Convert Microsoft to LINUX: Latest CentOS Scientific-Linux OracleLinux Fedora Mandriva Install

This section will feature info on the latest CentOS, Scientific-Linux, OracleLinux, Fedora, Red Hat and Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) Linux Distributions. You may want to download the latest install guide as a reference for this section. This is version 6.2 and I will try and keep it updated.

Fedora Linux

Fedora in its latest form is available here . You can find the installation guide here . It is now called Fedora 21 and it works on the x86, AMD64, and Intel 64 chip architectures. It is very similar to CentOS and made by the same folks Red Hat folks. You have to do a little bit of tweaking to get it probably installed. If you have two monitors, i.e. a Netbook and an external monitor, you will need to modify the file located in /etc/systemd/logind.conf to be as it is here
Otherwise, when you close the netbook, your session will be suspended. Look for the line above victor added please.

Also when you do the install it is a bit tricky to point to the partition you want to use. You have to click on the plus button to get the mount option and then you have to set it to reformat the partition. Make sure you choose ext4 that is the standard partition type. You then need to go in the upper left hand corner and click on done. Also when selecting your disc and doing the custom partitioning at the bottom you will see:
boot installation summary Click on this and uncheck the box to install the boot loader. Then things will be nice and easy for you!

Upgrading from Fedora 22 to 23

This is a little bit tricky. It would be easiest to use the
yum install fedup
This will work fine if you are not on a multiboot Linux system. I am always on a multiboot. The problem is when it reboots after downloading all the packets, it does not know which menu.lst or grub config file to modify. Below I have outlined how to do this manually for you other multiboot folks.

You need to type in these commands one by one as root, waiting till each is completed:
rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-21-$(uname -i)
yum update yum
yum clean all
yum --releasever=21 distro-sync
Fedora 23 splits into different products:
workstaion , cloud or server. Execute one of those commands:
yum install system-release-workstation
yum install system-release-cloud
yum install system-release-server
Change to server or cloud as appropriate. I just did a netbook install as workstation Many people report (e.g. bugs 1035326, 1044184, 1002331) that after upgrade some files have incorrect SELinux context. It is recommend to run:
restorecon -R /
This last bit was very important. I was then able to log in. Otherwise you just get a blue sky with clouds and nothing happens. You may have to hold down the ctrl-alt-f1 key to get to a text terminal prompt. Do an init 2 after logging in as root and type the restorecon -R / command to restore the config file from the previous version of Fedora.You may also find your printer is not accepting jobs. Click on Administration | Configure Printer
You then need to put a check in the box to accept jobs . One last cosmic note. Everything in the universe is connected. After doing this printing not only worked on my Fedora, but also on my other systems such as Pear Linux when it never worked properly!


CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is now at version 6.2 as of December 2011 and available here . The easiest thing to do is to first download the netinstall.iso which is a lot smaller. You can burn it as a CD and then boot from the CD. When you do the net install you want to select url and put in the appropriate reference, i.e. for i386 or for 64 bit machines . Note, if you already have a Linux system installed, i.e. Ubuntu, the new Grub2 will automatically detect CentOS and change the grub.cfg file appropiately. If it does not you can type in Ubuntu update-grub at the command line. The default in CentOS is to use ext4 now like Ubuntu for partitioning and formatting the drive. You can choose the minimal install if you are doing a server and do not need a GUI interface.

For those of you who insist on a GUI interface, I spent a few days trying to get the Fluxbox (light interface Desktop) on there which is like Xfce4 that I mentioned on the FreeBSD web page on this site. After a few days, I broke down and installed the Gnome Desktop which was not easy. This is because CentOS does not really support GUI's easily. There are conflicting versions out there of Gnome on Redhat and in the Extras repository. This is what finally worked for me on CenotOS 6.2:
yum install firefox
yum install gnome-desktop
yum install Xorg
yum install gdm
yum install xdm
yum install gnome-session
yum install gnome-media
yum install gnome-terminal
yum install gnome-panel*
OK, that last one puts a lot of files out there 67 to be exact, but just take it and it will be all right. Finally go to your home directory, i.e. home/victor and type:
and you are good to go! Enjoy!

Scientific Linux

Scientific-Linux used to be called Fermi Linux and is used in Fermi Labs in Chicago, USA and CERN Labs in Geneve, Switzerland. It is another Redhat based RPM type Linux. You can install it by going here to get the latest release . Note, I download version 6.1 of the mini-CD consisting of 389 Meg. The easiest way to install it is to type:
sudo dd if=/home/victor/linux/sci-linux.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M
to copy your iso CD to the USB drive as you did for all the other Linux distros. I assume here your flash drive is /dev/sdb that it is the second hard drive on your machine. As usual have three partitions:
/boot / (the root directory) Linux Swap
You can get by with 200 or 400 meg for the /boot partition and 1000 Meg for the Linux Swap partition. Here is the file for the /etc/icewm/menu in case you need to customize it. That is using the nice very light desktop interface that is my favorite the icewm session and window manager. I used this on FreeBSD also.

I really like how quick and easy this installed. It was a lot easier to work with than Centos, though it is under the covers just another flavor of Centos. It is real strict about security. Would only let me sftp out, normal ftp is not allowed. Enjoy and know that you are in the company of some brillant string physicists when you are using this!

Oracle Linux

OracleLinux is also known as unbreakable Linux. It is based on Red Hat Enterprize Linux. In fact in its current version 6.2 after downloading it from the Oracle Edelivery website it will say Santiago Red Hat Enterprize Linux 6.2 in your bootloader and not even mention Oracle. Unfortunately the netinstall does not work like in Scientific-Linux and Centos, so you need to first download the DVD Disc 1 .iso file which is about 3.0 Gig. That is all you need, but I additionally downloaded the netinstall (minimal install file) which is only 189 Meg. Pick appropriately 32 or 64 bit when you download. Burn the netinstall file to the usb stick port with:
dd if=/home/victor/netinstall_oracle.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M
and put it in the usb port. Put the DVD file in your DVD reader/burner. Then when you do the netinstall reference CD/DVD and it will find your DVD. I could not find any repo images on the network that it could detect. It could not even detect the images when I copied them on to my normal big hard disk. Note once this is installed, after picking basic server it is real bear bones. It does not even give you an IP address for the server. Now, that is security. So sit down at the console and type
You will already have curl built in so you can browse the web in a text way with:
to see this page. You may want to add some repos to do this that are not normally included. Run:
yum list
to see what you currenly have available to install.

One final note, if you have an Asus eeePC boot from the second recovery kernel entry
The first entry will hang your machine giving you the dreaded
kernel panic
that is the Linux equivalent of the Microsoft Windows blue screen of death, but hey no panic on the Titanic! as my uncle says in Berlin.


Mandriva for November 2011 is available here . It is a vast improvement over the Mandrake 10.1. The wireless support is a lot better. It is detailed in my wireless section. The hardware detection is fabulous. It has a much fuller feature set including Personal Information Management calendars, a nice media player, a good Adobe style PDF reader and can even detect external USB DVD/CD drives. The new version of Webmin for administering your servers is really nice.

Old Fedora on the MAC G3/G4/G5

The older version of Fedora is nice as it is was the only free Linux Distro that works on the MAC Power PC (G3 G4 G5) chip. Make sure you click on the ppc directory to get it in the link above. Note, there is a a problem with the detection for the sound card. You need to edit the file /etc/rc.local and add this line to it:
modprobe snd-powermac
right at the very top. You also need to install a plugin with Mozilla Firefox to get Flash working. You can install one or both of these by typing this at a terminal prompt when you are root:
yum -y install gnash-plugin
yum -y install swfdec-mozilla plugin
Note this is a little buggy and still will not work with In the long run, Adobe needs to write a proper flash module that will work on the Power PC chip. Please file a feature request on the website . If you can get to it, add to the feature/bug request I already filed at: website . Aside from not getting your Flash properly working totally this is a great distro giving you the standard mysql, perl, php , python and the Apache web server. Of course you also get Open Office Version 2.4

There is a way for you to see You Tube Videos and Democracy Now programs along with Internet TV using the Miro free program which works on all Linux and MAC platforms. The images are really sharp and the sound is great.

Enjoy !