As I have been having a few problems with Ubuntu on my desktop and I had read some good reports on Fedora 8 I decided to install a test copy. I used Fedora for a while some time ago, FC3 if I remember right and although I liked it it had some stability issues and it soon was replaced.
What problems do I have with Ubuntu? I have purchased a Canon lide25 scanner and there is a known problem with it under Ubuntu but there are work arounds in the forums. Also I never solved the USB sound problem. While it works under Rhythmnbox it doesn’t in Firefox and other programs. The OpenOffice Base problem mentioned a few days ago seems to be only in version 2.2 under Ubuntu. I have Feisty but none of these appear to have been fixed under Gutsy.
So I have installed a test Fedora on the same computer with Ubuntu (and XP). Here are a few first impressions.
I like Anaconda,the install program, as it gives me options for what will be installed. I can select to install only those things I need and not everything. This is how install programs should be. Why should someone else who doesn’t know what I want to use the system for select the programs I will have? The installation proceeded without any problems and it finished with an initial boot of the system and final configuration which included creating a user login.
It had recognised most of my hardware without problems. The display adapter and monitor were correctly set up and at the proper resolution. The desktop effects work as they do under Ubuntu. Both my scanners were available and working. Only one printer was detected, an old Epson inkjet which connects to the parallel port needed to be set up manually but only to the extent of making it autodetect then it was fine. The internet connection (not wireless) worked. So far so good.
To be fair it wasn’t perfect. Although it added XP to Grub the Ubuntu installation, which is on a second hard drive, was not included. I had to edit the menu.lst file. It then was accessible without problems. This was probably the most serious problem as Ubuntu is still my main system.
Another problem was during boot it was looking for ata3 and ata4 and would retry a number of times before failing. Once it was past there it ran fine. We will get back to that one.
OpenOffice Base was not part of the original installation for some reason. I added it and it didn’t have the problem I experienced with Ubuntu. I was able to create a new table and form easily.
The USB sound card appears to work everywhere as it should.
The update manager reported there were a large number of updates available and I wasn’t going to install them. This is only a test system and either way it will be removed after a short time. If I like it it will be installed as my main system. If not it will just be gone. However the update included a new kernal and the forums reported that fixed the boot problems (see we did get back to it!). So I installed the updates and a couple of hours later I had a working system that booted without problems.
So where to now? I will use it for a while and try out all the things I regularly do and see how it goes. So far I am impressed but we will see how it is after being used for a few days. I will report back.
Fedora 8 runs well and everything appears to work and without the fixes I had to do under Ubuntu and isn’t that how it should be?