Monday, December 1, 2008

Fedora 10 - A Switch and First Impressions

Well its been long... a tad too long since my last post. Much has changed, lets just say, the whole OS! Yes I have changed to Fedora now with the shiny new release of Fedora 10 and I would like to say, I am impressed! Last time I used Fedora was FC6(Fedora Core 6), and had shifted to Ubuntu halfway, but F10 has brought me back.

A Little History:
I started using Linux from FC4. Kept using till FC6 and halfway switched to Ubuntu. I believe starting with Fedora was a nice choice because it gave me a lot of experience with Linux systems as Fedora is more technically oriented than Ubuntu, although I would still advise new users to start Ubuntu. I continued using Ubuntu till 8.10 with no problems except one. I continuously had a desire on staying bleeding edge but Ubuntu was more of stability than bleeding edge so with the release of F10 I decided to return.

First Impressions:
Well I have to say that the Fedora team has done a wonderful job with this release. Everything worked out of the box with the exception of wireless and that too was easy to setup. The new boot loading system, Plymouth, seemed to be an awesome startup system as compared to the original RHGB(RedHat Graphical Boot) and Ubuntu USplash. Though not enabled by default, it was also very easy to setup.

The new theme, Solar, was a perfect match of beauty and elegance. I also found the Icon theme, Echo, to be the most beautiful Icon set I have ever used. It was simple and sleek.

Many things seemed updated as compared to Ubuntu, Pulseaudio had a wonderful volume manager with volume meters per stream. XServer was at 1.5.3 which also had many improvements.

Package Mangement also seemed faster through RPM4.6. 'Yum' also was much faster.

Ok enough of that, now I would like to list out some of the tips and howto's for people switching to Fedora to get them started.

1. RPM Fusion: Remember to add RPM Fusion to your repositores to get all packages, go here.

2. Plymouth: I noticed the famous graphical boot I had seen at Youtube was not enabled by default and enabling it was also not very difficult. Just required editing your 'grub.conf' file. Open a terminal and enter the following commands..
gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf
Add "vga=ask" to the 'kernel' line. Reboot your system and choose a resolution you like and note down its 3 digit identifier. Go back to your grub.conf file and change the "vga=ask" to "vga=0xyyy" where 'yyy' is the identifier. In my case it was '318', so it would be "vga=0x318" for me.

3. Facebrowser Pic: One small annoyance was that after adding a profile picture, it wasn't showing up in the login facebrowser. A Simple fix is basically allowing GDM permissions, to access your home folder. Again, open a terminal and...
setfacl -m g:gdm:x ~
To revert to original, do:

setfacl -b ~
4. Root Login: Root Login through GDM is disabled by default and enabling it is known to be a security risk although I feel, sometimes it may be necessary. Open a terminal...
gedit /etc/pam.d/gdm
Change the "auth required user != root quiet " to "auth required user quiet".

Remember to do this temporarily as root login is a security risk!

5. Compiz Fusion & Screenlets: The compiz fusion in the repositories is .7.6 when the latest is .7.9. To get the latest and instructions, go here.

6. DELL 1390 Wireless cards: It is as easy as running a command:
su -c 'yum -y install broadcom-wl'
A Few Helpful Links:
1. MJM Wired getting started guide - A perfect guide to get started and install the basic required software.
2. Fedora Forums - A Hub of all the Information and help ever required by a Fedora User.