Laptop Diaries, grub, software update & X

The first problem is grub, it can only see my Linux & Windows disks. Thats not good so, with a bit of trial and error we update the grub menu.lst to the following. The Fedora Core grub version is installed and the grub menu is held in /boot/grub/menu.lst.

default=0
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd0,4)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu
title Fedora Core (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4)
    root (hd0,4)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 ro
root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
    initrd /initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img
title Solaris 10
     rootnoverify (hd0,3)
    chainloader +1
     makeactive
title Windows XP
     rootnoverify (hd0,0)
     chainloader +1

is what works for me. So now I can use the appropriate O/S for purpose. I might have to muck around with the spash screen. It should be fun to use a picture of me.

Now back to Linux. It was installed in a hurry and one of the problems is that the software update software isn't working properly. A couple of problems, about proxy servers. Firewalls and the software products and versions. The obvious tool to use is Up2date. While I might at some time see if “Red carpet” is still around, one of the things I'm experimenting with is the Red Hat way of doing things. I looked around for help and found http://www.fedorafaq.org/. This offers and explaijns the choice between RHN, Yum and apt.

Its configured to use YUM, but the yum configuration is broken. So we found this... at fedorafaq and read the instructions. The wget worked but the rpm didn't (probably proxies) so I used Mozilla and fortunately I havn't got RealPlayer installed, so it offered me an install package option. Next set the proxies in yum.conf, using the

proxy=${Protocol}://${Hostname}:${PortNo}

syntax. NB This pseudo code is too anonomise my solution, I don't think yum.conf is resolved using a shell so this code won't work, you'll have to put your proxy name in as a text string. Yum now works but was erroring on mis-defined repos files (/etc/yum.repos.d/\*). A number of primary baseURLs had been hashed out. So we changed these; they were lines in config files held in /etc/yum.repos.d and now we seem to be working. (Perhaps configuring it to do this inside our firewall wasn't that cute but we'll see!) Its possible that some of the repos should be left out but again we'll see what happens.

In an earlier article, I may have implied that I had fixed the fuzzy screen thing. This isn't quite true. It comes on as the boot display moves from command line to "X", although the cursors initially remain crystal. When I login as root, the screen becomes good again. I checked out http://www.linux-laptop.net/ and found this... which suggests some driver issues. (Damn! Back to this crap - My early experiments with my last computer were plagued by poor video implementations, I thought I'd left these days behind). I think I'll wait to see if up2date fixes this. I'll let you know either way.

Added 23rd Sep '05 - Actually yum still fails for what looks like a version definition problem, it seems to think I'm running Fedora 3 not 4. I tracked a cause down to a hard coded setting

releasever = 3

in /usr/share/rhn/up2dateclient/sourcesConfig.py . I hunted around a bit more to see if I could find a better place to fix it, but couldn't. uname is not very helpfull.

# uname
# Linux mysystemhostname 2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 #1 Thu Jun 2 22:55:56 EDT 2005 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

I suppose I could cut it out from the third string. I'll be back soon since the first download I'm trying is yum.

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