Debian and Me

After trying out various Linux Distros I setteled for Ubuntu because it was easy for a beginner like me to use. For a person who started using computer with windows, Ubuntu was easy considering its hardware support and its good support forum[]. After a long time I thought of switching to Debian. I dont know whether it was due to my own thinking that I have enough knowledge to use linux. I installed Debian Lenny on my Laptop [ Dell vostro 1520 ]. Compared to Ubuntu it was a mess from the start. Display is not working well, wifi card is not detected, Windows drives gives error on mounting.... Any way I took it as a challenge to solve these problems. I was sure that the strong Debian community will help me in solving these problems. Below i will be listing how I solved the problems. I think some you also encountered these problems and this post will help you in solving it. Read on.........

[1] Display not working well

[2] Eclipse IDE is not starting up.

[3] Windows NTFS/FAT partitions are not mounting
[4] No Wifi Driver

[5] Sound coming out through both speaker and headphone.

[6] Adding sudo support.
[7] Wireless driver not detecting in my new kernel 2.6.32.  
[8] Volume control applet not opening.

[1] Display not working well

My laptop uses Intel integrated Graphics.

The display section from lshw command.

*-display:0 UNCLAIMED

description: VGA compatible controller

product: Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller

vendor: Intel Corporation

physical id: 2

bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0

version: 07

width: 64 bits

clock: 33MHz

capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list

configuration: latency=0

From my previous experience I was pretty sure Debian will be supporting it. Debian Forum [] helped me solving the problem. I just added Driver “intel” line to /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in the Device section. Then it worked fine. Now theSystem>Preference>Screen Resolution gives all the availbale resolutions. Before that it shows only 1024x768 and 800x600. My modified xorg.conf file look like this.

# cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "InputDevice"

Identifier "Generic Keyboard"

Driver "kbd"

Option "XkbRules" "xorg"

Option "XkbModel" "pc104"

Option "XkbLayout" "us"


Section "InputDevice"

Identifier "Configured Mouse"

Driver "mouse"


Section "Device"

Identifier "Configured Video Device"

Driver "intel"


Section "Monitor"

Identifier "Configured Monitor"


Section "Screen"

Identifier "Default Screen"

Monitor "Configured Monitor"


[2] Eclipse IDE is not starting up.

Eclipse showed two errors while starting up. They are listed below.

This Eclipse build doesn't have support for the integrated browser.
After I click OK on the above error it gave the second one.
JVM terminated. Exit code=127
-jar /usr/lib/eclipse/startup.jar
-os linux
-ws gtk
-arch x86
-launcher /usr/lib/eclipse/eclipse
-name Eclipse
-showsplash 600
-exitdata 24000b
-install /usr/lib/eclipse
-vm /usr/lib/jvm/java-gcj/bin/java
-jar /usr/lib/eclipse/startup.jar 
After a little search on the web I found what the problem was. It was due to the absence of xulrunner package. I just installed it and it worked fine.
# apt-get install xulrunner
[3] Windows NTFS/FAT partitions are not mounting
Though windows drives are showing, when I click on them it shows mount error. I searched a lot and found that the problem is with the drives are not listed fstab. So I added them in the fstab and it worked. Here is how it looks.
# cat /etc/fstab 
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/sda12      /               ext3    errors=remount-ro 0       1
/dev/sda11      none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/scd0       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto     0       0
/dev/sda1 /media/os vfat defaults 0 0
/dev/sda5 /media/windows ntfs-3g defaults 0 0
/dev/sda6 /media/files ntfs-3g defaults 0 0
/dev/sda7 /media/media ntfs-3g defaults 0 0
/dev/sda8 /media/store ntfs-3g defaults 0 0
/dev/sda9 /files ext3 defaults 0 0
/dev/sda10 /store ext3 defaults 0 0
To know about how to add in the fstab, CLICK HERE...... To know about ntfs-3g, CLICK HERE.....
[4] No Wifi Driver
The next problem for me was with respect to wifi driver. Most of the Linux users also face this problem. Though the new kernels comes with drivers for almost all the common devices, most of the time they fail to work. I also faced with the same problem. After asking for help from different quarters one friend asked me to try the driver from broadcom site. For gods sake, it worked on my system.
08:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 03)
0e:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g (rev 01)
The details regarding, how to install the driver, how to make it come on during boot time..... are given in the well written README file.
CLICK HERE...... to download the driver from Broadcom site.

[5] Sound coming out through both speaker and headphone.

This error is specific to my hardware. But I saw the same error for some of my friends using other laptops. I am using a Dell Vostro1520. I am using kernel 2.6.26. Also I didnt have an option to control my headphone sound. After little search and posting on debian forum, I understood with the new kernel I could solve the problem. So I upgraded to kernel 2.6.32 and now it works fine.

But during compilation of Kernel 2.6.32, I came across another bug. It gave the following error.

cc -m32 -Wall missing-declarations missing-prototypes -O3 -I../../include -I../../arch/x86/include -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE lguest.c -o lguest
lguest.c:21:25: error: sys/eventfd.h: No such file or directory
lguest.c: In function ‘create_thread’:
lguest.c:1021: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘eventfd’
make: *** [lguest] Error 1

Some said disabling the option “Linux hypervisor example code” below “Virtualization” could solve the problem. But it didnt help me. Now one suggested changing

all: lguest


in <path_to_kernel_source>/Documentation/lguest/Makefile .  Now the Makefile looks like this.
# This creates the demonstration utility "lguest" which runs a Linux guest.
CFLAGS:=-m32 -Wall -Wmissing-declarations -Wmissing-prototypes -O3 -I../../include -I../../arch/x86/include -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE
        rm -f lguest
Changing to it worked
[6] Adding sudo support.
For a person who used Ubuntu for a long time and then switched to Debian, I couldnt live without sudo. But users are not in sudoers list by default in Debian. You could add it by executing the following command in terminal as root.
$ echo 'jestinjoy ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL' >> /etc/sudoers
In this case, you will not be prompted for password. If you want that run
$ echo 'jestinjoy ALL=(ALL) ALL' >> /etc/sudoers
[7] Wireless driver not detecting in my new kernel 2.6.32.                            
I found that the problem could be solved by removing the ssb driver, which was pre-installed. So I tried blacklisting it and copied the wl.ko file to the directory as specified in the broadcom drived README file.
Later I found another way of blacklisting the driver and it worked. 


    1. Create a file '/etc/modprobe.d/<modulename>.conf' containing 'blacklist <modulename>'.
    2. Run 'depmod -ae' as root
    3. Recreate your initrd with 'update-initramfs -u'

The method I got from the following link. Kernel Module Blacklisting.

Also found another link which clearly tells how to install the driver easily. Debian Wireless.

[8] Volume control applet not opening.  

After installing some programs the volume-control applet in the top right stopped working. Couldnt reinstall it since couldnt get the name of the package. Then a little search on net told the package name is "gnome-media". After installing the package it worked. The error I got was:

"Failed to start Volume Control: Failed to execute child process "gnome-volume-control" (No such file or directory)"

# apt-get install gnome-media