Showing posts with label 64-bit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 64-bit. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kernel bloat, the responsibility lies with the distribution vendor

It seems as time goes by the Linux Kernel is supporting more hardware and delivering more functionality. This is great but it introduces the problem of bloat. Bloat is bad but the fact of the matter is bloat cannot be avoided although it can be reduced.

Distribution vendors are the ones responsible for including more or less bloat in their Kernels and unfortunately the current trend is to simply include as much as possible without any thought whatsoever.

I was tinkering with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (64-bit) a few days ago and found it very amusing that support for an S3 Trio graphics card was included in the 64-bit Kernel.

And a Voodoo 5, Cirrus Logic, Riva TNT....

Canonical Ltd has included support for various hardware (not just old ancient video cards) that no longer exists or even if it did, would no longer work on modern systems.

Even though most of these are compiled as Kernel modules and the impact on the core Kernel code size is minimal, there is no reason to include its support.

I can therefore only conclude that the reason why Canonical Ltd continue to include support for ancient unusable hardware and various other Kernel functionality that is deprecated is because they are lazy.

When was the last time a Kernel clean up exercise was performed?

But is it just Canonical Ltd who continue to bloat their Kernels unnecessarily with ancient hardware support and unused Kernel functionality?

Equally as time goes by hardware becomes obsolete and certain functionality unused but distribution vendors continue to include such support in their Kernels.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

How to compile a kernel from in Fedora 14

This quick guide will show you how to compile and install a kernel from in Fedora 14.


Open a terminal and work through the below list of commands. Modify where appropriate.

Install the following packages

su -c 'yum install rpmdevtools yum-utils gcc make ncurses-devel'

Setup your build environment


Download and extract your Kernel source

cd ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES


tar -xf linux-2.6.37.tar.gz

Configure and Compile it

cd linux-2.6.37

make menuconfig


time make rpm

General rule for concurrency level = number of processor cores + 1

Install it

cd ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64

su -c 'rpm -ivh --force kernel-2.6.37-1.x86_64.rpm'

cd /boot

su -c 'mkinitrd initramfs-2.6.37.img 2.6.37'

su -c 'vi grub/grub.conf'

Fedora 32-bit users replace x86_64 with i386

Edit your grub.conf file and add an entry for your new kernel. Just copy your first kernel entry and modify it.

Note: Please do not copy this grub.conf, it is for illustrative purposes only.

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE:  You do not have a /boot partition.  This means that
#          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, eg.
#          root (hd0,0)
#          kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda1
#          initrd /boot/initrd-[generic-]version.img

title Fedora (2.6.37)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.37 ro root=UUID=162b11c2-d9a1-4487-86d5-6ade5c5ee055 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 KEYTABLE=uk rhgb quiet
        initrd /boot/initramfs-2.6.37.img

title Fedora (
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz- ro root=UUID=162b11c2-d9a1-4487-86d5-6ade5c5ee055 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 KEYTABLE=uk rhgb quiet
        initrd /boot/initramfs-

title Fedora (
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz- ro root=UUID=162b11c2-d9a1-4487-86d5-6ade5c5ee055 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UTF-8 SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16 KEYTABLE=uk rhgb quiet
        initrd /boot/initramfs-

title Other
        rootnoverify (hd0,4)
        chainloader +1

Boot from your new kernel

Restart your system and enjoy your new kernel.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Fedora 14 (64-bit) - Install Flash Player "Square" (64-bit) in 4 easy steps

This quick easy 4 step process makes the assumption no prior Flash Player plugins have been installed.

Open a terminal and type the following commands,

cd Downloads


tar -xf flashplayer10_2_p3_64bit_linux_111710.tar.gz

su -c 'mv /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins'

Restart Firefox and experience Flash in 64-bit.

For more details concerning Flash Player "Square" visit,

I suggest bookmarking this page and keeping an eye out for updates.

16/12/2010 - Important email received from Adam.W Fedora QA Community Monkey

I recommend not installing the 64-bit Flash plugin for several reasons.


and the warnings at ,

and follow the instructions at to install the 32-bit version wrapped instead.

It is nice to see the fedora community (and a Red Hat employee) demonstrating an active interest in the users as well as the product.

Thank you for the email.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

OpenSUSE 11.3 - First Impressions

Thanks to my 10MB Virgin Media connection it only took a few hours too long to download, courtesy of their traffic management system.

As always I went for the 64-bit DVD version and after checking the SHA1 I quickly burnt it to a DVD+R disk.

If you have used the previous version of OpenSUSE, you will be quite familiar with the installer. In fact it is the same but with different graphics.

I am not surprised that the installer has remained the same because it is quite hard to improve something which does an excellent job, OpenSUSE has the best installer of any distribution I have used with some great options for the more advanced user.

Installing OpenSUSE 11.3 is very quick, in about 10 minutes it was all done.

Since I am a KDE fan, I chose to install KDE. OpenSUSE 11.3 comes with KDE 4.4.4 which I have already been using in Gentoo.

After logging in, I must admit I do not like the default green wallpaper but I do like the performance.

The system feels quite nippy and is a big improvement over 11.2. In fact I am quite amazed with this release. Opening a few applications such as Firefox, OpenOffice, Kaffeine and browsing through folders with Dolphin was reasonably quick.

The sluggish performance I felt in OpenSUSE 11.2 seems to have disappeared and I installed Gentoo in favour of 11.2 for this very reason.

As it happens I wiped out my Gentoo install in order to try out OpenSUSE 11.3, question is do I put it back?

For now I will continue to evaluate OpenSUSE 11.3, I have only been using it for a few minutes but already feel it is going to be a good release.

Time will tell if any hidden monsters await and I will be keeping an eye on the OpenSUSE forums to see what horror stories may surface.

OpenSUSE 11.3 with KDE 4.4.4 (Oxygen Theme and a nicer wallpaper)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

How to install Flash Player 64-bit on Ubuntu 10.04 x64

Important: Have you installed the Ubuntu Restricted package?

If you have installed the Ubuntu Restricted package you must first remove the 32-bit Flash plugin before attempting to install the native 64-bit Adobe Flash plugin.

To remove the 32-bit Flash plugin open a terminal and type the following,

sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-installer nspluginwrapper

How to install the 64-bit Adobe Flash Plugin

First, download the 64-bit Flash plugin from Adobe.

By default Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04 will download all files to the Downloads folder in your home area.

Next open a terminal and type the following,

tar -xf ~/Downloads/

sudo mv /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins

The 64-bit Flash plugin is now installed.


Friday, 9 April 2010

Adobe Flash Player 10 for 64-bit Linux

Those who have been using a 64-bit Linux distribution for a while may recall the early days when plugin support for 64-bit web browsers were non existent.

This created a big problem since many websites feature flash content. So if your browser lacked the required flash support then browsing such sites is either impossible or very restricted.

For a while the solution was to use a 32-bit web browser and the 32-bit flash plugin on your 64-bit Linux distribution.

However then came nspluginwrapper, a web browser plugin that allows the use of 32-bit plugins (particularly flash player) on 64-bit web browsers.

To this date it is still used, for example by OpenSUSE x64 11.2 and Ubuntu 9.10.

Here is a screenshot showing the process information when I visited a flash enabled website on OpenSUSE 11.2 x64.

KDE System Monitor

npviewer is part of the nsplugin package and is handling the flash content.

Also open up Firefox and type as the address, about-plugins.

Firefox about:plugins

In the past the combination of the 32-bit flash player plugin and nsplugin with a 64-bit browser such as FireFox has been a bit buggy. I remember having many issues on flash enabled web sites specifically with control elements.

Even to this date some users are experiencing problems with this setup.

The good news is Adobe have released a 64-bit Flash Player plugin for Linux which has been around for quite a while, since 2008. It is currently a pre-release version but works extremely well in my experience.

All the problems I have experienced in the past or to date with the 32-bit Flash in combination with nsplugin have always been resolved when switching to the 64-bit flash player.

See, Linux is ahead of Windows, as of yet there still isn't a 64-bit Flash player for Windows!

Installing Flash Player 10 64-bit on OpenSUSE 11.2 x64

Unfortunately OpenSUSE automatically sets up Flash support and nspluginwrapper when you update your system for the first time.

So before installing the 64-bit Flash player I remove the 32-bit version and nsplugin wrapper.

You can leave nspluginwrapper installed but I have nothing else that requires it.

In a terminal type the following,

su -c 'zypper remove nspluginwrapper flash-player pullin-flash-player'

*pullin-flash-player is responsible for triggering the online update / installation of flash player on OpenSUSE, hence it is a good idea to remove it.

Now we have to download the 64-bit Flash player plugin. You will find it at the below URL,

The next part assumes that by default all downloads are saved to the Download folder in /home/yourusername/Download

This is default behavior in OpenSUSE 11.2 when using Firefox.

Open a terminal and type,

tar -xf ~/Download/

su -c 'mv /usr/lib64/browser-plugins'

That's it, done.

Now open up Firefox, Go to a flash website and enjoy.

If you view the process information when viewing flash content you should no longer see npviewer.

And if you type about:plugins, notice the difference.

You can also use the 64-bit Flash player plugin on other distributions but installation will differ.