Fedora 9 seems very fine.

There are many versions of Linux. At the deepest level, there are a few fundamentally different Linuxes, and each of these may appear in one or more, sometimes many, different "distributions." So, most Linux distributions are based on either Debian, RedHat/Fedora, Gentoo, and a couple/few others. Off hand, I'm not sure how many different core systems one has to add together to reach 50%, or 80%, or whatever you like.

Ubuntu is based on Debian. Debian is part of the GNU project, and is in some ways the philosophically purest, or main distribution. Many, many people will hate that I said that and comment below, and I look forward to their different perspectives.

Gentoo, on the other hand, is a special flavor of Linux that is philosophically driven to be highly customizable. It could be thought of as the geekiest of the standard distributions. Gentoo (soft 'G") is a kind of penguin, by the way.

Fedora is a distribution that is linked to the commercial product, Red Hat Linux. Get it? (Fedora is a kind of hat....) In a way, Fedora is the "bell labs" of Red Hat, with cutting edge somewhat experimental stuff that would eventually be absorbed (or not) in to Red Hat.

Red Hat/Fedora is a very common distribution used in a lot of commercial settings where support is needed. I believe it is on a lot of servers.

It seems to me that for a long time, Fedora/RedHat was the Ubuntu of Linux. It was often the distribution people would mess around with if they were trying out Linux. Then came along a range of "user friendly" distributions (Suse, Linspire, etc.) which were all eventually supplanted by Ubuntu.

Well (and thanks to Virgil Samms for pointing this out), the latest version of Fedora ... version 9 ... claims to be a very user friendly form of LInux with a lot of cool new bells and whistles.

The ninth release of Fedora ushers in a number of changes aimed at making the venerable distribution a more newbie-friendly desktop, but longtime users needn't fear a great dumbing down; version 9 packs plenty of power user punch as well.

Fedora is a community-driven distribution sponsored by Red Hat and, while Fedora may be best known as a popular server OS, most of the changes in Fedora 9 are aimed at making the system friendlier for desktop users.

The Fedora team has clearly spent a lot of time trying to refine some of the smaller, but perhaps more common user interface elements in some thoughtful ways. Take, for instance, the new setting that allows you to manage power settings from the login screen. It's a small tweak but it makes shutting down simple. There's no need to login when you wake from hibernate - just shut down straight from the login screen. Similar attention to these basics can be found throughout the new release.

Read the rest here.

I had a Fedora distro for a while. In fact, it was the distro I had working best before installing Ubuntu. I may actually attempt an install of this new distribution to see how it goes. Could be fun.

Anybody got it yet?

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We have the commercial RedHat running on a few servers but I do use Fedora (although I'm a few releases behind) for FTP and some network monitoring. I'll have to DL Fedora 9 and give it a spin.

I was a long time Red Hat fan, and ran it for quite a while. Then one afternoon I downloaded Fedora 5 and loaded it up on my old home machine running Win 98. AS I was just playing, I let Fedora set up my partitions automatically, OOOPs, the install rewrote the FAT table and basically trashed the Windows install. I had never had a problem installing a dual boot Linux before. It turns out that the problem is using the automatic partion setup. I just wanted to warn people out there that sometimes these installs don't go the they should, and to be careful.

rewrote the FAT table and basically trashed the Windows install

.... and the destruction of your Windows install was bad ... why????

But seriously, the problem you had was not a problem that would happen now ... that kind of problem will vary from version to version (of the install program, not the system). But yes, absolutely, that is a very valuable lesson.

Personally, I don't like dual boot system. I like dedicated system computers linked together on a network. Multiple boot is OK for messing around with different systems as a hobbyiest.

But if you have to do dual boot, start fresh. Assume nothing will survive. Do a total partition configuration just the way you want it (by running linux from a CD or USB key drive, with qparted or gparted to do the partitioning) then install all the systems fresh.

I've been wanting to ditch Windows for some time, but every time I start to consider actually doing it, stuff like this comes up that I totally don't understand and it scares the Hell out of me.

Y'know in Rush Hour when Jackie Chan is mocking Chris Tucker and goes, "Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth"?


Y'all are like speaking Japanese using Greek words and Swahili grammar, as far as I can tell. I have no idea what 9 farting FAT ladies in red hats have to do with ditching Windows.

But "OOOPs" I understand. I still have Windows.

Understanding disk partitions is hard, but running a computer without understanding this is like using mechanical transport (cars, busses, etc.) without knowing how to start the vehicle, steer, use the breaks, etc. You can take a bus but you can't really drive. Which is fine.

I strongly recommend, though, getting a basic understanding of this stuff. Simple explanations can be found on the internet. Maybe I'll do a blog post about it.

There are physical disks and there are 'partitions' ... which are sort of like virtual disks (though I don't really want to use the word virtual there because it has special meaning). Your "c drive" etc. ... those are 'virtual' disks that often happen to coincide with physical disks, but they need not.

The idea linux installation has three disks (all partitions on a single real disk, usually). One is your home directory and it is "mounted" at "/home" ... the other is the rest of the file system, and it is mounted at "/" (right, just the slash ... that is the root of the directory system). The third is the swap file. When you use qparted or gparted, you create these three partitions ... which destroys everything on the disk. The first partition is /, the secon partition in line is /home, and the third (typically) is a swap file.

The swap file is at least as large as the total ram installed in your computer (not too much larger). The / directory is a bunch of gigabytes. Does not have to be large. /home is the biggest. That is where all your stuff goes.

If you make these three partitions, then in stalling a new system ... probably even switching from Debian/Ubuntu to Fedora (though I cannot guarantee that) but certainly upgrading from Fedora 5 to 9, for instance, can be done without touching /home . Also, to back up your stuff, just back up /home. All your stuff is there. Once you get past the partition part, it makes the rest of life so much easier...


I have been using fedora8, previous versions and red hat since v5. Also since I provide support I have some systems running winxp. The simplest way to test and run linux is to have a test system, hence no risk to your primary system.
If you are comfortable with internals you can swap out the hard drive. Otherwise get an older model pc for 50 bucks and install linux on it. Another possibility is the live cd but those do run somewhat slowly.

Now regarding linux vs. windows. I do not play games so cannot comment on that topic. Even on windows I mostly use open source so there are only a very few programs that are not portable cross platform.

The biggest problem with any computer is recovering from a hard crash, usually with linux the computer user is a bit more knowledgeable and has backups available so the recovery is perhaps a bit less painful but it really is a crap shoot overall.

Even though I am a firm advocate of linux, my clients all use windows so it is a necessary part of my skill set and I have to stay current with the product. If it wasnt for cygwin and open source in general on windows, I would go nuts.

By the way, I could do that in Swahili if you like.

Unalazimakugowana hardisk yako kukua na kipondi tatu. Kwa moya, ya kwisha, unatia swapdisk yako. Kwa ingine, katikati na kibombi kupita yote, unatia nyumba yako, /home. Kwa yakwanza, unatia asili ('/'). Basi.

Wow, Somehow it seems easier in Kiswahili.

I used Red Hat Linux 4 and 5 back in the olden days when you had to write your PPP scripts yourself,and it was ok,didnt mind it.Have tried Fedora 6 and 8 and it was just not comparable with Ubuntu(and btw Greg,Gentoo is really,really hardcore,its good if you do not have a job or family or life in general,because all that compiling from source takes time mate ! ). Forget about wireless,be prepared for a struggle with Samba shares etc,and get ready for dependency hell whenever you try to install any additional software....
If you want to use Linux,stay with the Debian derivates.....

Just did my first installation of F8. No problems. It recognized the VIA chipset and set up the openchrome driver. Also, XFCE is now available as part of the distribution (optional)

By Virgil Samms (not verified) on 14 May 2008 #permalink

Wups, I meant F9, not F8.

By Virgil Samms (not verified) on 14 May 2008 #permalink

i've been using linux since before there was a Red Hat. phhhbbt, got y'all beat.

i'll have to take a look into Fedora 9; i skipped 8, spent most of my time on Ubuntu, but i deal with Fedora servers that might stand an OS upgrade eventually.

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 14 May 2008 #permalink

Well, the first operating system I used interactively was Unix before there even was a Linux. So there....

And we didn't have very many CRT screens. Mostly paper TTY's. With punch cards and punch paper readers (and if you played your cards right, you could get the people behind the window to put your data on a tape or, egads, a drum!!!! Drums were fast. )(

Thank you Greg. I'm really going to have to do some more reading on it.

I get partitions, it's just all the other stuff after that. The Swahili makes just as much sense to me. I won't understand the sentences until I understand all the words.

I'm still wondering about the 9 farting FAT ladies in the Red Hats, though.