Fedora Core 4 : Available

After miserably failing to installed FC3 on my 1997 computer (10GB Harddisk, 64MB RAM, 600MHz Intel Celeron (Coppermine)) I was finally able to install it on my Laptop, with 1.5 GHz Pentium M (Centrino), 40GB Harddisk, 512MB RAM, DVD-CDRW, (and all other Wireless specifications…).

FC3 took just under 30 min to install. I partioned by 40 GB Harddisk to 32GB for XP, 6GB for FC3 and remaining 2GB for a Shared FAT32 Drive (Cause NTFS Support in linux is still in experimental stage and I don’t want to mess up my XP).

This time my laptop touchpad (As it is PS/2) was working unlike my serial mouse on 1997 Computer and I did install the linux in Graphical Mode. Initially I tried to parition my harddisk using Disk Druid only, but it fails. It cannot resize my XP as NTFS is not supported. I tried to use ‘parted’ but it also fails. So I had to use Partition Magic. I downloaded Partition Magic, 87MB from Limewire, but it turned out to be German Edition! I somehow (using german dictionary) translated it and partitioned my harddisk.

Anaconda (FC Installer), Although did give me error when i selected automatic partition option, even though i had created 6GB free space on my harddisk. Eventually I had to manually partition it. It is recommended by the author’s of the linux kernel 2.6.x that a SWAP Partition must be created which should be twice the size of your RAM (If you have 512MB RAM, then size of SWAP partition must be 1024MB), I didn’t create one! It did install without any error even though i didn’t create a SWAP Parrition. I created only a ‘/BOOT’ partition of 110MB, where the boot record and boot files go, and ‘/’ Partition of 7GB (Workstation Installation), where FC3 files go.

FC3 as I told before, is very nice. It comes with all the utilities and program that a common user will need. But as they say “Linux is for a Genius, By a Genius”, is not recommended for normal users. I created a 2GB FAT32 Partition for sharing files between XP and FC3. I expected it to show up as soon as I login, but Alas! I had to mount using ‘mount -t vfat /dev/hda5 /mnt/SHARED’ command and had to edit the /etc/fstab to mount Shared drive every time I login. Although Debian is recommended for user who have shifted to linux, But i would prefer FC4 as softwares bundles provided with debian are old and it take years to release a new version of debian.

After installing on my laptop, I once again tried to install on my computer, after quadchecking the boot partitions and other settings. Result – It did install this time, but didn’t run. I realised that problem is not after all with Anaconda, the problem is with GRUB (GRand Unified BootLoader). The boot loader display the message – “Loading Stage 2”, it fails and system halts. I checked the various bug tracking websites and found that indeed there is a problem with GRUB. It fails on old machine. Anyway i am planning to install Win98 on it, the only OS in the world which could somehow run on my computer.

Overall FC3 is very good, and once you will start working on it, you will simply like it. Fedora Core 4 Is now available for download from fedora.redhat.com,(Use mirror site, something is wrong with their main server, approx 2.5GB). I have not installed FC4 as yet, but according to some forums, FC4 do have a Read/Write support for NTFS. Almost 99% of the people have given thumbs up to FC4. I also hope that they solve the GRUB Problem and do provide other boot loader like LILO with Anaconda.

FC4 is available not only for x86 (32 and 64 bit) but is also available for PowerPC 32bit and also 64bit. So all those people who have macs can install FC4.

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