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.
When it comes to multimedia software most Linux distributions have one thing in common: no proprietary codecs - and this might include MP3 playback. I have no deeper insights in the license terms of the MP3 codec, but there is a whole website about it by THOMPSON, the company claiming to control MP3 licensing: mp3licensing.com. There are other proprietary codecs as well, i.e. “aac” which I think is the default file format for Apple’s iTunes and devices by Nokia and Sony. Wouldn’t it be nice to not care about this crap? The open source alternative is “ogg vorbis”, providing great quality audio files and high compression at the same time. So, how can you switch from mp3 to ogg?
I still like Debian and Debian based distros like sidux or Ubuntu most, but - as always, if something works too well - I want something new… As I recently joined a training course at Red Hat and a new release of Fedora just hit the ftp servers, I went for Fedora 10.