Fedora Life Cycle

Manuel Wolfshant wolfy at nobugconsulting.ro
Tue Oct 23 02:32:20 UTC 2007

On 10/23/2007 04:17 AM, jkeating wrote:
> On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 18:58:01 -0400
> William Cattey <wdc at MIT.EDU> wrote:
>> How can use cases for hardware available now, requiring a few  
>> critical apps needing to be ported now be accommodated?  Neither  
>> Enterprise nor Fedora fits well enough at the present time.
> RHEL regularly enables new hardware in the quarterlyish updates.  You
> aren't stuck with two year old hardware sets.
    We are kind of getting away with the list topic, but FWIW, I've 
bought - more like an experimental playground - three boxes based on 
Asus M2N-MX motherboards (el cheapo entry-level nVidia Corporation MCP61 
+ nVidia Corporation GeForce 6100 nForce 430 graphics controller). I had 
a hell of a time trying to make those work in Centos 4 and 5. (Yes, I 
know I could pay $$$$ for a special contract and have a dedicated team 
implement whatever I need, or that I could look over the HCL before 
buying. And I also know most of what "enterprise" mean, including in 
terms of hardware. That's not the point for the below lines.)
    In C4 it was impossible to start the installer, no matter what 
options we've tried (however, the box kind of worked OK after I moved 
the hard disk to another computer, do the install and transfer the disk 
    In C5 it was more than funny to observe how the box would come up 
with a different MAC address after every reboot (until the network 
driver available on NVidia's site was used). After that, it took us half 
an hour to fiddle with xorg.conf to configure the display settings for a 
Samsung 17" TFT display (*-config-display failed with trumpets in 
generating a functional config). Finally we gave up fiddling and before 
throwing the box thru the balcony's window we switched to the NVidia 
proprietary driver. We haven't yet been able to make the box not lock if 
USB is enabled in BIOS & sound is still not functional, I still have to 
backport a newer alsa rpm. The irony is that replacing the CRT monitor 
with a TFT (and creating the new xorg.conf) was much easier in C4 than 
in C5.

    OTOH, F7 worked almost like a breeze on the same hardware. Except 
for video: once again I had to fiddle directly with xorg.conf adding a 
custom Modeline, otherwise the image was shifted 5" to the right and 1" 
narrower. And funniest of all, after making everything work (or so I 
thought) and having the exact setup I wanted after rebooting in runlevel 
7 with Gnome as Desktop Environment, in the very moment I selected KDE 
and logged in as regular user, the image shifted again 5" to the right, 
as if I did not setup the video at all. Go figure...

    Bottom line, lots of people do lots of work, but for _recent_ 
hardware there still are steps to be performed. And even with the 
efforts put in their quarterly updates, I would say RHEL lags an year 
behind hardware that is available in the street. And as someone who 
started learning linux by using RH 4.2, I am sad to say it, but I feel 
that other distros (hint: knoppix/ubuntu) cope better with this aspect.

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