I think Ubuntu has spoiled me.

For the last day or so I’ve been trying to setup Fedora 8 just to see the progress that has been done there. For those who haven’t checked the history on this blog (i.e. everyone),Fedora Core 1 was pretty much the first distro that I tried as my first serious foray into this wonderful world. So I have always a soft spot for it.

So after I played around with Mint and KDE 4 (Nice btw), I chucked in my freshly burnt DVD and started the installation. To tell the truth, I liked that fact that I didn’t have to wait for a LiveCD environment to load before I started the installation process. I also took notes of what I did and what problems I had in order to write my experience. In order of happening:

  • Install Fedora with Basic Packages and Developments Packages
  • Login with root (As the system did not prompt me to create a user during the installation process which is strange. I may have missed something but I don’t think so).
  • User System -> Adminstration -> Users & Groups to create a normal user
  • Discover that he is not a member of any group. Add him to some basic ones
  • Try to setup sudo for more security. run visudo and uncomment the option to allow users of the “wheel” group to run all commands. Add the new user to the wheel group
  • Run pppoe-setup to set up my dsl connection. Setup more difficult than pppoeconf which took most of the correct choices. Internet connection working now
  • Start copying user configurations to a folder in the /home directory called my_clones. Then give everyone permissions to a new group called “clones”, grant all files in that folder with r/w perms for the “clones” group and then link then configuration files to each user’s directory.
  • Discover that Amarok doesn’t like that for some reason. Discover the “amarokrc” in the .kde/share/config directory. Link that as well. Collection still not saved. Rebuild it. Curse kde for not needing ownership of configuration files.
  • Try to install proprietary Nvidia drivers. Initially follow instructions here
  • Try to play some music while waiting for some permissions to change. Discover that Fedora still does not have mp3 support out of the box and no easy way to have it (like amarok informing you to press a button). Sigh and play my personal last.fm radio from firefox 3 beta 4
  • Install a bunch of packages that I hope will provide me with mp3 playback. Those include amarok-extras-nonfree.
  • Try to install d3lphin and got it without any icons. Unusable. Tried to find out what I was missing and thus installed some kd4 packages. As a result it started installing various things I did not need. In the end I had to reinstall among others VLC, Amarok, and the Gimp ad the KDE packages seem to have some weird dependencies…D3lphin still not working
  • Installed Gnucash. It didn’t automatically recognize the configuration files. Fortunately all I had to do was open the ledger file.
  • Tried to install Keytouch. Not in Fedora Repositories. Downloaded RPM for fedora 7 and installed. My Play, Back and Forward buttons do not work although they do in Ubuntu.
  • Tried to find the advanced compiz manager. Couldn’t. Installed some packages that I seemed appropriate, including emerald but manager didn’t appear and emerald didn’t affect the window decorations. Still haven’t found which package install’s compiz advanced setting manager…
  • Trying to adjust the time. Got error: “Failed to locate a program for configuring the date and time. Perhaps none is installed?” – Huh?!
  • Wine worked fortunately but I’ve lost my menu items.
  • For some reason, on boot, Fedora seems to get stuck on the boot sequence while trying to get an IP for my eth0 device. As I’m not using DHCP but rather I’m using pppoe to connect online, this just slows down the booting for no reason.
  • I’ve lost access to my previous installations of Ubuntu and Mint. Well, I’ve lost my previous grub configuration from Mint when Fedora set up the MBR and it’s own grub. I had lost Ubuntu access when Mint formated the /boot sector as a prequisite for using it (I have my /boot on a separate partition) and that pissed my off but I was hoping that Fedora would recognise my other Distro installations and give me options to boot on them. Unfortunately, even though it recognised my old WinXp installation and created an option for it, it did not recognise the GNU/Linux ones. I tried to make manual menus but apparently this only created grub boot sequences fit for Windows. This actually still annoys me. How come different distros can recognise your windows installation but are plainly oblivious to your other GNU/Linux installations? For that matter, why does Ubuntu derivatives insist on formatting your /boot partition before using it? Can’t they just leave it well enough alone?

Anyway, enough ranting. I did manage to make Fedora work partially as I need it but I’m still missing my super custom compiz-fusion eye candy and I’ve lost some settings in the process. Unfortunately I didn’t want to use my previous user directory since different distros have different ways of organizing it and every time I tried to do this, I ended up with a bunch of errors on loading it which were the result of different configuration items.

Unfortunately, my experience with Setting up Fedora 8 is not as good as I’d hoped. Ubuntu is just miles ahead in regards to ease of use.There is no way that a simple user can setup a Linux installation with Fedora with the same ease that you can do in Ubuntu. And this is unfortunate. I just hope the devs take some points on the way that Ubuntu handles the initial configuration and the available menus and copy the useful items.

Nevertheless, I plan to stick with Fedora 8 for a while just to see how well I can use it. Unfortunately I’d like to be able to multi-boot into my other installations but I still have to work on my grub’s menu.lst in order to make it see them.


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