Christoph Petermann Homepage

 DF9CY Linrad Installation

Latest update: 16 May 2005

First advice

Read the instructions on the Linrad pages very carefully ! You get a lot of help there. At least there is nothing special or new on this page.

You have to have NASM installed. NASM is an 80x86 Assembler. Download the latest NASM Source from

Download the latest SVGALIB from !!

I am not intended to make any upgrade to SuSe 9.3 by now, as my system is working fine now.

I will try the Knoppix / W3SZ Linrad version and install a complete KNOPPIX version to replace the SuSe system. This is free of charge and easy to keep up to date.

Current LINRAD Version running here: 1.34

Here is a short description of what I made, to get Linrad working on SuSE 9.1, but it should be valid for other distributions too.


Extend paths

* New file /etc/profile.local (as root). You should NOT extend /etc/profile.

Set all path to /bin and /sbin locations:

Reason: for safety issues root is not allowed to compile any programs ...

export Path


Get and install NASM as described on the Linrad pages. Here is the short form:

$ gunzip nasm.tgz
$ tar xvf nasm.tar
$ cd nasm-0.98   (or newer version)
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install (or $ mv nasm /usr/bin)

Get SVGALIB running

$ gunzip svgalib-1.9.19.tar.gz
$ tar -xvf svgalib-1.9.19.tar

change to directory

$ cd svgalib-1.9.19


$ make install

ONLY in case it ends with error messages, continue here:

Edit makefile.cfg (line 133). It should look like this (actually line 132 .. 134):

# you are going to install the kernel module manually
# INSTALLMODULE = installmodule !! comment out this line like this here
# INSTALLMODULE = installmodule.alt

now type:

$ make install

this compiles everything, except the kernel module. I had no error here.


$ cd kernel/svgalib_helper
$ make
$ insmod svgalib_helper.o

Thats it here.

Linrad itself

Use bzip2 to extract the Linrad tarball.

$ cd Linrad-x.xx (x.xx = version)
$ ./configure
$ ./make
try (As Leif says, there is no reason to start Linrad before this works):

In case of problems edit /etc/vga/svgalib.config and change settings for your specific setup.

When done:

$ ./linrad

and follow the instructions of the programs. Take the same graphics setting you took with vgatest.

I have installed a binary section to my home account for Linrad. I have copied the Linrad executable and the help file(s) there. Also I copied svgalib_helper.o. A small script makes it easy: I called it rli (for runlinrad)

su                       # you will be asked for root password here
insmod svgalib_helper.o  # this installs the kernel module
linrad                   # here goes Linrad

I can start it now from any terminal session in kde or gnome WITHOUT any problems. But it my be better to put the script into the root directory. This is when you login as root from console (Ctrl-Alt-F2/F3):

cd /home/[myhome]/bin/linrad
insmod svgalib_helper.o

Linrad Parameters

There are a number of articles concerning Parameter Settings. At first I tried the standard settings given by the program. This works at least.

LINRAD handbook

A kind of handbook - at least a concentrated overview on all keys and functions of the program. That would be VERY helpful.

My Installation

Impressions on SuSE 9.1 with 2.6 Kernel: Absolutely stable ! You can switch from Linrad to the KDE session (Ctrl-Alt-F7) make some sound adjustments and back. I did not have ANY crash so far. That is fun.

Text and All Images are Copyright by Christoph Petermann DF9CY

GO (back) and visit my homepage