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I am going to reopen this one: I started using a new KVM switch and what a difference that makes.F12 finds my monitor automatically and sizes the screen accordingly. Great but one little problem - I only get 2 workspaces on my Gnome desktop. I checked whether this is related to compiz but that is disabled (graphics card is too old). Is there somewhere I can set the number of workspaces as I quite like 4.
things weren't looking too good last night. First thing I did this morning was right click on the virtual desktops and changed the number. Doh! I knew I wasn't thinking straight then. So, one problem solved.
Next up was system-config-display crashing, one of the forums pointed me to system-config-display --reconfig and that is now working also. So, thanks for the assistance in getting my brain working. I'll try f12 on my more up to date box now!
I think this post needs me to tie things up. I have installed f12 on 2 computers now, both running nvidia video drivers one more recent than the other as noted above.
On my older system I ended up installing the nvidia driver via a sticky from the fedora forum (again, as noted above). The install went smoothly but I encountered a few speed humps afterwards - these were smoothed over courtesy of this site and google.
On my more recent computer (12 months old) the nv driver seemed to cope well enough with the video card. Again, there were one or 2 speed humps but I managed to find solutions to these around the net. In this case I had to boot in standalone 2 times to address things: I modified fstab to accommodate a 2nd HDD and this caused startup to hang. When I had sorted that out X crashed so I had to modify inittab to boot into a command prompt and diagnose the problem.
I think the conclusion is that the fedora experience requires that you THINK. It may not just work first time. I was thinking of reporting these bugs but as there are already solutions available then I decided against it. I have been using this distro since FC4 and I feel most comfortable with the interface provided so I am prepared to work a bit harder to install it. FYI I tried slackware and mandriva, they were easier to install but I find the overall experience less pleasing.