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Old 12-26-2006, 11:00 AM   #1
rewtedesco
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Suse 10.0 /XP/ FC5 & 6
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Multitude of problems going from FC5 to FC6 Dell Insprion 4000


FC5 is good => FC6 must be better? Not: 3 days of grief and still not working properly. (OK this is evidence based on N=1. But it's the only laptop I have....)

I usually swear by linux and occasionally wear a tea shirts advertising it. (well known: “the box said windows 98 or better, so i installed linux”). This time I was only swearing at linux.

Short story:
Dell Inspiron 4000 PIII:
FC5 worked, FC6 doesn't. No sound, X11 problems at install, and a runaway beagle
Audio: ESS Technology ES19835 Maestro-31 PCI Audio Accelerator, driver: snd-maestro3
Video: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Mobility M3 AGP 2x, driver: aty128fb

Long story:
A while ago i worked hard to get FC5 installed on an old laptop (Dell Inspirion 4000, PIII). There was then already a little problem with the proper graphics mode during installation but I could fix it then by specifying a particular resolution. After that, no real problems occurred, apart from a major hacking spell on installing wireless (using a USB card and running into problems with ndiswrapper that could be resolved - http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi....php?t=433752).
Later I used a version of Stanton Finley's very practical and well documented installation notes (here is
a more recent version: http://stanton-finley.net/fedora_cor...ion_notes.html) , and got all the multi-media to work that this laptop can support.

FC6 became available and I decided to try to update, since i like FC5, which also runs flawless on another desktop at home.

First I ran into the problem that the FC6 installer (DVD) wouldn't find ANY properly working resolution. I tried them all! It seemed to not even care: Somehow I suspect that the boot option, such as
boot> linux resolution=1024x786
is simply ignored. I always got a garbage screen.

Finally I tried to go through with updating from FC5 to FC6 anyways, using an almost unreadable screen. That crashed after a long time of racing the disk.

Now I was looking at a completely new installation which I expected should be easier. This time I used text mode. I could install everything but then the problem remained of how to get X11 to work from the startup? Yes, it is possible to use startx to bring up an X11 system and I could get a video mode to work (1400x1050) , but I can't find out how to make the thing bring up the login window.

Further, there is a menu item: Administration->Login Screen, to configure the login screen. However, the program that's behind it doesn't do anything. The main problem is that the audio isn't working. I checked that the most recent alsa drivers are installed, after complete updates over the internet, but what used to work without a problem in FC5 doesn't work now. So I have no sound. Further, even after shooting down a lot of services that I don't need on this laptop (no bluetooth etc), FC6 seems to be totally lame. In the end I find the main culprit of this may be the demon beagle-build-in which eats up CPU time, while creating endlessly the same error message. beagle or anything like that isn't listed as a service (system->administration->server settings->services) and I don't know how to stop it.

Audio: ESS Technology ES19835 Maestro-31 PCI Audio Accelerator, driver: snd-maestro3
Video: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Mobility M3 AGP 2x, driver: aty128fb
 
Old 12-26-2006, 11:36 AM   #2
snecklifter
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: UK/West Yorkshire/Huddersfield
Distribution: Fedora 7
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Hi there,

Upgrading a distro is the same for Linux as it is for Windows - it is not recommended and the best option is always a fresh install. That said, I recently did a FC4>FC5 upgrade on a mythtv box that worked flawlessly. My advice would be to cut your losses, back up /home and /etc and format and re-install. I would also do a bug report on all of the problems you are having at bugzilla.redhat.com - link to this post as a reference.

Regards
Chris
 
Old 12-26-2006, 11:39 AM   #3
rewtedesco
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Suse 10.0 /XP/ FC5 & 6
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Hi snecklifter:

I did cut my losses and tried a complete reinstall. Even though I have the same hardware configuration as for the previous FC5 installation I could not get FC6 to work properly. I'm still poking around to fix it.
 
Old 12-26-2006, 12:54 PM   #4
snecklifter
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: UK/West Yorkshire/Huddersfield
Distribution: Fedora 7
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Sorry to hear that. For your graphics issues, have you tried changing over to the ati driver? My graphics card is similar and works brilliantly using this one as opposed to ati128fb. Just a thought.

Regards
Chris
 
Old 12-26-2006, 02:05 PM   #5
rewtedesco
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Suse 10.0 /XP/ FC5 & 6
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thanks, snecklifter, for the condolance ;-). Regaring the aty128fb driver, I'm not even at that
point: The problem is more on the initial installation of FC6. I wanted a graphical installation, since if one uses text mode installation, a lot of the usual features (e.g., preselection of individual software packages) doesn't seem to happen. I tried all these settings in the initial boot from the DVD to the boot prompt:
boot> linux resolution=1024x786 (or 1400x1050, 1400x900, 800x600, etc) and non works: the screen is always garbled up, with weird wraparounds. If I use text mode instead durint the installation, I get a broken installation, even for a plain vanilla selection of software. When I reboot it, there is no login screen, and there is no sound, even though all the hardware was properly recognized by anaconda. I need then to start X with startx, which I don't want. However, I can never figure out how to configure the system to start with the login screen after bootup.

I wonder if the syntax in the install bootup (as documented) is actually correct:

boot> linux resolution=1024x786
 
Old 12-27-2006, 04:47 AM   #6
snecklifter
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Registered: Mar 2004
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Distribution: Fedora 7
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If you have a laptop with a widescreen then no, it wont be. I would try booting a live cd of some kind - perhaps knoppix - and see what decisions it makes and then try this.

You mention there is no login screen or sound, does it display the rhgb screen or the starting services window? You can shift to a different tty with Ctrl+Alt+F1 or F2 etc to get a login prompt - does this work?
 
Old 12-27-2006, 11:33 AM   #7
rewtedesco
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Suse 10.0 /XP/ FC5 & 6
Posts: 93

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thanks Chris: I didn't try the different settings using bios setup, but the problems I had
seem to be solved now, thanks to a hint by windchaser in another thread, 513890.

What I did was the following.

I made a complete installation in text mode. That results in no window system running and no sound at first. Then I tinkerd to somehow get an operating video mode. One way is by messing directly with the configuration text file /etc/X11/xorg.conf. However, I tried a different method. There is also a program in FC6 that can be run as root, even if there is no window system running:
system-config-display
first use it with the --help option to get the possible arguments. It allows specification of a
resolution and depth, and even a driver (which I didn't try).
I used startx then to bring up the windows system with menu (gnome) and still had a lousy and wrapped around display. Nevertheless, it was possible to select from the menu system->administration->Display and without much visual feedback specifiying a different configuration: I used under Hardware: Monitor type Dell 1600x1200 laptop display panel and specified as resolution 1400x1050 with "millions of colors". Of course this depends on the specific hardware that i'm using. Even though my panel is only an older 12 or 14 inch (can't find the measuring stick) panel, with maximal horizontal resolution of 1400 pixels, these settings worked.
I then exited the windows system (logout), and restarted it with startx. This time I got a proper screen but still no login window.

I then had to edit /etc/inittab . There is a line containing the word initdefault and its value is set to 3. This needed to be set to 5 so that runlevel 5 is reached after reboot.

That was all. reboot. the tooth fairy had a short appearance, and all is working. Login window is there as expected. After that I installed all the media junk i could find from the livna repository (xine, xmms with mp3, flash, pop and what ever) and it's all working. Amazing.
The only thing that wasn't there right away was emacs and tex tools, the traditional publication tools, but it was easy to add using the package updater.

I don't quit understand why also the sound card problem automatically disappeared, once I had a proper bootup into the windows system. Sound works now, but wasn't working when the system was started with startx.




thanks all for the help.
 
  


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