Recently we’ve seen the releases of both Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’ as well as Fedora 9 ‘Sulphur’, to mostly positive reviews. PCWorld Australia decided to pitch these two popular Linux distributions against one another.PCWorld was especially satisfied with Ubuntu’s excellent hardware recognition. “Each installation found and recognized all of my hardware without requiring a reboot,” they write, “Even my media card slot, which Windows can never locate a driver for on its own, worked right off the bat.”
When it comes to Fedora, there were a few problems on the X.org side, but what they loved was the support for SELinux. ” Most users will find that the biggest benefit of SELinux is its management of root user authority: The program alerts you when you’ve had root privileges activated for more than a few minutes, so you can minimize your exposure from this vulnerability.”
For users who are already familiar with Linux, Fedora 9 is an excellent choice. Robust security features and installation options make it somewhat more versatile than Ubuntu, which offers a more streamlined (and therefore more restricted) installation. For most users, though, including millions interested in trying Linux for the first time, Fedora lacks the polish and ready-to-run simplicity of its more popular rival.
Ubuntu 8.0.4 offers a level of functionality comparable to that of Mac OS and Windows, from delivery to installation to daily use. Unfortunately, the ties that bind all Linux distributions – primarily a lack of support for major Windows- and Mac-based business, design, and gaming applications – still hold Ubuntu back from mass popularity. For users with such moderate computing needs as Web browsing, e-mail, and basic document creation, however, Hardy is a compelling option.