Rebuild Linux PCs at Work

Today is the Friday before Labor Day in the United States.  Many of the employees of the client I support are off today.  So I am taking this opportunity to rebuild my Fedora Core 11 PC (completed) and my Ubuntu 9.04 PC.  I am also building a new Windows XP PC for R&D.

So far everything is going well.

Of course I backed up my Ubuntu PC using rsync to an external HDD.  Since I decided to rework my partitions I also backed up the /home directory too.  Everything is being built from scratch.  Hopefully I can have everything finished by end of business today.

Installed Fedora Core 11

A few days a go I downloaded installed Fedora Core 11 from DVD onto an HP D530 Desktop Tower.

  • Intel Pentium D (dual processors) @ 3.4GHz
  • 1 GB RAM (DDR2)
  • 160 SATA HDD
  • Intel Video
  • HP L1706 LCD

The installation went well.  Both Gnome and KDE 4.3 are installed (I lke KDE 4.3 graphics but I still prefer Gnome) with almost every application available at initial setup.  I also installed Samba Server (so I can host or share files) and  the client so I can connect to Window shares and the Samba share on my Ubuntu PC.

After getting the system up and running, I immediately went to How to Forge and access the Perfect Fedora Gnome post.  Once again falco’s directions were perfect. I followed every step – minus a few applications I didn’t want.

So now I started to customised my new FC 11 PC.  I enabled Desktop Effects to see if by some chance I can have the spinning desktop cube and the wobble when I drag open windows.  Amazingly enough I have them.  Must be a fluke – better reboot to check.  I have Desktop Effects!!!  This is something I cannot enable on my Ubuntu PC at home (remember it’s 7.5 years old with an old NVIDIA GForece 2 card) and my Ubuntu PC at work.  The only thing I can get with the Ubuntu work PC is wobble movement.

The first annoyance I ran into was the sudo command.  Every time I used it I to install anything via command line, I  received an error stating I am not listed in the sudoers file.  So I searched the Internet and found out I need to run su –login -c ‘visudo’ to add my local account.  OK – what are the commands for this program?  Good luck finding out.  If someone has them, drop me a line or let me know where to find them.  So now getting sudo rights became a PINTA (Pain IN the Ass).  To make a long story short – I ran su at the Terminal, ran nautilus to get to the sudoers file, change the permissions so root can write to it, ran gedit as root, found this line ## Allow root to run any commands anywhere added my local account with this line george    ALL=(ALL)     ALL, saved the file and closed gedit.  I also had to reset the permissions back to Read Only.  Finallyin terminal I entered sudo whoami received the correct response of root.  Like I said PINTA.

I can access my Samba shares, my Windows shares, get to the Internet, run Pidgin, installed a HP LaserJet 4200 network printer, and installed a HP OfficeJet Pro K550 network printer.

However I need to install Terminal Server Client (tsclient) so I can RDC to the Microsoft servers I support.  I know there are other applications that came with FC 11, but I am familiar with Terminal Server Client and I like it.  Installation was easy – at the terminal window enter sudo yum install tsclient.  After installation I created a connection to one of my Windows 2003 servers.  Everything worked well and i can run the application just like I can on my Ubuntu PC and within Vista’s Remote Desktop Connection (RDC).  A downside I experienced was the import option within tsclient – it would not allow me to import the connections I made on my Ubuntu PC.  Possible bug or a incompatibility issue.  When I get more time I might look into this.

I also wanted to install No Machine server and client on my FC 11 PC.  Just save the RPM files to a download folder and run Package Installer in the following order:

  • nxclient
  • nxnode
  • nxserver

Time to test.  I was able to establish a connection to my Ubuntu PC with no problems.  Worked just like it’s suppose to.  I then created a server / host connection on my FC 11 PC.  For some reason I was not able to connect.  Of course the error was cryptic and told me to check the var/log/messages file on my host PC.  Even more cryptic was the log file, but I Googled the error and found several posts in the Fedora wiki regarding issues with NX Server.  Turn out the problem is with the host file.  You need to add you computer name on the first line example would be pcdev68.domain name. Now I can connect from my Ubutnu and two Vista PCs to my FC 11 PC from anywhere on the network.

Since I’m not planning on using KDE 4.3 and I got the OK to wipe out the Windows partition on the PC, I might spend some time within the next week or so and rebuild the PC.  Of course I’ll copy off that sudoers file and some of the other configurations I made first.

So far I like FC 11.  When I ran FC 2 and FC 3  way back when, I was new to Linux and found some thing to be difficult.  And to be honest some thing are still difficult.  I think using openSUSE 9.x – 11.1 and Ubuntu 8.04 – 9.04 gave me a stonger background into Linux.  I don’t consider myself to be a complete noob, but I have much to learn before I would even consider myself an expert.  Maybe I should look into a certified Linux Professional course and exam.

Fedora Core 11

This afternoon during lunch, I downloaded Fedora 11, burned it to CD, and ran it on a test PC at work.  The PC is an HP D530 Intel P4 running at 3.00 GHz, 2 GB of Ram, and 80 GB SATA hard drive, and a unknown video card connect to a 22″ Samsung wide-screen. Currently I am writing this post using the Live User session from the CD and it works nicely.  I was pleasantly surprise that I was able to enable the Desktop Effects to have the spinning cube and wobbly windows.  Usually I have no luck with that kind of stuff.

I was going through the menu and found a cool program called Palimpsest Disk Utility. I selected drive sda and it told me the drive was running for 4.25 hours (which I know is incorrect because the PC never turns off), the current temperature, when it was last tested and updated, and assessment.  I can click on the Details button and see all kinds on information such as Spinup Time, Seek Error Rate, Write Error Rate, plus a slew of other attributes.  there is also a Self Test button which I do not want to run because this PC is a production unit, and if I goof and wipe out the hard drive, I’ll have to rebuild.

If I get a chance, I’ll have to install it on a test PC to check out the other features and see what’s new and different between FC11 and Ubuntu 9.04.  But as of right now, my work day is over and I need to head home to be with the family.