Archive for the ‘Raspberry Pi’ Category

Apparently Fedora seems to be the more complicated option of Linux to choose from than the others, if you’re a newbie to the system. Well done me…! This is just mainly down to the fact they like to do things a little differently, so you can’t just follow the same commands or options as some of the other Linux distros out there (that aren’t based on GNOME 3, at least).

On the other hand, it’s an interesting learning curve. I’m currently learning slowly, but at least I am learning something. I’m also learning the art of patience, given my seriously underpowered netbook is probably running at its full capacity with this system. But regardless of how different it is, I like it. It’s complicated, which is interesting. Everything is fairly manual on it if you want something more than a net-surfer out of your chosen machine, so you have to find out everything you need to do to get things up and running. Now that but isn’t what’s different about Fedora. It’s the fact the way you get things done is very different.

 

The Way of the Fedora

Currently I am trying to run Yum updates on Fedora [21] – apparently yum (Yellowdog Updater Modifier) “allows automatic updates, package and dependency management, on RPM-based distributions“… In other words, the Fedora OS needs it to manage software in the background, and was specially made by Fedora creators Red Hat for this job… Although apparently something else called DNF will be replacing it in Fedora 22.

Yum runs the basics on the system that you can usually rely on other operating systems to manage on its own without having to download the tool for it:

yum can:

  • install packages
  • delete packages
  • update existing installed packages
  • list available packages
  • list installed packages

 

Trouble…

My little netbook has been chugging away at updating and installing everything from the Yum package for a long time, still isn’t quite halfway through yet. It’ll get there eventually, though… I hope. The idea was to get LAMP onto the machine, which first apparently requires Yum installations/updates. After, it can install LAMP software: Apache, MySQL and PHP. With this, I can then install WordPress in it.

It might seem long-winded just to work on WordPress, but that’s obviously not the point here. The point is to learn how this all works. Though, when I go and do it on the Raspberry Pi, the entire system to manage the same thing will be completely different, thanks to Fedora and Respbian operating systems being completely different forms of Linux. Hence the interest in it. Doing it two different ways makes you learn far more.

… Unless it crashes your computer. Which it looks like this has. Poor little mite… It’s barely got baby-PC specs; it’s unsurprising this may have overburdened it a little…

… Nope. Though it seems to have finally come to the end of unpacking its 1135-strong file kit at least. Followed by verifying  every single one of them. Then it finished. Hoorah!

Next phase: Installing more things. That aren’t responding properly. So… apparently the next phase is actually Troubleshooting.

This might take a while.

Apparently it’s not able to install MySQL now. It doesn’t seem to understand what I’m asking it to do… after some research it seems that Fedora 21 is a version that works a little differently to the others and the usual commands won’t necessarily work. That’s the one problem with computers – you can’t have a nice heart-to-heart with it, or sit it down for a cup of tea and have a nice chat to understand what the problem is, or yell until it gives up and does what it’s supposed to do. It’s a computer, designed to understand one thing, and unless you get that thing right it just looks blankly back at you. Fun.

And that is what’s happening now.

So I’m now going to find out what the Fedora equivalent to a cup of tea and a biscuit to figure out what’s the matter with it. The kettle to boil is Google. Hopefully it will make me a nice brew and find me some Digestives…

 

Plans of Mice & Men, etc…

I originally dumped Fedora onto the netbook mainly because Windows 7 Starter was awful on it, and I had a couple of Linux operating systems pre-loaded onto a free DVD from a magazine to make good use of. I also wanted something simple that ran okay on its ridiculously-low specs to lend it to an older teenager for some net-basics – Facebook, email, YouTube, surfing, online banking, etc. Basic stuff. I wasn’t really looking for a new project other than rebooting a dying netbook.

But then I realised that Fedora was actually a pretty cool toy that I could play with. I could get some practice and insight into slightly more complicated things with Linux, and I’ve taken this chance to just play around with it to see what this distro can do and how. It’s been especially useful because Fedora is such a different system to other Linux distros.

It’s already been challenging – after being used to the horrors of Windows and the ease of OS X, Linux of any kind is a shock – and Fedora doesn’t do much of anything for you, preferring to remain simple, expecting you to put anything in there that you want to have installed and not particularly interested in holding your hand. They seem to want you to make it all your own space, and for this Fedora, and all Linux distros are a fabulous idea.

Now I’m wondering exactly how much the teenager will be using it…! *insert tongue-out emoji here in your head*

 

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Testing Linux distros on old netbooks is a normal process, it seems. It wasn’t just me who hated the god-awful Windows Starter series a headache (you know, the one after you’ve banged your head on the wall so much the wall actually gives up first…), and people have been using Linux to actually try and make use of their pointless little purchases once and for all.

Now, I join them. Accidentally.

 

Long story…

I accidentally wiped the crappy OS from my crappy old netbook. Yes, accidentally. As much as I hated that damn thing. Although, really, I rather possibly think it may have subliminally been a Fraudian “slip” – Windows 7 Starter is an even more appalling than Windows Vista (I never before thought that possible…), and there is nothing good to say about it. At all. I even reinstalled it, in case I put something on there by accident that shouldn’t be there, or something was a little incompatible for it’s pathetic 1GHz processor and it’s hilariously inept 1GB of RAM. It did nothing to help. Sadly.

Then after reinstalling it all, the wifi card wouldn’t work anymore when it restarted afterwards (the only damn thing that was still working on it before…) and it seemed like a newer update broke the driver or something. It’s not like I cared enough to try and look too deeply into the why. I was just ready to throw it out the window. After the first set of installations, it seemed to be working. After the second set of update installations – a bunch of security things – it stopped working altogether. The wifi manager wouldn’t turn on, and when it was forced on it couldn’t find anything (and yes, the wifi was on and everything else on it were working). As far as the computer was concerned it didn’t even have a Wifi modem anywhere near it.

So I was mad at it, and tried a free DVD of Linux distros (Linux operating system distributions) on it from my latest Linux Format Magazine. Only I chose the wrong thing… Fedora (21) has an option to run it live to try it out… 4M Linux did not. I picked the second option and instead of trying the live test, the other distro wiped Windows from my hard drive and (to add insult to injury) failed its installation, so I was left with nothing Now I’m rather mad at that instead now…

And here I am, now trying to install Linux on it instead.

 

Fedora

Not the hat. Fedora 21. It’s a Linux OS based on the GNOME 3 kernel (if you know/ care what that means). It’s on the DVD that was from the latest issue of Linux Format (great magazine). I decided to try and see if it would install/run properly onto, and from, the hard drive of my little (… tiny) machine. It’s apparently the installation is quite a long slog (it took hours) on hardware that is at the absolute minimum of its recommended specs – a minimum of 1GB RAM. That’s the max my little thing has got. It also seems to be made all the more complicated because, to the new system, the hard drive is full. This is because it is formatted in NTFS – a Windows-only format. Apparently Linux is not a big fan… so it doesn’t work on it. The NTFS partitions have to be reallocated. Which takes a long time, it seems. Then it “reclaim[s] the space” and does its configuration thing. Which also takes a long time.

… Just in case it went south with the RAM restrictions (it is tempting to put a 2GB RAM card in instead, but that requires spending money on a machine I’m still not entirely sure about yet… even if it is only about £20) I had Puppy Linux on standby. If anything will work on the little tyke, it’s that.

Installation is straightforward at least (despite being time-consuming). The installation itself takes quite some time, which is normal enough, but this was taking double that. Even after the poor netbook slogged away so hard to manage to even sort out a partition for the system, it took quite some time to get the Fedora onto it. After all that time invested, I’m still not entirely pinning all my hopes on it working properly though – which is why a copy of Puppy is on a USB ready to go! It’s not that I don’t trust Fedora – it’s that I just don’t trust that netbook as far as I can throw it.

Once the system is [finally] installed, quickly setting up an admin account and Root Password is next (and easy enough), then it goes off against and sorts itself out, then eventually asks you to Quit to reboot. Rebooting doesn’t take too long (especially given how little the netbook has to boot it with), and the white-filling kernel is cute to watch anyway. After that, setting things up is easily done following the basic instructions, and then you’re in. Nice and easy.

As an operating system, Fedora so far is pretty nice on it. It’s pretty in general, and even runs much better than I expected on such a machine. It’s also customisable, easy to use, and particularly easier to get used to if you’re more familiar with OS X, I would say. Customisation is definitely a key word the Fedora guys were looking at here, as was user-friendly. The thing is just plain nice, I would say. Despite wasting the better part of a day shoe-horning it into a three-year-old netbook (give or take) with a 1GHz processor and 1GB RAM, I’m left impressed by the way it works. Other than playing with Raspbian on my Pi, I have had no dallying with any Linux-based product… but so far I’m pretty happy with the both of them, actually.

Time and use will tell… but so far so good, anyway.

Good job Fedora guys, I say.

 

HARDWARE:

  • Samsung NC110 Netbook
  • Intel Atom Inside 1GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM DDR3
  • 320GB HDD
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 (GMA 3150) shared graphics card
  • Cyberlink Youcam
  • Wireless Modem (which isn’t working thanks to some inexplicable rubbish Windows/Drivers issue)
  • (shipped with Windows 7 Starter)