Monday, November 12, 2007

Fedora, incapable of burning a DVD

You'd think that in 2007 every modern operating system would offer the ability to burn a DVD. Not Fedora. I plug in my USB DVD writer, I insert a blank DVD, a blank DVD icon shows up on the desktop, right click an ISO and select "Write to Disc...". 30 seconds later, I get a failure and a coaster. I try growisofs, but to do that I need to know the device name. I look at dmesg... I can't really tell so I tried /dev/sr1, /dev/scd1, and /dev/dvd. All fail. Fedora fails.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ubuntu: Last nail in the coffin

I decided to give Ubuntu one more try and do a fresh install of Feisty (the most recent version I had). The nv driver again proved worthless by only giving me 800x600 but the restricted drivers manager correctly installed the binary drivers. But I notice something weird with 'sudo' when I was trying to set up my SVN repos. I did a 'sudo svn-admin create /home/svn-code', but nothing happened. I tried a 'sudo mkdir foo' and it didn't make a directory. 'sudo passwd root' didn't prompt me for a new password. What's going on? I reboot the machine, figuring it might be because it was because I upgraded some fundamental packages. I reboot, log back in, and now everything from my System->Administration menu is gone. I can't sudo, can't log in as root, can't do anything. I'm locked out of my own machine! Ubuntu is now officially banned from any machine I have control over.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Linux Dual Monitor nightmare

So I was at the local store and decided to get an nvidia 7300GS with dual outputs so that I could run two monitors on my Ubuntu installation at home with my spare 17" monitor.

So when I got home, I installed the card and I started by allowing the Ubuntu restricted device manager to install the Nvidia driver. I restart X, X crashes complaining about an "API mismatch" or some such. After unsuccessfully trying nvidia-glx and nvidia-glx-new packages, I decided to uninstall everything related to Nvidia and restricted drivers from synaptic and try Xinerama with the open source "nv" drivers. But unfortunately it turns out that "nv" can't handle more than one screen per GPU, which basically means it's a worthless piece of shit.

So next I try manually installing the Nvidia binary drivers. X crashes on startx unless I turn one of monitors off, but I finally manage to get to Gnome. I turn the second monitor on, start nvidia-settings, detect monitor, enable twinview. It seemed to be working when my 19" monitor freaks out and goes completely out of sync. Same thing on restart. So next, I try setting up Xinerama by manually going into xorg.conf and creating entries for the second set of screen, monitor and graphics card. Voila, it works! Dual monitors! (Nevermind the fact that all new windows appears right in the middle of the two screens).

At this point I almost all is well, but I don't want my 17" to be my primary screen. So I switch my cables on the video card which makes my nice 19" monitor the main screen. But _now_ Ubuntu insists on shifting my screen 300 pixels to the right and around 100 pixels down, so there's a gigantic black gutter on my monitor. I try adjusting the monitor manually but it won't move that fair, not to mention the image was all fuzzy like it was running at an improper sync rate.

At this point, I said "Fuck it", and decided to go back to my original setup of using the integrated video. So I take out the 7300, reboot, and all is fine? NO. Somehow the nv driver doesn't want to render my mouse cursor. So now, after wasting my time trying to get dual monitors, I'm stuck with running VESA (meaning no acceleration whatsoever) on a single monitor. Conclusion: Fuck Linux, Fuck X11, Fuck Ubuntu, Fuck Nvidia, and Fuck everyone on and #ubuntu on FreeNode.