Two Weeks with Fedora 9

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Linux

Recently, I came across a blog post about how to install a LiveCD version of Red Hat's upcoming Fedora 9 release onto a USB stick, leaving space on the stick for data to persist between reboots.

Impressed by the persistent USB LiveCD fun and partition encrypting installer improvements, I chose to throw caution to the wind and load up Fedora 9 Beta on my main notebook, replacing the beta Hardy Heron install I'd been running--quite stably--for several weeks.

Read on for the testing details, but the bottom line for Fedora 9 is more or less the same as with previous Fedora versions: Fedora can indeed be used for anything, its primary purpose is to serve as a leading-edge development platform for Red Hat's initiatives. As Red Hat confirmed very clearly last week, providing a mainstream desktop/notebook operating system is not one of their product goals.

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Today, I decided to try out the new kernel mode setting feature in Fedora 9, which moves some stuff about video from userspace into the kernel.

I tested this on my notebook, a HP Compaq 6720s with Intel X3100 (GM965) graphics controller.

I downloaded the preview live image for x86_64 and booted with the i915.modeset=1 option. The boot was almost normal, except that it was flicker-free. After the system booted I switched the virtual terminal from Xorg to tty1 and back, and it was extremely fast. The terminals all had the same resolution.

This does not mean that everything is perfect.

Fedora 9 & Kernel Mode Setting