Fedora 11 Features

The availability of the Fedora 11 Beta release was announced earlier today. The beta will be the first real glimpse at the incredibly large number of major changes which will be shipped in Fedora 11. The Fedora Wiki hosts the official status page for F11 features.

Some of the inclusions are quite interesting:

  • 20 Second Startup – The idea is to make it to the login screen in 20 seconds and speedup logging in [to GNOME]. While I think increase in speed is nice, honestly this is probably the least important issue when gauging Linux performance. Even with the speed up, additional services and applications will undoubtedly increase start up after the installation is complete.
  • Automatic Font and MIME Installer – A MIME type basically allows applications to know what to do with certain types of files. So ideally a media player application can determine it needs a codec to play a specific type of audio or video. The idea is a little simpler but similar for font installation. While this already does exist in some applications, this deserves a great deal of attention since one of the major difficulties in Linux on the desktop is finding the right plugins or codecs for media. While I can see this in GNOME, I’m not sure if KDE will have the same support. … This reminds me of when MS Office 2000 introduced an installer that would only install certain components when “first used” or Windows Media Player downloading codecs from the internet.
  • EXT4 File System as Default – Linux has long used the EXT2 as the default FS and later EXT3 which added some features but was backwards compatible. The move to EXT4 is a bit more major as it really is a new FS and for the most part is not backwards compatible with EXT3. While I’m sure that this version will add some added benefits in several uses, there has been some internet debate as to the suitability of EXT4 on the desktop. Unfortunately this is something I will not be able to test until I know all the operating systems on my machine can properly read/write EXT4.
  • Nouveau Driver as Default for Nvidia Video Cards – There are multiple drivers for Nvidia depending on 2D vs. 3D, open source vs. proprietary and modern vs. legacy, etc. The Nouveau driver is an attempt to support full 3D acceleration in an open source driver. Currently Fedora ships with a 2D only driver for Nvidia known as just ‘nv‘ and most users just download the proprietary driver. My last attempt with Nouveau went terrible, I hope it will make some difference with 2D (the nv was very poor), but based on the status page 3D support is a long ways off.
  • DeltaRPM Support – When a Fedora package needed an update regardless of what changed, the whole package needed to be downloaded. Presto is a feature added to YUM that allows downloading only the “delta” (the change). This has been available for some time, but this would be the first time the infrastructure looks like it will be ready. I think this is a really important feature since not everyone has a 6Mbit connection and those who do don’t look forward to a gigabyte of updates. … Binary patching has been available in Windows for almost a decade, I think it really needs to be standard in Linux as well.

There are many other features which are planned to be included in Fedora 11. Most of all them are basic major software revision changes (GNOME, GCC, Python, XFCE, etc.). However if you plan on trying the Beta, I highly recommend looking over all the features and thoroughly testing the ones that you really care about. While new features typically come with many potential issues, there is always room for improvement with proper testing and usage.

NetworkManager and YUM Update Issue

As been noted, the NetworkManager update in Fedora 9 and Fedora 10 prevents YUM from performing a regular update. Apparently due to a bug in the Fedora Update system. The following error may be seen:

Public key for NetworkManager- is not installed

The solution is coming soon, but for a temporary workaround YUM supports an exclude option:

yum --exclude=NetworkManager\* update

This should ignore NetworkManager related packages and continue on in the update process.

For more tips on YUM usage, run: yum --help.

Various Linux and Fedora News

A great deal of the following is all old news.

Adobe has has Flash Plugin for x86_64 Linux architecture in Beta since Oct 2008. The only thing, is that since it is provided in a tarball (.tar.gz), you are better off builing an RPM (spec file). Note that the 32bit i386 version still works perfectly with nspluginwrapper.

Similarily Sun has released the Java JRE web plugin for x86_64 archictecture. Installation is the very identical to 32bit. Just make sure you are using Version 6 Update 12 or newer. It only took 5 yrs? Keep in mind openjdk works well for most scenarios in 64bit linux.

A few weeks ago, KDE 4.2 was released. I’m sure its better than the problematic 4.0 and marginally improved 4.1. For some information for KDE 4.2 on Fedora follow Rex.

I was pleased to see Knoppix 6.0 released. Once upon a time Knoppix was THE Live CD everyone used. Now with Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE and many other distro’s releasing Live CD’s anyone can really take their pick on what suits them best. Even so, I will download 6.0 and finally replace the Knoppix 5.0 CD that has been travelling with me for the past few years.

Unrelated to any software release, apparently many people have been having issues with the System Bell. For a quick tip on disabling the Fedora 10 system bell. Yeah, that beep is annoying.

Livna troubles: Most Fedora tutorials depend on the Livna repository for software installation. However due to DNS problems Livna has been unavailable. People should wait a few days. Of course it should be noted that Livna was only critical for libdvdcss rpm which is needed to watch DVD’s in Fedora.

Meanwhile on the Fedora mailing list, another whacky thread has errupted. This time: WHY I WANT TO STOP USING FEDORA!!! (yes, it is all in CAPS!). That obviously spawned a bunch of new related threads. While I do read a lot there, that mailing list is getting less useful each day (especially for newbies).

As for me, I’m still quite behind in my email (I apologize if you contacted me). I have not fixed my computer hardware. I know I need to get some updates on some of my Fedora Guides. (Thanks to all the people mailing me hints and tips – I really appreciate it).

Xine Crashing in Fedora 10

If you are using Xine from RPMFusion and experiencing crashing immediately after loading in Fedora 10, it is probably due to this bug.

Quick work-around is to use Alsa instead of PulseAudio. Open a shell and launch Xine as follows:

[mirandam@phoebe ~]$ xine -A alsa

To make this setting stick, do the following:

Right-Click in the Xine window > Settings > Setup….

In the gui tab, change the Configuration experience level to Advanced, then hit Apply at the bottom of the window.

Next go to the audio tab, change the audio driver to use to alsa, hit Apply, then close the window.

Restart Xine and the problem should no longer occur.

Fedora 10 Released

Cambridge has been launched.

After another round of hacking and coding the Fedora project just announced the release of Fedora 10. The Fedora team has been working overtime to make sure this release arrived in spite of the security issues they had earlier this year.

The highlights from the Release Summary:


  • GNOME 2.24 – Instant messaging, video, time tracking, and file management improvements
  • KDE 4.1.2 – many needed updates to KDE4
  • LXDE – Windows like lightweight desktop environment
  • Sugar Desktop (XO) – Desktop provided on the OLPC project
  • New ‘Plymouth’ graphical boot system
  • Language support improvements


  • Printing improvements
  • PulseAudio sound improvements now “glitch-free”
  • Improved Webcam support
  • Improved wireless network sharing
  • Added/improved remote control (infrared) support
  • Faster startup
  • Bluetooth Improvements
  • Support for EXT4 and XFS in installer


  • New Empathy Instant Messenger
  • Eclipse 3.4
  • OpenOffice 3.0
  • Kernel 2.6.27

You can download Fedora 10 using the standard mirrors or using the Torrent (recommended).

Please user the Fedora-List mailing list or any of the forums for help. I have published my Personal Fedora 10 Installation Guide which is currently only a draft. Lots more to do!

Fedora 10 seems less like a radical update as some past versions have been. A great deal of “under the hood” improvements have been made to improve the distribution for the desktop and its many uses. Hopefully people will find it useful! A more thorough examination to follow.

Update to RPMFusion

The availability of RPMFusion for Fedora was previously announced a few days ago. However I never got a chance to actually perform the update.

For those who are not familiar with Fedora’s third-party software repositories (repo’s), the two most popular repo’s: Freshrpm and Livna were typically the place to find software not permitted in Fedora. While I used Freshrpms in FC3 and earlier, I did eventually write most of my newer guides using Livna. It was announced well over a year ago that these repo’s would be merging. Finally the wait is over.

Much like Fedora’s repo migration earlier this year, the entire process is entirely transparent to Livna and Freshrpms users who regularly use yum to update their systems. No instructions are necessary, basically, just run:

# yum -y update
# yum -y update

The first will pull the rpmfusion-free and rpmfusion-nonfree release repo setup files. The second will update all software from Livna (or Freshrpms) to pull updates from RPMFusion.

This is a huge improvement for anyone who has had to deal with explaining differences in repo’s and potential conflicts. As I have received emails already, I will be rewriting my Fedora 9 Installation Guide to reflect these changes soon.

Update: Nov 19: I updated my F9 Install Guide

Wikipedia Migrates from Fedora to Ubuntu

The admins running Wikipedia are almost complete in migrating their servers from a mix of RedHat and Fedora to Ubuntu. The primary reasons behind the switch, according to Brion Vibber (Wikimedia CTO), were personal preference, Ubuntu availability on the desktop and better support/stability compared to Fedora. As a server, one might think that an enterprise option like RHEL or CentOS might make for a better choice, however both of these lack the appeal of Ubuntu and the flexibility in support.

Regardless of the reasons for the switch, this is another opportunity for people to question Fedora’s fast moving development pace (i.e. “bleeding edge”). Fedora user know that Fedora requires constant updating/upgrading and Fedora developers are obviously quite accustomed this and welcome it. An interesting thread on the Fedora development mailing list raised this topic and spawned a great deal of discussion. Some users/developers think that if Fedora provided a LTS stable release then perhaps situations like Wikipedia’s could have been avoided. Jesse Keating, Fedora Release Engineer, chimed in with a very well worded point:

Given the amount of churn we allow maintainers to introduce into our
“stable” releases, I highly doubt Fedora would be suitable for any
situation where a “LTS” was desired. There is just too much major
version upgrading
, behavioral changes, massive amounts of updates,
rapidly invalid documentation, and high chance of regression in the
“stable” updates. We should address *that* problem before ever thinking
about extending the life.

Even if Fedora could address that problem, big organizations most likely won’t change their opinions. However if those issues could be addressed, many users probably wouldn’t be migrating away, and more importantly they would just have a much better operating system!

(As a personal point, I no longer use Fedora as a server. I recommend CentOS.)

Fedora 9 Update and Nvidia Update

It was announced in August that the Fedora Project suffered a security breach. As a result after a certain date, all software updates were disabled. As of recently, the updates were enabled with new signatures in place.

I recently updated my Fedora 9 32bit (i386) installation. The last time I updated my system was the last week of July, before the security announcement was made. The following are the steps I took to complete my update.

First I ran:

yum update

This listed very few updates, however I saw the following error:

--> Finished Dependency Resolution
kmod-nvidia- from livna has depsolving problems
  --> Missing Dependency: kernel-uname-r = is needed by package kmod-nvidia- (livna)
xine-lib-extras-nonfree-1.1.15-1.lvn9.i386 from livna has depsolving problems
  --> Missing Dependency: xine-lib(plugin-abi) = 1.24 is needed by package xine-lib-extras-nonfree-1.1.15-1.lvn9.i386 (livna)
Error: Missing Dependency: kernel-uname-r = is needed by package kmod-nvidia- (livna)
Error: Missing Dependency: xine-lib(plugin-abi) = 1.24 is needed by package xine-lib-extras-nonfree-1.1.15-1.lvn9.i386 (livna)

To resolve it, I just did:

yum remove kmod-nvidia xine-lib-extras-nonfree

This removed:

 kmod-nvidia                      i686   173.14.05-4.lvn9  installed   0.0
 xine-lib-extras-nonfree          i386   1.1.12-1.lvn9     installed   1.2 M
Removing for dependencies:
 amarok-extras-nonfree            i386   1.4.8-1.lvn9      installed   376
 kmod-nvidia- i686   173.14.05-3.lvn9  installed   7.5 M
 kmod-nvidia- i686   173.14.05-4.lvn9  installed   7.5 M
 xorg-x11-drv-nvidia              i386   173.14.05-1.lvn9  installed   7.0 M
 xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs         i386   173.14.05-1.lvn9  installed    17 M

I knew that a new repository would be configured, so instead of downloading any updates from the previous repository, I just ran the following:

yum update fedora-release

After that, I did the actual update (the “yes” option -y is recommended considering the amount of updates):

yum -y update

This listed, for me, 35 new packages, 443 updated packages and 2 packages to remove – for a total download size of: 991 MB !!!

After the download completed, and before the actual installation/update occurred, I saw the following (which is what is expected):

warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 6df2196f
Importing GPG key 0x6DF2196F "Fedora (8 and 9) " from /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-8-and-9-i386
Is this ok [y/N]: y

After all the updates were installed, I fixed the xine-lib-extra-nonfree update issue (basically adding what I had previously removed). The following ran with no problems:

yum install xine-lib-extras-nonfree amarok-extras-nonfree

NVIDIA Driver Issue

When trying to update/install the Nvidia binary driver using yum:

yum install kmod-nvidia

The same error from above persisted:

--> Finished Dependency Resolution
kmod-nvidia- from livna has depsolving problems
  --> Missing Dependency: kernel-uname-r = is needed by package kmod-nvidia- (livna)
Error: Missing Dependency: kernel-uname-r = is needed by package kmod-nvidia- (livna)

Apparently, this problem is due to Livna build system being down. The following is the recommended alternate solution:

yum install akmod-nvidia

Then you just need to reboot and you are done!!! (This is already required due to the new kernel).

However I ran the following to test the akmod system. This is OPTIONAL as the following will automatically happen after rebooting:
First Identify the newest installed kernel:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ rpm -q kernel

Create the proper matching kmod files for that kernel:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/akmods --kernels
Checking kmods exist for              [WARNING]
Building and installing nvidia-kmod                        [  OK  ]

Then I was done. Every step worked for me to bring my Fedora 9 system up to date. I rebooted and the akmod detected I had already created the necessary kmod files.

I should have done all of this earlier. For more help and issues, please read:

I am glad that issue has been resolved.