Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Fedora Core 2-based Soekris System Operational

I'm not a big Linux user, but a lot of people like Fedora Core. Using the same methodology I used with FreeBSD and OpenBSD, I just installed Fedora Core 2 on a spare HDD on my laptop, then transferred that HDD to the Soekris.

Here are a few notes on peculiarities of Fedora. I chose a "custom installation," and selected "no packages." That still deployed about 562 MB of packages as part of the base OS installation. Thankfully only the first CD was needed. When I finished the installation, I rebooted the laptop to edit key files to allow serial access. I made important changes to /etc/grub.conf, thanks to this Remote Serial Console HOWTO:

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda2
# initrd /initrd-version.img
serial --unit=0 --speed=9600 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1
terminal --timeout=10 serial console
title Fedora Core (2.6.5-1.358)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.5-1.358 ro root=LABEL=/ console=tty0 console=ttyS0,9600n8
initrd /initrd-2.6.5-1.358.img

After editing /etc/grub.conf, I shut down the laptop and moved the HDD to the Soekris. When it booted, I didn't see the Grub menu as expected. I hit return a few times and then saw boot messages scroll by. Kudzu started, due to the hardware differences between my laptop and the Soekris. Although the screen wasn't as legible as I would have hoped, I could still make out the text and configuration options. I chose to deinstall the laptop hardware no longer present on the Soekris, like its NIC, sound card, and so on. Kudzu then asked to install the Soekris National Semiconductor DP83815 MacPhyter NICs and Compaq ZFMicro Chipset USB. Along the way it also asked if I approved of making changes top /etc/inittab and /etc/securetty. It appears to have made these changes:


co:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty ttyS0 9600 vt100



The addition to /etc/inittab appears to enable the serial console. The addition to /etc/securetty allows root to log in over the serial console.

Unlike FreeBSD but like OpenBSD, it appears Fedora Core 2 does not recognize my Linksys USB200M 10/100 NIC. Here is the uname, netstat, and df outputs for reference. Note the filesystem layout is the result of "autopartition." I've never understood why Red Hat doesn't create separate partitions for /, /usr, /var, /tmp, and so on.

uname -a
Linux localhost.localdomain 2.6.5-1.358 #1 Sat May 8 09:04:50 EDT 2004 i586 i586 i386 GNU/Linux

netstat -natup
Active Internet connections (servers and established)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name
tcp 0 0* LISTEN 1652/rpc.statd
tcp 0 0* LISTEN 1633/portmap
tcp 0 0* LISTEN 1827/sendmail: acce
tcp 0 0 :::22 :::* LISTEN 1806/sshd
tcp 0 672 ::ffff: ::ffff:10.2.2:57811 ESTABLISHED 2160/0
udp 0 0* 1652/rpc.statd
udp 0 0* 1179/dhclient
udp 0 0* 1652/rpc.statd
udp 0 0* 1633/portmap

df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda2 55G 548M 51G 2% /
/dev/hda1 99M 5.9M 88M 7% /boot
none 63M 0 63M 0% /dev/shm


Serg said...

I consider Fedora as reliable Operational system.

OS Wingows less reliable

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