iTunes on Linux

So I now have a working copy of iTunes.  But I should explain that it is running in a Windows Virtual Machine.  Here’s why:

I was able to install iTunes up to version 7.01 using Crossover Office – but the install was buggy and left a lot to troubleshoot.  I knew there would be Windows apps that wouldn’t work – so I planned for a VM to run them in.  iTunes just had teh dubious honor of being first.

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Foray into Fedora – iTunes (a.k.a. Jeff vs iTunes) Round 1

As I’m sure my wife will tell you, I’m not one to settle with anything.  I have used iTunes since before Apple released a Windows version.  So not only do I have a matter of pride to make iTunes work on Linux, but I have a significant investment in DRM coded music to protect.  The alternative being burn all that music CD, rip and then reapply the ID3 tags.  (not exactly my idea of a fun weekend)

As of the writing of this post iTunes 8.01 is the current version.  My goal will, of course, be to run the latest version of iTunes on Linux.

I have started round one of Jeff vs iTunes using Crossover Office and my now, very workable Fedora 9 install.  I built a custom Windows XP (templated) bottle to hold the iTunes install – and really, I hoped that it would just work.  After the time it took to get WoW working, I was really hoping for a quick win… but NOOOOO… iTunes spent about 20 minutes churning it’s wheels, with no results.

Finally, the installer finished – and in no uncertain terms told me that it would not install.  I’m going to call it a night (still elated about getting WoW to work).  Tomorrow I will try a few other options with iTunes.  (be warned, I may cheat a little).  For the record, Round 1 goes to iTunes.

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Foray Into Fedora… Part 2

Well, it’s been a busy couple of days…

Installing the updates and Crossover Office did not work entirely… really it didn’t work at all.

After installing all the updates, I did the nvidia installs – and tried the CXOffice and CXGames.  No luck at all.  Even the default install of fonts would not work.

So I was tinkering with the files, when it occured to me to try the install as root.  Much to my surprise the fonts installed!  I added my username root group in to the /etc/group and tried again… SUCCESS!

So now is where things get fun… right?   Wrong!

iTunes still won’t install.

World of Warcraft won’t install

Office 2003 won’t install (not so critical)

After a rather rough day at work, I decided that the MMORPG was more important than productivity at home – so making WoW work was the priority.  After the repeated “could not find video card” messages, I did some digging and read a few articles on linux, nividia and something called DRI.  I made a lot of the changes those articles suggested, but I still hit the same error.

Since I went through all the trouble of finding the nvidia drivers on livna, it never occured to me to just check with the nvidia website to see if they had released drivers…  In retrospect, I should have done this first.  So the first step is to remove the livna drivers and start *clean*.

running “yum remove kmod-nvidia* xorg-x11-drv-nvidia*” as root cleaned up all that stuff.

I then went to nvidia and found the right sh file and ran it outside of XWindows (don’t bother trying in X, it’ll error out).

I ran through the defaults, and ended up having to compile a new kernel module.  This required and exit and a “yum install kernel-devel” and then a restart on the install.  (maybe do that before you install.)

After the install, I rebooted and tried to run WoW.  No luck, same error.  Feeling spunky, I rebooted into init 3 and did the installer again.  It threw a lot of errors, but ultimately finished.  I rebooted into init 5 after that and crossed my fingers.

Much to my surprise (and honestly I was suprised) when I launched WoW, it came right up.  I reconfigured the display settings and things were perfect.

Next… iTunes.

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Foray Into Fedora…

I have, over the past 17 years, dabbled in Linux… with mixed results.  I have tried Slackware, RedHat, SUSE, Ubuntu and many others.  Usually, my jumps from Windows to Linux are a result of Windows doing something so completely stupid, that I can’t stand to look at the logo anymore.  Inevitably, I would install the OS and spend hours even days, trying to bend things to my will.  Make the video, network, sound and all the other cards in my system work. 

This time is no different.  I have a nearly brand new computer – i386-64, Quad Core Processor.  Vista gives the entire system a rating of 5.4 (hard drive space being the detractor).  However, over the past 45 days, I have had to reinstall Vista twice.  Both times for the same reason – the hard drive just kept running.  Now normally, I’d say the hard drive running is not that big of a deal – indexing, defrags, and other functions require it.  But when that hard drive interrupts me from being able to click or do anything… we have a problem. 

I checked performance counters, I checked task manager, I even tried talking nicely to it.  NOTHING!  There was no reason for the hard drive to be spinning like it was.  (for the record, I know that the computer can’t here me…no microphone).

After the second time – and realizing I was going to have to go through it all again – I decided it was time to head down the Linux road again.  The OS itself has matured greatly in the past couple years, and support for current hardware is common.

So I made a list of things I’d need to make work:

  • The nVidia 8600 GT would have to work.
  • Network (wired) would have to work
  • Sound, I wasn’t going to play around – if it was support, that distro was off the shelf
  • Ability to install Crossover Office (so that I could run windows apps if I needed to)

Not a big list, but it narrowed things down and after careful reading, I selected Fedora 9 as the OS to install.

I hopped on my bittorrent client and downloaded the latest DVD installer began the process.  That’s when things started to go wrong.

Install went smoothly (but took forever).  When it completed, the system tried to set up XWindows – which did not work.  I found a work around: 

  su –
  rpm -Uhv http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-8.rpm
  yum -y install kmod-nvidia
  init 3
  nvidia-config-display enable

IMHO, this should have worked perfectly – but NO!  My Kernel was out of date for the kmod-nvidia.

To fix this, I have now fired off a “yum update” which will download all the updates since the Fedora 9 DVD was build.  For the configuration of applications I installed, that’s 1.1GB (490 packages).  

On a side note, Linux installs default to boot in run level 5, which is the gui.  Well – my system boots the gui to a blank screen – so I had to disable this funciton.  I had some trouble booting to single use more then switching to run level 3.  To get around this, I changed the default run level to 3, this setting can be found in /etc/inittab. 

Once the update is done, I’ll do the drivers and post back how it went.

Wish me luck… I’m going to need it.

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