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bghoons
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Systemd on a Dell N5110 Inspiron Reply with quote

PART I of VI
Because this is so long (7,253 words according to vim) I have divided it up into more manageable sections.

I am submitting this from my brand spanking new systemd install of Gentoo on an old (but still good) laptop. I typed all of this in vim before pasting it here. I use vim because it highlights misspelled words as you type (setlocal spell spelllang=en_us). It is my editor of choice for lengthy documents. Leafpad is my other choice.

To summarize the "mess" below: after a lengthy ordeal, the installation was a success. If you want the excruciating details with some historical laptop life history, well then, keep reading. If you are new and considering whether Gentoo is right for you, my experience ought to give a pretty clear idea of what you are stepping into if you are a typical "Joe User" when it comes to computers.

I still consider myself to be a Gento newb despite having experience. The more I use Gentoo the more I find out what I do not know.

The laptop I am using for this install is an old Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop with 8gb of ram. It is 32-bit only so for Linux, Gentoo is the only realistic option. It used to have OpenBSD on it, I think 5.8 which I had been using to test "LaTex on OpenBSD" vs "LaTex on Gentoo Linux": no noticeable differences. I also used it to test DosBox to run an old DOS game, High Command, by 360 Software. This came about because one day, a few years ago, I was digging around through some stuff and found old 3.5" floppy disks of DOS 6.0, Windows 3.1, and some other software. I cranked up an old desktop computer that had been gathering dust about 10 years and to my amazement was able to install DOS 6.0 on it even though the floppies had been sitting for over 20 years in a plastic box specifically designed to hold floppies.

On that old desktop, the ancient DOS game High Command installed and ran but it was as tedious to play now as it was back then. The computer a-i did not improve with age. The game SimFarm (what possessed me to buy that?) installed but would not run because it needed something. Sadly, Disk 1 of 6 for Windows 3.1 had gone bad so I could not install it. If Win3.1 had installed I could have installed PFS Window-Works office suite which I found in the box with all of my old data disks. I could go back in time and see what I had written way back then. Whatever I had written, it was probably as boring as this forum piece I am submitting.

The DOS install was one of those weird experiments where you are sitting around and you get "a wild hair up your ass" and you go do it although you know it is pointless to do so. Writing about doing something pointless is pointless also but here I am doing it.

On the Dell N5110, over the past year or so I tried on several occasions to upgrade OpenBSD but starting with release 6.0 they did something which causes the screen to go blank after boot, preventing login. My first suspicion was that it may have something to do with KARL (Kernel Address Randomized Link) but after some research found that if I disable inteldrm I can get to a login screen but cannot use Xenocara (OpenBSD X.org server). After further research, most of it goose chasing, I threw up my arms exclaiming, "Ah forget this. I want to learn systemd anyway so I'll put Gentoo back on."

The other laptop I have is an antique Lenovo S10-2 Ideapad, a "halfling" which for some bonehead reason long ago I thought would be useful when traveling because of its small size, and for doing some work on the fly; but I soon found the small screen, the tiny keyboard-for-midgets, and the less than impressive graphics card to be unsuitable. After sitting for years unused, not even able to give it away to anybody, I decided it could be used as an accounting & budgeting computer, a completely off-line machine that never gets updated. I use it to record income & expenses in order to track my budget. Gentoo has been on this machine for 2 years and is doing the job perfectly. I also have LaTex on it which I use to create pdf documents, and it was part of the LaTex testing comparison with OpenBSD. In the future, I want to type in some old out-of-print books and use the Gentoo machine as an internal e-book server as well as a digital library that mice, mold, and mildew cannot destroy.

I also use the Gentoo Lenovo to record interesting ideas or write down a weird dream I had. You could say it is a semi-diary. I am comfortable using this Gentoo machine because it is not connected to the internet. There is a toggle switch to manually disable wireless which I have done, and furthermore, after I installed Gentoo, disabled all unused services like dhcpcd. I could manually start them again if necessary but there is no plan to ever do this. I backup the files regularly to external media so when the inevitable hardware failure occurs, my data is safe. One day, the Lenovo will find a place in the landfill, a museum, or the Island of Misfit laptops.
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:37 pm    Post subject: Part II of VI Reply with quote

PART II of VI

Friday, April 27 The Install Begins

So there I was, Friday morning, having the whole weekend ahead of me to install Gentoo with systemd. I have on a plain purple t-shirt which I call my Gentoo shirt. I French-pressed some Sumatra coffee (the 2lb bags from Costco are pretty good), then went downstairs to get the job done. I set out my Gentoo mouse pad to further cheerlead me into the mood, then booted the Dell with a 2016 livecd, choosing Plasma desktop because it is the easiest to get wireless working. Wireless tends to be real flaky for me when using Gentoo. Maybe it is the Linux drivers for the Intel Centrino "thing" inside, or something to do with wpa_supplicant. Using the network manager tool, I had to click the connect button 3 or 4 times to get a connection. After that, I remembered a past issue where the screen saver activated but because I did not know the root password, I was locked out while the machine was compiling the kernel. Remembering this "stomping mad, pulling out hair" experience, I disabled the screen saver and changed the root password, recording it faithfully in a Gentoo notepad I had bought long ago along with the mouse pad and a Gentoo coffee travel mug that is still in use. That mug has traveled over 90,000 miles with me throughout the years I've had it. Except for a dent in the aluminum cap from where I dropped it on the driveway, the mug looks as good as the day I bought it from the online store.

Using printed install notes I had made, I quickly "parted" the drives, made and mounted the file systems, then began putting flesh on the Gentoo skeleton. Soon I reached the part of the install I really do not like, the dreaded kernel compile. A frown appeared on my face and if anyone was around, I was going to warn them they ought to leave the house and not come back for a few hours. It might get ugly around here.

Although I like Gentoo, I snarl at having to compile a kernel. I do not want to "hope and click" from long lists of menus full of things I know little or nothing about, and I do not want to spend the time to learn about them either. No joy buttons light up when faced with this task so I know that "kernel developer, kernel configurator" is not on my list of things I ever want to be. I would like to have a kernel where everything is activated by default, and then I can disable things I know I do not need like Reiser file system or Amateur Radio (which is disabled by default). When I check the "systemd" option or uncheck 64-bit option, I want menuconfig to automatically check/uncheck all of the boxes necessary, not have me did and dig and DIG through all these lists to find something to activate or deactivate. There are hundreds, if not a thousand of these things, comparable to lice nits, that I have to go in and look over and pick out. I have better things to do with my time than care what wireless card I have activated in the kernel, so give me the whole bag of goodies enabled and then later, if I am inclined to do so, I will venture forth to disable what I do not need. YOU created the kernel, YOU deliver unto me on a silver platter with all the trimmings what I need without me having to bother about it. The kernel is the underwear of Linux. I do not want to see its stains, its butt hair strands denoting what type of sphincter it came from, nor anything else. I really do not want to bother with the kernel, really! Fortunately, once this disagreeable task is done you usually do not have to bother with it much again, and you can save the configuration file for future compiles. The reason I hate kernel compiling so much is because if you leave ONE thing out, three hours of your time has been blasted away and you have to start all over and do it again.

From my perspective, a Gentoo aficiando but not a developer, the kernel menuconfig looks like a Gordion knot that I must untie.

All of this leads to an additional definition of Kernel Panic: the gripping, paralyzing fear a Gentoo user encounters when a new kernel becomes available, requiring a compile of the new kernel followed by an update of the entire system which can (and will at some point) result in a full or partially unusable system requiring extensive troubleshooting, reconfiguring, or a complete reinstallation causing many hours or even days of downtime. This condition may lead to a temporary loss of insanity, or require institutionalization, but to date no data is available of patients citing "Gentoo...kernel...again...oh not again..." as a cause of mental breakdown.

Now please do not get the wrong idea I hate Gentoo or anything, I just really do not like compiling a kernel because if it fails, and the system has been up and running a while you could lose everything and have to spend a lot of time to get it all back. Maybe if I had a more powerful machine that could do it faster it might not bother me so much. Although I have vehemently declared my dislike of kernel compiling, I suspect that I secretly enjoy the torture of doing it.

I have also discovered something in my time using Gentoo that I have not encountered anywhere else. It is unique only to Gentoo:

Package Fright, also known as Package Aversion Syndrome: a situation within source-based distributions where the user dreads to install any packages except for those absolutely necessary so as to avoid long compile times. Enormous but useful packages like LibreOffice or Google-Chrome may be avoided altogether, resulting in a less usable system but preferable to having a machine unavailable for long periods of time in order to install or update packages, or to avoid lengthy performance degradation due to the constant compiling of packages, despite the niceness variable that can be set.

After having written all that, you can imagine my surprised shock when the kernel compiled successfully on the first try. Hooray for genkernel! I could not believe it. I installed grub and a few other things and rebooted, crossing my fingers. I got the cake but no icing just yet.

During the boot sequence, errors began popping up and it failed. A nasty message said "root user locked out". Whuh? I have never seen such a thing. I rebooted using the livecd and after some troubleshooting, I determined that I had changed the root password BEFORE entering the chroot environment so the root password was whatever scrambled thing the livecd had given me. After entering the chroot environment I changed the root password and rebooted. I did not receive this error again but grub had trouble loading the kernel. It would try to load then go back to BIOS in a "boot loop". Not knowing what to do, when the grub menu came back up I hit the enter key quickly and for some weird reason that caused the kernel to load. On a susequent reboot, I did not hit the enter button quickly at the grub menu it would not load the kernel. After several reboots to recreate the issue, wondering if I was in some kind of Twilight Zone, it seemed to work itself out and the problem went away.

In the new system, as usual, wireless was troublesome to activate but I got it going. It is such a troublesome process I create a file to document what I did to get things running. There seems to be a magic formula of ifconfig...dhcpcd...systemctl...wpa_supplicant...systemctl to get it going.

I emerged X11 and XFCE (hours and hours of compiling). To my delight running startxfce4 took me into a desktop environment without a problem. I try to open a terminal but the whole desktop freezes and I have to do a hard reboot. While the machine is rebooting, I say aloud, "Well of course, dummy, you forgot to install a terminal like xterm. Idiot." I install the xfce terminal and test it out and it works.

While in the new system, I attempt to do an update. There is one for wpa_supplicant but due to a bindist use flag package collision with openssl, I could not update. I saw that openssl has 2 versions, one with the bindist use flag activated and one version without it activated. What the hell? I uninstalled openssl and openssh (it also seemed to be part of the problem) but that did not fix anything. I rebooted but wireless would not work anymore no matter what I tried. I guess I removed a critical component. My only recourse was to reboot into the livecd and try to fix it that way. I uninstalled wpa_supplicant, tried messing with package.unmask, etc-update (pam was somehow involved in all this) but none of my efforts fixed the issue and I could not reinstall wpa_supplicant. Disgruntled, but laughing at the stupidity of it all, I exclaimed "Yep, this is Gentoo, like passing a thistle out of the ass the whole way!" With wireless ruined, and me worn out, I give up and decide to try again the next day.
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Part III of VI Reply with quote

PART III of VI
Saturday, April 28

This time, in the livecd, I change the root password AFTER entering the chroot environment. Unfortunately, during the kernel compile, the livecd began churning like it was trying to load something. After 20 minutes of this which I decided was long enough to load anything, I found the keyboard was dead and the system frozen. This Gentoo install was really starting to get on my nerves. Maybe the purple shirt is unlucky? An unlucky mouse pad with the Gentoo logo? The Revenge of Linus Torvalds because I hate kernel compiling and that is his spawn baby? I do not know the reason for such bad luck all the time with Gentoo.

I rebooted, which takes a long time loading the livecd, then disabled the screen saver again but also disabled the power manager setting that puts the system to sleep after 100 minutes of inactivity.

Note to Gentoo: if in the future you make a livecd, PLEASE disable the screen saver and power manager settings so their activation does not interfere with the installation when you leave the machine unattended for hours.

After mounting the drives and entering the chroot environment, I changed the password again just to be safe. Once again, I began the process to compile the kernel. I could not believe that livecd screen freeze incident cost me about 2 hours of time. I was doing other things during the compile but I was hoping to get the Gentoo install done sometime this decade.

After the kernel compiled (successfully ---yay!) I attempt to update wpa_supplicant but once again I have the openssl bindist package collision issue. I decided not to update wpa_supplicant and see if I can boot into the new kernel. Success!

I am in the new system, and I am ready to activate wireless to finally get my system up and running. I run the ifconfig command to bring up my wireless interface but get this message: "error fetching interface information: Device not found."

Oh no, not again. When I compiled the kernel, somehow I omitted enabling the wireless card driver. Kick ME. I guess I ought to be writing down every tiny step I take so as to leave shiny stones to mark my path in this dark cave called Gentoo. After researching my options, I rebooted using the livecd (I'm getting real familiar with it now) and tried to solve the wpa_supplicant bindist openssl loggerhead. I failed to do so. After having spent all day messing with all of this I was to weary to tackle another kernel compile so I decided to try again the next day. Maybe I ought to just use the livecd and not bother with an installation as it seems I am spending my whole life using the livecd anyway.
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Part IV of VI Reply with quote

PART IV of VI
Sunday, April 29

With a fresh mind, I finally figure out how to resolve the wpa_supplicant bindist openssl issue, probably by just dumb luck or perhaps intuition: I delete from /etc/portage/make.conf the bindist USE flag, uninstall openssl, then reinstall wpa_supplicant which reinstalled openssl without bindist which for some reason makes it cry and scream bloody murder. I could have used the command USE="-bindist" when emerging openssl, or I could have spent time researching and goose chasing across the internet, but I just wanted to get the issue out of the way for now.

This is why, in college, although science was my favorite subject and I considered being a scientist, leaning towards entomology, I discovered that my approach to solving a problem is to "frantically flail at it arms swinging, picking up and throwing whatever I can hoping it sticks to the wall." This is an incorrect method. Most of the time, whatever I throw at the wall bounces back and hits me in the head knocking me down, or hits me square in the balls and I fall to the ground clutching my crotch in pain, groaning at my stupidity. In order to correctly solve a problem you need to think the problem through, documenting everything in a logical, methodical manner so that when you discover a step that works or does not work, you have a record of what you did. This allows you to quickly solve the problem should it occur again, rather than flailing at it anew hoping to remember whatever it was you did previously to solve it.

So, with arms flailing I deleted bindist and it worked, but in my hubris of having solved the problem "my way" I failed to follow my notes thoroughly causing me to omit running grub-install after emerging grub. When I went to reboot the computer, I got nothing. I quickly figured out what I did wrong and rebooted using the livecd (again) and finished installing grub.

Sometimes when using the livecd I end up with "gentoot" on the command line. This happens when the screen freezes just after I type "gentoo" but the screen only shows "gen". My brain thinks I did not type the whole word so I type "t" to begin completing "too" but then the screen unfreezes and the "t" is appended to the word gentoo which I already had typed so I get "gentoot".

Gentoot --"Choo-choo! I think I can, I think I can...Woo-woo!" I sure do feel like "The Little Engine That Could", trying to compile and configure my way up a steep learning curve mountain. Don't I have better things to do? Yeah, but this is a challenge, and I've tried other Linux flavors like OpenSuse but Gentoo is the only one I really like because it is the most un-Windows of them all. It is not that I do not like Windows --it is a very good OS, it is that I do not like the way it tries to "help" me, and it records everything you do like you are one of its guinea pigs. I find it very disturbing you are required to have an internet connection to be allowed to use the operating system: they want to record and write everything you do into a database. The other Linux versions are fine but they seem to want to be like Windows. If I want Linux-trying-to-be-Windows it makes sense to just use Windows which is superior to Linux in some areas, like drivers and software offerings, but I do not want that so "Gentoot" it is. I also do not want to buy a new 64-bit laptop when this one can be configured to do what I want.

Most other people would have given up on the installation by now, and if any giver-uppers are reading this they are probably shaking their heads wondering how stupid I must be. They would probably wag their finger in my face and quote W.C. Fields: "If at first you don't succeed try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it."

Well, I do not give up. I may retreat and lick my wounds then come back to fight another day but I do not give up. Besides, I've installed Gentoo successfully before, and I have been using it successfully on the Lenovo for years so it is not a question of not being able to do this. Systemd requires another set of skills to be learned and then applied to the matrix of a Gentoo installation. And since it has been a couple of years since I've installed Gentoo, some things have changed and some things I have forgotten. That is not Gentoo's fault, that is me not keeping up with the times.

I have also learned, partly through installing Gentoo, that I am unsuitable to be a military officer. According to Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord in his "Classification of Officers", he seems to describe me accurately: "One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent --such a stupid and industrious person must be got rid of immediately, for he is too dangerous."

At home, using a personal laptop installing Gentoo I am harmless, but if I were a system administrator on a production system using Gentoo I would be a great danger to the whole system. I ought not to be anywhere near such a system nor be allowed to touch it. I am a textbook example of someone "who knows just enough to be dangerous." However, I am not a lost cause. In the past I have performed as an AIX Unix system administrator, and I did the job without incident, but I was never required to compile a kernel, configure a wireless interface, nor figure out use flags. The system was very stable so my problem solving abilities were never seriously tested but if they had been, I probably would have failed or most likely, ran to "Smarty System Know-it-All" and leaned on his (or hers) expertise to save my bacon.

I did do some compiling at that job, when for an Oracle 8 database upgrade I had to compile some components, but mostly all I did was run scripts provided by Oracle which did most of it automatically. This work was first performed in a test environment then on real-time production servers which hosted a massive database which many types of accounting and billing applications wrote their data to. That job is long over and now I am just an IT Administrator, pretty much out to pasture just padding a 401k until I retire.

So here I am, looking at "gentoot" on the command line. I backspace removing the "t" at the end of "gentoo" and complete the grub installation. I reboot having the feeling I did everything right this time.

No, no I did not. After rebooting, grub would not load the kernel no matter what trick I tried. Back in the livecd I flailed and flung many things at the wall over several hours including recompiling the kernel but all it amounted to was a lot of sound and fury on the command line, signifying nothing. No boot for me. Since the weekend was pretty much over and I was out of time, I had to give up and try again another day.

Toot-toot!
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:42 pm    Post subject: Part V of VI Reply with quote

PART V of VI
Wednesday, May 2

Uncharacteristically wise on my part, I spent the previous two days reviewing documentation and adding corrections to my installation notes. Fresh and ready, I prepare to install Gentoo. Again. I'm wearing my newly washed (thanks wife) purple t-shirt but it smells like smoke because earlier I had been wearing it while burning twigs and leaves to clean up winter debris from the yard.

In the livecd (2nd wife) I disable the screen saver and power management suspend settings. When preparing the disks, I notice that my swap space is just a few mb under 8 gb but my memory is 8 gb so maybe the livecd freeze I encountered previously was caused by not having enough swap space. I have read that swap space ought to be the same size as the memory in order to handle a laptop suspend event or your system can freeze. I am not sure if that was my case but it could have been. If it can happen, even if it is .000001% chance of it happening, it will happen to me, and no, my last name is not Murphy.

After clearing away the livecd gremlins, I parted the drives and created the file systems, this time allocating just a tad over 8 gb for swap space. For wireless, I decide to try the wpa_passphrase/dhcpcd/wpa_supplicant route instead of using the KDE gui network tool. My manual efforts to configure the network resulted in a complete disable of wireless. Rather than flail at it some more I take the easy route and reboot back into the livecd, picking up where I left off. Since my command-line-fu is apparently weak and ineffective, I have no choice but to use the KDE wireless tool. As usual, it takes several times clicking the connect button to get a connection.

When trying to get wireless to work, it seems like turning a hand crank on a Model-T Ford, pulling and pulling the cord on a lawn mower, or pulling down on a propeller with all your might like trying to start a WWI biplane, hoping the engine starts.

After that stuff was done, the hardest part begins: kernel compiling. Failure here and all I will have is a Frankenstein body with no brain---useless, and I'll have to redo it again until I get it right. So, like crawling into a dumpster full of garbage but somewhere a trinket must be retrieved, I enter the menuconfig program to dig through settings. Way, way down buried in several sub-menus I find the wireless Intel options and enable them all, having no idea which one I really need. The extra time spent compiling the kernel is worth not having to begin a research expedition to find out the exact precise driver I need so I enable them all to spare myself a headache. I do not know, and I do not want to know, whether I need Version-8.342-sunnyside-up or Version-8.540b-globflub-sundown so damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Except for the Apple MacIntosh stuff, and Reiserfs which I know for certain I do not need, I dare not disable anything else. I have considered using Reiserfs out of curiousity, and I have read where it is good in certain cases but it is not really applicable to my situation, and there are certain extra things you have to do to get them working properly. It is enough for me just to get a wireless card working in the kernel, so trying to use a semi-maintained, semi-supported file system whose creator is in prison would open the door to more quirks which could gum up the installation. No thanks, I have enough of them already.

After about 3 hours, the kernel is compiled, grub installed, and other useful tools like pciutils. When emerging wpa-supplicant, rather than bother with the openssl bindist conundrum, I delete bindist from make.conf because that is a solution that worked before. At this point in the installation there are no global use flags except for -wayland. If a package needs a use flag it can be installed in package.use. Afterwards, IF the kernel is compiled correctly and IF I get a working system, THEN I will activate other USE flags but for the base install I want nothing but the barest minimum to get a working system. I using the systemd-stable profile so any recompiles ought not be too painful. I specifically avoided the desktop profiles to decrease compiling time.

The kernel compiled successfully but I have no hopes for it. I notice systemd will not let me use the hostnamectl command to set the hostname but that does not matter. It is now time to create a user. I consider the name "crashtestdummy" because I feel like one, having crashed and burned so many times in Gentoo already. That name is too long so I pick a shorter one and I'm done.

Now for the moment of truth: reboot using the new kernel. I cross my fingers watching the screen, refusing to get my hopes up; but I did everything right (yeah sure, just like the last many times) so I have some confidence it ought to work.

Nope. The grub menu comes up but it fails to load the kernel, goes back to BIOS in a "boot loop". When grub comes up again I hit the enter button quickly and that seems to "catch" and the kernel starts loading. That is why it seems it is like starting an engine on a WWI biplane: things are quirky and what worked previously on one try might take two or more tries or no amount of tries will get it going. After hitting the enter button (pulling down hard on the propeller) the boot process kicks in and all seems to be going well, but it hangs for a moment loading lvm something which I "kitchen sinked" into the kernel. Maybe having everything enabled in the kernel is not such a good idea after all.

The machine continues to boot but I'm still holding my breath. I am surprised to see that old familiar message I saw about 10 years ago: "consider using CONFIG_SND_DYNAMIC_MINORS=y". After ten years this is STILL going on? Should not that be enabled by default now? I suppose I can recompile the kernel messing with the .config file to get rid of the message like I did those many years ago but I do not want touch that kernel again any more than I want to approach a ticking bomb to disconnect a wire hoping that might defuse it. I know it is going to blow up on me one day so let me have my system for now until it does. I stand a good chance of blowing up my system messing with the kernel so I'm going to leave it alone and live with the error message.

I login as a regular user (never root!) and change the root password, reset the time, and some other things. Despite setting the timezone and time before reboot, the system did not have the correct time (it is 4 hours earlier) so I have to reset it again. I am relieved to see the hostnamectl command is working so I set the hostname and do some other "first-boot" stuff with systemd using the "God Command" systemctl. I'm starting to like systemd, starting to see the clever beauty of it all, but isn't that how it always goes as you dance with glee with "precious" before the floor cracks open and you topple like Gollum into the flames?

Much of this systemd stuff I learned during the two days of research. It was sort of maddening, the information splattered over several websites here and there. Finding out this stuff was like going on an Easter egg hunt, and I am sure I omitted some things. I suppose I should sit down and read the official 10-thousand page "Systemd Technical Manual" but I would have to be receiving a paycheck to have the motivation to do that. I just want a system to boot properly using the new (as compared to the old) init system. Is that too much to ask?

Now for the next moment of truth: get wireless working. I run ifconfig -a to see if the wireless card was enabled in the kernel. It is! Hooray! Oh happy joy, I got lucky and picked the right driver, or genkernel enabled it from the endless menu abyss.

I flail around trying what I can to get wireless working, consulting numerous pages of notes on setting up an interface in systemd and wpa_supplicant. I run systemctl commands, create a link for resolv.conf, run wpa_supplicant, the dhcpcd command, but it does not seem to be working: wpa_supplicant is hanging at the command line. Somewhere, in all my flailing at the problem, I get the bright idea to check the wpa_supplicant command for errors. Well, what do you know, I left off the -B part to run the process in the background. I run systemctl status for networkd and resolved and that causes the propeller to spin, and with a crank and sputter the wireless engine finally starts. Yay, I can ping out, I can finally start flying!

It appears this is the magic formula derived from ancient alchemist tomes to connect to the astral plane:

--ifconfig wlp9s0 up (wlp9s0 is the wireless interface)
--systemctl start systemd-networkd
--systemctl start systemd-resolved
--wpa_supplicant -Dnl80211,wext -iwlp9s0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf -B (do NOT forget the -B or you'll hang)
--systemctl status systemd-networkd
--systemctl status systemd-resolved

I do not have to manually type "dhcpcd wlp9s0" anymore. Systemd is already making my life easier.

I have wireless. It is working. I feel like I have won a prize, or successfully made it to the next base camp up Mount Everest.
I edit the make.conf to add some USE flags, like alsa, cups, and X. I am not putting bindist back in just yet. I really do not want to deal with that issue right now.

It is evening and the day is over. I emerge X11 and go to bed. I have earned this rest.
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:47 pm    Post subject: Part VI of VI Reply with quote

PART VI of VI
Thursday, May 3

Around 2 a.m. my wife's snoring wakes me up, as usual. Since I am awake I might as well check on Gentoo. It is like having another child in the house, or like having that plant in The Little Shop Of Horrors: FEED ME! I see that X11 completed successfully. I am too tired to care whether it did or not. I enter the command to emerge the XFCE desktop and go back to bed, but in the spare bedroom because my wife is sounding like a pig snorting and snuffling at a trough that is how her snoring sounds. Living with her is like having to install Gentoo about every day, a big pain in the ass, but that is marriage, for better or worse. Most of the time it is for the worse. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or really lucky.

In the morning, I wake up cranky and tired from an interrupted sleep and find that XFCE installed successfully. Again, I'm too tired to care. Remembering the dumb thing I did previously by not installing a terminal, I emerge the XFCE terminal which is preferable to manually configuring xterm, something I really do not ever want to bother with again even though it isn't that hard. I check out some other things and it appears, incredibly, everything is working fine. Although I fear to do so, I reboot the system to verify that my wireless trick was not just a one-off lucky strike, and that the desktop environment will load. If those do not work there is no point going any further because I'll have to go back to the livecd and try again.

To my surprise --I guess I am so jaded from failure that when something actually works correctly I get surprised, grub loads the kernel without any issues, so there is no need for me to quickly hit the enter button to squeak into the boot sequence. I login and see the date is still not being set correctly so I use timedatectl to set it again. I also use that command to "set-ntp true". That seems to be the reason it is not updating the time. I will experiment also with the systemd-timesyncd.service and see which one I need to resolve this, but another time. I can manually do it for now. I have some learning to do with systemd.

Now I am ready to go into the desktop environment using the command startxfce4. I wonder what will happen? Will I get "screen not found" like I do so many times with OpenBSD? Will I get "Dum-dum, you kernel dirty, you not enable driver 4.33a-23 in kernel so recompile kernel now!"? With my luck, all that will happen is a blank screen, nothing loading, and I'll sit there wallowing in failure yet again, wishing the roof would fall in on my head and put an end to my stupid existence.

Ah, here I am, and here it goes: a blank screen, just as I thought. Nothing. All that work for nothing....Wait! XFCE is loading, the screen only stayed blank a few moments while it loaded stuff, probably the installed applications into their proper menus and stuff.

Hooray! XFCE works, the terminal works, the menus works, the clock works: it all works! I exit the desktop very pleased with myself. I become root again and start emerging the rest of the things I need to do what I want to do. I could have remained in XFCE to do this, emerging in a terminal, but I want as much memory available as possible to compile stuff.

I emerge Opera browser, having read good things about it. The compile takes only a very short time. I thought it used WebKit but it does not. I exit root to become a regular user and enter XFCE again to test Opera. It works well but cannot access certain websites so I will need to get another browser. I exit XFCE and become the root user again.

It is time to emerge the stuff I use a lot: vim, latex, evince pdf viewer, leafpad, alsa, and a few other things. I then take a deep breath and prepare to emerge Google-Chrome. It is huge and will take all day to compile. I really ought to look at finding a binary rather than compile that huge thing. Like LibreOffice, this is one of the "biggies" but very useful to have.

The compile failed. An error message informs me that Chrome only works on an AMD-64 system. I am glad for the courtesy of giving me this message BEFORE I spend all day compiling this program. I then attempt to install Chromium which is also "yuge" because it uses WebKit. I start the emerge process and 6 hours later I get an error saying it could not compile. I guess I should have used my noggin and figured if Google-Chrome won't compile, neither will Chromium. I assume that is the issue and make a note that if I get a new laptop, make sure it is an AMD-64.

The only real option left is Firefox, although Midori is a decent contender. I emerge Firefox but get a warning: "You are not using bindist so you are restricted from distributing this program to others on the network...proprietary stuff...license..." Rather than put bindist back into make.conf, I compile Firefox with USE="bindist" before the emerge command. The warning about Mozilla coming down to kick my ass goes away and the compile chugs merrily along.

While the compile is going on, I do some research and learn that if I create a file called bindist in /etc/portage/package.use I can then place the offending openssl and openssh items with "-bindist" to resolve the collision problem. In my flailing, I had made a file named openssl and openssh and placed the items in there which did not work. I knew there was something in package.use I needed to do but I did not know I could have the name of a use flag as a package.use file name. Ya learn something new every time using Gentoo. That is one of the reasons I like it.

After Firefox installed, I went to Youtube to test both sound and video. All working. I think we can call this a wrap.

Epilogue

Over the next few days I installed some more things. I successfully performed a full system world update after adding bindist back into make.conf so it works. The system did not break. My wireless formula works consistently so that is no longer a problem.

Satisfied I have a working system, I installed DOSbox out of curiosity to test High Command. It works, better than it did in OpenBSD because if a certain option was chosen the game would crash but it does not do this in Gentoo. I assume it is due to needing a driver that OpenBSD does not have or the driver had the blob stripped out of it.

After the world update, I ran depclean which uninstalled nano. This was not a big deal but I know from past experience the default system editor is nano and its removal can cause problems. A little research in the man pages found that I can select the system editor using the fantastic eselect program, and this is what I did: "eselect editor set" followed by the number for vi.

The time displays correctly now, no more problem with that either. This seems to have done the trick:
systemctl enable --now systemd-timesyncd.service
systemctl status systemd-timesyncd.service

It seems the command does not take effect until you run status, or alternately you run "env-update && source /etc/profile"

In listing the editors I was surprised to see the "ed" and "ex" editors which I thought were extinct. I was able to invoke "ed" and try it out. It's a bit prehistoric for me, and I do not want to learn to use it, but it is interesting that it is still there. Again, using Gentoo you learn someting new all the time. Funnily enough, a new book as come out by Lucas, "Ed Mastery" or something like that. I might get the book but what would be the point? I've never had to use it, don't know anybody but the "old school dudes" who ever did. The only point I can see to mastering "ed" would be to be better able to use "sed", but I don't use that so no need.

So, it has been a week. Gentoo is working! I have climbed the mountain, I can see far from the mountaintop. Now if I can be careful with my USE flags, I can avoid falling off the mountain.

Gentoo is cool. The fact I wrote so much means either I'm nuts or I am a very big Gentoo enthusiast. I think the latter.
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steveL
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Part VI of VI Reply with quote

Wow, that was a long way round to learn about package.use.. ;-)
bghoons wrote:
In listing the editors I was surprised to see the "ed" and "ex" editors which I thought were extinct. I was able to invoke "ed" and try it out. It's a bit prehistoric for me, and I do not want to learn to use it, but it is interesting that it is still there. Again, using Gentoo you learn someting new all the time. Funnily enough, a new book as come out by Lucas, "Ed Mastery" or something like that. I might get the book but what would be the point? I've never had to use it, don't know anybody but the "old school dudes" who ever did. The only point I can see to mastering "ed" would be to be better able to use "sed", but I don't use that so no need.
You're better off buying a copy of "The UNIX Programming Environment" (Kernighan & Pike, 1984).
It has a chapter on ed, and a whole lot more very useful info. Just don't use $* in shell scripts like they do; stick with "$@" as #bash teaches. (Note the quotes.)

FTR, ed is the granddaddy of UNIX text editing; besides sed, lex awk and grep owe it a great deal too. (as do editors like vim and pagers like less. ed => ex => vi => vim. ex and vi are usually the same program.)
The name "grep" is derived from the ed seq: g/re/p

It's definitely worth learning: it has always been in the POSIX.2 base command set, and is incredibly useful in scripts, IME.
For instance, negative relative addressing is infeasible in sed et al.
Also comes in handy if you code in a console: once you know ed, you end up using it to chop functions or other parts of code, to blat to another file, then to quickly delete it from the original. (You need set -C to work safely in console.) Honestly it takes longer to explain, than to do: ed is practically instantaneous.
It is also much safer than other utils: as an editor, it takes care not to remove the file, before the new version is saved, and it does so atomically wrt other processes via rename.

UPE teaches a great deal more than shell-scripting, ofc. Most of all it gives you a rounded understanding of how UNIX operates.
Chapter 8 (reworking with modern C) is absolutely essential for any programmer.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wow, that was a long way round to learn about package.use.. ;-)


Yes, I agree, and this was because my understanding of package.use was incomplete. My understanding was that if you want to override a make.conf USE flag, you place a package into package.use and the component that needs the USE flag is placed in that package name.

So I tried placing the package wpa_supplicant into package.use and put the openssl component with -bindist. This did not work. I tried the packages openssl and openssh putting them in package .use with components -bindist. Did not work. I resolved the problem by searching the internet and found someone who had encountered the same issue and some good person placed the solution. I knew the solution was with package.use to override make.conf but I would not have figured out to put the bindist USE flag as the "package name" because it is not a package.

Or is it? I see from the wiki an example (bluetooth) that a package name can also be a USE flag name. Perhaps bindist is also a package and a USE flag? That would explain my confusion.

This situation is why I have a terrible time with higher mathematics. In high school Geometry, the teacher informed me "You have worked the problem completely backwards." I am the kind of person where I expect, with no exceptions, that "a=letter" and "number=number". When letters can be numbers you have completely messed me up. When something can be more than one thing, that trips me up in some cases.

I did not have this problem in my programming classes because I am satisfied if a variable is declared "up front", such as "a = 15", or to be an integer, but if I have to "solve for a" which means "a" can be any infinite number, I enter "flail mode" and freak out. I had to drop calculus twice because on both tries I could not comprehend it, failed the first test (twice!) despite studying until my brains about fell out. I just do not comprehend higher mathematics but I made an "A" in accounting which shocked me because it was like looking at things through a warped glass trying to understand it.

Anyway, things are going well. I have put the laptop through its paces:

Opera: a good browser but had to install Firefox (Aurora) to view certain websites

OpenOffice: I installed the office-bin version which did not take as long as I thought to compile. Works great.

Sound & Video: tested mplayer and it played a movie as good as it does on Windoes 10. No difference in sound or video quality. Picture was crisp and clear.
YouTube videos played perfectly in Aurora.

Printing: no problem with systemd starting the cups service. Setting up a printer was very easy. Printing quality no different from Windows 10 (same driver probably)

DOSbox: downloaded and tested some abandonwaredos games. Works fine, though I'm not inclined to play these games. It was mainly to show my kids what was available to a kid in the 80's and 90's They were not impressed, looked at them like they did when I showed them an outhouse and said, "Back then, there was no running water. You either dug a hole in the ground to use the bathroom or you went to an outhouse like this, hoping no snakes or spiders crawl on you while you are sitting there. .

After looking at the games, one kid declared Linux to be terrible because it has bad graphics. I corrected him, saying the OS and a game are not the same. I could not persuade him that Linux is very good except for for many6 games. He's learning, he'll get there. I WILL convert him away from the Dark Side, away from Emperor Microsoft. I may have to perform a Microsoft Intervention in the future.

My next plan of action is to see about SELinux and firewalling. The laptop is kind of naked, currently placing my hope in the home router firewall. However, there will be times I need to take out in public like when I'm getting the car inspected or have maintenance performed upon it which is always at least a 2-hour time sink. The shop has public wifi so I can make use of my time there.
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AJM
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bghoons wrote:
OpenOffice: I installed the office-bin version which did not take as long as I thought to compile.


That's because you weren't really compiling it! (-bin means it's the precompiled binary version, you were only really downloading and extracting it)

Also: edited to say that you should give Libreoffice a try - OpenOffice is more or less moribund and has been for ages, whereas there's been a load of work put into Libreoffice.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 4:14 am    Post subject: Re: Systemd on a Dell N5110 Inspiron Reply with quote

bghoons wrote:
...it was probably as boring as this forum piece I am submitting.


:D Thanks for the fun read. FWIW, I allay my kernel anxiety by keeping a copy of the old kernel .config file around, and doing a "make oldconfig". I also keep the old kernel in my /boot partition and I have a GRUB option to boot from it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo Update 7/22/2018


So, it has been over two months since the new install. Here are some things that are working well:

+ Oracle xVM VirtualBox is useful. I installed in a virtual machine "OpenBSD 6.3" to see if the issue of changing the background color
in a cell crashes like on another machine: yes,it does. So, the issue is with OpenBSD somewhere. I do not get this crash in Gentoo
using LibreOffice.

Just for a laugh, I dug out my old Mandrake 8.1 CDs and installed Mandrake 8.1 on Gentoo in a virtual machine. It worked. I went online
using the IRC program to go to the Mandriva IRC channel and informed them I was using Mandrake 8.1 I did not get a response, probably because they were not amused. Maybe they refuse to speak only French and so ignored me.

The Sawfish window manager was...interesting, very minimalistic but appears to be designed to work with an existing desktop, not as a standalone entity.

The ancient web browser Netscape Communicator 4.78 could not connect to Gentoo.org due to security certificates or something, neither could the Galeon or Mozilla web browsers.

RedHat 5.1: I installed it but never could get a display to use graphical environment. When I first got RH5 I never could get it
to install properly. Never would have thought 20 years later would be the time I would successfully install it.

CentOS 5.0: Took a long time to install, making me think while it installed I could have emerged a bunch of the stuff already in
Gentoo in the same amount of time. Watching the install, seeing a lot of stuff I would never use, I realized why I like Gentoo so much:
I install ONLY the programs I want to use, whereas many others (especially Windows) bloats the install with everything assuming you can
uninstall whatever you don't want to use. I like the Gentoo method better, hence, I remain a Gentoo user.

CentOS 5.0 upon reboot gave the message "Kernel Memory not within range Crash" and I thought the kernel had crashed but no, it was just
a weird error. I got a weird idea: what if, in a virtual machine, I installed another OS in a virtual machine on that virtual
machine, and then in THAT virtual machine, installed yet another? I suppose the maximum number of virtual machines I could have would
be the limits of my disk space.

Having had enough of a 90's nostalgia flashback, (wish I had bought Apple, Google, and Priceline stock back then), I exited Mandrake and wondered if Mandriva was any good. Probably is. At work, a coworker from Ethiopia was informed he needs to learn Linux to better be able to provide support to the environment we work. He was flailing around not knowing what to do so I asked him what laptop he has available and is it 64-bit and he said yes so I burned an Ubuntu DVD for him and helped him install.

He was blown away how polished it looked, and it had similar programs as Windows 8 that was on it. I chose the Dual-Boot situation for him so he could gradually switch over. He being from Africa, I figured Ubuntu was a good choice and also because he is a Linux newbie. I told him I used Gentoo Linux which meant nothing to him, never heard of it. He could not figure out how to install the Ubuntu without my help so Gentoo was out for him. He was grateful, and seemed pleased with Ubuntu after trying it out. He had never heard of LibreOffice. I sort of felt like a traitor to Gentoo for suggesting Ubuntu, but Gentoo was not the right tool for the job in this situation. His mouth is still stuck to the Windows teat, not ready for meat & potatoes Linux like Gentoo. You cannot feed a baby steak (no teeth to chew!) so I had to use Ubuntu which is like Windows.

+ After a period of time, maybe a week, when I would do "man -k" to find something, nothing would show up so I knew there was a
problem. I tried "makewhatis" but that did not work then I remembered it was "mandb". I created a crontab entry to run this command.

+ The more programs I install, the longer it takes to do an update as it checks dependencies.

I acquired "The Unix Programming Environment". Wow, what an outdated book. I was amused about to read this about "ole ed":

---"ed runs fast. It's quite possible to invoke ed, make a one-line change to a file, write out the new version,
and quit, all before a bigger and fancier screen editor has even start.


Maybe in the days of the early times this speed was useful when half a mb of memory was considered "whopping big", but now the nanosecond difference
is meaningless. Anyway, I can use ed if need be.

I have also learned how to compile a kernel faster by putting on the command line --makeopts -j# (#= number of processors).
This sped things up by about 50% I had always assumed the make.conf file would be used when compiling the kernel but it does not appear to be so.

My fear of kernel compiling has abated now that I am more familiar with it, and I am familiar with my config file that I can reuse instead of picking through the menus. Iptables has been configured now and according to the "Shields UP" website, I seem to be protected, but this was true even without Iptables because my router has a firewall.

All good!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update that brought your (mis?) adventures to light for me. I'm a returning user who went to Windows for a good long while, well over a decade, after using Gentoo early on in the millennium.

A lot had changed, since then, in the intervening ~decade since I last used Gentoo, and I had a good bit of relearning to do, as well as some bad habits (ingrained into me during my stint as a Windows user) that I had to unlearn.

I started with a pair of laptops, an AMD-based Lenovo ThinkPad as well as an Intel-based Dell Inspiron 3521. While nowhere near new by any means, at least both were 64-bit systems, so there was a small thread of commonality between the systems. Other than that, it was all different.

The main difference between your extended misadventures and my recent set of experiences (in the beginning I'll freely admit mine were misadventures as well, but I'll also stick to my guns and say that I enjoyed the challenge as I knew I had stuff to relearn, and it's not like I was trying o build mission-critical machines, nor that I had mission-critical data on the machines I needed access to - at least, I'd hope not, considering all the drive wiping and partition I did during my myriad of installs and testing) is that I originally came to Gentoo in the early years of the millennium after using a Con Kalivas patched kernel on Fedora Core (1 or 2, don't exactly remember) and realizing a massive uptake in both system responsiveness as well as boot time - and loving it. But this time around I came to Gentoo directly from Windows - partially for nostalgia, partially for my (still held) belief that Gentoo is the best for a hands-on approach to control of the system, and partially because I do so love the color purple. (OK, the last is a stretch - not necessarily a reason, just happens to be a coincidence). I came to Gentoo because I wanted these systems, first as test-beds, and then as final build systems, to stand the test of time, in that they would not be used a whole lot, but neither was I going to get rid of them. Plus, the laptops (and the knowledge set I gained from playing with things) allowed me to build up a reference file, similar to your notes, that I kept handy when I tackled the big project - my desktop, which I'm in the midst of setting up now.

After using the CK kernel way back then, I wanted to learn more, and I was advised to look into compiling my own kernel - and bypass the Fedora Core HW Probing. I did, and loved the new speed boosts. After I was satisfied with that ( and that took a good lot of research, as I went through every part of the kernel, tree by tree, in make menuconfig, researching each option, figuring out what I needed and didn't need). It worked - I got the desired results (~30 to login from cold start on an old Pentium 200 machine with a measly 256 MB RAM). I embraced the kernel and all of its idiosyncrasies, learning a lot more than I had bargained for when I first ventured into Linux.

Fast forward to today, and I have a bit more wisdom. I realize that having a bloated, cruft-full kernel is a good thing - it makes for a great fallback when you need a fallback. After my trials, tribulations, and experiments over the last ~2.5 months, I've figured out that making my first kernel via genkernel all is a good, fast way to get my system up and running directly, after which I can, at a much more leisurely pace, go back and compile my hand-built kernel in order to have everything working. I've probably compiled the kernel by hand, tree by tree, 6 different times, and I've learned a lot. As always, I, too, have kept detailed notes (heck, I've actually made a manual install script, collating data from many different Gentoo forum posts, wiki pages, the handbook, and other resources so I really don't have to open the handbook to get to a booted system with a genkerneled kernel and initramfs in place. That script is annotated for commands that change per machine, as well as has notes that keep me in line as to what I want to do. I've also taken to making copies of various files (particularly my fstab, make.conf, and all the files I create under portage/package* directories for masking, using and accepting keywords, so one a failed run, or when I decide I want to do something differently I can go back and start all over but do it in a much more streamlined manner.

It's been interesting, but I've 'designed' my system and layout as much as I want to, at this point, and I am now working through the final install on the desktop - after which it's time to do everything else that I want to do to have a working Gentoo desktop install.

Thanks again for providing the great read in your original posts (and the humor!) as well as the followup - VMs are only going to be tackled on this machine, so that is an aspect I've not yet played with in my experimentation in hte last couple months, so that will still be new territory for me.

The joys of challenges :D
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Amen.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bghoons,

Code:
Dell Inspiron N5110
says its 64 bit. With 8G RAM in a laptop, i would be surprised to see it 32 bit only.

Please paste the content of /proc/cpuinfo. Once CPU will do.
I'w really looking for the CPU flag 'lm' which means long machine or 64 bit.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
bghoons,

Code:
Dell Inspiron N5110
says its 64 bit. With 8G RAM in a laptop, i would be surprised to see it 32 bit only.

Please paste the content of /proc/cpuinfo. Once CPU will do.
I'w really looking for the CPU flag 'lm' which means long machine or 64 bit.


From the lscpu command (below) it appears that I have 64-bit capability. Also, I have the "lm" flag. I had always assumed it was 32-bit due to its age.
Assuming things without actually reading outputs bit me again! In my future life, I'll probably end up as a dumb-terminal.

Thank you, Neddy, I learned something new today. I am glad you are on this forum. Next time I redo Gentoo, I will take the 64-bit option, not that it makes much difference in my case, don't do any heavy stuff on this laptop. The battery is already dead, not going to replace it.

Here is processor 0 of 7 (eight of them in all) from /proc/cpuinfo:
Code:

processor   : 0
vendor_id   : GenuineIntel
cpu family   : 6
model      : 42
model name   : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz
stepping   : 7
microcode   : 0x1b
cpu MHz      : 798.198
cache size   : 6144 KB
physical id   : 0
siblings   : 8
core id      : 0
cpu cores   : 4
apicid      : 0
initial apicid   : 0
fdiv_bug   : no
f00f_bug   : no
coma_bug   : no
fpu      : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level   : 13
wp      : yes
flags      : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts xtopology nonstop_tsc cpuid aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx lahf_lm epb tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid xsaveopt dtherm ida arat pln pts
bugs      : cpu_meltdown spectre_v1 spectre_v2 spec_store_bypass
bogomips   : 4390.15
clflush size   : 64
cache_alignment   : 64
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:



Here is the memory, using IceWM (I switched away from XFCE):

Code:
Memory: 3269800K/3313712K available
(4655K kernel code, 542K rwdata, 1728K rodata, 728K init, 260K bss, 43912K reserved, 0K cma-reserved, 2410952K highmem)



Here is the output from lscpu:
Code:

Architecture:        i686
CPU op-mode(s):      32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:          Little Endian
CPU(s):              8
On-line CPU(s) list: 0-7
Thread(s) per core:  2
Core(s) per socket:  4
Socket(s):           1
Vendor ID:           GenuineIntel
CPU family:          6
Model:               42
Model name:          Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz
Stepping:            7
CPU MHz:             798.213
CPU max MHz:         3100.0000
CPU min MHz:         800.0000
BogoMIPS:            4390.15
Virtualization:      VT-x
L1d cache:           32K
L1i cache:           32K
L2 cache:            256K
L3 cache:            6144K
Flags:               fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts xtopology nonstop_tsc cpuid aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx lahf_lm epb tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid xsaveopt dtherm ida arat pln pts
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NeddySeagoon
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bghoons,

With 8G RAM and a 32 bit install you are throwing away 4G RAM. You may as well unplug it and save the power it requires.
If you enable the PAE (Physical Address Extension) option in your kernel, you can use all the 8G but its a bit hacky.

The 32 bit kernel can only address 4G of RAM at a time and the kernel always needs to be mapped into the address space.
That means you can have several, up to approx 3G RAM being switched in and out for different processes.
Like I say, its a bit hacky. Processes that are not mapped cannot be run.

You actually have 4 real cores and 4 mythical cores (that's a bit cruel) from hyperthreading.
Its a 2.2GHz i7, so its not that old or slow.
I might be tempted to reinstall as 64 bit. Its not a lot of work for you but everything has to be rebuilt, so its a lot of work for the CPU.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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