Time to Upgrade
If you look at the Fedora Release schedule, up to three older versions are supported. With the pending release of Fedora Core 18, the version I am currently using Fedora Core 14 was about to go unsupported.
With a normal release schedule, the new version is released on Halloween, or perhaps a little later, and I would do the upgrade during Christmas time, and the new year would start with the new updated system.
In this case, the Fedora 18 Release date kept getting pushed out to a later date. Today is January 15th, maybe it will be released today, I don’t know. I downloaded the beta version and installed it to test it out.
The user interface was completely different. There is an idea of a hot corner in the upper left that changes the View mode. Work spaces are displayed on the right hand side. Whatever I wanted to do, it was taking longer. All the Apps were displayed in two categories only, the Apps, and the System. This new user interface was not working for me. When I tested Fedora Core 17, it was the same kind of user interface, very different than what I am using now.
I have been using Fedora since it split from Red Hat a long time ago, but maybe it was time to make the JUMP.
I would agree that the Fuduntu name is lame. It is the blend of Fedora and Ubuntu. But there are a lot of things going for it.
First, it is a rolling release. I like the idea that I don’t have to deal with upgrades anymore. Packages are updated automagically.
Second, the proprietary drivers like NVIDIA or ATI are easy to install. I am using NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT and it worked without any problems supporting dual monitors in low resolution mode without extra effort. You don’t have to deal with Flash, because it also is installed by default. I think that most codecs are also installed, because when I tried to play media files on my system, they all played fine. Netflix is supported.
We were having problems with a 3 TB SATA drive in the Windows system almost loosing all media data on it. I booted Fuduntu Live DVD and it was unbelievable that we were able to repair the NTFS file system on it. Prior to it, two separate recovery programs that we ran on the Windows system had failed to repair the drive. When I saw that, I made the decision to move to Fubuntu. To see all the available NTFS programs, type ‘man -k ntfs’. The program I used was ntfsfix.
I like the User Interface because the top panel is the same as it was before. No changes there. What is different is the bottom panel. It is replaced with Cairo-Dock. It makes it look like the other Operating System that everybody loves.
And you gotta love ‘The Tiger’ picture in the background! This system is much faster to boot and run.
I installed Fuduntu on sda3 partition. My old system (Fedora 14) was installed on sda1 partition. All the data is on a separate hard drive, sdb. I did not install the boot loader, instead I added a new entry to the (sda1)/boot/grub/grub.conf file for Fuduntu.
Adding a User
When I tried to add the user ‘nev’, it complained that the user name should have a minimum of 3 characters. Obviously a bug. I typed ‘nevo’ and moved forward. However, I have always used nev as the user name. After I logged in, I updated the /etc/passwd, /etc/group, /etc/shadow, and the home directory back to ‘nev’. Rebooted and all was well.
Mozilla Firefox to Chromium
Fuduntu comes with Chromium already installed. I needed to transfer all my bookmarks from Fedora to Chromium. After installing Mozilla Firefox on Fuduntu, I moved the .mozilla directory from my $OLDHOME to my current home. Then I started the Firefox browser, and exported my bookmarks to bookmarks.html file.
Then I started Chromium and imported my bookmarks.html file into Chromium. One good thing about Chromium is that it sync’s bookmarks with all the other computers and tablets. You just need to login with a Google account. The other good thing that I noticed is that, it keeps various accounts logged in.
Thunderbird newsreader is installed by default. Remove the thunderbird newsreader and install Pan Newsreader. Why? Because Pan Newsreader can import and handle .nzb index files. For binary newsgroups nzb index files are very useful.
Mounting SATA drives
Normally IDE drives are named sda, sdb, sdc, etc.. With SATA drives, the drives are assigned pretty much randomly, except for the system drive. /etc/fstab file entries for partitions can end up in different mount positions. Unfortunately, I don’t know a way to force drive assignments.
Use blkid command to (while root) display UUID’s for each partition. Use these partition UUID’s for drive partitions in /etc/fstab file. Better yet, use tune2fs -L program to assign a LABEL for each partition and use them in /etc/fstab file.
In my case I backup my data drive by imaging the whole drive into another drive, so the volume labels are copied to the backup drive. It is necessary to go back and relabel each partition with something meaningful.
Installed emacs. Copy the .emacs and .emacs.d directory from the old home to the new home directory. Do the same for the root user.
Installed mysqld package and created a link from /var/lib/mysql to where all the databases are stored (sdb data drive). Start the server by service mysqld start.
To configure the server to start automatically the next time the computer boots, chkconfig –level 235 mysqld on. And to confirm chkconfig –list mysqld.
Apache web server (httpd)
Install httpd. Copy the configuration file /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf over. When you try to start, it complains that it can’t write to a log file. I keep all log files under /var/log. Edit httpd.conf file and update ErrorLog and CustomLog variables to /var/log. Creating /var/log/httpd does not work, because /var/log directory is in memory. Now it will start with service start httpd. Also update PidFile to point to /var/run/httpd.pid.
To start the web server on next boot, chkconfig –add httpd, and chkconfig –level 235 httpd on.
All the web files are stored under /var/www/html. Save this directory and make a link to the data drive where all the web files reside.
Any page that use php errors out in the browser. Install php package, and copy over the php configuration from /etc/httpd/conf.d/php.conf. Now the .php pages will start loading.
Problem: .php pages can not access mysql database. This is a very big problem. It means local web sites that use mysql database and phpMyAdmin will not run to access mysql database tables. Need a solution.
Update on 01/17/2013: I installed php-mysql package from Fedora Core 14. There were compatibility warnings, but now .php pages can access mysql databases. Will try to get this package included in the next release of Fuduntu.
Install gThumb from System->Administration->Add/Remove Software.
Gnotes and Tomboy
These two programs have practically the same user interface. With Fedora Core 14 I was using Gnotes. Gnotes is not available in Fuduntu. Install Tomboy from System->Administration->Add/Remove Software.
To transfer any sticky notes from the Fedora Core 14 we need to know where the notes were stored. Unfortunately this was not well documented. After spending some effort, I figured out that all the notes were stored in $OLDHOME/.local/share/gnotes. After saving the $HOME/.local/share/tomboy, I copied the gnotes folder to tomboy folder. When I started tomboy, all the notes were transferred. They must have used the same format.
Eclipse is not available from Add/Remove Software, you need to download it directly from www.eclipse.org. There are many options to choose. I chose ‘Classic Eclipse’, 32 bit.
Unpacked the tar file into /usr/lib folder with tar xvzf ~/Downloads/eclipse-SDK-4.2.1-linux-gtk.tar.gz. Then made a link to /usr/bin with ln -s /usr/lib/eclipse/eclipse /usr/bin/eclipse.
Also moved the workspace from the previous home with mv $OLDHOME/workspace $HOME.
Calibre Ebook Manager
If you want to use Calibre, you have to get it from http://calibre-ebook.com/. It can be installed anywhere, but I installed it in /usr/local/bin. Right click on the top panel and choose Add To Panel, then Custom Application Launcher. Click on the icon to customize it and pick audiobook.png as the icon.