Fudcon Tempe!

I finally got to my hotel room after some problems with my flights. Already had the time to talk in person with many peoples I have seen for long on IRC. The welcome party is running and many people already show up for some drinks and food.

Lot of great conversations already and many more to come. I will keep this blog updated!

Leaving for Fudcon Tempe!

I am currently at the Quebec Airport, waiting for my plane to leave to Chicago where I will take a connection to Phoenix. I should be at the hotel at around 13:30-14:00 MST. It’s currently -13C here in Quebec and it should be 20C when I got to Phoenix ;)

Also, if someone need to room share, I should have a place for you. I will hang out in the lobby when I got to the hotel, so we should meet there!

I look forward to meet you later today!

Disable nouveau driver on hybrid graphics cards laptop

I had some problems with the plymouth boot screen in the past few days. In fact, the problems come again from guess what? Yes, my hybrid graphics cards in my laptop! ;)

I found that simply blacklisting the nouveau driver was not enough, it was still there after a reboot. That seems to cause a distorted boot screen from time to time.

So, here is what I did to be sure that nouveau is not used at all, just the Intel driver (all these steps must be done as a privileged user) :

  • First, blacklist the nouveau driver :

echo “blacklist nouveau” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

  • Add rdblacklist=nouveau to the end of your grub.conf kernel parameters list
  • Rebuild you initrd with this command :

mkinitrd -f /boot/initrd-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)

After that, you should reboot and see your boot screen come out clean each time. Also, you should notice that lsmod don’t report nouveau as being loaded anymore, just the Intel one.

If you have any other ways to fix this issue, I welcome any improvements!

Linux and hybrid graphics cards

I recently bought a Dell laptop (Vostro 3300) and directly installed Fedora 14 on it. Everything worked out of the box, I just needed to install Broadcom wireless driver.

But, I was wrong! The laptop come with a Nvidia card, and checking the output of lspci, I found an Intel VGA card too. So I start reading why I have a Nvidia and an Intel cards in my laptop to find the new cool technology : Optimus graphics from Nvidia…

This Optimus thing work by having a low power card (in that case, the Intel one) for everyday use and a powerful card (Nvidia) for 3D effects. ATI have something like this too, with another marketing name. The problem is that these technologies are not supported on Linux.

Nvidia said they have no plan on supporting it : http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=144750

I don’t really care about switching graphics cards when I use my laptop. But right now, the situation is that I am stuck with the Intel one, with no means of using the Nvidia card. More, the Nvidia card is always powered, so, in place of saving power, it use more!

There is some effort to make this work with the “nouveau” driver. I will follow the development to see how well it advance : http://linux-hybrid-graphics.blogspot.com/

It amaze me that big company like Intel and Nvidia release something with no Linux support today…

OLPC deployment in Gabon

Pass saturday, I met with the team that will go to Libreville in Gabon, Africa this month to deploy 110 XO laptops in a school. You can have more details about the project here : http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_LavalUniversity_Gabon.

The team launch a call for help to the local LUG for helping them be sure that everything is alright before they got there. They want to confirm that all the hardwares, softwares, procedures, etc are good and without error. The project team did a really good job and I think they are ready to go there but a validation before leaving is a great initiative.

What impress me is the answer they got from the community. In a short time, all the aspect of the project was covered! The project is heavily based on wireless architecture so a local group (http://www.zapquebec.org) jump in and offer their help to validate this part of the setup. For the software part (School Server, XO install, etc) and procedures, Rene and me will do the validation.

I was really impressed that many groups joined their efforts and gave their free time to help such a good project. I also like the impression we gave of our community to the project team. We often hear that the free softwares community is a place where people help each other. I am happy to have seen this in action and do my part.

Here is some photos of the school that will receive the XO :

Ontario Linux Fest 2009 report

Ontario Linux Fest 2009 was this past saturday in Toronto. The event was a great success, many peoples were present. The Fedora booth was a really busy place with many participants asking informations about the project, the next version and playing with the 3 OLPC laptops that Karlie gave us. By the way, seeing Karlie talk about the OLPC project is a sure way to interest peoples, the enthusiasm she deliver is contagious. I am glad to have meet her in person.

All in all, it was a fun weekend. It was a good chance to meet peoples involved in the free software community and have some great talks with them.

Oh, and if you see Mel Chua, ask her about putting a temporary Fedora tattoo on her forehead ;)