Gray Flannel Dwarf


Tempting the F8s

I’m usually kind of hesitant to upgrade Fedora releases immediately after the come out… I like to make sure most of the bugs are ironed out so that I don’t hose something. However, I simply couldn’t resist this time, and over a span of 24 hours, I upgraded both my home-built desktop and T43 laptop from F7 to F8.

Now, being an Xfce user (for the time being anyway), I don’t get to experience a lot of the bells and whistles arriving in F8, such as pulseaudio and the neato changing background stuff that Máirín worked on. However, I was interested in doing the install from a pure usability standpoint. A linux user since 1996, a jack of all trades but master of none, I am always interested to see how thing improve/regress from the perspective of someone who’s neither n00b nor r00t..

As always, there is good, bad and ugly. Generally speaking, the upgrade went quite well — albeit i took a path slightly less traveled, opting to take a stab at it with smart, versus yum. But anyway, I did run into the same --noscripts (resolvable) issue as dgoodwin, as well as some other packages — so that’s something that definitely should be added to the FedoraFaq wiki. Also, it seems that the f8 kernel gets installed, but never makes its way into grub.conf — odd, and I now know I’m not the only one to have seen this. Anyway uninstalling it and reinstalling seems to be the easiest fix.

Generally speaking though, it didn’t seem like I had a lot of problems… home system upgraded like a champ… then hit the laptop… rebooted…

… and then I was stymied and still am. After rebooting, my monitor begins to display a message about the frequencies being out of range. WTF? Worse still, it seems that to get any working resolutions at all on my laptop display that are above 1024×768, i have no options other than widescreen-esque ratios. Attempting to fix these issues with system-config-display was a futile effort for two reasons — one, because every time I tried to change the monitor setting, it would say it was saved, but actually wouldn’t… and then when I jerry-rigged the xorg.conf to give me the resolution i wanted, X still wouldn’t cooperate — either causing my monitor to display the frequency error again, or popping up in the right resolution — say, 1280×1024 — for a brief moment before resetting to something odd like 1280×768.

I still don’t know what is/was causing it, but later on I noticed that I didn’t get it in GNOME, or KDE… only in Xfce — but I don’t know WTF the window manager would have to do with changing the resolution.

Anyway, after seeing that, I went kamikaze on my dot-setting directories, figuring I could just wipe everything out and get it to work — and that did indeed do the trick, albeit at the expense of some of my desktop settings. That said, I’m still not at all convinced that things are quite right with my Xserver.

Oh, and due in part to all of this — and in part to all the cool new GNOME stuff — i considered switching back to GNOME, if only for a time, as an alternative to a busted resolution. However, trying to make my first changes or two and getting segfaults all over the place with gnome-appearance-properties, i changed my mind pretty quickly. Maybe this will get cleared up (out there|on my box) eventually and I can reevaluate.

Generally speaking, though, I was pretty happy with the install experience — I just for the life of me can’t figure out what the hell is/was going wrong on the X end of things.

Update: Well, I noticed that livna once again (and most conveniently) has fglrx drivers. I know there had been issues in the past few months, and I am not sure when they finally fixed that — but in any case, i installed them, and my issue seems to have resolved itself. The plot thickens…

Tags: , , , , , , , — cswiii @ 1:36 am


Xen hurts my monkey mind.

So I’ve been spending parts of the last two evenings trying to get a xen guest installed. First thing that annoyed me right off is the necessity to use an http, ftp or nfs point as the source tree, versus a standard directory. Why, oh why?

Anyway, so I sez to myself, “ok, well, I’m running a webserver on this machine, I will just mount an iso over loop, within my webspace, and bingo!”

Right? WRONG… SELinux — which I have been trying to rationalise as that pile of veggies on your plate as a kid that you hate but have been told are good for you — won’t allow arbitrary directories to be accessed from within httpd. No, you need to run restorecon… and you can’t do so to a read-only volume!

With that, I temporarily set SELinux to Permissive, rebooted, and started trying to install my Xen guest.

Once again, no luck. Regardless of what tool I use — virt-manager or virt-install, I kept getting ‘Invalid Argument’ errors thrown back at me.

So after searching google for various, convoluted references to spammy errors, I simplified my search to ‘fedora xen “invalid argument’, which took me to something I wish I had seen all along, the Fedora Xen Quickstart FC6 page. SURELY this would save me!

Alas, my hopes were dashed and turned to petty rage when I read this:

    Q. When creating a guest the message “Invalid argument” is displayed.
    A. This usually indicates that the kernel image you are trying to boot is incompatible with the hypervisor. This will be seen if trying to run a FC5 (non-PAE) kernel on FC6 (which is PAE only), or if trying to run a bare metal kernel.


      [root@ramen ~]# uname -r

      I re-read the page again. I grepped all the /proc info. I am cool there — not that I would expect otherwise, running a dual core AMD. Everything else matches, so I dunno what this Wiki is implying.

      As a last gasp, I then decided that maybe I should try running against a real anaconda-friendly distribution tree, so I chose the mirror at Duke. Kicked off my install… it didn’t kick back an error right away… are we set this time?

      No. :( As it turns out, I got the same error as before — it just took longer because I was accessing a site over the internet.

      So, long story short, I am utterly out of ideas. Xen should be easy to configure — and it seems darn well like it’s been designed as such. Nonetheless, I’m a bit at the end of my rope with this thing.

      Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 11:11 pm