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Fedora News Updates #2

by Colin Charles, coming to you live from linux.conf.au 2004

For the week of: Wednesday, January 14th 2004

Available at: http://fedoranews.org/colin/fnu/week2.shtml

Welcome to the second issue of Fedora News Updates, the weekly (or bi-weekly) newsletter for the Fedora community. We aim to release this often and can do so with the help of the community. It should contain user information as well as some useful developer discussions that will shape the outcome of Fedora. Thanks for all the wonderful comments for the first issue, and keep those e-mails coming!

Beginner hints

A nice gesture from Tom Mitchell, is where he posts little snippets of information to the mailing list, with regards to doing basic stuff with Fedora. Some of the useful findings include: how to find an appropriate manual page for a program you didn't know existed (or use of the apropos command), how to force fsck to run (with a little note on aliases), and differences hinted by the rpmnew and rpmsave files.

Just for your information, passing the -F swicth to shutdown will also force fsck to be run upon the next reboot. So executing shutdown -Fr now will reboot the system, and cause fsck to be run.

Fedora on low-end machines

Running Fedora on machines with 32MB of RAM might not give you much joy, however the RULE Project is attempting to build Fedora for low-end machines.

Creating local repositories

Some people have many machines to update, but just not as much bandwidth. Using yum and a local repository is a solution, and Kwan Lowe has a cron script that will do this for you via rsync. Bevan Bennett has an lftp script, so these are two ways of getting the same thing done.

If you're using the apt utility, you can create a local apt repository of your downloaded files. Panu Mantilainen posted a little guide at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2003-December/msg05154.html, and being apt, you can do it similary in the apt.conf file as stated http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2003-December/msg05223.html.

Fedora for the older folk

Jon Atkinson wanted to know how to make Fedora more friendly for his 85-year young grandfather, and the thread though interesting, didn't really give him many solutions. There's stuff within there about automatic log-in's, but much more feedback is possible, from a UI-standpoint.

Iomega Zip drives

These popular external storage devices work under Fedora, with Rodrigo Malara writing a good guide at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2003-December/msg05049.html. However, if you find that the ppa module doesn't work for you, Tim Waugh has suggested using the imm module instead.

up2date and GPG signatures

If problems arise during package updates mentioning incorrect GPG signatures, Alexander Dalloz shows us how to import the correct GPG keys.

How Fedora customises GNOME

It has been a well known fact that Red Hat Linux created the BlueCurve theme, but what are the main differences between the default GNOME and the Fedora released GNOME 2.4? Havoc Pennington, head of the desktop team, has mentioned some of the core differences between the two; and if anyone wanted, they could check the spec files for the patches applied.

64-bit Fedora Linux

With the release of AMD64 based processors, Fedora needs to be able to run on a 64-bit architecture (most of us currently are on a 32-bit architecture, which the official download covers). Reading the AMD64 Preview Release FAQ is handy before performing the download.

New LiveCD available

An updated Fedora-based LiveCD which contains GNOME, KDE as well as TWM is in Beta 2 now. Dirk Westfal is building it, and its available for download at http://www.linux4all.de/downloads/fc1lc2.iso.bz2. This is beta software, and they have their own list for discussing problems with it, so read the announcement thoroughly: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-January/msg00333.html.

Fedora with modern machines

It seems the concept of having Fedora installed outside the first 4GB of a drive might be new to some, but most boxes aren't old nowadays. But the real answer is that yes, Fedora runs outside of the first 4GB of the disk drive, and Tom Mitchell takes us on a fairly useful explanation at: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-January/msg00016.html.

Fedora on machines with Firewire

Using the Fedora Core 1 installer with a Firewire CD-ROM drive will not render Fedora to install. However, Alexandre Oliva has release a Firewire-based Fedora Core 1 installer. Reading the README file will be very beneficial if you're going to be using this.

Installing Fedora on external USB disks

Ow Mun Heng asks how he could get Fedora Core 1 installed on an external USB based drive, to which Alexandre Oliva responds to saying that 'linux expert' during the boot-prompt can be used.

Gamma settings

Feel the urge to configure your gamma settings under Fedora? It turns out that you need to edit the X configuration, so please remember to backup first.

Getting monitor settings included into Fedora

Fedora has a huge monitor database, but just in case it doesn't include your monitor type, and it turns out to be an "Unprobed monitor", Brent Fox has a good guide as to how you'd gather the data and file a Bugzilla report for its inclusion.

Upgrading to testing

With Fedora, you can track the core updates, or move up to testing, which become the next round of core updates. Tracking rawhide (development) provides bleeding edge software, but testing in general make their way into the next round of updates. Dave Jones shows us how to get on the testing releases. From this, it can be understood that if changes to the up2date servers need to be made, its all a matter of simply editing the /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources file.

Fedora Legacy website redesigned

The Fedora Legacy Project website has been redesigned thanks to Eric Rostetter. The site now looks very much like the original Fedora site. More at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-legacy-list/2004-January/msg00156.html.

Beepless GDM

When GDM appears on the screen and shows you the login prompt, you'll hear a beep. Travis Fraser show's how easily it is disabled.

Supermount in the kernel?

Kristof Vansant proposed to get supermount included into the kernel, so people wouldn't have to go through the trouble of mounting any longer. Dave Jones instead points to the fact that it can be done almost entirely in userspace by using udev and D-BUS.

Nicer Apache error pages

There's been some request to wanting to change the default Apache 404 error message, and Garrett LeSage has agreed to accept anything interesting and create a supplemental package. All Fedora related graphics are available for download as well.

Closing bits...



It turns out that Fedora doesn't get all the vendor approvals, like Red Hat Enterprise Linux gets. However, this doesn't mean that Fedora can't run all that software! Running Oracle is supported, you just have to do some work. There are instructions at http://www.puschitz.com/ and an excellent posting by David Muse at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2003-December/msg04714.html shows how you get by the installation.

Evolution 1.5.1

Jeremy Katz has test packages of Evolution 1.5.1 available. Address book migration needs to be done manually, the software doesn't segfault often, and it looks like something good is coming out of this with built-in spam checking. Submit bugs to Bugzilla, and the usual disclaimers apply.

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. Thanks to Seth Vidal and Jef Spaleta who were an invaluable help on IRC.