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Personal Fedora Installation Notes

Fedora is a free world-class Linux operating system with features similar to the latest Mac or Windows desktop.  With Linux, we have instant access to some of the best free and open source software.

Errata: If things I posted here don't work check http://docs.fedoraproject.org/install-guide/, http://fedoraproject.org/wiki and http://www.fedorafaq.org/ and be sure to notify me if something here needs changed.

Meetings: The local Linux user's group convenes every Friday 6:30pm-8:30pm at 5530 E. N. Lights.

Time savers: Fedora may install directly from the LiveCD. This is much faster than downloading the whole DVD. The live CD installs faster and invites less problems. There are packages, such as man-pages (an important package for new users and developers alike) missing from the LiveCD, however. These packages were removed to save space. For a full list of removed packages, examine the content of revisor.conf or the liveCD or Fedora re-spin maintainer's .ks file. Check out my Fedora Re-spin here or build a custom version of Fedora by using revisor or livecd-tools.

Post-install: After installing Fedora, it will try to get the latest package updates. Go ahead and install them. If there are problems with updates, it could be that a mirror server is down. Try again in a few days.

Installing additional software in Fedora is a breeze. Applications->Add/Remove Software contains a list of hundreds of programs download and install in one or two clicks. For the rest of this section, add the primary user to the /etc/sudoers configuration file. It's easy. The instructions are in the file. The editor has a bit of a learning curve, however. To save files, type :w [Enter] and to quit type :q [Enter]. It uses the vi editor and further instructions can be found by typing :h [Enter].

su -c "sudoedit /etc/sudoers"

Log out and back in. Now things will install using sudo:

sudo yum -y install yum-fastestmirror yum-priorities

When done tweaking and installing, the user can be removed from /etc/sudoers for better security.

My Fedora Solutions

Error mounting drives:
No Sound, Sound Not Working:
Digital (IEC958) Speakers
I have two sound cards but they keep showing up in the wrong order.
Gnome is too slow
Accelerated graphics
Mouse gestures
Keyboard Shortcuts
GoogleEarth Doesn't Work
Flash 9 beta browser plugin
Java plugin
Old stuff
New stuff
Microsoft TrueType Fonts
Customize KDE
System Administration
Windows Programs & Games:
Linux Networking
Custom Repo:
Misc. Troubleshooting
Scanner only works as root:
HP Multifunction All-in-One OfficeJet 6110 doesn't scan or print:
Some keys, example: home key, does not work, doesn't return to beginning of line:
Can't burn a CD "a write error occurred"
Xawtv, TV Wonder PRO TV card doesn't work:
Radeon All In Wonder TV input capture 7200, 9200, R200:
Broadcom BCM43XX wireless card does not work.Kingston PCMCIA compact flash card reader will not mount.
KDE Note:

Error mounting drives:

Solved in fedora 11, along with many other issues. Upgrade recommended.

Fedora 10 reported "InvalidMountOption locale=en_US.utf8 for uid=500 not permitted." when mounting drives with dl in interactive [-i] mode (which uses gnome-mount -dtv). Nautilus reported "Invalid mount option" when double-clicking on the drive also. My temporary solution was to edit and remove the "locale=" line in the mount options using the ever-popular gconf-editor. Don't delete the key, just edit and press backspace a few times to delete the text that says "locale=" this picture is worth 1000 words. Here is how to get gconf-editor:

sudo yum install gconf-editor

Where are my drives? Looking at the output of df -h, ls /dev/hd*, ls /dev/sd*, "fdisk -l", "cat /etc/mtab", rummaging through /sys/block, or running commands such as "mount /dev/sda* /mnt/userfolder -t ntfs-3g -o rw,umask=0000" can be confusing and the gnome desktop doesn't always show disk drives or where they are mounted. Mounting drives as a normal user is easier and probably safer, thanks to disk lister (dl). < - Click to download. Save it somewhere in the path, preferably /usr/bin. Run chmod +x on it to make it executable. Feel free to examine the source first. It is written in python so it is easy to understand. It shows the location of all the drives on the system and where (or if) they are mounted. Run it as a normal or test user. It is entirely unnecessary to run this as root. run diskinfo -i for interactive mode and it will mount, unmount and eject drives. Type diskinfo -h for more options. Requires gnome-mount, 2.6+ kernel. Tested on Fedora. It has been reported to work well on some other distros.

$ diskinfo -i

Drive    Size    Description     (Removables are highlighted in blue)
/dev/fd0 Empty /dev/floppy-fd0 platform:floppy disk

/dev/sda 37G ATA SAMSUNG SV4002H
 ├─/dev/sda1 102M mounted on /boot type ext3
 ├─/dev/sda2 36G mounted on / type ext3
 └─/dev/sda3 1G mounted on swap type swap

/dev/sdb 114G ATA Maxtor 6Y120P0
 └─/dev/sdb1 114G

/dev/sr0 Empty /dev/dvdrw3 HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GSA-H55N

Desktop Icon: My disk lister (dl) script runs in a terminal, but it can also run in a window from the desktop. Cut and paste this into a terminal as a normal user, not root, to install the icon. This assumes dl is in /usr/local/sbin

cat << EOF > ~/Desktop/diskinfo.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Disk Info
GenericName=Mount and Eject Disks
Comment=Explore and discover disk devices.
Exec=gnome-terminal -x /usr/local/sbin/dl -i

No Sound, Sound Not Working:

Fixed in Fedora 11 . At Fedora 10 Gnome desktop, go to System->Preferences->Hardware->Sound and choose sound hardware. Next, run speaker-test and find a mixer program such as aumix or kmix and play with the sliders. gnome-volume-control works but some settings in the preferences may need enabled or there simply won't be enough options to tweak. After update, Fedora 10 beta has permission problems with /dev/snd Permission Denied hw:0,0 (as reported by trying to run pulseaudio from the command line with no options). Bug repored. In the meantime, think of a workaround:

sudo chgrp -R [type user name here] /dev/snd

Update: after reboot it still works, but the permissions are back to normal. What gives?

Update: Apparently, these and other permissions are to be set up by using polkit-gnome-authorization.

Digital (IEC958) Speakers: Enable IEC958 output.

Fedora 10: Click on the volume control in the upper-right corner (gnome-volume-control) and choose a sound card device under File->Change Device. Check if IEC958 is enabled in Edit->Preferences. Then, click the IEC958 check box on the Switches tab.

Fedora 11: Go to System->Preferences->Advanced Volume Control. Click the Device drop-down menu and choose one that says (Alsa mixer). Click Preferences and check all the boxes for IEC958. Close the preferences window and click the Switches tab. Check all the boxes.

I have two sound cards but they keep showing up in the wrong order. I want to use the "other" microphone, not the one detected by hotplug. Check out my default.pa for this. I have both sound cards set up manually so I can choose the inputs and outputs for each. Save it as ~/.pulse/default.pa and be sure to edit it first, since it contains hardware-specific device strings. Instructions are in the file. See http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/FAQ  for additional help.

MIDI: Built-in "motherboard" audio typically has no actual MIDI hardware. To play MIDI files, most operating systems come with their own MIDI synth emulator. If programs like kmid don't work in Fedora then read on.

Linux also has MIDI synth capability by adding a synth package, such as timidity or FluidSynth. Fluidsynth has a friendly GUI called Qsynth, which has a bunch of knobs and stuff to fiddle with and runs in the background, providing emulated wavetable-style synthesis even if the soundcard doesn't have this capability.

Timidity plays midi files from the command line, which makes it worth getting. It also has a GUI which can be invoked with "timidity -ig" can also be started as a background daemon, allowing all MIDI applications access to its emulated MIDI ports. I don't recommend running timidity and fluidsynth at the same time.

su -c "yum -y install qsynth timidity++"

To start timidity in daemon mode, type the following into a terminal window as a normal user, not as root!

timidity -iA -Oe &

The above command uses esd but this may change. If this doesn't work, man timidity has some other options. For something more permanent for gnome, insert it into a user's session. For kde, just cut and paste into terminal:

cat << EOF > .config/autostart/timidity.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=timidity -iA -Oe

Gnome is too slow!: Argh, menu speed affects program load and execution times. Bad Gnome.

echo "gtk-menu-popup-delay = 100" > ~/.gtkrc-2.0

Now log out and back in. If  If it is still too slow, try setting it to 0 instead of 100. Applications pop up instantly. It's as if it was fast machine or something! Xfce is even faster with this setting and there exist themes for Xfce that make it behave like Gnome or KDE.

Speeding up KDE menus is not as easy but it can be done with a theme.

Remove extra fonts to speed things up even more. Fonts take up huge amounts of resources, especially font rendering. Also when a window manager starts, it probably loads them all into memory. This makes logging in to a session slower. Plus, a lot of these fonts look the same and I don't like scrolling down and down in programs to find a font I like so I get rid of the ones I don't like! This is not a recommendation, but some users get faster speed at the expense of seeing non-english pages render text as little squares.

yum remove kacst-fonts VLGothic-fonts VLGothic-fonts-proportional sazanami-fonts-gothic sazanami-fonts-mincho artwiz-aleczapka-fonts culmus-fonts baekmuk-ttf-fonts-common baekmuk-ttf-fonts-gulim lohit-fonts* thaifonts-scalable samyak-fonts* cjkunifonts* taipeifonts*

Anti-aliasing: Software font anti-aliasing is extremely slow. Disable or reduce software anti-aliasing in the desktop settings and let the video driver take care of it in hardware by going to the vendor-supplied video driver panel. Turning off texture anti-aliasing in the video driver and checking "override application setting" helps, if jagged edges on textures are ok.

Templates: Remove unnecessary templates from the Templates folder. The more templates in here the slower the "right-click" menu becomes. Twenty or so should be enough for anybody.

Accelerated graphics: The system may already have accelerated graphics but some may get better performance by installing the proprietary closed-source ati driver or nvidia driver (click link for howto) to enable the amazing new desktop effects. Be sure to check that the driver supports the installed card. ATI fglrx is for X130O or better so use the built-in open source "ati" driver for older cards. NVIDIA currently supports series 6+, but they have a legacy driver on nvidia.com. The video card can be found with lspci -vv.

Firefox scroll wheel fix: Firefox has this annoying problem with Logitech mice. It jumps back and forward through history sometimes whenever the mouse wheel scrolls up and down. It does this on Windows too and the fix there is probably to install a new mouse driver or get a new mouse. In Linux we can highlight this block of text and middle-click to paste this into Terminal, log off the desktop and back in:

cat << EOF > ~/.config/autostart/scrollwheel-fix.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Name=No Name
Name[en_US]=Mouse Scrollwheel Fix
Comment[en_US]=Fixes scroll wheel triggering forward-back button in Firefox
Comment=Fixes scroll wheel triggering forward-back button in Firefox
Exec=xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 4 5 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6"

Mouse gestures: My favorite customizations involve adding mouse gestures to Firefox and gnome.

Keyboard Shortcuts: I made this script to ease the task of setting up keyboard shortcuts in compiz and gnome (or even distributing them across a network!). Fixme: change <Ctrl> to <Control> in that script to work with Fedora 10.

GoogleEarth Doesn't Work

Install GoogleEarth from the Google website and switch to the superuser account.

su -

The rest was made possible by Google Earth on Fedora 11 64 bit

yum install glibc-2.10.1-2.i686 libxml2.i586 freetype.i586 libXrender.i586 libXrandr.i586 mesa-libGL.i586 libcanberra-gtk2.i586 bug-buddy.i586 PackageKit-gtk-module.i586 nss-mdns.i586

#and for users with nvidia graphics card:
yum install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs.i586

Flash 9 beta browser plugin See Fedora Wiki

Java plugin: java-1.6.0-openjdk-plugin comes standard with Fedora 11. Fedora 10 users might have to install it, or see The Unofficial Fedora FAQ for other solutions.

Old stuff: How to force install an old rpm or even an rpm from another distribution, such as NVU*, or Truevision. Warning: unstable territory. Beware! Note* an improved fork of NVU is available, called KompoZer and it is available through yum.

New stuff: Building Fedora Packages: How to create shiny new .rpm packages and sign them.

Microsoft TrueType Fonts: Test rpm building skills. Build the TrueType Fonts rpm using the instructions at http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/

Customize KDE: KDE Administrators Guide is rather advanced. Here are some of the things I did with it (old):

System Administration:  recommend webmin.

Windows Programs & Games: This has its own page

Linux Networking: There's the old standby, NFS but fuse-sshfs requires no set-up, since it uses existing ssh server and settings. :)

Custom Repo: If more than a handful of computers run Fedora, set up a private repo to save bandwidth.

Edit /etc/yum.conf and set keepcache=1. Then either make /var/cache/yum into a repo using createrepo or change cachedir in /etc/yum.conf or make a script to collect all the rpms from /var/cache/yum and put them somewhere else. Connect to this later using HTTP, FTP, NFS, fuse-sshfs or whatever.

yum install createrepo yum-utils
mkdir -p /opt/myrepo/cache

An updaterepo script: get comps-version#.xml (version# changes) from a Fedora Mirror and put it in repodata/

for x in `find /var/cache/yum -regex .*rpm$`; do cp -l $x $DIR; done
oldrpms=$(repomanage -s -c -o $DIR)
test -z "${oldrpms}" || rm -v ${oldrpms}
createrepo -g repodata/comps-version#.xml -c $DIR/cache $DIR

Now only one machine has to download and run the updaterepo script afterwords. Any other machines that need updates run yum clean metadata (or yum clean all) and then connect to it using a custom myrepo.repo in /etc/yum.repos.d


There is a repo file on the installation DVD too, which can be put in /etc/yum.repos.d to speed the installation of new programs.

Misc. Troubleshooting:

Sometimes, after an update, the KDE or Gnome desktop misvehaves. Either the desktop icons go missing, or keyboard shortcuts stop working, or other odd, inexplicable behavior. The blanket "fix" is to log out, log back in again using another account, or remove the hidden ~/.kde, ~/.gnome or ~/.metacity or whatever folders from the home directory and also clean out the /tmp folder. Think about backing them up first.

Sometimes a program will misbehave too, and the fix is pretty much the same; like for example, when xine started giving me odd errors, I simply removed the ~/.xine folder and it started working again.

When Linux Won't Boot: How to fix the Linux Boot Loader

Scanner only works as root:

SOLVED in Fedora 11. Scanners worked perfectly for me.

Fedora 10:

  1. Open the terminal to type commands:
    sane-find-scanner|grep :
    found USB scanner (vendor=0x04b8 [EPSON], product=0x0103 [Perfection610  ]) at libusb:002:002
  2. See 002:002 at the end of the above line? Take the first number
    cd /dev/bus/usb/002 (First number after the colon was 002. Could be different.)
    chmod o+rw 002 (Second number after the colon was also 002. Could be different.)
  3. xsane should work now.

  4. If it still doesn't work, unplug the scanner, fix permissions of home directory (chown).
  5. Fix permissions of /tmp directory or wipe it out.
  6. Reboot or log out and back in
  7. Plug in scanner. If xsane doesn't work, repeat the above steps.

HP Multifunction All-in-One OfficeJet 6110 doesn't scan or print:
If the hp 6110 printer or scanner is not working, they probaby haven't installed hplip (yum search hplip) (install the relevent packages). The scanner almost works, but they forgot one key configuration change:

sudo echo hpaio >> /etc/sane.d/dll.conf

Some keys, example: home key, does not work, doesn't return to beginning of line:

Fixed in Fedora 11. During Fedora 10 install, there was a bug where the keyboard configuration didn't get written. Go to gnome-keyboard-properties -> Layouts and choose a keyboard brand and model. The gnome-keyboard-properties is accessible from the Gnome System -> Preferences -> Hardware -> Keyboard menu. Other window managers will have a similar keyboard chooser.

Can't burn a CD "a write error occurred"

I got this error in wodim after installing a new motherboard, "cdrecord.prodvd: Input/output error. write_g1: scsi sendcmd: no error" and to fix this all I had to do was replace the old 40-pin IDE cable with a newer 80-pin variety.

TV Wonder PRO TV card doesn't work:

xawtv fails due to a font problem (fixed by installing xorg-x11-fonts or by using LANG=C). tvtime works but it can't change channels. After the following configuration change, the tuner starts working. Unfortunately the tuner type (mine is 44) is hard to detect and changes between models and even on the same model, I hear. If the line below doesn't work, try experimenting with the various tuners (tuner=1 or tuner=2, tuner=3, etc.)

sudo echo options cx88xx card=4 >> /etc/modprobe.conf

Radeon All In Wonder TV input capture 7200 QD, 9200, R200:

TV viewer programs are currently only working on Fedora 10 and earlier with this card because of the new KMS kernels. Hopefully this is fixed by now, so try it. You need a TV viewer, like xawtv or avview (NOT tvtime), working before trying to compile or mess with km!

LANG=C xawtv# (Stop here until you get TV working!)

Digital TV Recorder: Now that TV is displaying a channel you may want to record television to disk. Right now we can only make this work with Fedora 10. Download km and avview from the GATOS project or try our hacked km.f10 or km.f12 sources, because GATOS seems to be abandoned since 2005... On Fedora 12, capture starts and we get /dev/video0 created, but it's crashing inside the kernel video_devdata() function with a null pointer exception. It might be up to the kernel folks to fix that one. :(

The drm kernel and ati .2 drivers are not needed. Some libraries are, however:

su -c 'yum install zvbi-devel tcl-devel tk-devel libXv-devel libXvMC-devel xvidcore-devel'
cd km
su -c 'make test' #if it works, make install
su -c 'make install'
Now start xawtv or avview:
LANG=C xawtv# work around font problem

To capture audio with video, start gnome-volume-control. Under device, choose OSS mixer and set a channel to record from (My TV card sound output is plugged into my soundcard's aux input so I used aux, but it might be something else, like video, front or line-in), then start avview or xawtv and choose a TV channel to watch, then start the script below to record (capture) what you see. Muxing sound and video, converting and down-sampling in one pass is too processor-intensive and leads to annoying drop-outs (even on a 2GHz machine) so I am doing it in two separate passes. This may use a lot of disk space. (Note: replace $1 with the number of seconds*60 to record.)

padsp ffmpeg -f oss -i /dev/dsp -f video4linux \
-tvstd NTSC -s 640x240 -r 60 -i /dev/video0 \
~xj9.wav -an -b 4000k ~xj9.avi \
-vframes $1 -map 0:0 -map 1:0
ffmpeg -i ~xj9.avi -i ~xj9.wav -ar 22050 -r 30 \
-s 640x480 -aspect 4:3 -b 2000k out.avi
rm ~xj9*

Broadcom BCM43XX wireless card does not work.
Kingston PCMCIA compact flash card reader will not mount.

Way to kill two birds with one stone. In Fedora 10, I got an error like "cs: unable to map card memory!" This happens because some memory conflicts with other devices in the laptop. I remembered that device conflicts are sometimes caused by missing drivers. This particular Acer Aspire 5000 laptop also has an integrated b43 wireless card that apparently uses the same PCMCIA bus.

su -c 'yum -y install b43-openfwwf' # Fedora 11 and 12 now install this automatically.

Presto, the wireless and flash card reader works, after a reboot, of course.

KDE Note: KDE is set to remember and resume the session and programs on logout. This behavior can be changed using Control Center, from the menu. Go to KDE Components - Session Manager. I prefer to use manually saved sessions. That way I can get the programs the way I want them and then save it. KDE will now always start with those programs.

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