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First impressions FC2 final
- From: Ricky Ng-Adam <rngadam yahoo com>
- To: fedora-test-list redhat com
- Subject: First impressions FC2 final
- Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 19:17:48 -0400
I downloaded FC2 final today thanks to Bittorrent/Azureus and a thousand
seeds saturating my cable modem connection at 450KB/s. I'm actually
writing this from my brand new Fedora Core install that is replacing my
Mandrake Linux 10 Community.
On the install, nothing much to say except that everything works as
expected. I chose the default workstation install to see what it looked
like. The graphic designers did an excellent job in my opinion. The
install icons and the first boot configuration user interface are very
slick and professionnal.
The first hitch I encountered was after that: I tried logging in but my
desktop refused to come up. I was pleasantly surprised that this
problematic situation was detected and that I was offered a chance to
have a look inside the .xsession-errors. The problem itself was rather
simple: since I had kept my old Mandrake /home partition and the same
username, the user and group ownership information was incorrect. I
feel this could have been detected by the firstboot program and the
permissions correctly changed. To solve this, I instead had to switch
to the console and chown my home directory.
Once the desktop came up, I found the background again quite attractive.
However, no sound... It seems that my old SoundBlaster AWE32... I
wasn't that surprised by it, it seems that my trusty sound card (that
works in W2K without any hitch) is not recognized anymore by new kernels.
I still find the panel oversized, twice the size of the W2K
panel, but that's the way it is in the Linux world (KDE also likes to
steal screen real estate).. Navigating the menus, I found them
relatively well organized althought I think there is just too many items
in some, such as Games. I feel the UI rule of thumb of 5-7 items per
level in menus should be respected, especially when some of the games
provided are substandard or require a not-very-often properly configured
3d card (TuxRacer).
My next step was to launch the browser. As expected, my connection
didn't work - I had noticed that the install program had decided to
choose eth0 (a NIC that has no cable connected to it) instead of the
more suitable eth1 (connected to my W2K bunch that uses ICS to share the
Internet connection) as active per default.
I went in Network to switch both and tell it to use DHCP eth1 instead of
eth0. I restarted and tried again but no luck - it couldn't resolve
hostname. After messing around, I finally found that I needed to
activate the checkbox "Automatically obtain DNS Information from
provider". I not sure why this wasn't done automatically, but at least
now I was able to get on the net.
My next step was to try to configure my network printer, an Okidata
OL400e connected to again my W2K box. This is quite easy to do in
Windows, but in this case FC2 found out that it didn't have the
samba-client... I was a bit frustrated at this - this being a
"Workstation" install, the kind we can expect in a corporate environment
with probably lots of shared printers and file folders, this is required.
Installing this was relatively easy. The Add/Remove Applications is
nice enough and I decided to also add the System Applications. I also
looked for a program to take screenshots, but was unable to find any...
CD1, CD2 went ok but when it got to nmap on CD3, the install program was
now telling me that it was "Unable to access disk". A trip to the
console showed that the CD-ROM was indeed there and that the nmap rpm
was there too. It also showed strange errors:
UDF-fs DEBUG fs/udf/lowlevel.c:57:udf_get_last_session: XA disk: no,
UDF-fs DEBUG fs/udf/super.c:1552:udf_fill_super: Multi-session=0
UDF-fs DEBUG fs/udf/super.c:540:udf_vrs: Starting at sector 16 (2048
UDF-fs DEBUG fs/udf/super.c:567:udf_vrs: ISO9660 Primary Volume
UDF-fs DEBUG fs/udf/super.c:570:udf_vrs: ISO9660 Supplementary Volume
UDF-fs DEBUG fs/udf/super.c:576:udf_vrs: ISO9660 Volume Descriptor Set
After a few tries, including putting it in my second CD-ROM (alas, the
install program doesn't look there, I aborted. On reinstalling
specifically nmap, I was able to get it thru. I don't really understand
why it didn't work in the first run at it...
Back to setting up my printer: I had to Specify the private IP of my
W2K box and the name (couldn't browse it). I then had a limited choices
of printer drivers, none immediatly fitting what I should choose for my
Okidata, so I picked up Postscript driver and decided to look at this later.
How about mounting a Windows share? I went to the desktop, selected My
Computer, Network, Windows Share... Nothing. Not surprising, I haven't
found any distros that made it easy. So another trip to console, switch
to root and edit /etc/fstab to add the following
//192.168.0.1/share /mnt/smb smbfs
username=rngadam,password=******,uid=rngadam,gid=rngadam 0 0
I mounted it, cd'ed to the directory and did a ls that did not
immediately return as expected... So I continued writing this, but after
a while, I noticed that my desktop icons had disappeared and my console
locked up. After trying a few things including switching to console as
root and killing the smbmount process, I gave up and rebooted. After
reboot, everything worked again, including the Windows share mount!
I then tried playing a few media files, but no success. Even a pretty
basic MPEG2 video file has "No action associated to it"; Not exactly a
Apart from the install itself I would qualify my first 3 hours with it
as bitter because it did not make things that should be simple, easy. At
least not easier then before. Of course, I can debug the problems by
frequent trips to the console as root as I usually do in all my Linux
installs but I would certainly not recommend it to any newbie without
some hand holding from me for a day to setup everything.
Many things I wish for, such as an easy way to switch to other input
method (such as Chinese or Japanese) are not there yet. I believe the
Sun Java Desktop now offers this, so there is hope...
Fedora Core 2's Workstation install has basic things I want missing
(such as the samba-client). It doesn't cooperate well with Windows.
And the kernel still locks up at boot when I try to install it on my
Thinkpad A22m notebook making testing in a much more challenging
hardware environment impossible.
However, I'm sure that with all the hard work the community is doing,
Fedora Core 3 will be quite interesting...
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