May 23, 2009, 7:09 pm
There is one small change in Fedora 11 that I guess will confuse Fedora and RPM Fusion users with x86-32 (aka i386/ix86) systems quite a lot, but afaics did not get enough attention yet:
â€šÃ„ÃºAppropriateâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is not really explained â€šÃ„Ã® maybe because itâ€šÃ„Ã´s a bit hard to sum up without going into the boring details. But basically it boils down to: The kernel with PAE support will be installed by Fedora 11 for x86-32 on the majority of x86-compatible systems that have been manufactured in the past three or four years(Â¬Ï€). So likely on your system as well if you are running a x86-32 distro on a modern system.
The important part: the package containing the kernel with PAE support is not called â€šÃ„Ãºkernelâ€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„Ã® itâ€šÃ„Ã´s called â€šÃ„Ãºkernel-PAEâ€šÃ„Ã¹ instead. And thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s not the only package where â€šÃ„Ãº-PAEâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is used as suffix. That has major certain consequences on systems where Fedora 11 installs kernel-PAE:
- when you build kernel modules with akmods, dkms, or manually, then you from now on need to install kernel-devel-PAE instead of kernel-devel
- similar for kernel-modules: instead of â€šÃ„Ãºyum install kmod-nvidiaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ your now need to type â€šÃ„Ãºyum install kmod-nvidia-PAEâ€šÃ„Ã¹. Yum otherwise will try to install the matching kernel without PAE support for you, which (in short without the boring details) is something you most of the time donâ€šÃ„Ã´t want(Â¬â‰¤).
In other words: the change in Fedora 11 makes lots of howtos, FAQs, articles on the net and in computer magazines confusing, wrong, misleading or harmful (depending on view and specific howto/FAQ/article), because most of those docs donâ€šÃ„Ã´t consider the above fact (yet).
And thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s not Fedoraâ€šÃ„Ã´s fault â€šÃ„Ã® PAE kernels are around for a long time in Fedora already. But they were used only on a minority of systems. Most (not all!) of those that have written todayâ€šÃ„Ã´s howtos, FAQs or articles were likely either not aware of it or chose to ignored it to keep things simple.
Thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s backfiring now. So go and spread the news on mailing lists, forums and other places where it might be of interest. Feel free to copy-n-paste this whole text or simply point to this blog entry. Thanks in advance!
(Â¬Ï€) E.g. since processors with NX bit became mainstream; NX stands for NoeXecute and is also called Enhanced Virus Protection by AMD and xD-Bit by Intel
(Â¬â‰¤) not sure, but maybe the yum-plugin â€šÃ„Ãºyum-fedorakmodâ€šÃ„Ã¹ could have made yum to the right thing and install the proper kmod for the PAE kernel. I never tried and it doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t matter much as the plugin is not available in the Fedora or RPM Fusion repositories for F11. If someone wants take care of yum-fedorakmod and wants to get it into RPM Fusion then please drop me a line.