Fedora 8 and Oracle 11g…


My Fedora 8 escapades were delayed by my OpenWorld experience, but better late than never.

The first article is a run through of a fairly basic Fedora 8 install, showing what it looks like. The second is the Oracle install guide in my normal format. There’s one little nasty in there, but for the most part it was pretty smooth sailing, especially since a guy called “Robert W. Benton” emailed me to tell me what the problem was before I had even finished downloading the OS. Thanks for that Robert. šŸ™‚

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll no doubt mention it again, but I’m really struggling to see what the Fedora distribution is aiming for. It seems to send out contradicting messages at times. For instance, it has features that make me think it is a desktop OS:

  • Looks very soft and cuddly like a desktop OS.
  • It pops up an annoying warning message if I log on as root.
  • Users get sub-directories like Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos created by default.

But for me the big contradictions are:

  • The distribution is really big. I would expect a desktop OS to come on one CD, with the extra features available for download.
  • The installation process seems rather clumsy compared to Ubuntu. It’s not a big difference, but that slight bit of extra complexity makes it feel like a server installation to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not hard, but I’ve been doing this since Red Hat 5.2, so I’m not exactly a Linux newbie. I feel it could be simplified further.

Looking from the other angle, it could be considered a server OS, after all it is a playground for Red Hat (a bit of flame-bait there šŸ™‚ ), but some of the previously mentioned points detract from that message. I remember all those people telling me that Windows wasn’t a real server OS because it forced you to have gizmos like Media Player etc. Fedora has this same feel to me now. Plus the DVD is missing a number of packages that I would expect an enterprise distribution to have. I know they are available for download, but as a server OS I would prefer to forgo the fluffy guff in favor of the enterprise stuff.

I can image some of the responses to this post. No doubt some Fedora fan[boys|girls] will post telling me that Fedora is a great desktop and/or server OS… blah, blah, blah… I’m not doubting that. I just think that we have to recognize that the server and the desktop are two totally different experiences and I don’t think Fedora sells itself well enough on either front.

Ubuntu is a classic example of how to do it right. I don’t believe it is significantly better than Fedora, but it had a clear message from day one. We all knew it was a desktop OS and it acted like that. They’ve subsequently gone the server route also, but they’ve kept it as a separate entity. This is no different to the way Microsoft tackled the same issue.

I really feel like Fedora must decide what its purpose is, or it’s just going to end up another one of those faceless distributions you try, think of as OK, then ditch in favor of something else that suits your purpose better…



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

7 thoughts on “Fedora 8 and Oracle 11g…”

  1. Interested to know why the LIBXCB_ALLOW_SLOPPY_LOCK=1 workaround which I documented on Friday 9th November as NOT working suddenly works for you…

  2. By the way, I agree with you about Fedora. It all went horribly wrong (IMHO) about Fedora Core 4 -> FC5. Once we got the fluffy fonts, cutesy -and utterly meaningless- logo and artwork ranging from strands of DNA (for no obvious reason) to balloons (ditto), commonsense could be said to have left the building. Actually Fedora 8 strikes me as one of the saner releases in the past couple of years (at least the balloons have gone!), but it’s still not quite ‘right’ for me…

  3. NO way! you’re wrong guys.The key is right here: CUSTOMIZE. Fedora can easily cover both functions,it’s all about customizing: Do you want a server?go ahead and select your packets to be installed,do not select the “cutesy” or “desktop” features,and that includes media players,office tools,and all of the other desktop software(Yes,including X)In case you are looking for oracle,try a windows manager other than GNOME/KDE.After that you’ll obtain a clean compact powerfull server.It’s all about you spending sometime customizing.Do you want a nice powerful desktop?do the custom again but this time make sure to exclude all the server stuff/services and add the cutesy and do not forget to setup LIVNA and freshrpms Repos for obtaining all of the multimedia support.Including MP3/DVD/ETC players.
    It could be nice if someone created a FEDORA-PROFILER,a one click selection menu during the install with predefined profiles e.g.(server,desktop,custom,light desktop,etc..) just for people who is not willing to spend a couple of hours “customizing”.


  4. German Ramirez: I think your reply actually proves the point I’m trying to make. Do you think most average users will spend 2 hours customizing an installation? I don’t think they will.

    The point I was trying to make is if Fedora wants to make any headway into certain markets, it has to decide what it really is, or be released in several flavors. It is crazy to expect your average Joe to download 5 CDs or a DVD to get a basic desktop OS. They will never use most of the stuff. Having a desktop and server flavor like Ubuntu will make acceptance much easier. They can always download extra stuff from the repository.

    I don’t doubt Fedora’s capability. After all, it is the proving ground for RHEL (which is my preferred distro), but I do think it has lost it’s identity. It is no longer the first choice for a desktop, and most people I know pick CentOS for free server installations. Where does Fedora fit in this picture? I don’t know. Which is the point I was making.



  5. Certainly one difference between a distro like CentOs and Fedora is the kernel version. In some cases this can mean the difference between a successful and flawed installation. In addition why not have a machine that can mimic client and server. One of the main reasons for having linux is to be able to do unix type things on a pc or laptop. If I decide to run a site using linux and it’s vital the site performs effectively then I would probably pick Red Hat Enterprise Linux and take out a support option ( or an equivalent low risk option). But for a large number of linux users it is important to experiment on relatively modest hardware with recent implementations of the kernel from both a server and client perspective.

  6. Just came across. On the review of Fedora 8, you have noted that Fedora comes on several cd’s instead of one but seems to have missed out that Fedora does provide multiple choices here.

    1) Regular Installation DVD
    2) Regular Installation CD’s.
    3) Installable Live CD’s
    4) Several custom variants at http://spins.fedoraproject.org

    Also the live cd’s are more suitable for the desktop while the regular installations allow for more customization. Hope that helps.

  7. I don’t use Fedora as a server OS, and neither should anyone else. The short release cycle (6 months) and short support cycle (two releases, or about a year), mean you’ll be taking the thing down all the time in order to upgrade.

    I’d recommend CentOS if you really really want RPM/Red Hat, or install Ubuntu LTS or Debian Stable. All three of those are supported for a long time, yet allow you to install ‘newer’ software so things don’t get too crusty and out of date.

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