Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fedora 9

I had to install a computer today, and I thought that I would try out Fedora 9 while I was at it. I'm currently running Ubuntu 7.10 on my notebook, and I spend a lot of time in RHEL 5.1 in class, so that's what I'm used to. The latest Fedora shouldn't be that different, should it?

It is. Overall, I'm liking it. But there are just a few annoyances that I've come across, mostly cosmetic. Keep in mind that I've only been running it for a few hours, and that I haven't begun to play with everything that it comes with. This is just a first impression. Also, I'm running in Gnome, mostly because KDE makes me want to do bad things with my kitchen knives.

Logging In
I can't say I care for the default login screen. It shows me the names of each non-system user on my system and has me click on one before asking for the password. I'm a big fan of making users that aren't supposed to be on the computer guess which users are on the computer. If I wanted this kind of lax security for logging in, I would start thinking about Windows. If anybody can tell me how to change the login manager, please let me know.

Right-Click Menu
When I right-click the desktop, I want to see an option to open a new terminal window. This is one of the things that I love about RHEL and hate about Ubuntu. On my notebook I've already added the option myself. It looks like I'll be having to do that again here. I've already added links to Gnome Terminal and Nautilus to my panel. Firefox was already there. I almost never use the Applications menu, outside of those three programs, so it saves me a lot of time.

This is my first experience with Firefox 3. So far, I wish I was running FF2 again. It takes forever to load and I can't get Adobe Flash to install (any help here?). I don't know what keys I hit, but when I was loading Blogger, my other browser window and all of the tabs in it disappeared, seemingly without asking first.

Initial Firewall/SELinux Configuration
I'm used to the RHEL installer asking me if I want the firewall enabled or disabled, and whether I want SELinux to be enforcing or permissive by default. I'm not incredibly worried about SELinux because the default is Enforcing, which is fine with me. However, I'm a big fan of setting my own firewall rules, and even Red Hat admits in their classes that the rules that they set for an "enabled" firewall don't play nicely with custom user rules. I would liked to have set it to disabled during the First Boot program, rather than having to go into system-config-firewall later to do it.

Package Updater
Fedora 9 isn't that old yet. Even I realize that software updates are common, even in Linux, even when a distro release is brand-spanking-new. But the initial software update took somewhere around an hour on DSL, and when I added the rawhide repository later (I didn't get it plugged into the Internet until after the install), it managed to find another 407 updates for me. Listing the updates takes forever, and the package descriptions suck. Come to think of it, the package descriptions sucked in the installer too. I plan to wait until I go to bed tonight to start the updater, and let it run overnight.

I don't have any bluetooth hardware on this system. In fact, the only thing I own that has any bluetooth support at all is my cell phone, and I don't use it. Why isn't the installer smart enough to detect a lack of bluetooth and forget about installing anything for it? And why, when I made sure to remove every check from every box in the installer that said bluetooth, did I still have to disable a program running it after First Boot?

Other than that, I'm currently very happy with this install. Ubuntu feels increasingly foreign to me lately, and it's nice to have the Red Hat commands that I'm comfortable with. I've played with the newest versions of things like system-config-printer, and I like them. I even liked what little I saw of system-config-firewall while I was disabling it. I'm looking forward to playing with Upstart. I also have Perl 5.10 installed, which is nice. I'm going to give F-Spot another chance, but I expect to kick it off and go back to gThumb just as quickly as before.

Hey, I'm curious, is there any way to get Quicktime running on F9? Does anybody have any experience with that? I seem to remember having it installed previously in Linux, but I remember a lot of things that may or may not have happened. I don't plan on using it personally, but my wife has mandated that it be available to her somewhere.


  1. An alternative: you could skip the mouse entirely, use something like Gnome-Do and map an easy combination (Alt-Space) to open a terminal window with: "[Alt-Space] t e [enter]"

  2. Switch to Windows and save yourself a lot of trouble :-)

  3. anon: I fail to see how switching to Windows will actually save me any trouble.


Comments for posts over 14 days are moderated

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.