So, I found a way to download, burn and install Fedora. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal but I’m roaming house to house until Rose and I find somewhere to live. I survived Iraq with Fedora 8 and I really wanted to try out the latest. I really enjoyed 8. It was stable and served me well on my journey.
But, being the geek I am, I couldn’t resist but install the latest and greatest. And, two days later, I have no regrets. I can honestly say that this is the best distribution I have tried. I used Ubuntu 8.10 as soon as I got home to see what had changed on the Debian front. I wasn’t all that impressed. While it operated smooth, it was missing a few bits which I really wanted. It was lacking the latest OpenOffice.org, Mono and Eclipse and it excluded the Empathy IM package which I wanted to try. It also didn’t have a ready-to-go NetBeans installation in its repositories.
There is really nothing much to say about the installation of F10. The installation was smooth and easy. Everything just worked. When it first booted, I noticed an immediate difference. Not only did the boot process look different, it also booted a lot faster than F8. This is due to the inclusion of Plymouth as a replacement for RHGB. I wasn’t sure why it looked so plain though. It was just a black screen with a progress bar across the bottom. After some searching, I found that adding “vga=0x318” would allow a more graphical boot screen at 1024×768 with 16M colors. After the change and a subsequent reboot, it looked more like one would expect.
I would have to say that the folks working on NetworkManager have done an outstanding job. I didn’t my Kyocera KPC650 Verizon card with me during installation. However, it didn’t matter. I just plugged it in while working from the desktop and NetworkManager detected it and I was able to connect in seconds. This was much smoother than using wvdial or any of the other older methods. It is also considerably better than Windows approach.
After adding all my bits, I found that I didn’t need to reference any documentation to get my system 100%. It just was. Everything was there and working. I did add the RPMFusion repos to yum but this is as simple as clicking on the download on their site. Viola, libdvdcss, gstreamer-ugly, et. al. were all there and ready.
I do have one complaint with Gnome. The default image viewer application is just too simple. It doesn’t offer any photo touch up tools or anything. I really wish the folks at Gnome would begin pushing gThumb as the default. It is fast, lightweight and simple enough to use as the default. Yet, it offers those that want to crop or adjust color the tools necessary to get the job done.
In conclusion, I would recommend F10 to just about anybody. It is as stable as any release I have ever tried. It is also as bleeding edge as they come. Those two rarely come hand in hand. It’s nice to see they got it right with Fedora 10.