Fedora 9 and Oracle 11g…

I wrote a couple of articles against a beta version of Fedora 9 before I went on holiday. I did a run through against the final release of Fedora 9 today and they seem fine, so here they are:

The installation process doesn’t give you the option to turn off SELinux or the firewall. You can do it after the installation, so it’s just a small annoyance, but I don’t like it.

If you want to know my opinions on the distribution itself, read my post on Fedora 8. It’s six months later and there is still no visible sign of a direction for this distribution. I don’t think my opinion has changed.



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. 🙂

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 🙂 ), 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…



StumbleUpon and Fedora 7…

Is SumbleUpon really worth $75 million?

I suppose the answer to that is yes, since eBay have just bought them for that figure. StumbleUpon claim 23 million regular users, of which I’m one, but if most of the other users are like me, they just click on a single toolbar button when they get bored. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I did anything other than hit the “Stumble!” button. I don’t even rate pages I visit. Are 23 million users like me really worth that much money? The words “Boom” and “Bust” spring to mind!

Does anyone want to buy a blog that is visible to all internet users worldwide (even though they don’t actually read it) for several million pounds?

By the way, Fedora (don’t call it Core) 7 is now available.



Ubuntu and Fedora Core 5 (Test 2)…

As always, I’ve been having a little scout round at whats going on in the Linux world at the moment. I’m pretty happy with CentOS 4, but it doesn’t do any harm to have a play. Here are some thoughts after a quick play with Ubuntu and Fedora Core 5 (Test 2).

The recent hype about Goobuntu, a possible Google variant of Ubuntu, made me sit up and take notice. I’m not sure it really exists, and if it does, I’m not sure it’s designed to be a Windows-Killer, but all the press increased my interest in Ubuntu.

You can read all about Ubuntu on the website, but suffice to say, people are claiming it’s very user friendly and a possibly the best Desktop Linux available at the moment. There seems to be some groundswell behind it, and the latest stories have made it seem even more attractive.

It came on one CD, which makes a change from the 4-5 CDs for other distributions. The installation was straight forward, but didn’t appear easier than any of the Red Hat variants. In some ways, the lack of a GUI installer made it seem even more geeky than some other distributions.

Once it was installed it seemed very much like any other distro I’ve used. It uses the Gnome window manager, so it feels very much like Red Hat with a different theme. The menu structure looked a little simpler and the “Add/Remove Applications” screen was neat, but it didn’t change my life.

I might have a go at installing Oracle on it, but then again, I’m not sure I can be bothered 🙂

My verdict, nice enough, but what makes it better than any other distro?

Fedora Core 5 (Test 2)
I was a devout FC fan before I switched to CentOS. I started to download all 5 FC5 CDs, but then switched to the 2.8G DVD. As the dumb-ass user I am, the only thing I noticed was change in graphics. I guess the new look and feel is an attempt to differentiate Fedora from Red Hat’s enterprise distro. Apart from that, it all looked like more of the same to me. So far I’ve not been able to install 10g R2 on it, but it’s still a beta, so who cares.

My verdict, nice enough, but what makes it better than any other distro?

I can’t really tell the difference between all the distributions these days. CentOS works well for me because it’s a clone of a distro that Oracle support, but apart from that, my daily life is unaffected by it.

The only thing that might make me eager to switch is if some heavyweight company puts their name to a free Linux distro. Like Google with Goobuntu? 🙂