With a little regret, I'm writing this blog entry. These are my opinions only.
Ever since I've been a Linux user (and now developer) I've stuck with Redhat and Fedora.
Back in 2002 I was happily using Redhat 8.0, then 9, then FC1, FC2, FC3, FC4, FC5 as each were released.
I don't tend to install “distro-of-the-month” as Fedora always did what I needed.
Recently, Fedora has been annoying me (yes, I know some have solutions).
- YUM, pirut and yum-updatesd seem to want to fight with each other all the time. This stuff should just work but the interaction seems very immature.
- It's a pain in the arse to use proprietary drivers (some hardware you don't get to choose).
- Sometimes I need to access NTFS stuff on my windows partition.
- Fedora Extras is growing all the time, but it is still no match to the packagers of debian.
- A single broken rpm/yum transaction hoses my entire system.
- Mirror balancing never worked, and often the yum update would just fail or worse, hang.
- I was compiling kernel.org kernels by hand to get all my hardware working.
- Upgrading from stable version to stable version / rawhide using yum sometimes breaks horribly.
So I gave Ubuntu Edgy 2 weeks on my new laptop, vowing to return to Fedora if I found I couldn't do certain things.
Things that have been great:
- Hardware that just works, or that works correctly after installing firmware.
- apt-get, it's faster that yum and seems to just work, Plus no meta-data downloading just to install one quick package.
- NTFS volumes that work out of the box.
- No arguing over what belongs in extras and core.
- One CD installer, that doubles as a live CD. This is amazing.
- The concept of soft-deps, i.e. where a package can “suggest” another but not depend on it. Very sane IMO.
- Ability to install modified DSDT easily without hacking the kernel.
- More random oddball packages (that I need for Uni) than in extras.
- Less licence hassle. Yup, enable the multiverse and restricted repo, and done.
- Synaptic. It's so much more mature than pirut. And it's easy and quick to use.
- Community response. I've got better response from Ubuntu dev's in launchpad than I did in Redhat bugzilla.
- Sane menus. I want to see Firefox and Evolution in my menus rather than “Web browser” and “Email”
- Boot speed. Not sure what the Ubuntu guys have done, but it's 4 seconds quicker to get me to the login window.
Things that have been less great:
- Less patches tend to go upstream from Ubuntu than Fedora in my opinion.
- Compiling a .deb seems very complicated to me compared to a .rpm.
- No compiz support out of the box.
- The horror of xorg.conf is back. Fedora seemed to detect stuff automatically which is more sane.
- No root user. Not sure this is a good thing or a bad thing. sudo seems to do what I want.
- The grub screen is hideous compared to the Fedora boot artwork. (bug filed)
- The Ubuntu shutdown is slower by one second.
So, after a couple of weeks, I can't imagine going back to Fedora, which is a little bit worrying.
Don't get this wrong, I love Fedora and think Redhat as a company are great, but I think Ubuntu is more the distro for me at the moment.