I’ve been using Linux for four years, with the majority of that time spent using Red Hat distributions. I liked Fedora Core 1, but I was not impressed by Fedora Core 2 and its annoying bugs. Fedora Core 3 made up for the shortcomings of its predecessor. Now Fedora Core 4 is out, and unfortunately, it’s a mixed bag.
Review: Fedora Core 4
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2005-07-14 1:08 pmThom Holwerda
Erm, a review is almost de facto an opinional piece, so ‘duh’ that the author is listing his complaints– else it would just be a glorified changelog.
2005-07-14 1:22 pmRobert Escue
Come on, you mean the author can’t select a couple of features to test in addition to the rant about the problems he had with some part of the OS. Isn’t there something new about Fedora Core that people should be aware of, otherwise what’s the point of coming out with a new release! And I am not saying print the changelog either, but I expect something of a little higher quality than this. And I am sure a number of readers will agree with me on this.
2005-07-14 2:55 pmThom Holwerda
[/i]And I am not saying print the changelog either, but I expect something of a little higher quality than this. And I am sure a number of readers will agree with me on this.[/i]
Nobody is stopping you from writing a review *yourself*.
2005-07-14 2:56 pmThom Holwerda
In my above comment, obviously the first two lines are quoted.
2005-07-15 3:30 pmSpike
So the site admins can post unmoderatable comments? That’s me out of here, especially when serial idiot ‘Thom Holwerda’ is at the controls.
2005-07-15 5:57 amTusharG
In some cases review is pretty good! It talks about common people and not for people running Linux in vmware! People running Intel 845, 865 boards have terrible time in fedora core sound system. I’m deeply disappointed with the sound, media, movie side of fedora core 4. All thought I’m not surprised to see openoffice beta version. I know fedora is a test platform for REdHat and they are using us to make their package strong. Nothing wrong with that too! but I only expect while release fedora they should conside certain criterias. Specially considering people may be thinking of switching from Windows to Linux. Anyone who will is switching from Windows to Linux will jump back to windows after the Fedora core 4 due to lack multimedia and in absent of GUI based updating tool. Also fedora core is shipped with GCC 4 which made my life even worse to install mplayer on my own. The current fedora core is not of any use to me if it cannot play movies! I some how managed to play mp3’s but i hate hacking all the time! I’m ceriously considering moving to Novell which is always shipped with movie players and mp3 support.
2005-07-15 6:49 amAnonymous
I use mp3’s, acc, mplayer, xine and all will using fc4 & rawhide on amd64 and x86 hardware.
gui yum, sure there is, “extras”
stuff that will never ever ever be supported in fedora/rh, sure there is, you have to take the time to look for all of 5 minutes and your good to go.
Fedora is not for noobies, imho. Sorry, look at what they include and how far the push the envelope in Linux.
This isn’t your grannys distro. That is just the facts from my point of view.
2005-07-15 5:09 pmFinalzone
Anyone who will is switching from Windows to Linux will jump back to windows after the Fedora core 4 due to lack multimedia
It is incorrect to say Fedora lacks multimedias because it includes them under open source format (ogg vorbis and theora). What it does not include are proprietary formats such as mp3, dvd for legit and philosophic reasons.
and in absent of GUI based updating tool
yumex is the current GUI updating tools. kyum is another one.
Also fedora core is shipped with GCC 4 which made my life even worse to install mplayer on my own.
Remember FC is a bleeding edge distro. You can installl gcc32-compat to allow your mplayer being install.You have the chance to use the first distro using GCC4 so other distros will take note what that package strong point and what needs to be improved.
Worse, Fedora Core 4 gets low marks for multimedia. I encountered an overwhelming number of bugs in this area. There is no support for proprietary formats such as Windows Media, DVD, and MP3, though having used past Red Hat/Fedora releases, I would expect nothing more. Previously, enabling these multimedia types was not a hard task, but this time, it’s daunting.
I would recommend you install the yum-extension (yumex) it’s a graphical frontend for yum.Athough it’s fresh it works suprisingly good just like synaptic,but is allready preconfigured with most possible repositories.All you have to do is select them and reload yumex,it’s that simple.
Once you have enabled the livna repository it’s quite easy to install k3b-mp3,xmms-mp3,gstreamer-plugins-mp3 ,kdemultimedia-extras to name a few.
Some links that might be helpfull:
FC4 is exeptional good ( for non-novices).
If i wanted i could easilly substitute SuSE 9.3 for FC4
(just tried to get the same working environment as with SuSE,got SELinux as bonus :-))
Well, I have been using linux since 1998 and even though I love it, multimedia and wireless functionality is severely lacking in today’s modern linux desktop.
Although I have my multimedia working and my wirless card working with ndiswrapper and the wpa_supplicant it was not an enjoyable process. Until a linux desktop can provide an out of the box working wireless and multimedia desktop, it will always be a second rate desktop.
As a user, I should not have to install an OS and then spend the next day, week etc… to get multimedia and wireless working. The major linux players need to provide this functionality out of the box and license the codecs if necessary.
I’m not sure I’d even call this a review – it’s more like a total newb installing a distro, not having everything work at once, and crying about it. Did he check the forums? Read any docs on changes? No, he just “fiddled for hours” with it.
Users with Sound Blaster cards will have issues? How about telling us which card HE uses that would not work – actually, how about telling us something about the hardware he’s using – besides the absolute basics. I highly doubt Sound Blaster cards won’t work properly in general, seeing as though they are some of the most widely used in the world…I’m sure if there was a bug it’s been repaired. Did he even attempt an update?
Could somebody actually write a review that tells us SOMETHING about the OS?
I’ve been working with fedora 4, on another computer, and while I like it a lot, I have to agree that there are very strange bugs. For example, the other day I decided I wanted to remove most of kde’s packages, and only leave what needed for konqueror and amaroK.
Now, the system (dunno why), is considerably slower opening gnome apps and loading gnome itself.
As for multimedia packages, I disagree, I hadn’t used fedora much, and googling for some help, I was able to set up yum and add all I needed in no-time.
As for yumex, I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get it to work. Looks promising though.
Overall I think fedora core 4 is a distro that needs a little bit of love and tender care before you can use it, but overall, it’s very nice (and pleasant) to use.
Don’t people ever just get tired of saying the same thing… “No DVD support”, “No WMA support”, “I want more packages in the base that no one else could care a less about like Tux Racer”, “My sound is crappy”… The list goes on…
Open Office 1.9.x for me is more stable then 1.x, not to mention can actually convert a document reliablely.
People always b*tch about something to get people to recognise their “great influence in technical reviews” or to visit their blog. This was another useless rant session by what looks to be a fairly new linux user (2 1/5 yrs maybe). I assume this becuase of the lack of understanding why stuff isn’t the way they want it and flea to a newer distro with alot of hype.
It still puzzels me why people will have such a different review on each FC release, up till 5 they are more or less the same with just updated packages and a few reworked technologies. FC5 could have some init changes and could make some major changes.
We should rename 90% of the “reviews” to “install experiences”.
Fedora includes open source packages only, only use repositories compatible with eachother, ie: base, extras, updates, livna… FC also steers away from anything that could have patent implications to protect themselves and the users. Stop b*tching and live with this.
Tweak your esd.conf, sshd_config and gdm (to disable root login), 50-udev.rules (ttyUSB permissions), remove unused services… I have a list of things in a text file I do with all releases to get them the way I want.
2005-07-14 2:16 pmRahul
One of the rather poor complaints seems to be that Fedora didnt violate laws and create legal issues
From the article:
“Those using SoundBlaster sound cards, for example, will notice a very staticky sound all over the operating system. There is a workaround, involving creating a custom asound.conf file, which fixes it for some applications, though not for others, and makes other applications that didn’t have the problem start having it.”
That’s odd. I have a soundblaster live in my machine and it works perfectly with FC4 alsa. It’s also working with jack at a 5.3ms latency playing back Gigasampler files with Linuxsampler right now. I have not touched asound.conf either.
I guess it may just affect one particular model, there are many chipsets that go under the name of ‘sound blaster’.
I have to agree with the auther, FC4 isn’t exactly the best Linux release ever. There are lots and lots of serious problems. As the article states, it is very hard to get sound working correctly even on common hardware.
The same thing goes for graphics. Many graphics cards (e.g various matrox and intel cards) doesn’t display text in console mode. On my old matrox G450 you get a black screen with a green border.
LDAP authentication doesn’t work, as there is an error in the nss_ldap package that have some problems with extra newlines in passwords. (there is a patch i their bugzilla).
DOS formatted diskettes sometimes doesn’t mount automagically when inserted.
Using a beta version of OpenOffice.org is not a very good idea either, it reduces their credability, even though I must say I havn’t had any problems with it.
This is the first Fedora release where I seriously consider to downgrade to the previous version or just change to something else.
2005-07-14 2:14 pmRahul
Openoffice.org 2.0 Milestone releases have been heavily tested. People dont seem to have any real problems with it. The only complaint seems to be that the splash screen says “beta”. Even that was fixed in a later update.
This is the first Fedora release where I seriously consider to downgrade to the previous version or just change to something else.
Well i think for me just the opposite is true,this is the first that makes me think of actually starting to use instead of just installing and doing some tests.
As the article states, it is very hard to get sound working correctly even on common hardware.
There isn’t a correlation between sound problems related to FC4 and the author facing some problems with the configuration of sound not does your experience with the G450 card reflect how hardware detection performs on FC4 in generall.All you can say is i will give some other distro a try.
The best distro is the one who works for you best.
multimedia doesn’t work?! When did this happen! omg linux is doomed on the desktop. Oh its been this way for the last 6 releases? Oh Windows XP doesn’t come with Divx, Quicktime, flash or java either? Well then Windows XP isn’t ready for the desktop I guess. We still have to get apps from the internet? how l4m3 d00d. I should have the internet on CD
I am used to posters trolling on this issue but an actual review? That is uncalled for. Doesn’t anyone have plain old common sense anymore?
Idiots should not be allowed to write reviews.
Not that I am “pimping” my own work, but I have written two articles on Solaris 10 for OSNews:
My complaint with most “reviews” is that they are not in depth enough and too many people are concerned about putting something on their site rather than putting something of quality up for people to read. People love the stuff posted at sites like ArsTechnica, but these articles take a long time to research and write. I am not against writing a review but I think the time frame I am accostomed to (six months minimally) is probably unacceptable for most online “publications”.
2005-07-14 3:28 pmThom Holwerda
The thing is, you and others were attacking the author at almost a personal level, instead of trying to point out his errors and correct him in a polite manner. Simply screaming “This is not a review he is an idiot he shouldn’t write reviews” is extremely easy from the sideline. Next time try to be corrective and constructive, help the author. If all you guys can do is call him an idiot, then please don’t. It doesn’t help anyone.
2005-07-14 3:50 pmRobert Escue
Excuse me, what part of any comment I made concerning his article on Fedora Core 4 attacked Jeremy personally? I have issues with a person writes a review and basically says the OS is bad because he had problems with sound and an application and this is a personal attack? I didn’t call him a name, I called his article methodology into question. Other people have, so get your focus right as to who is saying what!
The author apparently doesn’t understand FC’s purpose. It’s not meant to be a super stable ready-for-the-enterprise OS. It’s a “new technologies” OS, which is why it has OOo.org Beta. It can’t legally have native mp3 support, because that requires licensing, which would mean FC can no longer be free.
I agree with another poster; this reads like someone who is installing their first Linux distro.
well for me it was the easiest linux installation so far.
Installing ati binary drivers was the only thing I had to do myself.
And that was a no brainer to.
I am very happy using Fedora Core 4, and felt a little sorry for the
people from Fedora. Think they deserve more credit for their work…?
The article was poorly written, but brought up good points.
This review is not the only one that has pointed out problems with FC4.
The problem (and advantage) with Fedora Core is that it always remains bleeding edge, which is, of course, a double edged sword. Linux enthusiasts tend to have a non-stop appetite for “the latest and greatest”, thus always want to check out the latest releases of software. Fedora Core plays to this audience, and benefits RHEL because Fedora Core and it’s audience weed out the problems before new stuff is incorporated into RHEL.
But this is not always the best way to go for many people. For people who want their Linux installations to “just work” and not have many problems, it’s better to go with a more conservative distro. For those who like FC/Red Hat, and don’t want to pay the large price for RHEL, CentOS fits the bill.
As for me, I’m in no rush to get FC4. I like new stuff, but not at the cost of stability or unnecessary bugs. I’m currently running SimplyMepis 3.3.1 (which features the older KDE 3.3, for instance), FC2, and Mandrake 10. All of these are pretty stable and bug free. I might check out FC4 in another 5 or 6 months, after the bugs have been worked out. But not now.
I like fedora for its innovative features (Xen, Oo-beta, selinux), newest software, good hardware autodetection, rpm format (for the sole reason that it is widely supported by 3rd pary apps) but my workstation converted to Debian / Ubuntu long ago for the new FC features continuously seemed to break things…. but its great for looking at new features…
Installing Fedora Core 4 was easy, and seemingly unchanged from previous releases. Fedora uses the Anaconda installer. Some packages (e.g. Tux Racer) are no longer in the release, and some (e.g. OpenOffice.org 2.0) have been added. Installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers worked for me, using the official drivers at http://www.nvidia.com.
Tux Racer is replaced by ppracer. Most removed package from Core are in Extras repository.
OpenOffice.org 2.0 beta replaces the OpenOffice.org 1.x releases of the past. […]Including a beta version of this otherwise great office suite in this release doesn’t make sense to me. While I’ve had no problems with it and no crashes, a beta release in what is considered to be a stable operating system feels out of place.
Like some posters pointed Oo.o 2.0 beta is very stable to be usable as office application. Remember Fedora is about being bleeding-edge.
Worse, Fedora Core 4 gets low marks for multimedia. I encountered an overwhelming number of bugs in this area. There is no support for proprietary formats such as Windows Media, DVD, and MP3, though having used past Red Hat/Fedora releases, I would expect nothing more.
Windows Media is for Windows only unless someone installs Wine. Just becaue MP3 is popular does not mean it is good. Since it is heavily patented, ogg vorbis is a good alternative. Many industries especially videogames choose the latter to avoid paying licensing fee. So ogg vorbis is the future.
I tried enabling these proprietary media files the same way I did this in previous Fedora releases, which was to install Apt4RPM, a great package management tool, and use that to install the necessary packages. That worked in previous Fedora releases, but not in Fedora Core 4.
Apt4RPM is depreciated because the author focuses his work on SmartPM. Yum in combination of Yumex (now included on Extras repository) is a better alternative.
Haven’t been running it myself, however I helped a somewhat newbie office mate of mine upgrade FC3 to it. Mistake.
He’s seen weird issues, such as this one:
Which rather sucked for him since watching dvds on the system (with 3rd party rpms of course) was a major function of his box.
All and all, from what I’ve seen by his experience, I’d give this one a little more time before deploying, unless you want to do some serious bug testing.
I went back to Fedora Core 3 after not being able to successfully install Fedora 4.
I’ve found a baaaaad bug in OOo for FC4. If I save a document in it, than open and save it in MS Word or a windows beta of OOo (which is different from OOo for FC4 do to FC4 developer changes), then the file is corrupted. Ouch. Fortunately I haven’t had any truely critical documents corrupted by this, but it is a bit of a hassle to rename the file to zip and extract the text from the non-human-readable content.xml file.
2005-07-14 6:50 pmFinalzone
Which version of OOo do you use on FC4 and Windows?
2005-07-15 2:18 pmyouknowmewell
Latest in FC4, 1.9.79 in windows.
2005-07-15 4:58 pmFinalzone
FYI, 1.9.113 is available for Windows. Try to install it and see if the same problem occurs.
uname -a:2.6.12-1.1390_FC4 #1 Tue Jul 5 19:55:49 EDT 2005 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Has updated his kernel yet?
i’de be happy to post a fc4 x86_64 review, i just installed it on a spare partition a couple days ago, haven’t really played with it though
I’ve never used any of the Fedora core distros much but…. i’ll give it a whirl ….
give me a week or so, i’ll put up a detailed review
And also used RedHat 7.3, 9 and FC 1.
From my experience with FC4 doesn’t impress me, sure it’s cutting edge in package versioning but aside of the Clearlooks theme and gnome’s interface I don’t see any major difference in user experience.
Reading the article makes me think this is more of a rant than a review. So sound doesn’t work to Jeremy’s liking and OpenOffice Beta is installed, isn’t part of the purpose of Fedora Core is to put bleeding edge software out for people to test?
I installed Fedora Core on my laptop in a VMWare Virtual Machine and the sound is just fine. So how many sound cards did Jeremy test to make his statement “Those using SoundBlaster sound cards, for example, will notice a very staticky sound all over the operating system.”
If someone is going to review an OS, then review it and not just complain about the features that either doesn’t like or doesn’t work to the reviewer’s satisfaction. What about the other features of Fedora Core?