[ILUG-BOM] Redhat Linux 8.0 and problems therein

Satya satyap@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Mon Oct 21 13:06:39 IST 2002

On Oct 20, 2002 at 18:27, Dr. Atul Garg wrote:

[A strange mixture of understanding and anti-linuxness]

>At the outset I would like to tell you that I am a novice in Linux and
>don't know much.

>I have always treated Linux as an experimental OS to fool around with,

It is certainly good for that.

>because it is not very user friendly and the main problem of MS software

Nah, just picky about who its friends are. Like any other unix.

>is that they are very expensive. But here in Bombay, India that problem
>gets solved due to blatant software piracy which helps users like me use
>the amazingly high priced software at down to earth prices.

But it's not legal, is it? Anyway, that's not the point of my

>Anyway before I started fooling around with Redhat Linux 8.0, I had no
>idea what "making" meant and how it had to be done. I am not a programmer!!.

You don't have to be, that's why we have makefiles.

>Compaq Presario 7000A4

Which does not mean anything (fyi).

>Riva TNT II with 32 MB RAM


>USB keyboard Compaq internet keyboard

I have to admit that USB isn't well-settled in Linux yet, but as you
found out there are ways.

>The Installation failed to get my USB keyboard and it kept waiting for
>an input. No failsafe mechanisms !!

Well, it's an installation, it does not know what you have.

>Luckily I had an old simple keyboard which came in handy, and helped us
>install the damn software.

There you go. The epithet is unnecessary. But you'll find there _was_
a fallback, if not a failsafe. You only had to have a brain (which you
do, since you solved the problem) and realise that trying a 'regular'
keyboard will work.

In a way, it is a failsafe. You don't want unknown USB commands being
given to an unknown device.

>Then after booting it again I realised it recognised my USB keyboard
>down to the vendor etc but could not use it for some stupid reason.It

Hmm, but you solved it, right?

>suggestion, I got the new kernel source for 2.4.19 (bloody 30MB download
>over a dialup) and then also the patch file to 2.4.20-pre10. It worked!!!

Yay. You just needed a newer kernel. Blame Redhat, if you must, for
not providing the untainted source.

><< I had to learn how to patch the kernel source, and also how to make
>the damn kernel itself. Painful experience I must say..>>

But you're better for it. After all, you got:

>To the new kernel, I added NTFS support. (Redhat has something against

NTFS support...

>reduced the size by removing unnecessary hardware support from 1.1 MB to
>780 KB. WoW !! I worked out a way in which USB keyboard was used in HID

and a kernel size reduction. Your kernel is now better optimized to
your needs.

>Simply edit your /etc/modules.conf to read

and you're calling this process 'simple'. Give it up, you're one of us
now :-)

>This loaded the usbkbd.o file (u have to "make" it through the .config
>file inside the kernel making factory by activating CONFIG_USB_KBD=m).

See? Pretty easy, once you RTFM as you did.

>So now I have the keyboard, NTFS support and modem working perfectly.


>Long way for Redhat to go before they can compare to the likes of Apple
>and Microsoft.

But is it? Consider what you have achieved.

You, a self-proclaimed Linux newbie and non-programmer, managed to
install Linux on a 'non-standard' system, successfully, and even
patched your own kernel while doing it. All without asking this list
(and others, probably) stupid questions. There's no such thing as a
stupid question, of course, but even if you asked "newbie-level"
questions, you have obviously learned something, and that's Good.

I would challenge you to do the equivalent on a Windows or MacOS
system in a similar timeframe and with similar help.

Now you will of course claim that you wouldn't need to, in the first
place. I have no answer to that.

>I wonder why anybody would even remotely think of comparing Linux at
>this stage to MS products or even MacOS?? I'd say  it would take another
>5-7 years before they can catch up to what other OSes are today.

In what way?

>to "make" mistakes(pun intended here). Alter the file, for your system
>and add whatever you want, delete hardware support etc.

See? You have perfectly understood the kernel compile and patching
processes. Not fully, but you have understood everything that you

And your email is in the archives, and should be searchable by google,
so those who come after you can benefit from your experience, just as
you have benefitted from those who went before you.

Satya. <URL:http://satya.virtualave.net/>
As I said before, I never repeat myself.

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