fedora first impressions

Wayne Schuller k_wayne at linuxpower.org
Mon Nov 10 01:47:22 UTC 2003


I just installed FC1 over my RH8 (Ximian Desktop 2) installation.
My PC is a Celeron 450/128MG/TNT2.

Rather than "upgrade", I reformatted my old / partition (except /home
and /opt which have my data) and installed fresh. This is my standard
procedure when updating to a new system.

The install process was excellent. It felt like the same quality Redhat
style install. Very easy to use, detected my mouse nicely.
The disk druid didn't detect my Raid partition for /home. Redhat
installs have never done this. (so I add the /etc/raidconf stuff later).

The system appears to run fresher and snappier than my old XD2 setup.
This may be the difference between Gnome 2.2 and 2.4, or it might be
something else...? It's very encouraging to see Gnome and the linux
desktop get faster and leaner with every new generation!

The installation of OO 1.1 seems nice, with good xft fonts. There were a
number of things I missed from the Ximian OO 1.0.3 - gnome print dialog,
integrated recent file support, nice gnome icons. Is it possible to use
Michael Meeks ooo-build patch set in Fedora?
It would be great if the ooo-build set was used by the Fedora release by
I look forward to seeing ooo being made to run quicker, and I think
there is real potential in gnumeric and abiword also.

I also missed the Ximian gnome-print dialog as well as their small
additions to the file-selector. I guess we have to wait for these to be
integrated into Gnome upstream.

The games that come with Fedora are very nice. Good to add some nice
games in addition to gnome-games. Tux racer is excellent, as is freeciv,
chromium is fairly boring. A fantastic GPL'ed puzzle game which is VERY
professional is: Enigma http://www.nongnu.org/enigma/
I think Enigma is much more interesting for adults. I would recommend
this for FC2.

The menus seem very full of nice GPL'ed but polished desktop apps.
There are a huge amount of preferences in that menu, but they are all
very simple and easy to use - this reflects the maturity of Gnome. I did
notice that it is confusing (conflicting?) to have Preferences->Screen
Resolution and also System Settings->Display.
They look like they overlap in functionality.

Installation of the NVIDIA drivers was easy once I followed instructions
sent to the fedora-list. (key was to export CC=gcc32 and remove the
MESA-GL rpm)

As others have noted, there is a metacity window raising bug.

I have some other more gnome specific feedback which I will make to the
gnome lists. The gnome desktop is getting very clean, simple and usable.
(why doesn't distributer say "Fedora" in About Gnome?)

I wondered if you could put "GNU/Linux" as a subtitle into the Fedora
branding during the excellent graphical bootup, and log in time. The
system looks so good, but we need to remind people this is linux! 

In general fc1 feels very much like I expected Redhat 10 to feel. I
think it is a very nice and usable desktop (under Gnome). If the gtk 2.4
file selector can make accessing removable media (eg: floppies) as easy
as Windows then I would start recommending it to windows users.

I look forward to reporting bugs and helping contribute to fedora.

Wayne Schuller <k_wayne at linuxpower.org>

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