Fedora 11 Post Install Configuration

Fedora 11 is out, so it’s time to update my notes on configuring my fedora install. In the examples I will use a default Fedora install (with development tools selected), on my 64 bit Sony vgn-s2750N laptop, which I will henceforth refer to as Sunny.

Here’s what I have to do to get Fedora 11 running like I want it:

  1. Fix the DNS lookup bug. On all the machines I administer, this manifests itself as massive dns lookup failures, with the effect that although you can ping an address, you don’t have any internet access (no web browser, no yum…).  This answers the question:  I have an internet connection, but I can’t use the web, WTF?
  2. Access to fusion
  3. Add MP3 support/get Amarok working.
  4. Get Flash working (people need their youtube).
  5. Graphics acceleration
  6. Make FAT partitions writeable by users, and add ntfs support.
  7. Disable physical file folders.
  8. Enable Ctl-Alt-Backspace

1. Fix the DNS bug
Apparently there is a known bug, which mucks up the domain name lookup with certain ISP’s, of which bluewin (my ISP) is one. In the bug description the complaint is that you get unreliable name lookups, but in the case of bluewin (my isp), you get no successful lookups.  A workaround is:

  1. Find out the network interfaces the machine has using the command “route -n”.
  2. Create a file:  /etc/dhclient-< your network interface name here >.conf consisting of the line
    prepend domain-name-servers 127.0.0.1;
  3. Start dnsmasq (‘service dnsmasq start’).
  4. tell dnsmasq to start every time the computer does (‘chkconfig dnsmasq on’)
  5. restart the network connection (‘service NetworkManager restart’)

So on Sunny the Sony I want to get my wireless LAN working right on Bluewin. Running ‘route -n’ tells me my network interface is ‘wlan0’ (which I could have guessed). So I do the following (as root of course):

echo 'prepend domain-name-servers 127.0.0.1;' >  /etc/dhclient-wlan0.conf
service dnsmasq start
chkconfig dnsmasq on
service NetworkManager restart

And presto, my internets work again. I don’t put it on this list, but at this point I run a ‘yum -y update’ to get the base install up to date.

2. Access to fusion:
Fusion is a merge of the largest existing addon repos, and means to be the extra repo for fedora, including (separate) free and non-free packages that Fedora is not able to ship of license or export regulations (see comment by ingvar).  Apparently it is now possible to add fusion support through a GUI, but I find it much more efficient to just do:

rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

This is a good time to do another yum update. You’ll have to accept a couple of no-key warnings.

3. mp3 support.
I still use Amarok, which I am still unsure about recommending. I found Amarok 1 vastly superior to the alternatives however, so I’m hoping Amarok 2 eventually becomes awesome. In addition to Amarok, I want lame for when I rip my CD’s for my car mp3 player, mp3 support for Totem, etc. So I do the following:

yum -y install amarok lame* gstreamer-plugins-ugly xine-lib-extras-freeworld

And things seem to be running all right.

4. Get Flash (i.e. Youtube) working This solution comes from here

rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
yum install nspluginwrapper.{i586,x86_64} alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i586
yum -y install flash-plugin

Note that the third line is only required for 64 bit Fedora.

5. Enable your 3d hardware acceleration. In my case, I just run ‘yum install kmod-nvidia’ and restart X. If you have a radeon card, I suppose the solution is the obvious one.

6. Make the fat drive writeable, and add NTFS write support, so people can easily work with Windows.
For any fat partition, change the umask in fstab to 000. For NTFS support:

yum -y install ntfs-config.noarch

7. Disable “physical” file folders. This is the annoying behavior, default in gnome, that opens a new window for every folder that you open. Get rid of it by double clicking on a folder, and in the resulting window open edit->preferences->Behavior, and check the box for “Always open in browser windows”. There is a scriptable way to do this, so if someone wants to tell me, please do.

8. Enable ctl-alt-backspace.It always frustrates me when a distro moves away from supporting the power use to supporting the neophyte. I think there are plenty of neophyte oriented OS’s and distros around. I use Fedora instead of Ubuntu because Ubuntu aims too much at the dumb asses, and Fedora tends to support the people who want to learn and be efficient. Unfortunately the Fedora guys do make dumb-ass-friendly decisions, such as the decision to disable ctl-alt-backspace, which I find to be a very poor decision. Who hits this key sequence by accident? Anyway, to enable it in Fed 11 do System->Preferences->Keyboard, choose keyboard layout options and enable the checkbox for “key sequence to kill the x server”.

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