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Re: Fedora vs. Ubuntu

Ian Malone wrote:

On 21/09/06, Kwan Lowe <kwan digitalhermit com> wrote:

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.

I'd definitely recommend Fedora Core for computer science students. It has a boatload of development packages (as do the others, but in FC they are extremely easy to install). Kdevelop and Eclipse are available, as are all the standard tools.

In addition, if you're in CS then you likely have a raft of mathematics classes to


packages are available for Ubuntu, but not in the default Synaptic "Mathematics"
section (as of Ubuntu 6.0.6).

To be clear, I'm impressed by Ubuntu. It's extremely easy to install and use for the normal stuff (Email, web, multimedia, wireless). Fedora has a slightly steeper learning curve, but it pays off when you need to do more elaborate things. As is true for any distro, you can make Ubuntu more Fedora-like and vice versa; it's just
a matter of the default installation choices.

My 2p, I'd agree with the above.  Ubunutu's major advantage (at least FC5
vs Dapper, which is maybe a little unfair), is simpler hardware support out
of the box; eg. my dad's rt2500 based wireless card works in Ubuntu,
but the module has to be manually compiled and installed in FC.
Doing stuff which isn't supported is maybe slightly more difficult in Ubuntu
(eg. I can get WPA working for this card in FC, but not in Ubuntu).
It's easier to get Ubuntu working on your machine than FC, it's harder
to mess about with it.  So the answer is obviously it depends what they
want it for.

I have similar experiences. E.g. VMware Server installs easily on FC5 but
not so on Ubuntu. If we compare using Xen on FC5 and Ubuntu it
gets even clearer.  In FC5 Xen was up and running after just a hour or so,
on Ubuntu I never managed to figrue out how make it work, even though there
was plenty of documentation at the Ubuntu site.

I would recommed Ubuntu if you are going to lure somebody into using Linux
It looks very polished and professional, but if he is going to use it for real work use Fedora. Ubuntu is still valuable as a live cd when you need to boot into linux
occcationally perhaps to do an ssh to your home server.

I've noticed the Gnome based distros are getting more alike.
This isn't always a great thing; eg. the disc manager in Ubuntu
really doesn't want to mount FAT or NTFS as anything other
than root-owned read-only.  A slight problem in a live disc.

I would say the likeness is a good thing, at least if it comes from using the same
upstream gnome source. This means that bugs can be fixed in one
place to the benefit of all.

Uno Engborg

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