Rogue Fedora Install Guide

Why

Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution. If it’s not your favorite, that’s OK. We can still be friends. There are good reasons to prefer other distributions. But my decision making process leads me to Fedora.

However Fedora is not without its problems. It’s strict policy against nonfree software makes it hard for a user to get certain components like Wi-Fi working. I agree with the policy but something must be done to help users get their machines working until the time of nirvana when all software and firmware is free. That is assuming that nirvana ever comes to pass. Therefore I’m creating this guide.

In addition to the free software policy there is also the problem of the inherent usability issues with Gnome 3. These can be fixed, but a user must know how to fix them. I must point out that these problems are not the fault of Fedora as they simply are trying to provide Gnome as the creators of Gnome intended.

The fault lies squarely on the Gnome project for failing to follow the appropriate engineering practices required for user interfaces, particularly usability testing and the incorpation of the results of usability testing back into the product. Instead of proper usability testing, they are trying to force users to conform to a theoretical idea of “good” usability created by a single group or person without any basis in practice. This is the exact same mistake that Microsoft made with Windows 8. It didn’t follow the use case of any real user. They just made it up and tried to force it on their users. However, Microsoft has actually done better than Gnome because they at least listened to they’re users and fixed the problems with the release of Windows 10. Gnome refuses to listen to their users and is apparently happy to see them abandon Fedora and Gnome for Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Purpose

To fill in the information that is missing from the standard guides from the Fedora project. I don’t fault Fedora for not providing the information. It all has to do with the issues I described above.

Planned Posts

These are some things I’ve been working on that I plan on posting soon:

  1. How to compile & setup cc65 on Fedora, Ubuntu, and Windows.
  2. How to create a cc65 project.
  3. How to install Apple Commander to access floppy disk images.
  4. How to compile & run GSport.
  5. How to setup AppleWin on Windows and on Linux under Wine.
  6. How to build out a real Apple II to run like a modern computer.
  7. How to develop for 6502-based computers on Linux.

Linux PowerPC – From Lubuntu to Debian 7.7

An update to Lubuntu PPC broke Java. All the available JITs would not run because of a new function call that was not implemented in them. Java would run but without any JIT, which made it so exceedingly slow that it might as well not worked at all.

I also desired to have my Gnome 3 environment back. Lubuntu’s LXDE is nice for a classic Microsoft Windows style interface. It works very well and looks good. But Gnome is much prettier and more functional (Classic mode is all I get on this machine). It really looks great on my PowerBook G4’s screen.

So, I switched back to Debian Stable which is currently at version 7.7. Java works again. And I have Gnome 3 Classic. Happiness.

Debian PowerPC Setup

Installation

You have to be connection because the install does not support wireless. You’ll end up with a non-functional system if you don’t have an ethernet wire connected during the install.

Sudo

After everything is installed I’m still not setup with sudo permissions. One either has to add oneself to the sudo group, which results in having to type your password every time you issue a sudo command or create a file in /etc/sudoers.d with your name in it.

Solution 1: Add yourself to the sudo group:

usermod --groups sudo --append bill

Solution 2: Create a file in /etc/sudoers.d. I named it sudoers-custom:

bill    ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

Apt Package Setup

Append “contrib” and “non-free” to the lines in /etc/apt/sources.list so that you can get the necessary software.

WiFi

https://wiki.debian.org/bcm43xx

Look at dmesg to get the device name. Mine is:

[   14.140849] b43-phy0: Broadcom 4306 WLAN found (core revision 5)

Run:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

That installs the necessary firmware, but what the instructions don’t say is that you have to reload the kernel module (or reboot, which is silly) afterward to bring up the device.

sudo rmmod b43

sudo modprobe b43

Then you can configure your wireless settings via Gnomes network applet in the upper right corner of the screen.