in Linux

fixing Adobe Acrobat Reader’s “expr: syntax error” message

I just upgraded to Fedora (no longer “Core”) 7 and decided to finally install Adobe Acrobat Reader for Linux. Normally I’ve used the built-in “Document Viewer”, but I needed to fill in a PDF form, and only Reader will allow you to do that.

Upon installing Reader, I found it would loop forever, printing expr: syntax error on the screen. Fortunately, someone has already solved this problem:

Fix Adobe Acrobat Reader’s “expr: syntax error” message

Now it works perfectly. Thanks, Javier Arturo Rodríguez!

There are a few other annoyances with Fedora 7. One is that Azureus crashes right after startup using the Sun JVM 1.6.0_01 (Update 1). I’m also getting a strange BUG: warning on system startup which apparently has been fixed in CVS.

I also had to perform an upgrade using Yum instead of booting off the installation CD and doing a binary upgrade, because my system has a Highpoint 1740 SATA RAID adapter and a driver disk is not yet available from Highpoint for this. My procedure for upgrading using Yum and keeping the system functional was as follows:

  1. Upgrade using the procedure described in the Yum Upgrade FAQ as above. This involved a lot of manual dependency munging, specifically me having to massage an upgrade of mkinitrd and nash manually.
  2. Build the Highpoint rr174x driver for the new kernel and install it into the initrd. This involved a magic incantation of the sort cd /usr/src/rr174x-linux-src-1.02/product/rr174x/linux/ && make install KERNELDIR=/usr/src/kernels/2.6.21-1.3194.fc7-x86_64.
  3. Resolve .rpmsave/.rpmnew conflicts (basically mergemaster for Linux)
  4. Fix up /boot/grub/grub.conf to make sure the new kernel is there (for some reason it wasn’t)
  5. Comment out old /dev/hd*-format devices in /etc/fstab because Fedora has switched to using libata entirely, so even old PATA devices now use the /dev/sd* notation.
  6. Reboot and cross fingers.
  7. Fix up disk device names in /etc/fstab with the new sd* name.
  8. Reconfigure samba so girlfriend can access MP3s again. 🙂

Altogether, not the most painful upgrade I’ve done, but I would have preferred to do the binary upgrade using the installer CD. Only if Highpoint would release its drivers as open source and then they could be incorporated into the kernel tree…