January 2007

openSUSE Setup

Start with ThinkWiki for basic installation and TrackPoint setup.

Next is Multimedia setup. After setting up the distribution software sources, Install mplayer and acroread with Yast.

Things will look a little nicer if you set up TrueType fonts.

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Fluxbox Windows Key

I have some keyboard shortcuts set up in Fluxbox to use the Windows key. For instance <Win>+x opens an xterm. This stopped working recently (probably after the upgrade to FC6). I found the answer was the keyboard selected by Xorg. Commenting out the line Option "XkbModel" "pc105" re-enabled the Windows key (Mod4).

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Repartitioning

On Pinto, the ThinkPad T60, I needed to make room to try openSUSE (hibernation supposedly works better than on Fedora). The first step is to start up QTParted. On selecting the disk, QTParted reports Error: File system has an incompatible feature enabled. Resize and move commands were disabled for the ext3 partitions.

I found instructions that supposedly fix this:
umount /dev/xxx
tune2fs -O^dir_index /dev/xxx
parted
tune2fs -O dir_index /dev/xxx

But they didn’t.

From Bugzilla:

Currently the _only_ tool that can resize ext3 filesystems is resize2fs available in e2fsprogs. While annoying, you can use resize2fs to resize the filesystem and then use fdisk or parted to resize the partition boundary to match the new filesystem size. With parted 2.0, we’ll be able to do this in one step.

resize2fs -p /dev/sda6 7500M (resize2fs won’t take fractional units like 7.5G) will work, then you have to delete and recreating the partition to the correct size. This got a little tedious, so I started my GParted Live CD version 0.2.5, though the latest is 0.3.3. It was able to resize the partitions. I shrunk my two 14 GB Fedora Core 5 and 6 partitions to 10 GB each and consolidated some unused space to make room for a new 10 GB partition. Some important tips:

  • You can’t move the start of an ext filesystem partition, but you can shrink and grow it. Shrinking a parition as small as it can go can give you enough room to copy and paste it to unallocated space, then delete the original. Using this “Tower of Hanoi” technique, you can effectively move partitions if you have enough space.
  • Creating and deleting a partition changes its device name, e.g., /dev/sda6 becomes /dev/sda7. If you aren’t using disk labels in GRUB (/boot/grub/grub.conf), your system won’t boot. Either use disk labels (see the tune2fs man page for the -L option) or update your grub.conf after you move the partitions.


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Sound on Upgraded Fedora Core 6

Most everything is working on my Fedora Core 6 upgrade. MPEG sound doesn’t however. Running a test video shows the picture, but sound is a distorted white noise. Thinking I might have some cruft left over from the prior installation, I loaded a fresh copy of Fedora Core 6 to see if it worked:

  • Create new partition of 10 GB (it could be smaller, but I have the space :-))
  • Install Fedora Core 6 on it, being careful to not take the default of “wipe everything out and install” and not installing the boot loader
  • After the installation, boot back into my existing FC6 upgrade
  • Add the new installation to /boot/grub/grub.conf:
    title Fedora Core 6 clean (2.6.18-1.2798.fc6)
    root (hd1,9)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6 ro root=/dev/hdb10
    initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6.img
  • Boot the fresh copy of FC6
  • Install the media packages from Fedora Core 6 Tips and Tricks.

The test video was fine, so I knew there wasn’t a problem with FC6 and my hardware. Next, find out what:

  • Save a copy of rpm -qa | sort
  • Save a copy of /sbin/lsmod
  • Boot back to the FC6 upgrade
  • Compare the RPM lists

Immediately (well, it was at the top of the list) I saw that the upgrade had a52dec-0.7.4-8.fc6 and the clean install had a52dec-0.7.4-10.lvn6. I ran yum remove a52dec and 15 packages went with it. At that point, I started with the Tips and Tricks instructions to replace all the media packages.

One problem during the MP3 plugin step was the dependency of xmms-faad on faad2. This was solved with
yum remove faad2
yum install --enablerepo=livna --disablerepo=freshrpms faad2
The key is to get the package that ends in “lvn6″.

The rest went pretty smoothly and now mplayer sounds fine again!

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Thinkpad T60 Upgrade to Fedora Core 6

Upgraded as below (see FC4 upgrade). After upgrade, manually ran yum update for all *fc5 and *lvn5 RPMs.

The 586 kernel was installed rather than the 686. A Redhat bug explains this. The 686 kernel is needed for the Intel wireless drivers as mentioned in the Fedora Core 6 on a ThinkPad T60 wiki. Here’s what I did (based on the discussion in the Bugzilla forum).

Save a copy of /boot/grub/grub.conf
yum remove kernel kernel-devel
yum install kernel.i686 kernel-devel.i686

There’s grubby error about not finding a suitable template. We’ll fix that later
yum install gnome-session gnome-volume-manager pcmciautils systemtap
(The last command is a list of the depencies removed in step 1)

Edit grub.conf and make an entry for the new kernel. I copied over my saved grub.conf and updated the version numbers for the new FC6 kernel. You might also need to update the default (zero-based) to select your new 686 kernel.

reboot

yum update and proceed with the wiki instructions. Don’t forget to remove the old wireless script in /etc/init.d:
chkconfig --levels 23456 wireless off
chmod -x /etc/init.d/wireless

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Upgrade to Fedora Core 6

Start with a copy of the current Fedora Core 4 system and upgrade the copy to Fedora Core 6. (These steps are easiest to do with a Knoppix live CD because none of the partitions will be in use.)

Old Fedora Core 4 Layout
Partition Label Size
/dev/hda1 boot 100MB
/dev/hdb8 fc4root2 10GB
/dev/hdb9 fc4home2 5GB

Create new partitions using QTParted:

New Fedora Core 6 Layout
Partition Label Size
/dev/hda6 fc6root 15GB
/dev/hda7 fc6home 10GB

Boot is left alone. Note the new partions are larger, so after we copy the old partition’s data to the new one, the file system will have to be resized.


# dd if=/dev/hdb8 of=/dev/hda6 bs=1024k
# tune2fs -L fc6root /dev/hda6
# resize2fs /dev/hda6
# dd if=/dev/hdb9 of=/dev/hda7 bs=1024k
# tune2fs -L fc6home /dev/hda7
# resize2fs /dev/hda7
# cd /mnt
# mkdir fc6root
# mount /dev/hda6 /mnt/fc6root

Edit /boot/grub.conf. Copy current “FC4″ entry to “Test FC6″ and change “root” on kernel line to point to new /dev/hda6.
Edit /mnt/fc6root/etc/fstab and change / and home to point to new partitions /dev/hda6 and /dev/hda7, respectively.

Reboot and check out Test FC6 before running the Zod (Fedora Core 6) upgrade.

Well, there’s something I overlooked. The boot partition is shared so I can run the same Grub with different versions of the OS. However, when Fedora upgrades the new FC6 partition, it has RPM remove the old versions of the kernel from /boot, which disables the old FC4 installation. I suppose the best way to handle this is to make backup copies of what’s in /boot before starting the upgrade. After the upgrade, boot into FC6 and restore the kernel(s) for the old installation and make sure the old installation still works.

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