Saturday, 28 November 2009

Friend of Fedora

A few weeks ago, I would have called you insane for suggesting I'd be using RPM packages, let alone saying that Ubuntu had fallen from graces entirely.

I never thought I'd say it, but damn, RPM is a lot simpler to use than DEB.
I do miss apt-get for terminal commands, and on my laptop's newly installed Fedora, I tried apt-rpm. It's painfully slow in comparison to it's DEB counterpart, and after investigating the DistroWatch website's page on package management, yum has neatly taken over from it.
I like yum. While it's still not familiar to me, it's working on it quite well. I like the layout it uses, and how it does things.
Synaptic isn't used, mainly because it requires apt-rpm, and is therefore considerably slow. I haven't found graphical package manager I like for RPM yet.

Since using Fedora, I've discovered only a few small niggles.
First up Ndiswrapper. Irritatingly, I have a wireless PCMCIA card that has no native alternative. More irritating is that I'm going to have to compile ndiswrapper myself in order to make it work. This isn't exactly something I like the idea of.
Second. The touchpad no longer detects taps for clicking. True, I used the buttons underneath it for left clicking instead, but I did still use it.
Third. On boot up (which is a little longer than Karmic) the screen flashes repeatedly, in a way that people shouldn't look at, until it reaches GDM.
I'd rather it didn't do that, but I think it's just because it's an old laptop.

All that said... first impressions, and using it alongside Ubuntu Karmic on the desktop PC still running it... I'm impressed.
The menus are cleaner and tidier, the games menu I installed an RPM that divides them all into neat categories, installing and uninstalling (yum erase (package), a recently learned command for me) has become relatively easy, and a lot quicker. Adding a new repository seems to be the simple act of installing an RPM that automatically gets the GPG signing key for it.
Beyond the problems, there is little negative to be said about it.
For now, the ex-swap space that Karmic used to use is still an ext3 data partition, because I'm not entirely sure if this is the right distro yet. If I can finally sort out Ndiswrapper, then it'll most likely be put back to swap as normal, which should give a significant boost to the performance.

So the summary? Fedora is neatly winning me over, and Karmic is slowly slipping out of favor. Ubuntu and it's derivative, Linux Mint, may well be good for people new to Linux, but I'm not so new to it anymore. Maybe it's about time I moved on from it to a new distro instead.
And Fedora looks set to be that new one, once the last major issues I have are solved.

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