Firewire iSight in Fedora?

Does anyone know how to get a firewire (ieee1394) iSight camera working in Fedora? I would have expected to see a video device come up in the kernel, but I seem to get nothing useful.

Google appears to be saturated with posts about the build in USB iSight cameras which need firmware.. not what I’m after.

Packages libdc1394 libraw1394 libavc139 are all installed. I’m trying to get it to work with Ekiga, but anything like dvgrab would be fine too – I remember in Debian/Ubuntu that I could install some libpt packages to get it working, but no such luck so far in Fedora..

This is what I see in the kernel when I plug it in..
firewire_core: skipped bus generations, destroying all nodes
firewire_core: skipped bus generations, destroying all nodes
firewire_core: giving up on config rom for node id ffc0
firewire_core: rediscovered device fw0
firewire_core: phy config: card 0, new root=ffc1, gap_count=5
firewire_core: phy config: card 0, new root=ffc1, gap_count=5
firewire_core: created device fw1: GUID 000a270004149a86, S400

I can’t see any usable video device being created there. Perhaps there’s a missing kernel driver, not sure.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Omega: Fedora For The Rest of Us

As a part of my three months using Fedora trial, I have written an article for Linux Magazine about Remixes and Omega in particular.

Omega is a Remix of Fedora which includes the RPM Fusion repositories and GStreamer plugins for multimedia codecs by default. It also ships with all the latest updates at the time of release.


Linux on an Apple Xserve EFI only machine

We have a few of these Apple Xserve machines at work which weren’t doing much, so I thought I’d make better use of them. Naturally, this meant installing Linux on them.

These machines do not have a BIOS (or even any emulation), they use EFI and as such won’t boot the standard Linux install media. I knew that Fedora could boot EFI, so that’s where I started, with Leonidas (version 11). Unfortunately, the install media just wouldn’t work on this device, presumably as it has no BIOS emulation.

To cut a long story short, I had to learn how EFI works in order to get it booting and it wasn’t an easy thing to discover!

Continue reading Linux on an Apple Xserve EFI only machine

Flash Fedora

I really really wish YouTube would switch to Theora so that I don’t have to install flash.. maybe one day when Google realises how much they’ll be paying in H.264 royalties.

Anyway, dream on.

So to get Flash working in Fedora it doesn’t work out of the box. Also, if you visit a flash site it tells you to download it manually and that ends up in a whole lot of pain.

I ended up downloading the 64bit version 10 alpha and installing it manually. Flash now works, but the install method is disappointing.

Edit: There’s a better way described in the Fedora Wiki


Fedora – removing unwanted deps?

OK, so I have Fedora running on my main machine (the default GNOME install), more on that later. First I need to understand some basic principles of Yum.

I have Firefox and everything is dandy. I wanted to watch a YouTube clip so I installed gnash-plugin.

Then I wanted to remove it because it wasn’t performing particularly well, but I want to also remove dependencies it has pulled in, leaving my system in the same pristine state it was in before I installed it.

So how do you do this?

I installed the package gnash-plugin with the command:
sudo yum install gnash-plugin

This pulled down three dependencies: agg, boost and gnash itself.

What’s the correct way to remove gnash-plugin and all the dependencies?

If I run:
sudo yum remove gnash-plugin
Then it wants to only remove the gnash-plugin package itself, leaving all the dependencies. Fair enough.

If I run:
sudo yum remove gnash
Then it only wants to remove the gnash-plugin dependency and leaves the rest. Also probably fair enough.

If I run:
sudo yum remove --remove-leaves gnash-plugin
Then it wants to remove all the dependencies plus some others which were not brought in by gnash-plugin like Firefox.

I don’t want to remove Firefox!



Trying Fedora for 3 months

That’s right folks, I’m going to use Fedora (Leonidas) on my main desktop machine for 3 months and see how it goes.

I’ve wanted to do this for ages, but always got put off by Yum. Now that yum isn’t quite as sucky as it used to be, I’m going to try and give Fedora a real shot.

It’s gonna be hard.. I don’t know the Fedora/RedHat way of doing things, so I might need some advice along the way! I’ll post issues that I have up here.

Here goes!! Wish me luck πŸ™‚


Yum still on the menu?

Update: I’ve tried to post my results back to Seth’s thread but it won’t work, so I’ve emailed him instead.

In response to my article comparing Yum and Apt (at least I think it was my article, might have been someone else’s I guess), lead developer of Yum, Seth Vidal, wrote his own test script and performed some Yum benchmarks of his own.

He wrote:

Always a fun comparison. It’d be even more fun if any of the numbers seemed accurate.

His ran his test and concluded that Yum is “pretty good” and offers for others to run the test and post their results. So I did, on the same computer I used for the my article. I also compared the results to Ubuntu, as that’s really what my article was talking about πŸ™‚

So what did I find?

Continue reading Yum still on the menu?

Having Yum for Breakfast

This week I decided to write a comparative article between Yum and Apt (the package managers). Using Fedora 11 and Ubuntu 9.04, I performed various tests and benchmarked both the time and CPU usage they took. But why? Let me explain.

I really like the Fedora project. Really. I like their stance on proprietary drivers and codecs (and of course free software) and these days they seem to be pushing the technological envelope more than others. Sure Red Hat drives the direction of the project somewhat, but I don’t mind Red Hat either.

In fact, I wish I could use Fedora as my main distro! But every time I try it I just get so frustrated with Yum. Sure it’s better than up2date, but it’s so damn slow and annoying. That’s a problem for someone like me who manually updates his package database first thing every morning and checks to see what packages are available and updates the system by hand. Why do I do that? Cause I like to.

But every time I’ve tried to get into Fedora that damn package manager has stopped me. I get frustrated after a day or so. I think the longest I’ve had it on was 2 days before I switched.

Recently I installed Fedora 10 and 11 to see if there was any performance increase. Actually, to tell you the truth I was completely surprised by Yum’s agility and speed. The old Fedora I remember was not to be seen.. or so it felt like anyway.

Hence, I thought it might be good to run some tests to see.

Of course as the article points out, does any of this matter? Do we really need a fast a nimble package manager? Well for me it matters. It matters a great deal. For most users though they probably won’t care, as they just let the package manager do its thing in the background.

Still, it makes for some interesting thoughts. I think.

Yum, it’s starting to get tasty

Matt will attest the fact that I eagerly download each and every new Fedora release, hoping that this release will be one I could see myself using long term. Fedora 11 Leonidas is out and one of the marked improvements is the release of RPM 4.7.0, which has much better memory management. I wanted to see if this translates into performance gains in every day computing and have written an article for Linux Magazine with my findings.