Microwave Biscuit

Goodbye, Fedora

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on February 21, 2007

Another hubub in linux land – Eric Raymond is defecting to Ubuntu after being with Redhat/Fedora forever – read his reasons here: Goodbye, Fedora

Like many Linux users, my first experience with Linux was Red Hat. I defected long ago first to SuSE 7, then to Mandrake (now Mandriva) and on to Ubuntu. Why did I leave? Well, my first and foremost reason for dumping Red Hat was that inevitably I would “break” it. I would do something and then reboot and have a system that was no longer usable. It didn’t matter what version of Red Hat I tried, I always broke it. Now, I’m sure that many of my problems came from user error but I still couldn’t keep a Red Hat system running for more than 6 months. I’d end up reinstalling at some point because the system wouldn’t boot. I flirted briefly with SuSE but never really fell in love. Mandrake worked well for me for quite some time. I found that I was able to make things work easily on it. Simple example: Frozen Bubble is one of my favorite games. I attempted to get it working in Red Hat but never could (perhaps you could now but I got tired of trying). Some of the dependent packages weren’t available as RPMs so I’d end up trying to build stuff from sources only to discover that I couldn’t for one reason or another. In Mandrake it just worked. At one point I wanted to set up a test bed “LAMP” environment. Couldn’t seem to get it done in Red Hat – Mandrake easy as pie. Unfortunately Mandrake began to suffer internal political issues and trying to get updates for the “open source” edition wasn’t easy. Eventually it led me to Ubuntu and from there I haven’t looked back. Everything that I’ve wanted to do I have been able to do in Ubuntu.

I did think that maybe a few more years of experience with Linux and the Fedora project would make a difference but I was wrong. I got a free Fedora Core DVD with Linux Format Magazine (great read by the way) last summer. I set up a Virtual Machine and installed it. At the time I think Yum was still in it’s early development and I did some set of upgrades on my fresh install and rendered the system un-bootable. I had just installed the base system and was trying to perform the updates required to get it “up to date” and boom – the machine was broken. Red Hat may be a real player in the server market but my experiences with it as a Desktop have been horrible.

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