Tag Archives: fedora

Installing Fedora 11 on a MacBook

This guide will help you through all the steps necessary for installing Fedora 11 on a MacBook Santa Rosa. This guide is aimed at Fedora 11 x86_64 but will also work on i386 version (adjust as necessary). Most of the steps equally apply to pre-Santa Rosa models too.

These instructions are specific to the MacBook 3,1 (Late 2007) and newer but not the new aluminium MacBooks since they have different hardware (especially the graphics card). These instructions are not suitable for the MacBook Pro either!! That said, many of the steps here are common to all MacBook models and I have included a few tips for people with the Aluminum MacBooks.

This guide is based largely around my previous guides for Fedora 8 and Fedora 10. This guide is much shorter than the previous two guides and that can only be a good thing!

What works and what doesn’t?

There are a few things that need fixing (covered in detail below) but the following all work “out of the box” with Fedora 10: video/graphics, firewire, USB, CD/DVD reading and writing, suspend/hibernate, cpu speed control, fan control (including applesmc), volume function keys, sound, and ethernet. Even the new “plymouth” graphical boot screen works out of the box.

I have yet to try the infrared or connecting an external monitor but I suspect they work just fine. Everything else works with the tweaks described below.

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Fedora 11 – first impressions

Just got Fedora 11 up and running on my MacBook and it’s pretty damn good, nothing ground breaking but it seems like another solid release from the Red Hat folks and builds nicely on the foundations of Fedora 10. Here’s what I noticed so far compared to Fedora 10:

  • The installation process is way more streamlined – only took 20mins for me and that was including some custom parititioning and messing with the selected packages. Also has a whole lot more polished feel about it. Great work by the Anaconda team.
  • Boot time is improved. I can’t say how much quicker but it feels like it boots faster than Fedora 10, and gnome seems to login quicker too. I think they met their 20 second target time. Nice.
  • Gnome 2.26 – this is a minor update but has some nice features – Volume Control and support for multiple monitors are greatly improved.
  • Improved input device configuration and updated synaptics driver – this is huge. I especially like the fact that there is now an option to enable 2 finger scrolling on a touchpad without messing with HAL fdi files. The MacBook touchpad now works really nicely without having to getting knee deep in config files.
  • Firefox 3.5 and Thunderbird 3. Both beta releases but both seem stable and Thunderbird 3 finally has some half-decent search function and offline message caching.
  • Elisa Media Centre 0.5.37 – updated version that works really nicely. It was badly broken in F10 on my hardware.
  • Intel video drivers – these seem greatly improved since 10. No more system crashes when using 3D effect (touch wood).
  • Kernel – applesmc actually loads automatically now on a MacBook 4,1.

The bad: gstreamer is still broken with my webcam and gstreamer-properties refuses to save the custom config that would make it work.

It’s all minor stuff, but still it’s a big improvement over Fedora 10 which in turn was a big improvement over Fedora 9.

Simple time lapse video in Linux

Time lapse (or stop-motion) video is really cool, and this post explains how to make a simple time lapse style video in Linux using entirely free open source software.

There is more than one way to skin a cat and when I was searching for how to do this I came across many different methods and suggestions but not really anything that suited what I wanted. Andrew Wells suggests making a movie and then processing it with ffmpeg to only store 1 in every n frames. That seems a neat solution but I wanted to take a series of still shots and string those together into a movie. Tim Nugent published a teaser of some nice looking time lapse software he wrote but as yet there is no published source or binary. There were various other suggestions dotted around the web but each one I tried had some problem or other. So here’s how I did it.

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Installing Fedora 10 on a MacBook

This guide will help you through all the steps necessary for installing Fedora 10 on a MacBook Santa Rosa. This guide is currently aimed at Fedora 10 x86_64 but will also work on i386 version (adjust as necessary). Most of the steps equally apply to pre-Santa Rosa models too.

These instructions will work with the MacBook 3,1 (Late 2007) and newer but will NOT work with the new aluminium MacBooks since they have different hardware (especially the graphics card). These instructions are not suitable for the MacBook Pro either!!

This guide is based largely around my previous guide for Fedora 8, and again much credit goes to the people who created the original Ubuntu wiki guide.

What works and what doesn’t?

There are a few things that need fixing (covered in detail below) but the following all work “out of the box” with Fedora 10: video/graphics, compiz effects, firewire, CD/DVD reading and writing, function keys (brightness, volume etc), sound, and ethernet. Even the new “plymouth” graphical boot screen works fine once activated.

I have yet to try the infrared or connecting an external monitor. Everything else works with the tweaks described below, except for suspend and hibernate which seem generally pretty broken in F10 (as it was in F9 too). Update 7 November 2008: Suspend and hibernate are fixed with 2.6.27.7-134 kernel and newer. See bug report.

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RPM installation of Broadcom 802.11 STA wireless driver in Fedora 8/9/10

RPMs for the Broadcom 802.11 STA Wireless Driver are now available from the rpmfusion.org repos for Fedora 8, 9 and 10.

This is an official-release of Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux device driver for use with Broadcom’s BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4321-, and BCM4322-based hardware. This driver also supports the incorrectly identified BCM4328 chipset which is actually a BCM4321 or BCM4322 chipset.

Previously I explained how to build the Broadcom STA driver from source but now the installation and updates can all be taken care of using yum and the rpmfusion non-free repository. Just follow these two simple steps:

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Installing the Broadcom 802.11 STA driver in Fedora 9

Update 15 November 2008: Just a note to mention that I’ve packaged this up into an RPM and so this driver is now available as an RPM in the rpmfusion repos for Fedora 8, 9 and 10.

See this post for instructions of how to install using the RPM version (much easier!).

Update 26 January 2009: These instructions are now fairly outdated. The latest releases of the broadcom driver don’t require the same patches as mentioned here to make them build correctly against recent kernels. I highly recommend using the RPM installation instructions linked above, or if you require help with building the latest drivers please drop me a message or leave a comment below.

Happy, happy days! At long last, a Linux Broadcom driver for the BCM4328 chipset that doesn’t require ndiswrapper and Windows drivers. For me, this is really, really huge: ndiswrapper has never worked properly with NetworkManager using WPA security but this new Broadcom driver seems bullet-proof. It is even supposed to support 802.11n standard but I can’t verify that just yet.

The source packages currently available from Broadcom (version 5.10.27.6) don’t build on the current Fedora 9 kernel (2.6.26.5-45) and probably won’t compile on any newer kernel either. Digging around a bit I found a patch that makes the driver build successfully.

Great, but that’s not the whole story: I then found that with the new driver I was unable to SSH or telnet into any remote servers – bummer. However, some more digging turned up another patch that fixes this problem. With these two patches in place the new driver really rocks. For the first time in 10 months (since I bought my MacBook) I can actually connect to WPA secured networks using NetworkManager – no more fiddling around with wpa_supplicant scripts for me!

Anyhow, here’s a little how-to guide to install the new Broadcom driver in Fedora 9. Note: I’m a little unsure of which Broadcom chipsets this driver actually supports but I can confirm that it works beautifully with the BCM4328 which is standard on MacBook 3,1 and 4,1 versions.

Important note: Since writing this guide Broadcom have released an updated driver (v 5.10.27.11). The updated driver and updated patches can be downloaded here along with the original driver/patches mentioned in this guide. Adjust the instructions below according to the version you are using.

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Custom build of synaptics for Fedora 8 x86_64 on MacBook

Based on the patches found in this post over at Ubuntu forums I have created an updated synaptics touchpad driver RPM package for Fedora 8 x86_64.

As the original author notes, this makes it more enjoyable to use the touchpad while using the MacBook. It does two things:

  1. Adds the option “MultiFingerButton” to synaptics. This allows us to configure the touchpad to right-click and middle-click by placing two or three fingers on the pad and then clicking the button. In my experience this is far more reliable than the “two finger tap” method of right-clicking.
  2. It makes the mouse arrow more stable – I have found this to be a HUGE improvement in usability over the stock synaptics driver. With the original driver, if you put two fingers on the mousepad and release only one, the mouse arrow moves. This is the default behaviour in Linux and Windows, but in MacOSX, the mouse arrow stays put, and in my personal opinion, this is a much better behaviour. This patch makes it behave just like MacOSX. This may not sound much, but you’ll find it makes a huge difference to the stability and usability of the touchpad.

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Fedora 8 x86_64 fixes for battery being reported twice error

The latest 2.6.25.x Fedora 8 kernels have both ACPI_PROCFS_POWER and ACPI_SYSFS_POWER turned on and this can cause a strange problem with HAL which results in it incorrectly displaying the same battery twice and reporting incorrect charge levels for the “bogus” battery. This in turn creates problems with power management software such as kpowersave and gnome-power-manager.

I have only seen this reported on some specific x86_64 machines but it may affect other architectures too.

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Banshee 1.0 RPM for Fedora 8 x86_64

Banshee Media PlayerBanshee 1.0 was released on June 5 2008. At the time of writing I haven’t been able to find an official Fedora 8 RPM build so I have built my own using the Fedora 9 source RPM and made it available here for you to download and install.

For those that don’t know, Banshee is a great multimedia player for Linux with support for iPod syncing, podcasts, streaming radio, video and lots more. For iPod owners Banshee is one of few viable Linux alternatives to iTunes.

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