I upgraded my computers from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora Core 2 during the summer break (one computer was a new installation). As has become my practice, I describe my workarounds to the problems that I experienced. Fedora Core 2 presented more problems than my Fedora Core 1 experience (which might be useful for Fedora Core 2) with one issue not completely resolved. This was definitely not a newbie-friendly experience.
Here is some background information.
I downloaded Fedora Core 2 from an assortment of mirrors. There are 5 CDs to download, so I ftped them from 5 different mirrors overnight. I had to restart one of them in the middle of the night. Then I used the cdrecord command to write the CDs (by the way cdrecord -scanbus is very useful).
I upgraded 4 Intel machines and created a new installation in another. At work, I have a Dell Workstation and a Dell laptop. At home, I have an old Gateway (was still running Window 95 dual boot, but now has been given away) and a one-year old and a new "Neocomputer". Neocomputers is one of those places that will build your machine from the parts you select. I picked Neocomputers because their selection matched what I wanted, their price was good, and their customer satisfaction seemed ok, though not great (based on online customer comments from various sources). Currently, one of the 512MB memory sticks in the new machine was bad, so I returned it. I am currently waiting for the replacement.
For my machines, I use KDE and try to load as few GNOME packages as possible. Loading as few packages as possible becomes acute on the Gateway because I "only" have a 2GB Linux partition. For historical comparison, Redhat 4.2 comfortably fit in a 200MB partition 7 years ago. Ah, those were the days.
In any case, each machine presented its own idiosyncratic problems (or lack or them), so that is how the remainder of this document will be organized, from oldest machine to newest.
There is a clever workaround, due to Éibhear Ó hAnluain. This is not recommended for newbies. It is very easy to muck things up. Backup anything important first. You will want to read those instructions in addition to mine.
The problem is that /images/diskboot.img on the first CD is much too large for a floppy. The workaround is to set up your current linux to boot from this image.
First copy the files from the image to your hard disk:
mkdir /mnt/loop mount -o loop /mnt/cdrom/images/diskboot.img /mnt/loop mkdir /boot/fc2install cp /mnt/loop/* /boot/fc2install/
Now if you are using GRUB insert:
title Fedora Core 2 install root (hd0,0) kernel /boot/fc2install/vmlinuz initrd /boot/fc2install/initrd.imginto your /etc/grub.conf file. You may need to use something other than root (hd0,0) in your Grub file. Just copy the root line from another section of your file. This should allow you to select Fedora Core 2 install when you boot.
If you are using LILO, insert:
image=/boot/fc2install/vmlinuz label=fc2install initrd=/boot/fc2install/initrd.img append="ramdisk_size=8192" root=/dev/sda1into your /etc/lilo.conf file, and run /sbin/lilo -v. You may need to use something other than root=/dev/sda1 in your Lilo file. Just copy the root line from another section of your file. This should allow you to select fc2install when you boot.
After this, the upgrade appeared to go smoothly, but on the first boot, X crashed. Booting in single mode, I was unable to fix it. My guess at the problem is that I've been using Redhat/Fedora since Redhat 4.2, so my configuration files were a mess.
So I decided to start from scratch (backup your data first), first creating a new installation with Fedora Core 1 (which has an installation boot floppy), then installing Fedora Core 2 (which doesn't, grrr). After that, X worked fine.
I downloaded and installed two packages: alsa-utils-1.0.4-0 and alsa-driver-1.0.4-0. The alsa-driver package has the alsaconf program, and the alsa-utils package is needed to resolve a dependency.
When I ran alsaconf, it failed to completely figure out my sound by itself. I needed to select "generic 4231" as the "ISA card" to configure (this Dell has a Crystal 4237B chip for sound).
Regarding the new machine, I needed to repartition the hard drive, as all 80GB were devoted to one NTFS partition. Rather than reinstall Windows XP from scratch, I employed a method I found to resize the NTFS partition. The strange thing about this method is that it tells you to use a size that is much larger than the space used. In my case I had about 3 to 4GB of files in my NTFS partition and this method told me that the new partition had to be at least 36GB. And yes, I defragmented the NTFS partition before I did the resizing. Oh well, I only wanted a 15GB partition for Linux, which will probably be good enough for a few years. I did this by creating NTFS partitions in Windows XP leaving about 15GB free for a Linux partition.
Finally, Fedora Core 2 has an infamous problem with new installations: it rewrites the partition table so that MS Windows cannot boot. Knowing about this problem in advance, I found these instructions to be very useful. By carefully following them, I had no problems with the installation or with booting Windows XP.