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ATI

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Fedora 15: Upgrade

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The latest upgrade of Fedora, to version 15, was anything but smooth this time. The release included so many radical changes, so I’m guessing the focus has been to get the basics working, while skipping corners on minor issues. Apart from the switch to Xfce, and some smaller adjustments to Firefox, here’s the problems I ran into, and some workarounds:

  • I had several packages stuck from older version, some from F12. The CD upgrade did not stall on this, but subsequent yum upgrade did. Removing the packages resolve the issue:yum remove openbios-common joda-time-javadoc flash-plugin
  • gThumb had one of its dependencies broken due to a name change, removing and reinstalling fix that.
    yum remove gthumb libclutter-gtk
    yum install gthumb
  • xine-lib needed manual updating, for some reason
    yum update xine-lib

Finally, there were some hiccups with the video driver and Xinerama in Xfce. The problem was that the ATI Catalyst settings tool kept mis-configuring the xorg.conf file. It was juggling three screens and two video card sections, while I only have two screens attached to the same card. In the end, I had to manually edit the file.

While resolving that, I also bumped into the change to systemd. It no longer reads /etc/inittab, but instead has its configuration under /etc/systemd/system. The concept of runlevels is still transferable, though. And to set another runlevel by default, link in the corresponding target file:
ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/runlevel5.target /etc/systemd/system/default.target
or
ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/runlevel3.target /etc/systemd/system/default.target

For more on systemd, see the FAQ.

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ATI Graphics Driver on Fedora 14

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I finally got around to installing the video card driver for my onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200 (on an Asus M3A78 PRO). Earlier, this involved manual download and even compilation. However, now, the driver is in the RPMFusion non-free repository (see Fedora 14 installation post for details on getting that).

All I had to do, was to install the package, and run the proprietary Catalyst Control Center to configure the screen.


sudo yum install xorg-x11-drv-catalyst
sudo amdcccle

Note that for a single desktop over dual displays, you’ll have to enable Xinerama under Display Options. Before you do that, confirm that the driver and card works with dual display over multi-desktop.

While you’re working with this, you might have to restart X a few times. Instead of rebooting the whole machine, you’ll save a lot of time by booting into runlevel 3 instead. Edit /etc/inittab, and swap 5 for 3. Remember to set it back once you’re done.


sudo emacs /etc/inittab


#id:5:initdefault:
id:3:initdefault:

glxgears now gives a FPS count around 1550, which is significantly better than the 60 FPS without the driver. It was a bit embarrassing when the my mobile (MeeGo on Nexus S) had a higher count than my desktop.