Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Fedora 7 "Moonshine": Freedom vs. Ease-of-Use (Part 2)

Filed under
Reviews

Usage Notes

There are some great tutorials about how to set up a complete Fedora box, including the Howto Forge's excellent article, The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 7, the Fedora FAQ (not yet updated to Fedora 7 as of this writing, but it surely soon will be), and Stanton Finley's Fedora Core 5 Installation Notes (many of which still apply, particularly the advice about which repos work together, and which don't). So I won't go into a rundown on how to get everything working; I'll just mention a few things I found most interesting or challenging, in no particular order.

   

Various office and multimedia apps

Default GNOME desktop

  • One of the first things you'll want to install is a GUI for YUM. Yum is the front end for Fedora's package management system, and it's extremely easy to use via the command line (see its "man" page for the gory details). It's even easier to use with a GUI. I recommend one named "yumex". To install those, you'd go to a console, log in as root, and issue the command

    yum install yumex

    and follow the prompts. Then start "Yum Extender" from the "System" menu (if you're running KDE) and browse packages!

  • Fedora's a historically GNOME-centric distribution, and has, in the past, tried to make KDE look and feel as much as possible like GNOME through the use of its Bluecurve theme. With this version, however, KDE fans (like me) will find that KDE's on the same footing with GNOME.
  • Even if you added the Livna repository during installation, it seems you have to add it again afterwards, which you can do by downloading and installing the livna-release-7.rpm package.
  • With this kernel, all hard drives are treated as if they're SCSI disks. In other words, what you're most likely familiar with is "hda1", "hdb3", etc. In Fedora 7, they're now referred to as "sda1", "sdb3", and so on.
  • As noted before, you'll need to set up your NTFS partition(s) manually after installing the ntfs-3g package, and also manually set up any FAT32 partitions so the normal user can write to them. Here are examples of lines in /etc/fstab to achieve that:
    /dev/sda1    /media/sda1    ntfs-3g auto,user,users,exec,umask=000,nls=utf8,rw 0 0
    /dev/sdb4    /media/sdb4    vfat    auto,user,users,exec,umask=000,rw 0 0
  • If you've got an NVIDIA card, and install the proprietary drivers from Livna, Beryl is good to go — just use Yum to install it (and its dependencies), and select "Beryl Manager" from the "System" menu. This is the first time I've used a stable version of Aquamarine.
  •    

  • For some reason, most of my QuickTime files don't play in mplayer or xine, even with the codecs pack installed. This is a head-scratcher, since they do on my Debian installation.
  • Be sure to check out Fedora's "Liberation Fonts," a package meant to replace three of Microsoft's core Web fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New). They look quite nice.

Conclusion

Linux distros (the desktop-oriented ones, at least) seem to be getting more and more homogenized. We expect an easy-to-use installer; a selection of popular Linux software; a robust package manager. Fedora 7 certainly provides those features.

However, since the distro I blew off my spare partition in order to install Fedora 7 was PCLinuxOS 2007, it's impossible not to compare the two. PCLinuxOS definitely comes out the winner. Configuring hardware on Fedora is more challenging than configuring hardware on PCLinuxOS, which does most of it for you. PCLinuxOS doesn't require the manual addition of third-party repositories in order to get proprietary software; most of it is installed out of the box. In short, PCLinuxOS is simply less time-consuming and less frustrating to install and configure than Fedora.

Much of this can arguably be laid to rest at the feet of Fedora's decision to stay completely within the bounds of open-source, non-patent-encumbered (at least in their opinion) software. (Keep in mind that Fedora isn't sticking to this decision for purely ideological reasons — it has a business to run and doesn't want to get sued.) It remains to be seen how the struggle between the demand for ease-of-use/proprietary formats, on the one hand, and a strict emphasis on free-and-open-source software, on the other, will turn out.

Goodbye!

More in Tux Machines

QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop

  • QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop
    While QNX remains targeted as an operating system for mobile/embedded solutions, a BlackBerry developer in his spare time has fitted QNX 7 with a Qt5 desktop. QNX 6 and prior had a desktop option, but was removed in QNX 7, which was released this past March. QNX 7.0 also brought support for 64-bit (and maintaining 32-bit) Intel x86 and ARM platforms along with C++14 support. For those wanting to experiment with QNX 7, a BlackBerry kernel developer has been working on making this operating system more desktop friendly.
  • Building a BlackBerry QNX 7 Desktop
    Having Qt allowed me to port one of my favourite applications, SpeedCrunch. It was a simple matter of running ‘qmake’ followed by ‘make’. Next, I ported the QTermWidget library so that I could have terminal windows.

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Kernel explained
  • [Older] [Video] Audio on Linux: The End of a Golden Age?
  • State of Sway April 2017
    Development on Sway continues. I thought we would have slowed down a lot more by now, but every release still comes with new features - Sway 0.12 added redshift support and binary space partitioning layouts. Sway 0.13.0 is coming soon and includes, among other things, nvidia proprietary driver support. We already have some interesting features slated for Sway 0.14.0, too! Today Sway has 21,446 lines of C (and 4,261 lines of header files) written by 81 authors across 2,263 commits. These were written through 653 pull requests and 529 issues. Sway packages are available today in the official repos of pretty much every distribution except for Debian derivatives, and a PPA is available for those guys.

Supporting Burning Platforms

  • Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

    Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street.

    For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever.

  • Acer said to me: "do not use our products with Linux. Find another manufacturer"
    Last year, I bought an Acer notebook and it came with Windows 10. As I didn't want spyware neither bloatware, I got Linux installed and asked for a refund of the OEM license. After a little of talking, they were wanting to charge me US$100 (to remove the license, which I already had wiped, as I got FDE Linux installed) to refund US$70 of the OEM license. This year, wondering to buy a new Acer notebook, I asked them again if they would refund me the OEM license without all the hassle (as they did pay me the US$70, without me having to pay the US$100).

today's howtos