Ubuntu 8.10 and the Sony Ericsson MD300 modem

November 17, 2008

Since the 3G network is growing fast here in Brazil I decided to give it a try. My carrier offered me a Sony Ericsson MD300 modem as part of the service. Then I had the mission to make it work under Linux, in specific the Ubuntu 8.10 (my current distribution).

The MD300 modem is not officially supported but as I will show bellow, it is quite well compatbile with the Ubuntu 8.10. This USB device comes with 3 different operation modes. The defaul mode is the 1, which the device acts like a flash drive and of course we are not interested. Then we have to tell the Linux to switch to the mode 3 (serial modem) when the new device is plugged. To do so, we create an udev rule. It is quite easy.

Create a udev rule’s file (on the /etc/udev/rules.d) for the device

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/50-md300modem.rules

Then put the following content on the rule’s file:

ACTION!=”add”, GOTO=”3G_End”
BUS==”usb”, SYSFS{idProduct}==”d0cf”, SYSFS{idVendor}==”0fce”, NAME=”%k”,SYMLINK=”modem3G-%n”, PROGRAM=”/bin/sh -c ‘echo 3 > /sys/%p/device/bConfigurationValue'”

Be careful with the like breaks. The text above has only 3 lines.

After those steps, reboot your machine so the new rules can be applied and connect your modem at an USB port. Now it should be working and two devices must have appeader (/dev/ttyACM0 and /dev/ttyACM1)

e1000e driver is back on Intrepid

October 6, 2008

Since my last kernel update the driver e1000e was not blacklist anymore. I am not sure if it is the final solution. This is the bug fix solution (from kernel.org):

Set the hardware to ignore all write/erase cycles to the GbE region in the ICHx NVM. This feature can be disabled by the WriteProtectNVM module parameter (enabled by default) only after a hardware reset, but the machine must be power cycled before trying to enable writes.

Although the e1000e was unblacklisted I had to modprobe it again to work on my Ubuntu Intrepid. On a terminal:

sudo modprobe e1000e

Flash High CPU Usage on Intrepid: a better solution

September 27, 2008

There is a better alternative to solve the Flash High CPU usage on the Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10, using a possible official patch. This patch will generate a new .deb that can be installed and removed using the Debian’s Package Manager. To quickly install just follow the commands below on a Terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal).

sudo apt-get install build-essential fakeroot devscripts
cd /tmp
wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/17178225/flashplugin-nonfree_10.0.1.218%2B10.0.0.569ubuntu1.debdiff
apt-get source flashplugin-nonfree
sudo apt-get build-dep flashplugin-nonfree
cd flashplugin-nonfree-
patch -p1 < ../flashplugin-nonfree_10.0.1.218+
debuild -uc -us
sudo dpkg -i ../flashplugin-nonfree_10.0.1.218+

This will generate a .deb and install it.

Update: patch was misspelled. Thanks Doug!

e1000e banned on 2.6.27-4

September 24, 2008

As a desperated measure, the maintainers of Ubuntu Kernel decided to put the e1000e driver on the blacklist. It is a temporary measure to avoid more problems, but also disabled ethernet on a huge number o machines (including mine đŸ™‚ ).

I hope this issue will be solved as soon as possible.

Intrepid ships hardware-blower driver

September 23, 2008

In the Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Alpha, the kernel used is the 2.6.27 which contains a very dangerous version of the e1000e driver. This specific version of the driver maps the firmware of the hardware on memory and gives write access to it, so a misbehaved kernel (which is common in a development branch) can overwrite the firmware.

The attempts to recover the firmware using the Intel’s tools just make the things worse and brick the entire network card (the card is not recognized as PCI device anymore).

In other words, the driver allows a sequence of events to destroy the network card, which in many cases is onboard or at a laptop (there is already some occurrences of this fact).

You can track the bug on LaunchPad.

Flash 10 High CPU usage on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid

September 22, 2008

When I try to use the Flash 10 that comes in the repository I suffer from a very high CPU usage on websites that contain Flash animations.

A temporary solution while the version in the repository is not fixed is to use the Adobe’s version installed manually. To do so, follow the steps bellow:

  1. Go to http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html
  2. Download the Linux .tar.gz version
  3. Extract it to a temporary directory
  4. Execute the flashplayer-installer
  5. Answer the questions

Now the issues related to the high cpu usage shall disappear.

PS: The FlashBlock still doesn’t work

Impressions on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Alpha 6

September 22, 2008

First of all, I know it is an Alpha version, however it is the last alpha version and today just happened the Beta Freeze. So, I decided to try the new Ubuntu on my Lenovo’s Thinkpad T61 (all chipsets are Intel). My impressions were very good at a first glance, however after installing I needed to remove a lot of Gnome’s configuration files.

What surprised me:

  • Network Manager 0.7 is becoming a very powerful tool, now supporting also GSM and ADSL.
  • Network interfaces can be activated at boot time (configurable also via Network Manager).
  • Flash Plugin upgraded to 10, solving the annoying issues of overlapping over menus and other page items.
  • New Kernel 2.6.27 with new drivers (Now my wifi light is on)
  • The Pidgin was upgraded to 2.5.1
  • The volume control is now integrated with Pulse Audio.

What disappointed me:

  • The Network Manager does not recognise my mobile phone over Bluetooth or USB
  • My Flash Blocker plugin is not working anymore (tryied to reinstall everything)
  • The Kernel still in development, so the suspend does not work
  • My Ricoh Card Reader still does not support Memory Stick due the lack of a kernel driver
  • The is some graphical bugs related to X and my Intel video.

In conclusion, the Ubuntu 8.10 will be very promising. There is a lot of bugs to be fixed until it reaches beta. Until then, I will be filling bugs and tracking then very closely on Launchpad.