Nice new beautiful fedora.
Fedora (previously called Fedora Core) is an RPM-based, general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. Fedora's mission statement is: "Fedora is about the rapid progress of Free and Open Source software."
According to the project website: "Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project." Currently Fedora is ranked #4 at distrowatch.
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ with 2 gig of RAM, Nvidia 6600GS with 256 meg RAM and 19" wide screen monitor.
Fedora comes in different flavors: KDE Live, Gnome Live, Games Live, Developer Live, Fedora Electronic Lab Live and the standard DVD install. For this review, I picked up the 64-bit standard install DVD.
I really like Red Hat based distribution from installation point of view. There is no need to burn a CD/DVD for installation. You can have a hard disk installation. This is really cool. No need to burn extra DVDs and then throw them out after six months.
On initial boot, after installation, Fedora brought up X with the correct resolution 1440x900@75Hz. Fedora did the same in version 7 as well, making it the first distribution to correctly setup Graphics for my machine (neither XP nor vista) can do this)!
Red Hat uses anaconda for installation. Anaconda is really easy and highly configurable installer and is used by a lot of other distributions as there standard installer.
Here I would take some time to describe the hard disk installation process. The user needs three things: a partition(fat32 or ext3) that can be read by the installer, an ISO reading application (e.g. WinRAR) and a Linux boot loader (e.g. lilo, grub or NTLDR).
Copy the ISO file to a free partition; which is readable by installer. Now use the ISO reader application to extract /isolinux/vmlinuz & /isolinux/initrd.img. Now create a new Loader entry with these files to the desired partition. You might have to google for more information specific to the Loader you are using. For grub, the new entries for the second partition on primary hard disk, should be like this:
Now reboot the machine and select the Install option. Anaconda will come up and ask for language and keyboard. Then anaconda will ask for the partition containing the ISO image file. Once anaconda finds the desired image, it will start as normal.
kernel (hd0,1)/vmlinuz ro vga=791
As mentioned in the title, werewolf (Fedora 8) looks are simply breath-taking. Tango icon theme is now default, the fonts look awesome.
Being a DVD install, there are a lot of applications, and all of them are in the latest version. Open Office 2.3 is there for office application, and Firefox 184.108.40.206 is installed for web browsing. I had some problems with Firefox; initially it refused to come up. I had to kill all the running Firefox instances (by executing "killall firefox"), and Firefox came up fine the next time.
The default applications present on DVD are undergoing a massive change. A lot of applications are missing out. Gvim is dropped, whereas emacs is in the latest version 22.1. Gnome configuration editor is dropped, one thing I personally don't like. But I consider these as side-effects of a massive change. The changes are not yet stabilized, and we can hope to see a stabilized set of applications, tuned to community preferences in future.
Software installation is still a mess. Pirut almost hangs whenever invoked. It would be better to see Pirut as a more responsive applicaiton.
Red Hat is staying clear from proprietary codecs, as a result, out-of-box multimedia support is missing from Fedora. Codec buddy is installed for making codec installation easy, but I ran out of luck while trying to use it. While playing MP3, Amarok simply crashed. And while playing WMV files, codec buddy was unable to find any suitable plug-in.
Fedora comes with latest compiz fusion, but is not enabled by default. For Nvidia graphics card, I enabled 3D acceleration by compiling proprietary Nvidia drivers from source. Also some additional parameters are required in xorg.conf.
Red Hat ruled the Linux distribution world, before Ubuntu came and took over. With the current release for Fedora, it seems that Red Hat is fighting really hard to control the lost ground. The intense effort is clear from the current release. If we ignore minor hick-ups, werewolf is one of the best releases from Fedora. With this release Fedora is returning to my workstation as distribution of choice, after a long time.