posted by Robert Tischer on Wed 8th Oct 2003 19:29 UTC

"Usage, Problems"
What Now?

The install guide is still useful here, but the Install Walk-through is a little more up-to-date. I login using "root" for the userid, and no password. Ok, now it's time to set a root password, so I type passwd and set one. Because I previously set-up rp-pppoe, I type adsl-start and a moment later I'm connected. It's important to have your internet connection because it's now time to download and install some additional software. Sorcerer uses a thematic approach, so most commands are based on the Sorcerer theme. Some basic commands are "augur," "leech, and "cast," and all software applications are called "spells." Thus, to install a software application, you cast a spell. You may or may not like the theme - it doesn't matter to me what the commands are called, but after using it, you can't deny it works. Because the ISO is new, I don't think I have to worry about updating gcc or glibc and doing a rebuild, but if you're installing some months after the ISO was made, you may need to update gcc and glibc. It turns out that it's probably a good idea to do a rebuild anyway. I ran into trouble trying to cast certain spells because of a problem with bzip2. Turns out that the correction was to "cast bzip2," which leeches a source file and re-compiles. There may be others, so rebuild it was.

The next thing to do is to "look around." Try typing "augur" and hit enter. This provides a description of the "augur" command with available options. Two options that are helpful are "augur version SPELL" (where SPELL is the name of the application, and "augur available SPELL." The first will tell you what version you have installed, the second will tell you the latest version available in the "grimoire," which is the catalog of all available spells. If your version of gcc, or glibc are different, older, than what's current in the grimoire, you should "cast gcc" and "cast glibc." Or you can "cast gcc bin86 binutils glibc." The Install Walk-through explains this in more detail. After you update your gcc and glibc, you need to recompile your existing applications by doing "sorcery rebuild."

Next I follow the Installation Walk-through suggestion and cast useful-profile to install some basic things like perl. Remember, casting takes awhile because you are downloading sources and compiling them. For all of the spells in the grimoire, you don't have to worry about dependencies because they're already taken care of. For instance, this machine is a desktop machine, so I want X, but I'm not sure exactly how to install it, so I type "sorcery" and hit enter. This brings up the "Sorcery Spell Management Utility." It's actually more than a spell manager, because it's menu items allow you to cast spells, update existing spells, examine logs, set Sorcerer features like compile options, etc. At first it's easier to use the menu, but after awhile, it's really more convenient to use the command line. At the menu, I choose SPELL, and then CAST, which brings up categories of spells. I'm after X, so I page through the categories until I come to X11, which I select and I'm presented with a myriad of spells, one of which is "XFree86." I choose that and another menu appears with choices of "Add" (lets me add X11 to the cast queue), "Configure" (lets me configure the options for the X11 spell), "gcc" (lets me choose which compiler options file to use to compile X11), "Requires" (shows spells that X11 requires), "RNI" (shows spells that are required, but aren't already installed), and "Verbose" (shows a description of X11). I choose Add, to add this spell to the queue, then Exit, Cancel, Exit, Exit, Queue, and Run, to cast the X11 spell. I then choose which version of healing I wish to use after the cast (healing essentially tests other installed spells after the cast to make sure everything still works, if a spell appears to have trouble when healing, it is re-cast to correct the problem). Most spells have configuration options with set defaults, which you can pre-configure by choosing the Configure option. Most of the time, I just use the defaults, but if a spell has a particular option I'm interested in, I'll go ahead and select that particular comfigure option. For X11, you need to go through a configuration menu to choose appropriate options for your particular video card. I use NVIDIA, so I make sure and choose the "nv" option, while choosing nothing under DRI. The X11 spell also lets you choose to install XFree86 fonts or not. Once X11 has finished casting, I copy my pre-existing XF86Config file to /etc/X11/Xf86Config and I'm ready to "startx." You can also manually configure XF86Config and you have to know your video card specs, mouse specs as well as your monitor information. Since this was a second install on a secondary hard drive, I got off easier (it's not THAT difficult to configure X, but one easy way might be to boot up knoppix and copy the resulting XF86Config file -although I think it has a different name in knoppix- to /etc/XF86Config).

Like I said, I could startx and work from the basic X11 window manager environment, which I've done before, but I'm in no hurry, so I decide to "cast NVIDIA-Linux-x86." This will install the NVIDIA drivers for my video card and let me use 3D. This doesn't take long, and now I can edit my XF86Config file and change "nv" to "nvidia' to update from the basic Linux Nvidia drivers. What should I do now? Well, I guess it's time to install a desktop. I've used both Gnome and KDE, but I definitely like having both sets of libraries, so I set about casting both Gnome and KDE. Instead of actually learning what each takes, I just do "augur available" and note everything with "kde*" and "gnome*" in it and cast them all. I must warn you, doing this takes a long while. It will pretty much take an entire day to cast KDE, so I turn off the monitor and go about my business for a couple of days. When I finally get back to the new Sorcerer, everything appears to be done. I verify ("augur installed") that the spells for my preferred KDE have cast and I note a bunch of gnome-* spells. I go ahead and create .xinitrc and .xsession files with /usr/bin/startkde in the /root directory. I've nver been sure which one is required, but when I do both, it works. I also edit /etc/inittab and change "id:3:initdefault:" to "id:5:initdefault" and uncomment "kdm:5:once:/usr/bin/kdm" and comment out the "xdm" entry. Now, I'm ready to start KDE. But wait. I've been reading a lot of articles about the latest 2.6.0 kernel and I notice that the grimoire contains "linux,dev." I quickly run a "augur available linux,dev" and get 2.6.0-test5. That's good enough for me. I read HowTo Upgrade To The 2.6 Kernel and run "augur installed" to make sure I have all of the requirements installed to compile the 2.6.0-test5 kernel. The only spell not already installed was module-int-tools, so I dutifully cast it. Now, "cast linux,dev" brings up the kernel configuration menu via menuconfig and I configure the new 2.6.0-test5 kernel. I've read about the lack of NVIDIA drivers for the new kernel, so I edit XF86Config and remove "nvidia" in favor of the default "nv." Time to reboot and edit the /etc/lilo.conf file on disc0 to add the Linux-2.6.0.test5 kernel on disc1. Another reboot ... drumroll ... . Arrrrgh, I get a message that says that /boot is not a true ext2 filesystem, or that the superblock is wrong and I should run ext2fs and try a new superblock. Hmmmm, but there's an "or." Or, I can hit ctrl-D and proceed normally. What the heck, ctrl-D it is, and a few seconds later I'm looking at the KDE login screen. Not without problems, as I have no sound. I guess I don't have the ALSA kernel configuration done correctly. Well, I don't have the NVIDIA video either, but I do have the 2.6.0-test5 kernel booted and working otherwise, so I'm satisfied for the moment.

What can go wrong?

Well, as a matter of fact, lots of things can go wrong. During the course of my investigating the 2.6.0-test kernel, something got messed up. What happened was that no matter what particular kernel I used to boot, certain spells would automatically cast linux,dev (the 2.6.0-test kernel). This was only a problem because some spells require the headers from the 2.4.x kernel to compile. As you can imagine, this was more than irritating. During my attempts to correct this problem, I ended up corrupting a bunch of essential header files, libraries and the gcc compiler. From that point I had a couple of options: (1) download the new ISO and re-install, (2) use my existing rescue/install CD and copy the files from there, or (3) boot into my primary drive, mount the / filesystem from the secondary drive and copy the files from old to new. I chose number (3) and am booted into the new Sorcerer system as I type. How did I figure out the problem? Well, I looked at the compile logs for spells that were failing (augur compile SPELL). I do have to admit, however, that I'm still not sure what caused the problem in the first place. There's something about trying to run both the linux and linux,dev spells that causes problems. My take is that one could run the linux 2.4.22 kernel, get everything installed, and then cast linux,dev and run the 2.6.0-test kernel. The only problem would be that certain spells would fail if they went looking for the 2.4.22 header files. You could always create separate directories for the different header files and have a bash script that chooses the proper headers depending on the spell. Or, you could manually install the 2.6.0-test kernel and that way Sorcerer wouldn't know it was there.

Table of contents
  1. "Installation"
  2. "Usage, Problems"
  3. "Screenshots, Conclusion"
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