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> Fedora Core 1 Review, By Joey
Joey
post Nov 30 2003, 08:16 AM
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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.

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Screenshot 7

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
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hughesjr
post Dec 1 2003, 07:02 PM
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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 here. You only need the first rpm ... (not the source rpm or the devel rpm)...Install with:

rpm -Uvh filename.rpm

Here is my sources.list 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 synaptic...

apt-get update
apt-get install synaptic


--------------------
Johnny Hughes
hughesjr@linuxhelp.net
Enterprise Alternatives: CentOS, WhiteBoxEL
Favorite Workstation Distros (in order): CentOS, Gentoo, Debian Sarge, Ubuntu, Mandrake, FedoraCore, Slackware, SUSE
Favorite Server Distros (in order): CentOS, WhiteBoxEL, Debian Sarge, Slackware, Mandrake, FedoraCore, Gentoo, SUSE
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