A day in the life of Danny D'Amours

Fedora 8 released and installed – bumps and bruises.

Fedora 8 was released a on November 8th. As previously mentioned, unlike Microsoft’s Vista, this looks to be a nice upgrade.

It took a while for me to get my primary system upgraded but I finally got around to it on Friday.

Installation issues

I performed an upgrade in place of my Fedora 7 Dell D620 laptop. I had upgraded to the latest F7 updates and backed up my important data before beginning the upgrade. Booting off of the Fedora 8 DVD, I quickly ran into a problem with the install process crashing when it was probing my system. After updating the BIOS to the latest version “just to be sure”, I read the common bugs for F8 and found that there is a problem with the boot.iso on some Dell laptops. By adding nohz=off nolapic to the GRUB boot entry, I was off to the races.

As an aside, why the heck does Fedora prompt you to scan the media? Are media errors THAT common. Seriously, what percentage of people actually scan their media before installing it? Please move it to an option in the GRUB menu or make it a command line boot parameter and remove one useless (and potential scary) prompt for the new user.

The remainder of the upgrade proceeded as expected with Anaconda not having changed too much between version 7 and 8. One thing that I noticed was that the upgrade seem to take quite a bit more time than I expected. Perhaps the 5400 rpm drive in the notebook was slower than I was used to or perhaps it was the fact that I was performing an in place upgrade as opposed to my usual clean install that made the install seem slow.

Post install issues

After an install, my usual practice is to run a yum update to get any releases which fix problems that crop up at release time. For some reason, Yum updates didn’t seem to want to resolve to a mirror so I ended up hard-coding one of mirror URLs in order to get updates. Perhaps the mirror resolution was temporarily down or something.

I also noticed that my font settings appeared to have changed in Fedora 8. Though they appear to be sharper and more pleasing to look at, all of the fonts appear to be larger than they were under Fedora 7. Apparently I’m not the only one having this issue. I have tweaked the Gnome font DPI in the ‘System->Preferences->Look and Feel->Appearance’ section but I can’t seem to get it back to the normal Fedora 7 font size. Perhaps I will simply get used the new font sizes as time goes on.

When trying to run a program using my installed Sun Java JVM, I received the error: xcb_xlib.c:50: xcb_xlib_unlock: Assertion `c->xlib.lock' failed. Luckily, the problem and workaround are well documented in Bugzilla. A quick sed -i 's/XINERAMA/FAKEEXTN/g'
fixed things up.

I was somewhat surprised when I tried to log into my VPN only to find that my VPN settings had vanished. Not a big deal but annoying nonetheless.

One outstanding issue that I am still experiencing with Fedora 8 is with the wireless connectivity. Apparently there are still issues connecting over wireless to a WPA2 Enterprise (EAP/TLS) network. There doesn’t appear to be a work around (unless you call plugging in using a network cable a work around) but hopefully one will be available soon.

Besides these fairly minor (and well documented) issues, I must say that I am pleased with Fedora 8. The interface appears to be smoother and program updates add some nice functionality to some of my favourite programs.

I look forward to digging around some more and finding new functionality and programs.

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November 27th, 2007 Posted by Danny D'Amours | Java, Linux, Tech | no comments

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