The Unofficial #fedora FAQ

NOTE: This is not an official form of support. This is not an official service of Red Hat. These things may solve your worst nightmare, or they may eat all of the cheese in your house. I make no guarantees. YMMV.

If you have a question which is not answered here

  1. Ask it in the Unofficial #fedora Forum (FAQ section)
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About Fedora

  1. Q: What is this Fedora Core 1 thing?
    A: Read the official page a bit.

    Now, I'll give you a brief rundown -- You can think of Fedora Core 1 as something like Red Hat Linux 10, except:

    • It's now a community project. Its development happens on public mailing lists. See the Fedora website for more about this.
    • Official support is only provided from the Fedora Project for 6 - 8 months per version. This means upgrading your OS every 6 - 8 months. The upgrades should be relatively painless, much like RH 8 - RH 9. The painlessness is not guaranteed.
    • If you don't want to upgrade every 6 - 8 months, there is something called the Fedora Legacy Project which hopes to patch in important security fixes to unsupported Fedora builds for as long as possible.
    • Fedora Core versions are released on a time schedule, instead of When They're Ready (TM).
  2. Q: Is it unstable?
    A: No!
  3. Q: Has it been released?
    A: Yes! Fedora Core 1 (Yarrow) has been released!
  4. Q: Where do I get it?
  5. Q: Does up2date still work?
    A: Yes! It no longer uses the Red Hat Network (RHN). However, it should still work. The tray applet does not seem to work correctly at the moment, but if you actually run up2date, it works. (See bug 109502 if you're feeling technically inclined and would like to know the work-around.)

    Also see the installing software question for an alternate way to install software and keep updated.

  6. Q: Can I install on ReiserFS or JFS?
    A: Yes, you actually can install Fedora on ReiserFS or JFS. Note that neither of these filesystems are supported by the Fedora Project. (That means that you can use them, but you won't find any official help from the Fedora Project if things go wrong.)

    At the installer prompt, type either linux reiserfs or linux jfs. (Thanks to whiprush [quoting Jesse Keating] for this. Thanks to Kai Thomsen for catching an important typo.)

  7. Q: Does Fedora run on the AMD64 (Opteron) platform?
    A: Yes, it can! See the AMD64 FAQ for details.

Getting and Installing Software

  1. Q: Where can I get software for Fedora?
    A: There are a few "repositories" (sites that hold software). The primary sites are the highly unofficial (for packages with questionable licenses) and the more official Extras project. They hold different software.

    For an alternate choice, look at FreshRPMs. There are some packages in FreshRPMs and its partner sites that aren't in or in

  2. Q: How do I install software for Fedora? (How to use yum or an RPM)
    A: The easiest way to install software in Fedora is to use yum. Copy this yum.conf (Updated 2 Mar 2004) over your /etc/yum.conf. You will need to be root to do that. In fact, you need to be root to do all of the following.

    Now, you can do yum list available | grep -v debuginfo | egrep "livna|fedora" to see what software you can download. (Note: The first time you do that, it can take a long time, sometimes up to an hour, even on DSL/Cable.)

    • To install some software, you type yum install packagename.
    • To update some software, you type yum update packagename. (Or leave off packagename if you want to update all your software.)
    • To see what updates are available, you can do yum check-update.

    Note that the yum.conf provided above is updated regularly, for various reasons.

    For more info about yum, see the yum project page. (Thanks to Ron Kuris for this tip.)

    If you want more security, I recommend that you un-comment the lines in the yum.conf that start with "gpgcheck=1" -- you might also want to look at the gpg signature question, if you do this. (Thanks to Kai Thomsen for convincing me to add this note.)

    To install an RPM that you downloaded outside of yum, as root you do rpm -Uvh nameOfRPM in the Terminal.

  3. Q: Is there anything like apt for Fedora?
    A: APT is a program for Debian Linux that installs not only the software you specify, but also all of that software's dependencies. It makes installing software much easier.

    There is a piece of software like this for Fedora, that comes in the standard Fedora Core installation. It's called yum. It can automatically download and install a program and all of its dependencies, with just one command. I even provide a special configuration file that I use for yum on my computer, in the question where I explain how to use yum.

    For those people who really like apt specifically, there is a version of apt for Fedora. You can download it from (Look for the package named "apt.") I have heard that it works very well.

  4. Q: Where are the Fedora Extras & Alternatives?
    A: They don't currently exist, but Red Hat is working on it. In the mean time you can get software from the places that I mentioned in the question about getting software. (Thanks to Matthias Saou for some help with this answer.)
  5. Q: The update servers hosted by Red Hat are slow! What can I do?
    A: You should use yum and use this yum.conf. It uses mirrors to speed things up a lot. (See the question about installing software if you need some help with yum.)

    If you really want to use up2date, look at this yum.conf and edit your /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources file to use one the mirrors that are used in the yum.conf. (The sources file itself explains how edits work.)

    If you want to set it all up yourself, or if you just want more detail, see Alexander Dalloz's great article about how to use mirrors.

  6. Q: How do I install Java?
    A: The easiest way is to use Sun's Java RPM:
    1. Go to the Java Runtime Download Page.
    2. Scroll down and find the line that says "Linux RPM in self-extracting file." Click on the "Download" link in the JRE column. (If you want to develop Java software get the SDK, and alter the rest of these directions appropriately. Also set export JDK_HOME="$JAVA_HOME" in the below.)
    3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit "Accept."
    4. Click on the big link to download. Save the file in your home directory. The download will take a little while.
    5. Open a Terminal.
    6. Type sh j2re*rpm.bin
    7. Become root. (su -)
    8. Type rpm -Uvh j2re-*.rpm -- there will be a bit of whirring.
    9. Create a file called in /etc/profile.d/ (If you're not too sure about how to do this, the easiest way is gedit /etc/profile.d/
    10. This file should contain the following lines (with the first line modified appropriately, according to what's actually in /usr/java/):
      export JAVA_HOME="/usr/java/j2re1.4.2_02"
      export JAVA_PATH="$JAVA_HOME"
      export PATH="$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin"
    11. Type chmod +x /etc/profile.d/
    12. Java should now work properly. You will need to log in and log out for some things to function properly.

    To install the browser plugin for java, as root, do: ln -sf /usr/java/<YourJavaDirectory>/plugin/i386/ns610-gcc32/ /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins -- note that you need to replace <YourJavaDirectory> with the name of the actual directory that's there.

    (Note: For the SDK, the plugin is /usr/java/<YourJavaDirectory>/jre/plugin/i386/ns610-gcc32/ -Thanks to Rob Hoeft for this.)

    (Thanks to Andre Robatino and "m d" for suggesting the /usr/lib/mozilla/ directory instead of the version-specifc one. Thanks to Kai Thomsen for noting that you only have to login-logout, not reboot.)

  7. Q: Is there an easy way to get a 2.6 kernel running on Fedora?
    A: Updated 24 Jan 2004 Yes! There is a 2.6 kernel in the Fedora Development Tree. (Note: If you have an AMD Athlon, just get the i686 package -- the 2.6 kernel now understands the difference between an i686 and an Athlon at runtime.)

    I highly recommend that you look at this forum thread before you install, or if you have problems after you install.

    And of course, as always, you should install this kernel using rpm -ivh kernel-2.6* (not with rpm -Uvh), so that you can keep a copy of your old kernel around in case you need it.

Problems and Their Solutions

  1. Q: I get a warning about NOKEY / some gpg signature error!
    A: Updated 24 Jan 2004 The NOKEY warning is not really a problem. It won't prevent you from doing anything. If you'd like to resolve it, do the following command to get the correct key for the site you're downloading from:

    You must be root to do any of this.

    • rpm --import
    • rpm --import
    • FreshRPMs: rpm --import
    • DAG: rpm --import
    • ATrpms: rpm --import
    • NewRPMs: rpm --import
    • JPackage: rpm --import

    If you've never used up2date, you will also need to do: rpm --import /usr/share/doc/fedora-release-1/RPM-GPG-KEY* to get the standard Red Hat keys installed.

    (Thanks to Kai Thomsen for the location of the ATrpms key.)

  2. Q: What's wrong with my ATI Radeon 9600/9700/9800?
    A: Updated 24 Jan 2004 Support for the Radeon 9800 is experimental, even in Fedora Core 1. There will be a patch released. This means that the installer doesn't work correctly with the Radeon 9800. This may also apply to the Radeon 9600 in various ways. There is a slightly complex workaround.

    Also, if you have a KT400 (P4X400), or if you have general problems with direct rendering with these cards, check out swa's HOWTO about these issues.

    Also, try turning off APM and ACPI, and see if that helps. To test this method:

    1. When you first start your computer, you get the GRUB screen. Press a on your keyboard.
    2. Add apm=off acpi=off to the end of the line that appears, and press enter. If acpi=on is in the line, delete it.

    If that works, you can make it permanent:

    1. Become root (su -)
    2. Open /etc/grub.conf in your favorite editor. (If you aren't sure, try gedit /etc/grub.conf or jpico /etc/grub.conf.)
    3. Locate the entry for your kernel. (It will probably be the first "Fedora Core")
    4. At the end of the line that starts with kernel, add apm=off acpi=off
    5. If acpi=on is on that line, delete it.
    6. Save the file, and restart your computer.

    Turning off APM and ACPI will disable all power management on your computer. You might want to be careful if you're on a laptop!!

    (Thanks to Albert Strasheim for the APM/ACPI tip!)

  3. Q: What's wrong with my Intel D8xx (D845/D865/D875) motherboard or similar IDE controller (disk space error)?
    A: If you get an error message with the installer, you need to do linux allowcddma. The error message that some people get is: An error occurred transferring the install image to your hard drive. You are probably out of disk space.

    If this solution doesn't work, try linux ide=nodma.

    (Thanks to Neuberg Tor Erik, |Jef|, and StarHeart for this.)
  4. Q: I have problems with Flash in Mozilla / my web browser!
    A: Updated 24 Jan 2004 There are a few things that could cause this. There are two ways to fix this, using "yum," or not using it.
    • Using yum:
      1. Make sure that you're using the yum.conf from the installing software question.
      2. Open a Terminal.
      3. Become root (su -)
      4. Type yum install flash-plugin
    • Not using yum:
      1. Download the Flash Plugin RPM to your home directory. (Choose the one for "Fedora Core 1" after you pick your location.)
      2. Open a Terminal
      3. Become root: "su -"
      4. Type rpm -Uvh flash-plugin-*.i386.rpm -- the Flash plugin should now be installed correctly.
      5. If you install a new version of mozilla, run this process again. (It won't always be this way.)

      If it complains about you needing certain packages, those packages are in the CDs. They are also in the Fedora Core base RPMs. You install them the same way as the Flash RPM above (rpm -Uvh packagename).

      The package you will most likely need is compat-libstdc++. As root, type yum install compat-libstdc++ to get it.

    If you have any questions, see the Flash Plugin FAQ! (Thanks to Warren Togami for that link.)

    (Thanks to various IRC folks and vegan_linuxguy for troubleshooting this. Thanks to "m d," David Ball, and others for pointing out an important typo in this question!)

  5. Q: What's wrong with my nVidia drivers / my Quake3/RtCW/ET?
    A: Updated 5 Feb 2004 There are now nVidia driver RPMs provided by that are designed especially for Fedora. If you're using yum, and you're using my yum-conf, you should be able to install the drivers just by typing yum install nvidia-glx kernel-module-nvidia-`(uname -r)`. That installs the nVidia driver for your current kernel.

    If you update your kernel, make sure that you install the newest nVidia driver before you start the new kernel. To install the driver in your new kernel before you restart, you have to do: yum install kernel-module-nvidia-`(rpm -q --queryformat="%{version}-%{release}\n" kernel | tail -n 1)` (That's actually just a fancy way of getting the version number of your latest kernel.)

    If, after installing the drivers, you continue to have trouble, try typing _GL_SINGLE_THREADED=1 yourprogramname to start your game instead of the normal way you do it.

    If you need support for the nVidia drivers, check out the nV News "Linux and nVidia Graphics" forum. (Thanks to Exile in Paradise for this tip.)

    If you have any trouble with the RPMs, see the alternate instructions.

  6. Q: My 3com network card doesn't work!
    A: Okay, first, look at this bugzilla bug. There are known problems with the 3Com 3c905B/TX and how it interacts with kudzu.

    If you want to disable kudzu (which detects when you have new hardware) this will resolve the issue for now. As root, in a Terminal, type chkconfig kudzu off -- after you reboot, your card should work. (Thanks to jroysdon for pointing this out.)

    I personally have worked around these problems with the following process. Note that this process is probably not reccomended by Red Hat, since it uses non-standard drivers. If you use PCMCIA (those laptop cards), this may cause you trouble.

    1. You must have kernel-source installed for this to work. Check the "Add/Remove Applications" tool in System Settings on the red-hat menu.
    2. Download Donald Becker's netdrivers to your home directory.
    3. Open a Terminal
    4. Do cd ~;mkdir netdrivers;cd netdrivers
    5. Unzip the netdrivers using tar -xzf ../netdrivers*.
    6. Compile them using make CC="gcc32"
    7. Become root.
    8. Do make install.
    9. Restart your computer, but watch out for kudzu. That means that if a blue-and-red screen comes up asking you something about 3Com, say "IGNORE"

    That may resolve your problems. It also may eat all the cheese.

  7. Q: How do I make ALSA work?
    A: You can get ALSA RPMs for Fedora Core from the Fedora Core 1 FreshRPMs

    At a minimum, you need alsa-driver and the kernel-module-alsa for your processor. (For example, I have an athlon, so I need kernel-module-alsa-0.9.8-4.fr_2.4.22_1.2115.nptl.athlon.rpm

    You also most likely need alsa-lib and alsa-utils.

    Make sure that you download the normal RPMs, and not the Source RPMs (Source RPMs end in .src.rpm).

    You will then need to configure ALSA for your computer. Pick your card out of the ALSA soundcard matrix for instructions.

    For more information about setting up ALSA, see the FreshRPMs ALSA page.

  8. Q: How do I make XMMS play MP3s?
    A: Before I talk about this, you should know: In the United States and other countries, you legally must pay patent royalties to use MP3 players or encoders.

    With that said, the plugins for these things are usually in the repository.

    1. Set up your yum.conf to be able to access (See the question about getting Fedora software)
    2. Open a Terminal.
    3. Become root. (su -)
    4. Type yum install xmms-mp3.
  9. Q: How do I make Rhythmbox play MP3s?
    A: Updated 24 Jan 2004 Remember, there are legal issues. See the XMMS question.

    With that said, there are a few ways to do this:

  10. Q: How do I read my NTFS (Windows NT/2000/XP/2003) drive in Fedora?
    A: Well, now, that's an easy one! The linux-ntfs project has a whole section dedicated to Red Hat and Fedora. If you get lost, just look at the links on the left.

    You can also check out captive-ntfs if you're feeling more adventurous and you want to write to your NTFS drive. (Thanks to prisen for telling me about captive-ntfs!)

  11. Q: How do I edit the menus in the panel?
    A: Warning: Menu editing is disabled for a reason. It can cause crashes, and you can lose whole menus. If you still want to do it, here's how:
    1. Open a Terminal.
    2. Become root. (su -)
    3. cd /etc/gnome-vfs-2.0/modules/
    4. cp default-modules.conf default-modules.conf.withOUT-menu-editing
    5. cp default-modules.conf.with-menu-editing default-modules.conf
    6. Log out and log back in again.

    You should now be able to edit the menus, by right-clicking.

    (Thanks to Gene C. for this. Thanks to Clifford Snow for the warning.)

  12. Q: How do I get Wine to work?
    A: Updated 27 Jan 2004 I have been told that there are RPMs that work out-of-the-box at NewRPMs. Go to the NewRPMs Fedora Repository and get whichever wine RPM has been posted most recently (check the date next to the file), and try installing it. (Thanks to che for the tip.)

    If for some reason you can't use the Wine RPMs (for example, you're using the CrossOver Office version of Wine), you can un-prelink everything, which will solve the Wine-related problems in Fedora:

    1. Become root (su -)
    2. Run prelink -ua
    3. Edit /etc/sysconfig/prelink, and change PRELINK_OPTS=-mR to PRELINK_OPTS="-m --no-exec-shield"
    4. Run prelink -am --no-exec-shield

    This disables exec-shield. Exec-shield lessens the risk of the dreaded "buffer overflow" that most viruses and attacks use to compromise your system. However, as long as you're up-to-date with your updates, you shouldn't be in any more danger after you disable exec-shield.

    Note: You could also edit /etc/prelink.conf and skip everything that related to Wine, but I don't know the specific details on what you'd need to skip. (If you get it working, email me!)

    (Thanks to Carlos Vidal and Jeremy White for the general Wine un-prelink instructions. Thanks to Guy Fraser for the PRELINK_OPTS method. )

  13. Q: Other Miscellanous Issues (Alan Cox's Notes)
    A: Alan Cox was awesome enough to give me this list of issues that he knew about the resolutions for, himself. Later I'll make questions for each of these and add detailed instructions to them. For right now, I thought I ought to just get it all up here for people.
    o	System hangs/reports errors after booting from CD-ROM
    	Add the boot option "ide=nodma".
    o	System hangs after enabling APM
    	Add the boot option "apm=off".
    o	System hangs at random when idle
    	Add the boot option "apm=off". If this does not help try
    	the option "nohlt". Also try "acpi=off" on newer ACPI using
    o	System hangs reporting SCSI timeouts or at the IDE probe
    	and "ide=nodma" does not help.
    	If this is an Intel 440GX board, await errata news
    	For other SMP boards please try "noapic"
    	You may also need to set the BIOS MP to "MP 1.1" if you can
    o	System hangs probing the PCMCIA devices
    	Specify "nopcmcia"
    o	System hangs probing ieee1394/firewire devices
    	Specify "nofirewire"
    o	VIA system hangs activating networking
    	Specify "acpi=off"
    o	System boots to graphical desktop but the desktop appears
    	and then the machine crashes 
    	Boot with "apm=off" and see if this helps. A few laptops
    	have buggy battery query support.
    o	Screen goes blank or crazy after booting (especially LCD panel)
    	Boot with the option "nofb"
    o	System crashes erratically
    	When reporting this if you can also verify the memory
    	with memtest86 it helps filter out faulty systems.
    o	AMD Multiprocessor
    	Dual Athlon systems require up to date BIOS versions or you
    	may see hangs. In addition most of them require a PS/2 mouse
    	is present to avoid random hangs when using IDE
    o	USB or networking fails on VIA chipset multiprocessor machine
    	Specify the option "noapic"
    o	SIS chipset SMP systems
    	"noapic" may be required due to an incompatibility with the Intel
    	APIC behaviour in some SIS parts.
    o	APIC error messages appear or the system hangs at high load
    	Try with the option "noapic" selected.
    o	Compaq DL360
    	Requires "ide=nodma"
    o	Sony Vaio
    	Sometimes requires "pci=off" is specified as a boot option
    	during install but not after install. This is due to interactions
    	between Linux and the Vaio's PCMCIA CD-ROM boot magic.
    	If you have problems try the following options
    	"pci=off ide1=0x180,0x386"
    	For Vaio PCG-F180 models, Rafael Rivera noted that the 
    	following works: 
    	linux pci=off ide0=0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 ide1=0x170-0x177,0x376
    o	Sound does not work
    	If you have a USB webcam with microphone unplug this and
    	retest if possible. There is a known problem with the sound
    	system trying to use the USB webcam as primary sound system
    o	No CD audio
    	Linux systems use the analog CD audio link rather than digital
    	ripping as some new systems do. Check the machine has a CD audio
    	cable fitted
    o	USB keyboard works at the boot prompts but not later
    	If neccessary boot the system with "nousb". This should
    	let you get the system booted.
    o	USB keyboard does not work in boot loader (grub)
    	Ensure the USB legacy support is enabled in the BIOS
    	If the problem remains try an install using Lilo and
    	please file a bug.
  14. Q: d00d you skuc
    A: Wow, that's a great question.


    1. Rub your hands together really fast.
    2. Wait.
    3. Goats.

...a Debian install reminds [me] of installing MS-DOS 4.01, but they didn't ship the last diskette. --ByteEnable.

This FAQ is maintained by Max Kanat-Alexander. That's maxka at myrealbox dot com or Avatraxiom in #fedora on FreeNode. He wrote this FAQ entirely from things that he himself knows how to do, with exceptions where noted. :-)