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Out with Windows 2000, in with Fedora 14, part 2

Recently I wrote about another Windows to Linux migration that I recently tackled. This is the followup after the migration.
Written by Chris Clay Clay, Contributor

Recently I wrote about another Windows to Linux migration that I recently tackled. This is the followup after the migration. There were a couple of hiccups, but those have been ironed out and things are going very smooth now.

First, the easy one. Upgrading from Fedora 12 to 14 was just about flawless. As with most Linux upgrades, most settings and files are preserved. The only issue I had was that a couple of Firefox and Thunderbird settings had to be set (i.e. font size and font selection). But, all Gnome settings and all data files remained completely in tact.

With the other system that was upgraded from Windows 2000, things went relatively smooth as far as migrating data and files. They used to run Firefox and Thunderbird in Windows, so placing the profile folders in the .mozilla/firefox and .thunderbird folders in their home folder worked great. Change the profile.ini file to point to the old folder name, and opening each application brought in all of the data. As I mentioned above, I had to set the font size and default font selections for some reason in Firefox and Thunderbird. I did receive a question of what all the "extra" temp files are that Windows left laying around, which I tried to clean out as much as possible. Thankfully, in Linux most temp files are placed in /tmp which doesn't reside in the user's home folder and cleans itself automatically.

The issues:

I discovered an issue with GStreamer where Totem and Rhythmbox pop up with a "missing plugins" error when they are opened. There appears to be a problem with GStreamer 0.10 blacklisting plugins, and currently there is no fix. In Totem, the popup error is closed out and it continues to work. But, Rhythmbox doesn't appear to play any audio files. In the interim, I installed XMMS and they are using that temporarily for their audio files. The interface and features of Rhythmbox are very nice, like the ability to sort media, create playlists, and interface with a lot of MP3 players, etc. so I am hoping to have the solution for that soon.

Installation of the Laserjet 1000 printer only half worked. The printer was instantly detected and installed, but when printing an error came up saying it needed a proprietary plugin to be installed. Why? Because by default, Fedora tries to only include free software, no proprietary software. The fix is to download the plugin installer, hplip-*.**.*-plugin.run (at: http://www.openprinting.org/download/printdriver/auxfiles/HP/plugins/) and run it (don't forget to chmod 775 to it first!). Then, remove the printer in the System / Administration / Printing panel, unplug and replug it in, and let Fedora do the magic of automatically installing it without any more intervention needed. If you are installing a printer that doesn't require any proprietary software, it should install automatically.

And finally the SCSI scanner that needed to be installed. I was a little worried about this one, as the scanner is about 15 years old. It's a Cacham Spendeur VM3552, that originally came with drivers for Windows 98 only. We had to purchase an expensive 3rd party driver suite and application called "Art Scan Pro" in the past, in order to use the scanner with Windows 2000, because no drivers were written by the manufacturer past Windows 98. But, with Linux being open source, my hopes were that we would not have to worry about it any longer. When opening XSane or the Simple Scan tool under Applications, it complained that no scanner could be found. SCSI is not always great at detecting new hardware on the fly (even though the Linux kernel is great at this), which I'm so used to that it didn't occur to me that the SCSI bus needs to be forced to rescan. Luckily, the solution is to install the package "sg3_utils" (I always use yum for this -- "yum install sg3_utils"), which adds a script called /usr/bin/rescan-scsi-bus.sh. I gave the user permissions to run this by adding a line to /etc/sudoers as : "username ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/rescan-scsi-bus.sh", then as the user, ran the script with "sudo /usr/bin/rescan-scsi-bus.sh" as the user and voila!, the kernel saw the scanner and it was working like magic. I ended up creating a script and pointed the Main Menu items for XSane and Simple Scan to it, so that /usr/bin/rescan-scsi-bus.sh would run every time they open XSane or Simple Scan from the menu. The script has these lines:

#!/bin/sh gnome-terminal --command="/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/rescan-scsi-bus.sh" simple-scan

Their Canon digital camera worked like magic, Gnome came up with a box and by default it opens Shotwell Photo Manager. I have not used Shotwell too much but it appears to have the basic features. They had used the proprietary Canon software in the past and Shotwell is easy enough that they didn't need any help using it.

Other than these issues, the PC is running great and in fact they immediately noticed a significant speed increase in running their applications. I was surprised that still some tweaks were needed, but when dealing with proprietary hardware/software, we will continue to see these types of problems. My best advice is to direct new users to the Fedora Forums which are very understanding for new users.

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