Hauppauge NOVA-S-Plus in Lucid

I’ve been using a Hauppauge NOVA-S-Plus DVB-S card for a while now with MythTV running on Ubuntu Hardy.

I recently upgraded to Lucid and had lots of difficulty getting the card to work with MythTV. All of the required kernel modules were loaded as expected (cx88xx, etc) and the device tree showed up as expected:

ls -l /dev/dvb/adapter0
total 0
crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 1 2010-10-12 23:07 demux0
crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 2 2010-10-12 23:07 dvr0
crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 0 2010-10-12 23:07 frontend0
crw-rw---- 1 root video 212, 3 2010-10-12 23:07 net0

Testing dvbtune gave the following message:

dvbtune -f 1159000 -p H -s 22500000
FD 7: fd_dvr DEMUX DEVICE: : Device or resource busy

It turns out the fix is actually very simple, it’s just not very obvious or well advertised:

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

Apparently the firmware blobs have some legal restrictions regarding their distribution so they have been placed into a separate package as of Karmic.

Make sure you reboot after installing the firmware package.

Lucid gconf fail

This evening I encountered a weird problem when booting up Ubuntu 10.04. I simply had a black screen with a small error window saying:

There is a problem with the configuration server.
(/usr/lib/gconf2-4/gconf-sanity-check-2 exited with status 256)

Considering that I hadn’t knowingly changed anything last time I used the computer this seemed a little odd.

The following also appeared in /var/log/syslog:

Oct 13 22:05:34 hostname gnome-session[450]: WARNING: Error retrieving configuration key ‘/apps/gnome-session/options/auto_save_session’: Failed to contact configuration server; some possible causes are that you need to enable TCP/IP networking for ORBit, or you have stale NFS locks due to a system crash. See http://projects.gnome.org/gconf/ for information. (Details –  1: Could not send message to GConf daemon: Process /usr/lib/libgconf2-4/gconfd-2 received signal 6)

Fortunately the fix turned out to be easy; it’s simply a permission problem with /tmp. To fix it simply run:

sudo chmod 1777 /tmp