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Month: January 2011

Re: Kernel source doesn't match kernel?

From: Luciano ES <luc-kub35@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2011 03:14:06 -0200
On Monday 03 January 2011, Jimmy Johnson wrote:

> I don't know why you installed version 10.10 when the 10.04 LTS is more 
> stable, my guess is you wanted the latest version, I installed both and 
> I can tell you 10.04 is a lot better and will have better support than a 
> 6 month release will ever have.

If you're too curious, I'll expose my whole drama and line of thinking.

I am using KDE 3.5.10 on Jaunty. I think it's not even Trinity yet, probably still original KDE.

Most Linux users take upgrading the whole system for granted and upgrade it often. Not me. I really, really need VMWare Server, and I LOATHE VMWare Server 2. I love VMWare Server 1.x, and VMWare Server 1.x will not work on newer kernels. It seems everybody including hobbyists have given up on trying to make patches for VMWare 1 on current kernels, I can't find that anywhere. That, that alone, has prevented me from upgrading my Linux installation. Nothing else, just that.

And I was happy with everything I had... except sound. Sound in Linux is just awful, isn't it? I was annoyed because I can't have two applications output sound simultaneously, and I couldn't record my overall sound output so I could, say, record streaming. Forget JACK, I've never been able to make that POS work, even when I used Slackware years ago and I still can't make it work. I am sick of booting into Windows XP just to record some occasional streaming (which works with top-notch perfection on Windows XP, of course, it's just Linux that has such embarrassingly appalling sound support). And I think I was having some problem with Skype too, not sure.

Googling around, I ended up at the ALSA website and found an upgrade that was supposed to give me the ability to record sound output. That seemed like a very good plan: instead of upgrading the entire OS and losing VMWare Server 1.x, I could just upgrade ALSA.

So I upgraded ALSA. First I followed their instructions to backup my existing modules in case something went wrong. Then I followed their instructions to upgrade the modules. Well, something went wrong, I cannot use Skype anymore, and their backup instructions were wrong, so I cannot go back to my old modules. I'm stuck with the new ones. And I still cannot record streaming sound output. So I gained nothing and lost Skype. I've been putting up with this aggravation for months. I've also been putting up with knowing that newer distros (including Ubuntu) support the webcam on my notebook, while Jaunty does not. I would like to have that, too.

Enough is enough. I've decided to take another look at VMWare Server 2 and maybe suck it up, put up with that POS so I can finally catch up with the rest of the world and upgrade my Linux to something current. Which brings me to my latest experimenting with Linux Mint and the Ubuntu images with Trinity pre installed.

The experience with Mint didn't go well. It let me install and run Trinity, worked fine, but then VMWare Server needs to build kernel modules. So I needed kernel sources and the build-essential package. Well, either/both kernel source and/or build-essential on Mint 9 require complete removal of KDE 3. 148 packages, no less. I just felt like strangling someone and gave up on Mint. That kind of package removal conflict is exactly what kept me away from Debian and derivates for many years. I find that utterly stupid and unacceptable.

So I came back to the Trinity disk images.

Remember, the one thing that makes me want to upgrade is sound support. And the webcam. So I am testing that. The test with the Lucid-based Trinity CD image didn't go to well. I sound awful on Skype. I hear myself really loud into my own headphones, and I can't turn down the volume for the microphone, lest the other party won't hear me well. And the microphone still captures too much ambient noise. It's awful.

You see, the longer support period for Lucid than Maverick doesn't mean anything to me. Once I have moved to VMWare Server 2, as long as it works with newer kernels, I don't mind upgrading the whole OS every few months. So I tried the Maverick-based Trinity CD image, and... hey, Skype sounds excellent on it. Just perfect, fine, stellar. My only complaint is that the entire OS froze at some point and I had to hard reset the machine... Definitely not a good sign.

- as is: I cannot record streaming or use Skype; I have to withstand the humiliation of booting into Windows everytime I need to use Skype;
- Mint: won't let me have Trinity AND compile source;
- Lucid-based Trinity: crappy sound on Skype;
- Maverick-based Trinity: great sound on Skype, but kernel source doesn't match running kernel, and the bastard froze on me, might be unstable.

I am also considering giving the hell up on the whole upgrade idea. Until some other Ubuntu version comes along that will not cause me trouble. I don't know.

This is the whole story.

Luciano ES