Fedora Core 3 T42 Setup

Bill Moss
November 18, 2004


K Desktop
GPG Keys, Yum
Maple & MATLAB
USB Disk
K Control Center
Yum Repos
Source RPM
K Menu Editor
Non-distro Installs
Firefox Plugins
Suspend to RAM
Acrobat Reader
K Print


The purpose of this note is to outline the dual boot installation and setup of Fedora Core 3 on a Clemson IBM T42. Previous articles have covered disk partitioning for dual boot. We will use our FC2 partitions for the FC3 installation. During the disk installation, all we had to do was to identify the mount points:

  /boot, /, /home, swap

The bootloader was installed in /boot same as with FC2 and a custom installation was done so that package selection could be made.

Set Up

K Desktop. By default FC3 loads the Gnome desktop. The system wide default behavior can be changed by editing /etc/sysconfig/desktop. At the user level the command switchdesk kde can be used. I prefer the KDE login and logout screens so I commented out a line in /etc/inittab and added a line.

  #x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon
  x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon

K Control Center. The K Control Center was used to make various settings.

  Main Menu -> Control Center -> Appearance & Themes
      Background Picture -> Sea of Conero
      Icons -> Crystal SVG
      Splash Screen -> Default
      Style -> Widget Style -> Keramik
  Main Menu -> Control Center -> Desktop
      Window Behavior -> Moving tab -> 
      Snap windows only when overlapping
  Main Menu -> Control Center -> System Administration -> 
      Login Manager -> Administrator Mode -> Appearance tab -> 
      Logo, Gui style, color scheme -> Background tab -> picture

Grub. By default, the FC3 file /boot/grub/grub.conf contains the hiddenmenu option. This option causes grub to initially only display the default boot choice. Hit any key before the timeout, and the regular grub menu will be shown. I do not like this new behavior, so I commented out the hiddenmenu option.

Wireless. The FC2 installation of the firmware and driver for the Intel Pro 2200BG wireless card was discussed in a previous article. FC3 has a new firmware location: /lib/firmware. The FC2 configuration of wired and wireless interfaces was discussed in a previous article, including the addition of network profile kernel options to /boot/grub/grub.conf.

GPG Keys, Yum. A number of updates have been already been released for FC3. I used yum to apply these updates. First, I installed the GPG key using the following command and then checked to see which updates were available.

  rpm --import /usr/share/rhn/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora
  yum check-update

This list of updates contained about two dozen items. I installed them a few at a time using wild cards.

  yum update kde*

Once some of the bigger rpms were installed, I did the rest with

  yum update

Yum Repos. Next, I expanded the list of yum repositories by adding the following lines to the file /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repos.

  name=Extra Fedora rpms dries - $releasever - $basearch

  name=Fedora Linux $releasever - $basearch - core

  name=Fedora Linux $releasever - $basearch - updates

  name=Fedora Linux $releasever - $basearch - freshrpms

The corresponding GPG keys were downloaded to /usr/share/rhn and imported.

Non-distro Installs. With the expanded list of yum repositories, I installed applications not included in the FC3 distribution.

  yum install kile krusader apt synaptic

Tidy. The LaTeX IDE Kile needs tidy to clean up HTML and complains if this application is not installed. Tidy was downloaded from


NTFS. A previous article on FC2 setup covered the the following.

  installation of the ntfs kernel module
  creation of mount points for the Windows XP C and D partitions
  editing of /etc/fstab
  mounting of the Windows XP C and D partitions
  creation of symbolic links to Windows XP Truetype fonts

Source RPM. The kernel source rpm was installed and prepared.

  rpmbuild -bp --target=noarch /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/kernel-2.6.spec

Vpnclient. The Cisco vpnclient version 4.6 was downloaded and the Clemson.pcf profile was copied into the installation directory. Then the install script was run.

CD-ROM. A CD-ROM icon was placed on the desktop using the following steps.

  right click desktop -> Create New -> Device -> CD-ROM device...
  right click CD-ROM icon -> Properties -> Device tab -> 
      Device: /dev/hdc

Note that FC3 uses the mount point /media/cdrecorder instead of the legacy mount point /mnt/cdrom. KsCD was configured with the new device setting and an audio CD was played to test the sound system.

Thunderbird. The FC3 distribution contains Mozilla Firefox 1.0PR and Thunderbird 0.8. The above yum updating took Firefox to version 1.0. As of this date, there is no Thunderbird rpm available for FC3 so I created one and then used it to update Thunderbird.

  go to http://fedoranews.org/tchung/thunderbird/
  download thunderbird-0.9-i686-linux-gtk2+xft.tar.gz
  download the updated spec file thunderbird.spec
  download thunderbird.desktop and thunderbird.png
  copy thunderbird.spec to /usr/src/redhat/SPECS
  copy thunderbird-0.9-i686-linux-gtk2+xft.tar.gz
       thunderbird.desktop, thunderbird.png 
       to /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES
  edit thunderbird.spec changing the release to FC3
  rpmbuild -ba /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/thunderbird.spec
  rpm -Uvh /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i386/thunderbird-0.9-0.FC3.i386.rpm

If a mailto link is selected in Firefox, the Gnome mail client Evolution will start. To change this behavior, strangely enough, a Gnome configuration tool must be used. Use the following command


to set the default mail client to Thunderbird.

Sharing. A previous article dealt with the sharing of Firefox bookmarks and Thunderbird mailboxes between Windows XP and FC2.

Firefox Plugins. Firefox plugins can be downloaded starting from


I downloaded the Macromedia Flash plugin and manually installed in the directory


Acrobat Reader. I built an FC3 rpm for Acrobat Reader 5.0.9, installed it, and then created a symbolic link to the Acrobat Reader plugin.

  go to http://fedoranews.org/tchung/acroread/5.0.9/
  download linux-509.tar.gz
  download acroread.spec
  download acroread.desktop, acroread-dir.path, and acroread.png
  copy acroread.spec to /usr/src/redhat/SPECS
  copy linux-509.tar.gz
       acroread.desktop, acroread.png, acroread-dir.patch 
       to /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES
  edit acroread.spec changing the release to fc3
  rpmbuild -ba /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/acroread.spec
  rpm -Uvh /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i386/acroread-5.0.9.fc3.i386.rpm
  cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
  ln -s /usr/lib/acroread/Browsers/intellinux/nppdf.so

J2RE. The Java Runtime Environment and plugin were installed.

  go to http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html
  download j2re-1_4_2_06-linux-i586-rpm.bin
  sh j2re-1_4_2_06-linux-i586-rpm.bin
  rpm -ivh j2re-1_4_2_06-linux-i586.rpm
  cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
  ln -s /usr/java/j2re1.4.2_06/plugin/i386/ns610-gcc32/

K Menu Editor. I used the K menu editor to reorganize the menus to my liking.

  Main Menu -> Preferences -> More Preferences -> Menu Editor

I also resized and reorganized the panel

  right click panel -> Size -> Normal
  right click panel -> Add Application button
  right panel buttoms -> Move or Remove

ACPI Suspend to RAM. ACPI suspend to RAM (memory) was broken in FC2 but recent kernel updates have it working in FC3. A separate article has been posted on this topic. The HSF modem driver discussed in this article is not compatible with ACPI suspend to RAM.

Touchpad. The Synaptics Touchpad driver was discussed in a previous article. This driver is part of the FC3 distribution. The options in


need to be added to /etc/X11/xorg.conf. You can then use the synclient utility to explore option changes. I turned off tapping and scrolling.

Maple & MATLAB. Installation of Maple and MATLAB have been covered in previous articles.

KWirelessMonitor. No FC3 rpm for the KWirelessMonitor is currently available. I download the FC2 rpm from


and installed. The FC2 version worked well.

Services. Unneeded services eat up system resources. Here is the list of services I am currently running.

  Main Menu -> System Settings -> Server Settings -> Services
  acpid, anacron, apmd, atd, autofs, cpuspeed, crond, cups, 
  cups-config-daemon, gpm, haldaemon, iptables, lm_sensors, 
  messagebus, netfs, network, pcmcia, readahead, readahead_early, 
  smartd, syslog, vpnclient_init, xinetd

K Print. KDE printer setup was covered in a previous article on the setup of the IBM T42 under FC2. Note that as a user, you cannot set up a printer using the Main Menu Print System item. Instead, go to

  Main Menu -> Control Center -> Peripherals -> Printers -> 
      Administrator Mode

USB Disk. I inserted my SanDisk, Cruzer mini 128 MB, USB disk into one of the USB slots and then looked at /etc/fstab. An entry had been auto-written into this file with device /dev/sda1 and mount point /media/usbdisk. I created a desktop icon

  right click desktop -> Create New -> Device -> Camera Device...
  right click CD-ROM icon -> Properties -> Device tab -> 
      Device: /dev/sda1
  change the name to USB Mini
  change the icon to usbpendriv...

and then copied a few files to and from the mini disk. It worked perfectly.

Modem. The modem in the T42 is an IBM product based on the Conexant chip set and requires an HSF driver. A free 14.4K driver is available from www.linuxant.com and a full speed version is available for $14.95. Kudzu associates the ALSA driver snd-intel8x0m with the modem but this driver does not support the Conexant chip set. Here is what I did to get the modem working.

  add 'snd-intel8x0m' to /etc/hotplug/blacklist
  download and install the rpm
  configure the modem with the network configuration tool
  Modem device: /dev/modem    Baud rate: 14400

The morning after this article was posted, Jonathan at Linuxant sent me the following comment.

The HSF driver has a feature to detect a conflicting module and disable it so it will not be loaded after a reboot. The HSF driver will also warn the user if the conflicting module is in the kernel. Unfortunately, these features are currently broken on Fedora Core 3 but they will be fixed in the next release of the HSF driver. The blacklisting of the snd-intel8x0m module is required right now for users with modems based on the Intel ICH AC97. However, when the feature will work again, i.e. in the next release of the HSF driver, the hsfconfig script will automaticaly blacklist the snd-intel8x0m module by modifying the file /etc/modprobe.conf. Until the new HSF driver is released, users will have to do this manually.

  for HSF driver version 6.03.00lnxt04111500full or previous versions
  add 'install snd-intel8x0m /bin/true' to /etc/modprobe.conf
  rmmod snd-intel8x0m

Note that this driver is not compatible with ACPI suspend to RAM.