Archive for November, 2009

Installing Fedora Core 12 (FC12 “Constantine”) on old hardware.

November 30th, 2009 No comments

If you’re anything like me, you always want the latest, shiniest stuff running on your machines, even if you’re not supposed to be able to do so.

I think that this is what FC12 was trying to tell me by flashing a very brief message along the lines of “You do not have enough RAM to run the graphical installer.” whilst trying to do a clean install on an old P3 800Mhz machine (a quick search confirms that I’m not the first to get this). It subsequently kicks into text mode installer, gets your keyboard, partitioning, root password and timezone settings, then goes off and installs exactly 200 packages without even asking you what you want to install.

When it is done doing that, it reboots into runlevel 3 (console) and you get no GUI as you would expect. Obviously with only 200 packages installed, I doubted that any GUI would have been installed anyway and sure enough, startx confirmed that. yum to the rescue? Not quite!

I quickly discovered that I had no working network connection. ifconfig gave me only the loopback (lo) interface and a brief query told me that I had no networking packages installed at all. So I pop in the DVD and mount it, go into the Packages folder and start installing RPMs hoping to get networking working. Eventually, I got stuck in an endless loop of depsolving errors and gave up. The main culprit IIRC was libpolkit-gobject.

I momentarily give up and decide that I have no choice but to reinstall FC11, which turns out to be the solution to my problem. So here is what I did (exactly so I don’t know if variants would work).

  1. Clean install of FC11 (I used the LiveCD for a quick/minimal install)
  2. Changed the runlevel from 5 to 3 in /etc/inittab and rebooted
  3. yum install preugrade
  4. preupgrade-cli “Fedora 12 (Constantine)”
  5. reboot

All commands above ran as root. This put me into a text mode installer for FC12 which installed 1107 packages after which it automatically reboots as I found the machine waiting at the login prompt. So I log in, change back /etc/inittab from 3 to 5 and reboot once again.

I now have FC12 running as expected.

Categories: All, Linux