Posts Tagged ‘intel’

xorg on Toshiba Satellite L40 14B with Intel GM965 video hangs up after boot and the worst fix ever / How to reinstall Ubuntu by keeping the old personal data and programs

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Reading Time: 4minutes

black screen ubuntu troubles

I have updated Ubuntu version 9.04 (Jaunty) to 9.10 and followed the my previous post update ubuntu from 9.04 to Latest Ubuntu

I expected that a step by step upgrade from a release to release will work like a charm and though it does on many notebooks it doesn't on Toshiba Satellite L40

The update itself went fine, whether I used the update-manager -d and followed the above pointed tutorial, however after a system restart the PC failed to boot the X server properly, a completely blank screen with blinking cursor appeared and that was all.

I restarted the system into the 2.6.35-28-generic kernel rescue-mode recovery kernel in order to be able to enter into physical console.

Logically the first thing I did is to check /var/log/messages and /var/log/Xorg.0.log but I couldn't find nothing unusual or wrong there.

I suspected something might be wrong with /etc/X11/xorg.conf so I deleted it:

ubuntu:~# rm -f /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and attempted to re-create the xorg.conf X configuration with command:

ubuntu:~# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

This command was reported to be the usual way to reconfigure the X server settings from console, but in my case (for unknown reasons) it did nothing.

Next the command which was able to re-generate the xorg.conf file was:

ubuntu:~# X -configure

The command generates a xorg.conf sample file in /root/xorg.conf.* so I used the conf to put it in /etc/X11/xorg.conf X's default location and restarted in hope that this would fix the non-booting issue.

Very sadly again the black screen of death appeared on the notebook toshiba screen.
I further thought of completely wipe out the xorg.conf in hope that at least it might boot without the conf file but this worked out neither.

I attempted to run the Xserver with a xorg.conf configured to work with vesa as it's well known vesa X server driver is supposed to work on 99% of the video cards, as almost all of them nowdays are compatible with the vesa standard, but guess what in my case vesa worked not!

The only version of X I can boot in was the failsafe X screen mode which is available through the grub's boot menu recovery mode.

Further on I decided to try few xorg.conf which I found online and were reported to work fine with Intel GM965 internal video , and yes this was also unsucessful.

Some of my other futile attempts were: to re-install the xorg server with apt-get, reinstall the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver e.g.:

ubuntu:~# apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-video-intel

As nothing worked out I was completely pissed off and decided to take an alternative approach which will take a lot of time but at least will probably be succesful, I decided to completely re-install the Ubuntu from a CD after backing up the /home directory and making a list of available packages on the system, so I can further easily run a tiny bash one-liner script to install all the packages which were previously existing on the laptop before the re-install:

Here is how I did it:

First I archived the /home directory:

ubuntu:/# tar -czvf home.tar.gz home/

For 12GB of data with some few thousands of files archiving it took about 40 minutes.

The tar spit archive became like 9GB and I hence used sftp to upload it to a remote FTP server as I was missing a flash drive or an external HDD where I can place the just archived data.

Uploading with sftp can be achieved with a command similar to:

Connected to
sftp> put home.tar.gz

As a next step to backup in a file the list of all current installed packages, before I can further proceed to boot-up with the Ubuntu Maverich 10.10 CD and prooceed with the fresh install I used command:

for i in $(dpkg -l| awk '{ print $2 }'); do
echo $i; done >> my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt

Once again I used sftp as in above example to upload my_current_update_packages.txt file to my FTP host.

After backing up all the stuff necessery, I restarted the system and booted from the CD-rom with Ubuntu.
The Ubuntu installation as usual is more than a piece of cake and even if you don't have a brain you can succeed with it, so I wouldn't comment on it 😉

Right after the installation I used the sftp client once again to fetch the home.tar.gz and my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt

I placed the home.tar.gz in /home/ and untarred it inside the fresh /home dir:

ubuntu:/home# tar -zxvf home.tar.gz

Eventually the old home directory was located in /home/home so thereon I used Midnight Commander ( the good old mc text file explorer and manager ) to restore the important user files to their respective places.

As a last step I used the my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt in combination with a tiny shell script to install all the listed packages inside the file with command:

ubuntu:~# for i in $(cat my_current_ubuntu_packagespackages.txt); do
apt-get install --yes $i; sleep 1;

You will have to stay in front of the computer and manually answer a ncurses interface questions concerning some packages configuration and to be honest this is really annoying and time consuming.

Summing up the overall time I spend with this stupid Toshiba Satellite L40 with the shitty Intel GM965 was 4 days, where each day I tried numerous ways to fix up the X and did my best to get through the blank screen xserver non-bootable issue, without a complete re-install of the old Ubuntu system.
This is a lesson for me that if I stumble such a shitty issues I will straight proceed to the re-install option and not loose my time with non-sense fixes which would never work.

Hope the article might be helpful to somebody else who experience some problems with Linux similar to mine.

After all at least the Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is really good looking in general from a design perspective.
What really striked me was the placement of the close, minimize and maximize window buttons , it seems in newer Ubuntus the ubuntu guys decided to place the buttons on the left, here is a screenshot:

Left button positioning of navigation Buttons in Ubuntu 10.10

I believe the solution I explain, though very radical and slow is a solution that would always work and hence worthy 😉
Let me hear from you if the article was helpful.

Strained day

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Reading Time: 2minutes
Yesterday the day was quite strained. We were prepairing for few weeks to host the new website of pozvanete.bgcreated by our firm Design.BG, so yesterday in 9:40, our project manager has called and said’s DNSrecord is already changed to point to our server, but there is a problem while opensnormally, opens DBG’s 404 error page. I remembered that this is due to a configuration of theserver cause there was some SEO stuff in the past on the server, so I was able to fix the problem quickly.The problems started to come after that. The machine where we hosted the site (and it was the only site there was1.6ghz AMD with 1 giga of RAM). Unfortunately 30 minutes after it started to open from our server I observed themachine’s cpu stays idle 0.0 all the time and the site responds very slowly to browser requests. I tried to tinkerit changing things from the webserver configuration file with no luck. I spoke with my boss explained him the situationso he decided we’ll move the site on another machine which is ( 3.0 Ghz Intel ), and the next week we’ll move the siteagain to a rack machine colocated in Sofia in Evo Link. It took a lot of conversations over the phone and talk with Vladibefore we moved completely the site on the new machine before that I have to recompile the machine’s current httpd and php to match the requirements of the site but Praise the Lord in the everything went smoothly and we were able to move the site completely the site to the new location. I’ve speak with Pozvanete’s administrator to change the DNS records to point to the new machine and in 6:00 o’clock the site could be seen from the new server. In the mean time Bobb has bought an IBM rack he quickly packed it and send it to Sofia. Among all this a lot of collegues from the office found me urgent work, I got a complaint about a problem with the mails of propertyinvestld the guy claimed our webmail sent the .doc files as winmail.dat which as I suspected was not true. But Praise the Lord everything went smoothly in the end. In 8:00 o’clock we go out of home with Nomen and decided to go to the Mino’s coffee to see Sami cause he’s has come back from Sofia. Mino’s coffee was a lot of fuller than usual, and it was very smoky, Tsetso speak a lot about art and history as usual, I was bored as usual etc. etc.After that we had the idea to watch a film in Nomen’s home but my Aunt called and said if I have time it will be good to see my grandma cause she is not feeling well (they made her eye surgery 3 days ago). I went to his home and stayed with her it’s awful she is such a nice lady and she’s suffering so much. She said how bad she felt nobody went to the hospital to see her for 3 days ( First I was angry to my mother .. then I calmed down ). I realized all the world is in birth pains as written in the Bible so I praid a lot to the Creator to have mercy over my grandma. Then I tried reading The Bible for some time but I was too sleepy and I went to bed. END—–

How to convert Ogg Video (.ogv) to Flash video (.flv) on Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1minute
ffmpeg is the de-facto standard for Video conversion on Linux and BSD platforms. I was more than happy to find out that ffmpeg is capable of converting an .ogv file format to .flv (Flash compressed Video).
Ogg Vorbis Video to Flash’s conversion on Linux is a real piece of cake with ffmpeg .
Here is how to convert .ogv to .flv:

debian:~# ffmpeg -i ogg_vorbis_video_to_convert_.ogv converted_ogg_vorbis_video_to_flash_video.flv

Conversion of a 14MB ogg vorbis video to flv took 28 seconds, the newly produced converted_ogg_vorbis_video_to_flash_video.flv has been reduced to a size of 9MB. This is on a system with 2 GB of memory and dual core 1.8 Ghz intel CPU.

How to solve qmail /usr/local/bin/tcpserver: failed to map segment from shared object: Cannot allocate memory

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes
If you’re building (compiling) a new qmail server on some Linux host and after properly installing the qmail binaries and daemontools, suddenly you notice in readproctitle service errors: or somewhere in in qmail logs for instance in/var/log/qmail/current the error:

/usr/local/bin/tcpserver: error while loading shared libraries: failed to map segment from shared object: Cannot allocate memory

then you have hit a bug caused by insufficient memory assigned for tcpserver in your /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd/run daemontools qmail-smtpd initialize script:

This kind of issue is quite common especially on hardware architectures that are 64 bit and on Linux installations that are amd65 (x86_64) e.g. run 64 bit version of Linux.

It relates to the 64 bit architecture different memory distribution and thus as I said to solve requires increase in memory softlimit specified in the run script an example good qmail-smtpd run script configuration which fixed the failed to map segment from shared object: Cannot allocate memory I use currently is as follows:

#!/bin/shQMAILDUID=`id -u vpopmail`NOFILESGID=`id -g vpopmail`MAXSMTPD=`cat /var/qmail/control/concurrencyincoming`# softlimit changed from 8000000exec /usr/local/bin/softlimit -m 32000000 /usr/local/bin/tcpserver -v -H -R -l 0 -x /home/vpopmail/etc/tcp.smtp.cdb -c "$MAXSMTPD"
-u "$QMAILDUID" -g "$NOFILESGID" 0 smtp
/home/vpopmail/bin/vchkpw /bin/true 2>&1

The default value which was for softlimit was:

exec /usr/local/bin/softlimit -m 8000000

A good softlimit raise up values which in most cases were solving the issue for me are:

exec /usr/local/bin/softlimit -m 3000000

or exec /usr/local/bin/softlimit -m 4000000

The above example run configuration fixed the issue on a amd64 debian 5.0 lenny install, the server hardware was:

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU @ 2.93GHz
System Memory: 4GB
HDD Disk space: 240GB

The softlimit configuration which I had to setup on another server with system parameters:

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU (8 CPUS) @ 2.80GHz
System Memory: 8GB
HDD Disk Space: 1.4Terabytes

is as follows:

QMAILDUID=`id -u vpopmail`
NOFILESGID=`id -g vpopmail`
MAXSMTPD=`cat /var/qmail/control/concurrencyincoming`
exec /usr/bin/softlimit -m 64000000
/usr/local/bin/tcpserver -v -H -R -l 0
-x /home/vpopmail/etc/tcp.smtp.cdb -c "$MAXSMTPD"
-u "$QMAILDUID" -g "$NOFILESGID" 0 smtp
/home/vpopmail/bin/vchkpw /bin/true 2>&1

If none of the two configurations pointed out in the post works, for you just try to manually set up the exec /usr/bin/softlimit -m to some high value.

To assure that the newly set value is not producing the same error you will have to, reload completely the daemontools proc monitor system.
To do so open /etc/inittab comment out the line:


Save again /etc/inittab and issue te cmd:

linux:~# init q

Now again open /etc/inittab and uncomment the commented line:

#SV:123456:respawn:/command/svscanboot to

Lastly reload the inittab script once again with command:

linux:~# init q

To check if the error has disappeared check the readproctitle process, like so:

linux:~# ps ax|grep -i readproctitle

The command output should produce something like:

3070 ? S 0:00 readproctitle service errors: .......................................

Hope that helps.