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 Quick and dirty Mint Maya on the z530 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Quick and dirty Mint Maya on the z530
This is based on some observations about what works in Linux elsewhere on the z530: Basically, ordinary flash works reasonably well with the psb_gfx driver. So, acceleration is nice, but the debugged state of the accelerated flash plugin makes the ordinary plugin seem like a desirable option. Also, the main problem appears to be Linux Mint taking up available ram memory, so any solution that curtails this makes running on the z530 in basic psb_gfx mode desirable. I don't know why this happens, but using the hddtemp program appears to force more ram memory to be available. I also installed a 4 gb swap file hoping to make more memory available:

vtailor@vtailor-CM-iAM-SBC-FITPC2i ~ $ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1016092 684344 331748 0 36964 413984
-/+ buffers/cache: 233396 782696
Swap: 4098044 3376 4094668

With this configuration, I also can get moonlight installed with codecs on the web browser, and I find that playing with the moonlight settings may help its performance. Specifically, under "advanced settings", I checked off "use curl", which is still not perfect, but a definite change. In other words, the more things from Windows handled by Mint, the better, including things like gfax.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:21 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: Quick and dirty Mint Maya on the z530
Oh right. Resolution defaults to 1024x768. If you want 1360x768 (my television set), you need to edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg from the sudo command line, adding

video=1360x768

Also, it may help to go into the mozilla firefox settings and check the swapfile box to give firefox its own swapfile. All that to leave more main memory available for video applications. Which also applies to the emgd version.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:41 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: Quick and dirty Mint Maya on the z530
OK, these are observations from the z550 with 2gb of RAM and an ssd hard drive:

Basically, using the quick and dirty version with fbdev_drv.so as the graphics driver and the garden variety of libflashplugin.so uses up most of the 2gb of ram and leaves the firefox browser somewhat unstable, meaning it can and does crash during flash playback.

If you install Slackware 14 instead of Mint Maya, you get the same xfce4 desktop, using the fbdev_drv.so in the /extra directory, and the system uses roughly 280 megabytes of RAM. In other words, Slackware 14 provides a similar interface but uses much less RAM. This with mesa 8.02 installed and the modem-manager script. However, the installed version of firefox crashes for the same streaming flash reasons as the Maya firefox.

However, if you download a recent generic Mozilla-firefox after removing (removepkg, AKA purge) the one that came with Slackware, the crashing stops, and the system passes informal Linux benchmarks that I use, where it does not pass these benchmarks with the default firefox. Note that the same firefox problems happen in Maya.

In other words, you still get the benefit of the very low memory usage, with much better stability. Depending on the kernel you end up using, you may or may not want to include the Poulsbo.ko driver.

I also recommend viewing the dmesg messages that happen involving Poulsbo microcode and the like.


Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:11 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: Quick and dirty Mint Maya on the z530
As usual, I have to apologize for suggesting Slackware 14 for use on any gmaxxx or gmaxxxx chipset. I have considerable experience at getting Slackware of any kind (Zenwalk, AbsoluteLinux, Riplinux) to run on these chipsets. My own approach is to use Riplinux installed on a usb pendrive as a Swiss Army Knife for running gparted to make space for your Slackware partition and an older version of grub2 to get the system to select one or another version of Linux or Windows when starting up.

The reason for the apology is, as you all must know, that the Lilo boot leader used by Slackware 14, Zenwalk, and AbsoluteLinux doesn't work on any Intel gmaxxx or gmaxxxx chipset, nor does the grub script in the /extra directory work. So you need to improvise.

The Compulab Phoenix bios works fine with either of the two usb pendrive "hard drive" Riplinux systems. In fact, Riplinux is a good basis for adding components from the other versions of Slackware, since they all use roughly the same package tool (pkgtool) program.

In Riplinux, you run the xsetup program, then manually edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to change vesa to built-in fbdev and 16 bits to 24 bits. After which the Riplinux 3.2.1 kernel can run full screen 16:9 at various selected resolutions. The grub kernel command line would be something like

governor=ondemand video=1360x768

which depends on your monitor and preference of resolutions. This grub kernel command line also works with Slackware 14. In Slackware 14, you have mesa installed, and you can see for yourself glxheads and glxgears running under fbdev_drv.so.

Another approach to Slackware installation is to install Linux Mint or Ubuntu, then use gparted to make space on the hard drive for Slackware of your choice and the built-in version of grub2 to add a Slackware option. (Note that it is possible to copy information from Ubuntu-style grub to Riplinux-style grub so as to make Riplinux grub2 dominant and include Ubuntu-style partitions.)

Riplinux doesn't have mesa installed and doesn't want mesa. Yet it is capable of doing an impressive job of playing streaming flash when running the z530 or the z550. And, of course, it uses even less ram than Slackware does, so it works fine on a z530 with 1gb.

If you want full-screen streaming .mov type videos not available with mplayer, then the xine user interface and the xine plugin available from Ubuntu is suggested.

If you want specialized systems, such as LibreOffice or cheese, you need to raid the other Slackware repositories, or find your way in Italian through the slacky.eu repository.


Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:00 pm
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