Fedora Core 6: The Ugly and the Pretty

by Ming Chow

When a new OS distribution is released, it is often best to do a clean install and start from scratch, right? Well, apparently not.

This past weekend, I shredded my hard drive (via shred). It literally took a day.

I downloaded the DVD ISO of Fedora Core 6 the morning of the release at work without much trouble, and burned it on a DVD. When I went home, I popped the DVD onto my machine, and to my dismay, it could not be read! So now what do I do?

I went to my half-broken iBook to download the CD ISOs for FC6. It took about 45 minutes to download the ISO of the first disc. Another 10 minutes to burn it onto a CD. I put in the first disc onto my desktop and the followed the steps. To install the general and developer workstation stuff required only the first three CDs. Okay, better than I thought.

About two hours later, I made the second and third FC6 CDs, and finished installing FC6 onto my desktop. On first boot, I saw a cpuspeed error. Worst of all, I had no networking! I rebooted my machine with an Ubuntu live CD, and there was no problem with networking. Rebooted with FC6, no networking at all. I turned off a number of services including iptables and SELinux, and still no networking.

Alas, I decided to reinstall FC5 (overwriting FC6), which I still had the DVD for. After successful installation of FC5, I turned off all the services I deemed unnecessary, including cpuspeed. Then, I ran yum, and there were problems with the repositories due to the release of FC6.

The next morning (yesterday), I re-burned the FC6 CDs. I put in the first CD and chose the upgrade option. What surprised me was that although only the first three CDs were necessary for a clean install, all five CDs were necessary for the upgrade.

The upgrade took a long time: over an hour-and-a-half. It took 30 minutes to just check the dependencies.

This time around, everything works. No cpuspeed error at startup (because I turned off the service in FC5). Most importantly, networking worked. But that annoying system beep! Quickly, I turned off system beep under Preferences > Sound.

I noticed a slight performance improvement. Sizewize with the install, not too much of a difference with FC5 (3 - 5 GB required for installation of general and developer workstation stuff).

But I do have to say, this is absolutely the prettiest Fedora Core: look-and-feel.

Despite the one day delay in getting hands-on with FC6, the good thing was that I didn't have to go through yum hell like a lot of people were chattering about.

I performed an update of the system via yum without any problems.

Next, I used yum to install all the additional packages I needed:

  • Firestarter

  • MonoDevelop

  • privoxy

  • nmap

  • snort

  • tor

  • Wireshark

All the packages were installed successfully.

Then I downloaded and installed the following packages:

  • chkrootkit

  • John the Ripper

  • Metasploit

  • TrueCrypt

  • VMware Workstation

All the packages were installed successfully with the exception of VMware Workstation. /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl failed. Using vmware-any-any (http://ftp.cvut.cz/vmware/) didn't help. I read that config.h is not in the kernel-devel package. Apparently, touching config.h in /usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-1.2798.fc6-i686/include/linux/ solves the problem (see http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=59513&tstart=0), but it didn't work for me.

Finally, the goodies, namely Java and Flash. Here is a great post: http://www.linux-noob.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2533. I decided to be adventurous and installed the media packages as well (e.g. mplayer). That document worked very well, and everything installed with a snap (many thanks).

It was surely a run-around to get Fedora Core 6 installed, but other than that, a lot of things that I have been accustomed to, work. Again, this is absolutely the prettiest Fedora Core.


Gustavo Picoloto
2006-10-26 10:29:08
I had to install a kernel without xen support for my network start without errors. My nic is a Broadcom b44.
Paul Done
2006-10-27 02:43:29
Here's the fix for FC6 with VMWare Server:

sudo vi /usr/src/kernels/`uname -r`-i586/include/linux/config.h

..and add the following content to the header file and save...

/* This file is no longer in use and kept only for backward compatibility.
* autoconf.h is now included via -imacros on the commandline
#if !defined (__KERNEL__) && !defined(__KERNGLUE__)
#error including kernel header in userspace; use the glibc headers instead!

2006-10-29 23:54:52
If you need to "shred" your harddrive you better use "Darik's Boot and Nuke" from http://dban.sourceforge.net/.
2006-11-01 23:53:43
Can anybody tell me the procedure of installing a FC6 kernel without xen support? My nic is Broadcom b44 too.
Stephen Jones
2006-11-11 10:41:09
I would just call it Fedora Core SUX, not six. This is the biggest nightmare upgrade I've ever done. It is so bad, I can help but wonder if Microsoft had something to do with it. What perfect timing. Install FC6 and screwup your whole system. Hey, since you system is screwed anyway, why not try VISTA.
2006-11-13 12:39:07
Hi there,

I just used the upgrade function on the core 6 dvd.
One hour later my core 5 was a core 6.
And its running and running....
Ok one little got the kernel 2.6.18-1.2849.fc6
and try to get my vmware workstation running now.

Martin Shin
2007-02-16 16:22:49
I had a lot of similar problems too, but used the first CD only and chose the http install. It worked great since I left it downloading all night...
Martin Shin
2007-03-25 09:42:34
Since my last post installing FC6, I decided to switch to Opensuse. I must say that Opensuse has a great product. Install was very smooth and it is also "pretty" like Fedora Core.
2007-05-20 12:57:54
Installed fc6 with the 6 cd set in first go on my core duo, 512 mb ram hp laptop. everything works fine on a clean install except
1. default key repeat rate was way too high (changed that.)
2. System time was running 3 seconds for every second.
Spent a lot of time trying to solve this and no dice.

still got this problem now and its been 20 days for the install.
If this doesnt get fixed, will have to stop using fc6 and go back to windows .. :(