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Location: Delhi, Delhi, India

I'm a hacker, a free software advocate, and a student.

13 April 2006


Wah Fedora Core 5 "Bordeaux" !!

Fedora Core 5 Desktop: Running X-CHAT on GNOME

Fedora Core 5 "Bordeaux", I recently installed this distribution. It consists of 5 discs, which I downloaded in 11 days on 128 Kbps (though not continuous running). Installation of it consisted of several hacks for me. But, I love hacks. ;-)

Initially, after download is over, I was unable to burn any ISOs as my CD-R/W is bad currently, so have to install (clean install I mean because upgrade creates some glitches :-(, so it is recommended that you keep a separate partition for /home) from hard disk. So, in order to bootstrap installation, I've loop mounted first disc, and extracted kernel (vmlinuz) and initrd (initrd.img) from /isolinux directory and copied it on hard disk. I copied on /boot partition. But make sure, wherever you copy this you won't overwrite any files with the same name. Now, restarted my machine. I'm on GRUB. So, at GRUB I switched to command line mode and did:

> kernel (hd0,1)/fc5/vmlinuz
> initrd (hd0,1)/fc5/initrd.img
> boot

This'll boot system from the hard disk using linux kernel copied from the CD. After booting, it starts Anaconda, and asks where to install from. I select Hard Disk and then it asks for the partition where CD ISOs are , and the directory where CD ISOs under that partition. Here I located my /home, and directory where I kept my ISOs. After some Next, Next. Next, it prompted for partitions where I want to install. I selected the /, /home, /boot, which I was previously using with Fedora Core 4 "Stentz". But there it gave me error that my /home can't be used. Why ?? because it's already mounted and is in use. So, I've to restart my old Linux kernel, and copied it to my FAT32 partition. And then re-started installation in the same way. Now, after this I selected a basic packages (including GNOME UI). And then finally, I installed my Fedora Core 5.

But story doesn't end here. Now, my X server display was not well, as I was expecting 1024x768 but I'm getting it also but only 800x600 at a time (rest is out of screen and I've to scroll). Checked my xorg.conf, it uses i810 driver. Being on 800x600 I'm happy to see that DRI support is working fine. So, anyhow, I changed "i810" driver to "vesa" in my xorg.conf. And restarted X, now it started in 1024x768, but oops no DRI, because it is VBE calls :-((

So, now here is another hack, I looked on several sites about this kind of problem, I found that I need to manually set my display mode timings that should work on my monitor. I found a tool xtimings, that generates appropriate modeline based on certain parameters. But that didn't work either as modeline it generated my monitor can't handle, and hence same problem. Finally, I entered IRC channel #fedora on, there I found a hacker RizeNine who suggested too many things but nothing worked. Finally, I asked him if there is any tool which can print current modeline, he suggested xvidtune. I started my X server with "vesa" driver into 1024x768 mode. From the shell, I executed this command:

[wahjava@homepc ~]$ xvidtune -show
"1024x768"     0   1024 0 0 0    768  0  0  0 -hsync -vsync

I copy pasted this modeline into my xorg.conf and reset display driver to "i810" and restarted X. Yippee!!, it worked and DRI is working too.

Now, the final hack. I'm unable to install rest of the packages from ISO images I downloaded, becuase the Fedora Core team, removed system-config-packages utility, and replaced it with pirut, and GUI for yum. Anyways, I've not hacked in this yet. So, might hack very soon

But, Fedora Core 5 is really very-very improved esp. with application like Beagle, searching is very fast. The improvements are great. And forgot to mention an important thing. Well, in other Fedora Core has undergone a great change except the installation problem.

And, BTW X11 progressed to X11R7.

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