Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 13th Nov 2003 05:19 UTC
Fedora Core Fedora Core 1 has been out now for a few days now and many faithful Linux fans have already installed it. Red Hat's Linux is still one of my favorite distributions because of one main reason: compatibility with Linux software. Red Hat is a market leader and following the market leader assures the least trouble for most users. But is this the case with Fedora Core?
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where do i begin...
by tim pickering on Thu 13th Nov 2003 02:26 UTC

i've liked eugenia's reviews in the past, but this one is much more of a b*tch session than a review. to whit:

gaim upgrade - gratuitious usability gripe about something most users, especially new ones, would never do or would wait until the new version comes out through updates. dependency problems compiling some new version of some app are not unique to redhat. at least mention what problems there are, if any, with the version that's included before ripping on the distro for something you did.

mozilla plugins - news to me. four fresh installs and three upgrades from RH9 didn't break _any_ of my plugins anywhere. probably because i had the compat-stdc++ stuff either upgraded or installed (i always install everything). again, blaming the distro for something that's not part of the distro is not completely fair. would you blame OS X for breaking some fink packages when upgrading to panther? i didn't think so.

redhat-config-packages - i'll give you that, it's shite. but it's been shite for a while and there is an update now in testing to fix the specific problem mentioned in the review. my gripe is that it is totally hardwired to physical cdrom media and can't, TMK, even use .iso images, let alone network repositories. and when i did have cdroms, it wouldn't even let me find or install, e.g., yum even though it's there on disc1. fedora sorely needs something like that, but network-aware that'll know about various fedora repositories and let you pick and choose from them. like synaptic.

rpm locking - god knows that's been a pain in the arse since redhat 8. apparently it's a problem in other rpm distros as well. so far it hasn't done it to me in fedora, though.

samba - i've not seen the problem mentioned. i've been smb'ing fine between a FC laptop, FC desktop, XP laptop, and XP vmware guest. getting XP to work at all with samba is something i never did under RH <= 9 so that's a big win.

perf problems - i suspect that may be a nv driver problem i vaguely recall seeing something about on the fedora mailing lists. i see no such problems on my 500 MHz laptop (with ati video) running GPS mapping software under vmware while playing oggs in xmms in the background. in fact, the performance improvement on that machine of fedora over RH9 is off the scale. i had more or less given up on vmware there, but now it's fine. the drivers from nvidia.com do work fine on my fedora machines with such hardware. they also have shown only vast performance improvements over RH8 and RH9.

rhythmbox - it is crap. i tried pointing it to my 15,000 oggs and gave it an hour to think before putting it out of its misery. amusingly, it was grinding away while the prelink cron job was grinding away while i was also burning a dvd at 4x speed using the newly included dvd+rw tools. after all was said and done, the dvd came out fine in spite of everything going on. wouldn't dream of trying that under XP, though OS X would likely handle it fine.

as for redhat support, read the frigging fedora mailing lists. all the same redhat people who've been working on RHL are there and actually engaged with their users/outside developers rather than working in private. a lot of the real bugs and problems you mention are being discussed there. hopefully with less rigid update policy, the fixes will show up much more quickly through up2date rather than having to wait for the next full release.

personally, i'm migrating all of my linux machines at work to fedora specifically to take advantage of the yum/apt support in up2date (i have a lot of custom software i manage with rpm). dvd+rw support and ruby 1.8 are also key new features as well as samba 3.0. sure, there are bugs, but so far i've seen fewer overall than with RH9 (and a lot fewer than RH8 which a lot of machines still run here).

tim