posted by Ronald Schouten on Wed 23rd Jun 2004 18:46 UTC
IconI've been using Fedora Core 1 (FC1) for a few months now and have been quite happy with it. It is a good distribution with a minimal number of bugs (if any) that have caused me problems. Of course, it took some tweaking to get it just right, but I can accept that for the price.

Since I had such a good experience with FC1, why not try the latest and greatest? Gnome 2.6 sounded great, the new 2.6 Linux Kernel improved speed and brought more features for desktop users, and the big plus, for me, is the new InputMethod Switcher. The ability to enter Japanese characters is one of the few things I need Windows for. So, I was really looking forward to Fedora Core 2 (FC2).

About the computer (feel free to skip this part)

This list is according to FC2's Hardware Browser and some additional information provided by me.

  • One CR-4802TE CD Writer
  • No Floppy Disk
  • Two Fujitsu MPE3170AT Hard Drives
  • Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 Sound Card
  • nVidia NV18 GeForce4 MX 4000 AGP 8x Video Card
  • K7VMM+ EliteGroup Motherboard with on board NIC and disabled on board sound
  • AMD 1300 Mhz Duron
  • 512 MB RAM

In addition, I have the computer connected to a 4 port D-Link router, creating a two computer home network. A KVM switch is used to share the monitor, keyboard, and mouse between the FC2 machine and W2K machine.

The Download

I have always liked Redhat's site for being easy to navigate and professional in appearance. The Fedora project's site is no different and finding an official mirror to download the 4 ISOs from was easy. I had them in no time at all. I performed an MD5CHECKSUM, the ISOs were good, and proceeded to burn them to CD. I had never used the burning application in FC1 and quickly found out I could not use the basic Nautilus application (///burn). Redhat.com had some Redhat Linux 9 documentation on burning ISOs using XCDRoast which was fairly accurate and got me going (there were some discrepancies though).

The next day I tried to install FC2 and ran the media testing tool. The test failed, or at least that was my take on it. 5 seconds after beginning the test I got a blue screen filled with nonsense characters and the computer froze, needing a hard-reset. I tested the remaining CDs and received the same result. At this point I'm thinking, "What a terrible way to indicate that the CDs have a problem." Luckily, the local Half Price Computer Books began selling Linux distributions and I could bypass what I thought was my CD burning ineptitude. $15.99 CDN later I'm back trying to install FC2. I test the media again (mainly to prove how clever I was to buy the CDs instead) and I get the same blue screen with nonsense characters!!!!!

I went ahead with the installation and that went without a hitch. So my conclusion is that the media testing utility is broken in FC2. Not too big a deal but I did needlessly waste time and money on this glitch.

On to the Installation

The installation process was virtually identical to FC1 (as far as I can remember) with a spiffy new FC2 graphic in the beginning. I chose the graphical installation, with auto-partitioning, and selected "custom" as the installation type. I was given enough control over the installation to get what I want without being overwhelmed with detailed questions that I have no idea how to answer.

One problem I did notice is that prior to entering the graphical installation mode the contents on the screen fit nicely within the screen boundaries. As soon as I entered the graphical installation mode the contents were skewed to the right. I can easily adjust this but I found it odd to have this discrepancy. My Windows machine connected to the same monitor does not have this problem so it is a bit annoying to have to adjust the monitor settings when switching between machines (a KVM switch is used to share the one monitor with two computers).

One feature that I would have liked to have during installation is the ability to set the computer's name. I do recall an option to assign a name but the example given was something like, "computername.domainname.com" which didn't seem applicable to me at the time. Perhaps a second example like "computername.localdomain" (with some explanation) would be helpful for us home-using networking neophytes (if in fact this does set the computer's name)?

When the computer rebooted and went through the initial set-up phase the important stuff worked flawlessly. The video card and monitor were detected correctly, the test sound played clearly, and I had access to the Internet. Surprisingly my Windows computer was visible on the Network but I was unable to access it. No matter, I'll fix that later.

I really would have liked my second hard drive to have been mounted automatically, but no such luck. Editing /etc/fstab is easy. So easy in fact that it seems pointless to not have it done automatically. LindowsOS 4.5 had no problem detecting and mounting this ReiserFS drive, can't the Fedora Project do the same?

Next step: Redhat's Update Agent

I ran Redhat's update agent. Clicked "Okay" or "Next" in a few dialogue boxes and away it went. In approximately 10 minutes all the updates had been downloaded and applied. This was much faster than I recall from FC1 so whatever the change was, nice work. At the end I received the oh so pleasant blue check-mark icon. Instant gratification is good.

Up to this point I consider the basic installation complete and now it is just a matter of enabling services and customizing the system.

Table of contents
  1. "FC2, Page 1/2"
  2. "FC2, Page 2/2"
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