jb’s open source blog

A look into my work and play in open source

Installing Fedora, Part 2: Not so frustrating after all.

with one comment

In Part 1 of “Installing Fedora”, I made the mistake of installing a testing release of Fedora, and it was far from smooth sailing. I probably could have fixed most of what was wrong, but instead I installed Fedora 7 32 bit. (Good thing too, I forgot my wireless drivers have some issues, and I have to use ndiswrapper, which means no 64-bit).

Here’s a brief list of what I did. Recall I’m using a Thinkpad T60.

  • Problem: Network latency: every other ping was 1000ms, even locally.
    Solution: Add options e1000 RxIntDelay=32 to /etc/modprobe.conf. [link]
  • Problem: Updated system via ‘pup’. Took forever!
    Solution: Buy faster internet. Seriously though, echo "performance" > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor helped a lot – I was throttled to 1GHz per core, not 1.8GHz. I later found the option to do this from kpowersave, in my systray.
  • Problem: Need ndiswrapper. Doesn’t ship with Fedora, nor is it in the repositories.
    Solution: Livna repository:

    su -
    rpm -Uvh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-7.rpm
    yum install ndiswrapper

    Thoughts: I thought it was strange that “the Fedora way” to add a repository is to install an RPM. In Ubuntu/Debian, you add lines to /etc/apt/sources.list. In Gentoo, you rsync a portage tree into /usr/local/portage using layman. I don’t really know what installing the RPM did, or how to disable it (well, uninstalling the RPM comes to mind).

That was all I really had to do to get my laptop back into fully working order. Sound, suspend-to-RAM, Intel VT (using VMWare), 3D video at full (1280×800) resolution using intel driver, all worked fully out of the box.

A post like this is worthless without at least one screenshot:

Fedora 7 installed and settled in

One problem I still have relates to Mozilla Firefox, KDE and DPI. This is something I struggled with way back in February 2006, and something I expected to be “fixed out of the box” in Fedora, but to no avail. It seems no matter what I do, the chrome’s fonts are way too big, and the content area’s fonts are way too small. Numerous bugs that look similar to this are filed: Mozilla 83060, Redhat 241236, Redhat 240959. This screenshot sums up at least half the problem. My screenshot shows the other half. The two sizes (chrome and content) seem to be inversely proportional: as one gets bigger, the other gets smaller. If anyone has any hints, I’d be glad to hear them. I’d rather not spend an entire weekend on font sizes: the complexity of the problem is just overwhelming. For now I’ve appeased myself by using these userChrome.css and userContent.css hacks to force the menu bar font to something smaller. But still, my content fonts are too small and/or out of proportion. So, not totally without frustration.

EDIT: This is “half fixed” (menus only) by installing gtk-qt-engine, which applies QT (KDE) styles to GTK apps. This brings up a question: is Firefox a GTK app? I thought “the Mozilla Platform” was it’s own graphical toolkit, since I don’t have to install GTK in Microsoft Windows. Does it use native calls in Windows and GTK calls in Unix, or lower level X11/Motif? Am I confused?

Now, on to virtualization! (ot: Firefox spell check doesn’t think virtualization is a word.)


Written by jbopensrc

October 10, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Open Source

One Response

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  1. I used this wallpaper before:

    PS: I cant understand how could I live with this resolution. :P



    May 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

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