Saturday, 26 January 2013

Looks like I am not the only one disturbed by the new Fedora Installer

It's the one distribution I always download the very moment it is released, big Fedora fan. But this new installer is really really eh?

For a pretty harsh review, I highly recommend

I  agree about the issue concerning the installer, funnily enough I also have two identical disk drives and this is the first time ever I have been unsure about installing a Linux distribution on my system.

Previously, Fedora's Anaconda installer was very simple and effective. With concern to partition settings, as a user you can clearly see what is going on since everything was presented in a table like layout.

The obscure nature of the new installer concerning partition information and options makes it so awkward.

With Fedora 18, I actually spent several minutes just going back and forth trying to work out if what I was doing would work and not cause me a headache later on. At times I was hesitating to press the continue button because I feared it may start erasing / creating the partitions.

In the end I said to myself, stop!

Best be safe and take out that valuable drive I use to store important files.

Round 2 - Let's try again

After choosing your language, in my case English (GB), I noticed the keyboard layout defaults to English (US). Not much of a problem, but a common sense approach would be to match the default keyboard layout to the users chosen language.

Partition my disk, I do not like interfaces that require you to click - click - click and click, going backwards and forwards between screens. This is what made the previous anaconda so great, it was simplistic and effective.

But once you get the hang of it, it works.

Probably worth noting, I am installing from a Fedora 18 x64 KDE LiveUSB.

After the installer had successfully installed Fedora 18 to my disk I rebooted the system, I was staring at that boot menu background and thinking to myself, this is the KDE spin, why didn't they use the default KDE spin wallpaper as the background?

A little bit of consistency is always welcome. Nevermind, I can change that later on.

Now, as usual after installing Fedora the first boot setup is invoked, or in my case it just froze up at the Welcome screen. Only way out was by doing a hard reboot.

I did notice some graphical flickering whist it was frozen and that voice in the back of my head was saying "you know nouveau" has to be the problem.

3 attempts of trying to boot resulted in the same freeze at the Welcome screen but after booting with the nomodeset option it worked.

In the desktop, it is just what you would expect from Fedora's KDE spin. A fast and nippy KDE Desktop loaded with some KDE applications.

No Firefox out of the box or LibreOffice like openSUSE.

So far so good, lets use it for a few weeks and see how things go. Is Fedora 18 really the worst RedHat distribution ever?

I will follow up on my Fedora 18 experience in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

openSUSE 12.2 on a Samsung R510, almost perfect out of the box!

Had the brightness function buttons worked...but the solution is very simple.

Just  add acpi_backlight=vendor to the boot loader and the brightness buttons will now work as intended, controlling the backlight.

This will also apply to other Samsung Netbooks/Laptops.

On the subject of openSUSE 12.2, I have to say it is a very nice release.

Everything seems to be working, it is fast and nippy!

The two months of extra stabilisation have really paid off, I find it annoying when a distribution that has an emphasis on stability such as openSUSE or Ubuntu is released in a too much of a buggy state.

But we must meet the release schedule....

In the case of a community project, is meeting the release schedule more important than providing users with a better experience?

I think we can safely say no, and if the release schedule has to be delayed in order to provide users with a better experience it should be done without question.

Putting the users first is what makes a true community project, so well done openSUSE.

You fulfilled one of your guiding principles, to make users happy.

One comparison I always make when using a Linux distribution is how speedy / responsive it feels when compared to Windows 7, with concern to openSUSE 12.2 I am having a hard time deciding.

That's a good thing if you ask me.

I don't expect the battery time to be better as some Windows drivers have better power management features, such as the Intel display driver which allows you to adjust the power setting (High performance / lower power consumption) and create a profile when using the battery / mains power.

I have yet to poke around in the Intel Linux driver / kernel module, maybe an equivalent setting is there.

I noticed KDE no longer provides a battery time estimate, a decision made by the KDE team. See here for further information -

Essentially it was too inaccurate, which I would have to agree with. Even Windows is inaccurate for that matter.

There must be something to complain about?

Works well, looks really good, the artwork in 12.2 really goes that extra mile but there is no point making things look good if the end result is not going to be practical.

Try editing your kernel boot entry at start up, that really nice light green background does not go well with the light grey text. It is a struggle to read certain parts.

I was feeling too lazy to set up a VirtualBox but this photo of my laptop screen gives a good idea.

Overall, my first impressions of openSUSE 12.2 are positive and it is a distribution worth trying at the very least. And if it remains on my R510 till the end of the year, I would award openSUSE 12.2 best distribution of 2012.

You did a good job on this one openSUSE Project!