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Install Linux on Fujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO E5720

I was trying to install Redhat ( RHEL 5) / CentOS 5 server on a Fujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO E5720 and got problem with the installer.

The base resolution for CentOS / RHEL Linux 5 is 800x600x32, which requires 2MB video memory. In order to boot or install Linux on the Fujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO E5720, set the reserved amount of video RAM to 8MB in BIOS.

You also need to add pci=nommconf parameter to grub.conf boot option file. While installing Linux on Fujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO E5720, you need to type the following at a boot prompt (excluding boot: word itself):
boot: linux pci=nommconf
Once server is installed, edit /etc/grub.conf or /boot/grub/grub.conf and append pci=nommconf at the end of kernel line:

title Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-128.el5)
	root (hd0,0)
	kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-128.el5 ro root=LABEL=/ console=tty0 console=ttyS1,19200n8 pci=nommconf
	initrd /initrd-2.6.18-128.el5.img

Most Linux distro can not display multilingual text on the console / shell prompt by default. There is a small hack which allows you to display other languages such as Hindi, Chinese, Korean, Japanese etc text on the prompt.

You need to use the bterm application, which is a terminal emulator that displays to a Linux frame buffer. It is able to display Unicode text on the console.

First, enable framebuffer by editing grub.conf file, enter:
# vi /etc/grub.conf
or
# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
Find kernel line and append "vga=0x317" parameter:
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-92.1.1.el5 ro root=LABEL=/ console=tty0 console=ttyS1,19200n8 vga=0x317
Save and close the file. Next, you need to install bterm - a unicode capable terminal program for the Linux frame buffer. Type the following command to install it under Fedora / RHEL / Cent OS Linux, enter:
# yum install bogl-bterm
If you are using Debian / Ubuntu Linux, enter:
$ sudo apt-get install bogl-bterm
Now reboot your Linux desktop / workstation so that kernel can create /dev/fb0. To use multilingual text on the console, type the command bterm, enter:
$ /usr/bin/bterm

Recommended Readings:

Ubuntu Linux Restore admin / root level permissions

I was writing and testing few python scripts (yes I'm moving lot of stuff from shell / perl to python these days) and accidentally I renamed my own user account from vivek to test. However, I did not noticed change until I rebooted my box. Now I cannot run sudo (or become a root user) and cannot access special devices such as sound or video.

By default your first account has all power via sudo under Ubuntu Linux. There is a special group called adm and admin which grants unlimited power via sudo.

The only solution was to boot computer in emergency mode (reboot computer and at grub menu select recovery mode kernel), open /etc/group file and add user vivek to admin and adm group:
# vi /etc/group
Add user vivek to admin and adm group:
admin:x:117:vivek
adm:x:4:vivek

Save and close the file.

Now I'm able to run sudo and do other stuff. Luckily, my scripts always backup critical files before modification. So I was able to restore permission instantly. Here is my group membership with all power and glory ;)
$ id
$ groups

Output:

vivek adm dialout cdrom floppy audio dip video plugdev scanner netdev lpadmin powerdev admin

GNU Grub: A Beginners Guide And HowTo Collection

GNU Grub allows you to have several operating system on system and user can select one to start. Grub allows you to boot different kernels, operating system, floppy / cd boot and network boot. Dedoimedo.com has published article about how to setup and configure GRUB bootloader with multiple operating systems. This article is a compilation of sources and examples that will help you learn about GRUB. New Linux users will probably find the notion of spending hours searching for relevant pieces of information (especially if their PC won't boot) somewhat frustrating. The goal of this guide is to help provide simple and quick solutions to most common problems regarding multi-boot setups and installation of Linux operating systems:
[click to continue…]

nixCraft FAQ Roundup – Dec 8, 2008

Recently updated/posted Linux and UNIX FAQ:

=> Boot Ubuntu Linux into Rescue mode to fix system - How do I boot my Ubuntu Linux server into Rescue mode to fix system?

=> Unable to create installation source - Add directories into YaST as an installation source - I have created my own patch files on the hard drive. How do I add all those directories into Suse Linux YaST as an installation source?

=> How to uninstall GRUB - How do I uninstall GRUB using old good MS-DOS fdisk or Linux/UNIX dd command?

=> Can I run fsck or e2fsck when Linux file system is mounted? Can I run run fsck/e2fsc on a live Linux file system?

=> Configure Sendmail SSL encryption for sending and receiving email - Configure Sendmail MTA to use SSL encryption for sending/receiving email using valid SSL certificate.

=> Linux configure Network Address Translation or NAT - Old good Linux NAT!

=> Use sudo or sudoers to start, stop & restart Apache - Sudo to stop and/or restart Apache web server!

=> How to install firefox-2.0.tar.gz in Linux - I have downloaded firefox file from mozilla web site to my Linux desktop system. The name of file is firefox-2.0.tar.gz. How do I install firefox-2.0.tar.gz in Fedora Core Linux?

Enjoy!

Restore Debian Linux Grub boot loader

Recently my hard disk went bad (some bad sectors developed), my boot.ini (Windows XP boot file) corrupted. I was using NT boot loader to load Linux. So I need to repair the Grub i.e. restore Grub in master boot record (MBR).

Today is national holiday (I-DAY) and I wanna watch TV. Problem is neither I can boot to Linux nor using XP. So I just took my Debian GNU/Linux DVD and booting started when I had presented installation option (after networking dialog prompt) :
1) Press ALT+F2 (or ALT+CTRL+F2) to get shell prompt
2) Then get the partition tables for the devices using fdisk command:
# fdisk -l

3)When you type fdisk -l, you should see your partition name: /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 (for IDE disk it display same device file in IDE directory)

4)Once you identified your device file, mount disk using mount command:
# mkdir /mydisk
# mount /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 /mydisk

5) Next use chroot command to start interactive shell with special root directory i.e. /mydisk will act as root directory.
# chroot /mydisk

6)Use grub-install command to reinstall grub (SCSI disk):
# grub-install /dev/sda

If you have IDE device following command :
# grub-install /dev/hda

Again replace /dev/hda and /dev/sda with your actual device names.

7)Type exit and reboot the system. You should see your GRUB and Linux again.
# exit

Other choice was to use Linux Live CD (e.g. Mepis) and do the above procedure. Well, I could have used the Mepis to watch TV but I had some data and emails in Tunderbird so I opted to restore the Grub; watched TV, took backup of emails and now I will put new 120 GiB hard disk tomorrow :D