Archive for December 2009
This post list my experience with the post-installation configuration of CentOS 5.4 for desktop usage on my laptop.
If not already done during installation I suggest to turn off SELinux especially if you want to use
wine (you do if you want to use google picasa). To do this follow the screen shots below
Adding user to sudoers
The first thing to do is to add yourself to the
wheel group by editing
/etc/group.Do the following:
Change the following line:
useralias is to be substituted with your real username. Next edit the sudoers file by excuting the visudo command:
comment out the following line
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL or
#%wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL without prompting for password every time the sudo command is run
Next thing to do is to install additional repositories in order to get additional software not present in the official CentOS repos. The additional packages are required for wireless networking, vpn, non-free stuff like adobe reader, flash plug-in, vlc, codecs, TrueType fonts etc. etc.
The CentOS wiki is a good ressource for setting up additional repos. Here’s a brief summary of what I added
- DAGs repository for CentOS5. Do the following:
sudo rpm --import http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt
- Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL)
sudo rpm -ivh http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-3.noarch.rpm
- Adobe respository for Adobe reader and flash
sudo rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/linux/i386/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
Now applications from additional repos can be installed from the PackageManager or from the command line using yum
CentOS 5 does not come with support for the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG in my laptop. The steps required to get wire less networking up with this particular hardware is well described elsewhere(howtoforge). Once the RPMforge repo has been added as described above do
yum install ipw3945d ipw3945-firmware dkms dkms-ipw3945 wpa_supplicant
In contrast to what is described on howtoforge I like the gnome network-manager tool so instead of turning it off (as in the tutorial) I have turned it on
chkconfig NetworkManager on .
I messed a little around with the wireless stuff, but I actually think that the two steps described here should do the trick. Verify that the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0 looks something like this
# Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection
HWADDR=00:00:00:00:00:00 # Insert actual MAC address
The MAC address for the wlan0 (or what ever suits your particular hardware e.g. eth1 or something) do
[ada@localhost ~]$ /sbin/ifconfig wlan0
wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1C:BF:02:19:14
inet addr:10.0.0.3 Bcast:10.0.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::21c:bfff:fe02:1914/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:1711 errors:1 dropped:249 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1868 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:1252822 (1.1 MiB) TX bytes:361391 (352.9 KiB)
Interrupt:74 Base address:0x6000 Memory:df3ff000-df3fffff
Enabling VPN connection in the NetworkManager
In occasionally need to access my company network through a (Cisco) VPN connection. These are the steps required for setting up a VPN connection.
sudo yum install NetworkManager*
This should install the following package (and some dependencies)
NetworkManager.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed
NetworkManager-devel.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed
NetworkManager-glib.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed
NetworkManager-glib-devel.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed
NetworkManager-gnome.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed
NetworkManager-openvpn.i386 1:0.7.0-18.svn11.el5.3 installed
NetworkManager-pptp.i386 1:0.7.0-2.svn16.el5 installed
NetworkManager-vpnc.i386 1:0.7.0.99-1.el5.4 installed
Now your VPN connection can be set-up by clicking the small NetworkManager applet and choosing “VPN connections” ->”Configure VPN”
Installing Citrix Receiver (ICAClent)
- Go to http://www.citrix.com and download the rpm package choose to “Open with”
/usr/bin/system-install-packages(Software installer), it should handle a few depencies (OpenMotif).
sudo mozilla-plugin-config && mozilla-plugin-config
Setting up multimedia
- Disabel the EPEL respository in PackageManager (Applications menu -> Add/Remove Software) by choosing Edit and unchecking the EPEL repository. This is due to conflicts between RPMForge and EPEL.
- sudo yum install flash-plugin
yum install libdvdcss libdvdread libdvdplay libdvdnav lsdvd mplayerplug-in mplayer compat-libstdc++-33 flash-plugin gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly vlc
cd /tmp && wget www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/mplayer-codecs-20061022-1.i386.rpm
sudo rpm -ivh mplayer-codecs-20061022-1.i386.rpm
sudo rpm -ivh mplayer-codecs-extra-20061022-1.i386.rpm
Applications I find useful
- Adobe Reader (sudo yum install AdobeReader_enu)t
- Xmgrace 2-d plotting (sudo yum install grace* )
- GNU Octave (sudo yum –disablerepo=rpmforge install octave octave-forge hdf5)
- ImageMagick (sudo yum install ImageMagick*)
- Inkscape (sudo yum –disablerepo=epel inkscape) #inkscape exits with a segmentation fault for some reason if installed from the epel repo. However the version (0.46) in RPMforge seems to be wotking
- Dia (sudo yum install dia)
Installing additional software
cd /tmp wget http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-beta-static cd /opt sudo tar jxvf /tmp/skype_static-184.108.40.206.tar.bz2 sudo ln -s skype_static-220.127.116.11 skype # Setup symlinks (the first is required for sounds to work, the second is optional) sudo ln -s /opt/skype /usr/share/skype sudo ln -s /opt/skype/skype /usr/bin/skype
For installing RealPlayer, Opera, Google Earth and Google Picasa just follow the guidelines on howtoforge.
./googleearth-bin: /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.9′ not found (required by ./libgoogleearth_lib.so)
./googleearth-bin: /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.9′ not found (required by ./libbase.so)
A fix is provided here.
The thing that pushed me towards CentOS was the fact that I had some irritating issues with Fedora 12
- For some reason when resuming from suspend/hibernate Xorg crashed leaving me with a new gdm login screen leading to a blank desktop with all my apps gone. I haven’t found a fix, according to the mailinglists/bugzilla the issue should have been resolved (but obviously its not). Worked out of the box in CentOS.
- Too many updates
- Couldn’t find a way to get CPU throttling to work i.e. the “On demand” mode. Whenever trying to force this mode I was always reverted to “Performance” i.e. full speed. No problem for workstation doing heavy calculations all the time, but for a laptop it’s really a nive feature. This worked out of the box in CentOS.
I have recently installed Fedora 12 on my computer (laptop). I have used Linux for many years, and my best experience has been with Debian derived systems like Debian itself, Ubuntu and Mint, so far. However, when I started out using Linux it was on RedHat 6.2, although I jumped the RedHat wagon after 8.0. Nevertheless, I thought it was a good time now to see the current state of the RedHat upstream development.
To jump to the conclusion rigth away, I really like Fedora 12. To be more specific:
- Installation was very easy just as easy as Ubuntu, in my opinion
- Very good and professional documentation
- The amount of scientific packages is very good. Numpy, Scipy and Matplotlib is included. Other useful apps: Xmgrace/Grace, Octave, DX, R, hdf5, maxima, paraview
- The Gnome NetworkManager comes with good stuff preinstalled e.g. vpnc (Cisco VPN client) and for some reason it seems to connect to my home router faster than on Ubuntu/Mint. Although this is only a subjective impression.
- Eclipse comes with many useful plugins e.g. pydev, valgrind. Unfortunately the eclipse sql explorer plugin is not one of them. However, installation is easy,
- Compiz works very well. It has caused me some trouble to make it work on OpenSUSE 11
- Gnote instead of Tomboy. I have never been a fan of .Net/Mono. Again this is my personal opinion
- The default configuration of Gnome is good, and pleasant
- YUM is very easy to use. Very much like APT. The yum history command is very useful
In order to get a full installation, even with applications such as Adobe Reader, VLC, Google Earth, Google Picasa, Skype, RealPlayer, I can recommend to go through the step-by-step guide on HowtoForge. It is extremely useful. Cadeau!
However, I have found a few things I do not like so much about Fedora 12, which has pushed me towards CentOS 5.4 instead
- For some reason when resuming from suspend/hibernate Xorg crashed leaving me with a new gdm login screen leading to a blank desktop with all my apps gone (Intel MobileGMA 965). I haven’t found a fix, according to the mailinglists/bugzilla the issue should have been resolved (but obviously its not). Works out of the box in CentOS.
- Couldn’t find a way to get CPU throttling to work i.e. the “On demand” mode. Whenever trying to force this mode I was always reverted to “Performance” i.e. full speed. No problem for workstation doing heavy calculations all the time, but for a laptop it’s really a nive feature. This works out of the box in CentOS.
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