Sunday, January 22, 2006

Grow up Fedora

I have been a redhat/Fedora fan. I started with redhat 7.1 and was with it till Fedora 4. Fedora's strength lies in support for a wide variety of systems and larger application base, better advertisement, cooler closer to Windows look (very important for people making a transition). Almost all applications have a rpm package along with a tar ball download. Despite a lot of breakage I felt content with fedora until i used Debian.
I started using it when Dr Howard teased me into using Debian even though I argued vainly to use fedora. Anyway I gave it a try and was fixated. It made me hate my laptop with FC4 installed on it. So in this break I went on to check for a feasible replacement for FC4. Gentoo and Ubuntu were the two contenders and Ubuntu won because of its closeness to Debian. I had been using Ubuntu hoary for few month, now am on breezy. Working on Ubuntu is like playing doom in god mode... nothing can go wrong....
I was installing VMware on it....
i got an error: Make not present
big deal i did $sudo apt-get install make ... problem solved
next i got error: Kernel compiled with gcc version 3.4.5 and gcc 4.0.1 present.
Now in FC4 I can overcome this by either recompiling the kernel with gcc 3.4.5 or installing gcc 3.4.5 and setting flags etc etc... u get the point.
But now all i did was $apt-get install gcc-3.4
How hard is that!!

Next he wanted linux header files... hmmm so do i need to install the whole source???? Not a chance.. $apt-get install linux-headers-386 BINGO

Fedora is a good distro but it is trying to please too many people and is making many unhappy in the process. When I go with the typical install... I don't want eclipse to be installed and I guess they will install Mono by default in FC5... god save FC5. No doubt the popularity of Ubuntu is increasing. The key is knowing what not to add in a distro ,and not, what add in it. Fedora should definitely grow up...

Update: Just finished setting up my computer for my Computer security course. FC4 and Minix on Vmware on Ubuntu (it has to be on vmware... platform can be any).... phew really Z0onked


  1. Toss Fedora. And Debian. And Ubuntu. All of these have gotten far too heavyweight by indeed trying to please too many people.

    Try slackware , arch linux (not to be confused with arc linux) or gentoo Slackware, as we all know, is the classic "bare-bones" distro. It gives you everything you need, a lot of what you want, and virtually nothing you don't want. You can quickly set up a basic functional system and worry about the bells and whistles later. It does not impose a packaging system; the default slackware packaging system is used to maintain the OS Distro, but can be extended to manage your self-built packages and does not try to please everyone by installing what you'll never use. Cons: must manually configure, which is a hassle but in the long run is a good thing; lack of a reliable package repository--the only truly reliable packages are the official distro tree. Like RPMs, you can't trust 3rd party sources. This forces you to compile much of your applications from source, which can be very time consuming.

    Arch Linux is similar to Slackware in it's simplicity but has two major advantages. First, it has a much broader official package tree and second, it is optimized for i686 (all modern x86's), so you can install the binaries without worrying about performance penalty. Updates are also much more frequent.

    Gentoo is on the far end of the performance/convienience specturm. As we all know, gentoo forces you to compile EVERYTHING from source, but makes it easy by automating the entire process; something that can't be said about any other linux distro (unless you trust to rpm source distros, but then it isn't the entire system). The only other place you'll find this functionality is in BSD. But, compiles still take time, even if you don't have to sit in front of the keyboard when the computer's doing it. In addition, unlike giving you a straightfoward installation program like nearly every other distro, Gentoo does not include a setup program and expects you to do the entire procedure by hand.

  2. Calling Ubuntu overweight is wrong. It just does a minimal 1 cd install and gives u the freedom to pull anything from the network using apt. And with 1 GB ram I definitely can pamper myself :P

    Gentoo was a viable option. Ubuntu was chosen just because I got the CD first and debian did not seem annoying.

    Slackware still carries the distinction of being the *original* distro, but the live cd I used once did not excite me at all. BTW I read your blog... flubox looks great. Does it adds the OSx dock thingy too??