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FC2 : The facts without all the whining.

by Daniel Owen on June 2, 2004

Frankly I'm sick and tired of reading review after review of people "dogging" Fedora Core 2. Almost every complaint they have is not a Fedora problem but generally a 2.6 kernel issue or a gnome 2.6 issue. With the release of a new point release in the kernel one needs to realize it will take a little time for all the OSS projects out there to work perfectly with it. I hope in this page to help explain some of the complaints people are having and fix them.

Spatial Nautilus Vs. Classic Browse Style Nautilus

Let's start here with Gnome 2.6 issues. I've seen 2 articles use the same quote referring to Gnome 2.6 as an "abomination." Basically most of the complaints boil down to a design decision by the Gnome project to use a spatial nautilus by default. Some people like it, some don't. I prefer the old nautilus style myself.

If you're interested in why the Gnome project decided to go in this direction with Nautilus check out this link, The Spatial Way.

Here's how to make gnome 2.6 browse again.

Open the gconf-editor. It can be found in the Applications menu under System Tools. It is named in the menu "configuration editor."

Click on the apps menu and go down to nautilus. Click on the nautilus menu and click on "preferences."

Check the check box by always_use_browser.

You can do this via the command line as well

[daniel@linuxtwo][daniel]# gconftool-2 -t bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/always_use_browser -s true

Now Nautilus will act exactly as it did in gnome 2.4 except faster.

Getting the binary NVIDIA drivers working

Other complaints have been that there are no binary drivers for NVIDIA cards for FC2. NVIDIA's site claims 2.6 kernel support. The default stack size in the FC2 kernels is only 4K, while the NVIDIA drivers require at least 8K of stack to work properly. Linuxant has recompiled the fedora kernels with 8k stacks. You can download them here.

Multimedia Support

Fedora is committed to keeping their distribution totally compliant with the GPL. In doing so, they cannot package mp3 decoding support, or other multimedia apps such as xine, or mplayer. By adding a few yum repos to your yum.conf file you can easily attain these packages. Check out freshrpms or the livna repo. These two and quite a few others out there keep up to date mirros of FC2 as well as many of the packages Fedora can't offer themselves.

Other Issues

Other issues that been brought up about FC2 include dual boot issues and audio driver problems. Although I haven't experienced any of these problems. They are 2.6 kernel problems and not Fedora problems. The audio issues can only be expected as with the 2.6 kernel the OSS soundsystem has been replaced by ALSA. ALSA hasn't been around as long as OSS and because of this is still not perfect on every soundcard. ALSA will improve and with it the linux community will gain things like actual surround sound as well as true sound multiplexing.

Zaurus Hotplug Issues

Here is a link to some information to straighten out some of the changes to the hotplug system that affects Zaurus users.

Firewire Issues

Apparently the kernel shipped with FC2 is pretty close to being 2.6.6, and because of this firewire drivers are disabled because they are unstable. Here's a link to some information on getting firewire working, and even installing from a firewire device.

Firewire Information

If anyone else has any input or suggestions to add to this article, please let me know.


The jump from 2.4 to 2.6 is a big one, this isn't just a minor point release. The 2.6 kernel jump has been more publicised than any other kernel change, and because of this, the period of time it takes to adapt everything to the new kernel has never been subject to such criticism. 2.4 happened roughly 4 years ago. In that time Linux has become much more prominent in the media. In the past the user base was smaller but more technical, and expected a slightly bumpy transition. I think were seeing what people are expecting now of the kernel, and Fedora is recieving the first assault of this for everyone.

-Daniel Owen