Friday, February 17, 2006

A week with Fedora Core 4

FYI, my laptop is now running Debian Sarge. It's just plain stable, albeit old system :-)
My PC, however, is running Kubuntu Dapper Drake, and with spare hdc (after cleaning up the pre-existing Ubuntu Breezy Badger) I decided to try another distro that is not debian-based.

Going into RPM world, Fedora is my first choice.

My first experience with GNU/Linux is with Red Hat 5 several years ago. Being a newbie, that was an unpleasant experience. I knew nothing about UNIX-like environment, getting annoyed with RH5 hardware detection, especially in Multimedia & Printing support, I finally mess with X and cannot log into GDM until one day my cousin did some fiddling with configuration files and fixed my X issue.
With those unpleasant memory, I begin installing FC-4.

Installation is graphical and intuitive. During the installation, I chose to manually partition my hard disk and customizing packages selection. I didn't found synaptic nor adept there, but hey, this was the time to use yum, right?

The installation ended with grub installation. Here, I made a mistake. I overwrote my Ubuntu's grub in MBR with Fedora's one. As Fedora did not recognize my Ubuntu installation, after reboot, I presented with no option to log into Ubuntu unless I manually edited the Grub.

The bootsplash is nice although not as informative as (K)Ubuntu's, and after passing my username & password into GDM, I was presented with GNOME 2.10. I had to say I much prefer the brown one than that bluecurve+clearlooks combo though :-)

After playing around for a while (and tasting Fedora's KDE 3.4) I started using yum.
I was thinking yum update is the equivalent of apt-get update when I noticed that it actually updated the system. I found that command is similar with apt-get update followed with apt-get upgrade.

As with apt, a proxy-server in the middle of the way messed up with yum. In the case of my Debian-based system, I changed the sources.list to make apt use ftp instead of http connection. In yum, I found it a bit tricky as it use mirrorlist. By default Fedora's yum using a mirror list to reach its mirror, defined in /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora*.repo (This is a good method, I wonder if Debianistas would adopt this). Since I couldn't find a way to tell yum to use ftp instead http, I created a directory named yum.custom.repo, copied the original .repo files there, made a script to grab those mirrorlist, and created the list locally.

cat fedora.repo|grep mirrorlist|sed -e 's/mirrorlist=//' -e 's/$releasever/4/'|wget -i - -O -|grep ftp|sed 's/http:/ftp:/' >fedora.mirrorlist
cat fedora-extras.repo|grep mirrorlist|sed -e 's/mirrorlist=//' -e 's/$releasever/4/'|wget -i - -O -|grep ftp|sed 's/http:/ftp:/' >fedora-extras.mirrorlist
cat fedora-updates.repo|grep mirrorlist|sed -e 's/mirrorlist=//' -e 's/$releasever/4/'|wget -i - -O -|grep ftp|sed 's/http:/ftp:/' >fedora-updates.mirrorlist
cat fedora-updates-testing.repo|grep mirrorlist|sed -e 's/mirrorlist=//' -e 's/$releasever/4/'|wget -i - -O -|grep ftp|sed 's/http:/ftp:/' >fedora-updates-testing.mirrorlist
cat fedora-devel.repo|grep mirrorlist|sed -e 's/mirrorlist=//' -e 's/$releasever/4/'|wget -i - -O -|grep ftp|sed 's/http:/ftp:/' >fedora-devel.mirrorlist
cat fedora-extras-devel.repo|grep mirrorlist|sed -e 's/mirrorlist=//' -e 's/$releasever/4/'|wget -i - -O -|grep ftp|sed 's/http:/ftp:/' >fedora-extras-devel.mirrorlist

Then I just edited the mirrorlist option in .repo files at /etc/yum.repos.d to point into those mirror list, e.g:

name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - Base

After yum update completed, I was left with a very up-to-date Fedora system, with surprisingly: a well-working KDE 3.5.

So far, I enjoyed my Fedora experience, and kept it in my system.

I still have space in my hard disk.
So... what will it be : Open SUSE, Mandriva, Gentoo or Slackware?


bengong said...

nexenta os? debian dengan kernel opensolaris

Xlylith said...

wah... menarik juga :-D
Kayaknya jadi alternatif juga tuh.
Sayangnya space lagi abis, lagi bikin ubuntu local repo, mau nyoba automated install.
Kayaknya kl ubuntu mau dideploy pd skala enterprise, musti bisa mass-unatended-installation deh.