Fedora Core 1 was the first Linux distribution I used extensively. As a result, Fedora has always felt like “home” to me, and I’ve tried every version since. Recently I installed Fedora Core 6 (Zod) from scratch, and decided to put together this little document on addressing some issues that I found.
Since this is not really a review, but rather a quick “how-to” based on what I did, I make a few assumptions:
- You have (or will) install the x86 version of Fedora. Of course, there are similarities for the other architectures, such as x86-64, but some of the issues that I address are specific to x86.
- You have an Nvidia graphics card. I do not use any ATI cards, so I can not help here. If you want to install the ATI driver, I suggest you start by looking here.
- In my case, I’m using GNOME. If you prefer KDE then understand that some of the menu structures will be different.
- You are smart enough to know how to install and use Linux. While none of this should break your system, I am not responsible for any damage that may result. That’s my standard disclaimer.
Now, on to business. Whenever you see the sharp sign (or hash) “#”, it means to run the following command as the “root” user. You can become root in the Terminal by typing “su -” and then your root password. If you are reading this, I assume you already know that, so let’s get started.
Add a couple of package repositories.
To enable the installation of some extra software, let’s enable two extra repositories. The first is Livna (rpm.livna.org) and the second is FreshRPMs (freshrpms.net).
# rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-6.rpm
# rpm -ihv http://ayo.freshrpms.net/fedora/linux/6/i386/RPMS.freshrpms/freshrpms-release-1.1-1.fc.noarch.rpm
By doing this, you will easily be able to install the Nvidia graphics driver. I believe you need Livna to install the ATI driver as well.
Once they are installed, use “yum” to update your system.
# yum update
Get the correct kernel.
Due to a known bug, the Anaconda installer may install an i586 kernel rather than i686. While the system is still usable, you will run into trouble if you decide to install graphics drivers or any other kernel modules. If this is the case, this is how to fix it.
# yum install yum-utils
# yumdownloader kernel-2.6.18-1.2849.fc6.i686
# rpm -Uvh –replacefiles –replacepkgs kernel-2.6.18-1.2849.fc6.i686.rpm
At the time of this writing, the kernel number ending in 2849 is the latest. Keep in mind that the number may eventually change, and you will need to adjust accordingly. If you have yet to install Fedora 6, I believe you can bypass this bug by booting the installer with the “linux i686” option.
Install the Nvidia graphics driver.
# yum install kmod-nvidia
Once you fix the kernel issue (if you were affected), you can install the graphics driver. You will need to restart X (or just reboot) before the new driver will work. To check if the new drivers are working, open a Terminal and type:
If the resulting frame-rate numbers are at least in the hundreds (if not thousands), then your graphics drivers are successfully working.
Fix your screen resolution.
After I installed the Nvidia driver, the maximum display resolution on my 19″ LCD was reduced to 1024×768. Thankfully, this was easily fixed by going to System – Administration – Display – “Hardware” tab. In my case, I selected my correct monitor type (LCD Panel 1280×1024) From there I was able to choose my preferred maximum resolution.
Install the Adobe Flash player.
Now let’s add the repository to install/update the Flash player. We’re going to download the file with the repository information to the appropriate directory in Fedora, and then use yum to install the player. There’s more Fedora-specific information on this site.
# cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
# wget http://macromedia.mplug.org/macromedia-i386.repo
# yum update
# yum install flash-plugin
Make DVDs work.
Of course, it is old news by now that a number of Linux distributions do not provide DVD or MP3 support “out of the box” for legal reasons. Still, most users would like option of using this media. One way to make DVDs work is to install Xine.
# yum install xine xine-lib xine-lib-extras-nonfree xine-skins libdvdcss
This will give you DVD support with the Xine player.
And MP3s, too.
Yes, MP3 is a proprietary codec, and Fedora does not provide default support for it based on legal reasons. I don’t blame them at all for this decision, but if you need to play MP3s, that ability is not far away. Provided that you have the extra repositories enabled, execute the following command:
# yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly libmad libid3tag
Now you will have MP3 support in Rhythmbox.
As an aside, if you want to “rip” CDs in the Gnome environment to either OGG or MP3, then I recommend Grip.
# yum install grip
While we’re at it, I also recommend Videolan-client as a media player, as it can play lots of differing formats.
# yum install vlc
If you need to “see” your NTFS drive (if you have one), install kmod-ntfs.
# yum install kmod-ntfs
Mine is a Linux-only machine, so this is all the help I can offer.
Make Nautilus better.
I prefer that Nautilus NOT open every folder in a new window. To simply fix this, open any window, such as your home folder, then choose Edit -> Preferences. Now select the “Behavior” tab. Near the top put a check next to “Always open in browser windows.” Curiously, Ubuntu does this by default.
While this is by no means comprehensive, it should give you a good start in increasing the functionality of your Fedora Core 6 system. If you have any tips that you would like to share, please feel free to comment below.
Here are some additional resources for configuring your Fedora system:
— Brian Bondari