My impressions about Fedora 11, as compared to Ubuntu

Hello,

After I presented a slide show at the last saturday’s Fedora Launch Party event, I decided to give Fedora 11 a try for a few days, and switched from Ubuntu 9.04, and by now it seems it will be for a long time.

My first impression about it was when it told me some bad news, it found out that my disk drive is having a bad sector, right from the install medium. Ubuntu didn’t show this kind of info at all.

I’m glad that my garbled fonts are gone, but I was a bit badly surprised that they didn’t customize Nautilus at all, and by default it behaves just like Windows 95’s Explorer.

The system is moving quite well, compared to Ubuntu. The newer kernel, EXT4 and 64bit made a huge difference performance-wise, the system seems quite stable, and Evolution seems not to leak any more the way it did in Ubuntu.

Their new fingerprint-based feature behaves as badly as I managed to get fprint work In Ubuntu(maybe the problem is because of my hardware or my fingers you never know…), just that it is better integrated with the system, so I turned it off after a few swipes :)

They have nice KMS support, but unfortunatelly I’m not using console mode (GNU screen is a nice replacement). By the way, the screen configuration in Ubuntu rocked, and should be installed by default in here too, IMHO.

I was expecting to see a better display manager tray applet in gnome, but hopefully that will come in a later release, and that the dual display feature works at lease as good as in Ubuntu(the resolution is hardcoded at a bigger value, and my second old 17″ LCD display flashes like hell)…

A nice feature I noticed is that yum allows installation of software from other arch’es (like x86 on x86-64), which APT forbids, and that yum is moving faster than I expected (it was damn slow in Centos on some of my servers). Still, zsh completion is unusable with yum, and queries in the Yum GUI tool could benefit from some speed-ups.

The only major thing that I’m missing currently is the VPN pptp client, which fails with “no valid secrets” even if my password is correct. It works just fine in Ubuntu.

Their “free software only” policy is not quite appreciated by pragmatic users like me, who just want the stuff work, despite the licenses are not that open, so I had to manually install EasyLife to get rid of this problem (It provides native 64bit Flashplayer and Java, Skype – whose sound is broken with Pulseaudio – and codecs among other nifty features).

That’s about it for now, I’ll update this as I find other issues/qualities as time goes by.

Cristi

~ by Cristian Măgherușan-Stanciu on June 16, 2009.

5 Responses to “My impressions about Fedora 11, as compared to Ubuntu”

  1. I can’t see it’s a long term relation…
    Looking for you to come back on Ubuntu soon :)

  2. The Nautilus behaviour is a conscious choice (even if it has some people contesting it internally): it follows the GNOME default. If it is bad, then it should be also changed upstream in GNOME, if not, then it is good this way.

    KMS is useful for you too, since the screen will not flicker during the boot process, right after GRUB the video mode is initialized and it stays at the same resolution.

    • Some other pieces of gnome are heavily configured for usability or even patched(like gdm), and this is a small modification with huge impact on newcomers. The way it is now causes the impression of unfinished work to most people who come from other environments where this is taken from granted, and Gnome’s decision to make the default this way is questionable too.

      I know KMS is useful to eliminate the flickering at boot, but that happens for a single instant at each boot. I often use to have sessions of weeks on my laptop, since I’m abusing suspend to ram whenever I can, so one instant per week is insignificant for me, but yes, it really matter for those who use the text console (instead of the terminal emulators), or for those who reboot often.

      • Browser versus spatial was a much heated debate which was supposedly decided with input from usability experts. The thinking is it will be changed (upstream) if a serious usability study will show it is right the other way. Seriously, if Spatial is so broken, why ship the upstream GNOME with it as default? Should not *that* be changed first?

        GDM is an entirely different story: the Fedora developer in charge of it is also the upstream developer and the patches in Fedora are just for testing before being applied upstream.

        Note: I also hated spatial Nautilus at first but in the mean time it grew on my until it became a reflex.

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