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rm2
15th November 2007, 05:49 PM
Hello,

I am rm2. I have been using Linux for about 10 years (I know, that is not that long, right?). Any way, I did use Red Hat as my desktop for a brief period until Mandrake drew me away with KDE. :D To make a long story short, I recently acquired a very nice ThinkPad T61with Intel's 965 GMA. Hey, I figured, lets reward them for making an open source driver.

I have been using PCLinuxOS for about the last year and a half and it has been great on my desktop. However, the distro is not quite ready to support my new laptop's hardware. So, that gave an opportunity to do some "distro hopping". I decided to try all the top distributions, and a few others, to see which one supports my hardware best. You'll be happy to know that Fedora did quite good on my test. While not the best showing, certainly towards the top. On the other hand, Fedora surprised me in many ways for the depth of care I could see in it in several areas. I found myself agreeing with its design decisions as I installed it and tested it.

I am doing a semi little writeup about my experiences with each distro. I don't own a blog, so I am hopping to eventually find someone that will post it online for the benefit of other distro hoppers. In the mean time, I thought you may be interested in the part that talks about Fedora. So, if it's OK, I am going to post it as a response to this thread. Please let me know what you think. ;)

rm2
15th November 2007, 05:51 PM
Installing Fedora 8:
From my experience with trying Ubuntu, I could see that I had better stick with KDE for now until I become more familiar with GNOME. So, I decided to give Fedora KDE a try. The Live CD booted just fine and automatically configured my screen correctly. The theme is very good looking. I think they were aiming for the GNOME look, which is fine by me. It also correctly setup my DSL connection without any intervention on my part. I double clicked on one of my .ogg files and Amarok played it with no problems! But of course, as was to be expected, MP3 files could not play. This is not a big issue for me since I always rip my CDs to ogg format any way. ;) But, I wish flash movies could play by default. Isn't there an open source flash player? Oh well.

I clicked on the “Install to Hard Drive” button and a nice looking installer popped up. For the “partitioning layout” I selected “Create custom layout” from the drop down list of options. I then clicked on the “Advanced storage configuration”. It gave the option of adding a drive. However, it seems that that option is for the benefit of zSeries machines accessing SCSI devices through Fiber Channel. (?) Alright, I canceled out of that. Instead, I clicked Next. That took me to a screen that displayed the existing partitions of the drives connected to my computer. I selected sda9, the partition I had used for Kubuntu, clicked the Edit button, selected / as the mount point from the very functional Mount Point drop down box, and told it to format it as ext3. I left everything else the same. The next screen was about the Boot loader (Hint for Ubuntu: this is a good thing). The screen shows the operating systems detected to be added to the Grub menu list. In this case it evidently only found: “Other - /dev/sda1” (in other words, Windows), and Fedora. However, a button is provided to add other operating systems not automatically detected. Very nice idea. Adding PclinuxOS just for kicks was a snap. Thank you. On the other hand the options for where to install Grub were either on /dev/sda (the boot sector) or not at all. However, a little check box was available to “Configure advanced boot loader options”. Maybe that would allow me to specify the root of sda9 as the location for Grub. Sure enough, after clicking Next I was able to specify “/dev/sda9 First sector of boot partition” as the location for installing the boot loader. Woohooo! At this point other “general kernel parameters” could be given. I decided to leave it alone and see how it went.

The next few screens were your basic stuff, networking, time zone, root password, and that was it. After a few minutes the installation was all done. Interestingly, the shutdown button would not work. It would just not do anything at all when clicked. So, I opened a terminal and entered the reboot command. (Strange! Hopefully this is just a problem in the Live CD.) After replacing Kubuntu's entries in the boot menu list Fedora booted just fine (and I like that they give you a “Details” button to see what is happening. (Fedora does many things right!)

Upon booting for the first time, the license, GPL2, is mentioned. Good! Then, a series of screens allow one to configure the Firewall (excellent!), SELinux (I don't know, but I'll try it.), the date and time, whether to send your hardware profile to the Fedora Project or not, and your User account. After that you are ready to go. On the login screen there was a message welcoming to “local.host”, and that message was overlapping with the clock. That looked a little messy. So, I decided that my first task would be to change the name of my machine. However, a message indicating that there were 32 updates available took precedence. The updates were very slow. So, I got them going and took a look around.

The host name was easily changed under Settings > Network > DNS. I had already noticed that the Fedora team had chosen to use Konqueror as the default Web browser instead of Firefox, but I was even more surprised to see that OpenOffice.org had been left out in favor of KOffice. I like KOffice, but I want to wait until they offer full compatibility with ODF before trusting it to save my data. Oh well, I hope their repositories are not always as slow as they were for those updates.

What about display settings? Well, as I said, the proper resolution was automatically detected. The graphics card was correctly identified and it was automatically configured to use the “intel – Experimental modesetting driver for Intel integrated graphics chipsets”. So it uses the right driver! I looked through all the menus, and could not find any mention of Compiz-Fusion or anything related. So, I cheated a bit and went to the web. I found this page:

http://blog.kagesenshi.org/2007/11/howto-compiz-fusion-in-fedora-8.html

It appeared to say that as long as my hardware was already configured to be able to run Compiz-Fusion (which it was, apparently) it wouldn't be hard to enable it. I would have to install the compiz-fusion components and then do some manual configurations. Was it worth it? Well, I would have to think about it. In the mean time, the updates finished and I had to reboot. After rebooting I decided to give it a go since I had the instructions handy and they didn't look too hard. And frankly, I had already liked so many things about Fedora at this point that giving up so easy did not seem right. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Probably because of the black listing of the Intel card.

After going through those instructions and seeing how yum worked from the command line, I decided to try installing Firefox that way. So, as root, I entered:

yum install firefox

And, bingo (well actually after several minutes), Firefox was installed and ready to go. I think I'd like to get to know Fedora a little bit more in depth. It is a keeper!

FriedChips
15th November 2007, 05:53 PM
absolutely, I would love to hear what you think. :) Welcome to the forum ;)

EDIT: I guess you already added it :rolleyes:

rm2
16th November 2007, 01:40 PM
Wow, 80 some reads and no comments. Hmm, this forum must be full of wise people. ;)

schwim
16th November 2007, 02:37 PM
Not really. We just can't read.

thanks,
json

Dan
16th November 2007, 03:00 PM
Welcome aboard, rm2!

As with most things, it's a mixed bag. Some things are easy, some are less so, some just don't work. However, what I've found is after you get something up an running, even though it took all night, you usually don't remember the difficulties three weeks later. If you love to tinker, breaking and then fixing things is all part of the fun. If you just want it settled in and working, once you've got your system updated and running to you satisfaction, other than security updates, it'll usually work fine unmolested.


Dan

rm2
16th November 2007, 03:27 PM
Welcome aboard, rm2!

As with most things, it's a mixed bag. Some things are easy, some are less so, some just don't work. However, what I've found is after you get something up an running, even though it took all night, you usually don't remember the difficulties three weeks later. If you love to tinker, breaking and then fixing things is all part of the fun. If you just want it settled in and working, once you've got your system updated and running to you satisfaction, other than security updates, it'll usually work fine unmolested.


Dan

Thanks for the welcome. From reading other comments in these forums I see that Fedora is much more a tinkerer distro than what I'm used to. Frankly, it saddens me a little. Not because I don't enjoy tinkering, but because I don't have the time to do so. As I said, there are many things I like about Fedora, but being realistic, I think I am going to have to go with one of the more "automatic" distros. Mandriva is currently the only one that has been able to run Compiz-Fusion on my laptop "out of the box". But, I don't like its themes and their repositories are very slow. I know Texstar is currently focused on getting the X3100 display issues worked out in PCLinuxOS. I can only expect, from past experience, that the results are going to be superb. So, in the end, I think I will stay with PCLOS.

I have really enjoyed this round of distro hopping so far though. I enjoyed dipping my toe in these forums as well. I'm sure I'll be back from time to time. If I ever do get my little write up published somewhere I'll let you know. In the mean time, I am off to test Mint 4.0!

stoat
16th November 2007, 03:37 PM
I have been using Linux for about 10 years (I know, that is not that long, right?).In 1997...

The Pentium II processor was released by Intel in May
AMD introduced the K6
Red Hat released version 4.2 "Biltmore" in May
Windows 95 wouldn't be replaced with 98 until the following summer of 1998

Ten years in computer time is comparable to a geologic epoch.

Dan
16th November 2007, 03:41 PM
You could sure do worse than PCLOS. I keep the liveCD for the latest versions handy in the CD rack.

Once you've had a go with MINT, you might want to try Vector and DreamLinux. Each has its own charms and are fun to play with.

Look forward to seeing you again, and good luck with it!


Dan

rm2
16th November 2007, 04:01 PM
You could sure do worse than PCLOS. I keep the liveCD for the latest versions handy in the CD rack.

Once you've had a go with MINT, you might want to try Vector and DreamLinux. Each has its own charms and are fun to play with.

Look forward to seeing you again, and good luck with it!


Dan

I am familiar with Vector. I ran it for a while on an old 486 machine I used to have (or maybe it was a Pentium One?). It was fun trying to figure out how to load the image to install it, since the machine did not have a CD drive. I think I ended up creating a FAT partition and used a DOS boot disk to load an IOmega drive to copy the image into the machine. Or something like that. Vector was cool. But, I am looking for comfort now. ;) I guess I'm getting old.

Dan
16th November 2007, 04:04 PM
Ain't we all! <..:)..>

kona0197
17th November 2007, 02:12 AM
Ah yes the old Pentium ones...

those days were almost as good as the AMD Athlon days.

Iron_Mike
17th November 2007, 02:39 AM
Not really. We just can't read.

thanks,
json

You kill me Schim, I'm looking for nudy pics myself...

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