Fedora Core 4 -- Installation, configuration & tweaking for OMG work environment

Most of these notes are from me googling fixes to the problems I've encountered installing FC4 on various Dell desktops/laptops. Must give credit to this site for lots of other tips and tricks I've used.


  1. For network installation, insert CD1 and boot. When the welcome screen appears, type:
    	linux askmethod
    If your graphics card is giving you headaches during the installation (i.e. installation freezes), you can type the following to do a text install:
    	linux text askmethod
  2. It will prompt you for the type of installation, choose 'NFS'.
  3. It'll do some thinking, and ask about configuring the network card. If it's an existing OMG machine, you can select DHCP since the UNB network already has an IP address for the machine (leave other settings to be set by DHCP as well). If it's a brand new machine and has not been registered on the UNB network, see Jonathan to register the machine.
  4. At the next screen, it'll prompt you for the NFS server and path, use the following settings:
    	path:	/drives/woodmans/disk7/linuces/FC4_ISOs

Swap space problem after install

I occasionally run into a problem with the swap space not quite working out after the install. You can check to see if the swap is okay with 'top', look for 'Swap' on the 5th line down and make sure it actually has a non-zero value. You can also check this way:
	cat /proc/meminfo | grep Swap
The problem was the label for the swap partition wasn't correct in /etc/fstab, the installation occasionally assigns a garbage label. You can fix it through the following (as root). First, find out what partition your swap is:
	sfdisk -l /dev/sda
You'll get something that looks like this:
	Disk /dev/sda: 30394 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
	Units = cylinders of 8225280 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0

   	   Device Boot Start     End   #cyls    #blocks   Id  System
	/dev/sda1   *      0+   1274    1275-  10241406   83  Linux
	/dev/sda2       1275    1405     131    1052257+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
	/dev/sda3       1406   30393   28988  232846110   83  Linux
	/dev/sda4          0       -       0          0    0  Empty
Notice that /dev/sda2 is formatted as swap. Still as root, edit /etc/fstab to assign the right partition for swap:
	/dev/sda2         swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
Still as root, type the following to enable the swap space:
	swapon /dev/sda2
Do a cat on /proc/meminfo again to be sure it works...

Also had problems with windows partitions being mountable only by root by default, edited corresponding lines in /etc/fstab to allow for any user to write to the windows partitions (specifically add the 'umask=0,user' options):

	/dev/hdc1               /mnt/win_c              vfat    defaults,umask=0,user        0 0
	/dev/hdc5               /mnt/win_e              vfat    defaults,umask=0,user        0 0


  1. Add exportable directories in /etc/exports, e.g.:
    	/path/to/directory         *.omg.unb.ca(ro,sync)
  2. The firewall, in its default configuration, won't let NFS work. You'll need to edit /etc/sysconfig/nfs to contain the following (note that I've chosen port numbers based on Mandrake 10.0 NFS config file assuming they're defacto standards for this):
  3. Restart the NFS server with the following command, this will implement the changes in both of the files you've just modified:
    	/etc/init.d/nfs restart
  4. You'll need to configure the server firewall to let NFS in. Add the following lines to /etc/sysconfig/iptables, but make sure you insert them before the last line in the file that sez REJECT, otherwise they'll be ignored!:
    	-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m multiport --dport 111,2049 -j ACCEPT
    	-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p udp -m state --state NEW -m multiport --dport 111,2049 -j ACCEPT
    	-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m tcp --dport 4000:4002 -j ACCEPT
    	-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p udp -m state --state NEW -m udp --dport 4000:4002 -j ACCEPT
  5. Restart your firewall with the following command:
    	/etc/init.d/iptables restart


  1. Under the Desktop menu, select "System Settings --> Server Settings --> Samba". This will open up the "Samba Server Configuration" window. Or...you can type system-config-samba from a command line (or the "Run Application" prompt, which can be launched with Alt-F2). Either way, you'll need the root password to proceed. Of course, you can do all of this from the command line, but if you can easily break stuff if you're a little unsure of your ability to handle rootly powers.
  2. Adding a Samba User: You'll need to add a Samba user since Samba doesn't let you login using the local system accounts. A Samba user can be mapped to a local system account and it has it's own password (which should be different from the system user's password for security purposes).
    1. Under the "Preferences" menu, select "Samba Users...". A "Samba Users" window will appear, click the "Add User" button. This, in turn, will launch a "Create New Samba User" window.
    2. Select the user name from the 'Unix Username' drop-down box, create a "Windows Username" (this will be used to login from the windows machine, it can be the same as the unix username). Finally, type the new Samba user's password (I've had problems with passwords that have exclamation marks in them). Click the 'Okay' button when done.
  3. Samba Server Settings:
    1. Under the "Preferences Menu", select "Server Settings...". A new dialog box will appear with two tabs (Basic & Security).
    2. In the "Basic" tab, change the Workgroup to something meaningful. Click the "Okay" button.
  4. Adding a Samba Share. By default, the home directories of Samba users are shared (remember which local account the Samba user maps to though). If you want to add any other directories, you'll need to add a 'Share'.
    1. Add a share by clicking the "Add Share" button on the main "Samba Server Configuration" window.
  5. Firewall Configuration: add the following two lines to /etc/sysconfig/iptables above the line that says 'REJECT' (usually second last line in file). This will allow access to NetBIOS ports 137, 138 & 139.
    	-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m multiport --dport 137,138,139 -j ACCEPT
    	-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p udp -m state --state NEW -m multiport --dport 137,138,139 -j ACCEPT
  6. Restart your firewall with the following command:
    	/etc/init.d/iptables restart


  1. Type " gnome-volume-control " on any xterm
  2. On gnome-volume-control Edit->Preferences and tick External Amplifier.
  3. On Switches tab tick External Amplifier.
Thanks to Pim for discovering all this!
  1. Download the RealPlayer installation file from their website
  2. The installer won't run without libstdc, so as root, type:
            yum install compat-libstdc++-33
  3. Run the installation program (as root).
  1. Download latest firefox ( for this particular set of notes), untar in /opt
  2. If necessary, remove the version of firefox that comes standard with FC4 (Desktop --> System Settings --> Add/Remove Applications, look under "Graphical Internet" category).
  3. Create softlink in /usr/bin:
            ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
  4. As root:
            yum install compat-libstdc++-33
  1. Download latest thunderbird (version 1.5 for this set of notes), untar in /opt
  2. If necessary, remove the version of thunderbird that comes standard with FC4 (Desktop --> System Settings --> Add/Remove Applications, look under "Graphical Internet" category).
  3. Create softlink in /usr/bin
            ln -s /opt/thunderbird/thunderbird /usr/bin/thunderbird
  4. Add the following to ~/.cshrc so that thunderbird can see its own dynamically linked libraries that come with the installation:
            setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /opt/thunderbird
    But....if you have this variable already set, you'll need to use a colon-separated list, such as:
    	setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /home/jonnyb/my_local/linux/lib:/homes/omg/jhc/local/linux/lib:/opt/thunderbird
These notes refer to setting up the internal wireless on my Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop.
  1. Download ndiswrapper tarball from http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndiswrapper/
  2. Get the DELL drivers for the wireless card (had them handy in C:\dell\drivers\r94825\). Copied the r94825 folder into /root.
  3. As root, unpack the ndiswrapper tarball in /root. Jump into the newly untarred ndiswrapper directory and type:
    	make install
  4. Navigate to the driver directory and type:
    	ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
  5. Confirm the installation by typing:
    	ndiswrapper -l
  6. Load the ndis wrappers into the kernel
    	modprobe ndiswrapper
  7. Confirm the load
  8. Try scanning for networks if access is open:
    	iwlist wlan0 scan
  9. Type the following to write an alias for wlan0
    	ndiswrapper -m
  10. Did the rest in the GUI (In GNOME, go to Desktop --> System Settings --> Network).
  11. Select the 'Devices' tab, and click 'New'. Select 'Wireless connection' and click 'Forward'.
  12. At the following step, choose 'ndiswrapper (wlan0)' and click 'Forward'.
  13. Enter the network parameters in the next step, I had to enter my SSID and the encryption key (don't forget 0x in front of hex!!!). Click 'Forward'.
  14. Stick with DHCP, type a hostname if you want.
Note: whenever kernel gets upgraded, need to redo step 3 above.

In Gnome:

  1. Use the following menu sequence to start the Printer Configuration tool:
    	Desktop --> System Settings --> Printing
    Type in root password when prompted. Printer Configuration window will appear.
  2. On the Printer Configuration window, under the "Action" menu, choose "New queue". Another window will pop up, prompting you for information about the new queue. Click the "Forward" button to proceed.
  3. Enter the following information/settings in each step.
    1. Queue name
      • Name: lexnew
      • Short Description: OMG printer
    2. Queue type
      • Select a queue type: Networked CUPS (IPP)
      • Server:
      • Path: /printers/queue1
    3. Printer model
      • Manufacturer: Lexmark
      • Model: Optra T610
    On the final screen, click the "Finish" button if you're happy with the settings. Otherwise click "Back" to change settings, or "Cancel" to cancel the addition of the new print queue. It's a good idea to print a test page to the new queue. This option will present itself once you click "Finish".
  4. Once you've confirmed the printer queue works with the printing of a test page, you can make the printer the default by selecting it in the main "Printer Configuration" window and then clicking the "Default" button in the row of buttons along the top of the window.

Last modified: July 13th, 2006 by J. Beaudoin