Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fedora 16 Install Notes

Notes on using the pre-upgrade method to go from Fedora 14 to 16 (yes, it's risky to skip a version). The reason for my upgrade is that Fedora 14 is now at end-of-life, I'd like to get FEniCS working, and some of the new spins look pretty cool.

One of the things I had to manually fix after reboot was the TexLive development repo (only 60% complete, estimated for Fedora 17). I had this activated to get the IJ4UQ styles to work.
yum remove texlive-release
rpm -i
Manually remove some old conflicting packages (some from Fedora 12, yikes! I'm a lazy sys-admin).
List the repositories to make sure everything is pointing at the correct release version.
yum repolist
Sync things up.
yum distro-sync
I got this error: grubby fatal error: unable to find a suitable template. According to the forum I did,
mv /boot/grub/grub.conf /boot/grub/grub.conf.old
and then,
yum reinstall kernel
yum clean all && yum install texlive

The other problem I ran in to was with the hwloc package. I had to downgrade it to the 1.2.1 version, the 1.3 version seems to be missing the shared library needed by mpich and scotch.


  1. GNOME 3 sucks.

    This is the first time I've regretted upgrading Fedora (I've been running it since FC1).

  2. Your observation is a common one among software developers.

    IMHO, Gnome 3 is an attempt to make doing simple things on a desktop more simple. It is not intended for people who want to do complex things on a computer. That seems to be the trend. For example, Microsoft is having a hard time making their Office Suite run well on their new Metro interface. The programs are too complex to fit the new UI paradigm.

    Some people are switching to Xfce for the desktop environment.

    I run Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) Desktop Edition. It has a 3 year support cycle so I won't have to face Gnome 3 until 2013. On the other hand, not being a new-feature based release like Fedora, I had to download the latest Firefox browser directly from Mozilla.

    A key thing for me is VirtualBox. I do a lot of web-based development and creating a new application means setting up a new virtual machine web server for it to run in. I have found using things like Webmin and Shell in A Box make remote administration pretty easy. For running remote applications with a GUI locally, I use X11 forwarding. (ssh -X user@hostname)

  3. You're right George; all I want is X mouse clicks to open X terminals, and one mouse click to open a browser, and then to switch between those easily without taking my hands off the keyboard.

    With the default Gnome Shell settings it is several clicks through a UI hierarchy to get a terminal, and then to open subsequent terminals requires several clicks, plus a context menu selection!

    I tried Xfce with a custom live CD when I was running F13 (it took up less space, so I could cram more tools on the CD), and I really liked it.

    I really miss the Red Hat days when right clicking on the desktop gave you context menu that had 'Open Terminal' right near the top. The new stuff sure is pretty though...

  4. Actually, last night I installed all the shell extensions (which seem to be the ornery hacker reaction to overbearing Gnome UI gurus):

    yum -y install gnome-shell-extensions-* gnome-tweak-tool

    This fixes lots of my gripes (I'm feeling gradually less angry about this Gnome 3/Gnome Shell thing with those adjustments installed).

  5. Nice: EasyLife is a great little app that automates a large portion of setting up a new Fedora installation. This application can install the RPM Fusion software repositories, Flash, Java, various multimedia codecs, and even Skype. EasyLife is available as an RPM download.

  6. Debian moves from Gnome to XFCE as default desktop so "the desktop fits on the first CD of the distribution". Ha! Right...

  7. Cinnamon is a fork of Gnome shell that makes Gnome 3 work more like Gnome 2; it is one of seven recommendations for the Gnome developers to get out of the Abyss.