So I’m putting Linux on my mom’s computer.  There are tons of reasons to NOT use Windows, and literally just a couple in its favor (Quicken, TurboTax), which Crossover Office will solve on Linux anyway, for $50 or so.

I figured I’d install Fedora, because 1) it’s supposed to be an easy desktop distro, and 2) it’s really popular so I’d like to learn it.  I run Gentoo on my box, and of course I know that inside out, but wanted to install the "easy" distro for my mom/sister to use.

But so far, Fedora is anything but easy.  The default kernel doesn’t support firewire nor NTFS, so I couldn’t copy mom’s data from Windows without recompiling the kernel.  Red Hat has removed the MP3 support from XMMS due to "patent issues" so I had to manually find and download the MP3 plugin for an MP3 player... ridiculous.

The GUI-based printer setup is ridiculous.  The driver options are all obscure and meaningless (no "Epson", "HP", etc).  If you click on something like "PCL 5e" you get a sub-menu with some hplj drivers, but my printer is an Epson.  There’s an Epson driver under "Dot Matrix" but this is 2004... my printer isn’t dot-matrix.

The search-from-URL in Mozilla just plain doesn’t work, for no good reason.  It works fine on Gentoo, fine on WinXP, but on Fedora it says "The URL is invalid and cannot be loaded."  No kidding fool, it’s not a URL, you’re supposed to *search* for it.  Ugh...

And yum is a nightmare.  It’s slow as crap, and almost every time I run it, one of the initial ~10 servers it tries to contact times out.  Instead of being sensible and moving right along, yum waits for 3 minutes.  For.  Each.  Freaking.  One.  And then, if I want to, say, "yum search thunderbird," it insists on first looking for updated packages for ALL THE PACKAGES on my system.  Yeah, that’s brilliant.  I really want that to happen every time I want to just search for one package.

I think I’m going to end up just putting Gentoo on here after all.  It’s not all bubbly like RedHat/Fedora but at least it’s logical and it works... and at this point, it’s definitely easier to use than Fedora.  Maybe in a year or two Fedora will mature and be reasonable.

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies


01. Aug 24, 2004 at 01:47pm by Kev:

# Here is my /etc/yum.conf if you decide to use Fedora still. It works well.
# If you need any help (that is if you’re still trying Fedora) reply or email me.

name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - core

name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - updates

name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - freshrpms

02. Aug 29, 2004 at 07:35pm by Juan S. Martinez:

I recommend FreeBSD. FreeBSD is quite good; its default kernel supports NTFS reading
(no kernel supports NTFS rw completely). Of course, RedHat Linux was my favourite
distro, but it is not as much as FreeBSD. Digital Camera/xmms/mplayer/openoffice/
maple8/LaTex/etc. are my frequently used  softwares.
But some trick is necessary to dual boot with WinXP; You can use files /boot/boot.n

03. Aug 31, 2004 at 03:55pm by Anthony:

Thanks Kev -- I’ll definitely give that a try next time I look into Fedora.  (I did end up putting Gentoo on my mom’s box though.)

Hm, never tried FreeBSD.  If I had a little more time on my hands... but trying to stay up to date with Windows+Linux+Mac is quite enough :)

04. Sep 2, 2004 at 02:59pm by Thee Mom:

Yeah, and all this because my photo web page crashed and my ’webmaster’ doesn’t have the time to get it back up and running what with all this new operating system he installed for me.  That’s ok tho, ’cause classes started again and they are only pictures, after all.  Besides that, I’m now learning a new language and more pc skills trying to navigate this Linux creature; ....now how do I find ’my computer’ again?????

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