[ILUG-BOM] Fedora Core 6, Core 2 Duo with DG965RYCK motherboard

Dinesh Joshi dinesh.a.joshi@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Sun Jan 21 19:22:54 IST 2007


Today I installed Fedora Core 6 ( Respin ) on my Core 2 Duo system. The
system's specs are:

- Core 2 Duo E6400 Processor
- DG965RYCK mobo
- 512MB DDR2 @ 533MHz ( It should've been 1024MB but the other sticks
not working )
- 80GB Seagate HDD

No add on cards at all.

Initial impressions:
The system boots up really fast. The board is quite new so requires a
bit of tweaking and playing around. The default FC6 kernel doesnt
support the onboard PATA controller ( JMicron ).

The problem:
Since the kernel doesn't have the driver built in for the JMicron chip,
the kernel boots from the CD but it doesn't find the installation media
and asks for a driver disk or alternative installation methods.

There are two solutions to this problem:
  - You can use a SATA or USB CD/DVD drive instead of a PATA
  - You can pass the following kernel parameters to get it going:
        pci=nommconfig irqpoll all-generic-ide

For the first option to work correctly you should be installing on a
SATA HDD. You also need to change some BIOS settings:

Advanced -> Drive Settings -> SATA -> AHCI ( by default its IDE )

This should get the installer started normally.

Install process:
FC6 has a very intuitive installer. I selected several packages
according to my needs:
 - KDE
 - Development tools / libraries etc.. etc..

The complete install size was around 3.1GB. The system took about 15
mins flat to install everything and it was up. But one word of caution,
Fedora Core's installer, Anaconda, will add only pci=nommconfig kernel
option in grub.conf. You need to manually edit it and add all three
options ( see above ) to get your system booting properly. 

After thoughts:
You can try playing around with the options to suit your need. My
installation was done on a PATA drive. If you have a SATA drive then it
will be much easier since the kernel already has the driver for the SATA
controller hence it wont complain plus it will boot up without the
all-generic-ide option.

If your install is on a SATA drive and you dont see your PATA
CD/DVD/RW/ROM them you need to pass the all-generic-ide option. The
drives will show up properly.

One more problem that was evident after the install was random lockups
with the default kernel. FC6 ( respin ) shipped with the 2.6.18 kernel.
I simply upgraded it to the latest, 2.6.19 i believe, and the random
lock ups went away. Even in this kernel I had to pass all three options
for the system to work normally.

For some, removing the irqpoll option may work. For me it didnt work.
Xorg would come up but for some reason it kept on restarting. I had to
reboot the system and manually add the irqpoll option after which the
system was stable.

I used the respin with the hopes that the updated installer kernel would
not need any tweaking to get it started the steps remain the same for
the official Fedora Core 6 release.

The user experience on this is amazing. I used GNOME ( yes, I was a BIG
KDE fan a while ago but now I am not ) with Compiz enabled ( System ->
Preferences -> Desktop Effects -> Enable ). It rocks! I then installed
beryl ( yum install beryl-gnome ) and its even slicker than compiz. For
intel users its no problem but those with NVidia or ATI will need to get
their proprietary drivers installed and configured first. It worked out
of the box for me.

Some stats:
- GNOME with Beryl enabled with the system working as a http, ftp,
mysql, etc.. etc.. server it consumed about 250MBs of RAM.

- Install takes around 15 minutes to complete ( All 5 CDs required )

- Boot up hardly takes 15 seconds

- System shows a bogomips of approximately 8400 ( both processors
combined )

Hope this helps someone out there who is struggling to get Fedora Core
installed on his/her Core 2 Duo system :P


Dinesh A. Joshi

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