Fedora release 16 (Verne) Upgrade Notes

I upgraded to Fedora 16. This laptop started out on FC14 and now is running FC16. I’ve managed to do it without a re-install.

Gnome is steadily improving, in a direction I am not interested in going. The UI continues to be unappealing, the lack of themes and configuration for keybindings (which continually have my hacks reset) makes Gnome worthless trash for a serious Linux user. The theming community produces the most hilarious amounts of bitching with comments similar to “Oh killer theme, how do I downgrade GNOME so I can use it?” Even the hacks don’t carry over. This continues on with GNOME into FC16 and it’s clearly GNOME’s problem.

KDE on the other hand, seems to get broken somewhere between FC16 and FC16’s upgrade to the newer 3.1 kernel. (3.1.0 versus 3.1.1). At least part of this is due to the intel graphics chipset in my laptop taking a huge crap on the kernel upgrade, so X didn’t come up correctly the first few times. The fix follows to be run as root:

  1. init 1
  2. rm -rf /tmp/*
  3. rm -rf /home/knarrj/.kde.*
  4. yum update intel\*
  5. yum reinstall kdebase


Start KDE in safe mode, disable compositing, let it settle. The stupid neopumk or whatever it’s called semantic desktop service will cause the machine to chug. Disable that trash since it can’t be uninstalled and your desktop will be a lot faster.

Post configuration crap – all your network settings will be gone. Your desktop theme will most likely be gone. However, if you got bit by the KDE not working correctly after upgrade bug where KIO kills itself, then your fix is here!

hh, too many forks, PIDs got reused, we’re confused

I’m not entirely sure I’m in love with EXT4. I’ve installed OpenSuSE 11.2 on my laptop (64bit, SMP) and I said “WOW EXT4 IS OUT LETS USE BLEEDING EDGE FILESYSTEMS WHAT COULD POSSIBLE GO WRONG?”


This laptop has a slow, slow harddrive, so I figured any filesystem doing bleeding edge fast stuff might help. My previous favorite was XFS which I’ve had nothing but fantastic luck with. EXT3 was also nice on the servers and was bulletproof, although noticeably slower than XFS. EXT4 is fine until you put the filesystem under load. It’s blazing fast until it runs out of cache, and then you’re screwed hard waiting for it to catch up. In my case I managed to blow it by coping my documents directory I backed up to my other PC back to my laptop (about 6GB worth of crap) while running X, firefox and setting up YAST update sources. I thought things were going way too well when we hit the commit wall. The drive was on solid, and I could move the mouse. Clicking on things resulted in the drive chugging for a bit and then slowly starting the animation. Nothing ever launched. Eventually I couldn’t even kill X. I ended up pulling the plug.

The good news is that it recovers gracefully from a crash. The dreaded “empty file” error didn’t happen to me, but I’m marginally pissed the filesystem will let you outrun it catastrophically. That being said, when I restarted the SCP, I got the cryptic error: hh, too many forks, PIDs got reused, we’re confused…