b Installation of Fedora Core 2 on Fujitsu C2210 notebook — xeta

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Installation of Fedora Core 2 on Fujitsu C2210 notebook — xeta

Began upgrade from Fedora Core 1 on August 28, 2004, using a final version on DVD. Selected the Upgrade option, which seemed to be proceeding normally, until it tried to install the file tcl-8.4.5-7.i586, when a warning window popped up saying "Error installing tcl-8.4.5-7" and that the error was due to bad media, lack of disk space, or a hardware problem, and that the installation could not proceed. The only option was to hit the "OK" button, which terminated the install. No option of skipping the file was offered.

The same procedure was attempted using a set of 4 FC2 installation CDs, but the result was the same, so if was damage to the tcl file, it was common to both installation media.

At this point it was possible to boot in text mode under root, and I attempted

  chroot /mnt/sysimage
  rpm -e tcl --nodeps

But that didn't work.

Next tried selecting the Install option instead of the Upgrade option, but did not reformat the root and home partitions, only the boot partition. This risked mingling new with old files, and conflicts, but I didn't want to lose the applications and other files installed in the root partition. Restoration would take a lot of time, and there was no assurance that it would solve the problem with the tcl file.

However, selecting a Custom install and selecting all the packages I intended to install also was blocked by the same error, so I next tried a minimal install to see if I could at least make that work. It did, but it didn't include the files I would need to upgrade and install all the other packages, including the tcl file. So I tried another Custom install, this time using the default packages and files indicated in the selection list. This also successfull installed.

However, when I tried to boot the resulting system, many things didn't work, such as kdeinit and launching of the ordinary user "jdr" for which the desktop was KDE. Many sysadmin functions were also missing from the menus available when booting as root.

Decided to try to install from the freshrpms and its companion sites, dag, dries, atrpms, etc. To do that I first edited the /etc/yum.conf file to retrieve from the FC2 repositories. Tried yum -y upgrade and yum -y update, which downloaded hundreds of headers, but both failed on the dependency check.

Decided to next try Synaptic, which could better select packages and manage their dependencies. But synaptic wouldn't launch, so I ran yum -y update for the files yum, apt, and synaptic, after which synaptic opened.

Synaptic reported that 269 packages were "broken", or had duplicate files, and would not allow a smart marking for upgrade before fixing the "broken" packages. This was done by selecting Filter | Broken, which listed all the broken packages, and selecting one for upgrade selected them all, and after upgrading, only a few packages remained that were shown as successfully installed.

Now I was able to select Mark Upgrade | Smart, and Filter | Upgradable allowed me to select all the upgradables for upgrade, which was 776 files/packages. I removed a few of them, the KDE support for foreign languages I don't use, and the aspell packages for such languages. However, most of these upgrades failed due to conflicts with existing files.

Next I focused on the tcl-8.4.5-7 package that had caused the original problem. I found it with Synaptic, found that it was an indicated upgrade, but when I attempted to upgrade it, the upgrade failed, with the error message:

  Unpacking archive failed on file /usr/lib/tcl8.4: cpio: rename failed - is a

Now I had the critical clue. Apparently, to upgrade it, an attempt was made to move a file that was a directory, which of course failed. I adopted an Alexandrine solution and just removed /usr/lib/tcl* and all subdirectories, then tried to install using Synaptic. This time it succeeded. Then I booted from the FC2 installation DVD again, selected Upgrade as before, and this time it proceeded without showing the tcl package, to completion.

However, when I rebooted, there was no X-windows function, and I couldn't launch with startx. Kudzu did not appear to detect new hardware, and the USB keyboard and mouse, detected during installation, was not detected during and after login. So tried another Installover, this time with selection of Minimum as the package. Upon completion, kudzu was launched and did detect the USB keyboard and mouse. However, only got a text login.

Next, I did a maximal insallover (no reformatting) of all packages. That mostly worked, in that I was able to boot into X-Windows and run my various applications, after remapping a few, like Mozilla, to /opt/mozilla/mozilla. However, the USB keyboard and mouse didn't work, and sound didn't work.

I first tried to fix the keyboard/mouse and sound problems by just running yum -y upgrade and yum -y update several times, alternating with sessions using synaptic to remove or update broken or conflicting packages/files that produced fatal conflicts. This included installing a new version of the kernel, 2.6.8, and booting it. But that didn't fix the problems.

However, the next bootup, upon probing for new hardware, launched kudzu, which detected the keyboard/mouse, which had been used by anaconda as a "generic 3-button mouse (PS/2)", but it didn't work to select either "Remove" or "Do nothing", so I selected "Configure". That was a mistake. The X server was thenceforth unable to open, writing its errors into /var/logXorg.0.log, which suggested I go to http://wiki.x.org which refreshed to http://freedesktop.org/XOrg, which referred me to http://freedesktop.org/XOrg/FAQ, which took me to http://freedesktop.org/XOrg/ FAQErrorMessages where I found a similar message in the section titled I keep getting the message: "failed to initialize core devices".

I followed the suggestion to add the line

  Option "AllowMouseOpenFail" "1"

to the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf, but that didn't work. I kept being prompted to change the mouse configuration, but no matter what option I selected, I got the same errors, all of which led to an inability to launch X windows. I finally gave up and just did a reinstall of the entire package set, selecting "Everything", from the DVD, about a 4-hour process. This worked but one hopes to find an easier way.

The error message from probing of the hardware regarding sound is

  Error while initializing the sound driver.
  Device /dev/dsp can't be opened (No such device).
  The sound server will continue, using the null output device.

but browsing the hardware for sound shows that detected is ALi M5451 PCI AC-Link, Module snd-ali5451.

A suggestion from Jeff Pitman on the freshrpms list was to migrate the settings from /etc/modules.conf to /etc/modprobe.conf. I did that, and rebooted, and thereafter the USB keyboard and mouse worked okay. But sound still doesn't work. After unmuting kmix and raising all the gain controls to max, I still don't get a sound when I "Play test sound". At least I am no longer getting an error message that /dev/dsp is not being detected, and Soundcard detection has always been able to detect the ALi M5451 and associate the snd_ali5451 module with it.p>

The latest version of the modprobe.conf file is here.

On the duplicate packages problem, Jeff Pitman suggested I run

apt-get dist-upgrade 
, which I did, but I found I had to re-run it with an additional flag
. That did seem to successfully upgrade 199 packages, but when I ran
apt-get update
I got error messages for a remaining 46 duplicated packages, and when I tried to manually remove the duplicates and install the more recent versions, the operation failed without an error message. The output of these operations is at 040901_apt-get_dist-upgrade.txt .

I next tried to upgrade to KDE 3.3 by adding entries to the /etc/yum.conf file, but it failed with unresolved conflicts. See output.

I also had a problem after removing previous installations of mozilla and installing the latest stable version 1.7.2. For some reason, it now only works when run as root, and of course it is using the settings saved in the /root directory instead of those in /home/jdr. Although I intend to mainly use only the root and jdr accounts on this host, it would be nice for each user to be able to use Mozilla independently, with its own profile. This will require some further work.

September 1, 2004. Discovered the cause of the sound problem. The kmix and alsamixer settings, which are tied to each other for those that each has in common, are initially set to zero and mute on startup. I had found the kmix mute on startup, and unmuted it, but the slider that needed to be set to maximum was the headphone slider. Neither "Master" nor "PC Speaker" seems to affect the sound volume of test sounds. When slid up, the sound works find. However, thus far I have not found a way to save the volume settings. The Control Center button to do that doesn't seem to work. The lines I was told to add to /etc/modprobe.conf to avoid this don't seem to be allowing a save of volume settings. There is no alsactl file to permit one to run 'alsactl store'.

Comment: When the user hits "Pay test sound" and he answers that the heard it, it should then ask if it was loud enough, and does he want to adjust the volume, then save that setting. One can adjust the volume by either running alsamixer in an xterm, or from the menu as a gui app.

I also found that, while I could not remove the 46 remaining duplicate packages using Synaptic, I could do so manually, one package at a time, using a sequence of apt-get remove, apt-get upgrade, or apt-get install commands. The output of that is here.

Since I wanted to install and run the latest testing version of quanta+ and needed to upgrade to KDE 3.3 to do that, I presented the problems to the freshrpms list, where the conclusion was that it was a yum bug and that I should use apt instead.

So on September 2, 2004, I searched for, found, and modified a file saved as /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kde-redhat.list and tried doing the upgrade using Synaptic. But that upgrade failed with a 404 (file not found) error on a single file, and it made no upgrades.

Comment: Synaptic should complete what it can with a failover mode, not just abort on a single error. And it should be able to make the removes, installs, and updates that I did manually using apt-get.

I then used apt-get to try to install KDE 3.3, but that also failed. The output is here.

Next, because of the error I got with the "unstable" sources, I commented them out and tried to just do an apt-get upgrade quanta. That worked, but only got quanta 3.2, not 3.3. See the output here.

On September 3, 2004 I re-ran

apt-get --fix-missing upgrade
and got the output here which shows two files are missing or corrupted at the kde-redhat.org site.