Fedora 11 11 June, 2009Posted by aronzak in Uncategorized.
I’ll confess, i used to like installing new versions of Linux. I used to find it exciting, starting up into a new system, with a new look. Unfortunately, the excitement tends to wear off when you realise that there is no perfect system. In reality, The biggest difference between many versions of Linux is the desktop background. Oh, except and sometimes you strike a jackpot with an OS that has things that don’t work.
SJVN says that the best 5 features of Fedora 11 are :
– Fast boot
– New Xorg
– Synaptics drivers
Interestingly, he misses out the new virtualisation feature, which is also interesting. It is nice that the boot time has been worked on, and there are some pretty features like smooth wallpaper switching. But then there are heaps of annoyances. The graphics are mostly nice, but the default gnome layout with two whopping great white bars that trap your desktop in some kind of cage is terrible.
It’s nice that Ext4 is used, which can give some performance speedups, but this means that there must be a boot partition with an ext3 filesystem. This is where the pain really sets in. Fedora insists on marking the partition as bootable and placing it as a primary partition. It’s annoying when the partitioner in the installer, already very hard to use, disregards what you tell it to do and does something else. This really doesn’t make me feel confident about potentially destructive changes.
Next, the installer wants to install a bootloader, but only recognises Wondows 7 and itself. This is unacceptable for a 2009 Linux release. It’s easy for me to go and guess the grub setup needed, but having to do it is a pain for me. And yes, these days it is possible that someone might want to multiboot more than just Fedora. If anyone is stuck, here’s the part from the grub loader:
title Fedora 11 Guess
kernel /vmlinuz-18.104.22.168-167.fc11.i686.PAE ro root=/dev/sda11
This is a support disaster waiting to happen.
After that major issue, there’s a string of minor problems to contend with. Firstly, opening the file manager shows nautilus’s basic display. Great. This is really ugly and should never be used. The browser view is much better, letting you use bookmarks and tabs.
I’m amazed that nobody thought of this. In a distribution shipping the latest version of gnome, very basic usability considerations have been left out.
The next annoying thing is that a root password is needed to mount other hard drive partitions. Really, this should be done automatically. SO fstab will need to be edited. What next, needing to manually mount your own CDs?
Next annoyance is that unlike in Ubuntu, there isn’t an easy way to set up samba sharing.
The next annoyance is that for some reason firefox runs slowly. It’s scrolling is terrible until you turn off smooth scrolling. Another poorly chosen setting.
There’s a range of others, like something called ‘makewhatis’ and ‘updatedb’ running in the background and chewing up resources.
Fedora 11 has some nice ideas, but a major issue in installation and other major annoyances keep me from using it. Hopefully the good ideas will feed into Ubuntu 9.10’s development.