My adventures with Fedora 9, part 2

I’ve updated my Smolt profile for the laptop, it’s here.

Since this laptop has an Intel 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (I have no idea which one it actually is 😉 ), I tried kernel modesetting by adding i915.modeset=1 to the kernel boot line in /etc/grub.conf. At first it seemed to work just right and it seems to be a really nice feature. But after some usage I started to see weird font issues every now and then, all of the characters weren’t drawn completely, some parts were missing. Now that I’ve disabled kernel modesetting again, I have not seen any of these issues, but the boot looks much uglier now 😀 . I’m looking forward to this stuff becoming more widely used in the future. I have to mention that drawing stuff on to the screen in X seems to have slowed down quite a bit with the upgrade. I can’t say anything very specific, but for example doing a cat /var/log/messages is much slower and uses more CPU than it used to. Someone else has noticed it as well. I think this might be the reason why the laptop is running a bit hotter than it used to.

The IPW2200 error messages I mentioned in my previous post are gone now. Maybe it was the kernel update that fixed it…

I also updated to KDE 4.0.4 from updates-testing. It seems to work quite nicely now, especially after I switched the new menu to the more traditional one. I still have the new menu on the desktop, though, just because you can’t add new icons to the desktop or the panel via the old style menu with the right mouse button. The most visible problem I see now is the clock. If I add the date to the clock, I can’t actually see the date at all, because it goes so low it’s already out of the display 😀 . The tray icons are also sometimes acting weirdly, as I wrote in my previous entry, but I’ll keep an eye on that. Oh, and I keep using compositing with KWin. I’ve had problems with GNOME’s compositing, but in KDE it works great and looks nice 🙂 .

Now that I mentioned updates-testing, there’s also one issue related to it. When I first did yum --enablerepo updates-testing check-update, it only showed me some Fedora 8 updates. Even doing yum clean all didn’t help. There was recently some talk about his in the #fedora-devel channel, so it might be a common issue. I did an rm -r /var/cache/yum/*, but apparently yum --enablerepo updates-testing clean all could also help.

Now that Fedora 9 has OpenJDK, I removed Sun’s proprietary Java, which I had installed in /opt/, changed the java binary to the free one by running alternatives --config java, removed an sh script in /etc/profile.d/ which set the java paths to the proprietary JDK and removed the symbolic link to the proprietary java plugin I had in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/. I also installed the java-1.6.0-openjdk-devel and java-1.6.0-openjdk-plugin packages, so now I should have quite a complete open java stack. It’s not yet quite the same as the proprietary JDK, but it looks very promising. Here’s a Red Hat Magazine article about OpenJDK.

The tapping functionality in touchpads has been disabled in Fedora 9. Axel Thimm gave advice on how to get it working again in this bug and now I have tapping working again. I’m not going to get into the discussion of whether or not this was a good thing, but having worked with the Docs team for a while, this would have needed a release note. The developer responsible for this change just probably forgot, since I don’t think the Docs team even knew about the change. Well, such is life… I also put syndaemon -k into my /etc/rc.local file, so that the touchpad will now be disabled when I’m using the keyboard. Syndaemon could be configurable as a service, though.

I guess that’s it for now, I may report more about my Fedora 9 experiences later…

8 Responses to “My adventures with Fedora 9, part 2”

  1. hilbert says:

    Thanks Ville for this post. I have many of the problems you are reporting, so I hope they will be fixed as soon as possible.


  2. landon kelsey says:

    Big problems in Fedora 9: (I did a F8->f9 update)

    (1) nvidia problem

    (2) see insanity bugzilla # 474114…read carefully

    People working in bugzilla who obviously have never used Linux

    Turns out that switchdesk no longer works!

    I’ve never had any luck with updates in Linux so I may reinstall!

    Somehow KDE and Gnome stuff got mixed!

    The update ruined my /etc/fstab and ntfs but I fixed it

    I still LOVE Fedora!

    Nobody should contribute to neophytes giving up! In fedoraforum there are :

    (1) a favoritism totem pole
    (2) super arrogant people
    (3) marginal assistance

  3. Landon: The nVidia issue was known beforehand, this is one of the problems that come from them only providing closed source 3D acceleration capable drivers. If nVidia had open sourced their driver, it would have probably been fixed by the community in time. I usually don’t recommend people getting an nVidia card for Linux anymore, even though I have one myself. Intel has the best driver support now (but you can only get it as an integrated graphics controller AFAIK) and ATI is starting to look better as far as open source is concerned now that they were bought by AMD.

    I can’t find bug #474114 in RH Bugzilla…

    You can edit /etc/sysconfig/desktop, I personally don’t even use switchdesk anymore, but it’d be nice if it worked.

    I see the fstab has been modified to mount partitions by UUID, this is probably the right way to do it instead of labels, but I can understand if it has given people some problems.

    I’ve never been very active on FedoraForum, so I can’t really comment on that. I’ve found quite a bit of useful advice there, though.

  4. landon kelsey says:

    I am getting a non-nvidia card soon! Thanks!

    We need to think “neophyte” as have many who plot the course of Linux!

    the 14000 computer switch to Linux in Munich several years ago may be followed by more defection from MS.

    The problem is small important details should not be buried in the minds of daily entrenched Linux users.

    “Intuitive” is the thing!

    In humanity, we are still building feudal domains!

    I enjoy seeing notes like “New to Fedora, installed F9 and having a ball”

  5. landon kelsey says:

    I don’t have this directory…still looking as the name may have changed

    LMKIII (root) ~ [1000]>cd /etc/sysconfig/desktop
    -bash: cd: /etc/sysconfig/desktop: No such file or directory
    LMKIII (root) ~ [1001]>

    BTW the insane bug is Fedora :

    what is a good video card that is less that $150?

  6. I see you’ve already gotten some advice about the /etc/sysconfig/desktop file in Bugzilla.

    About video cards, all of my video cards are quite old and most of them are nVidia. I can’t really name any certain cards that would work well with Fedora currently, but in general, I’d still recommend an ATI card at this point. Which of those work, I don’t know, maybe there are some mailing list or forum discussions to be found with Google…

  7. landon kelsey says:


    I am now in KDE! Whew! what a nightmare!

    You are a true gentleman…wish all could be like you!

    Obviously the Gnome people beefed up their initial desktop since it was for super advanced users(I GUESS)

    I get a lot done in Fedora by making good initial assumptions!

    Only problem with KDE is:
    (1) panel has a black background
    (2) background config will not accept .bmp or .jpeg file. I must find a graphics program to convert!

    There are two screensaver places in KDE and only one works!

  8. landon kelsey says:

    looking seriously at a

    ATI Radeon HD 2600XT Video Card

    thanks for your suggestion

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