Sunday, June 24, 2007

Upgrading to Fedora Core 7

I was forced into an emergency upgrade to FC7 this weekend. I ran my periodic 'update everything with yum' exercise on FC5. Clearly FC5 is somewhat behind the curve now, but it was working for me and I didn't want to waste the time upgrading my system when I have (many) other more urgent things to do. Having done the updates, Gnome went truly weird. All of the text labels in Gnome itself, including menus, button labels, tooltips, etc, disappeared. Gone. Which doesn't, it has to be said, make for a very usable UI. Interestingly, many of the apps themselves were OK. The peculiar thing was that I had text in terminal windows (but no menus in those windows), FireFox was working, just no Gnome text. I thought about trying to roll back the changes to find out what broke, but there's no easy way to do that (afaik). Instead, I decided to upgrade to FC7 and hope that would fix the problem. Which it did, but caused pain along the way.

I expect that some of the problems I had would not be problems if I'd installed rather than upgraded. Maybe. I found Mauriat Miranda's Personal Fedora 7 Installation Guide very helpful. Thanks Mauriat! Especially useful was the tip, which I didn't discover right away, not to use Nvidia's own installer to provide the graphics acceleration. Better to use the Livna module, as Mauriat says. The difference is this: one way works and GDM starts, the other way doesn't work and GDM does not start.

As far as I can tell, there's no equivalent to kernel-smp in FC7. In FC5 (don't know about FC6, I skipped that one), to get the benefit of a hyper-threaded CPU (e.g. Pentium 4) you have to use the multiprocessor kernel, which you install as kernel-smp. There is no kernel-smp in the FC7 repository. However, the default kernel module shows me two CPU's in gkrellm, so I guess that the two kernel modules have been folded together. Cool.

Perl blew up on me. I noticed this during the installation of some packages, and when I tried to run Perl-based applications, I'd see:

# vmware-config.pl
/usr/bin/perl: error while loading shared libraries: libperl.so: 
cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

It turns out that the upgrade process somehow loses perl-libs, so you need to yum install perl-libs and everything is peachy.

I now have a mostly-working FC7 system again, albeit on a an unplanned schedule. Mounting my NTFS partition isn't working yet, but I'm setting that aside for the time being. First impressions of FC7 are favourable so far. It's nice finally to have FireFox 2.x installed as the default.

1 comment:

Mauriat said...

You're welcome :-)