Setting up Fedora 7 on a ex-Windows machine (Ottawa)

James james at
Fri Feb 1 16:20:38 EST 2008

Hello OLPC people!

I am working on a Snakes and Ladders game for the XO, to help young  
children learn to count.  You can find my first draft of the game  
here: <>.

I'm looking for help in getting Fedora 7 to run on a Sony Vaio PCG- 
GRT796HP laptop that used to run Windows.  It's a Pentium 4, running  
at 2.67 GHz, with 512 MB of RAM.  I've spent several hours trying  
various approaches and distributions, without success.

This is my first excursion into Linux territory, and I'm still finding  
my feet with Python.  I'm more at ease with development on Macintosh,  
and have only scraped the surface of using the Terminal.  Please don't  
hesitate to spoonfeed me in all things Linux and Python.

What I can do
I'd almost given up hope of getting the Vaio to run Fedora when I  
tried using the XO LiveCD from < 
livebackupcd>.  This worked perfectly, which encourages me to believe  
that the issue is not with the machine but with what I am doing to it.

Where I get stuck
I've downloaded the F-7-i386-DVD.iso file from < 
 >, and burnt it to a DVD-ROM. The initial menu screen appears.  If I  
choose the default (graphic) installation, eventually the screen  
starts to display vibrant pulsing graphics which I do not believe are  
intended.  If I choose the text mode for installation, and step  
through the various screens, I eventually run into a bug in the  
installer script.

Rodney Smith entered a description of the bug into the RedHat bugbase  
on 2007-07-08, but there seems to have been no movement on it since  
then.  This leads me to believe that there must be an obvious  
workaround, so others have just side-stepped the bug and moved on.

The original bug report was marked as NEEDINFO, so I supplied that  
info on 2008-01-21.  You can read the complete report here:

What I'm hoping to do
My aim is to install a version of Linux as close to the XO version as  
possible.  This will make it easier for me to get into the correct  
mindset and best practices for developing for the XO.  I'm not married  
to the idea of getting Fedora 7 to run if the line of least resistance  
is to install something similar.

In his bug report, Rodney Smith notes that "System previously had fc5  
that was installed using a dvd and the graphical interface without a  
hitch and that ran fine."

I've looked for a downloadable version of Fedora Core 5 or 6 for a x86  
machine, but all the links that I have found end up at the Get Fedora  
page, which now limits itself to downloads of Fedora 7 and 8 < 

I get a similar bug when I try installing Fedora 8.  I've also tried  
installing Ubuntu 6, but run into the graphic-interface-shows-vibrant- 
pulsing-graphics issue.
If it hadn't been for XO-LiveCD_080130.iso performing perfectly on the  
machine, I'd have written off my Sony Vaio as being incompatible with  

If anyone can help me get some version of Linux installed on the  
machine, I'd be most grateful.  If there are any Python developers on  
this list in the Ottawa area, I'd be interested to hear from them too.

Thanks in advance,



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