Fedora and Dell Inspiron 17

I recently had to reinstall an OS on the wife’s Dell Inspiron 17. I was unable to complete an install for Fedora 22, but Fedora 21 and Fedora 23 beta were able to install. It would always freeze mid-install – usually around 70 or 80%. From what I could gleam on the net, it has to do with a kernel issue. But I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, just putting this out there for anyone trying to get Fedora 22 on a Dell Inspiron 17.

Upgrading SuperMario to Fedora 21

The latest curl works with XBMC (now Kodi) so it’s time to upgrade my main Fedora computer.

fedup --network 21 --product=nonproduct

So that started running at 1427. The d/l finishes at 1500, but as usual some stuff to take care of. Mostly packages left over from previous versions of Fedora.

WARNING: problems were encountered during transaction test:
 broken dependencies
 kmod-nvidia-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64-1:331.113-1.fc20.x86_64 requires kernel-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64
 kmod-nvidia-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64-1:331.104-1.fc20.x86_64 requires kernel-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64
 nautilus-actions-3.2.2-4.fc20.x86_64 requires libgtop2-2.28.5-1.fc20.x86_64
 xorg-x11-drv-r128-6.9.2-1.fc20.x86_64 requires xorg-x11-server-Xorg-1.14.4-13.fc20.x86_64
 directfb-1.6.2-3.fc19.x86_64 requires libmng-1.0.10-12.fc20.x86_64
 kmod-nvidia-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64-1:331.113-1.fc20.x86_64 requires kernel-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64
 libipoddevice-0.5.3-8.fc12.x86_64 requires libgtop2-2.28.5-1.fc20.x86_64
 libbtctl-0.11.1-13.fc19.x86_64 requires openobex-1.5-9.fc20.x86_64
Continue with the upgrade at your own risk.

Time to sort that out. I also remove some of the really old stuff, stuff it lists as not having an upgrade – that I’ve had in there since Fedora 13 or so. In the end I’m left with the usual issue I have: my kmod-nvidia packages are tied to the Fedora 20 kernels. So, as usual, I’ll probably have to remove them and reinstall when I finish the upgrade.

WARNING: problems were encountered during transaction test:
 broken dependencies
 kmod-nvidia-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64-1:331.113-1.fc20.x86_64 requires kernel-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64
 kmod-nvidia-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64-1:331.104-1.fc20.x86_64 requires kernel-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64
 kmod-nvidia-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64-1:331.113-1.fc20.x86_64 requires kernel-3.17.7-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.4-200.fc20.x86_64, kernel-3.17.3-200.fc20.x86_64
Continue with the upgrade at your own risk.

Well, this time I decide maybe I can try and deal with that before I reboot. (If it’ll let me do it while running it) Then again, I wonder if that’ll leave me GUI-less. Well, I guess I can always ssh in. I decide to try and remove all of them. It allows me to remove it. Time to run the fedup command one last time.

At 1538 I begin the reboot. At 1950 it finally finishes and reboots. When I go to install kmod-nvidia I have to first disable the dropbox and virtualbox repos. Then I install kmod-nvidia and reboot. It doesn’t work on that first try. I see a message about akmod-nvidia doing something. Then it says “started The KDE login manager”. Another reboot improves nothing. I check the logs.

/var/logs/Xorg.0.log seems to reveal the problem:

The NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT GPU installed in this system is supported through the NVIDIA 340.xx legary drivers.

Funny, I was just asking about this on the forums because I want to switch GPUs around when I get a new one for my gaming PC.  I’ve dealt with this at least once before. Turns out it’s a relatively new development for 340 drivers to no longer be the normal drivers. They haven’t made it to rpmfusion yet, so I went to http://przemal.net/pub/rpm/nvidia-340xx/rpms/ to grab them for now. I check on nvidia’s site and apparently my more powerful GeForce GTS 250 (in my gaming computer) is also on this legacy driver so at least I won’t have to change anything when I swap cards.

Two reboots and it appears to be working again. As usual I need to swap the left and right screens. So a little more complicated than usual, but that’s nVidia’s fault – not Fedora’s.

Fedora 21 with working nVidia 340 drivers
Fedora 21 with working nVidia 340 drivers

Upgrading Kuribo

Upgraded my netbook, Kuribo, to Fedora 21.

fedup --network 21 --product=nonproduct

Went off without a hitch. Like the new login theme. Waiting to make sure the curl in F21 works with Kodi (formerly XBMC) since the current newest version in 20 doesn’t work.

Fedora 21 Beta KDE Spin Part 1

Booted it up in Virt-manager (which finally has bridging!) I love the new theme!

Fedora 21 Beta - Login
Fedora 21 Beta – Login

But, sadly, it logs into KDE4, not KDE5. Perhaps 5 isn’t ready for primetime?

Fedora 21 Beta - Default Screen
Fedora 21 Beta – Default Screen

What I find baffling, given that this is running in a VM is that it loads FASTER to the desktop than the computer it’s running on. I wish I knew which technologies I am running or which widgets are causing my KDE load to go so slowly.

On the F21 beta front, I find it interesting that Konqueror is the only browser included – not reKonq (which is more modern – as far as I know) or Firefox (or even Chrome or Chromium).

Where Fedora Innovates

Back when I was actively reviewing Linux distros and still learning all about Linux, it was in vogue to say that any distro was as good as the next. They all had the same GUIs and programs. The only difference was which package manager you preferred. Distributions started off, in fact, as a way to simplify Linux installations. Otherwise you’d have to go get the Linux kernel and then every package you wanted to install. Unlike Windows, Linux is just a kernel. If you just got Linux, you wouldn’t have tools or GUIs or anything. So the distributions give you all the programs you need to use your computer (which turns out to be WAY more than Windows for free (libre AND gratis).

But this view really sells the modern Linux distro short. They are innovation engines. Some of those are process innovations like Ubuntu making it the norm to release every 6 months. When I first started using Fedora in 2003 (called Fedora Core back then) and asked when FC2 was coming out I was told, “when it’s ready.” A couple years later after Ubuntu had proven that a six month schedule was workable, Fedora had deadlines. It still only ships when ready, which is why it never meets its deadline, but it also tends to have way fewer bugs unlike Ubuntu. (With some exceptions, I think Fedora 8 or 9 – somewhere around there – was a little extra buggy)

Five Things in Fedora This Week highlighted some of the things to be excited about in Fedora 21 since the beta was just released. Contained within those highlights was the culmination of this Fedora.next idea – Server Roles. This is an awesome example of a distro innovating. Basically, Fedora is simplifying the idea of getting a server running. Say I want a DNS server running. Rather than a Fedora server image that either has every type of server package installed (causing security holes) or one that is just a minimal install – you have a minimal install with a command to transform it into an SQL server, Domain Controller, file server, etc. So you only have the services enabled that you need and all the packages necessary to make that happen. This should make it WAY easier to roll out the servers by getting the basics out of the way and allowing the admin to spend more time on the customizations instead of the grunt work. Can’t wait to see this make its way to RHEL/CentOS as any long-term server is going to need to be on a more stable platform.

On the Fedora Workstation front, I’m also extremely excited about DevAssistant. As a hobbyist programmer, I would love anything that would make it easier for me to get started – I like that it can automatically push to Github rather than requiring me to keep remembering to commit after changes. I’d love to have this at work, too. Have to talk to IT about that.

Great work, Fedora engineering team! Keep up the innovation!