Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Tutorial - Recompiling Freetype with the patented auto hinter enabled in openSUSE 12.1

Here is a great little exercise that will teach you how to recompile the freetype package in openSUSE 12.1 and enable the patented auto hinter for better looking fonts.

Start by opening a terminal.

Install required packages such as gcc and zlib-devel

su -c 'zypper install gcc zlib-devel patch'

Change to your Downloads folder

cd Downloads

We are going to download the freetype source rpm package from the openSUSE servers.


At the time of writing 2.4.7-1.2 was the current available version.

Install the source package locally

rpm -ivh freetype2-2.4.7-1.2.src.rpm

A new folder will be created in your home directory called rpmbuild.

cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS

We need to edit the freetype2.spec file so it compiles with the auto hinter enabled.

kwrite freetype2.spec

Scroll down to line 80 and change %define enable_subpixel_rendering to %define enable_subpixel_rendering 1

Save and exit

It is now time to compile our modified freetype package, which should not take very long.

rpmbuild -bb freetype2.spec

Once the package has been successfully compiled, it will be located in the rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64 or rpmbuild/RPMS/x86 folder.

To install your modified freetype package,

cd ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/$(arch)

su -c 'zypper install --force libfreetype6-2.4.7-1.2.$(arch).rpm'

You have now installed your modified freetype package, reboot your machine to see the difference.

Important Note:

Installing your modified freetype package will overwrite the existing freetype package that has the patented code disabled. However, should openSUSE install an update to freetype it will overwrite your modified freetype package.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Super Easy KDE Users Guide for Fedora 16

The Super Easy KDE Users Guide 
Latest Edition Fedora 16


Follow these super easy steps to turn your Fedora KDE installation into a fully functional multimedia rich and enjoyable desktop.

Add the RPM Fusion repository

su -c 'yum -y localinstall --nogpgcheck && yum -y update'

Install the additional Gstreamer and K3b plugins

su -c 'yum -y install gstreamer-ffmpeg gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad-nonfree transcode k3b-extras-freeworld sox vcdimager normalize'

Install Flash Player

su -c 'yum -y install$(arch)/adobe-release-$(arch)-1.0-1.noarch.rpm && yum -y install flash-plugin'

If you want to watch encrypted DVDs

su -c 'yum -y install$(arch)/libdvdcss-1.2.10-1.$(arch).rpm'

Install Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice

su -c 'yum -y install firefox thunderbird @office'

Fix the font rendering and install Microsoft fonts

su -c 'yum -y install freetype-freeworld'

Now you can enjoy using Fedora and KDE!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

How to Recompile your Kubuntu 11.10 Kernel

This quick and simple guide will help you to recompile your Kubuntu 11.10 Kernel. Modify where appropriate, eg amd64 / i386.

1. Install these packages

sudo apt-get install fakeroot dpkg-dev libncurses5-dev kernel-package

2. Create your source directory

mkdir ~/src

cd ~/src

3. Download the Kernel source

apt-get source linux-image-$(uname -r)

4. Configure your Kernel

cd linux-3.0.0

make menuconfig

5. Speed up the build


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

6. Clean up temp files from a previous compile attempt (skip if necessary)

make-kpkg clean

7 Compile your Kernel

time fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd --append-to-version=-tweak kernel-image kernel-headers

You can change -tweak to anything you wish

8. Install your Kernel

cd ~/src

sudo dpkg -i linux-image-3.0.6-tweak_3.0.6-tweak-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-3.0.6-tweak_3.0.6-tweak-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

9. Reboot

Your recompiled Kernel should automatically load.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Fedora 15 KDE - How to upgrade to KDE 4.7

As a Fedora KDE user we sometimes have to wait that bit extra for KDE updates, nonetheless the efforts by the Fedora KDE team are much appreciated.

My Fedora 15 KDE 4.7 Desktop

I no longer use openSUSE, it has gone too sour for my liking and is surrounded by a lot of negativity. I am one of those who believe the negative energy of others can have a big impact on ones well being and since giving openSUSE the boot I have been feeling much better.

The how to...

The steps for upgrading KDE to version 4.7 was originally brought to my attention by browsing the Fedora Forum, see the post by ah7013. I have modified the steps slightly as those of us who installed Fedora KDE from the Live CD do not have wget installed.

Please note, KDE 4.7 is not in the Fedora 15 stable repository and the guide  will install KDE 4.7 from a repository created by Rex Dieter, a valued member of the Fedora KDE team.

Open a terminal and run the following commands,

cd /etc/yum.repos.d
su -c 'yum install wget'
su -c 'wget'
su -c 'yum update'

Please reboot your system.

Enjoy KDE!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

openSUSE 11.4 - How to install Nvidia drivers manually

There is a tendency to refer to the manual method of installing Nvidia drivers as the hard way. If you repeat something often enough, it still doesn't make it true.

There is nothing hard about installing the drivers manually.

This guide uses the terminal and wget command to download the Nvidia driver to your /home/username/Downloads folder. You may if you wish use your web browser although I suggest keeping the Nvidia driver in your Downloads folder as it may be useful at a later date.

Please note the current latest driver 270.41.06 does not support GeForce 5 Series or older. Such users will need to use the legacy drivers instead.

For a list of supported devices see here -

1. Start

Open a terminal

2. Install required packages

su -c 'zypper install gcc make kernel-devel'

3. Prevent the nouveau driver from loading

su -c 'echo "blacklist nouveau" > /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia.conf'

Please copy and paste the below as one line, you may have to press enter

su -c '# recreate initrd without KMS, if the use of KMS is enabled in initrd
if grep -q NO_KMS_IN_INITRD=\"no\" /etc/sysconfig/kernel; then
   sed -i 's/NO_KMS_IN_INITRD.*/NO_KMS_IN_INITRD="yes"/g' /etc/sysconfig/kernel

4. Download the Nvidia driver 

(64-bit users)

cd Downloads


(32-bit users)

cd Downloads


5. Reboot your system into run level 3

At the openSUSE boot screen make sure your Kernel entry is selected, type the number 3 as illustrated in the screenshot and press enter.

This will cause openSUSE to boot to a console terminal, login using your normal user details.

6. Install the Nvidia driver

(64-bit users)

cd Downloads
su -c 'sh -a -q'

(32-bit users)

cd Downloads

su -c ' -q'

7. Once the installer has completed, reboot your system

su -c 'reboot'

Remember that every time your Kernel is updated you will need to rebuild the Nvidia Kernel module.

8. Rebuilding the Nvidia module after a Kernel update

Boot into run level 3 as described above, login using your normal user details,

(64-bit users)

cd Downloads

su -c 'sh -K'

(32-bit users)

cd Downloads

su -c 'sh -K'

Then reboot your system.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

How to safely remove in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

You may be aware of some guides on the internet telling you how to do this, mainly using one of the following commands,

sudo apt-get purge*
sudo apt-get purge* 

If you run either of the above commands the following packages will be REMOVED:

aspell* aspell-en* dictionaries-common* hunspell-en-ca* hunspell-en-us* language-support-en* language-support-writing-en* myspell-en-au* myspell-en-gb* myspell-en-za************** python-uno* wbritish*


If you do, programs including Firefox will lose its ability to spell check because the above commands will erase some very useful packages (all those in green).

Fortunately you can easily reverse the damage by reinstalling the packages highlighted in green.

How to fix the damage

sudo apt-get install aspell aspell-en dictionaries-common hunspell-en-ca hunspell-en-us language-support-en language-support-writing-en myspell-en-au myspell-en-gb myspell-en-za wbritish

Lesson for next time, be cautious when following guides on the internet. Including mine, I am only human and sometimes can make typo errors or due to a lack of knowledge post garbage.

However, if you feel I have made a mistake please post a comment or email me.

So how can I safely remove in Ubuntu 10.04 (LTS) ?

sudo apt-get purge uno-libs3 ure

At this point I would assume you wish to install a newer version of OpenOffice from

How to install 3.3.0 from

Ubuntu 10.04 (LTS) 64-bit users

Open a terminal

cd Downloads


tar -xf OOo_3.3.0_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-GB.tar.gz

cd OOO330_m20_native_packed-1_en-GB.9567/DEBS

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

cd desktop-integration

sudo dpkg -i *.deb


Ubuntu 10.04 (LTS) 32-bit users

Open a terminal

cd Downloads

tar -xf OOo_3.3.0_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-GB.tar.gz

cd OOO330_m20_native_packed-1_en-GB.9567/DEBS

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

cd desktop-integration

sudo dpkg -i *.deb


How do I then erase the version of 3.3.0 at a later date?

Run the following command,

sudo apt-get purge ooobasis*


Sunday, 6 February 2011

How to compile a kernel from in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

This quick how-to is based on

Open a terminal and work through the following set of commands.

Install these packages

sudo apt-get install fakeroot kernel-wedge build-essential makedumpfile kernel-package libncurses5 libncurses5-dev

Run this

sudo apt-get build-dep --no-install-recommends linux-image-$(uname -r)

Create your source directory

mkdir ~/src
cd ~/src

Download and extract your kernel

You can browse for kernels at This guide is using kernel 2.6.37.

tar xvf linux-2.6.37.tar.gz
cd linux-2.6.37

Configure your Kernel

make menuconfig

Build your Kernel

make-kpkg clean
time fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd kernel-image kernel-headers

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

Install your kernel

cd ~/src

sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.37_2.6.37-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.37_2.6.37-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

Create the initramfs image

sudo update-initramfs -c -k 2.6.37

Update your grub.cfg

sudo update-grub

Reboot your system

Enjoy your new kernel.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

How to use Redo Backup and Recovery to clone your Windows disk

Redo Backup and Recovery is a Linux based disk imaging program similar to CloneZilla but with a big difference, it has a very nice easy to use graphical user interface.

It also has a number of useful features,

This post will show you how to use Redo Backup and Recovery to clone your Windows disk to an external USB storage device.

Step by Step: How to use Redo Backup and Recovery


USB External Storage Device / Hard Drive
Redo Backup and Recovery CD -

Creating the Backup Image

Boot your system from your Redo Backup and Recovery CD. You may have to alter your system BIOS boot order and set the first bootable device to CD/DVD.

Select 'Enhanced Video Mode' and press 'enter'

If your system has difficulties loading Redo, try a different video mode.

This is the Redo main menu interface. Connect your USB external storage device to your system and then click on the 'Backup or Restore' option.

Click on the 'Backup' button.

The source drive is the drive you wish to backup, the drive containing Windows XP / Vista or 7.

Select the drive you wish to backup and click on next.

Leave all parts selected and click on next.

The destination drive is your external USB storage device. Select your USB storage device and click on next.

Click on the 'Browse...' button.

Create a new folder by clicking on the 'Create folder' button.

Then type a suitable name for your new folder, for example here I am typing 'Windows XP backup'

After typing the folder name, press the 'Enter' button on your keyboard.

This should take you into your new folder. If not, double click on your folder.

Now press on the 'Save Here' button.

We have now returned to Step 4. Note the destination folder, it should match what you typed above.

Click 'Next' to continue.

I decided to leave the date as suggested by Redo. Click on 'Next' to continue.

Redo will now start to backup your Windows disk, saving the disk image to your chosen external USB storage device.

When the operating is complete, click on the 'OK' button.

Now click on the Home button, top left of the screen. This will return you to the Redo main menu screen.

You can now either reboot or shut down your system. To do so click on the 'Power off' option.

Click on the 'Restart' or 'Turn Off' button.

Remember to keep your external USB storage device safe and do not erase the disk image.

Restoring the Backup Image

Restoring your disk image will erase all data present on the disk you are restoring the image to. Therefore make sure you save any important files before proceeding.

Boot your system from your Redo Backup and Restore CD.

Connect the USB external storage device containing your saved disk image to your system and then click on the 'Backup or Restore' option.

Click on the 'Restore' button

Since recovery is the opposite of backup, the source drive is the drive containing the disk image. This will be your external USB storage device.

Select the USB storage device and click on next.

Open the folder containing the disk image, eg Windows XP backup.

Select the disk image to restore, eg 20110109.backup and click on the 'Open' button.

We have returned to the Step 2 main screen, notice the disk image name is present. Click on 'Next' to continue.

Select the drive you wish to restore the disk image to. This will be your Windows drive. Click 'Next' to continue.

Click on 'Yes' to proceed with the recovery.

The recovery process should now be under way.

When the process has completed, click on the 'OK' button.

Return to the main menu by clicking on the 'Home' button, then reboot or power off your system by clicking on the 'Power Off' option.

Your system should now be fully restored.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Fedora 14 - How to make Samsung Fn Brightness buttons work

If you own a Samsung R510 the most important feature that does not work in Fedora 14 are the brightness buttons. Ubuntu users are fortunate to have a repository that enables Fn functionality, please see

I will be using files provided by this repository to enable brightness control in Fedora 14 on my Samsung R510.

Please make sure your Fedora system is fully up to date before proceeding. If you are not sure open a terminal and run the following command,

su -c 'yum -y update'

If advised to reboot, please do.

Are you ready?

Open a terminal and type the following,

su -c 'yum install kernel-devel gcc'

This will download some required tools. Next, edit the 95-keyboard-force-release.rules file.

su -c 'nano /lib/udev/rules.d/95-keyboard-force-release.rules'

Look for the following line

ENV{DMI_VENDOR}=="[sS][aA][mM][sS][uU][nN][gG]*", ATTR{[dmi/id]product_name}=="*E252*|*N120*|*N128*|*N130*|*N140*|*N148/N208*|*N150*|*N150/N210/N220*|*N220*|*N308*|*N310*|*N510*|*NB30*|*NC10/N110*|*ND10*|*Q210/P210*|*R410P*|*R425/R525*|*R428/P428*|*R460*|*R463*|*R468/R418*|*R480/R431/R481*|*R509*|*R518*|*R519/R719*|*R520/R522/R620*|*R528/R728*|*R530/R730*|*R530/R730/P590*|*R560*|*R580*|*R580/R590*|*R59/R60/R61*|*R59P/R60P/R61P*|*R710*|*R720*|*R780/R778*|*SR58P*|*SR700*|*SR70S/SR71S*|*SX22S*|*X118*|*X120*|*X460*", RUN+=" $devpath samsung-other"

Add R510/P510 as highlighted

ENV{DMI_VENDOR}=="[sS][aA][mM][sS][uU][nN][gG]*", ATTR{[dmi/id]product_name}=="*R510/P510*|*E252*|*N120*|*N128*|*N130*|*N140*|*N148/N208*|*N150*|*N150/N210/N220*|*N220*|*N308*|*N310*|*N510*|*NB30*|*NC10/N110*|*ND10*|*Q210/P210*|*R410P*|*R425/R525*|*R428/P428*|*R460*|*R463*|*R468/R418*|*R480/R431/R481*|*R509*|*R518*|*R519/R719*|*R520/R522/R620*|*R528/R728*|*R530/R730*|*R530/R730/P590*|*R560*|*R580*|*R580/R590*|*R59/R60/R61*|*R59P/R60P/R61P*|*R710*|*R720*|*R780/R778*|*SR58P*|*SR700*|*SR70S/SR71S*|*SX22S*|*X118*|*X120*|*X460*", RUN+=" $devpath samsung-other"

Press 'Ctrl-X' to exit nano, followed by ''Y' to save the file.

Edit your kernel grub entry,

su -c 'nano /boot/grub/grub.conf'

and add the following, acpi_backlight=vendor as illustrated below.

# 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 (
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- acpi_backlight=vendor ro root=UUID=........... 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=............ 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 (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

Press 'Ctrl-X' to exit nano, followed by ''Y' to save the file.

Now we are going to download and compile the kernel module responsible for making the brightness buttons work.

mkdir samsung

cd samsung




This will compile the samsung-backlight kernel module. The next step is to copy the module to your kernel.

su -c 'cp samsung-backlight.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/'

su -c 'depmod -a'

su -c 'modprobe samsung-backlight'

Reboot your laptop and try out the FN brightness buttons.

Note:  You will have to rebuild / insert the samsung-backlight kernel module every time your kernel is updated.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How to install drivers in Fedora 14

Since I have been playing around with Fedora 14, I thought I would try and write a very newbie friendly guide on how to install the nvidia drivers from

You could always use the rpmfusion method but that's boring :-)

Are you ready?

Open a terminal and type,

su -c 'yum install gcc make kernel-devel'

This will install the necessary packages to compile the nvidia driver. Next we need to download the appropriate nvidia driver.

At the time of writing, 260.19.21 is the latest nvidia driver.

Fedora 64-bit users, type the following


Fedora 32-bit users, type the following


This will download the or file to your current directory.

Once the file has downloaded use nano (a simple text file editor) to edit the grub.conf

su -c 'nano /boot/grub/grub.conf'

Edit your first kernel entry and add the option 'nomodeset' and '3'

# 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 (hd0,1)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda2
# initrd /boot/initrd-[generic-]version.img
title Fedora (
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- nomodeset 3 ro root=UUID=d18f27a8-5c8b-4f82-af72-75cc78ad3f27 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UT$
initrd /boot/initramfs-
title Fedora (
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- ro root=UUID=d18f27a8-5c8b-4f82-af72-75cc78ad3f27 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UT$
initrd /boot/initramfs-
title Other
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

Modify your grub.conf as illustrated above.

To exit nano and save the changes, press 'Ctrl-X' and answer yes by pressing 'Y', finally hit the enter button.

Now reboot your system.

Don't be alarmed that your system boots to a text login screen. The option '3' above is responsible for making the system boot to run level 3 as oppose to the default run level 5 which is a graphical login.

Login by typing your username and password.

Install the nvidia driver by typing,

Fedora 64-bit users

su -c 'sh -q -a'

Fedora 32-bit users

su -c ' -q -a'

After the installer has successfully completed, type

su -c 'nvidia-xconfig'

This will generate the xorg.conf file, don't worry if you see a warning message.

Finally, edit your grub.conf again and remove the option '3' from your kernel line.

su -c 'nano /boot/grub/grub.conf'

Do not remove the 'nomodeset' option, it is a requirement. Without it the nvidia driver will crash.

Below is a snippet of the full grub.conf as shown above with the '3' option omitted.

title Fedora (
root (hd0,1)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- nomodeset ro root=UUID=d18f27a8-5c8b-4f82-af72-75cc78ad3f27 rd_NO_LUKS rd_NO_LVM rd_NO_MD rd_NO_DM LANG=en_US.UT$

Delete the '3' option to make your kernel line entry resemble the above.

Exit nano, saving your changes.

Reboot your system.

su -c 'reboot'

The nvidia drivers will now be up and running after the reboot.

Important notice: 

If a system update installs a newer kernel, you must reinstall the nvidia kernel module.

Therefore before restarting your system after a kernel update, repeat the process of adding the option '3' to the first kernel line entry in your grub.conf as described above, then reboot.

After logging in type,

Fedora 64-bit users

su -c 'sh -K'

Fedora 32-bit users

su -c ' -K'

Once completed, remember to edit out the option '3' from your grub.conf

su -c 'reboot'

Enjoy Fedora 14.

Update 23/1/2011

If you wish to use newer drivers, substitute 260.19.21 with the newer driver version. For example 260.19.36
And if updating from an older driver version, remember to uninstall the older driver before installing the newer version, for example on a 64-bit system, boot into run level 3 and run su -c 'sh --uninstall'

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Fedora 14 - How to Improve the font rendering

If you want great font rendering in Fedora 14, follow these quick easy steps. Please note you will have to restart for the changes to take effect.

Enable the RPM Fusion repository,

Open a terminal and type

su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck'

Install the freetype-freeworld package

su -c 'yum install freetype-freeworld'

Goto System > Preferences > Appearance

Click for a bigger view

Select Subpixel Smoothing (LCDs), also click on the details button and make sure the hinting is on Full.

As you can see in the screenshot, I have changed the default fonts to the Liberation set. I think they look nicer.
For most web sites to look as they were intended, you will need to install the Microsoft True type fonts.

You can either try and compile the Microsoft fonts package from or download and install the rpm file I compiled earlier.

Open a terminal and type,


This will download the msttcore fonts package to your current directory. Install the msttcore package by typing,

su -c 'rpm -ivh msttcore-fonts-2.0-3.noarch.rpm'

The final part, reboot your system.

Revised on 15/12/2010, comments 1 & 2 affected

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

How to install Gentoo using a Ubuntu 10.04 Live CD

This blog post will show you how to use a Ubuntu 10.04 Live CD to install Gentoo. You can also easily adapt this guide to work with other Live distributions or installed distributions.

Important Rule:

For a Gentoo (32-bit) install, use a Ubuntu 10.04 (32-bit) Live CD 
For a Gentoo (64-bit) install, use a Ubuntu 10.04 (64-bit) Live CD

You may wish to refer to the Gentoo Handbook throughout,

Gentoo (32-bit) -
Gentoo (64-bit) -

Once you have successfully chrooted into your Gentoo system, the fact that Ubuntu was used becomes irrelevant. I therefore see no point in reiterating the Gentoo Handbook after this stage.

However, when you exit the chrooted environment you return to Ubuntu. As a result I have updated step 10.d from the Gentoo Handbook to reflect this.

Please also bare in mind Gentoo is a very customizable platform, certain choices I have made may not suit everyone or you may have your own preferences.

For example, the Gentoo Handbook suggests a separate /boot partition, I will not be doing this.

This guide also assumes you wish to install Gentoo 64-bit, 32-bit users must modify steps accordingly.


Boot from the Ubuntu 10.04 Live CD and make sure you have internet access.

Prepare your Hard Disk

Use Gparted to prepare your hard disk for Gentoo.

I will be formatting my 465.76GB (aka 500GB) disk drive /dev/sda to the following layout,

Click on the picture for a bigger view

As can be seen from the screenshot, the partition setup is the following,

/dev/sda1 formatted to ext4 with 58.59GB ---> This will be my /root partition
/dev/sda2 formatted to ext4 with 403.17GB ---> Intended /home partition
/dev/sda3 as the swap partition with 4096MB

Once Gparted has created the partitions, right click on the swap partition and select 'swapon' from the context menu.

Use Gparted to activate the swap

Close Gparted and open a terminal.

Use the terminal to type the commands presented below.

Mounting your /root partition

sudo mkdir /mnt/gentoo
sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/gentoo
cd /mnt/gentoo

Remember to mount your intended /root partition as /mnt/gentoo. In my case, /dev/sda1

Download and extract Stage3 tarball

Modify the mirrors if necessary, You can find the list of mirrors here,

sudo wget -r -l1 -H -t1 -nd -N -np -A.bz2 -erobots=off

sudo tar xvjpf stage3-*.tar.bz2

Download and extract portage tarball

sudo wget
sudo tar xvjf /mnt/gentoo/portage-latest.tar.bz2 -C /mnt/gentoo/usr

Modify your make.conf to suit your system

sudo nano -w /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf

Chrooting into Gentoo

sudo cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/gentoo/etc/
sudo mount -t proc none /mnt/gentoo/proc
sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/gentoo/dev
sudo chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash

The use of sudo is now no longer required!

source /etc/profile
export PS1="(chroot) $PS1"

At this point you have successfully chrooted into your Gentoo environment. Just follow the Gentoo Handbook to complete your install.

Remember to replace step 10.d with the following,

Rebooting the system

sudo umount /mnt/gentoo/dev /mnt/gentoo/proc /mnt/gentoo
sudo reboot
Misc Notes

If you do decide to follow my partition setup, remember to add an entry in the /etc/fstab for the /home partition and enable ext4 in the kernel.

Enjoy Gentoo!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

How to open a Samsung R510 Notebook / Laptop


Make sure you have and use the right tools. Many small screws require a sharp small screwdriver and using the wrong size may damage the screw and screwdriver.

Opening your Laptop will void its warranty.

You are responsible for your Laptop and open it at your own risk.


This guide will show you how to fully open and disassemble a Samsung R510 Notebook / Laptop.

Laptops are always tricky to open but I am happy to say the Samsung R510 isn't that bad. Essentially to fully disassemble a Samsung R510 involves doing the below steps more or less in the order as follows,

Step 1 - Remove battery, CD / DVD unit and Hard Drive
Step 2 - Keyboard removal
Step 3 - Disconnect SPK, MIC, Touchpad and remove top cover
Step 4 - Disconnect the LCD connector, WiFi module, Internal hinge screws and Monitor screen
Step 5 - Removing the Motherboard
Step 6 - Fan and Heatsink removal
Step 7 - Cleaning and Refitting

Putting it back together involves reversing the steps above but if you decide to take the heatsink off you must renew the thermal material before re-attaching the heatsink.

This means removing and cleaning the old thermal material completely from the Processor, Northbridge chip and heatsink.

I used Isopropanol Alcohol (IPA) to clean the old thermal material and applied Artic Cooling MX-2 thermal compound.

Step 1 - Remove battery, CD / DVD unit and Hard Drive

Place the R510 on a flat surface, upside down. Place a soft cloth to protect the piano black lid.

Underside of a Samsung R510

Remove the battery.

Remove the securing screws for the KDB and CD / DVD

There are 2x keyboard screws and 1x CD / DVD

 Slide the CD / DVD unit out.

The CD / DVD unit is easy to slide out

Remove the 2x screws securing the HDD cover and slide the cover off.

Remember to use the correct size screw driver

Take out the hard drive by sliding / pulling it left. You can use the black to aid pulling it out.

Slide this entire silver unit left

Step 2 - Keyboard removal

Flip the R510 the right way up and open the screen. Along the bottom of the keyboard are three protruding plastic clips. These clips prevent the keyboard from being pulled out.

You will have to push and hold each clip inwards and at the same time pull the keyboard up. Once the base of the keyboard has cleared the clip, release the clip. This process will have to be repeated for each clip.

Notice the clip in the middle of the Fn and Windows key

The second clip, under the space bar button

The last clip, under the cursor key

I used a small flat head screwdriver to push and hold each plastic clip inwards, then carefully pull the keyboard up. I was just about able to use my finger nails to pull up from under a few of the keyboard keys.

Alternatively use a flat piece of card or plastic, eg credit card.

Once the keyboard is no longer being secured by the 3 clips, carfully raise the keyboard. Do not pull it out, as you will see it is still attached to the motherboard via a plastic ribbon cable.

The plastic ribbon cable

To detach the ribbon cable, simply lift up the black latch on the connector. Refer to the picture below.

Notice the black strip has been raised in a vertical position

With the black latch open, slide the plastic ribbon cable out, then close the latch.

You can now fully remove the keyboard.

Step 3 - Disconnect SPK, MIC, Touchpad and remove top cover

With the keyboard out you should now be able to see a few more connectors. These must be disconnected so we can remove the top cover.

Three additional cut outs provide access to more cables

Be careful when removing these connectors, some may seem quite hard to pull out.

Touchpad connector

Touchpad connector, another plastic style ribbon cable

To detach the touchpad, slide the darker beige plastic part downwards. This will release the ribbon cable for the touchpad allowing you to pull it out.

Notice how the darker beige part has been pulled

The plastic ribbon cable can now be freed

SPK and MIC connector

These are both straight forward, simply pull the connectors out.

Smaller connectors can seem harder to pull

Close the Laptop screen, and flip the R510 upside down so you can see the base.

A colourful illustration showing where certain screws are

We are almost ready to remove the top cover but first a number of screws must be removed.

Referring to the picture above, I have highlighted where the screws are. Different colours represent a different type of screw.

To avoid confusion it is best to remove screws of the same type, keeping them somewhere safe in their groups.

First remove the 15x screws highlighted in green.

Then remove the 3x screws highlighted in orange.

A close up of the 3x screws highlighted in orange (above)

Now remove the 1x screw highlighted in blue.

Close up of the screw highlighted as blue (above)

Finally remove the 2x hinge screws highlighted in purple.

Close up of the left hinge screw, right is identical. Highlighted as purple (above)

Flip the R510 back to its normal position and open the screen lid.

With all the securing screws now removed, the top cover can carefully be pulled away from the base.

The left, bottom and right side of the top cover are clipped to the base. The upper part which is under the screen has no clips and was secured only to the base by the 3x screws highlighted above in orange.

The left corner, the top cover is slightly raised.

I found it easier to start from the left corner, pull the top cover from the base working your way along the edge. You will hear a click noise when pulling the top cover from the base which will indicate a clip has been unclipped.

The top cover, partially away from the base

The top cover can flex sightly, working from the left corner I used one hand to keep the left corner of the top cover separated from the base and the other hand to work along the edge, carefully pulling the cover from the base.

Once you have unclipped the top cover from the base, push the monitor screen fully back. This will allow you to extract the top cover completely.

Step 4 - Disconnect the LCD connector, WiFi module, Internal hinge screws and Monitor screen

The LCD screen prevents the motherboard from being removed, due to the left hinge.

The top cover has been removed, revealing the motherboard

Be careful when handling the motherboard and try to avoid contact with any of the electronic components.

LCD connector

Carefully and partially peel back the orange tape, then disconnect the LCD connector and smaller sub connector.

The orange tape is not very sticky

Notice the white wire which is also secured by the tape, remember to free this wire.

WiFi module

The WiFi module, once the black screw is removed, it will spring up

First follow the back and white wire from the WiFi module and make sure to free both wires where ever they are secured by orange tape and the small black rectangle sponges.

Where appropriate, carefully pull back the tape to free the wire, then lightly stick the tape back down. You will need to use it again when putting everything back together.

The wires can effortlessly be pulled from the small black sponges.

There is no need to remove the silver tape, but remember to free the black wire from the plastic base.

Now remove the securing screw on the WiFi module, then pull the module out and place it inside the base on the right side of the motherboard.

Internal hinge screws

There are two hinge screws, one for the left and one for the right.

The left hinge screw

The right hinge screw

Remove both screws.

Lifting the screen

You are now ready to detach the screen, remember it is still being restricted due to the wires but you will be able to place the screen alongside the base as illustrated below.

Just lift the screen up and away from the base.

The screen is no longer attached to the base

As you can see the screen is laying on the left of the base, and the WiFi module plus associated wires are out of the way.

Step 5 - Removing the Motherboard

We are now ready to remove the Motherboard, which is secured by 4 screws to the base.

3x screws, a black and two silver

1x black screw, which also keeps in place a black cover

With the screws gone, the Motherboard can be lifted out. Try and handle the Motherboard by touching the edge of the PCB only.

Before taking the Motherboard out, prepare somewhere to place it. I used an inside out antistatic bag on a flat surface.

The motherboard of a Samsung R510, the wrong way up?

It helps to have plenty of space to work with. Just on the left of the Motherboard is the laptop base, and on the left of that is the Monitor screen.

Step 6 - Fan and heatsink removal

First flip the Motherboard the opposite way up.

The fan can be removed independently from the heatsink.

Fan removal

Flipping the motherboard, gives you access to the heatsink. Nice to see solid capacitors.

Disconnect the fan power connector, then remove the 2x screws securing the fan to the Motherboard.

The fan can now be easily removed.

The heatsink fan

Heatsink removal

Only remove the heatsink if you intend to re-apply the thermal material.

Out of choice I would pick Artic Cooling MX-3 compound but since I didn't have any I had to stick with the older generation MX-2 compound.

Artic Cooling MX-2/3  is an excellent thermal paste, especially given that it is not conductive or capacitative you can make a mess without drastic consequences.

The cooling system, is quite small but does the job

The heatsink is secured in two places, first by the Northbridge chip via 2x screws, and secondly by the Processor via 4x screws.

Note, these screws do not fully unscrew and detach from the springs. Simply loosen them from their mountings.

Once done, the heatsink can freely be detached.

Looks like more than enough thermal paste was used

Step 7 - Cleaning and Refitting

I hope you have enjoyed pulling your R510 apart. Putting it back together is the reversal of removal but you must clean off the thermal material and apply new thermal compound.

I used kitchen towel to wipe off as much of the current thermal material from the Processor, Northbridge chip and heatsink, then used Isopropanol Alcohol for a clean finish.

Sparkling clean, however the Northbridge also requires cleaning

If you were not sure what the Northbridge was, look at the above photo.

I have the Samsung R510 with the Intel X4500 graphics, which is part of the Northbridge chip.

Clean, but the copper base could do with a polish

Clean but why was aluminium used instead of copper?

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture showing how thermal paste should be applied on the Processor and Northbridge.

The idea is to apply a thin layer on the core, the tiny square / rectangle bit in the middle.

See page 6 of the Artic Silver manual in the below link which gives a good explanation.

Once you have applied the thermal paste to the Processor and Northbridge, carefully align the heatsink and screw it in place. Do not over tighten the screws but make sure they are tight enough.

Putting it back together

To put the R510 back together, just follow the steps in reverse.

If any parts are dusty, give it a clean.

For example, you can use a brush to clean out the fan and heatsink fins. Alternatively use a can of compressed air.

If the Motherboard is dusty, use compressed air only, do not wipe with a cloth. This may cause damage due to static.