Saturday, March 12, 2011

A New Hat... Actually It's a Fedora

I've had fundamental issues with the last few of Ubuntu releases that I've seen come out of Canonical. Jumping from Jaunty to Karmic was foolish -- not all of the bugs had settled out of it for at least a month after its release. Lucid moved the default location of the window buttons -- it is unwise to muck around with a geek's muscle memory. Maverick doesn't seem quite as stable overall, although I've run into fewer problems with jumping from Lucid than Karmic gave me. It is also completely nonsensical and wrongheaded to change introduce a mode to the Close button for Rhythmbox -- it effectively minimizes to the tray if the close button is pressed while it's playing, but closes the program if it isn't. Stupid, stupid, STUPID.

I've been looking for a new distro as a result. Judging from the GNOME vs Canonical news of late, I must not be entirely without justification to be less than satisfied. I've tried Unity. Didn't like it. I've really wanted to go with a Debian based system, if at all possible, because I know the basics of apt well and I like its speed. I wasn't enthused by OpenSUSE's dog-slow first impressions. I've also experimented with CentOS, but I like something a little more up-to-date, so I'm giving Fedora 14 a go. The last time I did anything significant with it was 11(!) versions ago. Still learning, but so far, the experience has been pretty pleasant. I've always liked Red Hat as a company even if I wasn't necessarily wild about RHEL or Fedora. I may be changing my mind about that one. We'll see. Here's to hoping. :-)


  1. > It effectively minimizes to the tray if
    > the close button is pressed while it's
    > playing, but closes the program if it
    > isn't.

    Oh, wow, that is amazing. It reminds of how one of the reasons I started using Haiku was because of its strong consistency between applications.

    Anyway, have you considered using Arch Linux? I use it. Here are some of its features:

    . Rolling release, which means you don't have to use outdated software or re-install your OS every six months.

    . For a first time user, it will take longer to install and setup compared to Ubuntu, but this time is made up by not having to re-install later when a new version comes out.

    . The "pacman" package format is fast and very easy to understand. The package scripts are Bash scripts.

    . A very strong community, forum, and wiki.

    . A large collection of packages to install, including the AUR.

    . Packages are unpatched. There aren't any "Arch Linux" modifications to packages.

    . Few breakages due to updating. If something does break, it's easy to downgrade the package and work on fixing it.

    . You are in control of and responsible for your computer.

    Please let me know if you have any questions about it.

  2. Have you taken a look at Linux Mint?

    I too was an Ubuntu user growing tired of Canonical's unilateral decisions to change the OS and jumped ship. The switch to Mint was probably the best thing I ever did.

    The main edition is Ubuntu based, but with more bugs fixed and a lot of the bad Canonical decisions reversed. We recently replaced Ubuntu with this version of Mint on every workstation in our office.

    There is also the more pure Debian edition that is directly derived from Debian itself. And it also has the halfway rolling release model of Debian.

    I'm personally not a big fan of MintMenu, which is the default menu system, but it can be switched back to the default GNOME menu just by re-adding the Main Menu widget to the panel.

    (Though, actually I've recently switched to using KDE 4.6 and it has been marvelous!)

  3. I've actually tried both to a small extent. I'm technical enough that I can handle Arch -- I ran Gentoo on the desktop for a time some years ago -- but the last time I played with it, I thought it was too much work. I've also messed around with Mint, but I didn't find it compelling. Not bad, though. I may give either/both of them a round if I find some reason to move on from Fedora. Thanks for the suggestions, guys. :)