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Taking a leap of faith - erasing Ubuntu with Fedora 8

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libervisco's picture
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This might seem a bit foolish to some, but I'm doing it.. actually I've done it, nevertheless. Ubuntu Gutsy upgrade may have been successful from some point of view, but ever since I've upgraded there have been certain annoyances that kept me thinking "gosh, this isn't what I signed up for, this is starting to look more like freedom-less windows".. What am I talking about? Well, for one, not being able to switch to a tty console without getting the screen jumbled up! Or how about being forced to boot with neither a splash screen nor the text messages because it apparently has a problem with my monitor. Come on, this is so stupid I just wont take it!

Ubuntu is a beautiful system when it comes to installing software you want, anything you want, and it is extremely easy to use, but I've never found it to be glitch-less after a dist-upgrade.

So I'm thinking, Fedora 8 is all rage now, and I'm eager. As my Ubuntu kept glitching away, I've had enough.. and took the leap, got the LiveCD (actually in 64bit version a LiveDVD) and installed it..

But.. woops.. first I encounter a bug that crashes an installation because I wanted it to mount a windows partition. Took a while to figure that out. Credit the guys at #fedora8 channel on freenode. Oh kay, I guess I can forgive that for it is a windows related thing and it's a sin enough I have that thing on my PC at all.. Moving on... no mounting of FAT partitions, everything installs very fast.

After a reboot, all looks great.. until.. I try compiz (desktop effects) and my windows wouldn't maximize to my full resolution (which is 1280x1024), but to 1024x768. And playing with it, it ends up freezing my computer. And guess what? I couldn't just hit ctrl-alt-delete to get over it. It actually froze everything, making me hit the force reset button on my box!!! If you ask me, in this day and age and considering that numerous times compiz froze on me at Ubuntu ctrl-alt-delete was all I needed to do.. Only X froze, not the whole system..

That's bad if you ask me.

Now.. I'm just on the tips of my toes hoping I don't hit some other issue. I'll keep you updated.. and perhaps make it a full review.

That said, I gotta say I'm impressed by the way Fedora 8 looks, by its detection skills (it detected everything right down to the model of my monitor) and some configuration tools. It's "add/remove" utility leaves much to be desired compared to synaptic, but it's simple enough and seems fairly fast compared to what I remember (oh perhaps it's cause I have a real DSL these days, who knows).. It's a beautiful system for sure, but I have a feeling that Fedora and "rough edges" go hand in hand. The fact that they still have an unfixed bug (which they actually think is fixed) yet their final release is tomorrow, speaks in that favor very much.

Stay tuned.

libervisco's picture
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Ok what's this now.. Am I

Ok what's this now.. Am I seeing wrong or is Fedora actually pushing me to buy rights to play mp3s? Instead of ffmpeg it offers free fluendo codecs and when that doesn't work it wants to sell me some sort of a bundle for 16 euros. I can't believe my eyes.. with all the Free Software available for mp3 playback it is offering me proprietary software for pay!

Oh I know.. I guess it is rather choosing the legal freedom-deprived option than an illegal (only in some countries) Free Software option. This is an outrage. :\

Edit: Oh and no mightly vlc to be found in repositories.

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Joined: 2006-03-28
Well, which version did you

Well, which version did you download? Fedora 8 Test 3? That's already there for a while, so I guess it wouldn't be much of an indicator for the final version, mostly on what will be there. I think until then they pretty much had a feature- and version-freeze, and then only did stability, security and things like that.
But you never know, maybe there will still be some issues in the coming version, but I'm sure it'll be less than you have experienced now.

It's not much longer to wait. Tonight, or tomorrow morning, Fedora 8 will go public. Then we'll see.

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That must be that

That must be that codec-buddy I heard about. Yes, inclusion of that is quite controversial, but I guess it should be possible to remove it.
FFMPEG and stuff like that are not there because there are these patent-issues about everything called MPEG, no matter if VCD, DVD, MP3 or whatever. So by default you can't play that stuff on Fedora.

With offering the proprietary software they are on the safe side. As you said, in a few countries it's illegal to use Free Software that is perfectly capable to play DVDs, MP3s and all that stuff.

libervisco's picture
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I'm on Fedora 8 final. I

I'm on Fedora 8 final. Smiling

I understand the issue about codecs and I guess RedHat being RedHat they wanted to be on the safe side. I just don't like it, not one bit.

This too may be a controversial stance for some people, but if patents aren't valid here and I've no other alternatives in certain cases than using such codecs (am I to completely stop watching MP* movies?) and yet there is Free Software which allows me to use it, then that's my choice. Interestingly, Canonical doesn't seem to mind offering ffmpeg yet RedHat apparently does..

Anyway, Fedora is, to say the least, proving to be like a ride through the rabbit hole, especially the community experience. These people seem weird.. it's not very easy to get down to earth with an issue. They'll first ask some incredibly obvious things like "do you have direct rendering enabled" when I get my windows not maximizing correctly. Wtf? I didn't say compiz didn't work. I mean I wouldn't be talking about windows not maximizing if I couldn't even get 3D to work, right?

And that's just one example.. Right as we speak we're trying to figure out why do I get the fedoraos.org/repositories.html in code that looks like a chinese interpretation of binary code..

I'm telling you.. this feels very weird. I could nominate Fedora as a distro with the most (un)imaginable issues ever!

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Hmm
libervisco wrote:

I'm on Fedora 8 final. Smiling

Where did you get that? All the mirrors I tried wouldn't let me get it yet. :-(

libervisco wrote:

I understand the issue about codecs and I guess RedHat being RedHat they wanted to be on the safe side. I just don't like it, not one bit.

From what I heard you're not alone with that. As said, it's quite a controversial topic, and I guess if many people really don't like it I think it might be removed in Fedora 9. But anyway, I guess you can remove it using yum or pirut.

libervisco wrote:

I'm telling you.. this feels very weird. I could nominate Fedora as a distro with the most (un)imaginable issues ever!

Well, we'll see how my upgrade in KVM goes. And I think I'm going to test it there for a few days first. And if there's too many issues I might well stick with Fedora 7. I have no problems with that, it works great and there's still going to be updates, so I won't have a problem anyway.

libervisco's picture
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Maybe I'm just a bit too

Maybe I'm just a bit too sensitive and acting spoiled.. I guess Ubuntu made me an Ubuntubbie. Laughing out loud

So far I'd say that in addition to the codec buddy issue (not so big if I can remove it and install from livna or something like that) compiz freezes the whole system (so no deal there) and I get many sites in that "binary chinese" or whatever to call it. Laughing out loud

It's dangerously close to being balanced out with Gutsy and whatever issues I had with it.. although, at least I can get to normal tty consoles now. Sticking out tongue

Hmm we'll see..

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Ubuntubby
libervisco wrote:

Maybe I'm just a bit too sensitive and acting spoiled.. I guess Ubuntu made me an Ubuntubbie. Laughing out loud

You also got a vacuum cleaner with a Ubuntu-logo on it roaming around your place? And the sun shows the face of Mark Shuttleworth with a really really stupid smile? :-)

libervisco wrote:

So far I'd say that in addition to the codec buddy issue (not so big if I can remove it and install from livna or something like that) compiz freezes the whole system (so no deal there) and I get many sites in that "binary chinese" or whatever to call it. Laughing out loud

I have never seen that "binary chinese" as shown in your screenshot. That's really weird and I don't understand right now what this should be related to. Well, I guess I'll see.
I have been using Beryl for a while on my notebook, and that worked quite fine.
Don't know what graphics-card you have, but maybe it's a driver-issue. I also had a few 3D-problems when I used to use the free ATI-driver on my old LFS.
My notebook has an Intel-card, so it comes with free drivers that can do hardware-3D out of the box, which is a great thing. As I somewhere mentioned before, the Centrino-sticker somehow for me is turning into some sort of quality-mark saying "Runs great with Linux".

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hope not.... :P
reptiler wrote:
libervisco wrote:

Maybe I'm just a bit too sensitive and acting spoiled.. I guess Ubuntu made me an Ubuntubbie. Laughing out loud

You also got a vacuum cleaner with a Ubuntu-logo on it roaming around your place? And the sun shows the face of Mark Shuttleworth with a really really stupid smile? :-)

LOL, not that far.. yet... I hope not. Laughing out loud

libervisco wrote:

Don't know what graphics-card you have, but maybe it's a driver-issue. I also had a few 3D-problems when I used to use the free ATI-driver on my old LFS.
My notebook has an Intel-card, so it comes with free drivers that can do hardware-3D out of the box, which is a great thing. As I somewhere mentioned before, the Centrino-sticker somehow for me is turning into some sort of quality-mark saying "Runs great with Linux".

I have Radeon X800 used with free drivers, and yeah it's not yet entirely stable, but there was a time when I could run 3D desktop with rarely ever having any problems. This on Fedora seems a little bit too frequent to be sure it's just the drivers issue, but who knows.. One annoying thing though is that it doesn't freeze just X, but the whole system, which wasn't happening on Ubuntu.

About Centrino mark, yeah I remember. Well, it's still pretty much true Intel integrated graphics will work most flawlessly with free operating systems so far, due to the free source code.. When I was buying this motherboard I even wanted it to be with an Intel GMA, but accidentally ended up with the version without it, and found out about it when it was already too late.. long story short: I ended up getting Radeon X800. So far I can't complain too much though. It's a powerful card and free drivers have been powering it sufficiently well for me to get hot for that gaming festival idea. Smiling

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Ok while I was sleeping I

Ok while I was sleeping I downloaded some games; OpenArena, Nexuiz, Tremulous and also PCLinuxOS CD to test out the "chinese binary" issue from it..

OpenArena plays fine, but Nexuiz doesn't have sound and freezes. After the freeze I can do ctrl-alt-delete and relogin, and then when I try a game again it says:

Quote:

Your system currently is not capable of hardware accelerated 3D. Therefore tremulous cannot run.

Usually the cause of this error is that there are no Free Software drivers for your graphics card, please contact your graphics card manufacturer and kindly ask them to provide Free Software support for your card.

Puzzling.

Also, it just notified me I have 9 security updates. I click to get them and then see:

Quote:

Missing Dependency: gecko-libs = 1.8.1.8 is needed by package yelp

Now, I didn't install extra packages. It is Fedora itself which wants to install these updates yet it can't provide for dependencies. I haven't seen something like this, something reminding of the old "RMP hell" since.. must be 2005 or so. This is unacceptable for a distro that competes with Ubuntu IMHO. Ubuntu wins so far. Sad

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It seems that Fedora does

It seems that Fedora does not check for updates on every login, I guess it's like every second login or so. And I think only when you're root, or only when you're using Gnome. And since I usually login as dennis, with KDE (only as root I have selected Gnome), I don't see that anyway. I anyway check manually everyday.

That yelp-problem I also had on Fedora 7, after a while it was gone. That's actually one of the downsides I see in Fedora, sometimes pup and pirut break, for no particular reason, and after a few hours or day they work again as if nothing happened. The strange thing is that during that time where pup and pirut stop working yum keeps doing it's job perfectly fine. But that's actually something I can live with.

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Yum doesn't work

Yum doesn't work either.

Quote:

Error: Missing Dependency: gecko-libs = 1.8.1.8 is needed by package yelp

I just ran yum update as root.

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Maybe you update everything

Maybe you update everything else first, and then try again. I think that helped me before.

libervisco's picture
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How do I do that? Isn't yum

How do I do that? Isn't yum update for everything?

Fedora is a great distro and I don't want to be too harsh in my review since this is, considering my past (bad) experiences with it, the best try so far, but I am afraid it wont cut it. I thought Ubuntu had problems, but now I see friends in a RPM land have it worse.. :\

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When you use pup to update

When you use pup to update you can select the packages.

Btw: Why do we write blue now?

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reptiler wrote: When you
reptiler wrote:

When you use pup to update you can select the packages.

Ok, I'll try.

reptiler wrote:

Btw: Why do we write blue now?

Blue? What do you mean?

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Well, all the posts after

Well, all the posts after your

Quote:

I just ran yum update as root.

are in blue now.

libervisco's picture
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Oh, sorry, I closed the

Oh, sorry, I closed the code tag with an em tag so it apparently applied the code styling to all text below. Weird I didn't see that though. Laughing out loud I fixed it now.

Btw, I was a bit stupid back there.. I didn't realize "pup" is actually Package Updater and yes it has tick boxes to select what to update. I now updated everything except the field where it says "Updated firefox packages available" for which it says is a bug fix. However I can't update that because of that dependency error ("Missing Dependency: gecko-libs = 1.8.1.8 is needed by package yelp"). It's weird though.. I can understand the relation between Firefox and gecko, but yelp? I don't think that has much to do with Firefox..

Weird stuff. Laughing out loud

libervisco's picture
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I installed galeon web

I installed galeon web browser and firefox disappeared from needed updates. Also, I tested in galeon and I don't get the "chinese binary" stuff in it. So basically, the culprit is Firefox! Laughing out loud

libervisco's picture
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I've been from Fedora 8 to

I've been from Fedora 8 to Frugalware 0.7... and back. Laughing out loud

I did another fresh install of Fedora 8, this time also making sure that the LiveDVD I have is unchanged since yesterday and also doing a (successful) media check. This time I don't have problems with "chinese binary" in firefox.

I also did a yum update from command line right away which, who knows, might prevent some odd issues I've been having. So far so good.

Still, the above experienced have lowered my expectations slightly so I wouldn't be too surprised if I see another weird dependency issue or some similar glitch, but.. maybe I should stop being a whiny ubuntubbie and just learn to deal with it. When I think about it, my choice of distros really comes down to Ubuntu and Fedora. I just don't have the time nor will these days to mess with things and I want very high availability of packages and support. Only high profile distros can provide that, and among those only Ubuntu and Fedora fit my requirements. They are both fairly up-to-date, easy to use and having stable release schedules. I like that.

So.. I'll probably stick with Fedora for a while, try to fight whatever issues I have and perhaps even stick with it for a longer period of time. I am already hearing Fedora 9 has some incredible things in store!

Cheers

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Things aren't bad since

Things aren't bad since last clean install above. Aside from a few exaile crashes and a compiz bug with resizing windows it seems quite stable so far. I've customized the look a bit with Oxygen icons, glossy theme and a nice fresh wallpaper so it looks more like home now.

But I keep wondering if this is much better than Ubuntu. Perhaps I will later discover what is it about Fedora that is worth keeping, but right now I'm not sure.
Both Ubuntu and Fedora are fairly equal in terms of overall system performance, at least once I disabled ipv6 to speed up browsing and also stripped out unnecessary services.

But, Ubuntu definitely has faster package management. Yum, pirut, you name it.. is just slow. It's not so much being slow while actually doing something as much as in waiting for it to start doing it. When it goes to download or remove a package there is a significant delay, not to mention when it starts updating to repositories. If you happen to use Pirut GUI to install something, it has a serious graphics refresh issue (not sure what to call it). When it is doing something and I navigate to some other window or workspace and then back to Pirut, it will wait about two seconds or more before it shows the window, being sort of blank in the meantime.
Bottom line, the whole software management experience is just plain better on Debian/Ubuntu, to be completely honest.

So what else can make Fedora worth more than Ubuntu? Features maybe? Oh.. well I gotta say it does work properly with my monitor while gutsy 64bit doesn't. There are also these extra features (including new ones from F8), like SELinux, firewall by default, pulse audio, online desktop and what not, but guess what.. none of them really interest me that much. I disabled my firewall as it slows things down. SELinux I barely even understand what it is. I tried online desktop and I am not really impressed. Pulse audio? What's the big deal? I ended up using ALSA since it seems to be buggy..

That's a very tight race there between Ubuntu and Fedora, all things considered...

Anyway.. I'll be writing a review, summarizing most of the thoughts I expressed in this thread, and it will not be just cheer leading and repeating feature lists like some reviews..

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Fedora 8 PulseAudio

I was very disappointed with the PulseAudio issue too. I don't even get what the hypothetical advantage is, just that it did not let nonroot users play sound. I ended up removing it and going back to the old ways with just ALSA.

SELinux basically controls permissions on specific behaviours. It can even block root from doing actions on accident.

I never use graphical package manager programs or whatever you want to call them. It's easier just to use yum, which got a huge speed increase in Fedora 8.

You missed the inclusion of IcedTea, the project working to fill the gaps in OpenJDK (all of Java that Sun could release) to make a complete and free Java implementation. I have already tried one Java application (GeoGebra). It is slow, but it works.

Most importantly for me, Amarok is magically stable again! I was using basic, unexciting Juk in Fedora 7.

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a_thing wrote: I never use
a_thing wrote:

I never use graphical package manager programs or whatever you want to call them. It's easier just to use yum, which got a huge speed increase in Fedora 8.

I suppose it's a speed increase compared to F7, which is great, but it still doesn't seem to be performing just as well or better than apt. It seems to be fast when installing, but delays in between slow the whole process down. What could it possibly be doing when I say "yum install this" and it just sits there for a while before doing anything?

a_thing wrote:

You missed the inclusion of IcedTea, the project working to fill the gaps in OpenJDK (all of Java that Sun could release) to make a complete and free Java implementation. I have already tried one Java application (GeoGebra). It is slow, but it works.

Oh I'm yet to try that.

Cheers

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Well, my notebook is on

Well, my notebook is on Fedora 8 now, but it took quite a while, and it pissed me off quite a lot.
Problem is that of course I already have a lot of package installed, working with Fedora 7 for 6 months brings that with it, and it seems that this causes the upgrade-process to take forever. My PC is actually still checking the deps, for 10 hours now! Though I have hope that it'll finish some time before xmas...
For my notebook it was a bit easier, I decided to backup the little stuff I had to a DVD-RAM and then just wiped it and installed Fedora 8 completely fresh. But on my PC I'd have too much to backup, so I really don't see that option there.

Well, we'll see how it goes.

libervisco's picture
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no sound

I removed pulseaudio packages and now I have a problem with sound. When trying to run alsamixer I get this:

*** PULSEAUDIO: Unable to connect: Connection refused

alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default: Connection refused

How to safely remove ALSA's dependency on pulseaudio and just have normal alsa sound?

a thing's picture
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/etc/asound.conf

Try removing /etc/asound.conf and running system-config-soundcard.

libervisco's picture
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It seems everything started

It seems everything started working after removing all the rest of the pulseaudio related packages by finding them through the GUI (pirut). Also, I forgot I booted, out of curiosity, the "xen" version. I'm not sure what exactly is its purpose, but it says it's running the earlier 2.6.21 version.

So after uninstalling and rebooting sound worked.

But anyway.. I probably wont stick with Fedora. It doesn't have so many compelling reasons compared to some other options. Big part in choosing a distro for me is played by the package manager, both command line and GUI. I consider yum and pirut subpart to apt-get and synaptic here in probably every way except the looks of the command line installation (yum has nicer progress bars whereas apt-get is more dull).

I'm trying Zenwalk too and it's really a great little OS. However it too is beaten by Debian's package management IMHO. So far the two best package managers for me are apt-get and pacman. For GUI it is ONLY synaptic. Nothing yet exceeds it. It is simple, easy yet incredibly powerful. Pirut is easy, but not very powerful.

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