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Fedora Core 5 Review

Hemos posted about 8 years ago | from the whether-to-install-or-not dept.

40

Mark writes "A full review of the latest Fedora Core release, code named "Bordeaux", the Fedora Core 5, which has proven itself to be one of the best Linux Distributions out there. "

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40 comments

"best" out there? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 8 years ago | (#15001827)

I dunno, Gentoo works just fine for me. *BSD works just fine for a lot of others, etc, etc.

"best" is like what a kid would write.

Why not say "rated the highest at $BLAH" or "was the best amongst competitors at doing $BLAH".

At least qualify what it was best at.

Tom

Re:"best" out there? (2, Insightful)

Simon80 (874052) | about 8 years ago | (#15002113)

It's a huge stretch to call that a review - I would rate such a clump of words a preview at best. It irritates me just to read it and contemplate the limits of the author's writing ability. I mean, he basically pastes a bunch of screenshots down, states the obvious, picks on trivial things, and makes sure to avoid anything that actually matters, like how it compares to other distributions that bundle GNOME 2.14, or whether it fixes common pitfalls in other distros. It's sad to note that this guy probably doesn't realize what he's doing wrong :(

"best" != "one of the best" (1)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#15005676)

"Best" implies that nothing else meets or exceeds the item being described. What the submitter actually wrote was "one of the best," which indicates that he considers it to be in the top tier of distributions. It makes no statement as to whether Fedora Core (or FC5 specifically) is better than Gentoo, Mandriva, etc. -- for all we know, he could consider them also to be in the top tier. (Have you ever tried to count the number of Linux distributions out there? There's plenty of room at the top.)

just a set of screenshots (2, Informative)

gr8dude (832945) | about 8 years ago | (#15001913)

This review seems to be nothing but a set of screenshots that illustrate the OS in one moment or another, meaning that it is just one of the many similar ones out there.

"Thanks to the Gnome Theme Manager it is also very easy to change and modify your desktop theme." As if this was some sort of a new boombastic feature :-)

I am still waiting for a review which can explain a non-Linux person [such as myself] why the GUI is so slow. My guess is that the video card's hardware acceleration is not used. Other reviews [ http://www.stanton-finley.net/fedora_core_5_instal lation_notes.html [stanton-finley.net] ] were more helpful, and explained that this distro is not shipped with nVidia's or ATI's drivers. Moreover [taken from the above mentioned link]:

"The kernel that ships with the Fedora Core 5 release iso images is not compatible with third party 3D graphics acceleration drivers."

How is THAT supposed to NOT anti-attract a newbie?
Is there somebody who can explain things in a simple way?

Re:just a set of screenshots (4, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#15002012)

How is THAT supposed to NOT anti-attract a newbie?

Apparently by forcing the graphics card companies to open source their drivers, much in the same way that the peace protesters prevented the war in Iraq....

Oh wait.

Re:just a set of screenshots (2, Informative)

fizze (610734) | about 8 years ago | (#15002021)

I am still waiting for a review which can explain a non-Linux person [such as myself] why the GUI is so slow. My guess is that the video card's hardware acceleration is not used.
Take a look at http://kororaa.org/static.php?page=static060318-18 1203 [kororaa.org] . It is a Live CD that is showcasing the latest developments of 3D accellerated GUIs.
Just burn it, put it in your drive and boot your rig - how more newbie-friendly can it possible get ?

PS: Here's a list of supported graphics cards: http://kororaa.org/releases/xgl/xgl-cards [kororaa.org]

Re:just a set of screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15003015)

That was a BUG. There will be an updated kernel shortly to correct the problem.

The kernel is in the updates-testing repository and the NVIDIA modules are in the livna-testing repository now. I'm running both, and they seem to work fine.

Re:just a set of screenshots (1)

MSG (12810) | about 8 years ago | (#15003022)

I am still waiting for a review which can explain a non-Linux person [such as myself] why the GUI is so slow.

Probably because people experienced enough to write quality reviews don't think the GUI is "slow".

I'll note that GNOME is substantially faster than in any previous release, in terms of application startup time and rendering. A number of applications have been heavily optimized, in addition to the GNOME/GTK+ libraries.

How is THAT supposed to NOT anti-attract a newbie?

It's a bug. It was introduced in the final stages of testing, and will be fixed with the first kernel update. It should be available very soon.

Re:just a set of screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15003429)

I'll note that GNOME is substantially faster than in any previous release, in terms of application startup time and rendering.

No it's not. Not in FC5 at least. Several GNOME libraries were heavily optimised and I was looking forward to trying it out -- but Red Hat decided to build GTK on top of Cairo... and Cairo has *serious* speed and memory problems.

All of the speed gains in GNOME have been pissed away by using Cairo. It's hard to put into words just how irritating that is. The GNOME developers knew they would be using GTK 2.8 and Cario... and it looks like they only bother to optimise GNOME because otherwise, the result would have been disgraceful and no-one would have accepted it.

And to think we used to criticise Microsoft for this sort of thing.

Re:just a set of screenshots (1)

MSG (12810) | about 8 years ago | (#15003776)

No it's not.

Yes, it is. I'm using FC5, and I'm telling you based on my own experience that GNOME is significantly faster than the version included in FC4.

For that matter, cairo appears to be required by only pango and librsvg2, which means that GTK is not built on top of Cairo. You imply that GTK+ is using Cairo for rendering, which it supports, but is not doing in FC5.

Seriously, the review was short on substance, but I agree that FC5 is by far the best release that I've used, and I encourage other people to try it out.

Re:just a set of screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15004953)

For that matter, cairo appears to be required by only pango and librsvg2, which means that GTK is not built on top of Cairo. You imply that GTK+ is using Cairo for rendering, which it supports, but is not doing in FC5.

Yes... it is... Pango is used for rendering all text in GTK 2.8, and Cairo has some serious memory and speed problems. Red Hat's Firefox using Pango for its rendering is atrocious. Long pauses while the entire GTK system stops, and sluggish performance across the board... and across drivers and machines. It is particularly bad on several cards with Free software drivers that supposedly have the necessary acceleration enabled, but have not had even a fraction of the attention that cards with closed-drivers have had. Even taking the cards out of the equation, Cairo is just pathologically slow on certain criticial operations.

It's a collossal fuck up. Taken with the myriad broken sound drivers in the new kernel -- and shipping a kernel on the install disks that only allows GPLed drivers to be installed. The broken glibc that affects command line tools like yum and wget. The nightmarish SELinux problems that have forced many to just disable the thing, as they should have done back in FC2 (run system-security-level, SELinux tab). GSteamer brokenness (though that's not exactly Red Hat's fault... Gsteamer [deliberate typo] is a hopelessly broken mess).

All in all, Red Hat has laid a gigantic turd.

Re:just a set of screenshots (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 years ago | (#15007819)

Thanks to the Gnome Theme Manager it is also very easy to change and modify your desktop theme ... As if this was some sort of a new boombastic feature
Anyone who has had the misfortune to muck about with gconf will see that it IS a new boombastic feature - if it works. Being able to export gpanel icons (eg.log on icons for 27 cluster nodes) to other users even on other systems will be a major step beyond the single user non-network aware aproach gnome started with.

Soooo... (4, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | about 8 years ago | (#15002055)

When are we going to see some real in-depth reviews of released operating systems on Slashdot? As usual, most of the "review" is a bunch of screenshots, mostly of the installation and the startup. Is that going to persuade anyone to stay or switch?

How about once posting a review that include some mentions of
- security
- stability (including doing some major upgrading)
- hardware support
- performance as: server, office workstation, development environment, multimedia/htpc

I realise it is difficult to go in-depth on all these topics, especially with a recently released OS version. But perhaps we could set the standards a little higher than a few "ooh, shiny" screenshots?

I concur - how about some real world benchmarks (1)

spineboy (22918) | about 8 years ago | (#15003939)

Like time to log on, time to get OpenOffice running, FPS of Quake III, time to manipulate a large file with the Gimp, . What about some other "tests" like how hard is it to install CodeWeavers software to get certainWindows programs working, ripping a CD and then burning a CD.

I agree screenshots are nice, but I'd prefer to see data that something runs faster or more stable, or is easier to install/use.

Re:Soooo... (1)

Yenya (12004) | about 8 years ago | (#15009694)

When are we going to see some real in-depth reviews of released operating systems on Slashdot? As usual, most of the "review" is a bunch of screenshots, mostly of the installation and the startup.

Well, as you can probably guess, it is not only harder to write such an in-depth review, but it also takes more time. So by the time such a review would be released, it would not matter anymore, because FC5 would be close to its end-of-life.

Also, such review would be biased anyway: Hardware support? what hardware? the reviewer cannot have all the hardware FC5 runs on. Performance? I think few percent difference do not matter for most people, and you can sacrify this barely visible amount of power for something more interesting (like virtualization) without anyone (but a review writers:-) noticing. Yes, people would probably be happy they can brag about how their distro runs an infinite loop 5% faster than the other distro :-)

People choose their distributions not by reading some review, but based on whether their friends use it, whether they like the packaging system (RPM vs. Deb vs. plain tgz vs. portage), whether they like the process under which the distro is being developed, whether the distro provides updates for long enough, whether it contains stable (old, boring:-) software, or a bleeding-edge technologies, etc.

I agree with you that the review in TFA is meaningless, and nobody should choose the distribution based on screenshots and the install process. However, I don't think a better or "a real in-depth" review can be written. It is too personal and requires maybe years of daily usage to discover all the pros and cons of the particular distribution. The only thing the reviewer can do is to point out the new technologies behind the distro (such as Avahi [avahi.org] or Xen), but that's all. If people are interested in "what's new and interesting" in a distro, they should read the release notes.

Yum? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#15002118)

For the love of gods, someone please tell me that Fedora have fixed the long standing disaster that is yum and up2date. Is it so much to ask that the default setup is changed to apt? I'm tired of Yum's idosycracies. It's gotten better, but as of 2.3.2, yum has no local cache search, no download resuming, and still bombs out if it can't contact a respositiory.

Naturally of course, a yum "dist-upgrade" type feature is likely never going to happen, despite the fact that Fedora is now in five CDs.

Re:Yum? (3, Informative)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | about 8 years ago | (#15002235)

Is it so much to ask that the default setup is changed to apt?

Yes it is. Apt doesn't support multi-arch, which unfortuantley is required if you're running a 64 bit processor (Real, Macromedia, etc need to wake up and relesae 64 bit versions...).

You can use apt, several repositores still support it. Apt is still included in Fedora. In my experience, though, yum seems to handle conflicting repositores better.

I'm tired of Yum's idosycracies. It's gotten better, but as of 2.3.2, yum has no local cache search, no download resuming, and still bombs out if it can't contact a respositiory.

That is a major anoyance. Espcially if, like me, you're stuck with only dialup being available. It seems to be a little better in this release than previous, but it still needs work. Is it really so much to ask to be able to cache the repo data? Yes I'm aware of -C.

Re:Yum? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | about 8 years ago | (#15011793)

I think the latest versions of apt do support multi-arch. Apt is much faster than yum. What the cool kids are using now, though, is smart [labix.org] .

Re:Yum? (3, Informative)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 8 years ago | (#15002256)

1) If you had read the patch notes, or even the FA, you'd have realized that up2date has been replaced with pup. No, I'm not going to tell you the difference. You'll just have to figure it out for yourself.

2) Fedora also comes on DVDs, you may have heard of that. Also, for anybody with at least one other nfs capable server at home mounts the image over the network. It's the only way to fly.

Re:Yum? (3, Informative)

HaydnH (877214) | about 8 years ago | (#15002263)

I'm officially requesting /. change it's name to /FUD!

"yum has no local cache search, no download resuming..."

The local cache for yum is located in /var/cache/yum/, if the file is already downloaded it will not download it again, it will only redownload the repomd.xml file again and continue. A useful distinction is the progress bars "###" & "===", the first is reading and the second is downloading.

yum is very strict on how to handle errors and personally if I was getting a kernel upgrade (or something else important) via yum I would definately want it to be careful! This is mentioned in the YumTodont [duke.edu] - the discussion [duke.edu] linked from the YumTodont gives some good insight on the topic aswell.

Haydn.

Re:Yum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15003468)

You cannot search with yum without being online. FACT. Despite the claims of several developers, if you try it... it will error out.

Re:Yum? (1)

Limburgher (523006) | about 8 years ago | (#15002272)

Yum doesn't resume downloads, but does keep files on hand and won't re-download the same version. As for dist-upgrade, if you want to updrade a fedora distro, download and upgrade the fedora-release package, then yum upgrade. Done. I don't like up2date any more than you do, but I love yum. Please RTFM next time. :)

Not quite meaty enough. (1)

scumdamn (82357) | about 8 years ago | (#15002152)

Hopefully somebody posts a review that actually tells me how Fedora Core 5 is different than 4, and how that is a good/bad thing. This just shows me some screenshots while some dude prattles on about how the window manager loads faster. Does anybody actually have anything interesting to say about Fedora Core 5? Is Gnome better in this version? Is it functionally better in any way?

Re:Not quite meaty enough. (3, Interesting)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | about 8 years ago | (#15002320)

Does anybody actually have anything interesting to say about Fedora Core 5? Is Gnome better in this version? Is it functionally better in any way?

I've been using it for about two weeks and I think it's a good improvement over FC4. Everything just seems to work better, though KDE is still seems broken (looking forward for kde-redhat to support FC5...). The new version of Gnome actually feels usable. Older versions to me (Athlon 64 3200+, 2 GB RAM) always felt very sluggish but 2.14 feels much faster. I always try new released of Gnome but end up switching back to KDE after the first week. This is the first release of Gnome I don't feel like switching from. I'm actually liking it.

Re:Not quite meaty enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15005616)

Did you even bother to read the release notes?

Re:Not quite meaty enough. (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | about 8 years ago | (#15006454)

I'm running FC4 on my file server and FC5 on my desktop. I have to say that Gnome 2.14 is HEAPS faster, nautilus is much less crash-prone. I know you can stick Gnome 2.14 onto any distro really but with FC5 its nicely integrated out of the box. Also, the new gnome-bar thingy is fabulous. Like google deskbar on steroids. Integrates well with desktop search which seems to use less than half the resources for equivalent windoze products. Config menus seem much better organised.

Apart from that the underlying stuff seems pretty normal (e.g. how services are organised, init runlevels, etc.). I haven't tried Xen yet.

Re:Not quite meaty enough. (1)

CagedBear (902435) | about 8 years ago | (#15010248)

Hopefully somebody posts a review that actually tells me how Fedora Core 5 is different than 4

It's packaged with MySQL 5, which was enough incentive for me. Being a Linux newbie, I was getting all sorts of errors trying to upgrade MySQL. Upgrading the entire OS was easier.

Plus the boot screen looks cool. That's important. ;)

Re:Not quite meaty enough. (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 8 years ago | (#15012105)

Hopefully somebody posts a review that actually tells me how Fedora Core 5 is different than 4

Newer version of Gnome -> 2.0.14
Internal support for Mono and stuff like f-spot.
New theme.
Uglier background that looks like Fedora Bubbles.
Uglier startup screen that looks like Fedora Bubbles.
No more xfce4 on base install. You need to install from yum.

Man, someone was really colour blind when they picked the new default them for FC5. The first thing people see after installing FC5 is the most god-awful desktop theme ever created. Granted you can change it, but it's a really bad first impression IMO.

My "review" (0, Troll)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 8 years ago | (#15002532)

I downloaded FC5 a few days ago, installed it and tested for a bit. It took about two hours before I yelled "fuck it" and went back to Windows.

First, the installation is very slow. Needlessly so. I could understand if it was installing lots of packages, but Fedora comes with less packages than Ubuntu and takes more time. On the positive side, it was easy, but for some reason insisted on having all of my partitions in LVM.

On rebooting, GNOME started very quickly (in 3 seconds) but then the whole desktop just tended to feel...sluggish. Moving windows took ages to repaint, switching windows took a few seconds, for a lot of things you had to wait for the PC to catch up before you could do anything. While Fedora were boasting about OpenOffice.org being "optimised" in this release, it was just as slow as any other distro's installation of it.

Like I say, I went straight back to Windows, for the simple reason that it was too damn slow to be usable. 2000 or XP aren't anywhere near as sluggish as Fedora was, even Ubuntu was faster despite running roughly the same software. I couldn't see much evidence of the much-vaunted speed improvements, sadly.

One of the best? (1)

Svenne (117693) | about 8 years ago | (#15002725)

So, if it really is, how come it's so badly tested? Has anyone tried the bundled GNOME Bluetooth apps? The BT Manager, to be specific? No? Well, I could tell. Because it will crash immediately upon startup. Am I really the only one that's using BT in linux?

It works just fine on my dualbooted Slackware Current (on the same machine, of course).

Fixing Flash (4, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | about 8 years ago | (#15005395)

For anyone trying to use the Flash plugin on Fedora Core 5, you may have noticed that it only shows images, not text.

It turns out that Flash has hard-coded the font paths and is still looking in /usr/X11R6/lib, but the new R7 X server doesn't use the X11R6 paths anymore. (The same problem will happen with any distro that uses X.org's new modular X server)

You can work around the problem [hyperborea.org] by creating /usr/X11R6/lib/X11 and symbolically linking to /etc/X11/fs and /usr/share/X11/fonts.
mkdir -p /usr/X11R6/lib/X11
cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11
ln -s /etc/X11/fs
ln -s /usr/share/X11/fonts
Also, if you have SELinux running in enforcing mode, you need to allow text relocations on the Flash library.
chcon -t texrel_shlib_t /path/to/libflashplayer.so
With any luck, Macrodobe will fix both of these in an upcoming version of the plugin.

I found the solution in the comments on a Mozilla bug report. Remember, Bugzilla doesn't allow direct links from Slashdot, so if you really need to read the bug discussion, go to bugzilla.mozilla.org and search for bug 317655.

Nah (2, Funny)

webfiend (112579) | about 8 years ago | (#15005718)

You know what? I just got done tweaking a fresh Ubuntu install to my satisfaction about an hour ago. I *really* don't feel like trying another distro for at least 12 hours.

Errors in the article (1)

versus (59674) | about 8 years ago | (#15007622)

From the article: "The first thing you see when you boot on the CD, is a graphical Grub menu." And screenshot says there is standard SYSLINUX boot prompt...

Fedora 5 (1)

tu_holmes (744001) | about 8 years ago | (#15039309)

Well, I've been using Fedora 5 for a couple of weeks now myself, and this is what I have to say about it:

I've found that for the most part I hate all X related desktops, and I've tried a few... enlightenment, gnome, kde, afterstep... I hate them all.

The gnome 2.14 with fedora 5 is fabulous... It's got enough eye-candy to make it pleasant, with a minimal feel that is just usable.

The memory footprint of the standard fedora 5 seems to be smaller than fedora 4, and things seem snappier.

The Hardware compatibility seems to be better... My thumb drive used to show up as 2 different mount points even though it only had one partition, where in fedora 5, it does not.

Security is better... thumb drives and cds do not automount if you're logged in as root at the console, but if you're a normal user, then they mount perfectly.

If you use fedora 5 and have experience with fedora 4, you will definitely be glad you moved up.

I've used them all... I reformat my computer and put a new OS on it constantly... Right now, Fedora 5 is going to stay... at least for the time being... it hasn't upset me too much yet, and that's better than most linux distros.
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