Donnerstag, 20. Dezember 2007

VirtualBox and USB devices

My parents bought a new panasonic camcorder, the software that came with it is Windows only of course. So I tried to get it running in Wine, but the installer didn't get very far before hanging. Next I installed VirtualBox, and installing the video software in a Windows 2000 hosted on VirtualBox worked just fine.

Unfortunately, Windows didn't see the camera's SD card that was attached via a USB adapter. Some googling showed that USB support in VirtualBox is broken in Gutsy. Here are the steps to get it working:

  1. Edit /etc/init.d/ as root
  2. , then activate the commented lines for making /proc/bus/usb work:

    mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
    domount usbfs "" /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
    ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
    mount --rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

  3. Save the file and run the script via sudo /etc/init.d/

  4. Edit /etc/fstab as root and add a line:

    none /proc/bus/usb usbfs devgid=XXXX,devmode=664 0 0

    where XXXX is the gid for group vboxusers as defined in /etc/group

  5. Save the file, then activate the changed configuration via sudo mount -a

When you start VirtualBox now, a USB controller can be activated in the settings for each virtual machine.

Mittwoch, 5. Dezember 2007

KNetworkManager doesn't support KPPP

I've convinced my parents (mostly my father) that it would be easier for them to have Kubuntu on their new laptop than Vista. They'll have to learn a new user interface anyway, but Kubuntu makes support for me much easiear (especially since I've learnt about the desktop sharing feature of NX).

So I've ordered a trusty Dell Inspiron 6400n like my wife has, but this time with Ubuntu 7.04 preinstalled. Installation of Kubuntu 7.10 went smoothly, thanks to Dell's Ubuntu support even the internal modem is supported by a restricted driver.

But when using KPPP for making an internet connection, I was not able to brwose the internet using konqueror. Firefox did work, so I set it up as default internet browser.

But some days later my father found out that he couldn't receive any mails in KMail, though checking with the web frontend I saw he had new mails. There was no error message in KMail, it just said there were no new mails.

Some googling later I found a bug report and knew that KDE software like Konqueror and KMail rely on KNetworkManager to check wether they are in online or offline mode. When it works, it's a great feature. Unfortunately it doesn't work with some weird WLAN setups -- and with KPPP!

The easiest solution to get around this is to simpy quit KNetworkManager -- and make sure it doesn't automatically come up again on the next start.