Installing Fedora 10
One thing about Windows is that everybody uses it, with the odd mac’er and his shiny Macintosh laptop. Website statistics that I maintain, reveal that 85% of the visitors are Windows PCs, 2.6% are Mac users, and a surprising 6.3% are Linux users. These results are from www.uwetechnology.co.uk.
So I thought it was the time to have a look again at installing a Linux distro on my PC and laptop, consciously triggered by the windows permanent freeze on my laptop, after a driver update a few weeks ago. I looked up my favorite distro, Fedora Core, a follow up from the past Red Hat distribution, and noticed positively that there were two updates since the last time I used it. Downloaded the Live Desktop CD, burned booted it on my laptop, no problems so far. The installation had a few hangs, but went through fine third time, and detected even the Linksys-N wireless card I had with it! I stopped there, and started installing Windows XP Pro on my other HDD partition. Interestingly, that took me 10 hours for all the main software, bugs, etc to install, whereas with linux it was… 2 hours? Weirdly enough, Windows Vista took a similar short time…
Today I decided to spend some time installing it on my PC, but thats where the problems started. Firstly, I found I had to enable all the ACPI settings in my bios (ACPI stands for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface), otherwise it would hang after loading vmlinuz. Installing went very smooth, GRUB (the boot loader in which I choose either Windows or Linux to boot) installed fine as well, but… no internet. The PCI WiFi card is a ASUS WL-138G-V2, and I knew what to do: install NDISwrapper (a module that attaches itself to the linux kernel, that simulates a windows environment and uses the network cards windows drivers, that generally are much more likely to be available), and use the windows drivers that I had. Two ways to resolve the problem, download the ndiswrapper as a pre-compiled RPM (by default it comes as source code and you need to compile it, which makes sense considering the different systems and processors out there), or compile ndiswrapper using GCC. I just about couldn’t find the pre-compiled ndiswrapper for my architecture, so Im turning to downloading GCC, where I get stuck. It turned out the ASUS website did had some drivers, but only the source code of it (a good thing that they are publishing that !). So Im still needing GCC pre-compiled.
I was inspired by the default Fedora 10 background image. Somehow, fedora always manage to create great user interface styles and themes for every release. While googling for the untouched background image, I found a discussion about comparing the artwork for Fedora 10 with Ubuntu, and found that Fedora had a developed democratic artwork structure in place. I used GIMP (an opensource replacement for Photoshop), and one of my previous gliding images to make a night-ish image about me looking over a planet in a fairly extreme turn, looking at a planet at the horizon, with the starts shining in the sky. When I uploaded it on Facebook, a NUS friend, S.M. commented that he liked it. I think some updates in the future would involve brighter stars, a sun-eclipse rather than a dark planet, and darker grounds.
http://www.uwetechnology.co.uk – The website of the Technology Society of the University of the West of England.
http://www.fedoraproject.org – The Fedora Core project website, where you can download the latest fedora release.
http://www.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=zFAQkGgBuVPEYq6A&content=specifications – The description of the ASUS WL-138G-V2 card that I have.
http://pthree.org/2009/02/05/ubuntu-vs-fedora-artwork/ – A discussion and comparison between the artwork of Ubuntu and Fedora 10.
http://www.gimp.org – The GNU Image Manipulation Program, an opensource replacement for Adobe Photoshop, or THE designing software for Linux users.