26 March 2008

My struggles with F9 Beta

This time I really want to jump to the Fedora 9 Beta on my primary desktop (as unwise as such a move is), I want to practice how some theming things go along. My first try was to do what all the cool kids do: do a yum update to Rawhide, I did a small test and got that:

Transaction Summary
Install 128 Package(s)
Update 1339 Package(s)
Remove 2 Package(s)

Total download size: 2.4 G

I am to big of a wimp for that, uninstall some large packages (games which I don't play anymore) and it gets a little better:
Transaction Summary
Install 124 Package(s)
Update 1275 Package(s)
Remove 1 Package(s)

Total download size: 1.8 G

Better, but not good enough: if I have to download that much, then I can download a bit more (double) and do a clean install (you'll see next why this proved a good decision by a totally unexpected reason).

So I don't like the Live CD as a base install, I need in the day to day activity a lot more packages so I had to install from the classic DVD image. But wanting an install from USB media I found what I label as a clever way: use livedc-iso-to-disk to write the netinsatll image to an USB pen drive, then copy the install DVD on the same drive, boot from it and whan asked from where to install select that USB drive (sdb1 in my case) and a hard drive (I wasn't able to find a simper way, but this is simple enough).

But I hit a bug, I can reproduce it both when installing from the classic DVD with Anaconda and when booting from the Desktop Live CD (in this case I can see it all the way: RHGB, GDM, desktop): I don't have any text on screen, no icons, no buttons or other widgets, nothing. Here is how my desktop looks like:

And this is for Intel on-board graphics, something that is expected to work the best out-of-the box (do not look funny at me, I didn't buy that box, I always buy AMD).

I guess I can do a text install and hope for the best, but as I said before, this is my primary box and I don't want to risk being forced to boot into Windows or revert back to F8 to do my day to day work.

Update: as everyone adviced, run the installer with xdriver=vesa and it went OK (if you can say running the desktop after install in VESA is OK). Then, to be on the safe side, updated everything, deleted xorg.conf, reboot and now it if just fine (resolution, acceleration, everything).


  1. try booting anaconda with xdriver=vesa command line option

  2. It only happens with the liveCD (at least that was my case) boot from liveCD using xdriver=vesa option and you will get a not so good looking environment enough to let you install the beta in your hard drive.

    After installation things work ok


  3. Why don't you install just what you want from rawhide ? I mean I'm sure that the X server is not a must have last version.

    yum --enablerepo=rawhide update *gnome* for example

    I have rawhide 24/7, but I usually keep stable X because nvidia and ati proprietary drivers usually don't keep up with the most recent changes.

  4. alexxed, that works only until a certain stage of the development process, I used tu update Firefox like that.
    But after a mass rebuild (and such things happens, usually when rawhide gets recompiled with another gcc version) the dependency list grows very large.

    and the corerct parameter is --enablerepo=development

  5. Yes, the dependency chain may be big, but you won't update kernel, initscripts or any other core component if you just update gnome from rawhide.

    The repo used to be called development, now it's called rawhide ( http://cvs.fedoraproject.org/viewcvs/devel/fedora-release/sources?rev=1.53&view=markup ).

  6. Oh, why struggle pretty one? Ever tried Ubuntu? Even the alpha ran pretty smoothly for us.
    Whatever..GNU/Linux rocks .
    Keep up the good work, I love your how-tos

    / Jari/ Sweden

  7. Why struggle? If nobody test the bleeding edge stuff then at the time it will be included in more conservative distros (like Ubuntu), the bugs will not be cleared.

  8. Yeah, I understood how stupid my comment was just few hours later Sorry about dat..Anyway, open source is open source . Just keep them tuts comin' gal..

    Jari, Sweden

  9. This same problem just happened to me with a normal fedora 9 install on a laptop with an x3100 card. I had installed the system a few days ago, and it worked fine until last night, when the exact problem described above appeared. When the system is already installed, how do you force it to use the vesa driver?

  10. Edit the xorg.conf file... in case you don't have one (Fedora can work without it), create it (maybe with system-fonfig-display).
    Also I think you can add xdriver=vesa as a parameter in gub.conf for the next boot.

  11. I followed your instructions and am running with the vesa driver, but deleting xorg, and generating a new one with system-config-display --reconfig didn't fix the problem. So I've just been stuck with vesa. You're now running fine with xorg, right? Do you have any idea what I could be doing wrong? I'd like to get acceleration going again.

  12. you added xdriver=vesa to grub.conf? if so, it will force always the vesa mode.
    also, in theory you do not need system-config-display --reconfig, as xorg is supposed to detect and use the correct video card.

    maybe a bug report in fedora's bugzilla?

  13. Thanks for your help. I ended up not putting the vesa command message into grub.conf, but rather specifying the driver in xorg.conf, which I managed to access through a distro I have on another partition. Then I tried deleting xorg.conf altogether in hopes that another one would be automatically generated, but that didn't solve the problem, and then I tried system-config-display --reconfig, but that didn't solve it, either.

    I filed a bug report three weeks ago
    but I haven't heard any response yet.

  14. Nicu, are you still using the computer with this same chipset? What xdriver are you currently using? Are you currently able to use something other than vesa?

  15. From the xorg log: "Intel Corporation 82G965 Integrated Graphics Controller rev 2", without any xorg.conf file it uses automatically the "intel" driver and I currently have no problem with it.