Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fedora 8 - The Comeback

My previous post about Ubuntu Gutsy vs Fedora 8 was weak. It is difficult to find a very good distro. Depending on the computer, I have had different experiences. On some computers, Ubuntu really shines and work with minimal tweaking. On some others, Ubuntu is unstable/does not handle wireless correctly and Fedora is much more stable.

The main issues I can see with Fedora 8 are:
- LVM by default. I don't think it is a good idea to go LVM by default since lots of basic tools are still not handling it properly. And if you want to read your disk by something else than a distro with LVM you are screwed. Ext3 straight is imho a much wiser choice. Plus it is rarely a problem to resize partitions as it is not something one does often.
- Fewer programs in the repositories available. Under ubuntu, I was using gtkguitune to tune my guitar, it was in the default repositories. It does not exist for Fedora and I did not manage to compile it due to too old dependencies (GTK 1.2). I found accordeur on sourceforge which is a better program and is available as RPM, so in the end I found something. But while searching I saw the choice was not as wide as with Ubuntu.
- Packages too small: it is not exactly clear what packages you need to start compiling programs with Fedora. If you look in the default categorization, way too many things are silly to enable by default. Also generally package management seems less stable/less easy to use than with Ubuntu.

What I like:
- newer Linux kernel, with better scheduler. Fedora seems more responsive.
- bluetooth relatively well handled by default. The standard method of editing /etc/bluetooth/default works well to plug keyboard.
- wifi well handled by default. I had lots of problems with Ubuntu on my computer and the wifi card, I don't have them with Fedora.

Next step:
- maybe try Suse 10.3 as I just found out that Amarok is the best music player on earth today. As music playing is very important for my computer, a KDE based distro makes sense.

But that would be a silly typical Linux user reaction.

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