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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Finally....it's Puppy!
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mrpectate


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 23:35    Post subject:  Finally....it's Puppy!  

Hello from an xtreme linux n00b. I have been trying to find a distro that would run on an old Inspiron 3500 p2-300/ 256mb ram laptop for my sis. The great challenge has been to set it up with a newer distro, supporting wireless internet access, without slowing the darn thing to a crawl. I have performed countless CD/ network installations over the course of 4 or 5 months. Many, many hours, without really knowing anything about Linux.

I have finally found what is nearly the perfect distro for this machine: Puppy. Wireless works, plenty of pups to get, and it runs pretty zippy! I am finally excited about all my toil. I'm having trouble with the sound (NeoMagic NM3298 - e.g. snd-nm256) but I have noticed that the OSS driver is now free. I don't know how to OSS yet, but ALSA leaves me no choice. Also the video seems unaccelerated when viewing text/ browsing the web. Painfully slow rendering when scrolling up or down.

Hopefully, when I get these issues resolved, and if I can figure out what I did, I think I'll try to put up a step by step for other people in my shoes. I haven't been able to find much to fix these specifics.

Puppy's amazing...but it's just not fetchin' for me yet Confused

P.S. Thanks to all the people who took the time to help others here in this forum (where I just spent the whole day again; literally, ugh). Without you, I wouldn't be as far as I am right now Very Happy
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bostonvaulter


Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 00:08    Post subject:  

For video acceleration you can try 3DCC http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=93074
By default puppy doesn't use your video card at all.

Unfortunately, I can't help you with your sound problem because I have no experience with it.

I'm curious, what other distros did you try and how did you discover Puppy?

Glad you're enjoying Puppy so much, hope you get everything sorted out and welcome to the kennels. Very Happy

Jason

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mrpectate


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 20:24    Post subject:  

Wow..thanks for the info bostonvaulter! I didn't realize that. I thought xorg had acceleration and xvesa didn't. (Shows how confused I am Embarassed )

Here are all (I think all) of the distros I installed:
Wolvix, Slax, DSL, Feather Linux, Zenwalk, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Vector Linux, Sam Linux, MCN Live, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Gentoo, Elive, Kwort, KateOS, PLD, OpenSUSE, Super OpenSUSE (Slick), Dream Linux, FreeBSD, SaxenOS, Arch (wtf?), Knoppix, Mutagenix, Austrumi, Crux, Yoper, Kanotix, Frenzy, and last but not least, Debian. Oh, and various versions of most of them! I'm sure that someone who knew what they were doing could have tricked any of these out to run fine. KateOS was almost in there, but everytime I "broke" something, yup...another 1.5 hour install.

These are all very fine distros that alot of thought, talent, and hard work went into, as is always the case with Linux, but recall the limited machine. It's been a grueling whatever it was; day after day, month after month of eyestrain, falling asleep during late night installs, PC burnout, etc. All in all, it was totally worth it. I can now say, without reservation, that I know a little more than I used to Razz

I always knew "of" Puppy and its' derivatives, but I just didn't get it. It wasn't a real install, was it? How could that work? How would I tell someone to find their "stuff" if it was lost? Backup? What? Thanks to these here "kennels" and their inhabitants, I see the reasons that Puppy is a great, secure OS that is worthy of trust. Soon I will "finally" deliver this old beast to my sis. I've already informed her that she is going to do a fresh install (with a little guidance) so she can see how much sense it makes. This will allow her to truly appreciate Puppy. Like me, I know she'll be excited. Like she really has something special.

Not just an OS...more like a companion Wink
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2007, 00:24    Post subject:  

Quote:
I thought xorg had acceleration and xvesa didn't.

Xorg supports acceleration, but it doesn't have to use it. I think Puppy tries to load a built-in driver that would add some accelleration, but if it doesn't it will load the vesa driver, and probably be comperable to Xvesa. If you install the drivers from 3DCC, you can get much better acceleration.

But I'm no expert or anything, so I could be mistaken.

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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2007, 01:14    Post subject:  

mrpectate wrote:

Here are all (I think all) of the distros I installed:
Wolvix, Slax, DSL, Feather Linux, Zenwalk, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Vector Linux, Sam Linux, MCN Live, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Gentoo, Elive, Kwort, KateOS, PLD, OpenSUSE, Super OpenSUSE (Slick), Dream Linux, FreeBSD, SaxenOS, Arch (wtf?), Knoppix, Mutagenix, Austrumi, Crux, Yoper, Kanotix, Frenzy, and last but not least, Debian.


That is quite a list Smile

We all have a story. Here is mine.
http://tmxxine.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakka=BetterVista

and here is some light reading for your sister . . . http://tmxxine.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakka=PuppyLinux

Smile

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jonyo

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2727

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2007, 14:30    Post subject:  

I may be missing something here & not sure what pup ver is being used(?) or if it matters Confused

On my desktop 2.15 live cd, if i run in xorg, things are fine but if i run in xvesa, I get "painfully slow rendering" on scrolling.

Last edited by jonyo on Thu 19 Apr 2007, 23:32; edited 1 time in total
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2007, 17:22    Post subject:  

Xvesa has no hardware acceleration. I assume Xorg uses at least limited acceleration by default, and it can certainly be expanded. I know Puppy automatically sets it up to use the built-in ati drivers for my card when I do a fresh boot, although I generally upgrade to more full-featured drivers with 3DCC.

So, just to clarify once more:
Xorg: Support for acceleration.
Xvesa: NO support for acceleration.

Really, the main reason we even bother keeping Xvesa is that some hardware just won't work with Xorg. On the other hand, some stuff requires Xorg, like my Wacom tablet and graphics drivers. So, we've got both.

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mrpectate


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr 2007, 22:43    Post subject:  

Everyone
Thanks for the info on 3DCC along with the Xorg/Xvesa clarifications. I REALLY do appreciate the help and links!
It's been 2 days and sorry I just haven't had time to try 3DCC yet. (stupid work and earnin' money and junk!)

jonyo
I'm using Puppy 2.15 Community Edition, and I'm looking at this:
hda1 - Frugal install files
hda2 - 512mb swap
hda3 - pup_save
hda4 - personal storage (junk drawer?)

Lobster
I can't wait to read about how you became a penguin.
I really go for that stuff Cool
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mouldy


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 498

PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr 2007, 22:08    Post subject:  

Inspirion 3500 is Dells version of a generic laptop sold under many names. There is a Compaq version and many no-name versions. I've got one called a "WIN". Yea I never heard of the brand either. However since it was sold under so many names, info isnt too hard to find. Dell even offers a downloadable SERVICE manual.

As to the sound card, that thing is a bugger. From reading, it worked under OSS in 2.2 kernel. Needed the proprietary OSS driver under 2.4 kernel. Nobody much mentions the 2.6 kernel. Though some have got it working under ALSA by letting ALSA probe for legacy cards, apparently one of the CS modules will let it function. At least some say that it works, I tried but failed. It would probe and install the CS4231 module and the mixer would show on reboot, but volume wasnt adjustable. Alsamixer via commandline would let me adjust volume but still no sound. I've run across somebody's webpage that claims you need to customize audio in the bios for it to work. Will try his settings soon and if they work post back.
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mrpectate


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu 19 Apr 2007, 23:50    Post subject:  

Thanks mouldy. That's an interesting lead...maybe there is some hope then Very Happy

It seems that everything is just a generic product these days Confused
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mouldy


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 498

PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr 2007, 00:32    Post subject:  

Ok, I have sound. Let ALSAconf probe for SB8 card (untick all the boxes for other possible legacy cards) and install the module. Not loud sound and not real great sound, but in a quiet room you can hear it ok. If you really want any performance, probably need to plug in amplified external speakers.

I imagine there are better ways to do this, but this at least lets Puppy bark.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr 2007, 13:33    Post subject:  

Run alsamixer from the commandline and try tweaking the volume. On my computer, that's the only way I can bring up my sound. Xtmix used to handle it (I think), but Zmixer doesn't. I haven't tried Pmixer yet, but I suspect it will work.
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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 4441
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr 2007, 19:33    Post subject:  

mouldy wrote:
Ok, I have sound. Let ALSAconf probe for SB8 card (untick all the boxes for other possible legacy cards) and install the module. Not loud sound and not real great sound, but in a quiet room you can hear it ok.

I've had this problem on one or two older Dell PC's that have onboard sound. Opening Puppy Sound Mixer from the menu allowed me to tweak the line input and gain options which strangely seemed to give me a more acceptable level of sound. Don't know or understand why that is, but it worked.

Hope that helps.

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mouldy


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 498

PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr 2007, 20:28    Post subject:  

I did the alsamixer, it helped marginally if at all. Even having tv on in background drowns out the sound, but indeed there is sound with SB8. I wonder why nobody just tweaked with the SB8 module to get louder output when used with the neomagic chip set since otherwise it seems to work fine. Yes, 8bit driver but still for the tiny laptop speakers you arent going to get super duper quality no matter what.
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jonyo

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2727

PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr 2007, 20:31    Post subject:    

Dunno what the diff may be in regards to sound aps between ver 2.12 to 2.15 but up to now, I've had no sound on this desktop.

Loaded 2.15 & voila. Woof Woof Exclamation Laughing

Luv it when that happens; no fuss, no muss Cool
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