Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

First steps using the Kworld UB499-2T USB TV in Ubuntu Precise

July 26th, 2014 No comments

My aim is to explore the capabilities of this device under Xubuntu 12.04 Precise. This Ubuntu distribution has the following kernel version: 3.2.0-52-generic

The KWorld UB499-2T USB TV receiver

After plugging the USB dongle, the following entry appears when running lspci

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 1b80:e409 Afatech IT9137FN Dual DVB-T [KWorld UB499-2T]

Dmesg shows the following details about what Ubuntu discovered

[ 2576.131053] it913x: Chip Version=01 Chip Type=9135
[ 2576.131053] it913x: Dual mode=3 Remote=5 Tuner Type=38
[ 2576.131053] it913x: Chip Version=01 Chip Type=9135
[ 2576.131053] dvb-usb: found a 'Kworld UB499-2T T09(IT9137)' in cold state, will try to load a firmware
[ 2576.182035] dvb-usb: did not find the firmware file. (dvb-usb-it9137-01.fw) Please see linux/Documentation/dvb/ for more details on firmware-problems. (-2)
[ 2576.182050] it913x: DEV it913x Error
[ 2576.182139] usbcore: registered new interface driver it913x
[ 2576.229039] IR NEC protocol handler initialized
[ 2576.318930] IR RC5(x) protocol handler initialized
[ 2576.386718] IR RC6 protocol handler initialized
[ 2576.418104] IR JVC protocol handler initialized
[ 2576.607765] IR Sony protocol handler initialized
[ 2576.644941] IR MCE Keyboard/mouse protocol handler initialized
[ 2576.720781] lirc_dev: IR Remote Control driver registered, major 251
[ 2576.725057] IR LIRC bridge handler initialized

For now, I am going to trust that the chip and type version found is the one displayed: type 9135 and version 01

[ 2576.131053] it913x: Chip Version=01 Chip Type=9135

Then, I look at the message about the firmware file:

[ 2576.182035] dvb-usb: did not find the firmware file. (dvb-usb-it9137-01.fw)

First of all, I get the .fw file directly from github and attempt to copy to the required folder

cd /lib/firmware

sudo wget -o dvb-usb-it9137-01.fw

However, this results in an error in dmesg like the following:

[ 1819.861719] dvb-usb: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-usb-it9137-01.fw'
[ 1819.862468] it913x: FRM Starting Firmware Download
[ 1820.268051] it913x: FRM Firmware Download Failed (ffffffed)
[ 1820.468160] it913x: Chip Version=2b Chip Type=0203

The reason is that the firmware is only one component for activating the device.  There is another set of components that needs to be compiled and installed.

Then I go to Ubuntu’s help website on the specific page for this subject and follow these instructions:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install git linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential patchutils libproc-processtable-perl

cd ~

git clone git://

cd media_build


sudo make install

What will happen is that a good number of files were compiled to create what look like specific drivers for DVB-T devices called v4l, short for Video for Linux or Video4Linux.

This is what I can see what the installer is doing:

  • files are being compiled into *.o objects using gcc

While compiling, I get the following errors:

/home/ubu/media_build/v4l/v4l2-of.c: In function 'v4l2_of_parse_csi_bus':
/home/ubu/media_build/v4l/v4l2-of.c:38:4: error: implicit declaration of function 'of_prop_next_u32' [-Werror=implicit-function-declaration]
/home/ubu/media_build/v4l/v4l2-of.c:38:9: warning: assignment makes pointer from integer without a cast [enabled by default]
cc1: some warnings being treated as errors
make[3]: *** [/home/ubu/media_build/v4l/v4l2-of.o] Error 1
make[2]: *** [_module_/home/ubu/media_build/v4l] Error 2


Apparently, this means that I need a more modern kernel that can understand the 0f_prop_next_u32 option.

I had to upgrade my kernel while being on Precise to a Raring Ringtail distro kernel (3.8).

After that, I started the build above again by running:

cd ~/media_build
sudo make clean

This clears the failed compilation and starts to compile again

Finally, I installed the components

sudo make install

Additional resources wiki page

Categories: hardware, multimedia Tags:

Lubuntu Quantal will not boot a graphical desktop after initial installation (Toshiba NB150 netbook)

April 5th, 2013 No comments

After I noticed that the Live CD mode of Lubuntu Quantal was failing on a Toshiba NB510 netbook, a similar problem was happening right after installation.

The first step in resolving this problem was to blacklist the gma500_gfx driver as follows

Workaround that allows logging in a graphical desktop

1. update file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf by adding the following line

blacklist gma500_gfx

2. then update the ramfs so that the modification will be picked up next time the system starts up.

sudo update-initramfs -u

3. Reboot your system

This will allow a graphical environment to start up although it will be the one with a low graphical setting (VESA 800 x 600).

I found the confirmed bug here.

This seems like a fairly important bug so the developers have quickly come up with a fix that exists in Quantal Quetzal in version 1.13.0-0ubuntu6.1 of the xserver-xorg-core package.

Because I was using Lubuntu, the xserver-xorg-core package was not installed by default.  So the fix is to install the package and remove the blacklist on the driver as was instructed at the start of this article.

Permanent Fix: Install xserver-xorg-core package and remove blacklist on  gma500_gfx

1. Install the latest version of xserver-xorg-core as follows

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core

2. remove the blacklist for gma500_gfx

update file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf by removing the following line

blacklist gma500_gfx

3. Update the ramfs so that the modification will be picked up next time the system boots

sudo update-initramfs -u

4. Reboot your system so that the changes will take effect

5. You should now be able to log on a resolution higher than 800 x 600.

When I first used it, the screen was very dim and could not make brighter using the netbook shortcuts for increasing or decreasing brightness even though the animated setting icons were appearing on the screen. If the screen is too dim, try to log off and log back on.

6. Finally, confirm that the gma500_gfx driver module has been loaded and all its depending modules are running:

The command

 lsmod | grep gfx

should display the following modules that depend on it

gma500_gfx 187730 2
drm_kms_helper 45271 1 gma500_gfx
drm 230463 3 gma500_gfx,drm_kms_helper
i2c_algo_bit 13197 1 gma500_gfx
video 18847 1 gma500_gfx

Find out the the graphics card chipset of a computer under Ubuntu.

April 4th, 2013 No comments

I wanted to find out my graphics card hardware under Ubuntu. The object is to see how far I can go without opening my equipment.


The first information I looked at was the output of the lspci command as follows

lspci -v

This returned the following line:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor D2xxx/N2xxx Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)

However, this is not detailed enough. One of the reasons could have been that the IDs of the PCI devices were not up to date.

They need to be downloaded using the following command:

sudo update-pciids

The result of the command should look something like this:

Downloaded daily snapshot dated 2013-04-04 03:15:00

However, this still returned the same vague result

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor D2xxx/N2xxx Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)

I’m looking at other options of refining this result. Stay tuned

Categories: hardware Tags: