Sunday, 20 May 2012

Distro Issues

Spent a frustrating morning trying to get the recently released Slackware distribution running on my Pi. I have no doubt that it will be great when problems are ironed out and I have nothing but praise and admiration for the person (or persons) responsible for porting it to the Pi, but it's just not ready for prime-time yet.

The main two problems I encountered were that I could not get my network connection working and I was experiencing lots of problems using my wireless mouse/keyboard.

Now the first of these problems may be down to my lack of Linux knowledge, but after numerous Google searches and checking of files, running of ifconfig and netconfig I was still getting no nearer to getting it working.

The second problem, with my wireless mouse/keyboard exhibited as lots of lag between keypresses or repeating my keypresses or just not picking up on them. This was a problem I had seen previously on Debian which turned out to be down to my power supply. I've since replaced that (now using a powered USB hub) and they are working perfectly in Debian. I wonder if Slackware is using more power than Debian and therefore affecting the mouse/keyboard and potentially the ethernet too?

If you want to try it for yourself, you can pick it up here:

Anyway, back to Debian I went and decided to get the problems with the display sorted out. Here I had two problems, text was too small so as to be virtually unreadable and I had fat black borders at the top and bottom of the screen.

Now I am sure the small text is perfect if you are on a 32" or 37" or 40" (or even bigger) screen, but at present my Pi is hooked up to a 19" screen, so I needed to find out how I changed the resolution.

I referred to the following two pages:

These (particularly the first link) should tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about the config.txt file. I set hdmi_mode=4 and then after a bit of trial and error I got the overscan settings perfect.

Next up, installing Chromium using the instructions here:

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