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Old 20th November 2009, 03:06 AM
watercannon Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6
Thumbs up Solutions found when upgrading Fedora 6 to Fedora 12: inc. grub, nvidia, skype, flash

After 3 years on Fedora 6, with occasional manual package upgrades, enough things were not working that I decided to switch to Fedora 12 (64-bit, x86_64). Here are solutions to some of the roadblocks I encountered.

1. Recognition of the install DVD

I use an external USB DVD drive (so my box can be silently tucked deep under the desk). My motherboard (ASUS P5B) booted from this fine, but the Fedora installer came up with a "Select Partition" message, asking for the partition that holds the installation image, only allowing me to select from sd[abcd]n, or to press F2 to insert a driver disk in /dev/sr0.

To get past this I had to hit the Back button and choose "local CD/DVD" from the "Installation Method: Type Of Media" menu. I had to do this every time I booted the installation disk.

2. Upgrade or Re-install?

The Fedora installation guides weren't clear about the difference between an upgrade and a re-installation, and what a re-installation entailed. But it was made pretty clear that a simple upgrade of packages would cause trouble between 6 and 12. So I was to do a re-installation.

At first I selected the "Replace existing Linux system" option, so that I could keep my existing partitions. But the installer wouldn't recognise my existing software RAID 1 arrangement.

So I resolved to delete all my partitions and start from scratch. But I couldn't work out how to commit the deletes before creating new ones. The deletions remained uncommitted, so there was no space for new partitions.

So next I tried the "create custom layout" option, setting the mount point '/' for the /dev/md0 software RAID volume. Proceeding with this, it advised against continuing without formatting, So I ultimately found that re-installation really means having to back-up your data and then reformatting the OS disk(s). I decided to proceed down this path because it also gave me an opportunity to move from ext3 to ext4.

3. Grub problems

Package copying went smoothly, but on the first reboot I just got the dreaded underscore from the boot loader.

Because I had to do this on FC6, I spend some hours thrashing around thinking I had to add the software RAID drivers to the initrd file. I was confused by the fact that mkinitrd was no longer a command.

Some extensive Googling later (luckly I had another computer, because my main system was now dead), I found I had to boot into rescue mode and issue the following Grub commands
root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)
I also did this on the RAID mirror so that I could still boot if disk 1 died:
root (hd1,0)
setup (hd1)
4. Nvidia drivers

I was now running Fedora 12! Now to recover my preferred environment.

The default Nvidia X11 driver (nouveau) does not allow you to run a separate X-server on each monitor. This allows me to have two independent sets of virtual desktops. So I had to install the driver from Nvidia.com.

Initially I tried the method I used on Fedora 6: Download the binary (.run) installer file, and run it as root outside of X (in runlevel 3). The kernel module compiled OK, but would not install. I found out that this was because the nouveau driver was conflicting, but it was impossible to rmmod it.

I tried removing the nouveau package, but I got a system hang next time I booted, and it took me some time to work out how to edit the grub kernel line to add the "3" parameter that allowed me to boot into runlevel 3 and re-install the nouveau package. Do not remove the nouveau package!

After a LONG time, I found the solution here: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?p=1291848 .

You have to add the "RPM Fusion for Fedora 12 - Nonfree -Test Updates" repository to yum, install the kmod-nvidia package, then run
su -
mv /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r)-nouveau.img
dracut /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)
to remove the nouveau driver from the kernel, then run
setsebool -P allow_execstack on
One final problem I had was that, unlike Fedora 6, the "Display" Gnome preferences wouldn't allow you to set-up the monitors under the proprietary Nvidia driver, including monitor rotation. I had to use the "nVidia Display Settings" tool (took me a while to find this in Applications -> System tools) to set-up the monitor modes, and then manually edit the xorg.conf file to add the proper monitor rotation option.

5. Skype

I installed the skype- package from skype.com, but it would not run. This was because it required some 32-bit libraries that weren't properly set as prerequisites. I had to keep running skype from the command line to see what library it couldn't find, determine the associated RPM, and "yum install" each.

I had to do yum installs for each of these:
But because of dependencies, you'd be able to do it quicker by starting with qt-x11.i686 .

6. Flash plugin for 64-bit Firefox (x86_64)

After installing the 32-bit flash RPM from http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer , I had to install the nspluginwrapper.i686 package before Firefox would see it:
yum install nspluginwrapper.i686
7. Getting a Thunderbird 2 download from mozilla.com to run

F12 includes the beta version of Thunderbird 3, which I found had sufficient bugs that I wanted to revert to Thunderbird 2.

When I tried to run Thunderbird 2 I downloaded from mozilla.com, I got the error
error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
The missing library can be installed with
yum install compat-libstdc++-33.i686
That's where I am now. My environment is still not as it was, but I'm getting there!

Last edited by watercannon; 23rd November 2009 at 01:18 AM. Reason: Adding instructions for running Thunderbird 2
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