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Old 07-20-2005, 06:30 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2001
Posts: 143

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A tale of FC4 install, yum, etc.

Preface: This is a long quasi-diary of a part of my FC4 install and yum use experience. It is meant to possibly allow others out there who have similar problems to find that they are not alone. I also will try to reply to this thread (for posterity's sake) as I get my yum issues straightened out. Perhaps someone who had a perfectly smooth FC4 install process experience might read this and see details of one that's not so smooth. Helpful faq urls, etc. or specific bits of advice are, of course, appreciated.

Every now and then I get in the mood to install a new operating system. I've been running FC2, and the way it handles USB sticks has been grating to me lately, so I decided to try out what the latest and greatest for FC4 is (there were other reasons, too of course).

So I downloaded and burned the FC4 cds. I don't like having 15 thousand unused packages installed on the system possibly creating security risks I don't even know about, so I spent quite some minutes during the package selection winnowing things down. I finally decide that my choices are good enough, and so I tell it to go with that selection. The installation process immediately crashes. Heh.. happened to me when I was first installing FC2.

My tourrettes moment passes, and I go through the install process again, and am much less thorough in my winnowing. The install succeeds. Yeah! I wonder only briefly about how many services and programs are installed/running that I don't need/want/care about...

The big test-- USB sticks! I plug one in, it pops up! I unmount it, it disappears! I plug it in again, it pops up again! Pretty cool... it works nicely.

I check the /mnt directory to see it via command line. Nothing there! Hmmm??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. I check mtab. Ok.. the fine FC4 folks have decided to reinvent the filesystem again with a /media directory. What happened to /mnt? What happened to maybe linking /media to /mnt? I make a mental note to someday try to investigate if there is any decent reasoning for the /media directory being separate, distinct, and unlinked from the /mnt directory.

Ok.. I'm one of those goofs who likes to see what his computer is doing.. spy on it, as it were. I type gkrellm at the command line. Nope, no gkrellm. Ok.. I know yum... I even rather like yum, even though I think it had some warts. I type: yum install gkrellm

No dice.. I get a "no baseurl" error ("Cannot find a valid baseurl for repo:").. I am a little confused. I check into things, and notice that yum.conf, has now been split into yum.conf and yum.repo.d. Since the configuration files that come with FC4 don't work (grumble grumble), I go looking for some that might. FC2 had some pre-made yum.conf files you could grab that would work great, so I google around for them. No luck. seems to be down.

Ok, so I look into the .repo files and notice the baseurl line is there, just commented out. So I un-comment each one of them. I also find, download and install the script I found here: I also try to find out which to go with livna, and fedora-extras, or everybody else. I'm a little disappointed that there is that divide.. that choice that must be made-- or to look at it another way, that pitfall to avoid (conflicting repositories).

Anyway, with the things uncommented, and the script run (which claimed it would set up all my gpgkeys), I try to run yum again, but get an error about the gpg keys.
Grumble. I wonder to myself: why aren't the gpgkeys installed when the system is installed?

So I put that aside for a moment, and remember that I wanted to do a local RPM repository, so I copy all my CD's rpms to the local disk, and work to set up a local repository for it. I get the .repo file right, but I try yum-arch, and it complains about being deprecated and that it can't read the rpms. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. Googling around with that, I find out that yum-arch is no longer good because they are moving towards a unified repository format that can be used by everyone. Ok, sounds like a laudable goal, and that this is unavoidable pain.

So what do I use instead? Google answers: createrepo. So I type man createrepo. "No manual entry for createrepo". Urh? I type createrepo. "bash: createrepo: command not found". Jiminy Crickets! Ok.. so I can't use my local repo to install gkrellm, either.

Googling around for local repositories, found me this, though: ...which showed me (in FC3) where the GPG keys were hiding in the local file system. So I import those, and comment out my .repo file for my local repo and re-run: yum install gkrellm

"Reading repository metadata in from local files
primary.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 188 kB 00:01 [Errno -1] Metadata file does not match checksum
Trying other mirror.
Error: failure: repodata/primary.xml.gz from updates-released: [Errno 256] No more mirrors to try."

Gah! I google on this, and find out that this probably means the server is overloaded or down or something, and that I should use a mirror. But I haven't yet found any listings of mirrors to chose from.

Ok.. trying a different approach, since I've been "command line"-ing it so far. I check what's available from the gui. I find Desktop|System Settings|Add/Remove Applications. Sounds promising! I click, enter root password, and get--- that same package selection screen I used when installing.. !!! I can't search on a package name, and within each category, things are not in any sort of alphabetical order! While I'm there, I notice that the DNS server is selected, and I don't want it to be. I deselect it, and click update. It fails saying that it can't find the packages it wants to remove. Huh?? This is a fresh installation!

I must say, it is nice to be able to go back to the screen you saw during installation, so you can change things. Some consistency between installation process and maintenance process is good, in my opinion. Of course, it would also be a good thing, if the thing didn't fail when you tried to use it.

Sure, I can install gkrellm with good ol' rpm and the command line. I just am somewhat disappointed with the status of "Linux for the Desktop" as shown in FC4. Of course, Fedora always claimed to be more about moving fast than necessarily ever being anyplace nice, so there is no particular failure or betrayal on Fedora's part.

Interesting times... I may have been better served by waiting a few more months for more faqs and howtos and .repo examples to circulate out there.

Last edited by clausawits; 07-20-2005 at 06:36 PM.
Old 07-20-2005, 06:49 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Posts: 143

Original Poster
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I'm a little bit dim.. the download mirrors are the same as the yum mirrors.. well, the directories aren't the same, but the list is the same.. at least for most of them, I think..

yum is finally working now. Seems faster.
Old 07-20-2005, 10:03 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: CT, USA
Distribution: Debian Sarge (server), Etch (work/home)
Posts: 601

Rep: Reputation: 32
I had similar issues with installing. The fault was my own in not verifying the CD's immediately after burning (I'm not talking about the separate "linux mediacheck", but rather, actually bit-for-bit verifying that the CD I burned was the same as the iso file it came from).

Of course, you must checksum your iso's first, before burning, to make sure they downloaded correctly.

Later I was referred to this link: which is extremely informative.

Regarding yum, I've still gotta read the docs on that. I just fell backwards into good luck on that front though. I installed some livna rpm that set everything up for me. Yes, I've still got some docs to read there. :)
Old 07-21-2005, 03:32 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2001
Posts: 143

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I just fell backwards into good luck on that front though. I installed some livna rpm that set everything up for me.
That would be cool.. any chance you have URL you could post as to where you found that RPM.. (in case somebody else happens to stumble across this page and could use it?)


[irrelevant]Now that yum seems to be more or less working, I wanted to look at an animation of a mode shape of a finite element modle. I double clicked on the mpeg, and Totem started up, and then promptly errored out saying: "Failed to create a GStreamer play object". I think that a large portion of my frustration comes with these sorts of silly "don't work out of the box" issues. I haven't looked into what's going on yet, but I shudder whenever I hear people recommending this distro to the non-hobbiest user.[/irrelevant]


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