Installing Fedora Core 5 on a ThinkPad T30
Installation of Fedora Core 5 (Bordeaux) on a ThinkPad T30 (2366-97U). These notes cover an upgrade (not a fresh install) from a successful working FC3 installation.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Details
- 3 What needs to be fixed post-install
What works out of the box
- Onboard display (1400x1050)
What needs to be fixed post-install
- Problems with network
- Dual-Head Mode
- NTFS volume mounting
- Keyboard light and brightness control (see notes re TPB and OSD)
- Automounting of inserted CF cards
- Fast access to terminals
- Additional screen savers
- Better wireless support
- DVD / CD-R
- Controlling the fan and system LEDs
- What else?
Getting the system booted
I simply inserted the FC5 DVD into the drive and booted into it, and selected a few items to take me into an upgrade-in-place.
When the upgrade completed it booted immediately into FC5.
My system was configured for dual-boot using GRUB (not NT) as the primarly bootloader (MBR) and chainloading back to Windows when necessary. This makes linux installation easier. Returning from the NT bootloader back to linux requires copying the grub boot block into NT, which can be done using commonly-available instructions.
Although presented in the System Tools menu, the Red Hat Network and Red Hat Network Alert Icon utilities appear to have been deprecated. They don't seem to work at all.
Instead, you can now use System Tools : Software Updater to download and install the latest updates for Fedora. This will take quite a while the first time you do it (the DVD is already quite out of date).
Many web sites also suggest adding external repositories so yum has additional places to look. FreshRPMs and Livna seem to be the most common, with conflicting opinions as to which should be chosen. For various reasons I selected Livna. Installation instructions can be found here or you can simply enter
$ sudo rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-5.rpm
This adds a number of pre-built packages to yum and enables auto-update.
What needs to be fixed post-install
Problems with network
I'm finding that a certain percentage of startups fail to activate networking. The following clues are seen:
- all network-oriented applications fail (e.g. FireFox)
- ifconfig reports no address assigned to eth0
- attempting to activate the network, either via sudo ifup eth0 or system-config-network fails
The most interesting clue lies within system-config-network. If you click the hardware tab and look carefully, you'll see that the hardware types are reversed: eth0 shows Wireless, and eth1 shows Ethernet. I am continuing to investigate this. One proposed fix will be to edit /etc/modprobe.conf and insert or move
alias eth0 e100
To the top (first line) of the file.
This was very important for me as I use an external Dell 2000FP monitor (1600x1200) as my primary programming monitor. When I configured dual-head mode, the screen layed out properly for two pages (spanning mode) but the external monitor never activated.
An experimental ATI driver update can be downloaded here. I followed the directions suggested here and my external monitor works now in spanning mode with 1600x1200 resolution. Hopefully this note can be removed or updated when this newer driver is promoted into the regular FC5 updates system.
NTFS volume mounting
Keyboard light and brightness control
Automounting of inserted CF cards
I use a lot of CF memory cards (with a PCMCIA adapter) and on FC3, these would reliably automount when inserted. On FC5 this seems to be broken. For now, I have simply created mount points in /media/, e.g.
$ sudo mkdir /media/cf1
$ sudo mkdir /media/cf2
And when I need access to a card, I insert it and mount it manually, e.g.
$ sudo mount /dev/hde1 /media/cf1
Your device names and mount points may vary based on number of mounted volumes and your preferences.
Can anybody suggest a way to reenable true automount?
Fast access to terminals
The gnome folks seem to have removed the ability to open a terminal (shell) window from desktop right-click. I'm finding this very annoying as I open terminal windows all the time and now they're buried in Menu -> Accessories -> Terminal.
As a workaround, select Menu -> Accessories, right-click Terminal, and select Add this launcher to panel. You may have to shuffle things around to put it exactly where you want it.
Does anybody know if it's possible to reenable desktop right-click access?
Additional screen savers
They've also removed lots of fun screensavers from the default installation. There are two options to bring them back. To simply add more screensavers, enter:
$ sudo yum install xscreensaver-gl-extras
However, the screensaver control panel GUI has been (somewhat controversially) simplified - most notably, you can no longer edit the settings of individual screen savers. The situation is described here and one option presented is to return to the old screensaver system (I have not tested this):
$ sudo yum install xscreensaver-base xscreensaver-extras xscreensaver-gl-extras
$ sudo yum remove gnome-screensaver
Better wireless support
My system included the device (as reported by
$ lspci) called
Intersil Corporation Prism 2.5 Wavelan chipset (rev 01). While this card seems to be useable with the FC5 drivers, the basic wireless support does not support any sort of network discovery. You have to know the name and password of the base station you wish to connect to, and enter them manually using
I'd like to investigate the use of more advanced wireless tools with this system