automatically. Then sets the mirrors in the correct priority and writes the changes in /etc/entropy/repositories.conf

Use multifetch
If you do have a better internet connection, you can change the way how Entropy downloads the packages you need for installing.
Open /etc/entropy/client.conf and change multifetch as follows:
multifetch = 10

Don’t forget to remove the # comment char, otherwise the line would still be skipped over.

Use delta technology
When we create a new version of a package on the server, the REAL difference (delta) between them could be small. Sometimes we just need to recompile a package because it got broken because some library got a new API version or whatever. So on a 16MB package, that diff could be as little as 100kb!
In the Entropy package manager we’ve build in a feature that could actually download the difference and then patch the old package and use the newly created on on your machine. In order to have this working you should keep a copy of your downloaded packages. (So don’t run equo cleanup!)
If you are on lower bandwidth but have enough disk space on your system you might want to consider enable packages-delta.

Open /etc/entropy/client.conf and change packages-delta as follows:
packages-delta = enable

Don’t forget to remove the # comment char, otherwise the line would still be skipped over.

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New Enlightenment snapshot in Entropy

Allot of work was done recently to work down the reverse dependency list on HAL.
http://lists.sabayon.org/pipermail/devel/2011-February/006269.html

One of the bigger problems was Enlightenment. Some time ago we moved to using the EFL packages from Portage to base our Enlightenment version on. I wanted to move to a more maintainable and more “stable” Enlightenment so we could work out a spin for Enlightenment.

This all was just fine until it became an item on the todo list for HAL removal. After a short chitchat wit upstream developers I quickly realized it could take some time before I could actually be HAL independent if I wanted to maintain things like I did. So I cut the knot and

- moved the live ebuilds from Vapiers enlightenment overlay to ours
- key-worded them for ~amd64 and ~x86
- fixed some issues (automagic dependency on edb pulling in an old gtk+ version ZOMG!, make the ebuilds use virtual/jpeg)

And there I had it. The whole thing compiled pushed into our testing repository tested it and now we have it in our main repository!

If you already had Enlightenment installed, simply install the -9999 version updates. (-9999 in portage means this is a live ebuild, all sources are taken from the trunk directly and not taken from a released version tarball upstream created). After you installed the updates you want to get ridd of edb since it is not used anymore.

Simply run : equo remove edb --deep

This command removes edb and all its deps that are not needed anymore (most likely it will also remove the old gtk+ version)

About gtk+, I noticed that gtk apps in Enlightenment look a bit “ugly” at first. This is because the GNOME Settings Daemon is not running. You can make it run automatically when you enable it in the Enlightenment settings panel. -> Apps -> Startup Applications. Click on GNOME settings daemon -> Click add and click on apply. Then logout and login again and there you have it.

Last but not least. I noticed that some older themes I had laying around didn’t work that well. if you are looking for cool enlightenment themes go to this website: http://exchange.enlightenment.org/theme

Have fun!

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Getting rid of Catalyst

Lately I’m getting really annoyed with the ATI drivers and the system instability it gave me. I posted my problems on our mailinglist but what can I do about it? Not much.

So I decided to take a look, once again, to the state of the Opensource ATI driver and made it work with the stock Entropy packages we have.

Let me warn you that if you are happy with current fglrx, don’t change it. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it!
Now if you are a bit of an experienced user and know how to revert some steps here is a small guide how to make things work for you.

Step 1: Get rid of ATI drivers
equo remove ati-drivers

Step 2: Let the kernel load the radeon module
Edit /etc/conf.d/modules and add modules=”radeon” at the end of the file

Step 3: Remove some kernel parameters from the grub menu
Edit /etc/default/sabayon-grub and remove the console=tty1 quiet splash= and vga= completely.

Step 4: Add a custom parameter that enables KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)
Edit /etc/default/grub and add radeon.modeset=1 to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT variable

Step 5: Regenerate your grub.cfg file:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Step 6: Use “ati” in /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and change “fglrx” to “ati” in the Driver section of the file
Now reboot.

Optionally you can also play around with the new Gallium3d implementations. To change things to use gallium3d instead of the older mesa you can use the command: eselect mesa list to show how things are currently set.

In my case: eselect mesa set r600 2
Would set it to use gallium3d

Some reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallium3D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_mode-setting

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