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Daily Archives: December 14th, 2006

I am a most impressed Arch Linux user. It is best suited for my low end system. My system is PIII-800MHz/192MB/Intel-82815. After recovery of /home files from lost partition, I cleaned up all my system partitions for fresh and compact installation of Arch Linux. In last 5 months experience in Arch Linux, I tested with a lot of applications installed. Now I know what I need. So I went for fresh Arch installation, otherwise you need not to install Arch to become current version. pacman -Syu will do, to make your system current. OK, let me come to the point.

I installed base Arch installation with 0.7.2 CD in a matter of a few minutes. After reboot, configured pppoe-setup so that I could run pacman -Syu to become updated system. After update, edited /boot/grub/menu.lst and changed initrd value as kernel26.img (based on previous experience, to avoid kernel panic after reboot). This is most important step people have to remember when updating latest 2.6 kernel. So I was cool expecting clean boot, but…. resulted in kernel panic. What to do? No, problem; I have Arch base CD 0.7.2, which is also a good recovery CD.

Booted with Arch CD and entered arch root=/dev/hdX noinitrd ro at boot prompt. My Arch root partition became live. I checked /var/log/ directory for pacman log, which did not give any hint. I was not able to start my broadband cable daemon also due to some module error, as it pointed out. So I was not able to get information through internet. Then I uninstalled and re-installed both mkinitcpio and kernel26. While re-installing it showed some tips about earlymodules=piix to be appended in kernel command line for some Intel chip set based board. I did the same by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst. Now rebooted and found clean Arch Linux command prompt. That’s good. This is also one important step people have to remember when updating latest 2.6 kernel. For other chip set boards, different earlymodules= values are also available. Please search Arch forum for more info on that.

I request Arch developers to take care of this issue which often raises. It is mostly related to update of kernel command line in grub/lilo.

Additional Notes:

After base installation, how to bring GNOME desktop setup? Here is a quick go:

1. To install X windows system: pacman -S xorg

2. To install i810 video driver (for my PC): pacman -S xf86-video-i810

3. To install GNOME: pacman -S gnome-desktop gnome-extra

4. To install GNOME Display Manager (GDM): pacman -S gdm

5. Add fam, hal, portmap & dbus gdm in DAEMONS line of /etc/rc.conf file.

6. To configure the X-Windows if you don’t have high end video cards:
# hwd -u
# hwd -x
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.hwd /etc/X11/xorg.conf

7. Reboot and enjoy the GDM welcome screen.


Here is a successful file recovery process on my Home PC. Though many tools have contributed to this recovery, PhotoRec is the Hero. I am going to narrate the entire story.

My PC is PIII-850MHz/192MB/20GB+10GB-HDD, moderately old system more than enough for serving as home PC. I had Arch Linux as Production system and Debian sid, Fedora 5 and Ubuntu-Feisty as test/review system. Last week, When I try to adjust the partition to make room for one more distribution, accidentally (over confident on my skills and recovery tools to blame!) I removed my /home production system partition. This is a XFS file system.

Then I used gpart to recover the partition table. It is a wonderful tool, which did the task just like that. I got the partition back. But my bad luck, I am not able to mount the partition, ended with “can’t read superblock” error message while mounting. Even xfs_repair tool failed to identify a valid super block. I tried my best for 10 days to mount the file system, but it went vain.

I use to take backup of my /home regulary. So I am not missing entire data, but post-backup update of my child’s important function photos. So I decided to try PhotoRec (An open source tool from the same author of TestDisk tool, Christophe GRENIER). It gave me options to choose file types to recover. I chose .jpg and .mov files. It recovered those files in just a matter of minutes. The interface of the tool is also very simple apart from its functionality.

Thanks to the author and open source world! I have also updated my Technology side bar column with a link to his site.