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Fedora Core 4 Reviewer Finds It Bloated 110

Posted by timothy
from the complain-enjoy-compromise dept.
Provataki writes "TuxTops reviews Fedora Core 4 and finds a number of problems with the popular distribution: high memory usage, usability problems, bugs, bloat. They awarded FC4 with 6 out of 10 at the end as despite its quirks they also find it a 'powerful distro' and easy to use."
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Fedora Core 4 Reviewer Finds It Bloated

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  • by rklrkl (554527) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:13AM (#12992771) Homepage
    Fedora Core 4 still runs too many services that are not required, particularly in a PC desktop environment (e.g. software RAID monitor, at daemon, PCMCIA support, ACPI, cpuspeed), but they can be turned off fairly easily.

    Ironically, the one disappointing feature of FC4 is that the DVD distro has actually been *cut down* compared to FC3's DVD - many packages (some of which are wildly popular like abiword, xmms or tuxracer) have been surprisingly moved off of even the DVD and shunted into Fedora Extras as an optional download instead. I think this was a knee-jerk response to people complaining that FC3 took up 4 CD's - fair enough, but why not keep the "bloat" for the FC4 DVD then and leave those packages off the CD version?

    BTW, it always pays to wait a few weeks for initial bugs to be ironed out in Fedora releases - FC4's Firefox couldn't use the Sun Java plug-in with SELinux enabled until they released a policy patch to sort this out for instance. Mind you, I think the Anaconda installer should optionally allow you to download updates before it completes its installation - SuSE's YaST does, so why not not Anaconda?

    • by J.Y.Kelly (828209) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:37AM (#12992845)
      The cutting down of the core distribution was an intentional decision and is arguably a good rather than a bad thing. It arose from the (eventual) appearance of Fedora extras which is the community maintanined set of packages for fedora. This marks a passing of control from Redhat to the community and pushes Fedora towards being the community oriented distribution it was promised to be. You can expect that the core FC5 distribution will be even smaller than FC4 with more packages moved to Extras. What was bad about the FC4 release is that Extras has yet to be tied in to the installer, which means that the installing or upgrading of these packages must be done post install. One of the goals for FC5 is to have Extras available at install time.
      • Have they modified the update/install procedures yet? That's been one of my biggest pet peeves about Redhat/RPM based distros.
        I'm, fortunately, on a highspeed line, so I prefer to install over the internet. With RPM based distros, you end up installing from a static set of packages... even if they're 3 months and 3 security patches out of date. Only then can you install updates.
        What's the point of downloading and installing 500 megs of packages if immediately afterwards you have to download and install 300
    • Yes, tell me about it:

      I go google a bit, because I want to cut down on the services I start, (I was not on net at time, and didn't want ftp or anything, since it was a fairly old laptop) I wanted nearly all things off.

      smtp, no, httpd, no, scp, no, ssh, no, ftp, no you get the point.

      So I go into #linux, and I get lots of cursory glances. "What distribution you use" etc etc, immediately I feel downhearted. A few proffer some scripts they use.. . I remember looking at some files, but the human readability w
    • Actually you don't know what you're talking about. About the only thing you list that's maybe valid is the at daemon. If you took a moment to investigate the init scripts you mention you'd see that the mdmonitor and pcmcia services don't do anything at all if the hardware isn't present. Granted they may add a second to the boot process, but big deal. And even less of a big deal when fc5 comes out since it will have the early gdm login enabled by default.

      As for the power saving features, I don't see w
      • I'm not going to say you don't know what you are talking about, but I'm pretty sure I remember at least some FCs running PCMCIA even when I had them installed on my Desktop (with no PCMCIA cards).
        At any rate, what I want to point out is how you seemlingly carelessly throw around the concept of "Granted they may add a second to the boot process, but big deal.". I'd like to chime in with just how bad this is.
        People (And os designers:)) who think like this tend to add 12 or 15 of these services on board. All o
  • Not a Fan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by niskel (805204) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:15AM (#12992775)
    I have never really been a fan of Fedora. I tried core 3 for amd64 when it came out. I found I didn't have the control I wanted and regularly found myself in dependancy hell. I also found it had way to much stuff I would never use and didn't have mp3 playbck that I would. I know it isn't hard to get it, but still. I have since moved to Gentoo and am very happy.
    • Re:Not a Fan (Score:2, Insightful)

      I think what people are forgetting is that Fedora Core was never designed to be a stable distribution. It's there to shake out the bugs before stuff moves into Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    • All I can say, with the multiple frontends available, yum, apt, urpmi, yast, up2date, red carpet, whatever else I've forgotten, anyone who mentions rpms and dependency hell in the same sentence is just ignorant. Or what, you're going to tell me that installing an app that isn't in portage is any easier than an app that doesn't come with Fedora?

      And way to beat a dead horse with the mp3 thing. Until the patents or whatever go away, it's not going to happen. Get over it already.
    • Right now they're working on an amd64 port for arch linux [blogdns.net]. I'm currently running the i686 version on my opteron and it runs pretty damn well. I used Gentoo for like...5 years before switching over, and I dig arch a lot more than Gentoo. Basically the install is pretty similar, except it uses packages instead of compiling every dependency from scratch. And...oddly enough...it's faster than Gentoo. Give it a try, I highly recommend it.
      • I might give it a try on my next system later this summer if they have an amd64 version available by then. I like Gentoo not so much because everything is compiled from source but because I very much like portage. I hear Arch uses a very similar system. The one other thing about Gentoo is that the community is the best I have seen myself. Helpful no matter how obscure or noobish the question. I can't speak for Arch's community but the Gentoo community really makes me want to stick with Gentoo.
        • Yeah, I love portage too. emerge is just beautifully easy ... and even if something technologically better I might stick with portage simply because it has a fairly large dedicated community behind it ... but I have downloaded Arch and will try it.
  • No NTFS support out of the box; that is a sign of the opposite of bloat.

    And as for usability, go and fix it. Set up a foundation and collect money to run it and write software to make it usable.

    Complaining aobut software is what you do to closed source vendors. You have the ability to change this stuff, so dont complain about it, hire someone to fix it, and while you are at it, appreciate the free work that people put into this frankly, astoundingly robust stuff.
    • I thought we wanted openness in open source software - including thoughts and opinions on the software produced. Getting feedback from end users is invaluable.
      • There is a difference between useful feedback coming from users and what amounts to swipes coming from 'journalists'. Words that discourages adoption by spreading myths like 'the usability is poor' doesn't help anyone fix anything.

        I just installed FC4 yesterday (from DVD by the way, whcih didnt work for hte author of TFA). FC4 worked just as expected, and installed painlessly. It is not bloated at all in fact, lots needs to be added to it to make it more useful, like, the automatic recognition and mounting
        • "FC4 worked just as expected, and installed painlessly. It is not bloated at all in fact, lots needs to be added to it to make it more useful, like, the automatic recognition and mounting of NTFS discs that are found when you install."

          It installed painlessly for you. The author describes his personal experience in dealing with FC4 and how he viewed it. And why should critiques only be made privately? By opening up problems to the public [not just emailing those on the devel list], perhaps someone who is

      • bloat seems to be a relative term. i'd call it bloated if after a full install of however many hundreds of megs or even a couple of gigs that support for all the basic features i use and expect (and are included on other distros) still need to be manually located and installed from various sources on the net.

        yeah, i know, stay with the other distros then... but if i was reviewing fc4 like in the article i'd be calling it bloated too. i'd have that feeling of "i did an 'everything' install and it still d
    • by int19h (156487)
      I understand this attitude, of "do it yourself if you are unhappy", since meritocracies often work, but this kind of thinking is flawed, IMHO.

      In extreme cases of meritocracy:
      - You are not allowed to wish for anything, unless you do it yourself
      - You are not allowed to report a bug, unless you do it yourself
      - You are not allowed to express your opinion about something, unless you FIX IT YOURSELF. (yelling intended) ;)

      I would much rather have a world where people are allowed to express themselves about thing
    • Complaining aobut software is what you do to closed source vendors. You have the ability to change this stuff, so dont complain about it, hire someone to fix it, and while you are at it, appreciate the free work that people put into this frankly, astoundingly robust stuff.

      Well, I agree that you can't demand that developers fix something or add features when they don't want to do it but there is nothing in the fact that someone decides to work on OSS project for free that prohibits others from saying to ot
  • Bloated compared to what, exactly?

    The article begs the question.
  • I recently destroyed me FC4 box (I was using a script to build E17 and I accidentally directed it to start doing 'rm -rf /'... I quickly CTRL+C'd but it was too late!), and since I'd upgraded it over yum I didn't have the 4 CD's or 1 DVD to fix it. So when I get around to it I'm going to try using gentoo, not because I'm not really happy with fedora, but because I want the ability to easily and quickly update to the latest release without having to wait for a core release.
    • If one can break FC4 that easily, one should not try Gentoo. Also, if one wants to do something quickly, such as update, one should not try Gentoo. If one wants to remain in harmony with the world, one should use a Debian based distro to ease the pain and suffering of the slashdot community. Or you could try Gentoo!
      • Debian is a very good distribution but really come on now. "If one can break FC4 that easily,"

        Try this:
        [user@debianbox ~]$ su -
        Password:
        [root@debianbox ~]$ rm -rf /

        See what happens. The lesson is, don't do anything as root unless you absolutely have to.
        • The point I was trying to make was if someone breaks "any" distro by doing something stupid like rm -rf / then they shouldn't try Gentoo. Do you think they are ready in configure and compile their own kernel?
          • Hey, I've been compiling kernels since 1.2.10. This is the first time in my illustrious career that I've ever hosed a system in that way -- it was inside of a build script's cleanup function that didn't test to see if the string it read in was empty before passing it to rm, NOT entered from the command line -- and I was surprised at how much of the system was still usable even with no 'ls', etc. I _COULD_ have repaired the system, but I really just didn't feel like downloading the fedora CDs and I didn't ha
  • by c (8461)
    The description of FC4 that I gave to my coworkers was roughly "Bob Young snuck into my office, stole my processor and took a big dump." More than twice as slow as FC2, maybe four times slower FC3. After I turned off a heap of useless services. Palm synchronization is completely broken.

    It was bad... I wiped FC4 and installed Debian.

    c.
    • I used to love Red Hat based distro's including FC3, Mandriva, and Suse. That was until I tried Ubuntu. It turned me on to the world of Debian. Now I run Debian. Yesterday, I got my shipment of 60 cd sets from Ubuntu I ordered about a month ago. They came in a huge box. If these had been Windows disks it would have cost me at least $6,000, especially after shipping. Ubuntu sent them for free. It'd be one thing if it was a junky OS. It's not. It's a very nice clean distro that is a great introduction to Linu
    • You might disable some stuff in your /etc/cron.daily and weekly. They have a few very intensive, long running tasks in there that'll probably never benefit you. Makewhatis and slocate come to mind. Just mark them non-executable.
      • by c (8461)
        Bad examples.

        I use "apropos" and "locate" pretty much daily. And it's not like either of those processes _should_ be any slower going from FC3 to FC4.

        c,
        • I've been disabling them ever since I discovered why my system was nearly unusable for half an hour each day. The prelink job is pretty disruptive as well.

          I guess it's more of a problem for people who turn their systems off at night. The job runs shortly after the next boot, which is often the worst possible time. I do use "locate" on occasion, but on a file server which has plenty of nightly idle time to spare.
          • Rather than wipe it all out, you could try moving the daily stuff over to weekly if you're not adding new stuff to your system every day (most of us do not).

            Also, most people can probably get away with disabling a lot of daemons/services. Disable them 1 at a time at all runlevels and run your favorite software. Not affected? Disable the next one...

            Still, all of that stuff put together is actually just a tiny drop in the bucket (to the point of being a red herring) compared with some of the gfx relate

          • by c (8461)
            I usually turn my system off at night, too, and I never had a problem with these jobs in FC2 or FC3. It's FC4, and it doesn't matter if the machine was running for 30 minutes or 30 hours.

            If you mostly care about desktop performance, I strongly recommend trying Debian 3.1. I can't even decribe the difference. Everything feels faster (and I'm not just comparing with FC4). Heck, I think my typing speed might have increased...

            c.
    • Please. What's twice as slow? And where are your benchmarks to back this up? Didn't think so. Granted selinux may slow things down a bit, around a 15% penalty or so I think I've read, but what? You're going to argue that selinux is a bad thing? And what praytell is one of these useless services you mention? Or maybe I should just refer you to my post on services up above there.
      • by c (8461)
        If you want statistics, run your own benchmarks. I just want a system where I'm not twiddling my thumbs waiting for stuff that was fast enough last week.

        _Everything_ that I was doing in FC3 prior to upgrading to FC4 is at least twice as slow. In some cases, five times as slow. You name it. Booting, starting an X session, compiling. Video playback became effectively impossible.

        Disabling selinux didn't have any noticeable effect. That was the first thing I tried. Turning off mDNSrepeater (?) for some reason
        • by pyros (61399)
          mDNSrepeater is related to zeroconf to have your machine automatically configure itself on your netowkr and seamlessly locate services provided by other machines. It's part of Apple's Bonjour suite (formerly known as Rendezvouz).
          • by c (8461)
            Yes, I know what it _is_. I can read man pages too.

            What I don't know is why it's running. I don't use zeroconf. I don't need zeroconf. I don't really _want_ zeroconf. I sure didn't tell my system to run any of this stuff (and I'm almost positive I told it _not_ to in FC3). I certainly don't want it running by default. I don't even want it _installed_, but I gave up long ago on expecting sane dependency management in a Red Hat distro.

            c.
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:43AM (#12992867) Homepage Journal
    The folks at Redhat have really been pushing the envelope with core components of the Linux system. GCC4, GCJ, Xen, SELinux, X.org, DBus and HAL are all going to be adopted by the rest of the Linux distributions and venders in the near future.

    Note: "in the near future". Just like when Redhat pushed the envelope by adopting GCC3 and ELF at an early stage,in comparison to Redhat's x.2 and x.3 releases, the x.0 and x.1 result has been slightly flaky at the edges.

    I think that Fedora Core 4 was released two months too early. Another couple of months in rawhide development would have ironed out a few more of the kinks.


    • I think that Fedora Core 4 was released two months too early. Another couple of months in rawhide development would have ironed out a few more of the kinks.

      If you really feel that way, then simply wait for FC5.

      • I am pissed that Eclipse didn't work out of the box for fedora core 4. Apparently checking out different forums, many people got the OS to crash completely from running Eclipse.

        How the hell did redhat become as unstable as windows nowadays. Dare I say "enterpri$e" edition.

    • Every Fedora Core release is released too early. That's its nature.

      A Fedora Core release +6 months of patches is a really nice system you can run for a year. By that time there's another FC+6 months release available.

      A new FC release is fun to have as a play/development system but noone should expect to depend on it.
  • It's a sad state of affairs when a fourth generation release of probably the best supported Linux distro available can only gain a 6 out of 10 rating.
    • by Phisbut (761268) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @08:52AM (#12993771)
      It's a sad state of affairs when a fourth generation release of probably the best supported Linux distro available can only gain a 6 out of 10 rating.

      It got a 6 out of 10 from one reviewer who wasn't even able to get a DVD working... I mean, I know nothing about that guy, but the simple fact that he couldn't get a DVD working (while I installed FC4 from DVD on 3 different computers, with 3 completely different settings; and I'm also quite sure thousands of other people installed from DVD without any problem), doesn't give him a whole lot of credibility to me.

      What he encountered is not a problem with the distribution, it's an anecdote.

      • Yeah, but I've been doing linux installs for 10 or 12 years, back when they used to be truly heinous. Fresh FC4 install for me from CD was not the worst, but it was BAD!

        -Install using a NORMAL, MANUAL partition scheme crashed the graphical installer. I had to use the text-mode installer.
        -After install finished, grub was set up to pass the wrong command-line options, so booting required intervention.
        -yum --update (or equiv, I don't have a FC box handy) overwrote some GPG signature file. This broke yum f
        • "-Why are all these GODDAMN DAEMONS running?"

          Because, at it has been said from the very Fedora's constitution day, FEDORA IS THE TESTBED FOR RED HAT. So Fedora's users are either:
          1/ Red Hat enthusiasts that want their hands dirty to help build their distribution of choice, and know in advance what will it bring to them
          2/ Ignorants abused by Red Hat's management in their role of beta-testers.

          For Red Hat policies both are equally useful. 1/ will help them to make a trustworthy product that will fill up th
  • by digitect (217483) <digitect@d[ ]ingpaper.com ['anc' in gap]> on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @07:01AM (#12992932) Homepage

    Fedora Core strikes me as a good balance between Free and current. Sure there is no MP3 playback, but that is because Red Hat long ago decided to keep it's distributions free of any software using licenses that were not Free Software [fsf.org]. There are plenty of other media formats that are as good or even better. And there are plenty of places that provide a way to add MP3 support, it's just that the distro has decided to keep the base 100% free. (Which is fine with me, I'd prefer that than starting to rely on some software that gets yanked in a year because it's copyright holders decided to start charging an arm and a leg for it.)

    Fedora is also up to date. Here again, the basement dwellers among us can point to XYZ distribution that has bleeding-edge package ABC. But the FC packages alwyas seem to work within the distro. From time to time I'll venture out into one of the alternate repositories or closed-source drivers and I always regret it. The system gets unstable or something else stops working.

    Which brings me to my main point, Fedore Core is proving to be a fine distribution for my productivity. I have long lost interest in tweaking and exploring the system deep into the night, now I just need one that I can use for email and web browsing, authoring various documents, develop software, draw, do genealogy, personal finances, etc. I'm not saying FC is perfect, nothing is. But it's usefulness is equal and better than my Windows XP station at work. Every release gets better, and while I want to see continuing advancements in my desktop environment, I also need one that is useful to me now.

    Balance is rarely appreciated (I like Honda, too) but it's a sign of both skill and maturity. Keep it up team.

    • Good for Fedora that they have these values of only-free software included. That said, when those values get in the way of the initial functionality, newbies who are trying it are going to be frustrated. Seems to me that the reviewer should have tried something that already has full multimedia support out of the box, like PCLinuxOS.
  • More reviews (Score:3, Informative)

    by youknowmewell (754551) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @07:15AM (#12992985)
    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1830880,00.as p [eweek.com]

    http://www.osjournal.com/content/85/Reviews/A_look _at_Fedora_Core_4/ [osjournal.com]

    http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2 005/6/28/prodit/11304408&sec=prodit [star-techcentral.com]

    These reviews aren't quite so negative as the review posted on /. . Funny how that is.
    • The osjuournal article says:

      Out of the box Fedora Core 4 will work almost perfectly on every system--no tweaking or command line editing necessary, just pop in the DVD and go. Best of all, Fedora Core 4 is completely free and open source.

      Which is a completely different picture that what the original review states.

  • When I ran a quake 3 server, which was nice.

    Seriously, a nice, compartmentalised, light weight, organised linux will come when some people accept some change.

    I would like to see etc bin sbin lib blah foo moo schmoo gone, and have an easier to understand, less distributed file system. Fixing the ability to remove and add components of the 'OS' i.e. key apps and user apps, will help cut bloat, and allow people to choose more software for trial basis, and cut it out again.

    Every time I say this I get linux u
  • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @07:20AM (#12993031) Journal
    I've been planning a switch from Gentoo anyway (Portage has just gotten too big to use over dialup and I can't get a 2.6 kernel to power off correctly) and yesterday [slashdot.org] a bunch of people informed me that Linux Is, In Fact, Ready For The Desktop if I'd just switch distros yet again.

    I'd like to go back to a Red Hat variant, but am confused by the various clone options -- Fedora, CentOS, White Box, etc. Can anyone sugggest why one of those might be preferable to the others? (Hint: one thing I've learned from Gentoo is that the packaging system is only as good as the repository behind it.)

    • CentOS and WhitBox are basically the freely available source for Redhat enterprise recompiled with the trademark names/graphics replaced.

      Fedora is a community based spin off of Redhat, used as a testing ground for new stuff such as SE Linux, Xen etc.

      For a desktop I would use Fedora, personally I've found it is a nice balance between the latest goodies and stability.

      For a server, I would use CentOS, of the Redhat enterprise clones it seems the best supported.
    • Skip RedHat. Go with MEPIS, which is compatible with Debian (to the extent of being able to use Debian repositories safely, unlike Ubuntu), but has better hardware detection.

      Comes on a single KNOPPIX-like bootable CD. Try it out live, only install if it works.
      • "(to the extent of being able to use Debian repositories safely, unlike Ubuntu)"

        It never ceases to amaze me how many compatible but not compatible distributions of Linux are out there. It seems these things fork for the most basic political squabbles, even though the amount of effort required to maintain a new distribution is _immense_.

        The operating system fashion show is getting really old. IMO, that's why many people are going back to Mac OS and Solaris after dancing with Linux for a while.
  • I haven't really gotten to use FC4 much yet, and that's because the installation is bloated and kept me up late last night! In this day and age of net connectivity, its just stupid to force people to d/l four CDs. Back in the day with RH 7 you could get away with just downloading the 1st CD, but my install (mostly for C development) ended up spanning all four CDs. When the limiting reagent in your install time with the CD-Write speed of your burners, that's a warning sign that your distro is doing someth
    • "In this day and age of net connectivity", you can just down load the (6.5M) boot.iso from os/images/ and then do an FTP install to get just the bits you need.

      On the other hand that's not really reducing the Bloat, just moving it to somewhere that may be faster for you...
    • The fact that it comes in 4 CD's and doesn't need to connect to the net during install is one of the reasons why I install it a lot - I'm working on a project that required me to install Linux on several sites where there is no access to the internet, so this is a good choice (I was going to go with Ubuntu at first but I needed a lot of packages that are downloaded during install and that's the reason why I changed distros).
      • That's great if it works for you. I was cheesed of this morning when I wanted some package (maybe OpenAL, maybe GtkGLArea, can't remember), and it wasn't anywhere to be found on any of those 4 cds. :(
  • ...is that there is no easy way to create binaries that optionally link to libraries, unless the program is specifically written that way.

    As a result, what distro writers tend to do is compile one version of the binary with everything they think will be used linked in. This can be a serious health hazard - well, sanity hazard anyway - as it means you'll end up with a lot of stuff you won't use but can't get rid of.

    Another option is to have many different versions of the same application or library, wit

  • FC4 is pretty good (Score:2, Informative)

    by frag thief (757953)
    Aint variety grand? I'm running FC4 and love it.

    Sure it has some kinks, but I accept that since Fedora tends to push the envelope. It's really not 'Linux for Mom' like Ubuntu. Fedora requires some heavy lifting and some RTFM-ism. I've always liked Gnome and 2.10 with Clearlooks is just gorgeous. FC4 boots faster and does a good job of detecting hardware. A week or two ago I swapped my motherboard and processor and it booted up with everything working -- despite my changing 90% of the chipset includi
  • by ArmorFiend (151674) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @07:48AM (#12993190) Homepage Journal
    But I wasn't as happy with the memory consumption. About 230 MBs of RAM were used on a clean, default load (according to "free", just after the OS loaded -- no major cashing has occured yet). I find this requirement huge, it means that computers with 256 MBs of RAM will swap heavily after only a few minutes of using the system (e.g. after opening Firefox and Evolution or OOo alone).


    I'm not sure about the memory-bloat measuring technique he's using. I just installed FC4 on a 128mb machine, and after boot and gnome login, only 48K of swap is in use - that's nothing! According to his supposition I should be swapping like a banshee already. I think his RAM-measuring technique is not accurate.
    • "According to his supposition I should be swapping like a banshee already."

      Yes, banshees are notorious for thier inadequate memory management techniques :)
      • Spoken like a guy who grew up in the age of relatively quiet drives. Back in the day I used computers that sounded like a bowl of rice crispies in milk when they swapped. If the paging got really loud, well, they drowned out conversation with their banshee-like noise.

        And the video card in that computer is ... wait for it ... 3DFX Voodoo Banshee. It has so little vram though that "swapping" is kinda a misnomer.
        • Ha! That's excellent. You're certainly not alone in generalizing the "V like a banshee" construction. Since you're actually talking about sound in this case, you're not far from the "screeching like a banshee" which I've heard before. A reasonable application of the phrase with regard to the sound it makes.

          To say I grew up in the age of quiet drives is something of an exaggeration, though -- unless you consider the desk-shaking capabilities of my first hard drive (20 MB in an old Zenith box) "quiet". :)
  • No Surprise Here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Steinfiend (700505) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @07:51AM (#12993217)
    It's always amazed me how people haven't noticed this about RedHat based distros before. At least the consumer ones, I can't comment on their Enterprise edition. Going back to RedHat 7.x installed on a semi-reasonable laptop was definitely a little "turgid".

    As much as I tried to clean and lean the system it still felt slow. A previous comment about services running that aren't required holds very true, as a knowledgeable amateur I was able to discern which services were stoppable but if this is really the Year Linux Takes The Desktop(tm) then things have to be much more beginner oriented. Even then it wasn't as spritely as an OS designed for a 386, the latest and greatest super computer and everything in between should be. I blamed Gnome at the time, but honestly even running CLI only it wasn't satisfying.

    Of course I now have a new laptop running Ubuntu and the world is good. I feel bad for all those years spent avoiding anything related to Debian. If anyone wants to get a friend/relative/particularly attractive stranger interested in Linux, give them an Ubuntu CD, a quick 5 minute lesson on backing up and partitioning and they are good to go!
  • i've just booted fc4 running gnome, galeon, evolution,cd player and system monitor using only 140 mb ram and zero swap???
    • debian boots to 92mb of memory usage and 0 swap for me...and i haven't even cleaned the services up that i don't need...i've used just about every redhat based distro and they all seem to crawl compared to debian based to me...
  • Anyone had any luck with running Jabberd on FC4? I kept getting segfaults, backtrace is here [jabber.org]. Never did figure out what was wrong, but falling back to FC3 "fixed" it.

    Also, if anyone wants to set up Jabberd to log to PostgreSQL, I've put some notes on that here [infoether.com]. It includes notes on using Ruby's ActiveRecord with that setup too, good times...
  • Without a GUI (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bzant (256795)
    I run FCx on many of my home servers, without the GUI, and I have found them all to be very stable, low memory consumption, and easy to update.

    I just installed FC4 on a file server so I will see how that goes, but I expect it will be solid as the others.

    And if you don't like the packages that come with FC4, roll your own, I don't install the default httpd, I always get the source and compile my own.

    I like the FCx distros, 'cause it is easy to get a solid base install of a very current kernel. When I am t
  • I installed FC4 on my home PC last friday (finally throwing the yoke on MS software... until Civ IV comes out and I'll install XP on my spare partition).

    I run FC2 (my work notebook) and FC3 (my work desktop) and I've run FC1 and I honestly believe that FC4 is, by far, the slickest and least bloated one of them.

    My memory usage is minimal, right now it's at 25% (after 30 minutes farking and slashdoting, out of 512Mb of RAM). Disk thrashing is very low - for some strange reason despite having installed it o
  • by StarWynd (751816)

    The article just focused on a few features the author was interested in. It was not a comprehensive evaluation of the product. I just upgraded to Fedora Core 4 a couple weekends ago and it has been great for what I needed it to do. For some people Fedora will fit their needs and for others it won't.

    If you're going to evaulate the product, evaluate ALL (or at least a majority) of it. Don't just give a product a bad rating because it didn't do/have specifically what you wanted or because you don't under

  • by kosmosik (654958) <kosNO@SPAMkosmosik.net> on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @09:42AM (#12994269) Homepage
    This is common newbie mistake -- "Why does my system takes entire RAM aviable?" -- Well RAM is in machine to be used. What for you need RAM if it stays unused? So it is actually a *Good* *Thing* that most of the RAM is used - it means that operating system is working good with memory management.

    What was wrong? The interpretation. I've bet that author stated full memory usage but hasn't bother to check how much of this "used" RAM was taken by system buffers and how much by real applications? I use Fedora day to day on my laptop - I've tweaked it a bit (to be honest). Disabled services, use WindowMaker instead of bloated GNOME/KDE, Opera instead of Mozilla etc. After boot -- X11 with WindowMaker, few services (postgres, httpd for developement) -- the system (not buffers) takes ~50MB RAM, but of course free(1) shows ~240MB (with system buffers).
    • "Disabled services, use WindowMaker instead of bloated GNOME/KDE, Opera instead of Mozilla etc. "

      I think your inerpretation of what he is saying is wrong. he default install is GNOME/KDE. Not everyone will 'tweak' their system. Out of the box, you are saying that it is bloated too.

      I've heard the argument that all your RAM should be in use for 'good memory' management. I can write a program with lots of memory leaks that will use your RAM. Is that good memory management? I think the issue is that th

      • > I think your inerpretation of what he is
        > saying is wrong. he default install is
        > GNOME/KDE. Not everyone will 'tweak'
        > their system. Out of the box, you are
        > saying that it is bloated too.

        Yeah I know - that is why I've stated that I am honest that I've tweaked my system.

        Fedora is compromise between functionality and speed. Of course default install will be slower and bloated since it tries to do all at once - to come against all user needs (f.e. printing enabled by default, file sharing
        • "Well I think you will encounter similar problems with any Linux - it is like you own unsupported hardware."

          No it was working in FC2 and now it is not. That's not unsupported, that's broken.

          What do I mean, my console is not working? If I am in X and I hit Ctl-Alt-F1, I used to be able to log into a console, and do stuff. I can't do that any more. I hit Ctl-Alt-F1 and get a console login prompt, and I enter username and password and it resets the console. If I pass to the command line init 3, when I g

          • FreeBSD makes a decent desktop, about as fast as most major linux distros, but without a lot of the linux-specific niceties like HAL and DBUS. Check out arch linux [archlinux.org], as well, it's got all cutting edge desktop stuff, but with a very simple, unbloated base install that you build on with binary packages. Pacman (it's packaging systems) is one of the most bare-bones, but easy-to-use package managers i've laid hands on. It's got what *i* expect to be there, without any extra cruft. But yeah, those would be my
          • > No it was working in FC2 and now it is not.
            > That's not unsupported, that's broken.

            I've missed that. Of course you are right... But for me everything works...

            > What do I mean, my console is not
            > working? If I am in X and I hit Ctl-Alt-F1, I
            > used to be able to log into a console, and
            > do stuff. I can't do that any more. I hit Ctl-
            > Alt-F1 and get a console login prompt, and
            > I enter username and password and it
            > resets the console. If I pass to the
            > command line init 3, whe
  • by VStrider (787148) <giannis_mz@ya[ ].co.uk ['hoo' in gap]> on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @12:49PM (#12995847)
    From TFA:

    the installation screen won't initialized and load without beforehand adding the "nofb" or the "vga=971" command in the kernel configuration line.
    On certain hardware you need to pass these options, no matter what distro you're installing. Are you complaining about having to type a few extra characters on his first boot?

    FC4 booted much faster than any previous version, still though, not as fast as other distros like Arch and Gentoo.
    Gentoo is faster from other distros, but I don't see any difference on boot times. And anyway, if you're gonna complain about nofb, I can sure tell you that Gentoo is not for you. The installation is nothing but easy.

    But I wasn't as happy with the memory consumption. About 230 MBs of RAM were used on a clean, default load (according to "free", just after the OS loaded -- no major cashing has occured yet).
    Linux uses memory more aggressively than windows, and tries to avoid swapping, while windows does the opposite. This is the first complain I hear from windows users using linux. You need to understand that you *want* your memory to be used. The more memory is used, the faster your programs will run. And btw here's my free on Gentoo:

    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 513828 428216 85612 0 50048 176256
    -/+ buffers/cache: 201912 311916
    Swap: 506008 4024 501984

    As you can see, most of my RAM is used. This does not slow the system down. It has the opposite effect. Anyway, I'm glad no major 'cashing' occured on your system. :D

    I find this requirement huge, it means that computers with 256 MBs of RAM will swap heavily after only a few minutes of using the system (e.g. after opening Firefox and Evolution or OOo alone).
    No you got it totally wrong. See above.

    I had to go and unload some services before I could see the RAM usage go down
    Most of these 'services' you stopped are init scripts that run once at boot and do nothing afterwards. So your RAM usage going down is most likely the placebo effect. Get a clue.

    And btw, why can't I kill completely 'eggcups' (it keeps respawning) which takes so much RAM, and I don't even have a printer in my house?
    Are you serious? you cann't stop a service? And you're writing a review on a linux distro???

    Also of importance is the fact that Fedora does not automount FAT/NTFS partitions and so new users will find this a bit dissapointing.
    Which free distro automounts a FAT/NTFS partition? AFAIK, none. But anyway all you got to do is add 1 (ONE) line to your fstab.

    Having to use "mount" in the command line or have to mess up with your /etc/fstab is hardly fun.
    Is this the same guy who was talking about arch and gentoo? :D

    Why did this horrible review made it on /. ?
  • ...that bloated is a matter of perspective and a little bit of willful ignorance if not downright idiocy.

    Windows is said to be bloated, yet 99% of the examples revolve around the simple mistake of using the default installation and not picking and choosing only what you need. Do this and Windows XP sings along nicely. Most of the so-called bloat is eliminated. I personally enjoy stress-testing my systems and tend to install every last thing I can and see what happens.

    Same thing applies to Fedora Core. I
  • Not to sound condecending, but I long ago became too irritated by the sound of hard disks churning and clanking as they swaped or virtual memory was being allocated.

    Memory is cheap now. Some of it is slow, but it is cheap, and at least it's faster than swapping. Do yourself a favour if your system is swapping and go out and buy yourself half a gig of cheap memory. It'll cost about $100, yes, but think of the time you'll save.

    I'm running FC3 at the moment with, 1GB of memory(the decadance). I don't think t
  • bloated (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smash (1351) on Wednesday July 06, 2005 @06:32PM (#12998908) Homepage Journal
    For all intents and purposes it *is* bloated.

    And no, i'm not talking about memory usage - 4 CDs worth, and it didn't even detect/include apps for power management on my laptop.

    Wtf? This is 2005...

    Ubuntu detected everything, gave me fully working power management, etc as standard.

    The package manager is brain-damaged... rather than installing from CDs in sequence, adding/removing packages after install results in swapping CDs several times (ie, CD1 is requested 2-3 times or more), rather than loading everything it needs from CD1 first, etc.

    It looks pretty, but as far as use goes, its crap, imho.

    smash (Linux user since 1996)

  • That's what I want to find :)

    A distro which, out-of-the-box, no-foolin', detected-and-it-works, can find and use a USB wireless device, so I can get one of these: http://www.keybola.com/ [keybola.com]

    Anyone hit such a one yet?
  • FC4 aims to be a working, out-the-box easy to use, free distro good for newbies. It is, but still for me as with FC3 I was frustrated I couldn't play .mp3 out the box.

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