Debian fun for the week – USB HD locking system + fglrx and backport kernels

Dec 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd

Alrighty, another adventure to go on in linux land.  The problems started a few days ago when I noticed my system locking up all of a sudden.. I mean full all the way lock, stock and two smoking barrels having to take the battery out and unplug the damn thing just to get it to restart.  Not often do problems that affect the system so severely crop up so I knew I was going to be in for some fun fixing it.

Well as it turns out the solution didn’t really involve any ‘fixing’ I just hopped on IRC and chatted with the nice folks over at #debian and they told me to try enabling backports to upgrade my kernel up to 2.6.39 and so I did .  To do so I just followed the instructions here which were designed for 2.6.38 but worked well enough for me when I dug around to find out what the latest kernel was.  I’ll quote the instructions below for convenience:

1.) Make changes to your sources.list (im using vim but this can be done using nano, or any other texteditor you prefer).

vim /etc/apt/sources.list

2.) Add the line below to the bottom of the file.

deb squeeze-backports main

3.) Update your repositories

apt-get update

5. Install  the backport and the kernel.

apt-get install -t squeeze-backports linux-image-2.6.39-bpo.2-amd64


So there you go, you now have an updated Kernel, USB drive problems should be gone.  However a brand new problem will arise and that is that fglrx won’t be working at all and you’re screen’s framerate will be hovering around 3 or 5 fps..  Awesome right?  Yea, not so much.  Well it turns out that on the page with the oriiginal instructions that I linked to above where he said “(note: the linux headers and other dependencies will be installed aswell)” he wasn’t being 100% truthful as those lovely headers we NOT installed and so everytime I reinstalled my ATI proprietary drivers they would just apply to the previous kernel and not the new one.  Soooo cool

So what you need to do here is obviously go into synaptic and just search for bpo.. Find the headers and anything else you want for your new kernel and install it.  On a side note I did have some problems with dkms and the ati drivers which resulting in me having to purge dkms completely from the system and reinstall it(sudo apt-get purge dkms) .  It’s also helpful to purge any existing flglrx and make sure you uninstall the proprietary drivers by running the install script and adding a –uninstall=force at the end of it.


Hopefully that solves any issues you may have

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