Fedora Core 6 Installation Notes on an Acer Ferrari 3400

[Note] Click here for Fedora 7 installation Notes.

I spent a good chunk of my time trying to upgrade my previous FC5 on an Acer Ferrari 3400. After the upgrade, I got tons of problems of my system. In the end, I decided to do a fresh installation. Here are the notes.

Extra Yum Repositories

Even though the current Fedora has tons of packages. Some of the necessary ones for functional desktop are not included. There are two nice repositories:livna and freshrpms. To use these two repositories, just type:

rpm -ihv http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-6.rpm
rpm -ihv http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/fedora/linux/6/freshrpms-release/freshrpms-release-1.1-1.fc.noarch.rpm

DVD Player

The default player still doesn’t play DVD video. You need xine for this. Type:

yum -y install xine xine-lib xine-skins

Adobe (Macromedia) Flash Player

Go to Adobe’s site to download the player. Extract the file and install it to /usr/lib/mozilla .

tar zxvf install_flash_player_7_linux.tar.gz
cd install_flash_player_7_linux

Media Player

To view quicktime and wmv files, I need mplayer with the browser plug-in. Both livna and freshrpms have mplayer. I disable livna to prevent conflict.

yum -y install --disablerepo=livna mplayer mplayer-skins mplayer-fonts mplayerplug-in

Note that the mplayerplug-in doesn’t always work. I still haven’t figured out a way to get it to work 100%.

NTFS Support

If you have a dual boot system, the ability to read/write NTFS file system is a must. FC6 now supports read and write access to NTFS. To enable it, just use:

yum -y install ntfs-3g

After the package is installed, you can use ntfs-3g to mount the NTFS partitions.

mkdir /mnt/c
ntfs-3g /dev/hda2 /mnt/c

Note that you only need to create the /mnt/c mount point once.

Wireless Card

I used ndiswrapper on FC5 to get the wireless card to work. FC6 now includes support for bcm43xx, but the support is only partial. You still need to extract firmware files from the Windows driver. First, install firmware cutter for bcm43xx package.

yum -y install bcm43xx-fwcutter

If you have a dual boot system, the Windows driver is in C: drive. You can use a USB key to move the file to FC6. Or if you have enabled NTFS support, the file (BCMWL5.SYS) is in


Now change directory to where BCMWL5.SYS is and do

bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware BCMWL5.SYS
depmod -a
modprobe bcm43xx

If everything goes well, there should be no output from modprobe command. I use wpa_supplicant for WPA support. Modify the file /etc/sysconfig/wpa_supplicant so that it look like:



Note that during the installation, the eth1 interface was created by the installer. If your wireless card has a different interface (like wlan0) edit the line accordingly. Next, modify /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf :












We want to run wpa_supplicant with wheel group. So, we need to modify the sudoer configuration file. Edit /etc/sudoers , uncomment the line for wheel group so that it looks like this.

%wheel ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL

The wpa_supplicant service is not on by default, type this to enable it at run level 5.

chkconfig --level 5 wpa_supplicant on

wpa_supplicant service starts later than network service, therefore the network service would fail when trying to bring up eth1 inferface at startup. We can change the order of wpa_supplicant. I did this to change the order.

mv /etc/rc5.d/S12wpa_supplicant /etc/rc5.d/S09wpa_supplicant

Now if you reboot the system, the wireless card eth1 should connect to the access point specified in your wpa_supplicant.conf . Additinally, you can install the wpa_supplicant-gui package and use wpa_gui to manage the wireless connections.

Enable Compiz (Desktop Effects)

Compiz is installed by default, but it’s not turned on. If you use GNOME desktop, you can just click System -> Preferences -> Desktop Effects to bring up the dialog to enable it. If you use KDE, just type


in a console to bring up the dialog. After you enable compiz, you can try out the new features.

  • Alt + Tab: Switch between applications with preview.
  • Ctl+Alt+Left(Right): Switch between desktop.
  • Ctl+Alt+Down: Show 3 desktops in a strip.
  • Ctl+Alt+Left mouse click and drag: Rotate desktops in 3D.
  • Move mouse to top right corner: Give you preview of all open windows.

If you want to tweak the settings, you can install the gconf-editor . The settings for compiz is in /apps/compiz . I have compiled a list of key combinations list for compiz. Click here to see it.

Remote Administration

There are two applications that I use everyday to manage my network: remote desktop and vnc. To install them, type:

yum -y install rdesktop

yum -y install vnc

I usually run rdesktop with these options:

rdesktop -g 1024x768 -a 16  server.domain-name.com

This would connect the rdesktop client to server using a 1024×768 display with 16 bit color depth. The use of vnc is simpler.

vncviewer server2.domain-name.com

One thing about the vncviewer is that there is no menu for you to select on screen. You need to press “F8″ to get the options.


10 Comments on Fedora Core 6 Installation Notes on an Acer Ferrari 3400

  1. The zoom function doesn’t seem to work 🙁

    it worked once, but not anymore… 🙁

    using a windows keyboard…

    anyone has an idea?


  2. Hi,

    Also have a acer Ferrari 3400. When wpa supplicant start at boot, the whole system keeps hanging. I did everything you described but the systems hangs when wpa start.

    Any ideas??

    Thanx in advance

  3. Michael,

    When I tried wpa_supplicant, I never ran into the problem you described. Have you checked the system log and see what error message you got?

  4. Please tun off your macromedia on your web site I don´t wish to increase my download costs. It would be good manners to ask before forcing me to down load your addvertising meterial (songspot).

    your a leach

  5. Ok, I removed songspot widget. I didn’t earn money for it. Originally, I just want to add Christmas music to my site. It seems like a bad idea to do.

  6. You instructions for the wireless did not work for me. I entered all the commands and recieved no errors. On restart, all was green “Yes” including the entry about wpa_supplicant.

    When I run wpa_gui the text window says “trying to connect to /var/run/wpa_supplicant and sits there. The gui says it is scanning and sits there. The scan button yields no entries even though there are 6 in the area including my network


  7. Mark,

    It’s probably your wpa_supplicant.conf file not set up correctly. You can try out the command line first to see if there are any error messages.

  8. I cannot see anything wrong with my wpa_supplicant.conf file. Just for fun I deleted my changes so that the default was only there. It did not help

    iwconfig list the Broadcom but says the access point is invalid

    iwlist eth1 scan says there are no results.


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