Change of Linux Distribution

At home my PC has 3 OS’s installed, Windows 7, Windows XP and Ubuntu. I don’t really use a bootloader, i use the motherboard boot device selector to switch between the two drives (7 has a drive to itself, and XP and Ubuntu shares)

I decided that I would switch over to just having Windows 7 and Linux, as I haven’t used XP in a long time. I would also change distributions of Linux away from Ubuntu to… Scientific Linux.

What? Why? What the Hell is that?

Scientific Linux was the first linux I was introduced to during my PhD, back in those days (despite it being only 5 years ago) SL 3 was on the systems at Uni, and, while functional it was pretty terrible and getting anything to work was extremely hard work, getting the correct versions of everything was a big task. SL is maintained mainly by the particle physics community, and such it is loaded with useful things as a development environment pre-shipped, however like I said above, it was a little behind the pace back in those days.

Things are a bit better now with SL6 and in the whole is more up to date and compatible
with hardware.

I have collected together all the helpful and handy hints I used after SL was installed in order to get LuxRender built, along with useful things like… graphics drivers.

Graphics Drivers (Nvidia) The original is instructions are listed here but I present a shortened version

  1. Get the required dependancies : yum install kernel-devel gcc
  2. Grab the Nvidia Driver of your choice
  3. black list the nouveau driver
    edit : /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
    Add : blacklist nouveau at the end
    black list in grub by editing, : /boot/grub/menu.lst
    Add : rdblacklist=nouveau at the end of the line starting with kernal, of the one you want to install the drivers
  4. Set the default init level to 3 to stop the graphics drivers being loaded during start up
    Edit : /etc/inittab
    Replace id:5:initdefault: with id:3:initdefault:
  5. Reboot
  6. log in as normal and run the nVidia installer
  7. Reboot
  8. log in again, and type init 5
    If everything went well, the GUI will load and everything will work perfectly 😉
  9. If all is good, reverse point number 4.
  10. If all is bad… follow all this backwards

My experience with this isnt great, so i take no responsibility if you brick your linux… I certainly have tried to cut corners in the past and ended up in a total mess. These instructions i followed to the letter and successfully installed a v275 series driver in Scientific Linux 6_x86_64.

Building LuxRender

I used a guide posted on the LuxForum  If you follow it to the word, everything should work fine. You can use yum or apt-get in general to install all the dependancies you need and in the case of boost and python, follow things to the letter of the guide and you should not get any problems.

Notes :

If you have installed the nVidia drivers, you will usually have OpenCL and Cuda libraries installed in your system, and thus not require the ATI Stream SDK as listed in the guide. HOWEVER you will need to make a /usr/include/CL folder and copy the OpenCL headers in there. This can be taken from the ATI Stream SDK or, from the khronos group page.

The only things i changed was that i didnt use the ATI stream SDK as explained. I also copied the compiled boost libraies to my system and removed version 1.41 which shipped with my system.  Other than those  you might need to get hold of is libGLEW and compile and install which isn’t really listed as an instruction.

With a little discussion and following that guide i was able to get LuxRays and LuxRender built and running on Scientific linux… which was a nice moment.

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One Response to Change of Linux Distribution

  1. Pingback: Python + Boost + LuxRender = working pylux? | My Experience in 3D Modelling and Rendering

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