I finally did it and got myself a MacBook. Gone those years I made fun of Mac users? Well no, I guess not… ;-) The main reason why I bought the MacBook was curiosity. As I got quite acquainted with Windows over the years, followed by Linux and Solaris, I wanted to know how MacOSX would “feel” like. So I got this MacBook equipped with 2,4 MHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA X3100 integrated video controller and 160GB hard disk. Though Apple hardware is of good quality, I still think it’s way to expensive - but of course nobody forced me to buy it… ;-)
The grand unified bootloader (grub) not being updated since 2006 Canonical announced to release the next Ubuntu version 9.10 - also known as “Karmic Koala” - with grub2 as the default boot manager. Of course I got curious and as I read an article in c’t about this topic I had to see what grub2 was about!
On July 15th sidux 2009.2 was released. I was looking forward to this release because it’s the first one with KDE4 and I didn’t wanted to go through the hassle of updating from KDE3… For those who haven’t heard of sidux: it’s a Debian sid (the unstable branch of Debian) based distro and 100% compatible with Debian sid. In fact it uses sid’s repositories together with sidux’ own repositories. The latter provide bugfixes to some broken packages in sid, sidux artwork, some tools unique to sidux and of course the sidux kernel (which might update quite frequently). sidux has a rolling release cycle which means, you may update to each next “release” by just updating through Debian’s apt-get. As the homepage says: sidux is “Debian hot and spicy!”. But most of all it makes running the unstable Debian sid quite stable.
The default Linux kernel of Debian Lenny is of course very stable - but a little outdated. If you’re the more adventurous type (or just need support for newer devices) you might like the idea of installing a more recent vanilla kernel? Debian makes this task quite easy and you’ll end up with real Debian kernel deb-packages! I’ll provide a small HOWTO here which you might follow and a small script which will automate everything. I gathered most of the information given here from the official Debian documentation (have a look at this and this).
Debian is one of the best Linux distros out there (if not the best). The latest stable version called Lenny was released about a month ago, but as always, Debian never ships the latest software or kernel versions. So I decided to install the latest vanilla kernel (2.6.29) from kernel.org (I might provide a howto for this task later… ;-) ). This work’s really great - most of the time… I ran into one problem installing Debians (rather old) VirtualBox OSE 1.6.6 though. As I don’t run Debians kernel I needed to compile a suitable kernel module for my kernel 2.6.29 using Debians module-assistant. But compiling the module bailed out with errors:
‘struct task_struct’ has no member named ‘euid’. Luckily I found a solution for VirtualBox 2.10 on VirtualBox Forums. Of course the provided patch didn’t work for VirtualBox 1.6.6 but from there on it was easy to build one. If you run into the same problem, well, this is how it worked for me.