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AmigaOne - Linux - About Linux - Miscellaneous

This section details some of the miscellaneous things you may need to do, such as:

Changing your X-Windows Settings
If for some reason you find that the monitor settings you entered during the installation are incorrect or you decide to change to a different monitor, you may need to reconfigure the keyboard, mouse, or other X-Windows settings. This can done in two ways; one way that is interactive and ensures the correct settings, or by editing the config file directly to tweak certain values.

The first way is run from a Shell while logged on as the root user where you type dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 and press <Enter>.

The second way is also run from a Shell while logged on as the root user where you type nano /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and press <Enter> to edit the X-Windows configuration file, so take care what you change otherwise your X-Windows may not run, or give unpredicatble results. In the most part we will leave it up to you to work out what you want to change, but we do have some suggestions which might help:

  • Tweak Mouse parameters if problem using 3 button mouse
    Some three button PS/2 mice seem to have an adverse effect on the cursor causing it to fly to the top right hand corner and keep returning there. One fix we have identified is to change the mouse protocol. To make the change, look for a Section entitled "InputDevice" where the Identifier is "Configured Mouse". One of the Option statements in that section will refer to "Protocol" and it will probably have a value of "PS/2". Try changing that value to "ImPS/2" to see if that solves the problem. To save your changes press the key combination Ctrl X followed by the Y key and then <Enter> to exit and save the file. It is recommended that you temporarily use a standard 2 button mouse while you make these changes.
Enabling Root Login with Sarge
By default, Sarge does not allow root access from the login screen for GDM or KDE. This is a security feature commonly used in commercial implementations to protect root access, but it is often not necessary for private systems, and can easily be re-enabled.

Using GDM
To reinstate root login with GDM they are several options you can use depending on the way your system is setup:

  • 'gdmsetup' from the console or 'Root Terminal'.
  • 'Configure Login Manager' from the Actions menu on the Login screen.
  • 'Application Menu' -> 'System Tools' -> 'Login Screen Setup'.
  • 'Debian Menu' -> 'Apps' -> 'System' -> 'GDM Setup'
Select Security tab, and put tick in 'Allow root to login with GDM'.

Using KDE
To reinstate root login with KDE you have to edit the KDE configuration file as follows:

  1. Open a shell and if not logged on as "root" issue the command su - and follow the directions on the screen.
  2. Edit the configuration file by typing nano /etc/kde3/kdm/kdmrc.
  3. Find the line 'AllowRootLogin=false'.
  4. Change that line to 'AllowRootLogin=true'.
  5. Save your changes by pressing the key combination Ctrl X followed by the Y key and then <Enter> to exit and save the file.

Mounting and unmounting drives
If you have a drive that is not mounted you will need to mount it. This is particularly true of devices where the medium is removable, such as Floppy, CDROM, DVD, USB Flash drive, etc.

Floppy drives
When you insert a flopy disk into the Floppy drive you want to be able to read the disk, but first it has to be mounted. This will depend on how the mountpoint for the drive has been defined in "/etc/fstab". In most cases it will be mounted automatically by the software, but when you are finished with the floppy disk and want to remove it, you will find that the eject button on the drive will not work unless you unmount it first. If you right-click on the Floppy icon on the GUI interface you should see an "Eject" option which effectively unmounts the drive.

The mountpoint for the Floppy drive '/floppy' defaults to root for owner and group. In order that the Floppy drive can be used by other user-ids, you should change the group value to 'floppy', and add the the user-ids to the floppy group. From the Applications menu in KDE, select 'System Tools' and then 'Run as different user'. For the 'Run:' parameter type 'kuser' and use 'root' for the 'As user:' parameter. It will then ask for the root password before opening KDE User Manager. Click on the Groups tab and then double-click on the the group name for floppy to edit it. Select the user name(s) who can access the floppy disk from the list of 'Users NOT in Group' and click on the 'Add <-' button, and when finished click on 'OK' to save the changes, and then exit KDE User Manager.

CDROM drives
When you insert a CD into the CDROM drive you want to be able to read the CD, but first it has to be mounted. This will depend on how the mountpoint for the drive has been defined in "/etc/fstab". In most cases it will be mounted automatically by the software, but when you are finished with the CD and want to remove it, you will find that the eject button on the drive will not work unless you unmount it first. If you right-click on the CDROM icon on the GUI interface you should see an "Eject" option which effectively unmounts the drive.

The mountpoint for the CDROM drive '/cdrom' defaults to root for owner and group. In order that the CDROM drive can be used by other user-ids, you should change the group value to 'cdrom', and add the the user-ids to the cdrom group. From the Applications menu in KDE, select 'System Tools' and then 'Run as different user'. For the 'Run:' parameter type 'kuser' and use 'root' for the 'As user:' parameter. It will then ask for the root password before opening KDE User Manager. Click on the Groups tab and then double-click on the the group name for cdrom to edit it. Select the user name(s) who can access the CDROM drive from the list of 'Users NOT in Group' and click on the 'Add <-' button, and when finished click on 'OK' to save the changes, and then exit KDE User Manager.

DVD drives
When you insert a DVD into the DVD-ROM or DVD+/-RW drive you want to be able to read the DVD, but first it has to be mounted. This will depend on how the mountpoint for the drive has been defined in "/etc/fstab". Unlike the CDROM drive, the DVD drive is not defined in fstab during the install process so it must be defined manually. While there may be GUI tools such as DBUS and HAL using KDE's media:/ioslave, for this discussion we shall use the shell.

  1. Start by creating a new group for the partition. In this example we are going to call the partition 'DVD' so we will create a group with the same name. From the Applications menu in KDE, select 'System Tools' and then 'Run as different user'. For the 'Run:' parameter type 'kuser' and use 'root' for the 'As user:' parameter. It will then ask for the root password before opening KDE User Manager. Click on the Add Group icon or select 'Add' from the Group menu. For the 'Group name:' parameter type 'dvd' and then select the user name(s) who can access this partition from the list of 'Users NOT in Group' and click on the 'Add <-' button, and when finished click on 'OK' to add the group, and then exit KDE User Manager.
  2. Next open a shell and if not logged on as "root" issue the command su - and follow the directions on the screen.
  3. We are going to use nano to edit the fstab file, so take care what you change otherwise your machine may no longer boot. Type nano /etc/fstab and a screen resembling the following will be displayed:

  4. Move the cursor to the end of the file and type the line shown in green above. Use <Tab> to skip between values; do not type spaces, and note that there must be no spaces between the options values.
  5. To save your changes press the key combination Ctrl X followed by the Y key and then <Enter> to exit and save the file.
Now when you insert a DVD into the DVD drive it should be mounted automatically. When you are finished with the DVD and want to remove it, you will find that the eject button on the drive will not work unless you unmount it first. If you right-click on the DVD icon on the GUI interface you should see an "Eject" option which effectively unmounts the drive.

USB Flash Drives
When you insert a USB Flash Drive into the USB-Port you want to be able to read from it or even write to it, but first it has to be mounted. This will depend on how the mountpoint for the drive has been defined in "/etc/fstab". Unlike the CDROM drive, the USB Flash Drive is not defined in fstab during the install process so it must be defined manually. While there may be GUI tools such as DBUS and HAL using KDE's media:/ioslave, for this discussion we shall use the shell.

  1. Start by creating a new group for the partition. In this example we are going to call the partition 'Flash' so we will create a group with the same name. From the Applications menu in KDE, select 'System Tools' and then 'Run as different user'. For the 'Run:' parameter type 'kuser' and use 'root' for the 'As user:' parameter. It will then ask for the root password before opening KDE User Manager. Click on the Add Group icon or select 'Add' from the Group menu. For the 'Group name:' parameter type 'flash' and then select the user name(s) who can access this partition from the list of 'Users NOT in Group' and click on the 'Add <-' button, and when finished click on 'OK' to add the group, and then exit KDE User Manager.
  2. Next open a shell and if not logged on as "root" issue the command su - and follow the directions on the screen.
  3. We are going to use nano to edit the fstab file, so take care what you change otherwise your machine may no longer boot. Type nano /etc/fstab and a screen resembling the following will be displayed:

  4. Move the cursor to the end of the file and type the line shown in green above. Use <Tab> to skip between values; do not type spaces, and note that there must be no spaces between the options values.
  5. To save your changes press the key combination Ctrl X followed by the Y key and then <Enter> to exit and save the file.
Now when you insert a Flash Drive into the USB Port it should be mounted automatically. When you are finished with the Flash Drive and want to remove it, there is no way the system can stop you, but your Memory drive could become corrupted unless you unmount it first. If you right-click on the Flash Drive icon on the GUI interface you should see an "Eject" option which effectively unmounts the drive.

Amiga Transfer Partitions
Users of dual-booting systems running AmigaOS 4.0 and Linux often find that they want to transfer files from one system to the other. Unfortunately AmigaOS 4.0 doesn't understand the Linux file system but Linux does understand the Amiga file system so you can define a partition that both systems can understand. The AmigaOS 4.0 definition is covered in the section on dual-booting, while the Linux definition is covered by an entry in "/etc/fstab" which must be defined manually. While there may be GUI tools such as DBUS and HAL using KDE's media:/ioslave, for this discussion we shall use the Shell.

  1. Start by creating a new group for the partition. In this example we are going to call the partition 'Amiga' so we will create a group with the same name. From the Applications menu in KDE, select 'System Tools' and then 'Run as different user'. For the 'Run:' parameter type 'kuser' and use 'root' for the 'As user:' parameter. It will then ask for the root password before opening KDE User Manager. Click on the Add Group icon or select 'Add' from the Group menu. For the 'Group name:' parameter type 'amiga' and then select the user name(s) who can access this partition from the list of 'Users NOT in Group' and click on the 'Add <-' button, and when finished click on 'OK' to add the group, and then exit KDE User Manager.
  2. Next open a shell and if not logged on as "root" issue the command su - and follow the directions on the screen.
  3. The first step is to create a mountpoint for the partition, which can be done as follows:
        cd /mnt - to change the current directory to '/mnt'
        mkdir Amiga - to create the mountpoint in the '/mnt' directory
        chgrp Amiga Amiga - to change the group ownership to 'Amiga'
        chmod 775 Amiga - to change the usage permissions for 'Amiga'
  4. We are going to use nano to edit the fstab file, so take care what you change otherwise your machine may no longer boot. Type nano /etc/fstab and a screen resembling the following will be displayed:

  5. Move the cursor to the end of the file and type a line similar to that shown in green above. You should replace the filesystem shown, i.e. '/dev/hda6' with the correct filesystem for your machine. Use <Tab> to skip between values; do not type spaces, and note that there must be no spaces between the options values.
  6. To save your changes press the key combination Ctrl X followed by the Y key and then <Enter> to exit and save the file.
However, using a partition that can be written to by the Amiga Operating System and read by the Linux Operating System is not quite that simple, in that Linux uses security features that are not observed by the Amiga, so everything defaults to 'root' ownership when accessed by Linux. This means that before non-root users can access files, the access privileges must be changed. There are many ways that you can do this, but for this dicussion we will use the Shell.
  1. Open a shell and if not logged on as "root" issue the command su - and follow the directions on the screen.
  2. Change the current directory to the Amiga partition, i.e. cd /mnt/Amiga
  3. Change the usage permissions to unrestricted for all files and directories, i.e. chmod -R 777 *
You will need to repeat these steps every time you write new files from the Amiga side.

Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.


Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 25, 2005.