Installing Fedora Core 4, First Impressions

by Ming Chow

I downloaded and installed Fedora Core 4 two nights ago. I wiped my hard disk clean (60 GB, not the 10 GB one), allocated approximately 16 GB for Windows XP, installed that first, and then I did a clean install of Fedora Core 4 using all the remaining disk space.

It took me several tries to successfully install Fedora Core 4 (using 4 CDs). Several times, the installation froze on me when I used my CD-RW drive. Then I switched to use my DVD drive and the installation was successful. I noticed nothing glaringly different with the installation process between FC4 and FC3, except the customized option to now install Java and Eclipse. I did a customized and beefed-up workstation install (no server), and I decided not to install Java and Eclipse from the CD.

The dual boot Windows XP and FC4 worked well. I booted Windows XP first --no problems. Then I booted FC4 for the first time. Again, I noticed nothing glaring different with the boot process, maybe it was slightly faster. When I was asked to configure my display, it still could not recognize that I was using a Dell FP1503 (Digital) display.

As for initial user experience, I again noticed nothing glaring different except that the "Settings" menu was now on the top horizontal menu bar. The graphics and the Gnome interface seemed to be sleeker, which I liked.

Now for the fun part --installing software packages I need. Prior to installing Windows XP and FC4, I made a CD of all the software packages I need. In short, I experienced a few problems with several packages. I installed and executed the following packages without problems:

  • chkrootkit (.tar.gz)

  • Eclipse 3.0.2 (.zip)

  • f-prot (.rpm)

  • Sun's Java SDK and JRE 1.5.0_03 (.bin)

  • John the Ripper 1.6 (.tar.gz)

  • Mesa 3D 6.2.1 libraries (.tar.gz)

  • EDITED (6/22/2005, 9:31 PM EST) Mono 1.1.8 (.bin) --despite popular rumors, Mono is not included in FC4. BEWARE, monodevelop is not perfect, errors on load and exit.

  • Snort 2.3.3 (.tar.gz)

  • Wine (.rpm)

I encountered problems with the following packages:

  • Blender 2.37 (.bz2) - Installed without problems, but it could not find python installed on my machine (on opening the program).

  • R 2.1.0 (.rpm) - Did not successfully install.

  • VMware Workstation 5 (.rpm) - Installed without problems, but after configuring it via /usr/bin/, NAT failed. Then my machine crashed.

  • xine-lib (.tar.gz) - Died on make.

ADDED (6/22/2005, 9:31 PM EST) up2date is very flaky. Normally, the up2date icon on the top would turn red every other day to notify you of updates. I found it very strange that did not turn red for days. I ran yum update (as root) and there were at least two dozen updated packages available. Hence, your best bet is to run yum update constantly.

Despite the problems and some shakiness with now using FC4, I am sure that all the problems will be resolved soon.

Any problems with your installation?


Michel Alexandre Salim
2005-06-18 09:25:22
You want to patch VMware with this .. not sure if it'd work with VMware 5 (haven't tested it myself) but good luck with it.
2005-06-21 06:32:26
The patch worked great on my FC4 box with vmware 5.
2005-06-21 21:29:09
Fedora Core 4 Install problems
I tried to install Fedora Core 4 on three different machines but in all, anaconda crashes after partitioning the hard disk. Has anyone faced this problem and solved it?


2005-06-22 06:38:18
Fedora Core 4 Install problems
I had a similar situation --it crashed in the middle of my installation. But I switched to use my DVD drive and it worked...
2005-06-25 02:51:21
R is in Fedora Extras now, so "yum install R R-devel" gets you R-2.1.1. Using RPMs from FC3 is likely to get you in trouble because of the compiler changes.

Any progress on the RHN icon?

2005-06-25 17:54:21
getting used to Fedora Core 4
I wanted a fresh install when I went from Core 3 to Core 4.

I had to reinstall Core 3 to reburn the Core 4 cds, because the first disc hung up on me. Luckily, the second burn worked, and the Core 4 loaded well after that. I wish the website listed the files that are on each CD so that the download is less an anxious experience... then, installing a fresh distro is like opening gifts on Christmas morning. Hmm.

I like eclipse, and have no interest in Adobe Acrobat-- I like my system, clean, simple, and problem free.

I am still having trouble installing Java which I would like to use to update my Yahoo geocities web page-- why Sun can't be more helpful, I don't know why. Their instructions are dense and hard to understand.

Realplayer works great when I installed it (easy).
I did not use Helix because it has been way to glitchy in the past.

Where are the screensavers? It may seem minor, but I associate the fun of a new distro with the ability to see those.

My up2date also stays green. I could make it work but the GPG key request frightened me, and it was unbearably slow. I wanted to get apt-get, but it doesn't seem available for Core 4 yet (June 25, 2005). I want to install Synaptic eventually. I do not understand GPG Keys very well.
What do they mean, what do they do? The help on the web is scattered and dense-- and Google is becoming harder to use than ever as it gets more commercial. I don't have all the time and the world to find all the answers. I really do count on the computer geniuses out there to make it easy from the get go.

I hope fedora stays alive-- it has always been dependable for me. Core 3 was great, although Nautilus could be buggy at times. 4 is definitely easier in the file manager. I'm sure it will get even better with updates so long as it works to be better Linux, and not a better Windows or Apple emulator.

I installed xmms and I plan to install grip. They are maybe older, but they are indestructable and function well. I was glad to get mp3 with packages out there on the web. I would be impressed if the menu said "xmms" rather than "Audio Player", which is confusing. Short names don't take up too much real estate on the screen either.

I would like to get Synaptic because I like a graphic way to keep up to date.

Nautilus, the desktop, installation, backgrounds-- and much more work smoother and better in Core 4. Core 4 also is more efficient and faster, I think.

I installed squeakland from (I love it!) That was easy.

I plan to install the enlightenment window manager later too when stable rpms for fedora core 4 are available. I like switching between Gnome and that. I am not a big fan of KDE which was always glitchy, clumsy, and slow for me. I am still glad that it is included.

I miss Abiword. I don't care about emulating Microsoft Office. Open Office has significantly improved however.

I installed Dillo which is a lightening fast graphical browser. Firefox is indespensible and near perfect however.

I wish at the installation there was more info showing what the differences between the installs is. I opted for workstation... with some trepidation.

Stay tuned. Ubuntu is looking good to me, but I don't like their su way of doing things-- guess I am a stick in the mud.

My printer and monitor were easier than ever to get recognized.

My alphasmart Neo still works effortlessly, although it is geared for Windows and Mac. Alphasmart has great alternatives to expensive, cable encumbered, power sapping laptops. I hope that company makes their products more linux friendly.

My Canon Lide 30 scanner works quite well under Xsane too. I remember when I got it and discovered to my horror that it was not Linux supported. Had to run Knoppix to wake up up my fedora core 3, after installing plustek driver... oh hell, I don't know all the things I did to get it to work-- am happy that fedora core 4 now had xsane and my scanner working "right out of the box."

2005-06-25 19:06:16
what I said about eclipse- that was wrong. Somehow I got it in my mind that that was the new pdf file-- at the moment-- I'm really not sure what it is!

again... stay tuned!

I happen to like totem-- but at the moment it is not set up how I finally got it in Core 3.

I immediately missed my hidden files in my home folder-- i am guessing they are in the filesystem.

I still hate windows popping up separately in nautilus file mgr-- finally fixed it in the more complex configuration editor. If a user doesn't understand 'boolean'-- he or she is out of luck!

2005-06-25 21:35:08
Alabamarasta is still at it! My day off work was way too short! But I got my Java Jivin'!
I finally installed java after amalgamating information provided at six different sites-- and then making a few educated guesses with my fingers crossed!

How I installed java (technically known as java runtime enviornment, or jre for short) into Fedora Core 4:

1. First, I trashed all my previous dumb attempts that failed.

2. I downloaded the .bin file, as everybody says the rpm is flakey (could bust somebody's britches, perhaps? I don't know; I just played it safe 'cause I'm a Newbie).

3. As root (su) I moved the .bin file to my /opt folder. (It didn't hurt to log out of my home location to root every now and then to use the nautilus file manager to get a good view of things and to move things around. Anyway /opt was the best place to put the file, I think.
While I was there, I right-clicked on the file, and then properties. Then I was able to adjust the permissions to rwx--x--x. I did it visually with the graphics-- but the notation shows.

4. Next, I opened up gedit (found under Accesories--Text Editor-- why don't they call it by its rightful name-- 'gedit'?) which is pretty good, 'cept, I couldn't figure how to scroll up a page in it. I'm sure it can be done-- but I couldn't find instructions about how to move around in it. Save that for arainy day.

5. That name Sun gives for the bin file (jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586.bin) was too dad-blame confusing! I wasted at least two hours today
typing jre-1_5_0_04 with an l (L), and not a 1 (one)! If you do that you're plum out of luck there.

So I renamed it. I dropped the &#@! jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586 part-- and changed it to simple and sweet java.bin.

So now the file is called: java.bin

6. Using gedit in root (su) mode, I then typed:

sh java.bin

Now you see all this legalese which you can read by holding down the Enter button on your keyboard. Watch out! It moves mighty fast! At the end you are given a chance to sell your soul for a glitzy proprietary program. For the hell of it-- answer no, so you can type sh jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586.bin or java.bin (like I called it after renaming it) again so you can type


(don't forget to hit your Enter button again! 'else nothin will happen!)

Voila! You should now have a neat looking folder in your /opt file that is called jre1.5.0_04.bin.
(Notice the little dots now instead of underline marks-- building java is trickier than building a ferris wheel with an erector set that's missing a wrench! Don't worry 'bout them dots, they don't make a toot worth of difference-- just type 'em like you see 'em!)

7. Now is the good part. Nothing will happen in your browser, unless you can make a link to your browser plugin directory. Spent six hours figurin' that out. If your like me you have more than one browser too!

So looky here-- this is what I typed in gedit (in root mode; this time again be careful of your 'ones' and 'Els'):

ln -s /opt/jre1.5.0_04/plugin/i386/ns7/ /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin

(hit Enter)

8. For the hell of it, I covered my other browsers doing the same thing. I typed:

ln -s /opt/jre1.5.0_04/plugin/i386/ns7/ /usr/lib/firefox-1.0.4/plugins/libjavaplugin

(hit Enter)

9. And then I typed:

ln -s /opt/jre1.5.0_04/plugin/i386/ns7/ /usr/lib/mozilla-1.7.8/plugins/libjavaplugin

(hit Enter)

10. Now close gedit and use your nautilus graphical file manager to check out what it all looks like in perty pictures.

When you go to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins you see a link arrow from the file called Same goes for inside the /usr/lib/firefox-1.0.4/plugin directory.

Notice how I had used the exact names for the browsers I linked to. If you have older versions of Mozilla or Firefox, you'd want to type those names when you were creating the links (ln -s).

11. If everything looks ok-- now is the moment of truth.

Close everything down and open your browsers in your HOME directory. Maybe your home is called something conventional like John or Betty or Lollypops. My sweet home is in Alabama, though my spiritual heart is in Africa. (Ubuntu is calling!) I happen to have mozilla-1.7.8, and firefox-1.0.4, so I opened those (why that usr/lib/mozilla directory? Beats me! But I played it safe!).

Go this website:

If everything went ok, you should see a note of congratulations and Dancing Duke (Duke?!) with a red nose sliding left and right and waving his arms like he's trying to avoid spitballs.

For those of you who want to check out the info I used to figure out my own situation go check out these very helpful websites:

Note that those folks were still dealing with version 3 while Sun Microsystems had moved on up to version 4! I wanted the latest and the greatest so I did my thing with version 4. Maybe tomorrow it will be version 86... so take that into account when you decipher them names!

Somewhere I got the idea that java came with Fedora Core 4. If it did happen to have it already (I didn't see it, or I didn't install it initially with my workstation configuration)-- I feel better installing it myself-- so I know how to get rid of it if I ever grow to dislike it.

Java is really handy to make a yahoo geocities web page. It is also good at playing funny games at (you need flash for that one too).

Or you can play around in the drawing room at

If only java was as easy to install as flash! If you get frustrated installing java and need a break (and you have already installed flash)-- then check this neat site out:

Well, my day off from work is shot. Time to go to bed...

...where I can dream about how to download and install a new President of the United States!

Irie Y'all! Peace and Love! Peace and Love!

2005-06-26 16:29:13
One Day Later...
Call in the experts!

Something strange has happened with my files since I installed Java. They hopped from usr/lib to hidden files in my home directory.

Was that supposed to happen?

My rhythymbox is acting buggy, as is my beloved squeakland.

Two steps forward, one step back.

That seems to be the learning curve with Linux. One thing I've learned over time is that the system is pretty rational:

Everything works right once you know how... and then when you get it perfect... you upgrade to do it all over again!

Maybe java isn't a great idea on Linux... yet.

Stay tuned.

Anybody have some extra thoughts, info, insight or ideas.... I don't want to turn my comments into a daily blog.

Thought I was helping.


2005-06-28 03:46:33
Yet again ... cleaning up some FAQ
Yesterday, I was way too freaked out.

My initial joy from installing java crashed into a funk as I encountered minor glitches while cautiously exploring Fedora Core 4's capabilities.

Somehow I accidentally trashed my Desktop portal on my desktop... don't be in a hurry to throw stuff out folks. Mistake.

I was testy because the first few minutes of watching Democracy Now ( on realplayer was crashing and I blamed it on fedora... or java....

But that was my fault for not setting my stream preferences correctly.

(I note that Realplayer 10.0.05 has made mine obsolete in less than a week so I see more work to do.)

Actually my system is working pretty good. My squeakland is working well... I just did some odd things with it after instaling it. It's fixed.... I think.

I learned how to use fedora core extras and yum, and I love it! I understand that there is a graphical front end for yum-- will check it out sometime. I was able to get my grip and xmms, and xmms-xosd with yum-- although I had to look elsewhere for Blursk (god bless it!).

I also got the screensavers I missed-- my favorite one is Noseguy.
One of the reasons for not having the screensavers was beacause "some are offensive!" The zealous religious right, infiltrating Linux!?" The end times are coming folks!

Whatever! I am very pleased with my Linux box and very extremely sleep deprived.

Some good spots:

Earlier I wrote about Ubuntu's su way of doing things... I meant sudo way of doing things.

I am still slightly confused by the choice between Nautilus Home portal anf File Browser... the File Browser shows my hidden files... the other does not. Wierd. Maybe I made a mistake somewhere... anyway it is convenient in some ways.

SELinux is incredibly hard for me to understand. Still looking for a neat explanation of it somewhere.


(Alabamarasta is on vacation....)

2005-06-30 02:48:41
Java Warning.

Thanks first. i followed ur method to install java on FC4. it is working fine, but only one problem.
it showing warning for program for each class as follows

"The serializable class TableDemo does not declare a static final serialVersionUID field of type lon"

i am using eclipse.

plz help out.


diapk dudhabahte

2005-07-11 04:37:54
Yes, it worked. Thanks for your help. Current version of vmware-any-any is 92. Download it at There is one problem that I found: if you try to insert a CD when your Windows image is running, your machine will hang!

2006-02-25 14:27:08
I have downloaded the core ISO files (FC4-i386-disc1/2/3/4/rescuecd.ISO). I am running MS Windows XP and I have copied these ISO files into 5 CDs. While rebooting my system, I have changed the boot sequence to CD first and have inserted my disc1 into the CD drive. However, the system does not recognize this disk as the bootable disk. I know there is something wrong while I have burnt these CDs using Roxio 5.0 CD burner software which does not make the CD bootable.

Thanks in advance for any help.


I have used the following S/W for burning the CDs. Still I could not make it bootable.

Cliff POY
2006-04-17 19:59:18
I have Xp on the master drive.Installed Fc4 on the slave drive.Went through the whole process and reached the point to reboot the computer.
Clicked reboot, saw some lines of data and the computer booted into XP. NO GRUB screen.
Any advice ??