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Old 12-26-2007, 11:38 AM   #1
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FreeBSD MEGATHREAD

With the growing popularity of FreeBSD among some of the users here (read: me, tk, and rayston), I figured I'd preemptively make a FreeBSD discussion thread. And it's a megathread so you know there's serious discussion to be had.



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Old 12-26-2007, 12:26 PM   #2
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Oh that's awesome jayjay.

People are allowed to cry for FreeBSD related help here as well. :3


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Old 12-26-2007, 05:59 PM   #3
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I'll install FreeBSD winthin the next two weeks, and I'll gladly help, too.

Till then: , MJ


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Old 12-27-2007, 06:03 PM   #4
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Am suffering big time trying to get FreeBSD to recognize the onboard LAN and my IDE CD-ROM / DVD-ROM drives for my Intel DP965LT chipset with SATA HDD. Seems others in the Linux camp have had similar issues.


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Old 12-27-2007, 06:31 PM   #5
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Hiya TK: I've just looked up Kernel Trap: Are you running kernel 2.6.18 or newer?

From my experience, FreeBSD isn't the fastet distro for hardware integration but that mobo of yours isn't so new either. Once I find more on the matter, I'll get back to you.

Here's intel's own linux support: clicky

hth, MJ


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Old 12-27-2007, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ-W4
Hiya TK: I've just looked up Kernel Trap: Are you running kernel 2.6.18 or newer?
Thanks for the support MJ-W4. Unless I'm misunderstanding, that kernel revision refers to a Linux kernel. I'm running FreeBSD 6.2 GENERIC kernel.

I was able to get eth0 to be recognized by re-enabling the LAN in the BIOS. How embarassing.

Still it looks like this board's IDE controller isn't well supported...
Quote:
Originally Posted by laffer1
The IDE controller on this motherboard is a Marvell. There is no support for it in FreeBSD 6.2 beta2 or Linux 2.6.18. Linux users have it working with generic ide support at the moment.
Google cached source


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Old 12-27-2007, 08:27 PM   #7
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^ 2.6.18 is the current stable kernel (stable releases always have even numbers, btw). I haven't got freeBSD installed yet but I guess the generic kernel may need a little tweaking.

Are you doing OK with your system as it is now that you've got the LAN running?

For the moment, I'd like to refer you to freeBSD's update function if you're not onto that already. Holiday season quite often gives people time to work on neccessary updates and drivers, so you just might be lucky.

I'll stay on that subject as well since my install is coming up next week and if you can think of any way I can help you, feel free to give me a shout. You can also e-mail me through my profile.

PS: Rumour has it that painting a huge shamrock on your machine will increase your good fortune. (If you believe that, I'll sell you a number of used cars )


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Old 12-28-2007, 01:37 AM   #8
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now *this* thread must surely bring the babes to the tech forum \o/ (excluding D33 and Jae of course) JK

OT:
great stuff >> it will be an interesting read for the uninitiated. Im just starting to play with linux(now that some distros have windows-mac-isized sufficiently...) so this will be a great little intro from some people who are actually well versed, and even professionals in this stuff

One humble request >> can you **Please** remember that some reading this forum may not be as tech competent as yourself, so try to make the discussion accessible to all. One thing thats annoying about some tech areas is that they are jargon and operation-speak heavy and not much help to the average tech curious LFN user(average age 14-16) > which is whom this area was created for

mtfbwya


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Old 12-28-2007, 02:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
... now that some distros have windows-mac-isized sufficiently ...
In the words of one of my kiddies, age eleven: 'Dads, that new windows looks almost like your linux did a while ago'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
One humble request >> can you **Please** remember that some reading this forum may not be as tech competent as yourself, so try to make the discussion accessible to all. One thing thats annoying about some tech areas is that they are jargon and operation-speak heavy and not much help to the average tech curious LFN user(average age 14-16) > which is whom this area was created for

mtfbwya
No prob.

[We need to assess the humbleness of your request, though. ]


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Old 12-28-2007, 09:06 AM   #10
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tk, I think the only proper way to get your hardware supported is to compile a new (and custom) kernel.

Make sure you've consulted the FreeBSD handbook at freebsd.org.


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Old 12-28-2007, 12:02 PM   #11
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Yeah I have a hardcopy of the handbook right here, FWIW.

I've given up on my CD and DVD players for now with the belief that it will probably require something like a kernel rebuild. However I don't have a clear idea of what components I'll need to download to make that attempt worthwhile.

My current struggle is now with trying to get KDE to reveal itself to me, as it would be nice to use a graphical web browser. Unfortunately the XWindows system is not working for me either. After a number of hours of trying to install the XFree86 component per sec 5.3 of the Handbook, I finally downloaded a binary from XFree86.org. But when I got to testing with the command
XFree86 -xf86config XF86Config.new (per sec 5.4.2), I never got the black and gray grid but the screen was no longer responsive even to Ctrl+Alt+Backspace which is supposed to exit the test. Of course the handbook doesn't describe what to do if the test doesn't work...which makes me curse the handbook. I find it leads you quite often down the primrose path and then abandons you when it comes to troubleshooting.

The other challenge from yesterday was trying to get my wireless network card (Belkin N1 PCI card) to work by creating a wrapper around my windows driver via the ndisgen command. I got the kernel object (.ko) created but when I attempted to load that into memory the system hung.


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Old 12-28-2007, 04:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I've given up on my CD and DVD players for now with the belief that it will probably require something like a kernel rebuild. However I don't have a clear idea of what components I'll need to download to make that attempt worthwhile.
The only thing I could find so far is to get the IDE controller working with the generic IDE/PATA driver. It was under Linux though.

Quote:
My current struggle is now with trying to get KDE to reveal itself to me, as it would be nice to use a graphical web browser. Unfortunately the XWindows system is not working for me either.
What does the log file /var/log/Xorg.0.log say?


Quote:
The other challenge from yesterday was trying to get my wireless network card (Belkin N1 PCI card) to work by creating a wrapper around my windows driver via the ndisgen command. I got the kernel object (.ko) created but when I attempted to load that into memory the system hung.
Which Windows driver did you use? XP or 2000? My Belkin PCMCIA card works better when I use the 2000 driver, although the NDISwrapper project suggests using the XP driver. Did you also try the latest driver version?


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Old 12-29-2007, 12:56 PM   #13
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Here are nVidia's latest freeBSD drivers: 29-Dec-2007 nVidia usually offers good support for drivers and installation.

ATi offers linux drivers, too (no specific freeBSD drivers, though): 29-Dec-2007


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Old 12-30-2007, 02:34 PM   #14
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Of course, hardware incompatability exists in the OS world too, unfortunately it isnt as cool to slag off Berkeley State as it is to slag off Gatesy and Redmond

Lucky for you tk, you seem to have found yourself amongst some very knowledgable fellows If anyone can help you fix it, they can !

good luck

mtfbwya


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Old 12-30-2007, 06:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
unfortunately it isnt as cool to slag off Berkeley State as it is to slag off Ballmerz and Redmond
mtfbwya
fixed.

With more people using OpenSource, the (rightful) slagging-off will increase where applicable, too. For example, early YaST was a nice gizmo BUT...

There are quite a few issues with unix/linux/BSD et al. and not speaking up about them is probably the worst we can do. The more people complain, the sooner things get fixed in the OS community - usually.


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Old 01-12-2008, 11:58 PM   #16
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Update

Today has been a good BSD day. I got my wireless adapter working and as a bonus, both my CD and DVD drives are working also. The trick was upgrading to FreeBSD 7.0 RC1 (Stable).

* * * * story time * * * *

So was I started down the path of trying to get my Belkin N1 PCI card to work. I had attempted NDIS again. I found a link here that indicated I should first make and load ndis.ko (the generic support module) followed by custom .ko module (which I made using ndisgen, not ndiscvt as in that link). The result was promising! NDIS0 device popped up and I thought that was it. But unfortunately I could not set my SSID and according to this link that may be due to limits with NDIS.

Fortunately there was still hope. In going through the process of making the .ko file, I had needed to grab the .inf and .sys Windows files. The .sys file was named ar5416.sys and the inf file was net5416.inf. Looking at the contents of the .inf file strongly hinted that this card had an Atheros chipset. That was good news because FreeBSD has had good support for the Atheros chipsets thanks in large part to a very dedicated programmer named Sam Leffler who has signed a NDA with Atheros to port the drivers to FreeBSD (and Linux) and has been part of the FreeBSD community since the 1980s. So the hunt was on to try to find native FreeBSD drivers.

The 5416 model is the PCI version of the 5008 chipset. I came across this message from just a couple weeks ago. So here was the hardware abstraction layer files (HAL) that I needed. Poking and prodding around my system and the internet led to me understand that these should go in the /usr/src/sys/contrib/dev/ath folder. So I tried to rebuild my kernel around this new Atheros module but no matter what I tried, I kept getting failure messages when attempting to make buildkernel:

../../../dev/ath/ath_rate/sample/sample.c:492: error: structure has no member named `ds_us'


I knew something wasn't in sync. I had tried clearing out all the old objects to no avail. Finally I figured it was time to get new source codes for everything. I looked at the FreeBSD website at 7.0RC1 distribution release notes and found that the ath(4) driver had been updated to 0.9.20.3 -- not as new Leffler's link to 0.9.30.13 but newer than my current 0.9.17.2. So I figured maybe there was a chance if I updated 7.0RC1, I could at least try to rebuild my kernel from there with the 0.9.30.13 HAL. I retraced my steps in performing a dual boot of FreeBSD with WinXP. It went quickly.

I was given a nice surprise after installing 7.0RC1: my CD/DVD drives were detected (the names of the CDs that were in there were even labeled correctly)! I wasn't even trying to fix that! Then to my amazement, rebuilding the kernel compiled without error! I rebooted and behold, a beautiful ath0 device in my dmesg. And unlike ndis, this baby responded to every ifconfig command I sent it.

I did have to shutdown my onboard LAN however to get it the routing tables to cooperate. I had to do that for Windows too. But I have no problem with that.

For those of you who haven't experienced the fun of wireless on Linux or FreeBSD, it's a real treat. The level of detail given is sweet. I know that I'm running at 2412 Mhz in 11g mode with a -68dB:-94dB signal to noise ratio. I can also see the SSIDs, encryptions, S/N ratios, channels, and data rates of all my neighbors.

Now the big challenge is getting X to work...


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Old 01-13-2008, 02:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
For those of you who haven't experienced the fun of wireless on Linux or FreeBSD, it's a real treat. The level of detail given is sweet. I know that I'm running at 2412 Mhz in 11g mode with a -68dB:-94dB signal to noise ratio. I can also see the SSIDs, encryptions, S/N ratios, channels, and data rates of all my neighbors.
Wait until you get NetworkManager working (which you need X and some sort of desktop environment for (I recommend KDE 4). Linux + NetworkManager + working wifi card = better and easier-to-use wireless than Windows.

I'm broadcasting at 2.437 GHz, transferring at 11 Mb/s in b mode with a -49dB:-96dB signal:noise ratio by the way



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Old 01-13-2008, 10:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142
NetworkManager + working wifi card = better and easier-to-use wireless than Windows.
Of course I havent used wifi in linux, but wifi in windows shouldnt be slagged off before giving networkmagic a try. Its the best networking app Ive ever used by a very long way. Very user friendly and, like all good things, usable by newbs and the tech savvy alike. Even makes Mac+PC networking a smooth experience.

mtfbwya


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Old 01-13-2008, 11:22 PM   #19
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Hello world

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Now the big challenge is getting X to work...
This is my first post from wonderful world of X Windows on FreeBSD. I decided to
# cd /usr/ports/x11/gnome2
# make install clean

and then wait for hours upon hours. Finally about 3 hours ago, it completed.

Though I believed xorg was already installed, I figured I've gone this far let's do this too:

# cd /usr/ports/xorg
# make install clean

Only a little over 15 minutes and it was complete.

# xorgconfig

I chose to use the VESA driver. I have a Radeon x1600 and though there is a radeon.ko driver, I haven't yet been able to get it to detect my card. VESA with 24-bit color 1600x1200 seems to be working just fine though as evidenced by

# startx
which brought up X Windows and a couple console prompts. In one of them I typed

# gdm
and Gnome came into existance.

Now if I can just figure out how to crash it all back to the console I'll be happy. I was getting comfy with the command line and now all this GUI makes me nervous.


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Old 01-14-2008, 10:51 AM   #20
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tk, there is no need to 'startx' before GDM. When you start GDM it should start X on it's own. When you stop GDM, it will stop X as well.

Regarding he way you did it, log out, stop GDM, and in those X console prompts type 'exit'.

Alternatively, as root type 'killall X'.

PS.: How did you sort out that X problem you had?


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Old 01-14-2008, 11:02 AM   #21
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Ah, thanks Ray. I was trying to use Ctrl+Alt+Backspace and that would seems like it'd kill X server but GDM would respawn it and I'd have to login to GDM again.

It seems all my problems were resolved by upgrading to 7.0RC1.


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Old 01-14-2008, 11:24 AM   #22
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Yeah, you know, like semen and cheeks, to establish rulership you sometimes just have to put something newer over what's already there. XD


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Old 01-14-2008, 11:36 AM   #23
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I'm trying to gauge how fast the FreeBSD / Linux community moves to roll out drivers for new hardware. My system was pretty new about 18 months ago. FreeBSD 6.2 came out around January 2007. 7.0RC1 has a timestamp of Dec 28, 2007.

So I'd guess about 18 months?


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Old 01-14-2008, 03:22 PM   #24
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Well, depends. BSD and Linux two different pair of shoes. For Linux, some hardware companies run their own "Linux Dept." delivering more or less proprietary drivers, or have a diversity of open source projects to have their hardware supported, intel, nVidia, ATI etc. HP also regularly supports kernel.org, thus HP hardware has generally good and up to date support in the Linux kernel, too. At the end of the day you can say Linux supports what's needed and/or wanted. In BSD it's different. A bunch of people stick their heads together and decide where to go, basically. However, if you're the lucky owner of the wrong piece of hardware, you're screwed. Fortunately there's enough info on the web available to check proper Linux/BSD support before you go and buy stuff.


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Old 01-14-2008, 10:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
Of course I havent used wifi in linux, but wifi in windows shouldnt be slagged off before giving networkmagic a try. Its the best networking app Ive ever used by a very long way. Very user friendly and, like all good things, usable by newbs and the tech savvy alike. Even makes Mac+PC networking a smooth experience.

mtfbwya
But... but... networkmagic isn't part of Windows! At any rate, I wasn't really referring to that aspect of usability so much as the general reliability of wifi and just my general liking of KDE's (and GNOME's) built-in networking tools. I remember with Windows, my connection would drop fairly often and trying to diagnose all that bull**** was more of a pain than getting my wifi card working under Linux (my laptop's running Sabayon 3.5 because of their Entropy package system).

Plus wifi connections under Linux/BSD have the added benefit of the security networking under *NIX has compared to DOS-based systems (including a kernel-level iptables firewall) :D


@tk- like rayston said, some companies are quicker than others, and all are faster when it comes to Linux than when it comes to BSD. I know nVidia had drivers out for my laptop's card before Windows, unless you felt like editing some of the INF files that came with the Windows driver :X



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