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Experimenting with Fedora

About a month ago, I reached the breaking point of my own curiosity and decided to wipe out my Ubuntu installation in favor of the latest Fedora release. The VAIO notebook I loaded it on has typically served as my ‘plaything’ machine, as opposed to being my primary workhorse computer.

Due to this choice of purpose it changes Linux distributions or even operating systems on a pretty regular basis. More recently I was even perverted enough to allow it to dual boot with Windows 7 Home Premium, but that’s a filthy confession for another day.

I’ve always wanted to like Redhat and by extension the Fedora project. If I recall correctly, Redhat was the first Linux distro I used around the 5.0 release. Though it wasn’t long before I grew annoyed by the RPM dependency hell that was common in that era. My solution at the time was to nearly abandon package management altogether and seek refuge in Slackware. Over the decade to follow I’ve probably experimented with more Linux distributions than I can practically recall, assigning several as personal favorites for specific roles.

The last time I used Fedora for something serious was around Fedora Core 2. Looks like I’ve missed the last 10 releases are so. Things have certainly improved. Though yum doesn’t seem quite as intelligent as apt, it does seem perfectly suited for the task at hand. In my (give or take) month I’ve been playing with Fedora so far, everything I’m accustomed to using appears to be in the standard repositories and nothing has given me any grief in terms of satisfying dependencies on installation. Probably the biggest thing I miss is the whole ‘apt-get autoremove’ command for cleaning out dependencies that were pulled in for packages that I’ve since removed. The closest equivalent I’ve been able to find is ‘package-cleanup –leaves’ which only lists packages without dependencies. Not as intelligent or automated, but it still accomplishes the goal of removing cruft I’ve built up.

As far as package management goes, I’m holding out for the real test. Ubuntu has handled major version distribution upgrades with more grace and polish than I’ve seen relative to any other distro. I’ll certainly hold on to Fedora for long enough to see how well it fares in this regard.

That last point aside, the differences between apt/yum and Debian/Redhat distributions are approaching the point where everything can be boiled down to personal preferences and aesthetics. I am enjoying the default Fedora artwork over the gloomy orange/brown Ubuntu defaults. My preference is not to spend too long tweaking my themes before my eyes stop bleeding.

The Fedora repos also appear to be far less conservative in terms of packaging the latest releases of major applications. Ubuntu tends to lag behind on Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice packages.

Overall, it’s been a pleasant experience thus far. Maybe I’ll keep it for a little while?

Did this post have a point?

Yes!

  1. I needed to post something, it’s been too long. You don’t want people to worry, do you?
  2. If you haven’t tried Fedora in a while (or at all), give it a spin. You may just like it.

Alright… So not really.

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