Wednesday 23 April 2008

Guide to Fedora 9 (Preview Release)

I was intending to stick to Fedora 8 until Sulphur final version was officially released, but a freak partition table corruption resulted in me having to reformat the whole hard drive. So then I decided to go with Fedora 9 Preview release and needless to say, I am pretty impressed with what I have seen. I have installed every Fedora release since Fedora Core 4, and Fedora 9 is the most seamless and hassle free setup I have experienced so far. Most of the things work out of the box without the need for any configuration. But here are a few of the settings and related pitfalls from my experience.

The default yum repository is Fedora-rawhide and most of the tools required for general use can be found in it. But for those of us who need to install additional and non 'free' stuff, the best option is to enable the livna repositories. The caveat here is that there's no official livna repo for Fedora 9 yet, so we have to make do with the livna-development repo for now.

rpm -ivh livna-release-8.rpm

Once the repo is installed, open /etc/yum.repos.d/livna.repo and set enabled=1 to enabled=0. Then open /etc/yum.repos.d/livna-development.repo and set enabled=0 to enabled=1. That's it, livna is up and running now !.

ATI Display Driver
Unfortunately, the ATI proprietary drivers have a problem with the new kernel in Fedora 9 and won't install at all. kmod-fglrx from the livna repo also didn't work on my machine. Apparently it's still a work in progress. So for now, I have to live with the default radeon drivers installed by Fedora setup. It's not too bad however, and so far I didn't really miss the ATI drivers except when I tried to enable compiz. But I suppose I can survive without compiz for a couple of weeks.

Metacity Compositing Manager
Gnome 2.22 has simple composite effects built in. So if compiz is too resource intensive, give the new Gnome effects a try. The effects are very low key, such as previews in Alt+tab window switching and minimize animations. To enable the effects, run the following command:
gconftool-2 -s --type bool /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager true Substitute false for true if you want to disable the effects.

Media Playback
Fedora doesn't come with any of the proprietary codecs for media playback. To enable mp3 and other codecs, do the following. (Make sure livna repo is enabled)
sudo yum install xine-lib-extras-nonfree gstreamer*
Most of the audio and video formats should be playable now. I recommend vlc for video playback and audacious for audio.
sudo yum install vlc audacious audacious-plugins*

Flash Audio in Firefox 3b5
If there is no sound while playing flash videos in Firefox (Youtube, GoogleVideo etc.) you need to install libflashsupport. I couldn't find it in the rawhide or livna repositories, but I found it in the install DVD. So first, setup the install DVD as a repository. The default mount point of the DVD has spaces, which seems to confuse yum. Therefore, I mounted the DVD manually.
sudo umount /media/Fedora\ 9-Preview\ i386\ DVD/
sudo mkdir /mnt/cd
sudo mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt/cd

Then copy media.repo to yum.repos.d
sudo cp /mnt/cd/media.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/media.repo
Edit media.repo and add the following line
The full contents of the file will be as follows:
name=Fedora 9-Preview

Now that we have the repo enabled. Install libflashsupport
sudo yum install libflashsupport
If Firefox is running, exit and restart Firefox again. Go to Youtube and play a video. You should hear the sounds now.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Dasun said...

Yeh! Thanx man,
Wt da hell? Where da other part.
Rush up man , Do the Other parts and Some Screens.