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Old 11-24-2003, 04:30 AM   #1
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Upgrading RH8 to FC1 - Quick Review

Upgrading RH8 to Fedora Core 1 – Quick review

First of all i would like to say that this isn't a professional review. It's a quick review based on my personal experience upgrading from RH8 to Fedora Core 1.

Like me, most users, are now using Linux to work in a variety of areas. All the data stored in the hard drives is very important. From simple office files to mail contacts, all the information is important to the everyday user, and loosing it can be very painful. If like me, you don 't want to spend lots of time on tweaking your desktop to achieve that personal touch every time you have to install a new Distro, then your only choice is to UPGRADE. ... and so i did.

The machine:

Pentium III 700Mhz

256 RAM

Video Card – Riva TNT2 32MB

Sound Card – Soundblaster 5.1 live

Printer – Hp 1220 c

Dual Boot – Windows 2000 pro and Red Hat Linux 8 with Nvidia drivers

The system was dual booting Windows 2000 Pro and Red Hat Linux 8, so i inserted the FC1 disc 1 and rebooted the machine. Fedora booted from the disc and found a previous Red Hat install asking me if i wanted to do a fresh install or to upgrade. I choose upgrade.

The system examines all the installed packages, checks for dependencies and then starts the upgrade. I must say that upgrading is significantly slower than doing a fresh install, but it's probably because all the packages need to be erased before they are upgraded, however it's slower than i expected.

Apart from the time, nearly 60 minutes, everything went ok. At the end the anaconda installer asked me to create the usual boot disks and i did, then i left and rebooted.

Well, the boot sequence was not in graphical mode, because the rhgb rpm isn't installed in the upgrade mode. Therefore i had to install it later and to add “rhgb” to the “/boot/grub/grub.conf” file.

One thing is for sure.... Fedora is very ... very much ...faster than any other Red Hat previous version on the boot process. I was very well surprised.

When i was hopping to see the “X” ... ahhhhhh...... nothing ... only our beloved shell and nothing else. I edited “/etc/X11/XF86Config” and found that the file wasn't changed during the installation upgrade and that in the device section the driver mentioned was still “nvidia” instead of “nv” or “vesa”. I altered that and commented “#” the line “Load “glx” ” in the section module. Restarted “X” with CTRL-Alt-BackSpace and .... Yeahhhhhh.... X is was there ...with Fedora welcoming me.

As i am a Gnome kind of guy ,i won't be writing about KDE which is one of the best desktops for Linux. Still, as we all know, Linux is about being able to choose. I choose Gnome

I logged into Fedora with Gnome 2.4 and discovered that my old desktop wasn't there anymore. Instead there was a shortcut to it, so i copied all my links to my new desktop. Easy... and simple. The first application i tried was ... imagine ... Open Office... which was a “turtle” back in the days of RH 8... and that popped up in just a few seconds after clicking on it. Uau..... Very good. Next.... Mozilla ... and again...Uau... very fast indeed. Next, Evolution Mail and yeah ... Uau ..again.
Good work here with the new NPTL and the pre-linking which reduces the time an application takes to start.

There are some new interesting things like the new Bluecurve theme which i found out to be very beautiful and polished or being able to change my resolution from inside, that is, without needing to restart “X” afterwards.

I tried my USB hp 1220c printer and it worked like a charm. Like in RH8. No changes in the configuration whatsoever. Even my Pen-drive was working correctly as defined in the “/etc/fstab” created in the first install of RH8.

When installing rhgb rpm with the Add/remove packages i found that it wasn't working as it could't install it's own rpms. This is BAD. We all know that a system needs these tools to work perfectly, and if i was a complete newbie i would stop right here.

I installed the package in a terminal with “rpm -ivh rhgb” and it worked. Thank god i am in a Linux system, where i always have the “shell”. If it was MS i would have to stop.

After installing rhgb i rebooted to see how it worked. The Kernel boots in normal mode, that is without any graphical support, and after that we are offered a graphical screen in a gray background with a bar in the middle that fills as the system boots. It also has a show/hide details link which enables the possibility of seeing or hiding all the system booting details. It's a well designed graphical boot, however i think it should include the kernel output as well, and why not create a rhgsd (redhat-graphical-shutdown) to enable graphical shutdown? Maybe in the next release....

The Nvidia drivers were not yet installed and so i clicked on Mozilla to the Nvidia's site, and found out that my Internet connection was not affected by the upgrade, and that everything was working ok. I downloaded the most recent drivers for Linux IA 32 and prepared to install them.

First i had to exit “X” then in the “shell” typed “init 3” to go back to initlevel 3, then i typed “export CC=gcc32” avoiding this way the CC mismatch error, and finally typed “sh ./” to run the Nvidia's installer. Everything went smooth and after that, i edited again the XF86Config file to alter, in the device section “vesa” to “nvidia” and to uncomment the line related to glx support. Saved and typed “init 5” to start at run level 5 (Where X services normally start) and Nvidia's logo popped up, which means the driver was loaded. I was back in 3D business again as i was able to experiment Tux Racer and Chromium.

The sound was ok, i didn't have to tweak in a single thing to ear sound. Everything was ok, even MP3 support that worked out of the box. I really can't explain this, but it worked.

So, in conclusion, and seeing this new Fedora Core, for the first time in an upgraded system i must say that i was very well surprised with it. Most of the reviews that i could read say that it's very “buggy”, however the most important bug i found, until now, was the one related to Adding/Removing Packages. Fedora Core 1 it's much faster than all it's predecessors, and comes out with a lot of software packages. It sure needs some polishing here and there, but RH8 and RH9 were not different. The media support is a down, but in my case i had Xine and Xmms working and nothing changed with the upgrade. They work.

If you are a regular user coming from MS Windows, not used to work in a command line, then tweaking with the “shell”, can be a pain in the a.. for you. I think a fresh install is more simple, at least from this point of view, but it also has its cons.

If you asked me if Fedora could be my main O.S... my answer would be.. It already is.

My next step ... upgrade my other box currently running RH9 .

To end, i just would like to thank Redhat and Fedora for this initiative. keep up with the good work. The community needs Fedora O.S.

Hope this can be useful.
Old 12-01-2003, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hi. I loved your review. It was very informative. I have for many years now been a RedHat fan. I would much rather stick to the RH 9.x and up distros but due to recent changes within RedHat I am forced to try out other “free” distributions. So Fedora seems like the route to take.

I am currently downloading my last ISO image and I will try to install it on a fresh machine.

However, my main Linux server which has been running for years and has been upgraded many times is currently running RH 9.0. So I very much look forward to your review on how your RH 9.0 to Fedora upgrade works out. Thanks again for a very informative post.
Old 12-11-2003, 11:27 AM   #3
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I just finished upgrading RH 8 to Fedora on a Toshiba Stallite 2805-s603. The updgrade went smooth, but it did take a long time to update all the packages on my machine. I would suggest removing any unwanted packages from the machine before upgrading. Everything works that worked before, which is everything but my crappy printer(hplaserjet1000) including the dvd/cd-r,linksys wpc11 wireless card, internal ethernet, but I haven't tested the modem.

Thanks madLinux, great review.


Last edited by qwerty2003_a; 01-25-2004 at 07:44 AM.
Old 01-25-2004, 06:42 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Distribution: Red Hat 8.0 (Home), Red Hat 8.0 (Work)
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Yeah I also think that your review is tops. However I am so reluctant to try fedora, there are so many different opinions on it. I wish I had more time, dammit!!!
Old 01-25-2004, 09:48 AM   #5
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: SD - USA
Distribution: Fedora
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Great review!
I'm a newbie to linux and I tried a few differant distributions, but it looks like I will be sticking with Fedora as everything works great on it for me.

I did a clean install on two computers and it could not have worked out better.
I have been running Fedora for about 2-3 weeks.


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