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  #1  
Old 26th November 2011, 09:18 AM
mzsade Offline
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linuxmintfirefox
Fedora newbie fears

Hey guys, Ubuntu, Linux Mint (ubuntu), LMDE and Crunchbang Linux is all i have ever worked with. Downloading Fedora 16 even as i write this, have to install it on a friend's PC who has never worked on Linux before, thought i would get familiar with it myself before.

Is the learning curve very steep?
Also, there's an ocean of literature and documentation related to Fedora and i am all at sea. Could you please put me through the paces, i mean, tell me where to begin and how to progress from there? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 26th November 2011, 02:10 PM
smr54 Online
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linuxchrome
Re: Fedora newbie fears

Look at the Fedora setup guides link at the top of the page. The mjmwired guide and Dave's autoten are useful.

Leigh's NVidia guide is also helpful, though, if you're not doing gaming, and it's a moderately powerful machine, you might be able to get away with the default nouveau without noticing. (I think if you game though, or do some graphic intensive stuff, you will notice.)

If your friend likes #!Crunchbang, I'd say the way to avoid most aggravation is to choose the minimal install, then add X and openbox afterwards. I don't use Gnome, but most of the issues I've seen with fresh installs on these forums (as opposed to upgrades, which seem to have their own), have to do with Gnome.

I think Gnome 3 is similar to Unity, but that's coming from a non-Gnome user who says, "Well, gee--they both have lots of stuff on the left.

Yes, the documentation is pretty scattered about. The positive spin on that is that Fedora tries to be many things to many types, rather than, like Arch, for example, concentrating on one sort of user and just worrying about them, Fedora worries about all types, so the documentation is like one of those games where, if you choose A, go here, if you choose B, go here.

If you take the defaults, and everything works more or less, then it won't be that dissimilar to Ubuntu, most things will be doable for your friend through a GUI.

Yum is different than apt, but it's just a matter of learning a different syntax. There are various guides to equivalent commands out there.

http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/tutorials/6546/1


(Not actually a side by side comparison, but still gives the basics)


One with side by side equivalents.


http://daverdave.com/node/97
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  #3  
Old 26th November 2011, 04:04 PM
Mariusz W Offline
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macosmidori
Re: Fedora newbie fears

Quote:
Originally Posted by mzsade View Post
Hey guys, Ubuntu, Linux Mint (ubuntu), LMDE and Crunchbang Linux is all i have ever worked with. Downloading Fedora 16 even as i write this, have to install it on a friend's PC who has never worked on Linux before, thought i would get familiar with it myself before.

Is the learning curve very steep?
Are you asking for yourself or for your friend? Who is the 'newbie'?

Fedora releases are generally solid. Post-release problems are in most cases identified swiftly and solutions provided (make sure to read 'Known bugs' section of the Fedora 16 release announcement at the Fedora Project site).

Loud complaints and aggravation continue to be directed at GNOME 3: they primarily come from those users who made their home at GNOME 2, and the abrupt transition to GNOME 3 made them literally homeless.

If you, or your friend, spend a certain amount of time using what you get instead of instantly proceeding to change everything, then I think you should not experience significant problems. If something happens that affects a number of users this is usually swiftly reported and generally rapidly rectified (e.g., occasional problematic changes to the Linux kernel).

I am speaking this having installed Fedora 15 and 16 on two different, new i5 laptops, and upgrading from Fedora 13, through 14, 15 -- to 16 -- on a low powered 3 year old Toshiba netbook.

All three have standard GNOME 3 Fedora installed, I added a few other desktop environments like fluxbox, Openbox, LXDE, Enlightenment, though I regularly use only the first three.

If you decide to follow Scott's advice (smr54), then be prepared for a significant amount of effort that would have to go into the post-installation procedures. I would not recommend this path to a 'newbie' but rather to somebody who is already fairly experienced. In that case, by the way, my feeling is that one should try first to install Arch Linux, since it literally 'holds your hand' during both the installation and afterwards, when still a lot of work needs to be done -- it does so through copious, carefully written documentation which is uniformly of high quality.

P.S. I posted from Fedora 16 -- not from Mac OS X. This is a known bug : it seems to affect only the Midori browser.
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  #4  
Old 26th November 2011, 04:30 PM
smr54 Online
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linuxchrome
Re: Fedora newbie fears

I only suggested it because the OP mentioned they use #!Crunchbang, which I've always thought of as an ArchLinux for busy people.
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  #5  
Old 26th November 2011, 04:51 PM
mzsade Offline
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linuxmintfirefox
Re: Fedora newbie fears

Thank you Scott, Mariusz, it's like this, the Crunchbang thing was a one time affair of mine, charming thing as it is, kept having trouble with printers and so i had to let go of it. My friend is a CCIE (Windoze world) and has recently opted to give Linux a try to add to his network administration skills (of which i know nothing, btw). Fedora was the inevitable choice to begin with, considering the predominance of Red Hat in the profession.

As to the question of who's the newbie, i'd say we both are..even though i have been using Linux for more than 3 years now, i have been content to play around with it for frivolous purposes, using dedicated people like you to solve my problems, hitherto. Now that it has fallen upon me to introduce a friend to the world of Linux, i am compelled to stop fooling around and get serious.

I will be sticking to the defaults initially and will refer to the guides Scott mentioned, thanks again for everything..i am going to be pestering you like crazy, watch out : )
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  #6  
Old 26th November 2011, 05:46 PM
smr54 Online
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linuxchrome
Re: Fedora newbie fears

Ok, in that case (considering your friend's desires), I'd actually recommend either ScientificLinux 6 or CentOS 6. Both are pretty much clones of RHEL 6, whereas Fedora has some changes that aren't in RH.

If there's any oddball hardware, or NVidia, there is the elrepo repo, which provides drivers for some things RH lacks, and, in addition, makes sure not to conflict with existing things.

The other option that seems to be getting more and more popular is Ubuntu server, so, if you're familiar with Ubuntu, that might even be a reasonable choice as well. There are differences in how each handles networking, though in both cases (with Ubuntu, only with the server, or possibly the alternative install CD) if you set it up statically at install, then there's not much to do afterwards. (I don't recollect Ubuntu desktop giving me an option with the network, at least not if DHCP was available).

Anyway, depending upon where you're living, RH is still far and away, at least here in the Northeast US, the most popular. I only offer Ubuntu as an alternative because you're somewhat familiar with it.

My own opinion is that if you work with one for awhile, the switch to another isn't going to be horrendous. You'll know what you do on say, RH, and then you can quickly google how do I do X on Ubuntu?

I am speaking from experience in a way--our webteam wanted Ubuntu server for their machines and I didn't know the equivalent of chkconfig and where one manually altered network configuration. However, being familiar with RH, I knew what to google for and it only took a few minutes to find the answer. I suspect that even without google, I could have figured it out quickly though, because, with a little experience with one system's way of doing it, figuring out the likely places for the other system to put files isn't that hard. That is, without google, I would have looked in /etc, found the various network directories and probably quickly figured out, ahah, this is where I specify it.
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  #7  
Old 26th November 2011, 07:33 PM
chrismurphy Offline
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macoschrome
Re: Fedora newbie fears

I agree with smr54.

If you're looking to compare a linux distro to the commercial operating system world (Windows or Mac OS) I'd recommend CentOS or ScientificLinux as well. CentOS in particular is nearly dead nuts identical (patches for known major security issues is an exception), and they even point to RHEL documentation instead of building their own, it's that close to RHEL. If he were to deploy or maintain linux servers or workstations, it would likely be CentOS or RHEL. They'll be based on slightly older but much more hammered on kernels and software versions, and probably fewer bugs. But you're not going to get the latest desktop experience (Gnome or KDE) either for that matter.

But if it's for his own usage, maybe to check out network tools available that he'd use for troubleshooting networks, newer may very well be better so he might take a look at the Fedora Security Lab spin. In that context, it's not for deployment that dozens or tens of thousands of users will depend on for stability/reliability. But rather for him to go looking for problems.

Fedora is always in flux, lots of changes happen in the course of a release, let alone between releases which occur every 6 months. Update support is 13 months.

RHEL, Scientific Linux, CentOS have mostly bug and security updates in between minor .x releases. Those minor updates during the regular lifecycle exist for 7 years. So these are designed to be enduring deployments.
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  #8  
Old 27th November 2011, 08:29 AM
mzsade Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: Fedora newbie fears

Thanks for your advice, your arguments for Centos, etc cannot be faulted but I think i am going to stick with Fedora.
It's only my first day with it and i have already customised the Desktop, installed the missing dlls for wine with winetricks and am about to install a newer kernel for the vmware that requires.it. It's a pleasure using it, everything works with ease and without any trouble. Also, my friends intention is not to switch to teaching Red Hat networking and security, he only want's to familiarize himself with the basics, and use Linux for his personal use as platform on which he will still be demonstrating Windows networking and security in a virtual Windows environment.
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  #9  
Old 27th November 2011, 10:31 AM
smr54 Online
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linuxchrome
Re: Fedora newbie fears

Well, since you're getting along with Fedora, welcome to the forums.

Hopefully, you and your friend will find it fun. The main thing to remember, to save yourself from later grief, is that many times something new will be tested first on Fedora. That is, you might find that in the next release, something you like, and are used to using, has been changed--and not even because it's necessarily better, but because the hope is that sooner or later it will be better, and as a Fedora user, you're one of those testers.

This is mentioned in various places around fedoraproject.org, though usually not phrased exactly that way. My own, (and only my own, though others may share it), opinion is that generally, these days, after the first few weeks of a release, it's a pretty usable desktop distribution, even for newcomers. However, that release might surprise people who were using the previous release, for one reason or another.
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