Tag Archives: fedora 11

EeePC 701SD and Fedora 12 Beta.

Just got a ASUS EeePC 701SD which I picked up from Mark Clanton, after he told me at UTOSC 2009 that he was selling it. Sure, it’s not the newest, latest, greatest netbook out there, but it was a plum price and I don’t have any sort of netbook currently.

Tonight I installed Rawhide onto it and everything seemed to work well, except the wireless, which is a RTL8187SE based card. Here’s how I went about enabling it.

  • Checked out the kernel package source from CVS:
    CVSROOT=:pserver:anonymous@cvs.fedoraproject.org:/cvs/pkgs
    cvs -d $CVSROOT co kernel
    cd kernel/F-12
  • Reset the branch to the current kernel in Rawhide:
    cvs up -r kernel-2_6_31_1-56_fc12
  • Since I’m on a 64-bit box at this point but building for my 32-bit EeePC, I set the architecture flags:
    setarch i686
  • Edited the config-generic file to set the necessary module line:
    CONFIG_RTL8187SE=m
  • Retrieved tarballs and built the tree:
    make srpm
    sudo yum-builddep kernel-*.src.rpm
    make prep
  • Built the module I needed:
    cd kernel-2.6.31/linux-2.6.31.i686
    make modules_prepare
    make M=drivers/staging/rtl8187se modules
  • Copied the resulting module, drivers/staging/rtl8187se/rtl8187se.ko, to the EeePC (via wired Ethernet interface and the scp command) under /lib/modules/2.6.31.1-56.fc12.i686.PAE/extra, and on the EeePC ran depmod -a.
  • At that point, I could run modprobe rtl8187se to enable the wireless, but I also checked it by rebooting and everything worked fine. NetworkManager picked up the card, saw all the local wifi hotspots, and I was off to the races.

I think there may be some work yet to do in the RTL8187SE driver and that’s why it’s not part of the stock kernel yet. My hope is that it will be enabled in a later build so that RTL8187SE-based EeePC wireless will just work out of the box on Fedora. In the meantime, I’m committing this helpful cookbook doc to the googlemind. 🙂

Broadcom brightening.

I saw something interesting in my email today — apparently Rawhide (which is rolling toward next week’s Beta release of Fedora 12 even as we speak) and Fedora 11 have received the b43-openfwwf package, which supports a bunch of Broadcom wireless models. You can find out more information about b43-openfwwf at the OpenFWWF website, including a list of models supported and expected results.

What this means is that if you’re one of the folks who either (1) doesn’t have a choice of a more free software-friendly wireless in your computer, or (2) didn’t make the sustainable choice of a free software-friendly wireless, you’re no longer stuck with having to drag out fwcutter to slice firmware out of another driver. Although there might be some limitations in the modes that b43-openfwwf supports, your out of the box experience in Fedora 12 — and in Fedora 11 if you install directly with updates — will be quite improved!

Thank you to Peter Lemenkov for getting this package into Fedora!

If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’.

Some important statistics from the first week of Fedora 11 release:

  • Over 140 Terabytes of Fedora 11 shipped via BitTorrent.
  • Approximately 200,000 direct downloads from unique IP addresses. (Incidentally, there were over 600,000 requests but some IP addresses requested more than one download.)
  • Over 1,000,000 1,200,000 visits to our web and wiki site in just seven days.

Note that our expert Fedora Infrastructure team made all this traffic almost unnoticeable to people, instead of crushing our servers to their knees. Hopefully Mike McGrath and some of the other team members will post a little bit about how they pull all this off. (Hint, hint!) I know that we use memcached, and that MirrorManager, maintained by Matt Domsch, figures heavily into our ability to get people to the closest Fedora bits when they request a download.

It never ceases to amaze me that our releases don’t seem to cause meltdowns like they used to. I think the Infrastructure team secretly yearns for release days to be more exciting, but it’s ironic that their own success makes that less likely. 😉

Get your goggles on.

Tomorrow is the day — Fedora 11 roars into action! Make sure that you fire up your BitTorrent client and seed for others; help to spread the love!

I want to take a moment to thank each and every person who supported this release — whether it was by writing code, filing a bug, triaging said bug, translating text, working with press, writing or editing the wiki and other docs, testing packages or releases, spreading media and message, organizing events or release parties, helping users, or any of the other activities that make Fedora an incredible and vibrant community.

Thank you for everything you do to make Fedora wonderful. We’re happy and lucky to have you with us on this journey. If you enjoy the release only a tenth as much as I enjoy working with all of you, I have no doubt this will be our most popular release yet.

See you on the tubez tomorrow!

Bluetooth headset in Fedora 11.

Valent,

First, if you have questions like this, it’s super-easy to get answers in more immediate and helpful forums. There’s the venerable but still well-populated fedora-list, the general user forum on IRC Freenode at #fedora, and the large community at Fedora Forum, all of which can help with general user questions.

Having said that, in Fedora 11 this is remarkably easy. You just install the pulseaudio-module-bluetooth package, and use the existing Bluetooth applet to pair your audio device with your Fedora system. PulseAudio will be able to see and use your Bluetooth audio device. I’ve done this with my cheap-o little Motorola H500 earpiece and it worked like a charm. I didn’t try this in Fedora 10, but I believe that module exists there too.

This. Is. ALPHA!

[This post was supposed to be out yesterday, but somehow I managed to brush my touchpad the wrong way and… well, the dog ate my homework. Or WordPress did. Either way, sorry about the lateness of the hour, and all that. Revised now for more contemporary enjoyment. — Ed.]

Yes, that 300 joke isn’t getting any funnier. But it’s not getting any older either! Well OK, maybe it is, but remember that “beta” works just as well there, so you may have to endure it one more time, sorry.

Anyway, yesterday our Fedora 11 Alpha release hit the wires, and they are humming hotly even as we speak with flying bits. We’ve provided a brief set of release notes where you can see some of the major changes called out.

I often get questions from people asking, what’s the point of an Alpha anyway? Well, essentially it’s to ensure we can effectively compose a Fedora release that can be installed by most people, and once that’s done, to give our community a chance to test the current state of features from a known starting point. Testing is, in fact, our focus once an Alpha release of Fedora is out the door, and every bug you file can make a big difference in the quality of the final Fedora release.

Typically people will install Fedora 11 Alpha on a test machine, and then update to the latest Rawhide packages. You see, Rawhide, our development branch of Fedora, keeps moving after we’ve started working on an Alpha release, so some bugs might be fixed with that update. On the other hand, you might also see totally new ones. It’s very early in the development cycle, so don’t expect a Fedora 11 Alpha system to necessarily be ready for your daily non-testing use (although I do know people who essentially run on the development branch almost all the time, and my hat’s off to them).

The point is, once you have your system running, we’d love to receive bug reports from you. That helps us eradicate problems early and provide a better release by the time the Beta, Preview, and final emerge.

Interestingly, there were hardware-specific bugs in previous releases reported by numerous people that could have easilly been found, had someone taken time to test an Alpha installation or boot on their hardware. So by testing, you really can be a big help to the overall Fedora community! You can often file bug reports straight from the installer, for instance, if your network hardware is supported. You can also use our helpful wiki page to learn how to file a bug. By the way, if you find a problem on that page, you can use its discussion page to tell us what needs improvement.

Basically, it’s a great time to try out the beginnings of Fedora 11 with our Alpha release, and let us know how you fare. And when you do, you’re part of the enormous (and still growing) Fedora community.

Fedora 11 release name voting

As was just announced on the announcement mailing list*, the voting ballots for the Fedora 11 release name are now open. To vote, you just need to be a member of one non-CLA group in our Fedora Account System. Voting ends at 2359 UTC 2009-01-09, so get your vote in quickly! (There’s nothing wrong with campaigning for a name of your choice either, if you’re so inclined.)

The Fedora release name is sort of a fun Easter egg for the community. Ultimately, it’s simply a way that anyone who participates in Fedora can have a say in what we call the next release. For Fedora 10, that name was “Cambridge,” which incidentally was Red Hat engineering’s internal release name for the Red Hat Linux 10 product that never was. That release ultimately became Fedora Core 1, “Yarrow.”

All the names on the ballot were submitted by the community, run through a series of searches to identify probable trademark conflicts, and then approved by the Fedora Board and Red Hat’s legal department, which did a more thorough search for conflicts and risk identification. The entire submission process was recorded on the wiki, where you can find details on all the suggestions.

Each release name is linked to the previous release name, and that link must be different from the link that came before it. We try to keep the links non-obvious and (arguably) clever wherever possible. In the past, the links have become a little more generic, but given the fairly good slate of names that’s on the ballot this time, I hope that will be less of an issue going forward.

Thanks again to Nigel Jones for coordinating our election process and to everyone who submitted a name for consideration!

* Not on it? join here.

FUDCon update.

FUDCon F11 is rolling mightily along, with a whole mess o’ new names up on the wiki this week. I also notice that many people are signing up for hackfests and BarCamp sessions, which is wonderful. This is always my favorite time in the preparation stages — when people really start to take stock of what they can discuss and hammer on at FUDCon, figure out what kinds of bold new plans we can make as a project and as a distribution, and start spreading the discussions out into the community for vigorous action.

Every FUDCon, we in the Fedora Project try to extend invitations to people who we see making a difference in the community regularly, bringing them to where they can get face-to-face with their peers, friends, mentors, and pupils for the ultimate in high-bandwidth exchange. The Fedora budget pays for these folks to come in so that they can help drive innovation at FUDCon and throughout this development cycle toward Fedora 11, set to be released at the end of May 2009. What we ask in return is that they use that opportunity to take charge of a hackfest, and/or run a BarCamp session, to spread knowledge and skills out into the community where they can take root and grow. Also, these folks are asked to post updates to their weblogs and other information channels to help keep the part of our community not in attendance informed about what’s going on at FUDCon.

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p>In Fedora, as in the tradition of other great centers of hackerdom like NASA, we tend to go for low-cost, high-impact methods for effective community and communication. Thanks to the work of Chris Tyler, Clint ‘herlo’ Savage, and other volunteers, we are aiming to have live audio and video feeds and recordings from FUDCon. I have to admit I’m not quite sure how this is all going to come together logistically, but I have a lot of faith in the ingenuity and capabilities of the folks putting the AV together. I’m more of a dabbler, so I’ll likely just stay out of the way so as not to trip over anything fragile. Hats off to you guys for making this happen!

As a final note, my thoughts are with my homeys in the Westford, MA area who have been suffering through power outages, frozen pipes, no heat, no light, and (ZOMG!) no Intartubez since last week’s ice storm. Apparently, additional inclement weather is headed their way at the latter part of this week. Hang in there guys!