I am a dyed in a wool Ubuntu user as far as desktop systems go but I haven’t always been. I used to use Mandriva, and before that SuSE, and before that Slackware but I happened onto Ubuntu and my “I may be a geek but I am a lazy geek” streak kicked in. I have been very satisfied with apt and the Synaptic interface. In face other than for my love of tweaking my OS I would have the most stable desktop/laptop of anyone I know…after an Ubuntu install of course. Now don’t get me wrong Ubuntu took getting used to. I was a KDE fanatic for the longest time and KUbuntu is the red-headed stepchild of the Ubuntu family. But then the KDE folks went and crapped out the 4.x line and killed my love for KDE so Ubuntu was just about perfect. Not was – is. I still love it. Which is why I cannot answer the question: Why did I spend hours trying to get OpenSuSE 11.2 running on a Dell M4400 over the past couple of days?
First off everything didn’t work out of the box. The resolution for the install isn’t supported all the way through so a black screen and multiple reboots didn’t help me fall in love. Well I got past that and since I am a Linux nerd I won’t let a little install weirdness stop me. Then I went to set up my development environment and the version of Eclipse in the repos is Ganymede…ARGH! I won’t bore you with the details but I need Galileo for what I am doing. A manual install worked of course but for the repo to be that out of date on a brand new release is upsetting. Now I went with the defaults during install in hopes that a properly integrated KDE 4.x wouldn’t suck. I was wrong. The first time it tried to update it was a morass of pop-ups telling me the update widget had, for all intents and purposes, dropped a deuce all over itself. Nothing I did would drag the desktop out of what looked a pornado minus the porn. Pop-up after pop-up after pop-up after pop-up…well you get the picture. Still soldiering on I rebooted and did the initial update via YAST which worked. Of course none of this takes into account the fact I have to allow KWallet to be opened twice, even with remember password checked, just to connect to my passwordless WIFI which is an annoyance I don’t feel like troubleshooting at this point.
Now all of this would be alright if the KDE 4.x widgets didn’t randomly crash and I do mean randomly. Then today after all of that I was home sick from the office. I wanted to surf the web just a little bit, maybe watch the video of Barney Frank mouth off about changing the Senate rules so they can cram health care down our throats, but that wasn’t in the cards. Flash simply refused to work at all. I googled and found various solutions but none that made sense or addressed the issue of flash, from the official OpenSuSE blessed install source, not freaking working out of the box on a fully updated system. I went to install my favorite terminal program, Terminator, to try and fix the problem and it wasn’t in the repos at all. Well after so many straws a camel’s back will give in and so I gave up.
If you want to know why Ubuntu is the apparent flagship of the Linux world, why it has so many fanboys running amok, why end users and nerds alike use it without shame then you have your answer. It works. Period. Of course there are quirks but the issues you could run into are no more than getting Windows 7 to the point where you like it. Sure the answers are different than Windows answers but the problems are no more numerous. If you want to build a distro that can compete in the desktop space, kernel scheduler aside, then build one that works. So as of hitting submit on this post, burning the iso that just finished downloading, I am done with OpenSuSE. Period. I want an OS that works thank you very much.
Tune in tomorrow to watch my head explode trying to explain modules and classes in Ruby….
… the Module class of module is the superclass of the Class class of class…
Yeah so…be seeing you from an actual function OS shortly.
This guide is adapted from here for the initial rooting and here for the app removal. If you follow this guide and break your phone I can’t help you. All the following actions should be taken with the knowledge that it is at your own risk and will void your warranty. For that matter Sprint may send an army of ninjas after you. Don’t say you weren’t warned….
This guide assumes a base install of Ubuntu 9.10 but should work for previous versions. If you know enough to have changed your download directory then you know enough to modify the following commands.
- Download the Android SDK
- Download asroot2
- Download the recovery image
- Extract the SDK into your home directory
tar -xzvf ~/Downloads/android-sdk_r3-linux.tgz -C ~
- Copy the other two files into the newly created android-sdk directory
cp ~/Downloads/asroot2 ~/android-sdk-linux/
cp ~/Downloads/recovery-RA-heroc-v1.2.3.img ~/android-sdk-linux/
- Turn on USB debugging on your phone: Menu -> Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB Debugging
- Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable
Now in normal circumstances I would never recommend you “become” root as it’s generally not necessary but my attempts to root the phone did not work with sudo so for the next steps you will need to actually be the root user.
Rooting the phone:
- Become root
sudo su -
- cd to your the directory created when you un-tarred the SDK
- Copy asroot2 to your phone, change the permissions to make it executable, execute asroot2
./adb push ../asroot2 /data/local/
./adb shell chmod 0755 /data/local/asroot2
./adb shell /data/local/asroot2 /system/bin/sh
- Now we will use the access asroot2 has given up to create a su binary for root access
mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
cat sh > su
chmod 4755 su
If all has gone well you should now have a root prompt “#” instead of “$”. If you don’t then ask over at the first link in this post for help. I didn’t do any of the development on this I am merely giving the steps that worked for me. Now it’s time to flash a new recovery image so we can take a backup of the phone before we start screwing around. These steps are from the android-sdk-linux/tools directory you were in before. If you already exited your android shell bring it back up with ./adb shell and type su to get your root prompt.
- Reboot your phone. Yes this is a necessary step. The recovery image won’t flash if you don’t so this.
- Copy the recovery image to your phone once it has booted
./adb push ../recovery-RA-heroc-v1.2.3.img /sdcard/
- Connect to the shell on your phone and flash the recovery image
flash_image recovery /sdcard/recovery-RA-heroc-v1.2.3.img
- Reboot into recovery mode and take a Nandroid backup before you do anything else
- Once the recovery screen has come up take a backup, make sure you have enough free space on your sd card before you do this, so that when you screw up your phone you will be able to restore it. Once you get bored in the recovery image select the top option to boot the phone into your regular HTC Sense environment.
I received no output from the command to flash the recovery image and it took less than two seconds once I had rebooted the phone. If you do not reboot the phone prior to the above steps you will most likely see Out of memory errors. If you see them even after a reboot then uninstall all your silly little app market playthings and try again. If you play around and screw up your phone without a backup then you’ll have to track down a recovery image or single apps and so on. Once again I WILL NOT HELP YOU WITH THIS.
Removing the stock Sprint Apps:
Simply connect to your phone with the SDK, become root, and remove the files from /system/app
mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
At this point you will have a list of all the stock crap on your screen. If you go about removing stuff you may screw up your phone. That’s what the backup we took earlier was for. Don’t think you made a backup with app store app so you are alright. Do the nandroid backup. Don’t be an idiot about this.
To remove an app simply use the rm command. The following commands remove Sprint NFL, Sprint Nascar, Peep, Footprints, and Sprint Stock, the stock music program (if you are using something else), and Quick Office
There’s a list of apps and some more description here on XDA Developers.
Like I said: This is NOT my work. I merely typed up all of the steps and put them in a single place. All thanks should go to the folks who posted the threads and risked bricking their devices to make this possible!
I dropped by my wholesaler the other day and they had a great deal on the Acer Aspire One I am typing this entry from. It’s the 751h: 11.6″ screen, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD and so on. It came with Windows XP installed and I have no reason to keep that around since everything I do for a living and most of my fun computer time is spent in Linux. So I set off to get the beta of Karmic Koala installed. While this snappy little netbook doesn’t have the fastest processor I am not looking to play Warcraft or anything and I know the proc will handle just about anything I need to do but the graphics chipset is another issue entirely. The 751h has the most common chipset in netbooks at the moment: the GMA500. The problem with this is that IBM doesn’t have good Linux support. I won’t go into the details here because they don’t really matter but I will say that if you are looking for a netbook running Linux and aren’t looking to tinker (I was) then order one that comes with Linux already as there are plenty of them out there. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty and wanted something to tinker with so I grabbed the deal because it was there and it was good.
Simply put it wasn’t exactly easy to get Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 running exactly right. It wasn’t hard either. The problem is that the information is not all in one place. So I decided that I would aggregate the work for anyone else. I didn’t come up with a single one of the solutions I present below. All I can take credit for is providing the instructions in a single place and a logical order. I hope I don’t miss anyone who deserves credit as there are quite a few. I will attempt to put a name with each piece of the puzzle but I forget anyone let me know and I will gladly add their name where it belongs. Due to the length of this entry I am going make you click to see the rest of it…