Evanescent Thoughts

Evanescent Thoughts

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Tweaks

with 17 comments

I bought a new Dell Studio 1588 few days ago. It came with an Intel i5 450M processor, 4GB DDR3 Ram, 500GB SATA @7200rpm, 1GB ATI Raedon Graphic Card, 15″ HighDefinition LCD Display(1080p) with 1920×1080  resolutions and a back lit keyboard and a slot load DVD 🙂 .. A perfect config except that, it shipped with Windows 7 pre-installed.  The sales rep refused to even give me the lap without installing Windows sighting that they dont send OS DVD nowadays and the only way to give me the Windows 7 I am entitled for is by installing it in my comp. Fair enough I say, and gladly receive the laptop and start working on Windows for a couple of hours( I couldnt install Linux cos, at that time my modem was in repair and I had to wait)  only to find that 15hrs later, Windows screwed up my MBR !! Now on any other day , I would have fixed the MBR with a live CD of ubuntu. But since its brand new and still under the windows cloud, I thought of giving the customer care at Dell a ring to fix it and for the rest of the day, I kept staring at a slow green Progress bar. In the mean time,  I finished downloading  a  whole 2GB HD movie on a 512kbps BSNL connection ( Just to give u an idea of how long the progress bar made me wait 😛 ). Finally I gave up on the windows way of fixing, put my Live CD  to use and got done with it in 30 mins. Yet another times when you feel a live CD is like your swiss army  knife !

So I finally had my laptop ready for Lucid Lynx and it was just splendid  to see Ubuntu in HD screen 😀 .. Loads of UI improvement .. guess they are putting better designers at  the helm of the task though a lot needs to be  done, especially with nautilus’s usage of space and the Desktop icons alignment. Finally Ubuntu has a  Copy To and Move To added to the nautilus 🙂 More on the review of Lucid Lynx later.  In a matter of time, I upgraded my kernel, installed the updates, got my graphics card driver installed and copied the backed up data from old laptop. And then the actual problem began 🙂

The one Internet connection and Many Laptop Problem :

I had a BSNL connection for internet access and was comfortably using it on my old vostro laptop. Now that I have 2 laptops and I wanted to use both at same time with internet, I was checking out my options to get it working.

  1. The classic option was to get a router , a wireless one … But I wasnt interested in wasting my cash over it .
  2. IP Masquerading .. Make one comp route the traffic from eth0 ( the ethernet card connected to BSNL modem) to the other comp via a wlan0( Wireless card which had a private network established with my other laptop) … couple of iptable modification and this shud be up and running.. google and you would get sufficient info 🙂
  3. Setting up  ssh server and doing the above process without any changes to iptables..  You could try port binding ( ssh -L ) or a SOCKS proxy (ssh -d) to make things work .. but SOCKS proxy, I am  not sure how to export the proxy for apt-get to work .. (ideas welcome in comments)
  4. The next to easiest way of setting up  a http proxy server on one laptop …  I a had used in college was squid .. So I set it up in one of the laptops, changed the necessary ACL settings(access control lists) and http_access and done in a jiffy 🙂
  5. This is the best and simplest way …yet the most _not_so_interesting way .. in short the one click windows way !! (yes even ubuntu  is becoming bad !!) While creating the wireless connection, Under the ipv4 settings, put the method as”Shared to Other Computers”. This has to be done on the host laptop connected to the internet modem .  A very simple one click mechanism .. Think its there in windows too .

Any other interesting ways to do the same, please mention in comments 🙂 … Also note that to do all of the above you need to have two NIC s in your laptop.. The modern ones always ship with an ethernet card and an wireless adapter.. So that shud suffice.

No Sound in Head Phone Jack for Dell 1588 on Lucid Lynx :

When you plug in the head phones, the sound from the speakers stop but you dont hear anything on your  head phone .. Prob cos of your audio modules not properly configured. Times like this , you get to know of the countless number of sound cards out there  in the market…. A complete official HowTo is available here. In short for a Dell Laptop with this problem, you gotta do this,

cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | grep Codec

This would give the model of your  audio card on your system  mine was

Codec: IDT 92HD73C1X5

Next you need to find the suitable audio model for this card  from  /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/HD-Audio-Models.txt.gz.

zless /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/HD-Audio-Models.txt.gz

Search for your card in that doc .. zless reads compressed text files 🙂 .. So search for 92HD73 in that text file.. sometimes the cards are wild carded so incase you dont find, keep searching with lesser number of characters from beginning . The text I found was ,

ref           Reference board
no-jd         BIOS setup but without jack-detection
intel         Intel DG45* mobos
dell-m6-amic  Dell desktops/laptops with analog mics
dell-m6-dmic  Dell desktops/laptops with digital mics
dell-m6       Dell desktops/laptops with both type of mics
dell-eq       Dell desktops/laptops
alienware     Alienware M17x
auto          BIOS setup (default)

So the one matching my case was dell-m6 . Find the appropriate one for your laptop and do the following  :

echo “options  snd-hda-intel model=dell-m6″ | sudo  tee /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

A restart should now get your laptop headphone jacks work normal 🙂 ..

The Low resolution in the splash screen and Grub during Boot up :

This is a traditional problem when your hard ware ( in this case your monitor) doesnt report the proper specs of display it can support. So specifying it manually solves the problem. Earlier,  it was GRUB legacy and usplash until recently things begin to progress towards GRUB2 and plymouth. So here is a quick process to do it. My laptop supports 1920×1080 resolution. So replace that with your resolution wherever applicable. This mostly would happen also if you use 4GB ram + 1GB graphics card on windows XP or any other 32bit OSThis should solve the problem and you can see a very HD grub menu on your boot up 🙂 ..

  1. First we need to install the v86d package  which gives the backend for kernel drivers that execute  the x86 BIOS code. So run sudo apt-get install v86d
  2. The screen resolution settings for grub2 are in /etc/grub/default . The previous grub legacy would have it in /boot/grub/menu.list. Here you need to change the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= “quiet splash” to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash nomodeset video=uvesafb:mode_option=1920×1080-24,mtrr=3,scroll=ywrap”.
  3. Add GRUB_GFXMODE=1920×1080 to the end . A similar line with resolution as 640×480 would be commented with an # .. You can as well remove the # and change it over there instead.
  4. Now run echo “uvesafb mode_option=1280×1024-24 mtrr=3 scroll=ywrap” | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/modules. This  takes care of custom made resolution for GRUB and needs the v86d package.. For more details, check out here.
  5. And again run echo “FRAMEBUFFER=y” | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash.
  6. sudo update-grub2 to  generate the grub.cfg and sudo  update-initramfs -u to  generate the new splash screen.

Enabling your 32 bit OS to address your 4GB Ram + 1GB Graphics Card :

Now this is an interesting problem that I discovered when I opened my system monitor. To my surprise, I found that my OS only could address 3GB of memory. Theoretically a 32-bit OS can address 4GB of memory but since I had a 1GB graphics card, it could only address 3GB of RAM and 1GB of Graphics card. So I need to change my OS to 64 bit or  have a PAE (Physical Address Extension) supported  kernel. The Desktop version kernel doesnt support PAE, so you need to install a PAE supported kernel. Do the following

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-server linux-image-server linux-server

Reboot and do a free -m to confirm all your 4GB is addressable :).

Will  be making a couple more tweaks on my machine, thanks to google :). So as they say, “Where is the fun when everything works out of the box… Think Linux!”

PS : @suren : I knw now u will try to say something abt  mac … bring it on 😉


Written by Sathya Narayanan

June 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

17 Responses

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  1. Wonder where from you learnt the proxy server configurations. And yes, IP Masquerading i something that i never tried . Gonna try sometime when i`m free. Good work on how to`s . Would be of much help for me.


    June 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    • thanks 🙂 .. by proxy server u mean the squid one ???

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm

  2. ATI Radeon will work out of the box in lucid. They have the Open Source ATI drivers. Even though it doesnt support the full 3d features and speed of the proprietary driver, it is good enough for most purposes we do. Other problems with the proprietary drivers are video tearing ( a problem with fglrx) and bad color in HD videos. So the purpose of you having a HD Screen itself is forfeited. And u will not have the plymouth resolution problem. I suggest you fall back to the open source drivers.And ya.. lucid is good 🙂 u can add +1 to the anti-mac team. 😛


    June 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    • hey viswa 🙂 .. yeah the ATI looks perfect 🙂 .. and i still had to manually change the grub resolution .. plymouth was good with ATI .. slight flickering at times.. didnt knw tht propriety drivers had tht prob :).. and yeah .. for atleast few more years till i can get a mac of my own , i ll be in the anti mac team 😉

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm

  3. Three things :
    1) I am surprised you believed that I will read your blog 😉 Though I did 😐
    2) I would have kept quiet at this blog post had you not been so asking for my comment 😉
    3) Mac all this stuff out of the box. I rest my case 🙂


    June 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    • he he .. as I said … not yet pretty rich like you to avail the mac comfort 😛 and why wud i be surprised that you read my blog 😉

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm

  4. I am pretty (understatement!) surprised that suren who used attach a a.k.a pengu to his name has started supporting mac.. why suren why?? 😉 mac has good hardware… and thats it.. you don call that an OS 😛 Zero customizability 😀


    June 26, 2010 at 12:51 am

    • this suren no .. totally changed.. now if u ask him ubuntu .. he ll say “what ubuntu , who ubuntu” 😛

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm

  5. Nice one :). esp the ram tweak.

    PS: Which HD movie? 😀

    Akhil Ravidas

    June 26, 2010 at 1:41 am

    • ha ha.. thanks .. 🙂 .. i have a growing collection of HD movies 😉 .. few on download.. dont feel like watching normal movies 😛

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 26, 2010 at 10:21 pm

  6. […] eth0 and running a Wifi network on wlan0 both of which share the same internet connection( refer this ) eth0:  and wlan0: […]

  7. @Vishwa: Accepted. MAC is the best when it comes to h/w. I just love the way that Ubuntu runs on a macbook. When I say out of the box, I mean pretty much any OS you run on mac runs out of the box as all the h/w is standard/super quality. The aesthetics, battery life, screen, the keyboard and the machine performance makes the extra 15-20K worth it. At no point I am saying one has to use the mac OSX though I would say If you see the way I am using the mac, its not much different from the way I use Ubuntu.

    And I still do the real stuff on a Linux box and not on the mac OS(s/w). But the macbook(h/w) is a thin client at those times.

    @Sathya : you bleddy !


    June 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    • i heard from balliiman that ubuntu has problems with mac hardware.. thts one of the first reasons why i opted out of mac for now 🙂

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 29, 2010 at 5:57 pm

  8. Well 🙂


    June 30, 2010 at 12:51 am

    • Enna da Well…. poda lake 😛 ..

      Sathya Narayanan

      June 30, 2010 at 6:52 am

  9. @suren… mac OSX is modelled behind unix only.. so it ll be similar to ubuntu.. no doubts in that. But i somewhat feel they are forcing a lot on you when it comes to OSX.(s/w). On the other hand, i totally agree they have very good hardware but i really think any company can provide good hardware with that kinda cash. May not be totally upto mac standards but i m sure u can get good battery life/excellent performance with some extra bucks etc. Its just apple’s business model.

    I would not completely agree with you when u say they have standard h/w. I m not bothered if it works out of the box or not but they are not permitting me to connect the macbook pro to a TV with standard cables. VGA connectors and HDMI are industry standards. but i have to shell some more bucks to get a connector (which is so much away from implementing standards). Its not like they r running out of space or something. A HDMI socket does not take much. This kind of business model doesnt really work for me..


    July 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  10. nice post

    Laptop Akku und Netzteile

    August 27, 2010 at 1:26 am

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