First experiences with Linux kernel 2.6.32

Last week Linux 2.6.32 was released. I’m currently using it with the bfs-scheduler patchset.

I experienced three glitches so far on my Gentoo installation. I hope these are not cases of RTFM.

Portaudio with ALSA cmipci-driver

With a freshly rebooted kernel I’m pretty quickly seeing these messages in /var/log/message.

pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c: Dies ist wahrscheinlich ein Fehler im ALSA-Treiber 'snd_cmipci'. Bitte melden Sie diesen Punkt den ALSA-Entwicklern.
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c: snd_pcm_dump():
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c: Hardware PCM card 0 'C-Media CMI8738' device 0 subdevice 0
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c: Its setup is:
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   stream       : PLAYBACK
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   format       : S16_LE
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   subformat    : STD
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   channels     : 2
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   rate         : 44100
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   exact rate   : 44100 (44100/1)
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   msbits       : 16
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   buffer_size  : 16384
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   period_size  : 8192
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   period_time  : 185759
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   tstamp_mode  : ENABLE
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   period_step  : 1
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   avail_min    : 15503
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   period_event : 0
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   start_threshold  : -1
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   stop_threshold   : 1073741824
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   silence_threshold: 0
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   silence_size : 0
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   boundary     : 1073741824
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   appl_ptr     : 231533
pulseaudio[4338]: alsa-util.c:   hw_ptr       : 212998

I think with Linux 2.6.30 I experienced these problem for the first time, both for the onboard 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) audio controller and the add-on C-Media CM8738 controller. Since then I’ve been reinstalling the ALSA driver 1.0.20 from http://www.alsa-project.org each time I recompiled a new kernel. 1.0.21 showed the same problem. Pulseaudio progessed in this period from 0.9.15 to 0.9.21, the latest being the one I’m currently using.

What changed with 2.6.32 however is, that onboard 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) now appears to be working. After listening with onboard audio for a bit, I remembered, why I installed an elcheapo PCI-card. The onboard audio carries such an amount of noise, that it is unbearable.

NFS

When I tried to mount a locally exported file system on a remote system, these segmentation fault showed up in /var/log/messages:

kernel: rpc.mountd[3885]: segfault at 13 ip 0804c133 sp bfc98530 error 4 in rpc.mountd[8048000+12000]

This could be fixed be recompiling net-fs/nfs-utils-1.2.1.

ACPI-Wakup

I’m using the below command sequence to let my PC wake-up and boot at 7:15 in the morning, so that it’s ready, when I come into the company. This worked flawlessly until I switched to 2.6.32.

# echo 0 > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm
# echo $(date -u '+%s' -d 'tomorrow 7:15') > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm
# cat /proc/driver/rtc 
rtc_time    : 17:07:41
rtc_date    : 2009-12-11
alrm_time   : 07:15:00
alrm_date   : 2009-12-12
alarm_IRQ   : yes
alrm_pending    : no
24hr        : yes
periodic_IRQ    : no
update_IRQ  : no
HPET_emulated   : yes
DST_enable  : no
periodic_freq   : 1024
batt_status : okay

Here is someone, who apparently experiences this as well.

Inkscape keyboard and mouse reference as a booklet

I’ve used Inkscape on a couple of occasions. Inkscape is such a powerful program, but I think, it’s it’s not one of the easiest to use. Somehow, each time I’m using Inkscape I’m again struggling with the same basic concepts. I can’t really say, how things would need to be changed, to make it really more simple.

Anyway Inkscape sports such a plethora of keyboard and mouse functions, that I thought, it would be probably very useful to have a small booklet in paper form beside your keyboard.

Therefore I basically copied the Inkscape keyboard and mouse reference into OpenOffice and created this OpenOffice file, designed to be printed on A4 paper. The actual shuffling of the pages to print the file as booklet is not done within OpenOffice, but by transforming PostScript files using the psutils. I guess pretty much every Linux distribution should have them on board.

To actually create the booklet I’ve saved the OpenOffice source into this PDF file with OpenOffice’s “Export to PDF” function. Then, I used evince from the Gnome Desktop Environment to create a file randomly called t.ps by printing to a PostScript file (inkspace-key.ps). The final booklet file is created by executing the following commands:

psbook -s16 inkscape-keys.ps t.ps
pstops '2:0L@.7(21cm,0)+1L@.7(21cm,14.85cm)' t.ps tt.ps
ps2pdf14 tt.ps

The psbook reorders the pages in such a way, that once printed double sided in landscape format, the resulting stack of pages can simply be folded in the middle. The pstops command then rotates, scales and positions each A4 page, so that two pages are printed on each side of a piece of paper. ps2pdf then creates a new PDF file (tt.pdf).

At home I’m using a Canon Pixma ip4000 printer. For this booklet I don’t use the printers ability to print double sided, since front and back page then have a slight offset. I use evince again to first print the odd numbered paged, re-feed the printed pages as they are stacked back into the feeder and print the back sides with the even pages. Now you should have a booklet, that you can simply fold in the middle. This is the resulting PDF file the above three command executions as an example.

You might need to fiddle a bit with the “0” and “14.85cm” parameters for the pstops command, so that the front and the back of a page properly align.