In my previous post I discussed how to install xRDP on CentOS 7, and the reasons behind it were so my son could remote into a VM instance of CentOS via a WYSE terminal I have available.  While I like CentOS myself, I wanted to find a Workstation distro that we both would like to use.  I installed a variety of Linux distros in a VM so I could get a feel for how they worked, and how well I could get what I wanted to work on them working properly.  The distros I looked at were Mint, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, and Red Hat.

Ubuntu worked the best out of the box with having video codecs working to play x.264 videos, and while all looked nice I ended up picking Fedora as my distro of choice.  There were a number of things that needed work done, as it wouldn’t play HD videos on Youtube, Amazon steaming wouldn’t work, MP3 audio files were not detected, you couldn’t play any MOV file.  Obviously there would be work to be done to make everything work properly.  I was sure with some research via Google I would be able to resolve all the problems.  After I tried out various tasks in the VM I decided I wanted to install Fedora as a dual boot option with Windows 10 on my computer I built a few months back.  My C drive did not have enough space available to shrink the drive by the 50 GB that I wanted so I elected to shrink my 2 TB WD HDD by 50 GB Disk Managerand then do a dual boot with UEFI.  The first step was to open Disk Manager within Windows 10 and choose the drive I was targeting for my Linux install.  I picked shrink volume and gave it the amount I wanted to reduce the space by.  Once the drive was finished being reduced you want to just leave the partion alone, and un-allocated.  This will make the future step of install Linux easy to do.  The image I have here is after the fact, and you can see the 50 GB partion has already been allocated by Linux.

The next step to dual boot Linux is to create a bootable Live Fedora DVD so we can install Fedora on the computer.  Once you have this setup you will need to enter IMG_1374 your BIOS boot menu to choose to boot from the DVD drive.  For my purposes I picked the UEFI option for the DVD.

Once the DVD boots you will be given three options, Boot the Live DVD, Verify and Boot, and Troubleshooting.  On my computer, which I figured was due to the nVidia 660 Graphics card, booting the Live DVD did not work.  The screen went black right after loading and I was stuck.  So I began the boot process over, and this time picked troubleshooting.  From there I was able to choose the basic graphics option given there and this time the boot process was successful and I was Fedora001given the option to either try Fedora, which was not needed as I was already familiar with the OS, or to install on to the Hard Drive.  To move forward, choose this option and you will then be presented with a various options to prepare you to install.  You will need to pick the language and keyboard layout of your choice, ensure networking is configured properly, setup the time, and finally choose the partion you will be installing Fedora on.  With the available space you made earlier you should see that Fedora has already auto detected the space and gives you the option of either partioning it automatically, or manually.  Choose the option that best fits your goals.  For myself I picked the automatic partion and Fedora set me up with a 4 GB swap drive, and a number of other smaller partions with the main root partion being the majority of the 50 GBs of space I had set aside.  Once all the options are set, choose Begin, and sit back and relax while Fedora is installed on the drive.  While the installation process is going on you can set the root password, make sure you pick a secure password, and you can setup a user account as well.  When the process is complete you can then reboot.  You will then see the boot menu, your first option and default will be your new Linux installation, the third option for myself is the Windows 10 installation.  The process of dual booting the system was pretty straight forward and easy to do.

The next issue that quickly came up was I was still in basic graphics mode.  In order to resolve this, I Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-00-34needed to install the nVidia drivers for Linux.  This process took some more research, and a bit of time to properly configure the system.  First you will need to download the proper drivers for your nVidia graphics card.  For myself I picked the 600 Series, and the 660 Graphics drivers for Linux.  Once the package has been downloaded you will need to make it executable with the command chmod +x /path/to/NVIDIA-Linux-*.run.  Next change to root with the su command for the rest of the steps.  Run dnf update to make sure Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-05-57everything is up to date on the OS.  There are some dependencies that will be needed, so we will need to install those first.

dnf install kerneldevel kernelheaders gcc dkms acpid
The next step is to disable nouveau by editing the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and appending blacklist nouveau.  Use the command: echo “blacklist nouveau” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Next we will edit /etc/sysconfig/grub and append rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau to the end of the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=…
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=” rhgb quiet rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau”
Update grub2 conf with the command grub2mkconfig o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg
Now we can remove xorg-x11-drv-nouveau with the command dnf remove xorgx11drvnouveau
Next we generate the initramfs with the following commands:
mv /boot/initramfs$(uname r).img /boot/initramfs$(uname r)nouveau.img
dracut /boot/initramfs$(uname r).img $(uname r)
We are now ready to install the nVidia drivers, so we can set Fedora to runlevel 3.
systemctl setdefault
The GUI will not load this time, so just log in as your user account, and then switch to root once you are logged in.  Change to the directory where you stored the nVidia installation file and run it with ./NVIDIA-Linux-*.run

First we accept the License agreement.

Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-04-43

nVidia Installer Registers the Kernel Source Modules with DKMS

Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-07-12

nVidia Installer 32-bit Compatibility Libraries

Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-07-20

This will depend on your own situation, I picked no as my architecture did not support the 32 bit libraries.  It will not hurt to try if you wish, if your system does not support it, it will simply tell you that it is not supported and move on.

Edit: I reinstalled my drivers, and  this time picked to install 32 bit libraries, as it turns out steam is a 32 bit application, and without those drivers steam will not work.

nVidia drivers being installed

Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-07-26

The last two screens are the Xorg backup and the completion screen.  Choose yes for the backup as this will allow the nVidia drivers to be loaded after reboot, and the previous configuration to be backed up.  Once this is done you’ll receive the completion page, at which point you will be finished with the driver installation.

You will need to change the runlevel back and reboot again.

systemctl setdefault
You can install VDPAU / VAAPI support if you have Gforce 8 or higher.  To do so, run the command:
dnf install vdpauinfo libvavdpaudriver libvautils
Screenshot from 2016-01-01 16-34-03After you are logged back into the system you will notice that the resolution is now properly set, and you’ll have a nVidia control panel in which you can make adjustments if needed.
This process again is not overly difficult, however it does take time to properly go through the steps to ensure a successful installation.  So take your time and all should work out for you.
This was phase 1 of my Linux installation process on my system.  While I could have continued to run it from a VM I wanted to have all the resources available on the computer devoted to the Linux OS, plus to give myself the extra challenge that isn’t there when you run within a VM.  In a future post I will discuss phase II of the process as I install various software packages and get the required codecs installed on the OS so I can view videos, listen to MP3’s, watch HD videos on Youtube, Amazon, and Netflix.
This is all a learning process for me, and this is a way to show what I have done, as well as help others going through the same process one day.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact me.

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