Fedora Core 5 Linux

Fedora Core 5 is out! I just got an IBM T43 ThinkPad yesterday, perfect for checking out FC5.

The FC5 installer is significantly better than Fedora Core 4’s. Fewer questions I shouldn’t have to answer, and a better organized and easier to use package selection system. The new installer also just plain looks better. Fedora Core 5 was entirely installed in about half an hour.

Two things needed some tweaking in order to work on my IBM T43 ThinkPad – the screen and the wireless card. The good news is that both problems were easily solved.

The FC5 installer didn’t guess my display type correctly, giving me a maximum resolution of 800×600. This was solved by selecting a different display in the installer, “IBM 9514-B TFT Panel” with a resolution of 1400×1050.

FC5 didn’t recognize my wireless card, which has an Atheros a/b/g chip. This problem was solved by going to MadWifi, downloading 3 RPMs, installing them, and following the excellent instructions at MadWifi. My wireless was up and running in about 15 minutes.

I haven’t done much with FC5 other than set it up, explore the interface, and browse around some websites with Firefox (also, I’m writing this weblog entry on it). So far, I’ve noticed that Gnome has gotten faster (FC5 ships with Gnome 2.14), the interface shows some incremental simplification in a good way, and the software updating application (“Pup”) works great. This latter point is a big deal because prior to FC5 the GUI for getting software updates has been absolutely terrible (it rarely actually made it through a single round of updates). I used to have to use “yum” on the command line to get my updates, but there is no need to do that any more.

One thing FC5 sorely lacks is a nice GUI for dealing with wireless networks. Ubuntu has a really nice one, so I know it can be done on Linux. I had to do all my wireless network stuff on the command line using iwconfig and dhclient.

So far installing/using FC5 has been a good experience. Having a fully-functional Linux system in under an hour is awesome. I’ll write more thoughts about FC5 after I’ve used it for a while.

Note: While installing/using FC5 has been a good experience for me, it wouldn’t be for an inexperienced user. The display wasn’t autodetected, the installer still asks a few unnecessary and very technical questions (though fewer than the FC4 installer did), I had to install RPMs for my wireless card, and I had to set up my wireless networking on the command line. Tisk tisk…

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20 thoughts on “Fedora Core 5 Linux

  1. For managing wireless access check out NetworkManager, which does a great job of managing my wireless (and wired, for that matter; it switches to wired automatically when I plug in) connections.

  2. NetworkManager doesn’t seem to work for me. I enabled it, got the icon in my Gnome toolbar, but when I select a wireless network it tries to connect and gives up. For now I’ll have to stick with running my little shell script every time I log in.

  3. That’s pretty encouraging, and I’m definitely excited about Gnome getting faster and simpler. The pace seems to be picking up; maybe Linux will be ready for home use by 2010. Using Fedora 2 and Ubuntu Warty/Hoary for a year was a rewarding experience, but it’s also what finally convinced me to switch to Macintosh.

  4. Be careful with MadWifi and NetworkManager. The projects appears to coexist uneasily with this release. My wifi (T43) is busted: something about WEP is broken. The folks at NetworkManager say it’s MadWifi. I tend to believe them since I can’t get MadWifi WEP working even without NetworkManager. FC5 is proving hard for me to get fully operational (and I’ve been running Linux for a lot of years).

  5. I tried installing the madwifi drivers as per madwifi’s instructions on my t43p, but after i modprobe ath_pci, i check the “system-config-network” tool and the wireless card is in the hardware section now, but appears as an “ethernet” card? Did you get this? I cant set the essid or password or get onto my access point… any ideas?

  6. I used Fedora from 1 to 4 but lately I tried 5 on my r50p thinkpad. It has always been some work to have fedora recognize my IPW2100 wireless but this time was too much,I was fed up and moved to Kubuntu. It recognized my wireless card without any problem immediately (although at work I had later some problems with my wired connection, it was relatively easy to solve).

    Bye bye Fedora, it was nice while it lasted, I’m gone to the Debian side now.

  7. fc5 does looks good. i installed it on my fujitsu lifebook p7120d. my atheros-based wireless card wasn’t recognized either (which is why i googled and found this; thanks for the solution!) one thing i didn’t like about the new installer is that it doesn’t tell you how much space your apps will take. i manually config’d my partitions, selected my apps, clicked “go” and walked away. an hour later i checked back and it said “insufficient disk space.” wtf. oh well. fixed now. now to find madwifi.

  8. Which RPMs did you download. I’m currently running FC4 and want to upgrade, but I’m one of the inexperienced users you mentioned, and installing FC4 took a long time, but worked well afterwards.

    I’ve never been able to get my Wi-Fi to work though.
    I’ve got a DWL-G650 card, and honestly I’m going to have to research how to use RPMs at all.

    Thanks

  9. Which packages did you download from madwifi? I can’t get any of the packages to install. The kernels listed on the download links are note the same as is in Fedora core 5.

  10. I had my DWL-G650 working great under FC4 and didn’t anticipate any problems under FC5. I installed the kmod-madwifi and madwifi and (one I can’t remember) RPMs from the livna repository, but I have the same issue where the Atheros card is identified as Ethernet as opposed to wireless hardware.

    I can iwconfig it from the command line (WEP and all) but I’d like to get back to have it set itself up automagically.

    Any ideas?

  11. I went back and read the madwifi FC5 instructions and they use the atrpms repository packages. Using those packages, system-config-network correctly identified the card as a wireless interface and everything works fine now.

  12. Owen wrote:

    I went back and read the madwifi FC5 instructions and they use the atrpms repository packages. Using those packages, system-config-network correctly identified the card as a wireless interface and everything works fine now.

    Which three packages are you talking about specifically? I’ve been trying to get this installed but I keep running into circular dependency problems, etc. I was able to get this working once a year ago but it’s been a long time… specifics would be helpful.

    Thank you,
    Thomas

  13. i am encountering circular dependencies mentioned above.

    here is it:
    Missing Dependency: madwifi-kmdl-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5 = 0.9.6.0-20.rhfc5.at is needed by package madwifi-hal-kmdl-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5

    Missing Dependency: madwifi-hal-kmdl-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5 = 0.9.6.0-20.rhfc5.at is needed by package madwifi-kmdl-2.6.16-1.2080_FC5

    i am unable to guess which is correctly a dependent of another

  14. I just made the switch from the atrpms Madwifi rpms to the livna repository as the atrpms repository hasn’t been updated for the -2111 fc5 kernel. My DWL-G630 runs fine using the old style wireless configuration under WEP.

    NetworkManager still won’t configure this connection. Sigh.

  15. I had the same problem as someone above with the insufficient space, over and over. I reburned the DVD at 2.4 speed and it worked fine. As far as madwifi goes, I got it to work kind of. When I boot and log in I have to /sbin/dhclient ath0 then I have to open kwifimanager and edit configuration then activate the card. I had it set to automatically start up but it didn’t work. It hung at boot. I am far from a linux god, but I’ve used it for a few years now (mostly FC3) but not really impressed with the madwifi these days

  16. Did you get any problems with your t43p and usb memory stick type devices? FC5 recognises my 1gb isb drive and my w800i sonywalkman phone, but when I transfer files to it, the meter gets to 100% in about a second and when I disconnect the device, the files arent there, I know its to do with synchronization issues…

  17. I am new to linux. I have an IBM Thinkpad T30. How can I configure the wireless card. Thank up in advanve for your help

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