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Fedora News Updates #12

by Colin Charles

For the week of: Thursday, May 20 2004

Available at: http://fedoranews.org/colin/fnu/issue12.shtml

Welcome to issue number twelve of the Fedora News Updates. Fedora Core 2 has been released, after over six months, and it's been a big week for all of us. Updates here don't contain much more information on the test3 release any longer, unless the issues still got carried over. Happy reading!

Fedora Core 2 released

Fedora Core 2, dubbed Tettnang got released on the 18th of May, 2004 (two days ago). Read the announcement, and the release notes. Sporting a 2.6 kernel, GNOME 2.6 & KDE 3.2.2, with Xorg 6.7.0. FC2 also includes SELinux (not in enabling mode by default), and XFce 4, as another window manager. IIIMF, which is great for CJK-input, is also included, and requires a lot of testing in this release cycle - FC3 plans on removing the other alternative by default.

Download the ISOs via a mirror near you, or use the Duke torrent, or the newer European torrent. Remember to leave your client running even after downloads so that you contribute via uploads to the other clients - this is what keeps the torrents efficient!

Performance tuning the Fedora desktop

Will Cohen has been tasked with tuning the desktop to improve performance, and requested for comments. Havoc Pennington stated what Fedora considers as the desktop, and also included some of the useful tools one can use to identify desktop performance related issues. Soeren Sandmann Pedersen talks about the two important properties of profiling CPU usage at the desktop level, with Will Cohen adding further to his comments.

Warren Togami chimes in mentioning the usage of an -Os rather than an -O2 optimisation on builds, further adding that recent Fedora kernels are also built with -Os. The usual complaint of the rhn-applet being a little hungry for memory came up, and Will Cohen created some interesting statistics with regards to it. Alexander Larsson provides some information as to how he's been doing performance testing on Nautilus, with the methods that he's been using, and Soeren pops in recommending speedprof. In case people wondered if preempting in the kernel would help, it turns out that it won't.

After all the discussion, Will Cohen posted a summary of his findings. Excellent developer discussion, and I'm sure we can only see better things coming out of the Fedora desktop.

Moving on from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora Core 2

There have been plenty of tips, and words of advice that people have managed to stumble upon when the big task of upgrading their production systems from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora Core 2. Here's an attempt at collecting the lot.

Fedora Core 2 not playing well with Windows XP partitions?

It turns out that the bug (#115980) is a result of a few subtle but key changes within the 2.6 kernel. A certain functionality with regards to hard disk geometry has been pulled out, as the kernel developers thought it would be better if userspace utilities took care of this instead. The Bugzilla bug is related to CHS geometry problems, which most likely stems from an error within the parted utility, addressing the BIOS incorrectly. It turns out that BIOS updates tend to fix problems for many users that have been bitten by this "bug". On newer machines, this is basically non-reproducible.

sg not required for regular CD ripping/burning

Seems a lot of people are complaining that they require the sg module, but Arjan van de Ven has repeatedly stated that CD ripping or burning does not require the sg module. In a statement:

The 2.6 kernel series provides a new and much improved mechanism (called SG_IO) for applications that want to send raw commands to storage devices, this includes applications to burn CDs or to extract audio CDs. The packages in Fedora Core 2 have been adjusted for this. For example to burn CD's with cdrecord you now need to do:

cdrecord --dev=/dev/cdrom
or if you have more than one device
cdrecord --dev=/dev/hdc foo.iso
for IDE or
cdrecord --dev=/dev/scd0 foo.iso

instead of providing the clumsy --dev=0,1,2,3,4 way of specifying which burning device to use.

Firewire and Fedora Core 2

Alexandre Oliva has got plenty of information on what the status of Firewire support and Fedora Core 2 is currently. An excerpt of his document is provided below.

Fedora Core 2 ships with a kernel that's quite close to 2.6.6 and that, as such, has seriously broken Firewire modules, so they were disabled to avoid problems.

In the text, you'll find information on how to install Fedora Core on a machine that uses Firewire CD drives, and/or to Firewire HDs (in section 1); install Firewire modules for use by the system after the installation is complete (in section 2); build Firewire modules for other 2.6.6ish kernels you might choose to install (in section 3); and add modified Firewire modules (or any other modules, for that matter) to the Fedora Core 2 install CD (in section 4).

Fedora SELinux FAQ updated

Karsten Wade has updated the Fedora SELinux FAQ. It now sports a table of contents for questions, has the questions divided by subject, and the content is updated for Fedora Core 2.

From the Fedora Legacy trenches

If you're a Red Hat 9 user, and want to get on the Fedora Legacy bandwagon, Michael Schwendt has written up a fairly useful guide on some pointers you need to follow at: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-legacy-list/2004-May/msg00123.html.

Though posted at the beginning of the month, there is a list of packages that the Fedora Legacy project needs to complete QA on: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-legacy-list/2004-May/msg00049.html if you're interested in helping out with the project.

Plans have started, to drop support for Red Hat Linux 7.2 and Red Hat Linux 8.0, soon, as posted by the Fedora Legacy lead, Jesse Keating. Most of the responses are positive, as Fedora Legacy lacks manpower, and this is seen as a welcome change.

Fedora on your Mac/PPC

Jesse Keating writes:

I'm pretty separated from the development work on PPC, I just use the resulting binaries that show up.  For the most part, FC2 (development) works very well on my iBook. There are some niggly issues, such as resume from suspend not working every time, and battery life is a bit sucky right now, but on the whole it is very nice.

Yes, it runs, and there are quite a few running it already. There's an IRC channel for Fedora PPC users, at #fedora-ppc. Another resource is the FC2 PPC Install Guide, and if you're stumped with bugs, there's a Fedora Core Mac (PPC) Tracker Bug.

Some more development issues...

  • Jakub Jelinek has posted a bit about making NPTL the default threading library in Fedora Core 3, as a step in phasing out LinuxThreads. The thread is still unfolding, so catch it at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-May/msg00617.html.
  • Jon Orris has an extensive study of possible shared calendar implementations.
  • Seth Nickell has got a little note about menu policies, for package maintainers. The rest of the thread contains a bit of discussion with regards to it, and when there's a wiki he can edit, it'll be online there.


Firefox 0.8 and Thunderbird 0.6

Warren Togami has posted information about the Fedora.us project having these packages available, and that they have been released. Read more at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-May/msg04041.html.

Ximian Connector for Evolution

This made waves, as it allows Evolution to connect to an Exchange server. The Fedora.us team have a package reading in Bug #1590.

Thank you for reading this issue of Fedora News Updates. Think there's some news snippet you'd like to contribute to Fedora News Updates? Send e-mail to colin@fedoranews.org.

This issue of Fedora News Updates brought to you by Colin Charles.