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Fedora Core 3: Worth The Upgrade? 498

Chris writes "With new features such as SELinux, GNOME 2.8, KDE 3.3, Evolution 2.0, Remote Desktop, Helix Player, and of course Firefox, it may be worth your while to make the switch. At OSDir our screenshot tour of Fedora Core 3 takes you through boot, installation, desktop, taskbar, menus, configuration, and the new features of this new release. Our Core 3 screenshot tours have taken you through Test 1, 2, 3, and now the final release. Check it out."
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Fedora Core 3: Worth The Upgrade?

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  • Size? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by News for nerds ( 448130 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @07:47AM (#10818696) Homepage
    Everytime I see those Fedora releases I'm overwhelmed by the DVD size download. Why don't you make a stripped down version with the CD size a la Firefox?
  • by iamnotacrook ( 816556 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @07:54AM (#10818714)
    Theres a feature which works remarkably well under Windows XP, much faster and seamlessly than most remote X window logins. I'm not surprised they want to call that feature by the same name. Strange considering that network transparency is supposed to be X's strongpoint.
  • Worth the upgrade? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smartin ( 942 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @07:58AM (#10818731)
    I upgraded from Core 2 on the weekend and in a word, yes. It's very polished, all of my complaints with Core 2 seem to have been fixed, specifically burning CDs. It even recognized my firewire DVD burner and was able to burn a data dvd on the first try. The only nit so far is that the NVidia drivers (downloaded from NVidia) don't work. Appearently there is a work around for this and I am sure that it will be corrected soon.
  • Phew! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RWerp ( 798951 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:00AM (#10818740)
    GNOME 2.8? KDE 3.3? Evolution 2.0? Firefox? [] got there first...
  • Vanilla GNOME? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:03AM (#10818749)
    So I take it from the screenshots that Fedora now has a GNOME desktop layout similar to plain, vanilla GNOME, rather than the more traditional Windows-style layout of application launcher in the bottom-left corner?

    Looks a lot better, at least in my opinion.
  • Re:SuSE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lachlan76 ( 770870 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:05AM (#10818763)
    My first experience with Linux (I'm 15 now, so I've only been going about a year) was somewhat destroyed by not being able to install much, simply because my distro didn't ship with gcc - not just the default install, but missing entirely from the cd. And then I had 56k.

    You have no idea how quickly I switched to RH8.
  • by HazE_nMe ( 793041 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:11AM (#10818786) Homepage
    As the other replier stated you can install without the GUI, in fact when I installed Mandrake 10.1CE on my recently aquired (for free) Gateway 2000 G6-266 (pentium2 266mhz with 32mb edo ram) it automagically loaded the non-gui install without giving me an option to choose. Took forever to install compared to my other boxes, but it finished without a hitch.
  • Evolution 2.0 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fpedraza ( 757989 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:16AM (#10818801)
    Included in FC3, has less features than the 1.4 series and it's not (IMO) nearly as beautiful. Is it possible to downgrade? Has anybody tried?
  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:26AM (#10818847) Homepage
    What is the point of upgrading, really? I mean, if the software offers a substantial, useful upgrade, then go for it. However, if you're just doing it for more widgets and later version with minimal changes, what's the point?

    There's a negligible difference between Mandrake 10.x and Debian Sid or Sarge. One is supposedly cutting edge, while debian gets hell for being 'behind'. The only 'behind' I see is that debian doesn't tend to set everything for the user up automatically - good or bad, your call. That's all

    I really see in new releases of distros like mandrake and fedora - more automation and 'seamless' operation for the newbie type. That's all good, I guess, if you're looking to get Windows-like acceptance and saturation one day, but I guess it's not for me. Hell, I don't even use hotplug because it irritates me. *g*
  • by Nailer ( 69468 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:28AM (#10818852)
    Cause it had nothing negative to say... so here's the bad stuff about Fedora, from someone who uses it, knows it well, and still likes it moe than other distros:

    - Lack of a good GUI config tool installing packages. Ideally, system-config-packages should use up2date (rhn/yum/apt/dir) repositories to pull its packages from. Synaptic's the closest thing, but it only works with apt repositories.

    - As painful as it seems for the Gnome guys to either test this out or believe anyone who says so, most users disable spatial Nautilus. This should be done by default. However otherwise the Gnome on FC3 feels great, particularly the file associations and launcher editing tools.

    - Garret no longer works for Red Hat. Hence the new wallpaper for FC3 is kinda ugly compared to previous masterpieces.

    - Needs a default sudoers file that allows particular groups of commands (but not all) to be run with root privileges by paricular users. I checked this into bugzilla so it should be there for the next release.

    - General Linux stuff. Eg, I'd like the re-architected X servers fd.o are proposing - where X sits on top of OpenGL drivers - the only driver necessary to run a card. This involves replacing the current X drivers tho. It'll happen, but it'll take a long time...

  • Stability (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roalt ( 534265 ) <> on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:28AM (#10818854) Homepage Journal
    I'm pretty interested in the stability of this release: FC2 was one of the worst, even with all yum updates. Okay, it works okay for desktop usage (I still use it), but as server or as workstation it crashes a bit too much.

    I really-really hope that we can get stability back from version 7.2-7.3 which were still the best 'red hat' releases when it comes to stability.

  • No (on my PC) (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Val314 ( 219766 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:31AM (#10818864)
    i had Fedora 2 on this PC (and Fedora 3 Test2) installed, both worked fine, but Fedora 3 final refuses to boot.

    i have tried an upgrade, fresh install (ereased and recreated all partitions), nothing helped. it stopped everytime at different points in the boot process.

    PC is a P4C 2.8 GHz, i865PE, 512 MB Ram, Geforce 4Ti so nothing really special about it

    this my be isolated to my PC or not, but stuff like this stopps People from trying Linux. (i'm not really sure if i should re-install Fedora 2)
  • by Bake ( 2609 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:37AM (#10818892) Homepage
    My favourite part about the Remote Desktop the fact that it's like screen(1) in that I can start an application and then leave it running while I disconnect from it. Then when I have moved to another location I can connect and the application is running right where I left it.
  • Re:Screenshot tour? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hammer ( 14284 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:40AM (#10818902) Journal
    A fancy-schmancy gooey during install may be nice or a BIG bother.
    The important is wether it works or not. I gave up on RH/FC with FC2. It insisted on installing and starting a whole bunch of shit that I explicitly unchecked. Examples:
    • install and start IR on an old server that neither has nor ever will have IR interface
    • install and start CUPS on a server that neither has nor will have access to a printer

    The reason "it has to be installed to satisfy dependencies". In previous RH/FC you could ignore those dependencies in expert mode. Now I spent lotsa time turning of stuff that didn't do anything (I wonder WTF the IR daemon actually does on a server w/o IR card???)
    Now I use Mandrake/slackware. I might try the new SuSE...
  • Re:buy CDs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @08:56AM (#10818974)
    What exactly, is wrong with RPM then? I only partly ask fo you to justify your comment, but also to educate me to its shortcomings, and the alternative's improvements.

    I need a new server OS soon, and I'm a bit fed up with RedHat's obsolescence program - ie every time I install a RH OS, its obsolete in what seems like a few months.
  • Re:Screenshot tour? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Slack3r78 ( 596506 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @09:05AM (#10819037) Homepage
    I sure hope it's a marked improvement over FC2. I downloaded and installed FC2 on a test machine of mine on the day of release, expecting great things, and ended up being so thoroughly underwhelmed that I'd replaced the load with something else inside of a couple of days.

    It's not that FC is a bad distribution, per se, it's just that I fail to see anything particularly special about it. At the time, I'd just discovered Dropline Gnome, which is an excellent desktop-oriented meta distribution on top of Slackware. But even so, Debian fits for the hardcore freedom types who want easy updates, with Ubuntu looking like it's going to fill the desktop end of that, Mandrake does well as a starter distro, Gentoo is great for the "1337" types, but where does FC fit in?

    It's supposed to be a desktop distro, as I understand it, but frankly, it palled in comparison to others when I tried it last. It's going to be especially hard to convince me otherwise now that Novell's recently introduced Novell Linux Desktop [] is out. It's SuSe based, but with a level of polish added, and quite frankly, is the most impressed I've been with a desktop distribution since somewhere around Mandrake 7.3 (ie: the first graphical installer that actually worked that I dealt with).

    Basically, what I'm saying is I fail to see where FC stands out above other distributions that would make me want to use it. Granted, after the general buginess I experienced with FC2, I may be biased, but the whole point is the fact that I wasn't having similar issues with the other distributions, so why should I have to put up with them with FC?
  • no justification (Score:3, Interesting)

    by poptones ( 653660 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @09:16AM (#10819095) Journal
    But I will tell you anyway. I ran mandrake for a long time. they changed gcc systems with every release, and seemed to install it broken about half the time. Until this most recent switch (when I left them forever) I had been using mdk10.1 "community" for the last few months and have been completely unable to get the damn compiler to work even to run basic make-installs on simple stuff like rar and divfix.

    So, every time I wanted to install something I had to spend hours looking up shit on rpm.pbone and hoping I could find all the packages it needed to solve the dependancies. Even with urpmi (which is inarguably better than basic RPM) it was not uncommon for the installer to get completely stumped and either give up or just mangle the OS. The times I tried to upgrade gnome resulted in my having to perform a complete reinstall over the mess it made of my desktop. and because I use an encrypted userland it NEVER shut down because of the way it (and last I tried, RH) deals with encrypted partitions (although that's another unrelated point I mention it because I find it hilarious they've apparently been given a bunch of money to develop a "secure linux" - good luck France, you're gonna need it.)

    With ubuntu "upgrades" are about two clicks and a lotta downloading away. If you're on a broadband link I doubt you'd ever have to reinstall, because the package installer is so very reliable. It's not perfect, but compared to RPM it's like running linux in seven league boots.
  • Re:Can't stand it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c ( 8461 ) <> on Monday November 15, 2004 @09:17AM (#10819101)
    > I installed it on a fresh xeon 2.6ghz and I was abhorred at the slowdown.
    > FC2 was a LOT faster than this is.

    Odd. On my Athlon 2200, FC3 seems about 50% faster. I'm fairly light on memory though, so it could just something like that.

  • by ophix ( 680455 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @09:40AM (#10819236) Homepage
    i will attempt to address some of your gripes.

    mp3s: yes by default fc cannot play mp3s. this is due to patent issues and those same issues are the reason that fc doesnt include ntfs support either. honestly fc isnt for the normal home user, never was. if you want mp3 playback you can use the apt/yum repositories from either or, your pick (they may not be fully populated yet, but if not they will be soon).

    mplayer: mplayer can be downloaded from both of the repositories mentioned above so you dont have to compile it if you dont want to.

    java: so install java rpms?

    ide/scsi issue: dont know what to tell you on this one, i dont have a scsi cdrom drive to test with to see if i can come up with a work around.

    network: set a static ip on eth0 and see if it works that way, horrid work around i know, but it should speed up boot time as it wont be looking for a dhcp server.

    cant help you with rezound nor audacity, i can try them later and see what happens for me, but offhand the only thing i can think of is that they might have build dependencies you dont have installed or they might not like the version of gcc on fc3. what sort of errors do you get?
  • Re:Screenshot tour? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dsinc ( 319470 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @10:06AM (#10819393) Journal
    Geez, when are people going to drop those nonsensical buzzwords? "Mandrake good for starters", because of its "graphical installer" mainly? I don't know where this cretinous obsession with the installer comes from; that is what makes transition easy or difficult for someone who hasn't used Linux before? Gimme an effin' break... Secondly, I've been a Unix sysadmin since the eighties and still I like Mandrake very much (surprise, surprise) and I'm using it for some very serious stuff; why do I like it? because it allows me not to waste time with minor-but-nice-to-have things like colored output from ls, SSL for Webmin and such (things that are trivial to implement, but time consuming and really annoying to deal with in a production environment). Besides that - wow, XFS (I've always loved this file system), good-but-not-crazy optimization for your executables, a huge number of mdk-specific rpms (yes, that too saves time, you don't have to rebuild from tars, you don't have to try some exotic programs available only for Younameit, but not for your distro etc), very active development, with a pletora of cutting-edge programs and so on.
  • by saw ( 5768 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @10:27AM (#10819551)
    I have been running FC3 betas on a desktop for a while and liked it, so I tried upgrading my FC1 Dell laptop to FC3. I ended up with the fonts being off just enough to be annoying, the mouse pad acting funny, and suspend to RAM not working. I got the fonts looking almost OK and learned how to set Synaptics parameters in X, but the suspend was a killer. So I wiped the disk and went back to FC1. Apparantly suspend in ACPI is far from complete. Furthermore, booting with ACPI disabled and APM enabled, allows suspend to work, but resume fails. I guess I am stuck with a 2.4 kernel based OS for a while.
  • by robyannetta ( 820243 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @10:34AM (#10819603) Homepage
    I agree.

    I have 13 PCs of varying snapshots of historical technologies and there's NO version of any distro that works with all of them properly.

    Fedora Core 3 says in the release notes it was compiled for the latest and greatest P4 processor. Well, that leaves 80% of current users out.

    Normally, in a situation like this I would suggest Gentoo since you can choose your installation arch from the installation CD, but until they find a way to safely auto-append all the config files without user intervention, I can't say it's perfect. (It's faster than the roadrunner on speed, tho!)

  • Re:Stability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alan Cox ( 27532 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @10:35AM (#10819608) Homepage
    FC2 is basically straight 2.6 - the earlker 2.6 has had a few problems as you'd expect from new code. 2.6.9 is getting pretty solid now. It tends to depend what drivers you run more than on core load.

    14:37:45 up 66 days, 5:47, 1 user, load average: 9.80, 10.33, 12.20

    Thats FC2 on a big FTP server that's still being hammered by FC3 downloads.

    14:34:34 up 447 days, 4:38, 2 users, load average: 0.07, 0.02, 0.00

    Another box thats better secured so hasn't had to have a kernel update recently - running FC2 but still the FC1 kernel since when it booted FC2 wasn't out.

    So it certainly can be pretty solid.
  • Re:Can't stand it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sirReal.83. ( 671912 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @11:05AM (#10819860) Homepage
    Yes, our boot-up is slow. :/
    We're working on it [].
  • Re:Size? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I. M. Bur ( 460890 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @11:18AM (#10819974) Homepage
    Have you actually examined the implementation of the burning feature in XP? It copies all the files to a temporary location on the system partition (consuming that much HDD space there) and then when you tell it to burn the files, it creates an ISO image on the system partition (you guessed it, consuming once more it's size of HDD space), which it burns afterwards. The system partition must therefore have over 1GB of free space to be able to burn a standard 650MB CD (almost 10GB for a DVD!), not to mention the useless copying between disks.
  • Re:Size? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by magefile ( 776388 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @11:29AM (#10820081)
    That's what FTP installs are for. CDs are just for backup and rescue disks anyway.
  • by flosofl ( 626809 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @12:06PM (#10820484) Homepage
    I had the exact opposite experience. Fedora 2 was dog-ass slow for me. I was ready to look for another distro, but then FC3 came out. I did a clean install (my /home is on its own partition), and holy cow. I saw an IMMENSE improvement in speed. Using Gnome 2.8 and SELinux is enabled. I especially like udev. My computer is a laptop (ultralight) so I am constantly plugging and unplugging USB 2 drives. udev makes it a snap.

    One thing you may want to try. If you are not on an IPv6 network, you may want to disable IPv6 in /etc/modconf. Fedora tries IPv6 first for everything. I found this issue with FC1 and noticed a speed improvement when I disabled IPv6.

    Even though this is still for FC2, this site still has some good information:

    Unofficial Fedora FAQ []
  • Re:Kitchen Sink (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Donny Smith ( 567043 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @12:22PM (#10820691)
    > another annoyance: Sarge installer is still not ready for prime time, no matter what anyone else says.

    Major, major annoynance: people comment on those god damned installers like they install their OS every day! What the hell is wrong with them?

    For Christ's sake people! Use the minimum install (no GUI), wget and install apt-get or yum and then install whatever you want. What exactly is not to like about this simple procedure?
  • Mostly good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jasoncc ( 754385 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @12:35PM (#10820823)
    I did a fresh install of FC3 the day it was released. I did it on an 1.4 GHz XP nForce system.

    The install went smoothly. Everything looks nice. I had no errors or odd messages on first boot. I've been using Redhat since before Fedora and I have to say that the system is evolving nicely over time.

    Here is a true testament to how things have improved: I ran a fresh install, logged in, loaded OpenOffice Writer and printed a document to my printer without having to ever configure or look at any printer settings of any kind! As a long-time GNU/Linux user, that really WOWed me. Wrestling with the printer had always been a right of passage on any new install.

    I have run into a few things that annoy me...

    1. NVIDIA driver trouble - lots of people are having them. The video driver will not load at boot time. I have to boot at runlevel 3, load the driver manually and then switch to runlevel 5. I could just load it with a custom script at startup but I think this issue will be resolved soon, so I'm just going to live with it for now.

    My NIC suddenly stopped working. I'm not sure if it was because I booted into a different OS and then switched back or what. I installed the closed-source NForce driver for the NIC and the integrated sound. The NIC works fine, but for some reason the open source driver still gets loaded. I can't figure out what is loading it. It's not hurting anything though. Similarly, both sound drivers were being loaded. I'm still using the open-source one because it's working fine but I can't figure out how to get the nvidia one to stop loading.

    2. SELinux and ntpd - There's a bug in the SELinux policy that prevents ntpd from doing it's job. Supposedly, it's fixed but I'm waiting for the fix to be officially released. I suppose I could learn a little about SELinux policies and fix it myself but there is only so much time in the day.

    3. - printing Envelopes arg! Printing envelopes has been a pain in my ass on every system I have ever used, regardless of Hardware, OS, or Word Processing software. Not really a FC issue.

    4. USB 2.0 storage device in a system with only USB 1.1 controller - doesn't work. It's recognized, but not loading the usb-storage driver. The same hardware works with a different OS and the device works with FC in a box with a 2.0 controller. Had this same problem with FC2, btw.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with FC3. Considering, I jumped on it the day it was released, I've had very few issues.

  • Re:Stability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pros_n_Cons ( 535669 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @12:50PM (#10820981)
    Also I believe sourceforge switched from Debian to FC2 to serve up those TB's of data. That should show Fedora is pretty stable. Atleast more stable than It's given credit for.
  • by wessto ( 469499 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @01:19PM (#10821304) Homepage
    I also ask this question every time a new version is released. My system is running fine, why upgrade. I always end up upgrading, however because I worry that at some point, there will be a feature I need to have and the upgrade process will not work because I have not been updating all the time. Dependencies bleh. I think that's the only reason I keep upgrading.
  • by eguaj ( 612494 ) on Monday November 15, 2004 @02:17PM (#10821883)

    Worth The Upgrade?


    I usually upgrade my distro only when the libc/XFree/any core library start to become really obsolete.

    I changed my slackware 3.x for RedHat 6.2 when too many application needed libc6 instead of libc5 and XFree was compiled for libc5 so it was not reentrant/thread compliant.

    Then, I upgraded my RedHat 6.2 with RedHat 8.0, for almost the same reason: get XFree 4, new libc6 and mozilla started using gtk2, i guess, so I had to recompile it myself but I had not enough horse power to do it.

    My last upgrade was with Fedora Core 1 and at work I still have a RedHat 9 that can run most of the actual software.

    • Gnome ? Sorry, I don't use gnome/mono stuff.
    • KDE ? well, yes, I use it, but I can get the latest one from
    • Firefox ? will be perfect.
    • Helix player ? works like a charm.
    • Remote desktop ? VNC/x0vncserver/etc. are working perfectly on my RedHat 9.0 and Fedora Core 1
    • Evolution 2.0 ? mutt is much user friendly when used remotely over SSH and Evolution 1.2/1.4 is enough for me when I don't want to look like a cave man when the other around are using Outlook...

    So I guess Fedoca Core 3 is not really worth an upgrade for me.

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