Friday, May 20, 2011

Enabling Clickpad of Probook 4420s on Linux Mint 10 Solved

Linux Mint which is based on Ubuntu, uses most of the Ubuntu's repositories for its update. The problem that has been detected on most of the laptops (mostly HPs) is regarding the Clickpad. Though the touchpad and left click buttons work, but the right click has a major issue. I have got a HP Probook 4420s on which basic features like vertical & horizontal scrolling, right click, click & drag are quite troublesome. Though my lappy has got awesomely weird touchpad, I tried to find out a work around for the clickpad issue. After googling for the issue, I found a patch psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2 and a fix for ubuntu 10.10. As the patch name suggests a kernel 2.6.35-22 which was released with ubuntu 10.10. I was completely unsure of it's working on Linux Mint 10. After giving it a try, it WORKED!!! Though I am not die-hard touchpad/clickpad fan (not atleast on my lappy), the work around seems to work well.

Moreover though the support provided by ubuntu is bit flaky for the clickpads, but due to some packages called dkms (upgrades the kernel modules without replacing the whole of it) & build-essential (compiles packages from source) the kernel modules can be rebuilt. Which in simpler terms means that patch just needs to be repatched after the upgradation of the OS/kernel. Thanks to ubuntu for leaving some space in there (the kernel), which has made some complex issues to be resolved efforlessly.

Here are some steps (not so effortless with creepy unix commands) that I managed to workout for the issue commonly prevalent in Linux Mint 10 on HP Probook 4420s.

1. First of all install dkms & build-essential which are most essential.

sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential

2. Download the patch psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2 from here

3. Extract it to whichever location you want to.

tar jxvf psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic-patched.tar.bz2

4. Now copy the extracted folder to /usr/src/

sudo cp -r psmouse-2.6.35-22-generic /usr/src

5. Move to /usr/src/

cd /usr/src

6. psmouse module installation

sudo dkms add -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
sudo dkms install -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic

The installation will be successfuly completed like the below mentioned screenshot

After the installation is complete rebooting the machine is necessary and that is all we had to do. Now after rebooting the clickpad should be working normal (like a clickpad which works after clicks)

We can anytime confirm if the pmouse module is installed.

sudo dkms status -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic


psmouse, 2.6.35-22-generic, 2.6.35-22-generic, i686: installed

If installing the module doesnt work or may be if you just hate the patch for some reason (clickpad wont hate you back), you can uninstall it. Or if you want to reinstall it, first uninstall the module with the help of below mentioned steps.

sudo dkms uninstall -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic
sudo dkms remove -m psmouse -v 2.6.35-22-generic --all

I have upgraded to ubuntu 11.04, and found that HP Probook 4420s clickpad bug has been almost fixed. The least basic multi-touch is working. Though when I want to right-click my mouse I have to do it with two fingers (i.e. One on touchpad and the other has to click right-click button). Also touchpad seems bit less jumpy now. Everything else seems to work fine like edge/horizontal scrolling, two finger scrolling. Unfortunately its lacking in pinch to zoom and some more multitouch features, but that doesnt make much difference (not atleast to me). Hence, I decided to uninstall the psmouse module which is currently not supported on Ubuntu 11.04.
Thats the end of the story of psmouse which was quite popular due to Ubuntu 10.04/10. This guide has solved my problem on Linux Mint 10 but still it hasnt helped me sparing my mouse on Ubuntu 11.04 either, I hope someone will find it helpful.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Setting up ssh on Oracle Solaris 10

Setting up ssh on Oracle Solaris 10

Before configuring ssh, one should confirm if both the machines can ping each other.
Here we have two Solaris 10 machines with hostnames sclus1 & sclus2

Configuring /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Using ssh-keygen utility to generate, manage, and convert authentication keys

Reboot the machine
bash-3.00# init 6

Using secure copy to transfer public key file to remote server (sclus2)

Create a file named authorized_keys under /.ssh and copy the contents of public key file to authorized_keys in remote server (sclus2).

Same should be the applied procedure to be followed for the other node too (if in case the other node also requires ssh login)

Verifying ssh login



Now both the nodes can ssh each other without asking for any password.

Note: It is not recommended to do so untill and unless you are sure about it. Normally it is done within clusters using private interconnect.

Saturday, May 07, 2011



Recently on a tryst to Solaris 10, I got hooked up to a Sun StorEdgeTek 3510FC which again hooked up to a SunFire V490 Server. Well, according to the logs it said that the battery in the storage was expired since 2009. The site was just like a junk yard, all wires PCBs scattered all over the place. It would have been tough if it would not have been a 3510FC, because the battery module in it is hot-swappable (really life risking job that was with all open electrical wires creeping into the live production servers). I seriously doubt of it being a datacenter of a well known company of our country. Well, besides avoiding myself getting twisted by one of those wires, I managed few steps to complete my task and escape as soon as possible.

  1. Taken full backup of the system.
  2. Made sure that all the applications are down.
  1. Noted down all the serial number and part number of new battery.
  2. Located the battery module on the back side of the storage.
  1. On the remote pc (inside the datacenter) through putty I logged into the required server.
  2. Took the screenshot of sccli> show battery-status

ksh# sccli
sccli: selected device /dev/rdsk/c6t600C0FF0000000000B52745103DE2D51600d0s2 [SUN StorEdge 3510 SN#0B5274]
sccli> show battery-status
Upper Battery Type: 1
Upper Battery Manufacturing Date: Sat Jul 21 00:00:00 2007
Upper Battery Placed In Service: Fri Aug 17 12:40:41 2007
Upper Battery Expiration Date: Mon Aug 17 00:40:41 2009
Upper Battery Expiration Status: Expired

sccli: retrieving battery status: error: not an existing target

Upper Battery Hardware Status: OK
Lower Battery Hardware Status: N/A

    7.  Checked the storage ip
sccli> show ip
  1. Manually I set the ip of my laptop in the same range as that of the storage ip.
  2. Unscrewed the battery module from the back side of the storage.
  1. Replaced the battery with a new one.
  1. Connected the storage with the laptop with a cross cable.
  2. Opened putty to login into the storage ip. This asked me for a password. In my case password was blank.
  3. This opened up a text-based tool that showed the battery charging status. Now I waited for approx two hours for it to charge. Also I had confirmed the charging status by having a look at the LED status. (blinking indicates charging & solid green glow indicates that the battery is fully charged)
  1. Again on remote computer I hit “sccli> show battery-status”. It may ask for upgrading the battery expiry date & time. But in my case nothing snapped in or popped up. So, eventually I had to type “sccli> show battery-status –u” on the terminal.

sccli> show battery-status
Upper Battery Type: 1
Upper Battery Manufacturing Date: Tue Apr 6 00:00:00 2010
Upper Battery Placed In Service: Mon May 2 22:49:35 2011
Upper Battery Expiration Date: Fri Apr 5 18:00:00 2013
Upper Battery Expiration Status: OK

sccli: retrieving battery status: error: not an existing target
Upper Battery Hardware Status: OK
Lower Battery Hardware Status: N/A
  1. Note down the serial no and part no of the old battery (they are needed to fill up the Oracle PRT).

Because it was just a Sun Storage, it necessary that we have to be thorough with the crappy UNIX commands. Well its not that tough once we get through with them. Believe they are much more friendlier than the GUI.

Micromax MMX 352G USB 3G Modem with BSNL 2G/3G SIM on Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal)

Micromax MMX 352G USB 3G Modem with BSNL 2G/3G SIM on Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal)

Micromax deserves some praise for the kind of job they have done in bundling the MMX 352G USB 3G Modem with dialler applications. Though they need to work out on focussing their attention on the Linux users too. The modem works smoothly on windows without any hassles. Whereas in Ubuntu 11.04 it has some driver issues. There's hardly any document that provides the specific documentation.

I tried my best for not being a die-hard & ardent fan (which I am not certainly) of linux and found a layman's quick-fix solution for this. Sakis-3g is cute little tool that anyone can use on linux. Here are a few steps for installing Sakis-3g.
  1. Download Sakis-3g from Sakis-3g website directly (thanks to google for providing its kind helping hand).
  2. I extracted it to my home folder.
  3. Enter “$ sudo chmod +x sakis3g
  4. Enter “$ sudo .//sakis3g helper balloons &
Then I connected my Micromax usb modem to my laptop and waited patiently for a miracle to happen. Well nothing strange happened but this brought up a linux trademark holding usb removable disk on the upper panel of my desktop (which I wasnt very happy to see it untill i got really connected). Now sakis3g was working as it popped up message detecting my modem. On clicking the icon it brought up a menu driven tool. Hastily I clicked on “Connect with 3G”
Voila!!! And I did it. Pretty easy stuff.

Though I can get connected to internet with good speeds, but still I am too lazy to type that command (which is not always so user-friendly) each and every time I want to access www. I had to get a permanent fix on this problem. With some help from google, I managed figure out some driver fixes that could fix this issue permanently (i.e. Due to my little liking to linux/unix).
Well, I have worked out few easy steps to get connected to internet (its pretty hard to survive without it). 'Copy-paste' can make things (like shell commands) look bit less creepy.
  1. I made sure if I have got usb-modeswitch & wvdial packages installed on my system in the 'synaptic pakage manager' from System > Administration drop down menu in the menu bar.
    Still I checked if there was any latest update available for the above listed packages by typing below mentioned commands in my not-so-friendly gnome terminal.
    Enter “$ sudo apt-get install usb-modeswitch
    Enter “$ sudo apt-get install wvdial
  1. Enter “$ watch lsusb
    And the output showed some crap that resembled something like this
    Bus 002 Device 006: ID 1c9e:f000
    After few seconds it showed
    Bus 002 Device 007: ID 1c9e:9605
    Where, 1c9e is the vendor id and f000 & 9605 are the product ids of the usb modem before and after switching. That is f000 is the default product id & 9605 is the target product id.
  2. After confirming the outputs, I made some tweaks in usb-modeswitch configuration files as below
    Enter “$ sudo gedit /lib/udev/rules.d/40-usb_modeswitch.rules
    The file opened in gedit. There I had to enter some text below the line that said
    It looks something like this :-
    #Micromax MMX352G USB 3G MODEM
    ATTRS{idVendor}=="1c9e", ATTRS{idProduct}=="9605", RUN+="usb_modeswitch '%b/%k'"
    Had to save and then exit the editor.
  3. Then I copied the default configuration file to a new configuration file that would help our modem to switch and act like a true modem.
    Enter “$ sudo cp /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/1c9e\:9200 /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/1c9e\:9605
  4. Editing one more usb_modeswitch configuration file brought me one step closer to the edge.
    Enter “$ sudo gedit /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/1c9e\:9605
    Here's the ouput of the file.

    # Micromax MMX 352G USB 3G Modem
    DefaultVendor= 0x1c9e
    TargetVendor= 0x1c9e
    TargetProduct= 0x9605
  1. Now finally we have to work out with usbserial module (that is what drivers are referred to in UNIX)
    Enter “$ sudo gedit /etc/modules
    Add the below mentioned line at the end of the file.
    usbserial vendor=0x1c9e product=0x9605
  1. Rebooted the machine curiously.

That is all. Configuration of devices was complete.

Now, after the machine rebooted, I plugged in the usb modem and waited for around half a minute.

  1. Back to GUI by clicking on the Network Manager Applet on the top panel, a list of available connections came through a drop down menu.
  2. Among these I clicked on New Mobile Broadband (GSM) Connection.
  3. The New Broadband Connection Wizard popped up. Clicked on the “Forward” button.
  4. I had to select India (Wonderful place where I live). Clicked on “Forward” (Pretty easy).
  5. Selected “BSNL/Cellone” from the list of service providers. Again a click happened.
  6. Selected “BSNL/CellOne Old East Zone Prepaid (Jharkhand, Bihar, Kolkata, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, North East, Adman Nicobar)” from the list of plans that were available and clicked on “Forward” & then “Apply”.
  7. Connection Configuration window will appear where I selected “Connect Automatically” under Connection Name. Entered “*99#” in front of number and entered “bsnlnet” in front of APN. Finally “Save”.

Finally, done with all clicking which quite effortless. Nothing seemed to appear for some time, but then automatically the Network Manager Applet selected my configured connection. That is all I had to do. Time to have the sweet fruit of my tireless effort.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Unity Desktop Removal in Ubuntu 11.04

April 29th I upgraded my lappy to Ubuntu 11.04. Looks kind of funky. As I was way too used to the Ubuntu desktop, it seemed quite unlikely on my part to just let it go. Moreover, the upgrade was very smooth as usual, but the most uncanny thing about it was it's Unity Desktop which looks bit wayward and is set to default. It wasnt easy for me to go with it (though I tried hard to cope up and get adapted to it). Libre Office has its first release with Ubuntu 11.04. There are few more new applications like Banshee Media Player & Byobu Terminal and many more that have come bundled with 11.04.

Here are a few steps that I tried to get rid of Unity Desktop and bring back my good old Gnome.
  1. Launch the terminal from the pop-up menu that mysteriously appears from nowhere by just moving the mouse to the extreme right of the desktop
  2. Enter “$ sudo apt-get --auto-remove purge unity*
  3. Enter “$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
  4. Reboot

After rebooting the machine the system doesnt find the Unity (crappy) and hence displays a message saying the drivers not found. So it was absolutely normal for me to okay it.

And now I have got THE DESKTOP that works.