Friday, March 24, 2006

Fedora Core 5

Fedora LogoI finally got around to installing Fedora Core 5 today. I went to the Red Hat site and got one of the DVD ISOs through BitTorrent. I used K3B to write this onto a DVD, and rebooted. Rebooting was a bit sad, coz I had this right before I did it:
20:27:56 up 26 days, 16:28, 2 users, load average: 0.01, 0.11, 0.14
Oh well... all good things must come to an end! So anyway, I did a media check of the DVD first, then got it to update the existing Fedora Core 4 install. It took a while, but was otherwise smooth sailing; I didn't need to make any further changes to settings.

After the install completed, I needed to get FC5 to start in runlevel 3, since I use an nVidia graphics card, and the "nvidia" accellerated drivers, which need to be rebuilt when the kernel version changes. The bootup went by flawlessly, but running the nVidia installer gave me a nasty surprise: there were no kernel headers installed! It turns out Redhat did goof up with the kernel headers, but the next update (in a couple of days) should fix that. To get a GUI up, I changed the xorg driver to the open-source "nv" and went to runlevel 5... ah, it was glorious! I don't really know what changed, but everything just seems smoother. However, I had some trouble with my mouse after I logged in (cursor froze up). This happened only with my old login, I suspect it's something in .Xmodmap. Anyway, I couldn't figure it out, so I made a new login and imported my mailboxen (hehe!), browser profiles and other stuff.

I was wary of not having MP3 support, but livna.org announced support for FC5 just a day after it's release. To set up livna repositories, I used the command
rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-5.rpm
I then installed the MP3 codecs using yum -y install gstreamer-plugins-ugly Sound support under FC5 is vastly improved, one of the major updates being ALSA supporting dmix software mixing by default. I found these and a bunch of other useful tips here.

The Pup :)Doing a yum -y update updated a huge number of packages... just days after release! Dontcha love open source? There's a new package management tool called PUP (Package Updater), featuring the cutest icon known to man!

FC5 uses Gnome 2.14, which seems to be a lot snappier than 2.10 (from FC4) and is also sprinkled liberally with extra icons. The default theme (Bluecurve) has received a slight face lift. It also seems like my earlier fears about Beagle's memory useage are unfounded, the overall free memory on my box is actually lower than before!

I think Redhat and the community have done a fantastic job with FC5... cheers all around! Highly recommended. If you're still putzing around with Winblowz, rebooting five times a day and worrying about keeping your antivirus updated, the time to switch is NOW!

4 comments:

Karthik said...
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Karthik said...
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Karthik said...

You may have a convert here, but...

Are all the problems you see in Linux fixable by non-programmers like me? I would love to see Linux shipped on Dells because it would make comps cheaper, and also because Dell has invested in Red Hat.

Jim said...

There's always a balance between flexibility and ease of use. I choose to use a Linux distribution which retains much of Linux's flexible nature. Others, such as Linspire, are meant for beginners or for those who value ease of use over everything else.

Dell wants Redhat mainly for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is a widely used distro for servers.