Monday, May 26, 2008

Fedora 9 - so far

Well I have Fedora 9 installed on my notebook. So far so good. Suspend somewhat works, with the exception I needed to re-key in the WPA key after wake up. The look and feel of it is polished. In fact, it is one of two distros I can honestly say I can use outright with no or minimal modifications to the theme. The other is OpenSUSE.

Well, initially I had problems connecting to the CUPS printers in office and after much anguish and searching through forums and Googling, I finally found out that the cups-config-daemon was not running .

Urggh....I started the cups daemon but not that. F8 never had that issue. Nor that much loved (or hated depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on), Ubuntu.

Other than that it has been cool. Multimedia works as it should, but one should follow the guide at http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-fedora-f9.html , especially the one on setting yum with livna repos.

Since I do use a fair bit of clip art, the openclipart packages that comes with it (installed on /usr/share/clipart/openclipart) only has SVG, no good with openoffice. I had to download the archived ones from openclipart.org for the PNG ones.

The Good:
  • Looks wise (out of the box) it beats Ubuntu (any version) hands down. I mean, when will the Shuttleworth crew grow up and realise that orange and brown is just plain bad to the eyes?
  • PolicyKit is really handy - at least now I can set a normal user to able to patch the system.
  • NetworkManager connects automatically to a frequently used WiFi spot just like Ubuntu.
  • Hardware support is better now - I have not found any PCs or notebooks that would not work with F9.
  • Sort of a "standard" and is ideal to test the latest and greatest the RH world has to offer.
The Bads:
  • Yum and Yum Update. Why oh why yum always look for the slowest server to update from? And man, I cannot install anything right after a reboot, why? Coz yum-update is running. Huh. Get it fixed. There are reasons for it I am sure, but it is so damn annoying. And yes I am aware of yum-fastestmirror. Yum has always been the weakest link in Fedora.
  • Slower compared to Ubuntu 8.04. No concrete figures for me to show but it does feel slower running on my notebook.
  • Packages - still small compared to Debian/Ubuntu. However, many packages out there already have a rpm for it. So not too bad actually.
  • Absence of any tool to easily modify the Login Window. The default login window looks like some rush job.
Why do I compare with Ubuntu? Well Fedora and Ubuntu are the 2 most widely used distros nowadays with OpenSUSE in a distant 3rd. Also I use *Buntu at home and work. F9 is a recent addidtion to my work notebook.

So should you do Fedora 9? If you don't mind getting your hands a little (and I mean very little) dirty, Fedora 9 is good. It has always been a fine distro and since Fedora 7 it has been improving tremendously, usable enough for most desktops.

1 comment:

KageSenshi said...

Absence of any tool to easily modify the Login Window. The default login window looks like some rush job.

This is because Fedora 9 ship with a new GDM, which is not yet complete. The new GDM architecture (once completed) will allow compositing and animations with login screen, and other fancy stuff. Also, it'll have a more flexible theming capability and integration with more ConsoleKit/PolicyKit/etc .. the old GDM architecture are not flexible enough for those improvements, thus, a rewrite.

Fedora, being Fedora, decided to ship the new GDM earlier for it to reach more audience and testing to drive the development faster.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/NewGdm