Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Decline of Fedora

For those few who may be keeping track, here is the OS/distro count at this QTH.

Fedora Linux:1 desktop, 1 laptop (multiboot)
Ubuntu Linux:1 desktop, 1 server
Debian Linux:1 desktop (PPC Macintosh)
Windows XP:1 laptop (multiboot), 1 desktop (as VMware client)

Yesterday, the system manager (that would be me) lost patience with the wife's Fedora 8 system. It's audio stopped working after some system updates. I thought I'd cure that with a "clean" install of Fedora 9. No soap, but maybe it wasn't clean enough...

The last maneuver, before chucking it all and buying a Macintosh, was to install Ubuntu 8.04.1. That worked very nicely! Ubuntu's philosophy and handling of multimedia, not to mention its documentation, is very appealing after the frustrations of Fedora. Fedora is cutting edge, and often has put me into situations where I had to learn more than I wanted about Linux arcana and spend days making things work.

My "big" desktop Fedora system may be next to switch. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stuff to be re-customized in a new environment, beginning with VMware.


Tate said...

The reason why Fedora borks on many multi-media setups and Ubuntu doesn't seem to (as often) is due to the underlying 'design' philosophy. Fedora is a 'pure' distro - Ubuntu isn't.

Fedora will not include any code, modules, addons or even a text file that isn't fully open source.

Ubuntu will include proprietary and/or closed sorce code.

Makes it easier to make some things work - like Wifi, but you have to evaluate for yourself where you stand.

And yes, Fedora is also more 'bleeding edge' - but that's not always 'why' things break. They screw up now and then too. Good news is they're almost as fast at fixing the 'oopses' when they get out. Part of the price of enjoying an 'E-ticket' ride I guess.

Martin Ewing said...

I understand the different philosophies, but that does not explain all my problems IMO. You can use offshore repositories like livna to supply the missing pieces for Fedora if you want to view DVDs or hear mp3's. (What a radical thing to want!)

I don't expect Redhat to distribute these items, but they could make it a more transparent process. Ubuntu does that.

The deal with Fedora is that you get all the bleeding edge stuff (for free), but you have to pay for it (at times) by extra hair-pulling, debugging, etc.

Such is life.