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What's Fedora Up To? Ask the Project Leader

Roblimo posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-all-hats-are-red dept.

295

Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack offered himself up for this interview because, he said, "I look at stories like [your] posting Ubuntu to Bring About Red Hat's Demise and many of the comments about Red Hat and Fedora seem very rooted in the world of several years ago, when the RHEL/Fedora split took place." This is a chance to clear the air, and get an up-to-date look at what Fedora is up to these days. So ask away; we'll send 10 of the highest-moderated questions to Max and (hopefully) publish his answers later this week.

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Link? (4, Funny)

astralbat (828541) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859195)

Did I miss something?

Re:Link? (1, Flamebait)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859206)

Did I miss something?

Yes. You're supposed to ask a question, which will be submitted to Max and he can answer in a later article.

Welcome to Slashdot :-)

Re:Link? (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859222)

You missed the fact that this is an interview, you are supposed to ask the guy whatever you want to know about the drection of Fedora.
I am happy with Dapper, myself, so I don't actually care a lot about the future of fedora, but some people might have their questions.

Re:Link? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859286)

I say that everyone should mod astralbat's comment up so that Max gets asked, "Did I miss something?" : p

Re:Link? (1)

astralbat (828541) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859601)

My mistake, I should have realized. But it doesn't help those who really ARE new to Slashdot in any way...

Re:Link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859622)

It doesn't matter if there's a link that is needed, what matter that there's any link

Well, if you really want to (3, Funny)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859207)

Why is Ubuntu kiling you? oh...sorry....

let me rephrase in a more congenial way...

In terms of eventually losing to Ubuntu, why are you? ...still no good?

Ok: About your opinion regarding Ubuntu, what do you think are the reasons for it causing your eventual demise?

kind of appropriate: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859314)

Quote at the bottom: I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -- Albert Einstein
Emphasis being on the sticks and stones.

Sticks and stones will break their demos, but your words will never make it the to wiki.

-Nis

Re:Well, if you really want to (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859348)

I have a better one.

What do you think will be the Linux distro of the day after Ubuntu looses favour like every other geek favorite has?

Re:Well, if you really want to (1)

myz24 (256948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859398)

Too true, it wasn't that long ago that Gentoo was the distro of choice.

Re:Well, if you really want to (2, Informative)

ewl1217 (922107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859497)

True, but Ubuntu has Mark Shuttleworth. Mark Shuttleworth brings two things to Ubuntu that most other distributions don't have: money and ambition. Just look at Ubuntu bug #1 - https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1 [launchpad.net] .

Re:Well, if you really want to (1)

Penguin Follower (576525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859552)

Hah! Gentoo is still my favorite distro. I love Portage!

Re:Well, if you really want to (1)

biffta (961416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859489)

Yeh just like Firefox, oh wait...

Re:Well, if you really want to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859779)

LOL The next version will be Windowsnix. Go Gates!!! LET THE FIGHTS BEGIN!!!

A slightly different take. (2, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859419)

What do you view as Red Hat's advantage over Ubuntu that Ubuntu will not be able to easily/quickly replicate?

Re:Well, if you really want to (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859510)

Ubuntu, hm. Isn't that the one that STRONGLY RECOMMENDS you install a shaky bootloader, GRUB (rather than picking a boot drive at startup) which can then fail and lock you out of all operating systems leaving you unable to fix it from the install-only disc they told you would be sufficient to install, but then would later claim you were supposed to realize you should have dl'ed a live CD and install on a machine you didn't care about first anyway?

Black Hat (2, Funny)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859208)

Is it true that one of your developers got fired for wearing a Trilby?

Go on, mod me down. I deserve it.

Why such a divide? (5, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859214)

It seems to me that 'Linux should be Linux'. Rather, we're seeing articles about one linux distro killing another. We never see "Windows Professional is killing Windows Home". IMHO, Ubuntu's success should be a boon for all Linux distros.

Unfortunately, package management seems to be the great divide. What are you doing to bring One Package Manager to all Linux?

Re:Why such a divide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859302)

Well the LSB standardised on RPM, so they're already using "the standard" such as it is. All distros using one package management system is almost certainly never going to happen due to the do-it-your-way philosophy of Linux, but that's not RedHat's fault.

Re:Why such a divide? (2, Interesting)

eipgam (945201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859330)

What makes you think a single package manager is necessarily a good thing? Shouldn't users get a choice?

Re:Why such a divide? (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859483)

Yes they should and that's exactly what the current system prevents. How many people used to use Debian Unstable merely because the size of the repositories made installing/upgrading software less of a pain in the ass than with other distros. And how many jumped ship when Ubuntu came along?

Today there is little (if any) innovation in the Linux distribution space. The big desktop distros - Fedora, Ubuntu, SUSE, Gentoo are followed by a bunch of smaller ones like Debian, Slackware etc ..... but they are all basically the same. The barriers to entry are very high because any new distro will not have many packages, relegating it to the "technical people with lots of time" market, which isn't that big.

If there was some standardisation of this then the market would be more liquid and newer, more innovative distros would get a lookin.

Re:Why such a divide? (1)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859499)

well, choice is great, in moderation. When it comes down to the core of a system, some cohesion in necessary.

For example, you DO have a choice over network protocols, but if someone told you that you needed IPX to talk to their service, how motivated would you be to look for another service?

Re:Why such a divide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859511)

Where is the choice? If someone is using Fedora Core 5 with yum, can he one fine day switch to apt without any problems? Or if someone is using Debian and apt-get, can he switch to yum without any problems? Unless this happens and *it just works*, you cannot really say there is a choice. If you start with one, you are stuck to that method of installation/upgrade/etc.

Re:Why such a divide? (2, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859407)

We never see "Windows Professional is killing Windows Home".


That's because Windows Home and Windows Professional are binary compatible. I can take my Windows Home application, and install it on a Windows Professional machine without having to change anything. For all of Linux's strengths, binary compatibility is one thing that could still use a lot of improvements. I don't see how having multiple package managers improves the robustness or security of Linux in any way.

Re:Why such a divide? (2, Insightful)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859447)

1. Windows (foo) Professional and Windows (foo) Home are made by the same people awful, irrelevant comparison.
2. If there's going to be One Package Manager, nobody wants it to be RedHat's.

Drivers Vs Linux (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859232)

A lot of people I talk to say they don't like Linux due to lack of driver support [wieers.com] . Is there anyway you see this problem being eliminated? How do you court vendors to support their hardware on your flavor of Linux?

Re:Drivers Vs Linux (1)

Borgschulze (842056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859260)

Lack of driver support? You mean, "Lack of ATi video driver support."

Re:Drivers Vs Linux (3, Insightful)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859322)

Wifi as well.

Re:Drivers Vs Linux (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859418)

I use Gentoo with the nVidia driver, and I'm still waiting for a driver so I can migrate to Xorg 7.1. Granted, ATi is worse for Linux drivers, but neither company is exactly doing their best for us Linux folks.

Simple Buy Supported Hardware (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859503)

I don't buy shit that ain't compatible with linux, see how simple that makes things. I never
ever have driver issues just load and go...

What's changed? (5, Interesting)

KDan (90353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859248)

You mention that opinions are rooted in the world of 5 years ago. What do you think has changed in the linux world since then, and how does it affect Fedora development?

Daniel

MP3 Licensing (1, Redundant)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859252)

I noticed in my latest installation of Fedora, I had to actively seek the MP3 codec. I know this isn't your fault but was this something brought about by a potential lawsuit or did you decide to remove it from the distribution preemptively to avoid possible lawsuits?

Re:MP3 Licensing (3, Informative)

PhoenixK7 (244984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859312)

They've actually answered your question in the FAQ: here [fedorafaq.org] . Basically it boils down to patents and licensing fees.

Worst Aspect of Fedora? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859269)

On the Fedora Project website, there are plenty of reasons listed for Fedora to be your operating system of choice. In your eyes, what is the most lacking aspect of Fedora as it exists today?

Re:Worst Aspect of Fedora? (2, Interesting)

Doug Dante (22218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859514)

How can we get MP-3 and MPEG support included with Fedora on download?

Re:Worst Aspect of Fedora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859773)

How can we get invariant device names? It's kind of stupid that I can have a RAID 5 of several SATA disks and when one fails and I pull the first disk out of the machine all of the others get renamed one step down, sdb->sda, sdc->sdb, etc. And no, labels and uuid's aren't helpful since these do not have filesystems on them, they have portions of filesystems on them.

This evening (4, Funny)

tomknight (190939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859275)

What are you doing this evening? My date stood me up and I'd be a shame to waste a table for two with reservations for this place being the way they are...

Vista a Problem? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859288)

Do you view Vista as a threat to your user base? Do you or people on your team ever change your mind about things or let looming Vista influence your decisions?

I'm hoping that Linux distros are not pressured into adding unneeded bells and whistles in a desperate attempt to compete with Vista. Are you invulnerable from this mentality?

Mac OS X a Problem? (2, Interesting)

The_DoubleU (603071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859457)

Same question as above but replace Vista with Mac OS X.

Linux presence (5, Interesting)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859292)

Linux adoption has been growing, but very slowly. Why do you think that this is the case? What are, in your point of view, the roadblocks to Linux becoming a serious contender for the desktop at home and in the corporate enviroment and how do you plan to address them?

Re:Linux presence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859385)

Maybe it is no big manufacturer is pushing or preloading Linux as a prefered OS on their hardware.

Fedora (est. 1997) (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859316)

Couldn't you guys have come up with a different name to the Fedora repository software [fedora.info] ?

Re:Fedora (est. 1997) (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859636)

The repository merged with RHL and became Fedora IIRC.

What is Fedora's Comparative Advantage? (5, Interesting)

tabdelgawad (590061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859320)

Do you see Fedora Core as targeted at a particular type of Linux user (developers, server admins, desktop users, multimedia, etc) or are you trying to be all things to all people? Stated another way, what do you see as FC's main (current and future) strengths and weakneses compared to other distros?

Re:What is Fedora's Comparative Advantage? (1)

portmapper (991533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859643)

> Do you see Fedora Core as targeted at a particular type of Linux user (developers, server admins, desktop users, multimedia, etc) or are you
> trying to be all things to all people?

Fedora is beta testing of software that may/will end up in RHEL, so there is an implicit targetting in that.
Essensially a Fedora user == beta tester.

Have you tried Ubuntu? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859325)

Have you tried Ubuntu yourself? Is there, in your opinion, something Ubuntu does better than Fedora?

Fedora/Linux Certified Hardware? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859332)

I believe that there is a huge problem with hardware support in Linux right now. To remedy this, the Linux community should work together toward some sort of Linux Driver Standard, similar to Microsoft's WDM Certification. One key way in which the Linux Certified Hardware program could differ from WDM is cost. If the Linux certification process were free for hardware manufacturers, where it is quite costly to become WDM Certified, we may see many of the smaller (and often better) manufacturers writing drivers for Linux just to get marketshare. One of the main requirements for the Certification would be that the driver be entirely open source and under a user-friendly license.

Being the distro responsible for pioneering such a Certification Program could have a huge impact on the number of people using that distro. Why hasn't Fedora taken such steps?

Re:Fedora/Linux Certified Hardware? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859380)

Sorry for replying to myself, however, I did not want to go into too many details of my vision in the question.

My thought here is the following: What is keeping me, and many people I know, from switching to Linux is hardware compatibility rather than software availability or the interface or ease of installation. Basicly, we own stuff that doesn't work under Linux, period.

To compound this, there are a great number of potentially very high quality products made by very small manufacturers, just trying to gain marketshare. This program would be incentive for them to gain that marketshare by writing a good, open source Linux driver and becoming Certified.

Net result, the bigger corporations see a decrease in sales, as linux users move to Certified hardware over the next few years and respond by providing good, open source drivers and becoming Certified. Since becoming Linux Certified doesn't cost a cent, there's now no reason not to.

In the end, this is win-win for everyone.

Mod Parent up and extend the question to include: (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859485)

How about along with a analogous Driver STandard, how about a complete Linux version of "WHQL" (Windows Hardware Qualification Logo) which would indicate that a PC would be able to run a (standard?) version of Linux?

Doing this would also help push Linux as a driver towards hardware standards rather than responding to Wintel.

myke

Re:Mod Parent up and extend the question to includ (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859534)

There is only one qualification program that counts, when linus puts it in the kernel and sprinkles the holy penguin pee on it then it is certified until that point the driver is worthless junk.

Re:Mod Parent up and extend the question to includ (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859727)

Amen!

Thank you for completing the though process that I simply could not.

NTFS support in Fedora/RedHat. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859337)

If Fedora is actually not controlled by Red Hat anymore, and Fedora is user-oriented, why are both the only general-purpose GNU/Linux distributions that disable the NTFS driver from the Linux kernel?

Users do need this option (unlike RedHat's customers, which are organizations as far as I know), and for evidence, Linux-NTFS is one of the projects with the most downloads on sourceforge.

I would like to add that NTFS is part of the mainline kernel. Compiling it as a module will cause it to not take any memory resources other than the few kilobytes on disk that any un-used hardware module is taking, unless of course the user has a mounted NTFS partition.

RedHat's reason for disabling NTFS support was that RedHat is a US-based organization and that they fear patenting problems from MS. No law action was ever taken, and no actual patent was referenced. As far as I know, NTFS is not even patented or patentable. Fedora is not RedHat as you say, so this old reasoning is not exactly valid for Fedora. The IBM/SCO saga also cleared the issue about patents in the mainline kernel.

Unless Fedora will change this simple flag in the kernel config file, I assume it is still controlled (and not only sponsered as some would say) by RedHat.

Re:NTFS support in Fedora/RedHat. (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859735)

I just did a search of the USPTO database and all I came up with are patents with references to NTFS, but none directly covering NTFS. IANAPL, but searching all the way back to 1976 with the earliest patents containing the letters "NTFS" merely referring to the "technology" implies there's no patent directly on NTFS. I can't find anyone directly referencing any patents using google either.

However, there may be something in the driver which performs some patented task. But I see no patent on reading and writing to an NTFS partition.

Distro Improvement (2, Interesting)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859338)

It seems to me that the general consensus among users when FC was released wavered around "It's redhat minus the money behind it", what improvements in package management, distro consistency (path standardization), and configuration systems do you forsee preventing FC from becoming what some have called "The most craptacular peice of shit since Caldera OpenLinux"?

Home recording/music production (3, Interesting)

Bruitist (987735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859341)

I use Planet CCRMA [stanford.edu] components with Fedora Core 5 and this seems to bring me very close to rivalling what I could do with a Mac running Pro Tools, etc. Any plans to integrate these ideas into the main Fedora package, such as the ability to choose "music" or "recording" on initial install the same way you can choose "home", "office", etc?

Or, really, any plans for any other speciallising options?

Linux development direction? (1)

edmudama (155475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859354)

Most of what us "stuck in the past" folks hear about on Linux is development of new server applications or ways that IT can save money by deploying Linux, while simultaneously there are complaints about no "new" development on the platform... merely copying of existing Windows or Solaris or BSD functionality and applications.

My question, therefore, is do you believe this is an accurate representation of Linux development today? Do you believe that the standard user applications are an area that Linux should be developing towards, and what are you doing as Fedora project leader to influence this?

Thanks, and I'll take my answers off the air...

Fedora (5, Interesting)

modernbob (558981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859359)

I have been using Fedora since version 2 (or) since support ran out on RH9. It's been getting better with each version and the number of applications there are packages for have increased dramatically. I am using version FC5 now and using it in a production environment on several servers. I continue to read that RH/Fedora doesn't support the idea of using FC for a production environment. Is this true and if so what exactly is FC's charter? I mean what exactly is the purpose of the FC project? What do you envision your users are going to do with FC? Are you thinking about end user at all? Where do you see FC in 5 years? Thanks Robert W. Oldfield

Directory Server (5, Interesting)

IMightB (533307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859365)

Hi, I've been using Fedora Directory Server for quite a while, and it is a fantastic product. I read some rumours that it would be Integrated with FC5, but sadly it was not. When can we expect this to be a standard feature/integrated with authentication and other areas in Fedora? Thanks, Brian

not really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859373)

it still comes down to debian vs. redhat-based systems...I don't think that Ubuntu will have much of an effect on Fedora users...

supa question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859377)

Were you trilby'd when you won the final of Wimbledon?

If not, why?

Empirical evidence? (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859393)

The report of my death was an exageration -- Mark Twain

I know that the the Ubuntu numbers that are usually reported are silly, because they are based on Distrowatch [distrowatch.com] , which as 10 year Linux user, was a site I had never been to before questioning the Ubuntu installation numbers, and being refered there.

I also know that you have no interest in getting into a "measuring" contest -- because fedora is not about that. BUT if it were about that -- what do you think is a good way to measure "popularity" of a distro? Any numbers that say that DSL [damnsmalllinux.org] is more popular that Debian [debian.org] , automatically get's questioned in my book. Don't get me wrong, I love DSL, and Debian and even Distrowatch -- I'm just not ready to believe that what is being reported is an accurate representation of who's running what.

.rpms and the LSB (5, Interesting)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859405)

While the Linux Standard Base advocates the use of .rpm packages, what steps are you using to help other distributions use .rpm packages? What are your thoughts about setting up "universal" repositories that are accessible from different distribution architectures? (A single repo that can be used by suse, redhat, and debian systems). What are you doing to go towards that goal?

filesystem support (2, Interesting)

QuesarVII (904243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859420)

Why is ext3 still the only filesystem available during installation? Practically every other distro is using reiserfs by default, and allowing whichever one you choose. Why does Fedora only permit ext3?

Re:filesystem support (2, Insightful)

IMightB (533307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859470)

Umm it supports all the others too, when booting from the CD, rather than just hitting enter, type: linux xfs/jfs/rieser etc etc, and those filesystem types will be available to you in the installation program.

Re:filesystem support (1)

love2hateMS (588764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859498)


At the installer prompt:

linux selinux=0 reiserfs

Dependency hell (5, Interesting)

Tet (2721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859434)

The introduction of yum has vastly improved the user experience when installing software, or updating existing packages. However, it's brought with it a new kind of dependency hell. For example, if I want to install a PostScript previewer:

% yum install evince
[...]
Installing:
evince x86_64 0.5.1-3 core 773 k
Installing for dependencies:
nautilus x86_64 2.14.1-1.fc5.1 updates-released 3.9 M
nautilus-cd-burner x86_64 2.14.2-1 updates-released 414 k

That's clearly wrong. I only want to install a PostScript previewer. Doing so should not require a filemanager (which I don't need or want), and certainly not a CD burner. But these are added as dependencies due to the clumsy packaging that seems to be increasingly prevalent in Fedora. Perhaps (and I remain unconvinced) there's some aspect of evince that can make use of nautilus being present. But if so, I haven't seen it. I could well believe that nautilus could make use of evince, but not really the other way around. But assume for the sake of argument that it can use nautilus. That still isn't a reason to have it depend on it. Dependencies should be packages that are required in order for another to run, not packages that will merely enable additional functionality. In this case -- the prime function of evince is to view documents, which isn't significantly enhanced by having a file browser present.

Fedora is still my distribution of choice, but it's becoming increasingly hard to use for those of us that prefer to run with a minimal system due to the way that the dependencies have been getting out of hand. Are there any plans to fix this, or is any work already underway to do so? I understand that some consideration has been given to providing "soft dependencies" within RPM (like dpkg's suggested dependencies), which would help. Is there a timeframe for this? Is anything else being done?

I quite understand the focus on getting the system to be usable for the average unskilled user. But the impression I'm getting is that it's being done at the expense of letting those of us that know what we're doing do what we want. Does Fedora have a position on the type of users it's aiming for, or is it still trying to be a general purpose OS?

Re:Dependency hell (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859600)

You've hit a key issue: the niggling little dependencies on things like nautilus by many other core packages, or the X libraries to use emacs, helps create a dependency problem. Similarly, the dependencies on MySQL and PostgreSQL and SQLite by software like bugzilla that can use any of the 3 databases force installation of all of them. Nautilus is one of the worst, since there's no graceful way to disable it entirely and prevent a software update from restoring its use, and it tends to be a real CPU sink. Ripping it out by the roots yanks dozens if not hundreds of other packages with it.

If we paid the Fedora Core authors, we could tell them "spend the time to split out the dependencies into sub-modules". But that does take some work and some cunning: the software authors often do not have these split out gracefully, and it means writing patches on top of the original software. But getting them to go harass the bugzilla authors to split out dependencies is asking a lot from them. It's often simpler to buy a bigger disk and just install everything as asked, and not worry about a few unnecessary Megabytes here or there.

Minimum resources (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859725)

I've noticed an increase in the minimum memory requirements for a basic Fedora install. I run Fedora on several machines, from an old 166MHz Pentium machine with 64M of memory, to GHz AMD64 machines with 1G of memory.

Ideally, I'd like to run the same version on all of them. However, FC5 has raised the minimum memory requirement from 64M to 128M, excluding the older machines.

Is there a specific technical reason for increasing the minimum requirement, or is it because a lot of packages are being included to make the system user friendly.
I'm sure the 'minimum' text only install includes a large number of packages that it does not need.

I appreciate the excellent work being done to make the full desktop install more user friendly, but please remember that a lot of Fedora installs are for text only servers.

WIFI (3, Interesting)

nitsew (991812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859435)

After all these years, the huge improvements to Linux in general, why is it still so hard to get an off the shelf PCI wireless card going? Are you guys making any improvements there?

Re:WIFI (1)

dk20 (914954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859628)

you have my vote on this one. As a laptop user, this is a KEY question for me. Everything from MS pretty much finds the card, installs the drivers and it works fine. why doesnt linux (and im not hitting FC, because SUSE has the same problem) have better support? SUSE in particular is odd.. it's package program even tells me exactly what card i have, but there just isnt drivers around for it.

Re:WIFI (1)

nitsew (991812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859700)

and trying to use NDISWRAPPER is a joke :) ... I actually switched from FC to Ubuntu, because I heard that they had better support... from what you said, it actually sounds like Ubuntu has the same problem as SUSE, it found my card [unlike FC] but refuses to use it...

What's the diffference? (5, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859443)

What differentiates Fedora from all the other Linux distros? Who's your target demographic?

Live CD? (2, Interesting)

niceone (992278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859444)

Any plans for a live CD? I'm a long time RH user who switched to Ubuntu after a tried a live CD and found all the hardware on my laptop worked out of the box (even Windows didn't manage that). I guess there are a few live CD's based on Fedora, but that's not really the same as having one official one.

Second question: I have a bunch of RH stock... sell or hold?

Really "clear the air" (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859466)


What brand of air freshener do you use? Do you like incense? Have you ever experienced Febreze scentstories?

Installer bugs (1)

Error27 (100234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859469)

I mostly work with installer and kernel issues. FC5 was pretty buggy. I already had one customer ask me why FC5 hangs during install. I told him that if he was using the text mode install that sometimes hangs so he should use the graphical install. Otherwise he should just use FC4 or Centos.

It's like every 6 months a new installer is released and you hope all the bugs from the last one are fixed. Sometimes they are but now a whole new lot of bugs are introduced and you have to wait 6 months only to be disappointed again.

It kind of sucks because I fixed a bug in the driver disk handling for FC5 but another bug was introduced so driver disks support is completely broken and my code cannot be used. I wanted to use driver disk support to fix bugzilla 190063 and other driver bugs.

Could I get a bug fix for this crap or do I have to wait for the FC6 release?

Re:Installer bugs (1)

portmapper (991533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859681)

> I mostly work with installer and kernel issues. FC5 was pretty buggy. I already had one customer ask me why FC5 hangs during
> install. I told him that if he was using the text mode install that sometimes hangs so he should use the graphical install.
> Otherwise he should just use FC4 or Centos.

FC is beta quality and testing ground for RHEL, so if your custumer wants something better he could pay for RHEL or use anoter distro/*BSD.

> It's like every 6 months a new installer is released and you hope all the bugs from the last one are fixed. Sometimes they are
> but now a whole new lot of bugs are introduced and you have to wait 6 months only to be disappointed again.

Again, FC is beta quality.

> Could I get a bug fix for this crap or do I have to wait for the FC6 release?

Use something else.

Fedora Core's usefulness to Red Hat (2, Insightful)

crush (19364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859480)

A lot of people seem to believe that FC is just an unstable testing ground for RH Enterprise Linux. This ignores the existence of the truly unstable, baby-eating "Rawhide" development series and the fact that there is support for any FC(n) up to the release of FC(n+2). Do you think there's any truth to it though?

Novell (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859492)

I got scared off red hat - too much buy this and that when i looked (never used it) and then Fedora happened. I still have an impression that rh is better than your distro. I used Suse really from day 1 and i think the split to a community version was handled much better by Novell.



Would i run suse and open suse yes, would i run fedora um no dont think so - question: Why should I even consider Fedora.

Incorrect Category (1)

johnwyles (704259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859507)

Shouldn't this story have been posted to Ask Slashdot and then the responses posted to Interviews?

mass end user appeal (3, Interesting)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859542)

I have a suggestion instead. Red Hat should want Fedora to be a runaway hit like Firefox, not just another linux disto. Firefox is a hit because in addition to having features users want, it is easy to install, simple, and cool. My suggestion is for Red Hat to create a distribution that runs easily on Windows. As in click the button and it runs. Here's how you can do it:

1) A pre-built image file on C:\ that will be the linux hard drive.
2) A .exe program that loads a windows driver that syncs the disks and replaces the NT kernel with Linux kernel.
3) When run, this kernel boots off the image on NTFS.

I know this can be done with existing technology (or at least the hard parts are already working). The NTFS driver can write to an existing file if the size does not change. Linux kernel can init on an already powered up machine and reset the hardware. I know Red Hat does a lot of kernel work and other developement, so I know you guys capable of doing this very quickly.

This gives the vast majority of users a way to download linux like any other program, run it without rebooting into some scary 'repartition' software, and still get the full benefit and experience of linux. In fact, immediately after downloading they just click the program and say "Yes" to "Shutdown Windows and start Linux?" and 20 seconds later they are in a Fedora core system. If they like it, they can install a normal Fedora directly onto the system. If they don't like it, just delete the image file.

My question is, will you at least consider doing this? Something like this would be huge for linux adoption and therefore Red Hat mindshare.

Re:mass end user appeal (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859655)

A bootable OS image for VMWare to use from Windows would be vastly, vastly simpler, and eliminate about 5 yeasrs of design work that will be broken by the next Windows operating system anyway.

But a base OS image or tarball, instead of the adventures of negotiating the RPM installers at base installation time, would simplify and speed the process a lot. Having just enough there to allow RPM to function and talk to local or remote repositories would ease installation and update: this approach has been used by numerous operating sytem image installers, and has proven fast and reliable, especially for network or single CD installers. Is Fedora Core looking at this for future installers?

Re:mass end user appeal (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859714)

What is this 5 years of design work you mention? The pieces are all there. If they really wanted to Red Hat could put an initial (pre-alpha) version together in a week.

With VMware you get a pretty bad linux experience, and especially with Fedora Core where vmware actually has to interpret a lot of the code because of the virtual memory space FC uses. I've actually been able to watch the terminal redraw individual lines. You get poor disk performance, not much hardware acceleration for graphics, etc.

Where? (1)

RagingFuryBlack (956453) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859550)

Where do you see Fedora in the near future? Do you see it as more of a server-oriented distro, or are you preparing to make it more user-friendly and desktop oriented?

Most Valuable Feature (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859554)

The number one feature I hear lauded in Ubuntu is, "It just works. It recognized all my hardware and it all just worked."

I'm keen to try the latest 3-D desktop, and it would be great if mythtv were included in Fedora. But the number one most valuable feature is still working hardware.

For example, Lexmark publishes their Linux Driver Development Kit, but no actual Linux drivers. Fedora doesn't have a driver for my Lexmark printer. That's not necessarily the fault of the Fedora team. But there are issues here that could be addressed by all linux distros.

What can be done to make it easier and more attractive for hardware manufacturers to provide native linux drivers? (I.e., why is it so hard for the manufacturers to do this themselves? What can be done to make it easier?) Also, what can be done so that a working Gentoo or Ubuntu driver means a working Fedora driver, and vise-versa?

And finally, how much effort is consumed banging away on every oddball piece of hardware out there to get them supported, versus the effort spent to squeeze in the latest new gee-wiz app?

Goals (5, Insightful)

redkazuo (977330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859562)

While Ubuntu has a clear, selfless mission, it seems to me the Fedora project misses this. I'm sure while Fedora was still within Red Hat, its mission was simply commercial. "It must be good so we can make money." That mission no longer applies, and http://fedora.redhat.com/About/ [redhat.com] almost sounds like Fedora is just a rejected part of Red Hat, left Free so that they could attempt to profit from community contributions.

Is there an objective in the Fedora Project? One that is clear and may motivate developers to join? Or is it here really just to reduce costs for the Red Hat team?

A Question Regarding Bloat In Fedora. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859564)

Yesterday, I saw my 2.2 GHz desktop (running FC5) spend over a second drawing a single button under heavy loads.

Thats 2.2+ billion cycles. Billion, as in B.

I spent a few moments asking myself how in the world this could even happen, especially with how strong the typical PC is today. 2.2+ billion cycles to draw a button is something that would have horrified coders even 10 years ago, let alone 15-20 years ago. This sort of thing should really be viewed as unacceptable in terms of performance, but it's often ignored if it's even brought up at all.

GNOME vs. KDE issues aside, What are you doing anything in the line of filtering out bloated code from future version of the distribution?

(and yes, it's not my hardware, Gilligan)

Re:A Question Regarding Bloat In Fedora. (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859642)

Yesterday, I saw my 2.2 GHz desktop (running FC5) spend over a second drawing a single button under heavy loads.
Emphasis mine. The application drawing the button was not on the CPU for "over a second". You said "heavy load" — so there's competition for CPU time, and this could've been made worse by waiting on I/O, swapping pages, etc. Drawing a button probably takes no more than a few hundred thousand cycles (even with GTK2 and Cairo). man nice.

Support for Free Drivers (5, Insightful)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859566)

Fedora has a very strong sense of purity in keeping its distro Free, and I like this (no, I don't mind having to visit Livna for MP3, etc.). Further to the goal of a completely Free system, can we expect to see the Fedora project becoming more vocal about Free drivers, and standing besides our neighbours in the OpenBSD community (amongst others) in pressuring hardware providers for open specifications?

Question (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859580)

Which direction are you heading in:

Server, or end-user desktop?

The two worlds are seperate and should remain so.

Why do you even matter? (3, Insightful)

stonewolf (234392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859585)

I will admit that I have a chip on my shoulder. I was a happy user of Redhat. I loved it. It was reasonably priced, it gave me a reliable way to maintain my OS and it just worked. I chose RedHat after testing several other commercial versions of Linux. I had a whole shelf full of boxed Linux distros before I finally settled on RedHat. I was a real fan and a strong supporter. I bought your boxed products and paid a subscription fee for support. I was the kind of customer I would love to have.

Shortly after I had paid the one year subscription fee for your support network your company sent me an email that basically said, we don't want your business, and oh bye the way, we are keeping your money and cutting off the service you just paid for. Your idea of compensation was to offer me a discount on the same product at a much higher price. In other words, you robbed me and then tried to extort even more money from me. You are nothing but thieves. Even Microsoft has never actually taken my money and given me nothing in return.

After that experience I was forced to waste time seeking a new distribution and converting all my computers. The time cost to do that was much greater than the dollar value of the service fees you stole from me. If you count my lost time and revenue I am out several thousand dollars because of you. So, you might say I am a little bit biased against your company. I wouldn't actually spit on you if I were to meet you face to face, but I would like to.

OTOH, I found Debian and found that I had been paying RedHat for something I can get for free from Debian. Recently I converted my desktops and laptops to Ubuntu, an even better solution than Debian, and again for free.

So, considering that there are better versions of Linux available from honest organizations, organizations who have never robbed their customers, I have to ask WHY DO YOU MATTER. Aside from suckering stupid big companies into over paying for your software, what service do you provide that is even worth the time to read about?

Stonewolf

Re:Why do you even matter? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859645)

psst: fedora is free, and it isn't Redhat.

I have a question for you though, just how many trucks does it take to carry all that emotional baggage around?

Re:Why do you even matter? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859740)

Fedora is unstable testbed material for RedHat to use folk as guinea pigs, certainly not suitable for corporate use. Fine for personal web server use or perhaps coloc OS for small business that have geeks with time on their hands, if the occasional kinks and hiccups aren't too annoying.

RedHat did cheat people out of their money as GP poster has said. Why do business with a company that cheats people? Why call a legitimate complaint about such a thing "emotional baggage"?

Re:Why do you even matter? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859765)

Because this discussion isn't about Redhat, it's about Fedora. This isn't the time or place to rant about how much you hate Redhat. Anyone willing to type all that on this forum under these circumstances has emotional baggage, plain and simple.

Re:Why do you even matter? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859702)

Aside from suckering stupid big companies into over paying for your software,

You are right that RedHat gave the little guy the shaft a while back. However, for big biz you answered your own question, RedHat does provide responsive support and datacenter-level management tools (however good or bad) to big business that pays RedHat the big bucks. Ubuntu does not. So most Big biz won't touch Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Slackware, etc.etc.; they won't matter to big biz

Red Hat sucks anyway. Oh boy does it SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859634)

This is actually the worst of the million of worthless linux distros out there.

Why are you in violation of the GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859640)

I am curious as to why you don't ship the actual source to the binary kernel you ship?

Yes, I realize that I can go through a somewhat obscure(*) process to get a particular vanilla kernel and apply all the same patches which will build me a functionally equivalent kernel. But it's not actually compatible with the binary that a system gets from the install process.

The reason for this is that the "EXTRAVERSION" parameter in the Makefile is different than what is used to build the distro. Which means that I can't build mainline kernel modules and use them with the installed kernel.

It appears that you are in violation of the GPL since it's not possible to build the same binaries from the source you distribute without going through some contortions.

(*) it's fairly obscure if you are not a redhat fanatic. again this might be an area where redhat is in violation of the GPL since you must distribute the code in a format commonly used. since redhat is the only distributes their source in such a fashion it is arguable that this method of source distribution is not common.

An argument for a stable Fedora (2, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859705)

I suspect the major reason the word "Ubuntu" is on everyone's lips these days is they are the last piece in a complete stack. Debian has always had the hearts and minds of a lot of serious developers but had a justified reputation as 'not for mortals.' Ubuntu completed the sequence. Unstable is where the developers live, Testing is where it settles down, Stable is for servers and now Ubuntu gives access to end users and desktop deployments. Especially with the LTS series the Debian world now offers a total end to end solution.

Compare to RedHat's stack. Rawhide maps to unstable, only less stable. More accurate would be the Fedora Test releases compare to Unstable. Fedora roughly maps to Testing and RHEL to Stable except it is only available bundled with a service contract. It is probably safe to say few developers develop on rawhide, from what I see on the mailing lists at least, most appear to use Fedora and add some packages from Rawhide/Dag/livna/etc. For the corporate world RHEL is worth every penny, as the RedHat financial statements attest. But you guys don't have anything to offer in the vast space between the deveopers and the major site installs.

When you dropped RHL I grabbed the RHEL source and started White Box, since joined by at least three more rebuild projects. However a new user understands none of that, only seeing Red Hat's offerings, which has nothing for them. They see Fedora Core, which has an expiration date not much longer than milk. Installing a new OS is traumatic enough, the thought of being forced to do it twice a year is right out, especially if they actually do it once and fight the war to get a working system. (drivers, media support, etc) And if they do invest the time to learn linux the Fedora way, unless they work at a site that is a candidate for RHEL there isn't any place to use that knowledge in the real world. Hint: Most of the Linux machines in production use aren't candidates for RHEL. Try selling management on a RHEL support contract that costs more ANNUALLY than an NT license for a file/print server. Critical web server, yes. Oracle server, no problem. But most places start smaller.

Compare to Ubuntu. Most users DO know Ubuntu is Debian based. But unlike Debian, Ubuntu compromised Free Software principles enough to make it fairly easy to get a working machine. So a new user can get going fairly easy and they aren't told they MUST upgrade annually, semi-annually preferred. And once they learn, Ubuntu LTS can be used for real work and it is only a small hop to Debian for a server or Sid to participate in development.

Re:An argument for a stable Fedora (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859783)

www.centos.org

foot meet mouth.

OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15859736)

Will FC6 have a OLPC install option? It would be great to put it through its paces, even without the target hardware.

It would also be nice to have a stock Fedora that could be used to revive aging hardware in "developed" countries. I would love to provide a mainstream Linux distro to all my customers who need to upgrade their 64MB Win9x PCs.

What's better than a free OS with free apps? A free OS with free apps that can run reasonably on existing hardware.

Fedora for Non-Desktops (2, Interesting)

unPlugged-2.0 (947200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15859764)

I noticed that you have broken out the Server and Desktop into CentOS and Fedora.

What are your plans for the future? Where does Fedora plan to live and how can people go from Fedora into CentOS or RHEL like you will be able to with Ubuntu?

Also are there any Fedora initiatives for Mobile Devices? Any kind of WinCE alternative planned? You would be the best to do it as you are also involved in the OLPC project.

Thanks
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