Fedora 9

Yesterday I thought I would see what was going on in the Fedora world. It has been a long time since I used Red Hat with any regularity on the desktop but it would be good to be able to since all my servers run CentOS — more time spent with common commands and structures would improve my knowledge.

The install went smoothly, although I must say the live CD is a bit flaky. At least on my system it produced several screens full of IO errors before trying some alternate method of loading the system. Eventually the OS came up, looked beautiful and let me easily connect to a wireless network. So far so good.

Installing from the Live CD desktop was no problem either. Red Hat’s installation system has long been one of the best and easiest to use. I had Fedora running on my laptop without a hitch in about 15 minutes, including setting up a custom partition scheme.

Updating packages went well, although the layout/setup was initially confusing. The package manager does not let you do updates (or I couldn’t figure out how to to it), you do that from the update utility which, in my opinion, provides too little feedback on its progress. I think in future I will leave the updater turned off and use yum. If what I have been using is the new PackageKit, it is confusing.

Installation of Flash player was harder than it should be. I had to install an adobe respoitory in yum then install the packages. Then I still had to manually install the plugin in ~home/.firefox/plugins. All of this should be handled automagically.

Then I hit the wall. Nvidia drivers are not supported at this time under FC9 because FC9 released with a beta/testing version of xorg that is incompatible with all of the Nvidia drivers. Nvidia is not saying when it will release compatible drivers. Bad move guys. Isn’t this the sort of thing (driver problems) MS was roundly criticized for with Vista. I guess I’ll wait and see what Open Suse 11 is like when it releases in a few weeks. Until then, back to Vista.

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