My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Getting Fedora 17 running on my netbook.

Okay, okay. I do need Fedora to study for the LPIC 2.

(Looking really carefully at Mint, for when I'm done and the root partition fills up.)

So, getting Fedora updated to v. 17 --

Start with the netinstall image. Use Fedora 16 live USB utility to load it onto a USB thumb drive.

yum install liveusb-creator

if you need it. (You can get the utility for MSWindows, too. And see the Fedora wiki on it for more details and options. It looks like there's a tool for Debian, too, I need to check that.)

I had to run liveusb-creator from the command line with the option to write the MBR (as suggested when it wrote the image the first time). The first try without the fix failed, but the second try with the MBR fixed worked. The command line with the option looks like this:

liveusb-creator -m
liveusb-creator --reset-mbr

The MBR may have been the reason my attempts at dd-ing the image didn't work.

So much, so good. Boot the USB image, either by using the BIOS settings to give USB devices priority in the boot order, or, if your BIOS supports it, by watching the first few seconds of bootup and hitting the key that it says allows you to choose the boot media.

I installed the minimal because I really wanted to keep control of the process. Was very careful to select custom layout. (Do not select any thing else or you will lose your data, if you are trying to do a "fresh" install like I was doing.)

Only set it up to grab the old swap partition and /tmp partition and the old root partition. Was very, very careful not to touch the old /home partition. (Did I say that enough times?)

Should have copied out the /etc first. Should have gotten a list of installed packages from yum before I shot myself in the foot trying to upgrade from F16 to F17 the easy way that doesn't work.

Gave it a root password, but no other users. Didn't want to have clutter in /home, since that is where the old home partition will mount.

Next, I asked around, to see if splitting /usr off after a successful install might work, and, no, the boot process needs stuff they've gone and moved to /usr. (See my diatribe linked above about root filling up.) So I'm stuck with a small monolithic root partition.

So, (if /dev/sda10 is my /home partition) log in as root and (back up /dev/sda10 first and)
blkid /dev/sda10 > home_uuid.text
vi /etc/fstab home_uuid.text
and use the :next and :prev vi commands to ytl (yank) the uuid and paste it in appropriately for the new line for the /home partition (saved in /dev/sda10).

Write fstab out (":wq") and quit vi and

mount -a

to bring the /home partition in and check your fstab. (Make sure you ls -la /home to be sure you didn't mistake the old /var partition for the old /home partition.)

Now, "useradd" with the "-u" option for the old user-ids and "--home" option appropriately for assigning the old home directories that are now in place.

yum install gpm

for using the mouse in a virtual console. Very handy, especially the right-click trick, to save you from typos.

yum groupinstall "X Window System"
yum groupinstall "Xfce"
[Update 30 Dec.: Had to take a break and go shopping at this point last night.]

and, lo, and behold,

systemctl start

starts your XFCE desktop.

ls -l /etc/systemd/system/ 
ls -l /lib/systemd/system/

to make sure you see what you are doing.

rm /etc/systemd/system/

(Use sudo if you are being smart and are logged in as a non-root member of the wheel group.) Link the one in /lib in where you just removed the old link to multi-user. (Why was that the obsolete run-level-3 on mine?) Don't get the order wrong, or you'll cause yourself a world of hurt. (I wonder if there is a gui tool for this to protect you from when you fall asleep at the keyboard.)

ln -s /lib/systemd/system/ \ /etc/systemd/system/ 
(One line is fine, in which case you don't need the "\". And notice the difference between /lib and /etc and which one the symbolic link you are replacing is under.)

And, now that I have done that, I have to go wading through all the cool tools I had installed and bring them back in, one by one, starting with Firefox and fbreader and gcc and hexedit and lazarus and ....

(No, wait, lazarus is down the road a bit.)

[Update 31 Dec.:]
Oh. I want to leave a note to myself, from a post on the fedora user list archives.

When moving stuff, like moving the /var directory from the new OS to the /var partition from the old OS, mounted temporarily on /mnt, rsync seems to be your friend:

rsync -avxHSAX /var/* /mnt
diff -r /var /mnt 

  • -a => archive
  • -v => verbose
  • -x => don't cross file system boundaries
  • -H => preserve hard links
  • -S => do sparse files efficiently
  • -A => preserve ACLs
  • -X => preserve extended attributes

and that seems (as shown by the recursive diff) to handle the file links better than
cp -a

  • -a => archive or same as -dR --preserve=all

Theoretically, this is what I want to do when cloning or backing up a drive.

More stuff to play with study in my spare time that I never have.

(Mustn't forget to umount the partition before mkfs and, oh, best to boot from a live USB or CD so the OS isn't playing around and writing in the drive one is trying to copy as one tries to copy it. And such things.)

And one more thing. fixfiles -fF relabel is best not to do directly.
touch .autorelabel
and reboot, instead.

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