[Linux-ham] Debian Neophyte Question

Norman Young normany at mindspring.com
Sun Nov 7 22:24:09 EST 2004


A while back, I decided that I wanted to give a permanent installation of Linux a try running PSK, so I installed Debian Linux 3.0r2.  

I put it on a freebie pentium 133 MHz machine with 32 megs of ram and a two gig hard drive.  Because this was an older BIOS, I had to use a boot floppy to start the installation CD.  (I used the 7 CD "Woody" version.)  I opted to install the X Window and Desktop packages, using GDM as the display manager.  I realize that this is about the least powerful machine you'd want to try this on, and it runs a little slow, but still perfectly usable.  And this is a learning experience more than anything else.

However, I am having a problem configuring the floppy so that I as a user (rather than root) can access it, and I am also having a little problem with the audio (which I need for PSK).  

As for the floppy, I can mount and unmount it OK in a terminal session as root, but of course, that limits my ability to use it severely.  GDM will not allow me to login as root, so I can only go into either Gnome or KDE as a user. 

I did manage to figure out that I could go into KDE and use File Manager in the superuser mode.  From there, I saw that my /etc/fstab file entry for the floppy is:

/dev/fd0.    /floppy.	auto,	user,noauto.	.	0.	0

Now this stack of books I'm surrounded by tells me that this ought to allow me to read and write to a floppy in KWrite, AbiWrite, or any other WP or editor in either Gnome or KDE as a user.  But when I try to save in KWrite, I get "Could not save /floppy/[document name]."  In AbiWrite in Gnome, I get "The directory '/floppy/[document name] is write-protected."  That says to me that I don't have privileges... although I can format a floppy using the format utility.  Go figure.

As for the sound card, that seems to be working OK, except that when I use grip to play a CD, the volume is low, and the volume control on the CD-ROM won't respond.  This may be due to a cheap sound card.  I am running an ESS Maestro 3/Allegro, and physically, it looks kinda small.  It does OK playing wave files and the like, so it will probably do OK on PSK, but not so hot on the CD.

If you're still with me, there is one other bit of information.  I used the K User Manager utility as a superuser to get access as a user to audio.  When I found this, I also added myself as user to the following groups:

(Needed to get audio and CD to work)

(I have also selected)
dialout (I am eventually gonna get around to the modem.)

These are the only groups I have selected, although in an effort to resolve the floppy issue, I also tried checking "root" and "adm", but they had no effect, so I unchecked them.  

The fix probably very simple, but I have exhausted my resources. I have used the online docs, internet searches, and several books, but to no avail.  So if anyone can help me figure out how to tweak this a little I sure would appreciate it.  

Feel free to cc me direct as I am subscribed in digest mode.

Thanks & 73,

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