The Christian life is the best life, but it requires much sacrifice and opposition. If there is no reward after death, what is there to motivate people to make the sacrifices God requires? The fact we will be raised is what assures us our labor for the Lord is not vain. If there is no resurrection, why steadfastly abound in the Lord's work? If there is a resurrection, then even death cannot prevent our reward.
   Early SuSE


   Color Coding in Yast2:

  • blue: there is a newer version of your installed package available on the FTP server
  • red: the package that you have installed is newer than the version on the FTP server
  • black: this is the same version as on the server

   SUSE - Wikipedia


    I want to say this right at the beginning. Read the manuals...first!
Arrggg!! I didn't listen to myself. Have been struggling for a couple of years with some random display problems. Lately it has been complete system lockups ... requiring a PowerOff ReSet. To make a long story short, it turns out that the Video card that I had ... was NOT good enough. It was great in the beginning -but- now it is not. Primarily when we are using VMware. That is, as it turns out, when we were primarily getting our LockUps. Now in our defense... we have been using VMware since 1999/2000 version 1. We are now up to version 8. During this time we have gone through 2 different PC's. The current one since Jan 25, 2007. VMware was working and we "ignored" the random Lockups cause they weren't that bad. -But- they got worse. So, we searched the Net and what did we find??? A VMware Manual that stated "Video requires an nVidia 8800GT -or- greater/better!!" Our board is eons below that!! We have an nVidia 7300LE. We also have an nVidia 7600GT, that we removed from our wife's machine, but it wasn't good enough either. So, we have a new nVidia GTX 560 card on order and it should be here next week... in the future we will try to pay more attention to ... RTFM ... -BUT- isn't that always the LAST thing to do??   

Well we got the new card -AND- still had the Freeze/Lockups!!!! As it turned out, a setting in VMware, the 3D Acceleration was enabled and it had to be disabled. -AND- an NMI Watchdog interrupt had to be disabled. More info at: openSuSE 12.3. We did NOT Re-Try any of the 'older' cards cause they were NOT supposed to work anyway -and- it is a lot of work to exchange these cards. So, we have the nVidia GTX 560 card still installed and the System is working lots better and we don't get all those 'Hyper-Drive' flare ups. That's what we called it when the processor had to work really hard and the fan really kicked in and got loud. They are rare now.

In addition I have openly laid out my trials and tribulations with these computer systems with the idea that some other soul may benefit from my mistakes/experiences. I feel no shame or embarrassment over anything said or discussed here. We've all made the same mistakes in the learning curve. (Just that everyone won't admit it.) These documents span over 5 different Hewlett Packard PC's, 14+ different versions of SuSE linux, 2 versions of RedHat, Win98, WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP. ( Win Vista ... and Win 7 sneak in) Some very little and some a lot. HP and SuSE are my favorites so they get the most coverage.

   These adventures were started long before the starting date here but this is the first time I have put things down in writing. This is for myself as much, if not more than, it is for anyone else.
  Special note: I am reorganizing/re-writing these pages. If you have found useful information here, or think that something could be expanded, please drop me an e-mail and tell me about it. It seems the most popular items are the latest SuSE and VMware. I can't afford to purchase the new versions of VMware so I will always have the info on how to run version 3.2 on SuSE ... if it will. I will probably quit updating my versions of SuSE when my 3.2 VMware no longer works. Or I'll just have to replace my Macromedia stuff with something else.

Special, special Note: I got invited to a VMware Seminar here in Phoenix. At this Seminar they gave us a copy of Work Station 5.5. I held on to that for a long time not abandoning my 3.2 version. However, at version 10 of SuSE, LD_ASSUME_KERNEL was no longer valid. This blew VMware 3.2 out of the water. So, now we are using 5.5.9 and my HP count has increased to number 6. An HP m7480n preliminary dual core machine. And now with my wifes new one ... it has made it to 7. An HP m8067n Dual Core.

January 02, 2001

    The installation of Linux, no matter what version, can be frustrating and a lot of fun at the same time. The current versions will hold your hand much more than the earlier versions. However, you still have to possess a lot of knowledge about the PC you're putting it on -and- the equipment that will be attached to it. Things like the monitor, printer, modem, cable connection and any external drives. These are just the main ones. You will also be required to describe your video card and you really need to know what frequency your monitor runs at. Those two are really important.

    Please take note of the work of others via my 'Credits N References' in the menu list on the left side.

SuSE 6.2

    Just as a side note, my first involvement with Linux was RedHat 5.2. I found SuSE 6.2 later and never went back. I have updated on every version of SuSE since. For this version, 6.2, and the next, 6.4, I don't have a lot of notes. I started all this around the time I got version 7.0 and started running into difficulties... with both the computer and me.. I mention them to keep the story complete. As I plan on mentioning my CPM days, as I get time and find all my notes. Anyone remember those good ol' days??

SuSE 6.4

    The system I am working with at present is an HP 9680C Pavilion. This PC came with a USB keyboard and mouse. When I put SuSE version 6.4 on it I had problems with these. However, there was a fix. After the installation but before re-booting, the modules file had to be patched to say that the KB and mouse were USB. After, this was done you could re-boot and use the system. If you forgot then you were out of luck. No entries could be made. It is strange. In both versions, 6.4 and 7.0, you go through the whole install before you find out that there is a problem. Unfortunately, the fixes for version 6.4 did not work in version 7.0. Fortunately, this system came with "normal" KB and mouse connections in addition to the USB ones. I had another KB which I liked better anyway but I did not have an extra mouse. I borrowed the mouse from my other system and used it for trial. I could setup the system with the "normal" KB and mouse. Even though they (the USB mouse and keyboard) had worked on version 6.4, the mouse was a little erratic. So I purchased another mouse and I am now using a normal KB and a normal mouse. (Some may consider this way cheating but I'm not after any glory. Just a working system. )

SuSE 7.0

    So now we go through another setup on the 9680C system. This is a 650Mhz Pentium III with 128MB of RAM. It has a 40GB HD, a Writable CD, a DVD and a 1.4MB floppy. (This is a real screamer in comparison to my first machine ... an IMSAI 4Mhz 8080. But with all the graphics in todays software, it doesn't appear to be a whole lot faster than my earlier systems.) As previously stated, it came with a USB KB and mouse but I have changed them to the normal types. In addition I have an HP 1120C color printer and an HP 4300C scanner. (Yep, I like HP) The printer has the normal parallel hook-up but the scanner is using USB. To this point, I have not been able to get color out of my printer when using it under Linux, but it does print well in black and white. The scanner has never been set up in Linux. I will be trying it this time since version 7.0 has USB support. Version 6.4 had it too, but I never took the time. (My previous system was/is an HP 8370 350Mhz Pentium II with 128MB of RAM.)

    The main reason I am writing this is, because I have had a lot of trouble setting up SuSE version 6.4 and 7.0 on this system, perhaps this will help someone else. I got both versions to work, but on the latest it is not totally there. I have gotten it a lot closer so now I am going to pretend that this is a "new" install. I am going to write up my experiences with both YAST and YAST2. In fact I am going to start with YAST2.

The First Install:

    Now I have the HD broken up into partitions. I also have Win98 on the system and it will be set up for dual boot, with Windows being the default. (My wife uses the system too and all her stuff is Windows.) In Win98 I have drives C - F. For Linux I have /, /boot and /opt along with 3 swaps.

    Now we put in the DVD disk and upon reboot it comes up in YAST2. English and Arizona time are selected. On the HD I am choosing custom partitioning since I don't want to wipe out my Windows section and I want to specify the Linux partitions. Due to the large size of the disk and the 1024 cylinder limit, I did some special partitioning when I first set up the system. I have a 2GB section for the boot that is below the 1024 limit. If you don't set this first you will get a warning about the partitions being above the 1024 limit. So to eliminate the warning I set it first. (Also so it works!!) Now I realize that 2GB is a way over kill for the boot sector but I have other plans in mind plus I use a portion of it for the swap partitions. (By the way, this partition is in an extended partition along with 3 of my Win98 drives.) (Another by the way, .. the partitioning was accomplished through Partition Magic.)

    Now we get the Software Selections. I like to select what I want so, I go into the Detailed Selections. Now in this section you have some categories that you can select or you can just go in and single select what you want. I picked development, KDE2 packages and Network/Server from the categories and then go into the single selections. The top section is the Linux Base System. I looked at it and PAM was/is selected. (Remeber this, there is more about it below) I have had trouble with it not getting installed in previous attempts. If it doesn't get installed then you can't sign in.

    Ok. Selections were made and the installation started. Now I have to usual.

Wait is over. LILO was setup and then came the display. It said it had a default and it was going to use 1280x1024 and 65K colors. I changed it to 1280x960 and checked the 3D box. Hit test and the screen came up with 4 little images of the screen I had just been looking at all across the top!! I hit the ESC key, like the instructions had said to do, but nothing happened. I could do nothing. The system was frozen. I don't have a reset button so the only recourse is to PowerDown. I tried to swap the CD's real fast but could not beat the system. It came up in LILO and the default was to go to Linux. It goes to Linux and complains about disks not being cleanly unmounted and does a check. The reason I was tring to swap CDs was to get disk 2 in there so it would bring up YAST1. Hmmmm. Well, actually after the disk checks it came back up in the Desktop Settings so I can select again. So, I put the DVD disk back in. This time I am selecting 1024x768 and NO 3D. I got a screen to setup.

    The problem is .. I have an nVidia chip and the drivers that came on these CD's are not able to handle it. There are some new drivers that must be downloaded and installed. After that I am able to set up my PC for the higher resolution. Still couldn't get the 3D to work properly. I also have a ViewSonic 19" monitor. Ok so now I have a readable display... 1280 x 960.

    It goes into finishing the installation. Afterwards I get to setup the printer, scanner, modem and Network card. The printer was not initially detected. However, when I went into printer configuration it found my 1120. Now I wanted the color setup but my first attempt in which I tried the cdj850 driver instead of the hpdj driver was -waayyy- to slow. I next put it back to the hpdj driver and went to the settings. I tried the 850C settings and it was faster but still to slow. Next I tried the 855C settings and it appeared to be still to slow. I tried the unspec settings and they were even slower. I'm going to use the 855C settings for now. I believe there is some other software that I can use but for now this will have to do. If it gets to slow, I'll change it back to the hpdj. (For the most part it got to slow. If I want anything in color I will print it thru Windows. Just do black and white text in Linux mode.)

    My sound card is a Windows type card and I don't have any Linux drivers for it. So there is no sound.

    The modem can not be setup cause it is an ISA PNP card and I have to do it outside of YAST. This is done through a pnpdump and then a setup of isapnp.conf. This is another replacement item. The original modem was/is a WinModem. Matter of fact it is part of the sound card. My new modem card is a US Robotics 56k Modem. I can do without sound, but I had to have communications.


    It does recognize my Network card and I could set it up through YAST. --Special note here.-- I found out from Donald Becker on the Internet that the pnpOS switch in the BIOS has to be turned off. It conflicts with the Network interrupts in Linux. Another big waste of time spent looking for the answer. This setting, fortunately is not in all PC systems. But it is worth a check if you are having troubles. (Again it depends on the System. My newer system has that switch and it is set. However, it still works in Linux mode...??? go figure)

PAM Problem:

    Ok. I click on finish installation and it goes through some gyrations and then says that I can sign on as ctaylor. However, when it came time to sign in, I typed ctaylor at the login prompt and it complained about the This is the problem I mentioned earlier and I saw that PAM was selected to be loaded. Now, I have to take out the DVD disk and put in the disk 2 and start the installation again using YAST1. I say I want a full install but I DO NOT want any formatting of the HD. This way I just go into the base system setup, find that PAM was somehow unchecked, check it and do the install again. Because everything is out there already it doesn't reload it.

    I was right. All it did was load the PAM software. Once again it did initialization and then it went into boot up. This time I got the graphical login. Last time all I got was the command line login. I entered ctaylor and my password and it came up. Now there was a difference. In the previous version, 6.4, it showed all three of my Windows HDs and it also showed both CDs. This desk top did not show any of the HDs and left out the DVD drive. I put them all in and setup the icons. Also set the Windows drives to not be auto mounted and to allow the user, me, to mount them. Did a reboot to get all this recognized and it came up properly.

Video Problem:

    After the re-boot I wanted to set up a screen saver. I did a right click on the desktop to get the properties and then clicked on display. My screen went dark and then came a message "Out of Range". Hmmmm. I think I have to load those other drivers. The system was locked up so I had to do another PowerOff reset. After the reset I logged in as root and installed the new driver files, the ones for nVidia that I talked about downloading earlier. After that I got into YAST1 to configure the display. However, when I selected the XF86 configuration and picked SAX, it came up with SAX2. I tried to understand the settings via this new SAX but they were not clear. Then I tried to bring up the old SAX and could not. I finally set the inittab so that I could come up in command line mode and went into SAX that way. I got my 1280x960 mode but I couldn't set the display properties. It locked up on me again

    Another re-load. This time I tried YAST2. I didn't specify any formatting thinking that it would work like YAST1. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. I selected the default with Office and it looks like it is going to load 340 packages.

    Well that didn't work either!!! Hmmmmmm...... Ok let's break down and read the docs that came with these new drivers. Ah ha!! There seems to be a conflict with the mesa software. I am going to dump it. Go into YAST1, select mesa and delete it. Also took out the mach64. Did a re-boot and it works!!!!!!!
SuSE Support Database - Problems with graphic cards using nVidia chips

January 03, 2001

    Next day and all I did was copy over my saved .function, .alias, .xinitrc and some other files in directories that I had saved. These were all from my previous work in the other versions. I have been carrying them across.

January 05, 2001

    The modem (3Com US Robotics 56K) was setup today. I have to go into root, run the pnpdump and then isapnp. However, I used my "old" isapnp.conf and it worked. I did the setserial and added it to my boot.local. Now, I used YAST2 to set up the modem after doing the above things. Then I used wvdial to get connected in root. However, I started Netscape from my own userid. I still can not use kppp in my userid area to connect to the Internet. pppd will not function properly. This was not experienced in 6.4 or previous versions. So for now I'll have to start the Internet connection in a root window. Till either I can figure out what changed or until they provide a patch. (It was changed because of security.)

    I setup my public_html which has my Internet Home Page and then used my version of the SuSE Internet home page. I didn't need everything that they had going but I did need some other things. I replaced theirs with mine in /usr/local/httpd/htdocs because I wanted some of their stuff to work. I'm still green on some of this HTML stuff and I couldn't get the fancy stuff working from my directory.

    Side Note: I like to have root as one of the selections in my graphical login. It was there by default in 6.4 but for some reason they took it out of 7.0. In order to get this back, you must sign on as root. Then select kcontrol and then the login manager. Here you can select whoever or whatever you want to appear for the logon.

Networking January 06, 2001

    Today I am going to try to get my LAN going again. This will, for the most part, involve setting up Samba. Once again I am going to use a conf from my previous version. First I need to make sure that it is enabled in rc.config. During the install, I had requested the Networking software to be loaded. Ok now lets do a SuSEconfig and then re-boot to see what still works and what doesn't.

    Well, I could get signed on. That's a plus. Another plus, I can get connected to the Internet. Granted I still have to use the root connection but at least it all still works.

    Now in order to mount the drives from the other system I need to have entries in my fstab. Once again I am using one from my previous system. Now I had a setup for Linux on my other system with a mount point. However, it is gone cause I was experimenting on it too. But I still have my Windows setup with the ZipDrive and I'll try to access it. (Darn, Not successful)

January 12, 2001

    More work on the LAN..or at least starting. Will be working on this the whole week-end. One of the items involved will be VMWare. It allows me to run WinNT inside Linux and I can still use my Win tools. It also lets me get networking going on just my PC. Proper networking is needed to access drives between the two. It is basically two machines in one!

    Now, I need to say that when you load VMWare you DO NOT let their version of Samba get loaded. It causes a conflict with the one in Linux and it is not needed. Also when you set up the Networking in Windows do not use anything Windows oriented. I used TRComputing as my workgroup. I did not use a domain at this time. Default gateway is I will be able to connect to the Internet from my other machines through my main one.

    The network card in the PIII is an SCM2-1211TX. I set it, via YAST2, as dusty-tr for host with TRComputing as the domain...which will be the work group in Windows. This changed the following files:

(Use ls -ltr /etc to see the most recent changes.)

    I have, in essence, 4 computers on this LAN. This one is my main one and it counts as two due to the VMWare WinNT. The other two are my previous system, an HP PII and my son's system an MX3000 with a Celeron. I had them all talking with my previous SuSE 6.4.

As I said above, I try to get the VMWare and Linux on my main system talking first. I set things up for static addresses (dhcp will be later). Addressing is as follows:

    Main PIII Linux Host:       dusty-tr
    VMWare WinNT:               dusty2
    The PII:                    dars-pc
    The Celeron                 cat

Now I bring up Windows Explorer in VMWare WinNT and it shows dusty-tr, dusty2, dars-pc and cat. So, I can see all 4 PC's in Windows Network Neighborhood. Also on the PII I can look in the Win98 Network Neighborhood and see them. (Need to have File and Printer sharing checked in the PII and the Celeron systems.)

    Now for the drive and file accesses. I have directories at root level on the PIII Linux machine for p2files and zipdrive. These are to allow me to mount the files and drive on the PIII that are really on the PII. Now then... the p2files will be when I am in Linux mode on the PII and the zipdrive will be from Win98 mode.

Jan 15, 2001

    The Samba configuration file contains Share Declarations for /home/ctaylor/WrkDev and /home/ctaylor/public_html which are on my PIII. I will be accessing these mainly from the WinNT in VMWare.

Jan 20, 2001

    As you can see by the dates, this is not a continuous project!! I have run into some problems. Most of these were "fixed" in my previous setup but I didn't take notes. So I must figure all this out again. Even though I saved and have installed previous config files, I am not able to communicate from the PIII to the PII in Linux. Now the Network Neighborhood on the PII sees the PIII, but I can't access it. It asks for a Network password, which I thought I knew but no matter what I type in, it says it is wrong!!

Note: My later efforts in Networking are in ... Networking. Which you may want to jump over to if this is not satisfying.

    Ok. Now we use some of the Internet tools to check out the setup. Ping is used to check on connections between computers. I am able to ping from both and get a satisfactory result. So they are setup and connecting.

    Hmmm. Using WinNT in VMWare on the PIII I can look at the drives and files on the PII. I can also look at areas in Linux that I have given permissions to look at. However, when I access the PII I am asked for a userID and password. I enter the one that is supposed to work and it does. Now over on the PII I get asked for a password only, and anything that I enter is wrong. I need to figure out this password problem.

    After reading some other documentation, I set SMB security to "share". Didn't work. Still asked for Passwd and whatever I typed in was wrong. Now I had restarted SMB and re-booted the PII. However, I didn't re-boot the PIII. Shouldn't have to BUT will give it a try.

    FOUND PROBLEM!!! I had to have the PII listed in my hosts file on the Linux PIII. Well only sorta found it. I can mount the PII zipdrive to my Linux system but I still can not access the files on the PIII Linux from the PII Win98. Has something to do with the password. Think it is the encrypted passwords setup by Win98. Yep.. I had to modify the registry to enable plain text passwords. Use registry editor to view:
Under this key I had to create a new DWORD named "EnablePlainTextPassword" and set it to 1.

The alternative to this is to enable encrypted passwords in Samba. However, I don't want to do that right now. Maybe later when I do the DHCP.

    So now I have the Networking setup. It involved:

First loading Linux with Networking Selected.
Setting up Samba on Linux.
Editing smb.conf file.
Choosing IP addresses for all systems.
Putting Host names and addresses in host files.
Putting mount points in fstab for drives.
Editing the Registry to enable plain text passwords.
Sams Teach Yourself Samba - Gerald Cater/Richard Sharpe
Lighthouse Technology, Inc. -

As I said before, some of my references go by the wayside and it appears that has happened to Lighthouse. I therefore, found another page that talks about the use of "Plaintext Passwords" and Samba. I copied it this time so it won't get lost.
It is: Win98Samba From: NYU School of Medicine

Note: However, you will find in my later notes (on Networking) that I had trouble with the Plaintext passwords. Seems that in the newer version of Linux and Samba the encrypted password problem has been fixed. So, take heed ... you may ... or may not need to mess with the passwords.

Jan 23, 2001

Another Side Note: I set the kbd_rate to 15 and the kbd_delay to 250 with numlock on. However, the keyboard rate doesn't seem to work with my OmniKey. Gona have to figure that one out too.

    Now I want to get ipchains working. That will allow me to use the PIII as the focal point to the Internet. i.e.: I will go through the PIII from the other systems.

    First to edit rc.config. Here, enable ip_forwarding by setting IP_FORWARD to yes. Run SuSEconfig and put the ip_chains startup in boot.local. Well, either I did it all correctly this time or they fixed a problem. I couldn't get this to work properly in the previous version (7.0). I had to set the ip_forward and start the ip_chains manually. This time it works automatically as it should.

    OK... Now we have Networking and Masquerading working. On to the Oracle setup.

Feb 17, 2001 - Sound

    My how time flies.. especially when you are keeping track of it. Oh well, as I said before, there is no real hurry on this.
I didn't get Oracle setup yet. Got it started but changed over to sound. As was mentioned when I talked about the modem, the original sound card was/is a Windows type. I had to replace it. I got a SoundBlaster 16 PCI card that I thought would just plug and play. Well, as usual, not quite. I spent most of one Saturday figuring out how to get it working. This was, naturally, with help from the info on the Internet. The biggest delay came from either bad info or just that my system is different. According to the help files on SuSE, there was to be just some minor changes in the modules.conf and then run YAST2 and the card would be configured and ready for use. There was mention of some changes to KDE but only for versions of SuSE before 6.4. Since I have 7.0 I figured I could skip that part. Well, after scratching my head and surfing and reading the Net, I finally made a change similar to the one they described for the "older" versions. Guess what?? It worked!!! So now I have sound with my Linux. (SuSE Support Database - SoundBlaster 16, 64, or 128 PCI with Linux )

    *** and now on to SuSE 7.1 ....


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