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Re: Fedora vs. Ubuntu

Arthur Pemberton wrote:
I have a computer science class mate who is interested in switching to
Linux, starting small with installing it and dual booting. He fits the
type that should be able to switch easiy: non-hardcore gamer, non
hardcore multimedia.

My question to the list is could you compare and contrast Fedora and
Ubuntu so that I may pass on the information so that he may make a
choice himself?

I have only ever used Fedora (was Redhat 7,8,9 before) so I am unable
to do that. However, Ubuntu seems to be very popular. So I figure that
to be fair, I should present him with my choice, and the aparent
popular choice, with arguement for-against both if possible.

Thank you.

Arthur Pemberton

Others have given some nice advise and mentioned some interesting points. I wanted to say a few words as well. Personally, I started using Linux by installing Red Hat 7 quite a few years ago. Around Red Hat 9, I shifted to Debian and have never looked back. The best things I have experienced are: 1. Their package management. Apt and dselect are way way more powerful and stable than yum. I wish yum would improve so that is becomes comparable to them. One can even upgrade using apt and dselect from one version to a newer one without the hassles that one notices in yum -- even today on FC4 and FC5. They are simply wonderful. When I changed from RH9 to Debian, RH only had rpm. It was a prehistoric package management system as compared to apt and dselect. Yum was a pleasant change, but it is nowhere near apt and dselect. 2. I have experienced that Debian's "Stable" flavor is rock solid. Debian also comes in Testing and Unstable flavors as well. I have two machines here at home running Testing and Unstable. As compared to Fedora, I consider Unstable to be comparable or more stable. 3. The Debian community is so helpful. I used to frequent the linux newsgroups which had just snobbish linux command line users rediculing others and commanding everyone to RTFM. Debian mailing list was god sent for help and advise. However, fedora mailing list is also quite nice. So maybe this is not such a big difference. 4. Finally, Ubuntu is derived from Debian and brings along its stability. But it has new bleeding edge packages and is able to handle hardware better (though the difference is fast dissappearing). I use Ubuntu at the university and find it very user friendly (if I compare it to Windows usage).
5. Did I mention apt and dselect package management systems?

If I wanted new softare and stability and all gui-stuff and automatic hardware detection, I would go for Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes as a live CD as well so one can try it out without really touching anything on the hard disk. In terms of GUI and new softare, I guess Fedora is also quite nice though I find the necessasity of different yum mirrors quite chaotic given the incompatibilities between packages from differnt mirrors. If this has changed recently, please correct me. I have never experienced such incomptibilities in Debian packages.

Lastly, my machine has Debian Testing and also Fedora Core 5. I mainly use Debian but tryout Fedore too. On a laptop at home, I have installed Ubuntu with Windows. Ubuntu just works better in the laptop than other distos. This depends on machine to machine of course.


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