May
24
2009
2

Tweaking Linux and WINE for World of Warcraft

It’s great that the World of Warcraft runs well on recent editions of WINE(Unbuntu/Fedora), but even when using OpenGL the typical Linux user can expect a frame rate reduction from 15%-30% over Windows XP.  However, I must point out that there are many reports of frame rate drops in Windows Vista and Presumably Windows 7(because of virtualization of XP apps).

All this is okay for typical grinding, leveling, and five man instances.  That said,  my GeForce 7950 GTX is only cranking out 30 FPS in low populated zones…  So for the bigger raids, PVP, and highly populated zones like Dalaran it can be frustrating trying to pwn at 12-16 FPS.  In fact my mission is to get at least 40 fps with the graphics card I have.

I was able to improve my frame rate by disabling mods like ‘Questhelper’ in battle grounds.  I added additional RAM to my system.  Although the frame rate boost was negligible; loading times were cut in half. (more…)

May
19
2009
5

Microsoft and Novell bring Silverlight to Linux

I recently visited a local radio station kirotv.com(to hear the Mariners game) and the web site required Microsoft Silverlight to be installed for streaming audio.  It also noted that Silverlight was available for Apple OS X, Windows, and Linux.  Say that again?  Microsoft making multi-platform software?  Giving customers choice?  It sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely true.  Sorta, they are releasing the Linux version via an ‘Agreement not sue’ for downstream Novell customers.

The project is called, ‘Moonlight’.  When I went to download Silverlight from Microsofts website I was redirected to the Moonlight front page.  Moonlight is a part of the mono project.  The mono project is the Open Source version of ‘Active X’ sponored by Novell.  Microsoft has a sizable investment and co-marketing agreement with Novell, of whom is the distributor of SUSE Linux.

What is stange is that Microsoft doesn’t give an explicit agreement or license to use it’s ‘silverlight’ technology, instead it posted a covenant not to sue customers of Novell.  I’m not a lawyer but this seems odd to me.  Not to mention, that nobody really uses SUSE or Novell Linux; at least in terms of users and worker bee’s.

(more…)

May
14
2009
0

Over-Clocking an NVIDIA GPU on Linux

I’ve been playing the World of Warcraft on Fedora 10 for about two months now and I must say, I’m impressed.  The performance is close to Windows XP.  I dropped about 20%-30% of my frame rate in the process, but I don’t need to waste an entire(otherwise valuable) computer.  So it occurred to me that I might be able to squeeze a little more juice out of my Nvidia Geforce 7950 GT graphics card.

Goal of this Post:

– Enable overclocking for Nvidia graphics cards

It took me a bunch of tries to properly set this up.  Nvidia does not document this process; but with enough googling I pieced together the clues to make it happen.  First I want to mention that enabling ‘over clocking’ voids the warranty on all Nvidia cards,  So please be careful.  Locate your ‘xorg.conf’ file and open it with your favorite text editor.  In most cases this will be ‘/etc/X11/xorg.conf’.  Under the device section add:

Option         “coolbits” “1”

(more…)

May
13
2009
4

SOLVED: Real Player 11 Gold, ‘no sound’ issue with Fedora/Unbuntu

I like Real Player.  I like Real Networks too.  They use and support open source software.  They haven’t made the GPL leap yet, but at least Linux has a decent streaming media player because of them.  I was happy until a recent upgrade.

I was stumped on this one for a while.  I updated from Real Player 10 to 11 and then got no sound.  I uninstalled and tried the Real .bin package.  Same problem.  So I downgraded to Real Player 10, but again no sound(even though the player appears to be playing without error).

What made it worse was how lousy the support forum for Real Player on Linux is.  I mean it really sux.  The web design and support layout is okay, but there are no real answers to many of the post I looked at.  It was frustrating because there are many, many people experiencing the same problem.  I understand it’s free, but did anyone test it on Unbuntu and Fedora with different audio servers before release?  Right now, Unbuntu and Fedora use, PulseAudio, ALSA, and OSS.  Many times all of them at once, as to offer the most driver and application support.  Big oversight.

I tried OSS drivers with the same result:

Real Player 11 preferences

Real Player 11 preferences

(more…)

May
12
2009
0

Xen Dom0 and Paravirtualized guest reported to work in Fedora 11 Beta

Xen 3.0 Dom0 support reported to be working

Xen 3.0 Dom0 support reported to be working

Great news everyone! Fedora Weekly News, issue 175 reports successful Dom0 integration in Fedora 11 Beta.  Here is the quote I read today:

Pasi Kärkkäinen reports[1] success with a dom0 kernel using Fedora 11 Rawhide. “I’m able to run Xen paravirtual (PV) domUs, install new domUs using virt-install and also install and manage domains with virt-manager.”



The environment used was:



– Fedora 11 (rawhide as of 2009-05-05)
– Xen included in F11, no external patches (xen-3.3.1-11.fc11)
– xen-tip/next pv_ops dom0 kernel as of 2009-05-06, Linux 2.6.30-rc3.
– All the rest was standard stuff included in Fedora 11 as well

This is all coming sooner than I previously expected.  I’ll be following up on this story next week as I compile more information and try it myself.  Paravirtualized Operations provide a significant boost to guest Operating System performance and no project implements it better than Xen.  I’m glad to read that it is working in Fedora 11.

May
08
2009
0

Open a Luks encrypted file system

This post is just to remind me how to unlock my encrypted hard drive. It’s set to utilize the device mapper and mount to /home/matt/extra.

[root@mattcom1 ~]# cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda extra
Enter LUKS passphrase for /dev/sda:
key slot 0 unlocked.
Command successful.
You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root
[root@mattcom1 ~]# mount -t ext4 /dev/mapper/extra /home/matt/extra

Written by mattb in: Linux | Tags: , , , , ,
May
07
2009
0

How to make USB and DVD ROM drives work on Fedora 10

Lately, I’ve been working on Asterisk PBX related articles, but today we’re going to tackle a common problem with Fedora 10: getting drives to mount to the Desktop.  If you are experiencing trouble, the likely cause is that your current user, does not have permissions to access that hardware.  The reason for this has a lot to do with the security model of Linux.

In the old days computers came on large mainframes.  It was not practical for engineers and scientist to have their very own main frame, so Unix was designed to be a multi-user operating system.  Everyone connected their own keyboard & monitor.  The permission structure was set so only certain individual accounts could do certain things.  Like say, reboot a system or delete a database.

By contrast Microsoft Windows(thru XP) is a single user operating system.  In Windows you can create extra accounts, but any of those accounts can execute arbitrary code from anywhere in the file system (c:\\ drive).  Which is a big reason for the many attacks on Windows systems.

Recently my friend got a virus that made XP unbootable and stole his World of Warcraft account login and password.  The hacker then used that information to login to his account, change his password, and his accounts valid email address.  The hacker then sold all his gear and used his character to scam other people in bad trades.  The account became banned for “economic extortion” before my friend could get his Windows XP machine back up and running.  Now he runs WoW on WINE/Fedora 10.

An appeal to Blizzard got his account back after several days and many emails. My friend requested that they check the IP address of the hacker and compare that to his previous logins.  What if the virus had collected his bank account credentials instead?  In a way he got lucky.

Goals of this Post:

– correct authorizations in Fedora 10 and allow access to USB and DVD – ROM devices

It seems odd that someone would be unable to access a USB thumb drive on any modern desktop computer, but Red Hat the maker of Fedora Linux is far more interested in their commercial offering, Red Hat Enterprise Linux(RHEL).  They model RHEL development on previous versions of Fedora.  So desktop integration is obviously not their top priority; stability and security is.  This neglect has allowed rival Unbuntu Linux to come in and snatch up the Linux desktop market.  Big mistake Red Hat…  however with a little work we can make Fedora 10 desktop work well without them.

So to correct the permissions issue(from Gnome) start by clicking, System –> Preferences –> System –> Authorizations.  Fedora may ask you for your ‘root’ password.

fedora10-authorizations-usb

fedora10-authorizations-usb

Set access to allow anyone to mount and unmount USB and other devices!  I hope this helps.  It’s frustrating dealing with these little things, but hey, “it’s free”!  If it doesn’t take, leave a comment below and I’ll try to help.

May
04
2009
4

Asterisk 1.4.23 and Queuemetrics 1.5.2 fully support Dynamic Agent Login

The standard method of configuring users in Asterisk 1.2 and early 1.4 was to define an agent in the agents.conf configuration file.  This agent is tied to no particular phone or SIP extension.  When the Agent log’s in he is prompted for three things by the dial plan application, ‘AgentCallBackLogin()’:

1. Agent Number
2. Agent password(defined in agents.conf
3. Dial Back Extension

AgentCallBackLogin makes a lot of sense if CSR’s(Customer Service Representatives) switch phones frequently.  For some of my customers this is the case.  However, most of the Call Centers I’ve deployed have assigned seating.

So I commonly get the question,  “Is it possible to have ‘one touch login/logout’ for my agents?”  The sad answer is no.  It’s a valid question; for agents that never leave their desk why do they need to enter three prompts to login?

(more…)