Make my own Linux workstation – Dell Precision T5600 + Fedora 18 + Mate

An introduction to my recently constructed  Linux workstation:

WORKSTATION: Dell Precision T5600
MONITOR: Dell UltraSharp 2412M
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2609 4-core 2.40GHz (
MEM: 8G ECC 1333MHz
GPU: 512M Nvidia NVS300
HD: 500G WD 7.2K XL500S
RAID: H310
DVD+/-rw: 8X Hitachi
OS: Fedora 18 (

Actually, there is not big difference between a workstation and a PC. However, there is something making them different, like the architecture of box, cooling system, CPU, GPU and memory. Anyway, I have chosen Dell Precision T5600 to be my base station. If you are a fan, like myself, of RedHat Enterprise Linux, then Dell Precision TXXXX would be a good choice as all their hardware are certified by RHEL5 workstation. That was the reason why I removed the pre-installed Win 7 and installed RHEL 6 server. Nevertheless, it would a nightmare if you do NOT subscribe to RHN(Red Hat Network, for sure, you have to pay…), which means you are unable to do any software upgrade using yum from the pkg repo directly. All I was trying to do is trying to resolve the dependency issue for certain RPM pkg or dealing with 64-bit issues. After all the struggle, I gave it up and switched to Fedora 18.

Yes, Fedora is sponsored by RedHat and internally compatible with RHEL and CentOS. Eventually, CentOS would be a great choice too. Well then, the most frustrating thing in Fedora 18 should be Gnome 3! I am not sure if there would be fans of Gnome 3 but I am pretty sure that I hate Gnome 3. There are reasons why Linux is called Linux instead of Mac OS and there are reasons why people would prefer to Linux instead of Mac OS. However, Gnome 3 has totally forgotten the reasons and made itself be Mac OS. This is silly and unacceptable even the stupid desktop is running on Linux kernel instead of Darwin. With enough disappointment, I switched to Cinnamon, which is the main desktop used by Linux Mint. Frankly, this desktop reminds me my deleted Win7. Still, I do not like it. After some search, I have finally found the desktop I want – Mate. Mate is a branch of Gnome 2 (the same as Cinnamon) but trying to keep the old style of traditional Gnome Linux style.

Anyway, I am satisfied with the software upgrade tool provided by Fedora. I could find most of the tools I need within the software, like R, Python, Ruby, Jython, Jruby, RStudio, SPE, Eric…Moreover, Mate allows you to control and customize your desktop as before without bothering ‘Universal Access’ stuffs. There are some hints for my experience playing with Fedora 18.

1. VMware Player
Kernel Header’s missing for latest Linux kernel like 3.7? (
cp /usr/include/linux/version.h /lib/modules/3.7.2-**XXX**.fc18.x86_64/build/include/linux/

2. mpg123 vs. mpg321
mpg123 just won’t work for me. For the workaround, I use mpg321 and it works. Note: you need to install the corresponding libs based on the configure’s output and set the right LD_LIBRARY_PATH

About daveti

Interested in kernel hacking, compilers, machine learning and guitars.
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