A yum upgrade to the latest and greatest Fedora 15 has gone well, despite some bumps along the way. I started by corrupting my yum database with an inopportune ctrl-c, but after resolving that (yum –releasever=15 clean all) the upgrade went smoothly. Booting did not, halting at loading selinux policy.h (turned off selinux, which I thought had been off since sometime in the last decade) and then timeout errors dealing with the floppy device:

systemd: Job dev-floppy.device/start timed out.
Job fedora-autorelabel-mark.service/start failed with result 'dependency'

After some messing around, I managed to resolve it (I think) by doing a modprobe floppy while in maintenance mode. Who knows.

This now left me with a broken Gnome 3. I am no desktop zealot, but I have used Gnome since Red Hat 8.0, and while I have not been completely thrilled with Gnome 3 on my primary laptop, I wanted to see how it would fare on my multi-monitor desktop setup. Unfortunately, my gear no longer passes muster, and I was stuck in “fallback mode,” with nothing but a desktop background: no panel, no menu, no icons, and no ability to right or left click or affect anything.

After flailing around a bit trying different things, I installed the nvidia proprietary drivers to see if that upped the ante, then a fresh user free of prefs, and even running gnome-tweak-tool via ssh X11 forwarding to have “file manager handle the desktop.” That last resulted in a working desktop on my middle two monitors, until a click somewhere on one of my outer two monitors resulted in a quick trip back to blank desktop land. While researching this, I also discovered that there seems to be a growing community of users trying to make fallback mode work as their primary desktop by design. There seem to be a lot of disenchanted users.

yum install @kde-desktop
yum install @xfce-desktop
yum install @lxde-desktop

It has been years since I have used KDE and it is fine by my standards, though it seems to lock up fairly easily with action on my two outside monitors. LXDE loads up quickly and looks nice, but like Gnome, gives me nothing but blank desktop background on my peripheral monitors. I have been most impressed with Xfce though: lightweight, fast, customizable. I particularly enjoy the amount of options the middle and right click buttons give you, very handy on my peripheral monitors which do not need the clutter of panels and icons.

Lastly, I gave Xinerama a try during all of this (broken since Fedora 9 or thereabouts), and I was pleased to see that there are efforts to reconcile it with RandR. It still will not combine quite right with my Nvidia twinview setup on my primary dual-head card (cloning and weird resolution on the second head), but it did span the desktop across my three cards otherwise. Someday.