Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fedora 11 installation

Fedora 11 "Leonidas" was released this week. I decided my wipe a 250GB hard drive in my desktop and give it a try. The default filesystem is ext4. I have been using this since Ubuntu 9.04 came out. Ubuntu, however, still used ext3 as the default filesystem. The reason for this is because ext4 is still relatively new and not quite as stable as the tried and true ext3.

Fedora will not boot to an ext4 partition. This is strange because Ubuntu will. Fedora wants to have a separate ext3 partition for /boot and an ext4 partition for the rest of the system to live on. I created an additional ext4 partition for /home to reside. Aside from that complication the rest of the installation process was very fast.

Following that, everything was much more of a pain than I am used to with Ubuntu and Linux Mint. The first thing I had to setup was my graphics driver. I have an Nvidia video card in my desktop. In Ubuntu, almost immediately upon logging into the system for the first time I was notified that a closed source driver was available. A few click later followed by a reboot and my graphics worked flawlessly.

To get my graphics card working properly in Fedora, I had to manually download an installer from Nvidia's support page. This installer will not run while the X Window System is running. It also needs to do compile some code into the kernel. To install the necessary packages for this type:
su
yum install gcc kernel-devel
This will switch you to being the root user and then will install the necessary C compiler and kernel source code. Next, I had to get X11 shut down. I used this keyboard shortcut:
ctrl+alt+F2
This will open a new virtual session without X11. The pre-existing session is still running, however. So after logging into the new session as root, I used this command:
kill -9 -1
This kills all processes that can be killed. Now I was able to run my graphics installer program:
sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-185.18.14-pkg1.run
When that finished I rebooted the system:
shutdown -r now
When the system came back up, graphics are enabled by going to System -> Preferences -> Desktop Effects. A window appears with a button that says "Enable Desktop Effects". To install the graphical configuration utility for desktop effects run this command:
su
yum install ccsm
Next I gave myself sudo powers by following the same steps as in this post.

Also, don't forget to install updates. I found it odd that there were so many updates the day it came out. Oh well. Here's how to install them:
yum check-update
sudo yum update

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