These are things I did to make FC3 (Fedora Core 3) more usable as a desktop for mysefl, and I figured some others out there would like to do the same steps. If you are setting up a server or laptop, you don't want to do all these steps since I disable many server daemons and laptop utilities. These steps were taken on an HP a720n.
- I downloaded the DVD .iso via the bittorrent network.
- Use the torrent because most file transfer methods aren’t capable of doing that large a download, plus you usually end up with corrupt files if you try to ftp the iso files.
- I use the gui front-end azureus for running bittorrent. It’s very easy. Download at azureus.sourceforge.net. Azureus runs on all OSs that have java.
- After downloading my .iso file(s), I leave my machine running azureus for a few days so others can get the files also
I have a PC that had XP installed on it. In order to dual boot, I had to remove space from the XP partition to make room for FC3 (unlike some other linux distributions, the FC3 installer doesn’t have the ability to take space away from the XP partition). I use Partition Magic to do this (about $30 US). I set aside a chunk of disk space with Partition Magic as ext3 filesystem (I would suggest no less than 10GB for linux).
While installing FC3, I ran into a bug that prevented me from using the auto partition. I had to partition it manually with Disk Druid. I assigned the ‘/boot’ partition as ext3 100MB, the swap partition as swap of 2x memory, and the ‘/’ partition as ext3 with all the remaining linux space. I set the GRUB parameters to be able to boot from 3 different paritions. The first partition is the /boot partition (that will be automatically selected). The second partition is Windows XP and the third is the Windows XP restore partition. You can tell the difference between the two Windows partitions by their filesystem type – Windows XP is ‘ntfs’, while the restore partition is ‘vfat’. I set SELinux to disable, chose custom install and chose the ‘everything’ option at the bottom of the package list page.
I disabled many daemons (processes) that I don’t use. Do this by going into System Settings -> Server Settings -> Services. From there, I unchecked the following services: apmd, arptables_if, auth, canna, gpm, ip6tables, isdn, mDNSResponder, mdmonitor, nfslock, nifd, pcmci, rhnsd, rpcgssd, rpcidmapd, rpcsvcgssd, sendmail, sshd. This will help speed up booting.
Next, I disabled many cron jobs (automated scripts that run at certain times). I do this by creating a new directory that cron doesn’t use and moving scripts into that directory. This way I still have the scripts, rather than just deleting them. As root, I did ‘mkdir /etc/cron.never’. Then I moved the following files from /etc/cron.daily to /etc/cron.never: squirrelmail.cron, 00webalizer, cyrus-imapd, inn-cron-expire, tetex.cron, yum.cron, certwatch, slrnpull-expire, yum.cron. Then, I moved the following files from /etc/cron.daily to /etc/cron.monthly: slocate.cron, prelink, makewhatis.cron. This will help speed up use of FC3 if you only turn your PC on when you're using it, like I do, because many of these cron jobs run when you first boot up.
To enable firewire, I added the following 2 lines to /etc/rc.local:
mknod –m 666 /dev/raw1394 c 171 0
I wasn’t able to get USB 2.0 to work with my USB 2.0 flash disk on a USB 2.0 port. I had to buy an external USB 1.1-only hub and plug the flash disk into that for it to work.
I wasn’t able to play CDs, or burn CDs or burn DVDs as a normal user. To fix, run, as root, ‘up2date udev’ to fix that.
Adding more software:
I use synaptic for installing new software because it’s very easy. However, synaptic isn’t installed with the FC3 disks, so the following is what I did, using java as an example program that I added:
1 - add dag repository to yum by creating a file called /etc/yum.repos.d/dag.repo and put the following 5 lines into the file:
2 - Install gpg keys for dag (rpm --import http://dag.wieers.com/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt
3 - Install synaptic (yum install synaptic)
4 - Run synaptic (System Settings -> Synaptic Package Manager)
5 - Click Refresh
6 - Click Find and look for j2re
7 - Mark mozilla-j2re for installation (right-click -> Mark for Installation)
8 - Click Apply
9 - Done. Mozilla and Firefox now have java.
10 - Do the same for flash and anything else you want to install. Some popular programs are mozilla-flash (for flash within a browser), mozilla-totem-xine (to play movies within a browser like mozilla or firefox), etc.
- Install Realplayer (download RealPlayer10GOLD.bin from www.real.com
and as root run ./RealPlayer10GOLD.bin)
Wondering how you can help with the open source community? I’m not a programmer, so here’s what I do:
- Write how-to docs
- Answer questions on a forum (www.fedoraforum.org
- Report bugs to bugzilla.redhat.com (check forums first to see if it’s already been solved)
- Try test releases
- E-mail vendors, ask them to port programs to linux (like shockwave, HP printing software, ESPN video, etc.)
- E-mail vendors that support linux and tell them thanks (Sun for java, Macromedia for flash, Real for realplayer, hp for hpoj scanning driver, etc).