Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

Upgrades Considered Harmful

I never learn. Despite the pain that Red Hat/Fedora upgrades typically cause, I still take each one, like a well-aimed kick in the teeth to a rugby player. And Fedora Core 2 is the best yet, with results that rival or even surpass your typical Microsoft update. At the end of installation, the score was:

  • no sound;
  • slow web downloads;
  • no freakin’ mouse!

What bothers me isn’t so much the total absence of basic functionality like, say, a working PS/2 mouse (although that does rankle somewhat), but the fairly blasé attitude shown by the developers. The problems turn out to be common currency on fedora-list, yet nobody has the right answers. Mouse issue? Try loading these modules (that aren’t in FC2 anymore). Or using this alternative device name that I picked because it sounded vaguely relevant. One reply even suggested that a previously working mouse was now behaving erratically because it was a cheap one. Yes, that’s right: FC2 is so cool, it only works with really expensive mice. You twunt.

Anyway, here are the fixes I’ve found so far (for an Asus A7V8X-X motherboard):

Avoid fedora-list
It’s just ignorance on stilts. Try the unofficial Fedora FAQ and Fedora News instead. Heck, try asking a random passerby, they’ll probably know more than the average fedora-list subscriber.
Don’t put the Fedora ISOs on a RAID volume
You can’t install from ISO images held on a local RAID (md) partition. Either access them via NFS or use CDs.
Install all available updates before proceeding. This will fix the post-installation issues (and replace them with a boatload of fresh ones).
Despite rechecking the ALSA module config for my VIA 82xx chip and fiddling endlessly with the levels in various mixers, I had no joy (incidentally, when the Kmix “mute” indicator is lit, that means the channel is unmuted - obviously). Finally, I renamed /etc/sysconfig/hwconf and let Kudzu rediscover all my devices. Then I unmuted every channel and set them all to max. Oh, and I tried the other jacks on the card. The audio sounds appallingly distorted and noisy, but that appears to be as good as it gets for now.
Update: Disabling DXS support by adding dxs_support=2 to the module options fixes the audio quality.
Update 2: Redetecting all your hardware with Kudzu is a good idea. I’ve just seen an NForce-based machine maxed out with an equal split between user and system time and no obvious CPU hogs. Turned out to be a module loading conflict between the wrong ALSA driver and the NVIDIA nvsound driver.
Post 2.6.7 kernels have some changes in TCP behaviour which cause problems with some Internet routers, leading to slow web page downloads and similar annoyances. Setting any or all of the following may help:
/sbin/sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_moderate_rcvbuf=0
/sbin/sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_default_win_scale=0
/sbin/sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling=0
(Add to /etc/sysctl.conf to make them permanent.)
My mouse, a bog-standard Genius PS/2, was undetected. Only booting without USB devices attached (principally a card reader) solved this, until I disabled legacy USB support in the BIOS (this has no effect unless you access USB devices under DOS). (You can also try adding “i8042.nomux” to the kernel parameters in grub.conf; I did this but it turned out not to be required.)
Also see bug #120859.
Don’t upgrade
…Or if you already have, give serious thought to reverting to a backup. I have - that or Debian. Or FreeBSD. (Actually, a good pre-install test would be to try out a recent 2.6 kernel under FC1.)

Speaking of DOS, this kind of malarky reminds me uncomfortably of editing obscure device driver settings in config.sys - progress?

To be fair, these are all 2.6 kernel-related. It obviously escaped the lab before being properly tamed. The rest of FC2, from a preliminary glance (for obvious reasons, I haven’t been able to do much real work on it), seems fine.

…Oh, except Fedora locked down my CUPS configuration again. Leave it alone, you dumb palookas! I know what I’m doing and yes, I want other clients on my network to be able to print.