Gladstone and the new Fedora

Fedora 15 has been in beta for a while now (make sure you get the x86_64 Install DVD, not any of the ‘Live CD’ downloads).

When I wrote the Gladstone Oracle preinstaller script, it was tested to work with Fedora 15 Alpha -but I’m happy to confirm that it works perfectly well with the beta, too.

One slight niggle is that Fedora 15 Beta uses the Gnome Shell desktop environment -and that means the desktop you see once logged in is not ‘live’. You can’t, for example, drag-and-drop a file onto it and see it appear as a desktop icon. You do still have a Desktop directory, and it can still have things in it… but visually you won’t be reminded that those files exist:

This is a simple example of what I’m talking about: the Nautilus file manager clearly shows three files and a directory are sitting in my Desktop directory, but nothing is actually showing on the blue stripey desktop itself (you’ll have to trust me that there’s nothing hiding underneath Nautilus, either!)

It’s actually a bit more than a niggle -it strikes me as a bloody stupid way of doing things, and I can only hope that the Gnome devs stop this sort of thing happening whilst they’re on the path to world desktop domination.

Anyway, in the meantime, it means that Gladstone can be a little trickier to run on Fedora 15 Beta than it should be, if you are using it to prepare for an Oracle 11g Release 2 installation. That’s because Fedora still suffers from an ‘error in invoking target’ compilation error during the eventual 11g installation -and Gladstone deals with that by creating a short bash script ahead of time. When you encounter the linking error, you just double-click the ‘fixing script’ and let it run (it takes seconds only), after which you can click ‘Retry’ back in the Oracle installation process, and all will be well.

Except that now, of course, you can’t actually see that a ‘fix me up’ script has been created for you, because Gladstone thoughtfully writes it out to…. the Desktop! If you can’t see it, you tend not to know to double-click it -and that means you’re stuck with a flakey Oracle installation process left hanging!

All I can really do at this point is lament the tide of so-called “progress” in the development of a desktop Linux and encourage any Fedora users trying to install Oracle 11gR2 via Gladstone: do what I’ve done in that screenshot above. Open your Desktop folder in Nautilus before you launch the Oracle installer so that you can double-click the shell script when you encounter the agent linking error.