Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mincraft Gentoo 64 bit

I recently upgraded to Gentoo 64 bit and generally it's been great.  Dropped LVM and just used partitions at the same time and it feels generally a bit quicker. A few issues with Steam but they've been resolved in another post.

Minecraft was the one thing that still didn't work.

It needed one extra install to make it work.

emerge x11-apps/xrandr

Once this was installed it worked fine otherwise it crashes with errors like:

OpenGL: ~~ERROR~~ RuntimeException: No OpenGL context found in the current thread.

Friday, July 31, 2015

One man's Windows 10 experience

I was quite excited by this one.  I thought it's windows 9 (they should have left it at 9 not 10) it's the odd numbered one.  It will be good.  It will fix the annoying windows 8.

Got that hugely wrong I did.

I usually live in Linux and boot into a windows 8.1 partition to play some games and the odd app that i can't replace in linux. So I started into windows on the 29th to see if win 10 was available as I reserved a copy.

No sign of it on the 29th, nor the 30th (we're a bit ahead so it's not uncommon for stuff to be a day late for us) so I did a search and found sometimes you have to clear the download folder to get it to download again and run a  cmd command.  Windows update popped up and it said windows 10 is downloading.  Cool.  About 3GB later it said it was ready to reboot so off it went.  First fail.  Waited a while but restart never happened.  I guess that technically is an 8.1 fail but windows 10 was behind it I'm sure :-) After hitting the reset button I was back to 8.1 and no update offer.  Back to the web site, clear the folder run the command again.  We're away.  It'll work this time. yeah, nah.  Not quite.

After 6 tries at this it seemed to work so I started it and went to work.  Weirdly the download got bigger each time by the last time it was 8.3GB.

At least we're under way.  Got home from work and it had installed and was waiting to be set up. So the first question was default of custom settings.  OK custom settings is my usual choice.

Boy that was a good choice.  Every option defaulted to on and every option was we'll send your typing and gestures to microsoft to improve things, we'll send your web history to microsoft to improve your searches, we'll send you typing in search fields to microsoft to improve things.  What a load of bullshit. microsoft want all your data and are just going to T&C to take it.  Wake up people.  Time to switch OSes. If you want any sort of privacy you're in the wrong place. Send your typing to microsoft?  WTF?

It's gets better.  Once all the invasion of privacy questioned were answered win 10 finished it's setup but complained about internet.  OK sometimes it takes a while to connect. So I logged in and there were no network adapters. WTF again? There were three before. So device manager has the devices and says they're OK.  I uninstalled and reinstalled the Wifi card.  Still no adapter.  They're crazy wacky adapters like Intel 7260 Wifi, realtek 8139 and Nvida onboard ethernet.

So I'm back in Linux searching for answers to make my useless windows 10 partition somewhat usable again.

In summary windows 10?  Just say no people. If enough people stick with windows 7 they'll have to keep supporting it. I wish I'd never left it behind.

Update for the no network adapters issue.  I saw a post from a ms tech (sorry I can't find it again to credit him) and if you've had the Cisco VPN client installed on 8.1 and upgrade this will happen.  That won't be many people..

The fix is open a cmd window as administrator

type the commands

netcfg -s n

look for DNI_DNE

if that's there then do

reg delete HKCR\CLSID{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /va /f
netcfg -v -u dni_dne

Update 2 full details at

Friday, February 6, 2015

Steam client on Gentoo stops with GL errors

I use the Steam client on Gentoo Linux and recently it stopped working which meant I had TF2 withdrawal :-)

I'm not a programmer so this may be a bad way to fix things but it worked for me. YMMV.

It all started when you launch the steam client it brings up a dialog:

OpenGL GLX context is not using direct rendering, which may cause performance problems

TF2 would not even launch :-(

Launching from a terminal gave me

libGL error: unable to load driver:
libGL error: driver pointer missing
libGL error: failed to load driver: r600
libGL error: unable to load driver:
libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast

After searching through all sorts of things I found an article  about MatLab but with similar errors.

 After doing the:

export LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose

things started to make sense.

libGL: screen 0 does not appear to be DRI3 capable
libGL: pci id for fd 7: 1002:68b8, driver r600
libGL: OpenDriver: trying /usr/lib/dri/tls/
libGL: OpenDriver: trying /usr/lib/dri/
libGL: dlopen /usr/lib/dri/ failed (/home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ version `GLIBCXX_3.4.20' not found (required by /usr/lib/dri/
libGL error: unable to load driver:
libGL error: driver pointer missing
libGL error: failed to load driver: r600
libGL: OpenDriver: trying /usr/lib/dri/tls/
libGL: OpenDriver: trying /usr/lib/dri/
libGL: dlopen /usr/lib/dri/ failed (/home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ version `GLIBCXX_3.4.20' not found (required by /usr/lib/dri/
libGL error: unable to load driver:

The libstdc++ in the Steam directory was


ls -al /home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 nick users 19 Jul 19  2014 /home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ ->

but the r600 driver was now built with

ls /usr/lib/gcc/i686-pc-linux-gnu/4.9.2/*
/usr/lib/gcc/i686-pc-linux-gnu/4.9.2/  /usr/lib/gcc/i686-pc-linux-gnu/4.9.2/

So can you just link the one outside the Steam directory? Delete the link and try..

rm /home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/
ln -s /usr/lib/gcc/i686-pc-linux-gnu/4.9.2/ /home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

Let's try steam

libGL: screen 0 does not appear to be DRI3 capable
libGL: pci id for fd 7: 1002:68b8, driver r600
libGL: OpenDriver: trying /usr/lib/dri/tls/
libGL: OpenDriver: trying /usr/lib/dri/

It says not DRI3 capable but I thoguth it was but no biggie.  No dialog about OpenGL. Getting excited... Launched TF2.  No error straight away and it worked! I was back in Pyro land :-)

Update: I recently made the jump to 64 bit Gentoo and the link command is now different but otherwise it just worked again.

ln -s /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/4.9.3/libstdc++.6 /home/nick/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Raspberry Pi panics on boot with no HDMI

One of the Pis started playing up and it's got some odd symptoms.

Initially it would boot and and then reboot just after the login prompt appeared.  I think that was a process not seeing the hardware it expected and trying to recover but diagnosing this I hooked it up to the monitor to see what was going on.

The odd thing that is since then it won't restart without a monitor attached.  If there is no monitor it kernel panics and says it can't it can't mount the root file system.  I tried hooking up a cable with nothing on the end but that fails as well so it needs to get the information from a monitor to start.

the /boot/cmdline.txt file is

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p6 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline root-wait

I think the problem is root-wait.  This might have got auto corrected when I loaded the file onto the Mac to add init=/bin/sh to do some trouble shooting. It looks like it should be root-wait no hyphen.

Looks to be sorted now.  So be careful editing that file on machines that want to auto correct things.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

IPSEC VPN Fortigate to ISA 2006

We had to set one of these up today and it was a bit odd.

The easiest way is to say what settings worked :-)

Stick with SHA and 3DES.  Group2 for DH, supposedly 14 will work but it didn't for us.

Use proxies, this was our final stumbling block.  ISA wanted proxies in phase 2 or came up with INVALID-ID-INFORMATION in the Fortigate debugs.

Otherwise it's defaults for times, DPD etc.

Edit later:

ISA summarises multiple networks rather than creating a second phase 2. dumb..

ie we had at the remote site and at the head office end.  They want to add so debugging (you can't set this or see it in ISA by the looks of it) the HO end proxy goes from to So what happens when you add a second network to the remote office end?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My first raspberry Pi and dabble into crypto currency ASICs

This will be a combination of a few things.

I bought my first Pi to play with.  It now does mail for our home domain, DNS and a nice gui for the dabble into crypto currency.

I bought a nice combo that had a B+ board, power supply, case, heatsinks and on top of that a wireless dongle as I want it to run in the garage which has no cabling.

Unpacked it and put it in it's case and put the heatsinks on.  Easy.  Plugged into the TV and booted NOOBs.  Told it to install raspian and it was away. All nice and easy.

Raspian boots up with LXDE but you can, in theory, install just about anything.  Set up the wifi network and a few test reboots all looked good. I played with overclocking but it just made it less stable. We'll revisit that one.

Things to do on a new RPi I now know: firmware update (sudo rpi-update) and full dist upgrade(sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) of raspian. Both seemed to help stability as I had some USB issues to start with. Go through the raspi-config settings carefully and go to advanced update rapi-config before anything else. I've dropped the GPU memory to 16MB as it'll barely ever use the display. I had to turn off overscan as well to see the whole desktop.  Seems odd that's on by default.

I have a mail server running postfix, dovecot and roundcube.  All these just installed on the RPi and worked.  Copied the config files from the old server and merged them.  Copy certs from the old server to RPi.

The next step was to test a Gridseed (scrypt hasher) and it picked it up fine.  Install a system named minera ( which can be a full SD image or install on a running system.

The surprising thing is the RPi just keeps taking this. It seems to have more than enough grunt to handle all this.  It didn't do so well when I tried a minecraft server as well.  Might need another one for that :-)

So it sits in the garage with 6 gridseeds hashing away (it'll never make money but it's fun) and doing DNS for the home network and our mail server all over a wireless link.  Seems plenty stable.  I like it a lot! The idea was to stop leaving a full computer on 24/7 when something tiny and way less power hungry will do the job. So that's my bit to saving the environment :-)

My list of gripes are small and not really RPi related. The Gridseeds won't do SHA256d on the Pi, I have to go to a special windows build to do that but looking at it the gridseeds should be restricted to scrypt.  They use 6 to 8 watts (4 apparently if you chop the fan) each and hash about as much as a reasonable graphics card (360 to 390 kH/s currently similar to R9 270). If you so SHA256d they use 5 or 10 times as much power.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gentoo Linux and 802.11ac

I have an Intel 7260ac PCI card that never seem to go all that fast under Linux.

The NetworkManager widget said it was on channel 149 and doing about 130Mb but in Windows it gets 650 to 780 Mb in ac mode.

Turns out the NM widget was lying it was on 2.4 (so not channel 149) and was capped about 130Mb. I tried forcing it to 5GHz but it just roamed back to 2.4.

Hmm.. found a simple solution block the MAC on the 2.4GHz radio. Now it connects at the same speed as Windows on 5GHz.  Simple really and not an issue if you have separate SSIDs.