Why Fedora is for experts only?

gilpel at altern.org gilpel at altern.org
Fri Jul 24 22:32:45 UTC 2009

My first post on this list was a comment on this passage at Distrowatch
beginning by "The topic of CentOS":


Fedora is plainly described as "broken" and "unstable"! Want something
that works? Piggyback Red Hat on CentOS! And, of course, all over the
place, in forums and mailing lists, some very dedicated loudmouths are
spreading the news. They're experts, they know! And just don't tell them
Fedora could be made more user-friendly, you would ruin their geek

I'm no expert, but I've installed quite a few distributions along the
years and Fedora certainly isn't worst that any other. Despite using the
64 bit version, it is neither broken nor unstable. Many of the bugs it has
are also present in other distributions where you've also got to go
application shopping because some default ones are lame or broken. (In
Fedora, Totem and Brasero, for instance.)

But there's one *stoupid* thing that really puzzles me. When I rebooted
after installation, I noticed there was no pause for choosing the kernel.
I thought maybe that was because there was only one kernel installed.

But, then, a new kernel arrived and nothing changed. "What if the new
kernel doesn't work", I thought. Of course, my hardware being already
recognized, there was little chance of this happening, but why take
chances to save a few seconds at boot time? I went to System,
Administration, Bootloader and changed for a default of 8 seconds, which
is the minimum required to have... 2 seconds to switch kernel. (At 5
seconds, there's still no pause.) Safety first!

Thanks to Tim's good advice, I then chose to work with kmod-nvidia for my
video card and then found some good explanations on rpmfusion to get rid
of the Nouveau driver. I installed Compiz and so on. Lots of fun to
eventually give some Mac users a ride for their money.

Then, yesterday, came a new kernel with a bunch of updates. I installed
all of them. "You need to reboot", I was told. I did, got into a 800 x 600
login screen and never could log in in graphic mode.

I never thought the precaution I had taken would be useful so soon.
Nowhere did I see any advice explaining that this default setting has been
made by phonies whose only goal is to save a few seconds at boot time.

The previous kernel worked as usual. The kmod update arrived less than 24h
later. I upgraded. The new kernel now works fine.

Now, imagine a newbie coming to Fedora. A selection of upgrades is
suggested. He has absolutely no idea of what is what and just clicks
"upgrade everything". He might not even be aware that a new kernel has
been installed.

He's asked to reboot, he does, then can't log in anymore. The upgrade has
broken his system!!! What's the solution?

If he's not completely pissed off at this stage, he will boot with his
LiveCD and seek help. He will, I suppose, be told to log in as root and...
with vi, modify grub. Of course, the experts giving him this advice won't
teach him how to use vi, you know command mode, insert mode and so on.
Newbies have to RTFM!!!

But newbie won't RTFM, he'll just fdisk /MBR . Another user lost for Linux.

I'm trying to figure out what our great experts would lose if there was a
pause for choosing the kernel. If they don't like this setting, they
wouldn't have to use vi, just the Administration menu. All it takes is a
few seconds and, thereafter, they would never have to suffer a pause when
they reboot every six month.

What's the name of the guy responsible for this mess? Can you imagine
proselytizing Mac users and having to make sure they understand they will
have to change a default setting, otherwise, they may be locked out of
their system?

But loudmouths keep on evangelizing that 1% of the market share after 18
years is a proof that Linux is doing really good... Meanwhile on state
televisions WMV is thriving, just as DOC and XLM formats in the bad old

Who are these everything-is-perfect loudmouths working for? Linux? Really?
I can't help but wonder, despite the help they may provide on various
groups to make themselves a reputation, if those people are anything but
Microsoft/Apple shills.

Linux needs a better market share and it could get it easily without
making geeks angry.

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