So I went around trying to install ROS Electric on my Fedora machine again (Had to increase the partition size earlier today using a GParted iso). Went about the procedure on the website – fortunately this time atleast the initial ROS install completed without any issues. So the deal is that with this iteration quite a lot of the dependencies of ROS have been offloaded to the system – something that I realized as soon as I tried rosmaking vision_opencv. I needed to have Opencv 2.3.1, and Fedora’s repos only provided 2.2, so I built OpenCV from source using cmake, and threw in TBB, libv4l, gstreamer stuff and unicap (since I’ll be dealing a lot with video). Once it was built, as in my very first post, copied the generated opencv.pc file from /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig to /usr/lib64/pkgconfig. No dice, with rosmake crying about not being able to find opencv2.3.1. Then judging by one of the prompts created a clone in the same folder called opencv-2.3.1.pc, a ldconfig -v, and voila!
The next thing I set upon trying to make was simulator_gazebo, and was (predictably) thrown up loads of dependency issues. Had to install yampl-cpp-devel, tinyxml-devel, vtk-devel, libyaml-devel, rosdep install for gazebo_tools, build assimp, copied the /usr/include/ffmpeg/* to /usr/include (to fix missing avformat.h), hdf5-devel, added -ltinyxml flag to /gazebo/build/CMakeCache.txt (and in gazebo_tools), added a VTK_DIR:FILEPATH=/usr/lib64/vtk-5.6 to pcl_ros/CMakeCache.txt … Didnt work, used http://www.cmake.org/pipermail/cmake/2006-March/008633.html and changed VTK REQUIRED to VTK% required. Also changed the path in the URL file to point to lib64/vtk-5.6
Then I used the info at http://www.cmake.org/pipermail/cmake/2006-March/008633.html and changed VTK REQUIRED to VTK5 required in the cmake files. Also changed the path in the URL file to point to lib64/vtk-5.6 , which fixed the VTK errors. It was around this time when I created this question on answers.ros.org which got finally resolved (yay!)