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Thread: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

  1. #1
    trekkiejt NNTP User

    Default New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    I've bought a new laptop and am having some trouble. My old one was a Dell Latitude CPX366XT with Suse 8.2. I loved that old machine and everything worked flawlessly without work (even WiFi when 802.11b was big) but it was falling apart and with a maxed out ram of 256 MB I couldn't do much nowadays. Well I bought an Acer Aspire 5050-3785 and installed openSuse.org 10.3 64-bit and some things do not work and for the life of me I cannot fix them.

    First the sound. It is a Realtek ALC883 and ALSA isn't working. I cannot download the newest version from their web site either. Everything I find tells me to download the new driver and try it but I have tried for a week and the download just sits their saying "Starting..."

    Secondly, dual display. I have the ATi Radeon Xpress 1100 and there isn't a Linux specific driver for it and so I cannot get a second display to work. It flickers when I try but nothing beyond that. When I try and run Xinerama there is a bar on the kicker with "Multiple Monitors" trying to open but it stops and disappears. I also cannot run youtube videos in full screen. I have updated Flash but it didn't help.

    Multimedia. I know this is a pain to get working. I tried the same RPMs I used on the Dell (played all videos save DVD since the machine only had a CD drive) but they don't work on this Acer with 64-bit 10.3.

    My main use on this machine is internet, watching videos on youtube.com, NES emulation. I installed 10.3 the day I got it but gave up trying to get things working after a few days. I was using the Vista on it until what usually happens with windows happened, even with a good and up to date anti-virus. Vista never worked well anyway. I have most everything else I like straightened out but not these. Also my Linux knowledge is limited. I can start and stop stuff, basic DOS style commands in a shell, but that is it.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    Quote Originally Posted by trekkiejt View Post
    I bought an Acer Aspire 5050-3785 and installed openSuse.org 10.3 64-bit and some things do not work and for the life of me I cannot fix them.

    First the sound. It is a Realtek ALC883 and ALSA isn't working. I cannot download the newest version from their web site either.
    Good ... stay away from their audio driver. Stick with alsa that comes with openSUSE (or can be updated from rpms that I can provide links to).

    You could try working your way through the openSUSE audio troubleshooting guide:
    SDB:AudioTroubleshooting - openSUSE

    Note, when testing if you have sound, please copy and paste the following speaker-test into a Gnome terminal or a kde konsole:

    speaker-test -Dplug:front -c2 -l5 -twav

    Note Linux is case sensitive, and D is not the same as d. To stop the above test, while the konsole/xterm has the mouse focus, press <CTRL><C> on the keyboard. Note you should check your mixer settings (kmix if using KDE, and alsamixer if using Gnome) to ensure that PCM and Master Volume are set around 95%. Once you have basic sound established you can back off to lower volume levels. Note the test for surround sound is different.

    If that test yields errors (and its not uncommon to get errors there), try instead this more simple test:
    speaker-test -c2 -l5 -twav
    You should hear a female voice saying 'FRONT LEFT', 'FRONT RIGHT' five times. Its quite common that one of those speaker tests will work and one will NOT work, so don't be distressed if that is the case. IF that test gives sound, stop now, post that the sound test gives sound, and we will look at other possible causes for your applications not giving you the sound you want (such as missing codecs, using the wrong packaged version ... etc ... ).

    Or alternatively, for testing the simple playback, use aplay program. Prepare a WAV file and simply run like:
    Code:
    aplay -vv somefile.wav
    With the option -vv, aplay shows the verbose information of the PCM device, and a VU-peak meter during playing the file.

    Try those speaker-tests as both a regular user, and also with root permissions. If you have a headset, try with your headset plugged in, and also with your headset not plugged in (for speakers).

    Assuming no sound, can you provide more very detailed information so a good recommendation can be given? For openSUSE-11.1, you can do that, with your laptop connected to the internet, by opening a gnome-terminal or a kde konsole and twice copy and paste the following into that terminal/konsole
    Code:
    /usr/sbin/alsa-info.sh
    Run it the 1st time with root permissions. It will ask if you wish to do an update of the script. Select YES.

    Then run it again (as either a regular user or as root). This time it will diagnose your PC's hardware and software configuration for audio, and it will post its output on the Internet/web. It will give you the URL of the web site. Please post that URL here. JUST the URL.

    Also, please copy and paste the following commands one line at a time into a gnome-terminal or a konsole and post here the output:
    rpm -qa | grep alsa
    rpm -qa | grep pulse
    rpm -q libasound2
    uname -a
    cat /etc/modprobe.d/sound
    ... with that information I may be able to make a recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekkiejt View Post
    Multimedia. I know this is a pain to get working. I tried the same RPMs I used on the Dell (played all videos save DVD since the machine only had a CD drive) but they don't work on this Acer with 64-bit 10.3.
    multimedia is easy, once you know how. Thats the trick. You need to use 11.1 rpms. And I'll show you how to do this, once we get sound working.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    I know it may sound bad but how can you call openSUSE 10.3 new ?? It will lose updates support this year do you know that? I propose you install 11.1 or else you will be running an insecure OS else you will be forced to install a new openSUSE if you want to have security updates.
    How does a linux geek make love??

    - rtfm; unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; umount; zip; sleep;

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Assuming no sound, can you provide more very detailed information so a good recommendation can be given? For openSUSE-11.1, you can do that, with your laptop connected to the internet, by opening a gnome-terminal or a kde konsole and twice copy and paste the following into that terminal/konsole
    Code:
    /usr/sbin/alsa-info.sh
    Run it the 1st time with root permissions. It will ask if you wish to do an update of the script. Select YES.

    Then run it again (as either a regular user or as root). This time it will diagnose your PC's hardware and software configuration for audio, and it will post its output on the Internet/web. It will give you the URL of the web site. Please post that URL here. JUST the URL.
    That command will only work on openSUSE-11.1 or later.

    So instead for openSUSE-10.3, run the following command to get the diagnostic script to run (with your PC connected to the internet):
    Code:
    wget -O alsa-info.sh http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-info.sh && bash alsa-info.sh

  5. #5
    goldie NNTP User

    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    welcome..

    > Suse 8.2.


    imo, there has been a notable shift in philosophy between 8.2 and
    10.3: (paraphrased from elsewhere) while 8.2 was released *when ready*
    10.3 was released on _the_ date set for it to release seven or eight
    months prior to the *set in concrete* release date...and is now only
    six months into two years of updates, patches, etc..

    remember, way back when SuSE was a little company in Germany making
    software they worked until they got it right and THEN released as
    stable and dependable a product as they could make..

    THEN, Novell bought that little company and set up a *community* (like
    Red Hat set up the Fedora Community) of folks who knowingly
    participate in the PAIN and SUFFERING of beating buggy and BETA
    software into submission....usually through several cycles or numbered
    releases delivered according to a *date certain* and THEN Novell
    release a commercial product (SUSE Linux Enterprise
    Desktop/Server aka: SLED and SLES) for SALE *when they are ready*..

    what i'm saying is: openSUSE ain't your granddaddy's SuSE--you can be
    certain it IS buggy and will take some fiddling to get to the same
    level of stability and reliability you were used to in 8.2, the day
    you first installed it..


    > I bought an Acer Aspire 5050-3785


    that machine is not listed on the community's Hardware Compatibility
    List at http://en.opensuse.org/HCL/Laptops/Acer

    there _is_ a 5051 listed which states "Dual-head support out of the
    box" with openSUSE 10.2

    once you have solved your issues you would please be so kind as to
    include your machine..


    > installed openSuse.org 10.3 64-bit and some things do not work and for
    > the life of me I cannot fix them.


    two things:

    as mentioned 10.3 ages out soon (31 Oct 09:
    http://en.opensuse.org/SUSE_Linux_Lifetime)

    and, while 64 bit is getting easier and easier to use it still
    requires more fiddling than _i_ want to put up with...and, unless you
    have specific programmatic needs for 64 bit (million line db,
    crunching massive RAW photo files, video editing, and others), you
    _might_ find (as others have) the gains are not yet worth the extra
    effort...ymmv, read around (there are numerous discussions on 43 vs 64
    in these fora, and elsewhere)..

    i think if i were you i'd download a 11.1 Live CD with gnome (caution:
    KDE4 is a work in progress...and, it far too troublesome for _my_
    time) and see what works and what doesn't...then i'd install from the
    11.1 DVD and choose any DE other than KDE4..

    i mean, why go to the trouble of getting 10.3 working and then
    (probably) have to do it *all* again when you move to 11.x in
    November, or before....NOTE: there is currently no reliable, supported
    way to 'upgrade' from 10.3 to 11.x, instead the community suggests to
    backup/protect your /home and do a new install from the DVD (thereby
    requiring all the fiddling, again!)


    > First the sound.


    if oldcpu can't guide you to happiness with sound, then look no
    further...just throw your new machine away, or try a different distro,
    or [hate to say it] some other operating system..

    some have instant gratification with either Ubuntu or others...[each
    have their strengths and weaknesses]


    > Secondly, dual display. I have the ATi Radeon Xpress 1100 and there
    > isn't a Linux specific driver for it and so I cannot get a second
    > display to work.


    sorry i can't help (maybe others know a work around) but i just one to
    point out that the _current_ state of affairs is that nVidia provides
    the best driver support _today_..

    it has been rumored that Intel will, but they haven't proved that to
    me, yet..

    ATI and any others run a distant third....imo

    so, lets say oldcpu can't fix your sound and you throw that machine
    away (or worse) switch to a game OS, then next time buy a machine with
    known compatible hardware and nVidia supported graphics..


    > Multimedia.


    have a look at http://tinyurl.com/6jwtg9 even if you are not a noob,
    therein you will find a link multimedia which should do what you need
    *if* you give up on 10.3 and install 11.1 instead..

    if you stick to 10.3 you need to see here:
    http://www.softwareinreview.com/linu...suse_10.3.html

    and carry a big sack of good luck with you!


    > My main use on this machine is internet, watching videos on
    > youtube.com, NES emulation. I installed 10.3 the day I got it but gave
    > up trying to get things working after a few days.


    i'm on 32 bit openSUSE 10.3 with KDE3.5 and all of those things except
    NES emulation work flawlessly...but, it took installing the latest
    Flash, SUN Java, mplayer plugin and i'm don't really recall what else
    to get all of that working in Firefox 3.0.12

    well, it IS almost impossible to get some of the netbanks which run on
    M$ servers to play at all, much less nicely...ymmv

    AND, i'm afraid to even try to 'upgrade' to FF 3.5 (mine ain't broke, so!)


    > Also my Linux
    > knowledge is limited. I can start and stop stuff, basic DOS style
    > commands in a shell, but that is it.


    that puts you MILES ahead of many here..


    > Any help would be much appreciated.


    listen carefully to oldcpu..

    some others may appear more experienced than they really are...backup
    and take all necessary protective, track back measures you
    need....this is a _community_ of volunteer, not expertise vetted,
    individuals with wildly differing understandings of the inner workings
    of Merlin's magic..

    if you want a less fiddling, less beta and more stable, 8.2 type
    experience i'd recommend you look at and seriously consider
    SLED...http://www.novell.com/linux/

    caveat: i am not in any way connected with Novell and will receive NO
    compensation from same even if you buy 10,000 SLED licenses

    --
    goldie
    Note: Accuracy, completeness, legality, or usefulness of this posting
    may be illusive.

  6. #6
    trekkiejt NNTP User

    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    You could try working your way through the openSUSE audio troubleshooting guide:
    SDB:AudioTroubleshooting - openSUSE

    multimedia is easy, once you know how. Thats the trick. You need to use 11.1 rpms. And I'll show you how to do this, once we get sound working.
    Alright, I got the sound working. When I checked the installed packages alsaplayer was missing so I installed that and followed that guide a little ways. I deleted the old configuration with YaST and did a normal setup of the card and I now have sound.

    Ok, now how about the multimedia...

    P.S. I am not to woried about it being insecure. Up until a year ago I was using 8.2.
    Last edited by trekkiejt; 26-Aug-2009 at 23:30. Reason: spleling erors

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    Quote Originally Posted by trekkiejt View Post
    Alright, I got the sound working. When I checked the installed packages alsaplayer was missing so I installed that and followed that guide a little ways. I deleted the old configuration with YaST and did a normal setup of the card and I now have sound.
    Congratulations on sorting the sound. This will likely be easier in openSUSE-11.2 GM release, as it will have 1.0.20 of alsa in the 2.6.31 kernel.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekkiejt View Post
    Ok, now how about the multimedia...
    Please read this post: openSUSE Forums - View Single Post - sound problems on Gateway M-6874h

    The "trick" is only 4 repositories (OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman). Many users ignore that (despite my advice), and they end up with codecs from videolan in directories that Packman players do not look, plus other problems. So just those 4 repositories, and replace Novell/SuSE-GmbH packaged applications with Packman packaged applications.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: New Laptop + new SuSE = problems - help

    Quote Originally Posted by trekkiejt View Post
    I am not to woried about it being insecure. Up until a year ago I was using 8.2.
    Please do yourself a favor and go for openSUSE 11.1 instead of 10.3
    Chances are you would have met none of the hardware trouble: 11.1 was built around a much newer kernel, so more hardware supported.

    BTW: I like the username. Somewhere from our eastern parts of the country? ojokwoslust.
    ° Appreciate my reply? Click the star and let me know why.

    ° Perfection is not gonna happen. No way.

    http://en.opensuse.org/User:Knurpht
    http://nl.opensuse.org/Gebruiker:Knurpht

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