Updating to Fedora 8

A few weekends ago I updated my system from Fedora 6 to Fedora 8. I did a fresh install, as opposed to doing an upgrade. Here are a few of the problems I encountered, along with solutions:

Wireless networking wasn’t working

Fedora 8 detected my Atheros-based wifi card, since it now includes the new freedomware ath5k driver. However I couldn’t get it to associate with my access point. The workaround was to install the proprietary madwifi package from livna: On a machine with Internet access, go to livna.org and download madwifi and the kmod-madwifi package corresponding to the installed kernel (do uname -r to find out). Then do:
su -
rpm -ihv madwiki kmod-wifi
modprobe -r ath5k
modprobe ath_pci

Go to Administration->Services and start/turn on NetworkManager and NetworkManagerDispatcher services. The NetworkManager applet should appear in the system tray. Click on this to configure a wireless connection.

1280×1024 resolution was not available

This resolution was working on my Fedora 6 setup, with an nVidia gforce2 MX 440 and Viewsonic E771 monitor.
To fix, add the following line to /etc/X11/xorg.conf in the “Display”/”Screen” section:
Modes "1280x1024" "1280x1024" "1280x960" "1280x960" "1280x800" "1280x800" "1152x864" "1152x864" "1152x768" "1152x768" "1024x768" "1024x768" "800x600" "800x600" "640x480" "640x480"

Setting up the livna repository

The livna.org repository is a separate repo containing packages that aren’t included in the main Fedora repo for various legal, technical and ethical reasons. I need it for the madwifi driver and the gspca webcam driver among other things. Set it up like so:
su -
rpm -ihv http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-8.rpm

Installing the webcam driver

The driver for my Logitech Quickcam IM webcam is freedomware, however apparently it does yucky things like JPEG decoding inside the kernel, so is not included in the mainline kernel. It can be installed from livna like so:
su -
yum install gspca
modprobe gspca

Alternatively, you can install it from the GUI by going to System->Add/Remove Software and searching for gspca.
You can test that the webcam is working by running Ekiga (strangely filed under Internet->IP Telephony blah blah) and setting up video.

Using a home directory on a separate partition

I have my home directory stored on a separate ‘data’ partition. I was not able to log in when I configured my account to use this as my home directory. To fix this, I had to change the SELinux context on the root directory of the file-system on the data partition like so:
chcon system_u:object_r:home_root_t:s0 /data

Fixing broken icons in Evolution

It appears that the necessary dependency isn’t installed by default for a KDE install. Fix the icons like so:
su -c 'yum install nodoka-theme-gnome'

Installing Adobe Flash Player

To install the proprietary Adobe Flash player do:
su -
rpm -ihv http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
yum install flash-plugin

Note that a freedomware flash player, gnash, is in the works, but it only supports a subset of Flash v7 functionality.

Other issues

I’ve had problems with sound not being available upon booting from time to time. This seems to be due to the coexistence of the webcam’s internal microphone sound device, and my main soundcard sound device. I also get ‘artsd’ crash messages upon logging into KDE from time to time.

I hope to cover my impressions of the various Fedora 8 components in subquent posts, but we’ll see how we go.

Filed under: fedora — twegener @ 22:27
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