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Linuxhelp _ Reviews _ Fedora Core 1 Review

Posted by: Joey Nov 30 2003, 08:16 AM

I decided to replace my Red Hat Linux 9 install with Fedora Core 1 this weekend. I've had the ISOs burnt for a few weeks, I just wasn't sure if I was ready for the jump to a "new" Linux distribution. Anyhow, after getting everything backed up, I took a leap of faith and rebooted with CD 1 of FC1 in my cdrom drive.

The machine I used for the install is a Pentium 3 550mhz box with 384 megs of ram. It has an 80 gig hard drive and an ATI Radeon 7000 video card. There's also an ISA ethernet card connecting it to my local network. Oh and a Microsoft Optical USB scroll wheel mouse.

I actually installed Fedora Core 1 twice this weekend. The first time I did a full install (5+ gigs) which took about an hour and a half to complete. I had some issues with the installation that left a bad taste in my mouth so I decided to try installing another distribution (SuSE 9.0, which failed miserably). The second attempt with Fedora went alright with only a few snags.

Anyhow, getting back on track. Fedora Core 1 has 3 ISO's and you'll need all 3 for the install.

Fedora still uses Anaconda for the installation procedure so it looks very similar to the Red Hat Linux 9 install; wherever you'd expect to see "Red Hat" you now see "Fedora". I choose to do a fresh install rather than trying to upgrade the current one.

There are a few things "missing" from the installation procedure now:

1) Using LILO as your bootloader is no longer an option, it's either GRUB or nothing.
2) There is no option to add additional users to the system after you set the root password etc.
3) XFree86 is no longer configured during the install.
4) When choosing the packages you wish to install, the "Individual Package Selection" option is no longer present.
5) During the actual installation it no longer lists how many packages remain etc
6) You cannot configure the network during the install.

I have no idea why these options were removed (unless I'm blind and totally missed them) but removing them in my opinion is a huge step backwards. Anyhow moving on, the second time around the installation took about a half an hour to complete. After the install was over it rebooted the machine and Fedora Core 1 began to load.

If you choose to install XFree86 and a desktop (KDE, Gnome etc) it automatically defaults to runlevel 5 (it will load X on bootup). This is all fine and dandy however you were never presented with an option to configure X so obviously when it tries to load it, it fails. You receive a nice "I cannot start the X Server (your graphical interface). It is likely that it is not set up correctly. Would you like to view the X server output to diagnose the problem?".

One of the new features I like is the graphical boot when you load up Linux. All the "Loading XFS [OK]" stuff is gone (there's an option on the graphical boot to "Show Details") and now all you see is a progress bar and a brief description of what is going on.

Some of the packages that ship with Fedora Core 1 are:

XFree86-4.3.0-42
kernel-2.4.22-1
httpd-2.0.47-10
mysql-3.23.58-4
php-4.3.3-6
kdebase-3.1.4-1
gnome-2.4.0-1
openoffice.org-1.1.0-6

The full package listing is available at http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/package-list/ and
you can find the release notes at http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/release-notes/

After the install was complete and I fiddled around with the system a little I decided to upgrade KDE to 3.2 beta. Please keep that in mind when you look at the following screen shots.

http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot1.jpg
http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot2.jpg
http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot3.jpg
http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot4.jpg
http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot5.jpg
http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot6.jpg
http://www.linuxhelp.ca/images/screenshots/fc1/shot7.jpg

My first impressions after I installed Fedora Core was "wow this sucks, what a step in the wrong direction". My main gripe is how they (in my opinion) crippled the installer. Maybe it's just me but I was just used to configuring as much as possible during the installation and to have that taken away in my eyes lessens the overall product.

After using Fedora Core for a few days, it's grown on me. I think it's mainly because of the KDE 3.2 beta I installed and the look of my desktop and not the system itself.

As well, I cannot get up2date to work (although I haven't taken the time to look into the problem). I keep on receiving
"This system may not be updated until it is associated with a channel." whenever I try and update the system. Since it's my desktop machine I don't really care but if they ever expect me to install this on a production server it better be able to receive updates.

Overall rating : 6.5/10

Posted by: Joey Dec 1 2003, 11:42 AM

Just bumping the date on this to todays.

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 1 2003, 07:02 PM

I have had many problems with up2date on Fedora as well...so many that I decided to use only apt-get from now on with Fedora Core...

Apt for fedora can be downloaded http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/fedora/linux/1/apt/. You only need the first rpm ... (not the source rpm or the devel rpm)...Install with:

rpm -Uvh filename.rpm

Here is my http://www.hughesjr.com/sources.list.txt that contains several good APT repositories that work together (goes in the /etc/apt directory)...

Then just do:

apt-get update

to update the apt repository database...and

apt-get dist-upgrade

to install all updates. Once apt is installed, you can do:

apt-cache search package to find a package and apt-cache show package to find out detailed information about a package...

To install new software is as easy as:

apt-get install package

(it will resolve all dependancies and tell you all the packages needed to install the package you requested).

If you want a graphical insterface for apt, do this to install http://freshrpms.net/apt/synaptic/synaptic.png...

apt-get update
apt-get install synaptic

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 1 2003, 08:00 PM

Also some points about the fedora core install...

1. IF your Video Card / Monitor combination works when selected, X works on the first boot. (There is no way to test, so if the card / monitor combo picked doesn't work, you go out to the console mode...there should be a test to allow the right combo to be picked).

2. IF your X works on the first boot then you can add 1 user besides root. It also allows you to setup your network in X after the first boot ... if X doesn't work on the first boot (or you choose to boot to text) then you miss both options. Adding more than one user would be nice and both network setup and user addition should be earlier in the install, and certianly not after a reboot.

3. I use GRUB instead of LILO, so I didn't really care about that ... but I did like having a choice.

I agree with Joey's first impression ... mine was, "This is not really RedHat 10 .... it's more like a step backwards".

Posted by: Wicked187 Dec 30 2003, 08:41 AM

I didn't have any issues with the install, but with the environment created... the same issues I have had with RedHat since version 6.0. It just seems that the RPMs are not stable, especially the development stuff, like GCC and such. Things do not compile right, dependancies are all hosed... I immediately reinstalled Slackware afterwards.

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 30 2003, 08:47 AM

The nptl kernel and the new gcc / glibc do sometimes cause problems ... and I don't use Fedora as my main workstation, but I'm not super fond of slackware's update processes either.

With swaret, slackware is fairly usable as a workstation ... and it's always been a good server, but I'm not sure I would recommend slack to linux newbies.

Posted by: Termina Mar 16 2004, 10:33 AM

Swaret doesn't seem to have the flexibility nor have a large range of packages that apt-get had, imho.

When trying to update a particular program, I'll find that more often than not swaret's program is out of date, so I have to download the tarball off another site. XD

Don't get me wrong, swaret is great (better than using "wget ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-9.1/patches/packages/*tgz", where I usually only get 8-9k a second, compared to swaret's 300k+ a second).

There seems to be alot of programs missing there that are quite popular and often used. Point2Play, for example.

*shrugs*

Maybe that's just me. XD

Posted by: hughesjr Mar 16 2004, 06:41 PM

@Termina

When are you going to try Gentoo ... I think you will like it.

Posted by: Termina Mar 16 2004, 09:17 PM

*ponders* I'll try it this weekend. happy.gif

Since I'm going to attempt to upgrade my slackware box to the 2.6.3 kernel, if I fail and mess something up, I'll replace slackware with Gentoo. If I succeed, I'll replace XP with it (or atleast take a big slice off the XP partition) biggrin.gif

What's it like? (Vauge question, eh?) biggrin.gif

Posted by: Robert83 Mar 17 2004, 06:26 PM

How come everyone has cooler desktop themes then me ? sad.gif

I'm telling mom smile.gif

this is not fair, I use apt-get for updating 2....the built in update, is slow 2-3 kb , and stops after 40-100kbytes...

Sincerely
Robert B

Posted by: Hemant Apr 8 2004, 07:49 AM

Guys..i am in stone age as compared to you fellows..But recently i got Fedora-core1 with one magazine..Linux for you..And so gave it a spin.

I liked..rhythmBox(and i posted a my problem..how to play mp3 on it.)
But it crashed..few times..My good old Anjuta..keep crashing on Fedora.Though it is very stable on Redhat-9.0.

And volume control..applet is improved..you can choose which channel you want to control.The look is more polished.
Nautilus...is improved..you can burn cdz by drag and drop.
I liked..but still my main OS is Redhat-9.0..
I don't use Fedora much.And i am afraid it is going to be like that.

Posted by: wookmaster Jun 26 2004, 10:49 PM

I never had any problems with fedora, I switch to mandrake because when I ran XMMS fedora told me they removed MP3 support because of whatever issues and it really steamed me they were attempting to control how I listened to music. Mandrake on the other hand wont use the auto updater..all I get is a awating payment baloon......

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