Fedora Core 2 Experience

I just finished my download of Fedora Core 2 after 4 days of trying and funny enough, using Bittorrent from Europe was faster than using the torrent for the US ( I’m located in the US). Go figure.

I did the following upgrades/installs:

  • Installed FC2 on a new partition on a Dell desktop with FC1 already installed along with Windoze XP
  • Installed FC2 from scratch a Thinkpad T40 where FC2 Test 3 was already installed
  • Upgraded FC1 on my Dell desktop to FC2

Here are my initial impressions:

  1. Install of FC2 on new partition
    • The install went fine. I wrote down the partition that I wanted to do the install on, and away the installer went.
    • Upon completion of the install, the Bootloader was updated. Unfortunately, the boot configuration did not pick up my previously installed version of FC1 on a different partition. I booted up into the new minimal installation of FC2, mounted the boot drive partition of FC1 and added the Grub information back to /boot/grub/grub.conf.
  2. Install of FC2 on a Thinkpad T40 with FC2 Test 3 already installed
    • No problems with the install
    • No other extensive tests done yet.
    • Wireless LAN card was not picked up by the 2.6 kernel so I installed the Prism54 drivers for the Netgear WG511 manually. Though not an ideal situation, since apparently the drivers should be included in the 2.6 kernel, the card works nonetheless.
  3. Upgrading FC1 to FC2 on a Dell Desktop
    • The installation process worked as it should
    • The boot configuration again messed up and did not pick up that I had installed FC2 from scratch on a different partition. It blew away the settings for the minimal install of FC2 so I have to add the entry back in manually. It would be nice if the Fedora Installer was as smart as the SuSE installed and pick up all other distros installed. Oh well, maybe FC3!
    • I had a little Postgresql database that will have to be upgraded to the new version of the DB format for Postgresql. Not a big deal, done it before for Postgresql.
    • On my first boot into the upgraded installation, XMMS and the Gnome-Sound Preferences wouldn’t play any sound. I went into the Sound config utility and probed the Turtle Beach soundcard and I got sound. Let’s see what happens on subsequent boots.
    • The infamous XKB error is now appearing. Here’s the resolution.

More to come as the testing continues…..

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Creating your own bootable Linux CD

There’s a great article on linuxdevcenter on how to create your own bootable Linux CD based on Knoppix.

Using and Customizing Knoppix by Robert Bernier — Several Linux distributions boot directly from CD-ROMs. How many are usable in that state? How many are customizable in that state? Klaus Knopper’s Knoppix is perhaps the best known of these distributions. Robert Bernier explains how to use Knoppix and how to customize your own self-booting distribution CD.

The Linux Journal also has a great article on how to create your own bootable Linux CD based on any distribution of your choice.

I’m going to try creating one based on Fedora Core 2 as soon as I can finish downloading it. I’ll post the details of my endeavor.

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SuSE 9.0 Live-CD

Working out of a different office today, I was extremely apprehensive about being forced to use Windows and Outlook. I decided to download the SuSE 9.0 Live-Eval CD and bring it to the office.

Once I got here, I popped in the CD, rebooted the PC and went through the config – very short. It basically asked me the location and language and that’s it.

It took less than 5 minutes for SuSE Linux to be up and running connected to the network via DHCP. I was quickly and easily able to ssh over to my Fedora Core 1 machine at the other office, run emacs, firefox, and evolution. My biggest problem was that no matter what I did, I could not set up a local printer. Turns out that /etc/cups is mounted from the CD and no configs can be changed. Not the end of the world but annoying. Wound up saving the PDF to a thumbdrive, rebooting into Windows, and printing the PDF from there, then rebooting into SuSE.

A few annoyances with this otherwise fantastic OS-on-the-go:

  • No NTFS Read/Write support
  • Most of the settings/customizations I had made were lost at reboot. Would be nice to be able to save customizations to a floppy, hidden directory on another fixed disk, or thumbdrive
  • Not being able to setup a printer and YaST sucking up CPU trying to do it

Other than that, I think I’m going to carry a SuSE Live-CD with me everywhere!

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Linux at the Bank?

Click on the title above to read a case study about how Redhat is being deployed at the Central Bank of India, a bank with over 3000 branches all over India.

Over 1100 branches have already been brought online. The Central Bank of India found a total savings of $1 million over two years in licenses, training and maintenance. Over $500,000 a year in savings…can anyone really argue why NOT to use Linux anymore?

I should get our IT infrastructure folks to read this, especially after the fact that most of them were running around installing patches on those pesky Windoze machines after a Sasser worm attack…

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Linux Projects in India

I was doing some poking around the web to look for Linux projects in India and came up with the links below. Some interesting stuff.

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