Fedora 9

I guess everyone in the Linux world now knows Fedora 9 was released earlier this week. The feedback has been mixed. While there are the usual bouquets for some great changes there are also a few brickbats for some problems. To be fair Fedora is and always has been a bleeding edge distro and so from time to time will suffer the effects of having the latest but not yet greatest features. One result of this is that the forums have broken all records with the most users on line at one time almost topping 14,000 in the last 24 hours. The record before F9 was a bit over 11,000.

Two examples of the issues early adopters face are the lack of nvidia drivers due to the decision to use the latest beta of xorg. This alone has caused a fair bit of traffic on the forums. The use of KDE 4.03 as the standard KDE desktop has sparked some discussion too with many saying it is not ready for day to day use and should be considered a beta until 4.1 arrives in July.

Fedora is and will remain my distro of choice but I have decided to stick with F8 for the time being. Support will continue for F8 until F0 is released later in about six months. Although some of the new features of F9 look attractive I can’t afford to have my main system unusable. However there is a old copy of Ubuntu on one of my hard drives that I haven’t used for some time so it may go and be replaced with a F9 test system.

Don’t think I am criticising Fedora for its way of doing things. I appreciate having an up to date system and support its aim of pushing development of Linux. It is the Fedoras of this world that keep things improving for everyone else. Sometimes that can be painful for those involved but the end result is worth the pain.

My advice to anyone thinking of trying F9 or any new distro is if you use your computer for anything important don’t replace your existing system. By all means install a test system as a dual boot but keep a working system going too. Or get the Live CD version and have a play with that. If it works and all your hardware is operational then install it. If you are fortunate to have a computer you can test on then go for it!

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