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Fedora 9: Leading edge or bleeding edge?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on May 22, 2008 08:07 PM
I've been using Fedora since 2, and Redhat for a loong time. I have multiple GNU/Linux boxes, and have a pretty good idea what I'm doing (although I don't consider myself a full fledged member of the pocket-protector brigade). I took one of my machines, and did a clean install of F9 on / (reformatted) - left /hom and user directories intact (more on that in a moment). Machine is pretty hardware neutral - nothing obscure about mobo/drives/monitor.

Lets just say I was underwhelmed. First, the install (tried graphical only) didn't give me access to some fairly standard options - for example, with F8, I was given options to tweak firewall and SELinux settings, but not in F9 - I had to work with those after the install was complete, after logging in to root. Pain - one recommendation I can make to get F9 setup is to turn SELinux off once you manage to get into root.

The GDM is crap (IMO) - 'work in progress', but my recommendation is they scrap it entirely, and go back to the old model. At the moment, there is *no* capability to modify aspect of the GDM - you're stuck with it. And its a security mess - no way to prevent user names from showing up - dumb on a public access machine.

An RPM downloaded to the desktop isn't automatically associated with the software installer - easy from the command line, but, wtf?

They must be using some bleeding-edge xorg, because any attempt I made to tweak things, compile nVidia drivers into the kernal, and host of other graphics related issues, crashed and burned (several times letting me only boot into runlevel 3).

Permissions on user directories on /home were completed screwed up after re-establishing accounts. Had to manually chown and chgrp the lot of them.

In all, I'm grateful F8 has another 6-7 months of life. F9 looks rushed out the door, and nowehre near ready for primetime. There have been a lot of complaints on various forums (when they aren't censored out by certain forum moderators, who seem to classify anything negative as 'offensive. Same is true on the Ubuntu forums, for that matter...), suggesting dissatisfaction is pretty widespread.

It seems to me that the Fedora developers get overly concerned (enamored) of a strict 6 month release cycle. I suspect most users would rather have less frequent, but more stable. Yeah, someone out there is probably mumbling 'Debian' under their breath, but that has its own issues. ;-)

So, my general conclusion is - stick with F8, update as long as you can, and wait for 10, when a lot of the issues I mention may have been dealt with.


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