Fedora Core 6 .. "Wonky"

My experience with Fedora Core 6 is definitely less than stellar; although it started out that way. The first few installs I did of it went flawlessly, and I was really looking forward to installing it on my laptop and seeing how the XGL desktop effects worked. I think the first machine I installed it on was a 2.2 Ghz blade server of some design, and it was up and running in about 30 minutes, maybe less. In fact, I had PVM installed and working on it less than 20 minutes later. Then over Thanksgiving vacation, I had to install it on a 450Mhz dual proc machine to do some testing of code written for PVM. And again, the install went well (albeit it took a while on the slow machine) but no hiccups at all. 

So when I sat down to do it on the laptop, an older Dell Inspiron 8100, I wasn't really expecting any problems, especially considering that over the course of the installs I've done (FC 2, 3, 4, 5), they've all progressively gotten better. It should be noted that I always compile and install my own kernel once the system is up and running and have installed the NVidia drivers for it each time, and in some cases, after multiple reinstalls of the OS (sometimes I like to tweak the system into a state where it won't work right. oh well.) The first issue I came across was that after selecting parameters to install, Disc 1 would come up with "errors on the media". So I tested all my media after two attemps and well, Disc 1 did have errors. So re-downloaded the iso and burned and try try again. Then it took FOREVER (approximately the same amount of time as the first epoch, couple billion years or so they say) to install. And after all that wait, I get "kernel panic" .. I resisted to urge to pound it to pieces, and went back through the process once more. Finally after another few thousand eons, the machine boots up under its own power. Now I'm starting to get excited because I'm thinking I'm just a few hours of kernel compile time and driver install time to seeing the new XGL stuff work. I mean, how cool will I be sitting down at Starbucks slinging C code and spinnging my cubed desktop all over? That'll teach those wannabes. Well..   after calming myself down and installing the kernel, my next "set" of nightmares come to pass. First I download the latest driver set for IA32 from NVidia's site. Set the machine  to run level 3, and reboot. Login, become root run the driver installer. Get "This driver installer does not contain drivers for your GPU. etc etc" .. What? Oh great, the graphics card in the laptop has become a legacy device. Which means all the trouble was for nothing, as the XGL stuff is only supported by the latest 1.9.xx version. So now I'm just on the warpath to get it back to where it was and move on to other things. Get the 1.8 chipset, and repeat. Now there's just a general problem (which the logs showed nothing specific that I could figure out, but I'm not all that proficient at debugging) and I'd finally had it up to "here" so..   back to FC5 I go. And will probably stay at until I get a new laptop and by then FC7 will be out and hopefully better than FC6. Wheeeeww. Yell

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